The lives of Brian and Bryan will come under much scrutiny this week.
Bryan Colangelo has the NBA draft on Thursday night. Brian Burke has his first NHL draft with the Maple Leafs the following night.
Both days are huge for Toronto teams in turmoil and their high-priced executives. The Leafs and Raptors have one thing in common: Both need to make a big impact this week and into July.
“The overall approach is that teams want to be more comfortable with the development of the player,” said Maurizio Gherardini, the senior vice president for basketball operations for the Toronto Raptors and a former general manager of Benetton Treviso in Italy.
“They don’t mind having the player gaining experience through more international play and then having the more refined product.”
O’Neill is scheduled to be introduced today at a campus news conference. The 52-year-old defense-oriented coach was an assistant with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies this past season. Mayo plays for the Grizzlies. O’Neill led the Toronto Raptors to a 33-49 record in 2004.
O’Neill also had stints with the New York Knicks, Detroit and Indiana.
Powerade Team Pilipinas will finally get a closer look on Japeth Aguilar, the former Ateneo stalwart who will arrive on June 26 to play for the Yeng Guiao-mentored national team.
Guiao said he got the confirmation from Peter Aguilar, Japeth’s father who played pro basketball in the 90s. The young Aguilar has been invited by Jim Kelly, the Toronto Raptors’ Director of Player Personal, to attend the National Basketball Developmental League pre-Draft Camp set June 19 to 21.
In Evans the Raptors gained a player who can add toughness and rebounding to their front court, something that they desperately lacked this season past: getting banged on the boards was one of the bigger reasons why they were so disappointing this year.
In Chris Bosh and Andre Bargnani the Raptor’s possess two big guys with great scoring ability but little in the way of defensive presence.
Evans, who once led the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes, should prove effective in compensating Toronto’s existing finesse game inside.
9. Gerald Henderson, Duke, PG, Jr.
Henderson can average double figures right now and will step immediately into Jason Kapono’s minutes.
Picks: No. 9 (first round).
Needs: They need a better shooting guard because Anthony Parker should be a backup. They also could use more depth at almost every other position. A bruiser in the front court would be nice so Chris Bosh doesn’t have to get beat up so much. They lacked a defensive mentality last season, which is why they took a big step backward.
Possibilities: Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson, DeMar DeRozan.
A recurring theme in this article, we find Jermaine Taylor at the top of our rankings at 32.2 points per-40. Not only is he almost 6 full points ahead of Jodie Meeks, but he even ranks slightly ahead of Stephen Curry, the top scorer in our first analysis. As you can see here, and will continue to see throughout this article, Taylor carried a bigger load than anyone in the NCAA. Jodie Meeks checks in next on our list, while James Harden sits in fourth. Both players were clearly utilized heavily by the teams due to their excellent perimeter scoring abilities. The third and fifth spots are owned by Marcus Thornton and Jack McClinton, who used their opportunities to handle the ball to create their own shots in addition to spending time off the ball.
In the middle of our rankings we see a handful of highly regarded guys from the ACC, namely Gerald Henderson, Jeff Teague, and Wayne Ellington, all playing for quality squads in an elite conference. From what we’ve seen, the players on higher level teams in the ACC usually fall behind prospects from the bottom feeding teams, largely due to the quality of talent they’re surrounded with. Obviously it’s easier for a player like Jermaine Taylor to put up outrageous numbers alongside the teammates he played with at UCF.
It is unsurprising to see three small school players at the top of our list, since these players are typically asked to do more, and wouldn’t be warranting attention if they weren’t carrying their teams the way they have. Toney Douglas is our first big school name on the list at 23.1, while potential lottery pick Tyreke Evans was just behind him at 22.9 per-40. Nando De Colo is the first international prospect on our list with 20.5 points per-40 in the French League, easily the highest amongst European players. The second highest comes from his teammate Rodrigue Beaubois at 17.7 per-40.
Three probable lottery picks, Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings, and Jrue Holiday close out our rankings by falling under 13.0 points per-40. While Jennings and Holiday have their own excuses, Ricky Rubio’s 7.0 point per-40 tell you a lot more about his wrist injury than his actual play in the Euroleague, as he was playing just a few games with only one hand. Jennings in contrast actually did a slightly better job against better competition, which is notable as well. Holiday’s struggles to score at UCLA have been well documented, and surely have to be considered somewhat of a reason for concern.