Let’s start off the day with Chad Ford’s mock draft which insists on us taking Robin Lopez at #17. I don’t see it happening unless Brandon Rush, CDR or even Donte Greene are already taken. There’s no doubt that drafting a hustle-type big man is the easier thing to do, there’s far less expectations from a banger than from a scoring talent and also a greater sense of assurance about what you’re getting. Rebounding is Need #1 but wing scoring and defense is #1a. As evidenced by the rumours, we’re looking for a big man via trade so it makes sense that the draft is there for a young winger. Anyway, we’ll find out tomorrow.
Doug Smith points out 7 players we’re closely looking at of which 5 are big men. Rush and CDR and nowhere to be found. I highly doubt the Raptors will tell Smith or anyone for that matter who they’re looking at. Take the list with a bucket load of salt. He’s also saying the deal to Phoenix remains “very much alive”.
The Jermaine O’Neal trade talk when combined with speculation that we might go big in the draft leaves us with one question: What does this do with Andrea Bargnani? Has Colangelo given up on him and is already hunting for a C replacement? Is he planning on moving him to the three so rebounding is less of a responsibility? Michael Grange tries to answer questions like these and suggests that Colangelo might be closer to giving up on him than before. In my opinion, the first 20 games of the season will tell us exactly where Bargnani is and whether those intimate sessions with John Lucas worked or not. Until then, I’ll hold judgment but I’ll say this: If he doesn’t get it done in the first half of next season, I see no reason not to trade him and publicly admit the mistake.
From Indiana’s perspective only two players are untouchable: Granger and Dunleavy. The rest are available (even Tinsley) as long as you give them something they can use now. Larry Bird doesn’t appear to be too fond of rebuilding from the ground-up, he’s all about applying patches and hoping they stick. Since Indiana’s already picking at #11 its somewhat surprising that they’ll also be in the hunt for a pick 6 spots further down. They’re looking to swing trades and something tells me their interest in our pick is only because they want to package it with another trade.
The Knicks are up for trading practically anybody on their roster as long as it gets them a shot at O.J Mayo. Donnie Walsh is crazy enough to try to acquire Shawn Marion (who makes $1.3 billion) just to re-unite him with Mike D’Antoni. I see the Knicks are fully in pursuit of mediocrity. I think our new slogan should be: The Toronto Raptors: Hey, at least we’re not the Knicks.
The Pistons are reportedly trying to acquire Baron Davis which would leave a PG void in Golden State and we know how much Don Nelson loves T.J Ford. But as I said yesterday, there’s absolutely no one on the Warriors that is even worth looking at who is not labeled as untouchable or is a free agent.
In ex-Raptors news, Jorge Garbajosa has signed with his former club Unicaja for next season. This after he turned down offers from CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid. Not surprisingly, no NBA teams were in the mix.
Have a nice one.