With Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker and Joey Graham as unrestricted free agents, and Carlos Delfino in the mix as a restricted free agent the Raptors have spoken about bringing back, that leaves a dearth of shooting guards and small forwards.
It would seem obvious the No.9 pick would have to play one of those positions, but general manager Bryan Colangelo could have a few transactions bubbling just below the surface that could change things.
"We are active … if we make another trade, maybe we don’t need this position, maybe we need something else," said Kelly. "I think you have to be a little flexible there because we’re actively trying to improve in a couple of different areas."
The wild cards in the selection process, at the moment at least, would be the Washington Wizards, who now have the fifth selection.
According to league sources, the Wizards are trying to shop the pick and if, for instance, they trade it to a team that wants a specific player not thought to be in the top 10, it could knock down a player Toronto finds desirable.
9. Toronto Raptors: Gerald Henderson Jr.- Plenty of stellar point guards are on the board, but the Raptors, with Jose Calderon, the Raptors don’t need one. Henderson, an aggressive and intelligent scorer out of Duke, has the potential to made an immediate impact on the offensive and defensive end, and give the Raptors the scoring they lost by trading sharp-shooter Jason Kapono.
9. Toronto Raptors – Brandon Jennings, Lottomatica Roma. Jennings has been in the headlines plenty in the last year, from skipping out on Arizona to hone his game in Europe to criticizing Ricky Rubio on his Twitter. Jennings can back up point guard Jose Calderon, whose injury derailed an otherwise promising season for the Raptors. Some players balk at playing north of the border, but Jennings’ willingness to Europe indicates that he’ll have no problem with the move.
9. Toronto Raptors — Jonny Flynn: If Curry goes before #8, Flynn will be the Knicks’ pick, but if he falls past them, the Raptors will be glad to have him. He’ll start backing up Jose Calderon and could have the starting position by the All-Star break.
One team said to be particularly interested in Turkoglu is Toronto, although that’s 100 percent speculation at this point. It does make sense, though. The Raptors may be looking to move All-Star forward Chris Bosh, whose contract expires at the end of next season. When it does, Bosh is expected to look elsewhere for employment.
Obviously, trading Bosh before the start of next season would free up tons of room under the salary cap and cause the Raptors considerably less anxiety. But that doesn’t mean it will happen.
9. Toronto Raptors – Gerald Henderson (6’4" 215, Guard) Junior, Duke
Analysis: Toronto needs to get more athletic and Gerald Henderson will certainly help. Unlike some of the players projected ahead of Henderson, he should be able to come in and contribute immediately. Henderson’s athleticism has never been questioned, but his shot selection and perimeter shot were. He improved in both areas this season at Duke.
Mensah-Bonsu has blossomed following his move in March to Toronto, where he is set to pen a new deal when his contract runs out this summer.
And he insists he can make a huge contribution to the GB team. He added: "I am an aggressive, intense and energetic guy on the court but off the court I am not. I just try to make everyone smile and having a positive atmosphere always helps the team.
"Last year the team got together for the first time really and I used to play a couple of card tricks and hide shoes.
"Sometimes I would mess around with people’s stuff when they fell asleep on the bus and they would wake up trying to figure out what was going on.
"I think it helped bring the team closer which is important.
Recent University at Buffalo graduate Greg Gamble has been invited to work out today for the Toronto Raptors, the Bulls announced Monday.
It’s unlikely the Raptors will select Gamble in the two-round NBA draft on June 25, but Gamble could show enough to earn a training camp invitation.
Gamble was a team captain for his final two years at UB. As a senior, he shifted from small forward to point guard, and led the Bulls to a share of the Mid-American Conference East division title, and a spot in the conference championship game. He averaged 8.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists, and was an honorable mention on the all-conference team.
For the Cavs to have any chance to retain LeBron on their long-term roster, they must win it all during the 2009-2010 season.
Toronto, on the other hand, is left with their hands tied behind their backs. Canada has never been the premier location for a rising NBA star. This was true with the departure of Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, and Vince Carter.
In 2010, Bosh is expected to leave the Raptors. And if so, what will they receive in return?
The first part of that is the interesting part…that Colangelo is in fact looking to un-load Bosh while he still has value to the Raptors. No surprise, but it’s nice to see it out in the open. The part about the Heat trading Beasley seems silly to me, but I’m not Pat Riley. It all depends on how badly Riley wants Bosh…but considering the ceiling on Beasley and the plethora of free agents coming up next summer, trading Beas for Bosh just doesn’t make sense for me.
They also have free agents this year in Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion. It is unlikely they will resign both, and possible neither. Look for the Raptors to be active in the free agent market this year, whether they trade Bosh or try to put a better team on the floor to lure him to stay. The contract of Carlos Delfino can be a valuable trading piece. The team has already been active in the trading market by sending Jason Kapono to Philadelphia for Reggie Evans to save cap space. They could take a look at solid shooting guards in Ben Gordon or Nate Robinson. Sources have them selection a wing player such as DeMar DeRozan out of USC or Gerald Henderson from Duke.
9. Toronto Raptors – OK this is tough because it is in Canada. Nothing against Canada, but I can barely believe it’s actually an NBA team. DeJuan Blair. I mean, OK I don’t want to send a good kid to cold, blustery Canada, but they get the pick and he’s a star. Like Betelguese.
9. Toronto Raptors- DeMar DeRozan, SG, USC
The Raptors get lucky here with DeRozan slipping all the way to 9. DeRozan got off to a slow start last year at USC but turned it on once conference play started and showed why he was one of the top recruits in the nation. DeRozan has tremendous athletic ability and has the potential to be an All Star in the league. With Shawn Marion and Anthony Parker headed for free agency DeRozan would fill a big need for the Raptors and play right away.