News is thin these days. Once our lottery position is known on May 19th things should pick up as the Raptors and the ever vague Jim Kelly will begin working people out. We have an 81% chance of selecting 9th and a 1.7%, 2.0%, and 2.4% chance of getting the 1st, 2nd and 3rd picks, respectively. In the meanwhile, the Raptors have offered Russel Hicks a workout. This quote-filled article puts it rather bluntly: his chances of being drafted anywhere are low. If we like him enough he could be a summer-league body and if we like him even more he’d get an invite to training camp. And if we like him even more we’ll hand him a 4-yr deal at 6M per. Hicks, I should say, is a Canadian which I think has something to do with him getting an early call. He’ll fly into Toronto on Sunday night, work out with the Raptors on Monday and then fly back on Tuesday morning.
Here’s what his fellow Niagra native Jay Triano had to say about him:
When I was coaching the national team we had him on the radar as far as a young player that was going to be pretty good, but my focus has been on the NBA over the last little bit…Geography, nationality, everything is out of it. The bottom line is you need to win games.
Yes, win games. Russel Hicks FTW.
This draft is bugging me a little, I’m positive that we’ll actually use the pick this time but then again I thought that last year. Some mock drafts are having us select Ty Lawson while others are hinting at Gerald Henderson. I think this is also reflective of the divide that exists in the fan base: draft a needed wing to replace Parker or sure up the backup PG spot which proved to be our Achilles heel last year. I’m leaning towards getting a wing because we need to get more athletic and fast than we need another project at PG. The PG is the hardest position to learn in the NBA and drafting a project and living through his mistakes isn’t the way to go about winning next year, which I assume is mandatory if we want to retain Bosh.
Unlike drafting a PG, drafting an athletic shooting guard is a safer bet because he doesn’t have the ball in his hands on every possession and the team isn’t dependent on him for supply. If we think back to Mo Pete’s rookie year we saw a player moving without the ball, running the break, hitting the glass and being effective while playing pressure-free basketball. That sounds a lot like the type of player we need except it’d be nice to have a higher offensive ceiling than Mo. Not to mention that we’ve already invested a year in Roko and to pull the plug on him would be a tad bit harsh. If we gave Bargnani three years, Roko at least deserves two, no?
Consider this too. If we’re serious about playing up-tempo ball, don’t we want players that can actually play up-tempo ball? The talk is that we’ll be bringing back Carlos Delfino and he’s not exactly Mr. Break, even though he’ll improve the ball-handling his tendency is still to slow it down and navigate rather than push full speed ahead. I don’t recall him filling the flanks in his lone season in Toronto and with Joey Graham likely departing and Parker a year older (if he even comes back), we need somebody to complement Marion on the break. That somebody is a wing who should come from the draft. Now I understand the need for a third ball handler in addition to Delfino but those combo-guards/tweeners aren’t terribly difficult to find and let us not forget that we have Marcus Banks warming the pine. How many PGs do we need?
If you read this blog often you know what I think of the C**tics and transitively speaking, of Kevin Garnett. I did not like his antics against Jose Calderon and this article takes a closer approach towards who exactly Garnett has pulled similar stunts against. Here’s the list: Zaza Pachulia, Jose Calderon, Marco Belinelli, Matt Bonner, Rick Rickert, Andrew Bogut, Wally Szczcerbiak and Rasho Nesterovic. The pieces is considering calling Garnett a racist. I don’t know enough about Garnett to label him with that term but I can say this: He picks and chooses who he wants to show-up and intimidate and let me tell you something, it’s never a tough guy. Also, every time the camera has focused on him in the playoffs this year he’s always swearing, making stupid gestures or exaggerated fake emotional expressions. The guy is a &*^%.
In other news, Chris Bosh won back chrisbosh.com.Follow @raptorsrepublic