After the workouts yesterday Raptors Director, Player Personnel Jim Kelly didn’t have much to say but did drop the hint that the Raptors are a “fairly active team in the trade market” and one of the reason for that is because our “wing scoring wasn’t good” last year. That’s good because the first step of fixing a problem is recognizing it exists. An NBA club can’t be relying on Jamario Moon’s offensive contributions and Carlos Delfino’s hot-and-cold shooting to take them anywhere special, maybe a 41-41 finish but that’s about it.
Lot of talk about whether it`s Joey Dorsey or Robin Lopez that can help us but a guy that`s not been talked about is Roy Hibbert who`s currently projected to go 24th to Seattle according to Draft Express. At 7′ 2″ the 6.4 rebounds seem modest but he produces more offensively than any of the others vying for the Raptors banger role. Fox Sports takes a good look at the pre-draft campers and rates Joey Dorsey as the 7th NBA-ready player there. Another big man getting a mention: DeVon Hardin.
On the TJ Ford trade front there are upto 6 teams who are very interested in him despite his recent play and injuries. See, I’m not the only one to think that this guy has it in him to be a great, yes, great point guard. Potential TJ Ford trading partner New York is working out PG Russel Westbrook, if the Knicks fail to find a PG in the draft they’ll have to address it via trade or wait for next year and enter the Chris Paul and Deron Williams sweepstakes.
Michael Grange is giving you the jist of what the workouts included and it looks like we’re focusing on defensive drills, pick-and-roll simulations and high intensity shooting drills. As Jim Kelly said earlier, these workouts are supposed to be confirmations or contradictions of what these guys are supposed to be good at, not the make-or-break performance. There’s an excellent report by Blazers reporter Sean Meagher where he gets in to the specifics of what the players actually do in these workouts.
Forget Maggette, here’s two guys that fit the Raptors bill on both offense and defense: Atlanta’s Josh Childress who has as diverse a game as any SF and Shane Battier who’s a great one-on-one defender and can hit the three. He’s also a true professional and brings that lunch-pail mentality to every game – Sam Mitchell would love this guy. The chances of us signing a really good scoring three are slim, first of all they’re not that easy to come by or trade for and even when they are, you either end up paying too much or giving up too much. These are two players that can help improve this team and provide scoring, rebounding and defense all better than Carlos Delfino or Joey Graham, two of the three players we need to shed this summer. The other guy? Maceo Baston. I never understood why Colangelo gave him a two year deal out of the blue – he must’ve seen in him something Mitchell entirely missed.
If you have a plan for the Raptors, do share it with Raptors Talk and be the GM for a day. Robin Lopez works out today and then it’s CDR tomorrow, player measurements were released yesterday, check them out to break any myths.