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Everyone seems to be writing Bosh off in Toronto.
Everyone seems to be caught up in this imaginary world that would see Bosh join Wade in Miami.
In Toronto, Bosh’s every word gets taken out of context or it gets twisted to serve some agenda.
The Raptors have been in existence since 1995, but the media in this market, in all forms, continues to be uneducated and easily swayed by the most baseless gossip.
The bottom line with Bosh and Wade is that both players want to win because each will get the maximum amount of money available under whatever cap rules exist.
It’s as simple as that, even though too many people attempt to complicate matters.
Colangelo isn’t expecting to find a superstar at nine, but he fully expects to get a quality player there. Based on his calculations, the pick will come from one of five players — Jrue Holiday, Jonny Flynn, James Johnson, Gerald Henderson and DeMar DeRozan.
If there was a note of caution from Colangelo it came when he suggested this year’s draft crop is probably much like the 2006 draft class when the Raptors had the first overall pick and selected Andrea Bargnani.
The No. 9 selection that year was none other than Patrick O’Bryant, who spent the end of last season on the end of the Raptors bench still looking to break in. His 2.1 points per game average is the worst of all the No. 9 picks in the dating back to 1990.
According to league sources, the Raptors are now concentrating more on three players – 6-foot-4 UCLA guard Jrue Holiday, 6-foot-7 USC guard DeMar DeRozan and 6-foot-8 Wake Forest forward James Johnson – with Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn and Duke forward Gerald Henderson dropping further out of favour but not entirely out of the picture.
And with no one certain who might get chosen where in the eight picks ahead of Toronto’s, there’s a chance two of them will be on the board, giving the Raptors a choice of their top three hopes.
Because of all these uncertainties, this draft will be a dangerous combination of homework and guesswork.
In that sense, perhaps it is better to have a pick later in the lottery this year, making it more like the NFL Draft, where the No. 1 pick is an albatross. The teams picking second through 15th are all guessing. At least the later a team picks, the less guaranteed money it has to tie up to that guess.
“Every dollar you take away from that US$21-million [the space the Raptors project to have under the luxury tax] is a dollar less of flexibility,” Colangelo said. “So the ninth pick is a fairly reasonable number to have as a cap charge going into this draft, especially given the nature of this draft. We’ve talked about how there’s a No. 1 pick, and then everybody else, maybe a couple other names with a little more interest behind them.”
9 Toronto | DeMar DeRozan, SF, Southern California He can jump out of the gym, fill the lane and, in theory, play solid defence. So in that sense, he fills many needs for the Raptors. The downside? Right now, he has little shooting range and does not figure to be ready to contribute immediately next season. Still, the other options here are not as intriguing, if more reliable.
Bosh _ coached by D’Antoni in the Olympics _ has said he doesn’t plan to sign a contract extension with Toronto.
“They haven’t even offered it to me. You can’t reject something that hasn’t been offered,” said Bosh, who still prefers to test the free-agent market in 2010, when he’d become available to the Knicks.
“Why wouldn’t it be my preference? You develop and put yourself in a good position to do some really good things and be in a lot of advantages. You can’t help but like it…love it.”
The crowd at Nash’s charity event loved Bosh, partly because of his admitted lack of soccer skills, but largely because many want to see him in Knick blue and orange in 2010. Fans screamed out “Chris, come to the Knicks” in the first half, and after he incited the crowd with a blistering shot in the second, they chanted “Bosh! Bosh! Bosh!”
They only hope they can do that at the Garden by opening night 2010.
Player Recap: DeRozan has an NBA ready body but needs his game to catch up to his physique. At 6? 6? 210 he has the quickness and speed to guard NBA SG’s and the height and strength to guard SF’s. Not an excellent ball handler or shooter but can be an effective scorer in the right system. Relies heavily on physical talents and sometimes bails out opponents by not playing up to his potential. However he is still very young and has great upside and unlimited potential.
Team Impact: DeRozan gives the Raptors a young athletic wing they can mold to replace the void left by Vince Carter oh so many years ago. In fact he draws comparisons to Carter and Gerald Wallace at their age and stage of development. He has the potential to be the high-flying finisher for Jose Calderon, a nice running mate for Shawn Marion and a good athletic wing to complement Anthony Parker
The Chicago Bulls are still interested in moving up to attempt to draft Duke swingman Gerald Henderson, however the Nets have turned down their offer. New Jersey may look to offer the same package to the Toronto Raptors, who select 9th overall.
Toronto, at No.9, is the wild card because there seems no consensus within that front office. The Raptors have scrambled a bit during the past two days, bringing in Johnson and Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn for second looks. The Raptors could move in any direction, maybe taking Henderson or Southern California’s DeMar DeRozan.
With no shooting guards or small forwards under contract, it’s logical the Raptors would want a wing player.
However, Marion is mostly at fault because he wanted out of Phoenix even though the Suns were tailor made for his skill set. After all, Marion covered Nash’s mediocre athleticism and defensive shortcomings, while the classic table-setter hid his swing’s poor handles and inability to create his own shot.
While in Miami and Toronto, he got exposed. Marion never established chemistry with Heat franchise face Dwyane Wade and was sent north at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, life with a depleted and struggling Raptor squad wasn’t much better.
‘The Matrix’ has crashed. So has his worth. Perhaps a pay cut will serve as motivation for the rest of his career.
There is one player in this draft, though, that holds tremendous promise for the future, at a key NBA position, and he would fit the Raptors like a glove if they had the will to move up to acquire him – and that would be Ricky Rubio.
Last year, Colangelo stole the spotlight when he managed to move T.J. Ford, Rasho Nestrovic and his No. 17 pick for Jermaine O’Neal, causing massive excitement on the NBA forums and in Toronto fan clubs. What’s he got in store for us this year?
Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker, Andrea Bargnani, Chris Bosh and the No. 9 pick are all at his disposal. It’s apparently leaking out that Colangelo is going after Stephen Curry, but so are Golden State and the Knicks, who draft ahead of the Raptors at No. 7 and 8. Nobody packages trades like Colangelo so keeping your ear to the rails that pass through Toronto is going to be an interesting tag-along right up until draft day.
As the draft nears, mock drafts across the internets are showing the Raptors drafting a few different people, but all seemingly with one mitigating factor: drafting the best player available.
And their first names all start with a J, too.
The two I’m seeing now are Jeff Teague, or Jrue Holiday, none of which really stand out for me.
So whoever that newest Raptor will be. Understand that for him it is the greatest moment of his basketball life. Even if it is not the guy you want to be picked. Besides there have been times when picks were not loved by fans and worked out well. Damon Stoudamire was booed in Toronto and he went and won rookie of the year. He said on draft night he would turn those boos to cheers and he did that. ESPN just destroyed Charlie Villianuva and he ended up the second best player in his class according to ROY voting. There is always going to be the busts like the Hoffas. However still do you think he really lost? He got paid and made an amount of money that if he handles it right could set him up for a long time. That is what the great thing is of the draft that it can change people’s for the better.So Bust or All Star is to be determined but the impact on lives is certain.
Although some in Raptorville do not believe that there is a suitable market for the No. 9 pick in this year’s draft, should the Raptors actually be looking to trade down into the Middle/Lower section of the 1st Round … if they can also acquire an additional 2nd Round Selection, in the process … yours truly does not share that opinion.
Tags: andrea bargnani, Anthony Parker, basketball, bryan colangelo, Chris Bosh, Demar DeRozan, Gerald Henderson, James Johnson, Jeff Teague, jonny flynn, jrue holiday, NBA, patrick o'bryant, Rasho Nesterovic, ricky rubio, Shawn Marion, toronto raptors