The Raptors will make the hiring of P.J. Carlesimo as an assistant coach official Thursday but the veteran was already in the practice gym Tuesday as the team worked out a cadre of players.
Carlesimo took in the proceedings with head coach Jay Triano, the other assistants, president/general manager Bryan Colangelo and the rest of the Raptors front office.
The 61-year-old Carlesimo brings a wealth of experience and a bit of sandpaper to Triano’s existing staff.
The excellent colour analyst also will liven up the halftime interviews, much like former Toronto assistant Jim Todd.
For just the second time in 16 NBA drafts, the Raptors might be making a pair of first-round selections.
That is certainly the impression the team is creating after two days of draft workouts.
Instead of sticking to some of the more widely known names eligible for the June 24 draft, the Raptors are bringing in just about anybody they can get to agree to come.
Tuesday it was potential late first- early second-rounders’ Devin Ebanks of West Virginia, Gani Lawal of Georgia Tech, Samardo Samuels of Louisville, Latavious Williams of the NBA Developmental League and two players completely off the radar in Tulsa guard Ben Uzoh and UCLA guard Michael Roll.
Though Raptors senior director of player personnel Jim Kelly was coy: “We consider everybody.” It would be a massive shock if any of the six were seriously in the mix for the club’s 13th overall selection.
But later on in the night, they just might be.
“That’s part of the strategy as well,” Kelly confirmed when queried if the presence of so many lower-ranked prospects could be taken as a sign that the team is serious about adding another pick.
“A lot of times we’re out there, we think this can happen or that can happen so you bring some different kinds of people in there because the last couple of days before the draft you can’t get (anybody in for a workout).”
Every year the team seems to let it be known that it is in the market for an extra first-rounder, but it never seems to happen. Only in 2005, when Rob Babcock and company opted for Charlie Villanueva and Joey Graham (with players such as Danny Granger and Andrew Bynum still on the board), did the team make two picks in the first round.
But in this year’s unique NBA landscape, things feel a little different.
1. Chris Bosh – Of the big forwards available, Bosh is simply the one with the most overall talent. He took a big step forward in the rebounding and toughness departments with his play in 2009-10. He has the ability to get his own shot, and that would benefit Dwyane Wade greatly. Bosh is also an underrated helpside defender. It’s going to take max money to sign Bosh (which according to Cap projections is just under $17 million per), but the service he will provide is ultimately worth it. While he is the top priority (in my opinion), it’s about more than just him wanting to give it a whirl in South Beach. If he chooses to not leave the cupboard bare in Toronto and allow the Raptors to facilitate his move via sign-and-trade, him coming to Miami is all but impossible.
Now, before Gilbert Arenas got hurt and was arrested, he was a three-time All-Star, three-time member of the All-NBA teams and the 2002-03 Most Improved Player of the Year.
Arenas was a star and capable of dominating a game.
His time in Washington is all but over. The Wizards won the draft lottery and are expected to select Kentucky guard John Wall. Wall is projected to be the next great point guard, making Arenas redundant.
However, the Toronto Raptors could use someone of Arenas’ ability. A player that is able to create his own shot. That is able to break players down off the dribble. The All-Star guard that the Raptors have long been missing.
This is a high-risk, high-reward situation. A move like this could end up blowing up in Colangelo’s face, but it is just the type of bold move he is known to make.
A straight-up Turkoglu for Arenas trade is not possible since their salaries don’t match up. Arenas makes almost twice as much as Turkoglu does.
The Raptors could send Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack and Reggie Evans (or Marcus Banks) to Washington in exchange for Arenas and Al Thornton.
This works for both teams. The Wizards get Turkoglu, a play-making forward who could help ease the transition for Wall. Jack has proved himself to be a very effective combo-guard. Finally, the team receives the expiring contract of either Evans or Banks.
Whereas, the Raptors get Arenas a former All-Star point guard and Thornton a very talented young wing player who fills the void left by Turkoglu.
The Raptors would still be left with a logjam at point guard, but Colangelo could look to remedy that situation later in the summer.