With so much at stake with the pick, Colangelo and his staff wanted to get a closer look, particularly at Aldrich, who some question due to a lack of athleticism.
This is a draft littered with quality big men, but Colangelo made it clear again the team is willing to take any player, regardless of position.
“We’re going to take the best player. A player that we feel has the most talent, the most upside, someone that will fit this organization long-term,” Colangelo said.
“There are certain players in this draft that have considerable upside at the big position. (The question is) whether we want to wait several years (for them) to have an impact. This is a draft with multiple bigs that we feel are pretty decent, but if there is a (smaller) player on the board with more talent, we’ll look at that as well.”
Aldrich, the first Kansas player ever to post a triple double, is one of those “decent” bigs that is ready to step in right away. He said that at this point, it’s all about convincing a team you’re the right fit.
“You go for workouts (to find) your niche, just try to figure out where you can help a team out,” Aldrich said.
“(Let teams) get to know you, watch how your game has progressed (since your the previous workout).”
Ebanks, a long, aggressive defender, echoed Aldrich’s description of the process.
“They liked what they saw the first time probably, and wanted to see me again. Just get a better feel for me.” Ebanks said.
“I did a better job than last time, especially shooting the ball and handling, things I’ve been working on since I left here.”
Indeed, Ebanks displayed a rapid-fire crossover dribble in the three-on-three drills along with a solid jump shot, while Aldrich showed more variation in his offensive game as well as his defensive chops.
Colangelo conceded there’s no timing on a resolution, no sense in projecting what could happen when so much uncertainty is in the air.
“There’s been very little information shared,’’ Colangelo revealed when the topic of Bosh got broached. “He, LeBron and Dwyane Wade bargained for this and they’ve exercised their ability to do that.”
One of the most salient points Colangelo made was when he referred to the constant Internet chatter and deception that’s out there as July 1 approaches.
“Don’t believe what you hear or read these days,’’ cautioned the GM.
When asked how essential the next week promises to be, Colangelo was as frank as he’s ever been.
“Pretty essential, it really is. There’s a lot riding, ultimately with what happens with Chris, the franchise will evolve one way or the other.
“We’re preparing with Chris and life without him.”
The Chris Bosh watch officially began the night he broke his face in Cleveland, an injury that rendered the Raptors hopeless and soulless.
He’s no longer property of the Raptors and no one knows how this whole scenario will play itself out.
“We’re in the final throes and there’s a lot of uncertainty with the roster so that leads to a lot of uncertainty with this pick,” president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said of the team’s 13th pick in Thursday’s draft.
It is the roster uncertainty that will undoubtedly have a greater impact on what next year’s team looks like rather than the addition of one unproven player.
However, Colangelo could offer little more than assurances that if there’s a deal out there for Hedo Turkoglu he’ll make it and that the Chris Bosh situation is far from resolved.
Turkoglu has said he wants out of Toronto after one disappointing season and Colangelo said Tuesday that Turkoglu is “commanding a lot of attention” in the myriad trade discussions being conducted.
“All the uncertainty would lead you to believe there’s a lot of balls in the air, a lot of trade discussions happening right now,” said the general manager. “How the roster looks today, it’s going to look entirely different, I’m sure, a few weeks from now when it all plays out.”
But there were few specifics to come out of Colangelo’s last public meeting with the media before the trade. But sources have indicated there are a “handful” of teams actively interested in the 30-year-old Turkloglu and the Raptors remain among the most active teams in pursuing deals before the draft.
“We’ve been comfortable with the 13th pick (but) we’ve explored moving up, you always do,” said Colangelo. “If there’s a couple of spots that might mean you get a player you really want or is that is going to make a difference . . .
“What’s interesting about this draft is someone at 13 could easily go 20; someone at 20 could easily go 12. They’re all over the place. That’s why there’s a lot of interest on our part in possibly acquiring a second first-round pick if it’s there and available. We’ve explored teams with multiple picks, we’ve explored teams that might want to avoid a cap charge.”
They brought Texas guard Avery Bradley back not to work him out because he’s got a bad ankle and they just wanted to interview him and have the medical staff check him out.
Yes there is interest in a trade for Hedo Turkoglu – no teams have been mentioned – but there’s nothing quite ready to be done yet.
Yes, they would like to acquire an additional second first-round pick, they’ve talked to a handful of teams about it, but things won’t start getting too serious until Wednesday or even Thursday morning.
No, there is no clarity to any Chris Bosh situation, there’s been some contact but Bosh and his people are keeping things quite close to the vest, as one would expect.
The only thing newsworthy about Bosh is that if there was anyone out there who thought he’d do something entirely out of character and not exercise his player option to become a free agent, you can forget it.
June 20 was the date Bosh had to let the team know if he’d play next year under terms of his existing deal and he didn’t. It’s purely a housekeeping paperwork thing – please don’t read anything into it – but he didn’t and he’s a de facto free agent right now.
Bosh hasn’t helped matters by keeping silent on his intentions. He chose not to file the required paperwork for him to exercise the option year on his existing contract, which had to be done by June 20, making him a free agent on July 1, though that was not a surprise. But even though Bosh has indicated that he wants to work with the Raptors to find a partner for a sign-and-trade, Colangelo has no special insight into Bosh’s plans.
“We all want a clear picture,” Colangelo said, “but it seems those guys are holding their cards close to the vest right now and rightfully so. They’ve bargained for this opportunity and they’re going to take full advantage.”
So Colangelo is proceeding on multiple fronts. If Bosh leaves, the club would need front-court help, and that’s why the Raptors had Kansas big man Cole Aldrich in for his second workout Tuesday. Also returning was Devin Ebanks of West Virginia, who would be a candidate if the Raptors picked up an additional first-round pick.
But the chances of drafting a franchise-shifting big man in the middle of the first round are relatively slim compared to finding an impact back-court player, which explains why the Raptors had University of Texas freshman guard Avery Bradley in town this week for further meetings and medical examinations. The 6-foot-1 speedster has drawn comparisons to the Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo, a No. 21 pick in 2006.
The Raptors’ choice, and how he’ll fit on a team that is in flux, will only become clearer as the next few weeks unfold.
“How the roster looks today, it will look entirely different a few weeks from now when it all plays out, I’m sure,” he said. “We’re going to try and keep it together, but some of it is out of our control.”
“What’s interesting about this draft is someone at 13 might easily go 20. Someone at 20 could easily go 12,” Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said. “They’re all over the place, the players. That’s why there’s a lot of interest in our part in possibly acquiring a second first-round pick if it’s there and available.”
The best targets for such a move are teams with multiple picks in the first round and teams up against the luxury tax. Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Memphis and Washington each have more than a single pick in the first round.
While Colangelo said the US$2-million price tag Portland paid to move up 10 spots in the second round on Monday was steep, he could consider a move in the first round should the right player slip. Beware, though: the Raptors have made similar claims in recent years, but have never pulled the trigger on such a move.
As for the other five players who visited Toronto on Tuesday, only Cole Aldrich, the Kansas centre also in for his second workout with the team, is a potential fit with the 13th pick. With two days to go before the draft, though, he still has no idea where his future home will be.
“I think it’s probably got a little more murky,” Aldrich said of his potential landing spot. “You just never know. You hear so many different things.
“After probably four or five, even three, you never know. This person could go there or that person could go there. It’s finding the right niche for a team.
Chris Bosh will sign with the Knicks as the unquestioned leader of the team
Knicks fans everywhere will be shaken at missing out on Lebron James, but will ultimately be calmed by the arrival of Bosh, arguably the best power forward in the game today. While many people have penciled in Bosh as joining forces with Wade in Miami or even with James via sign-and-trade in Chicago, the fact is CB4 has consistently stated that he wants to be the main star on whatever team he goes to.
Once James is off the market the Knicks will move quickly to sign Johnson, who as mentioned above is a great player, but not someone who can be your number one on a championship caliber team. Insert Bosh, who will team with Johnson for one of the best inside/out combos in the NBA and who will undoubtedly be the top dog of that Knicks squad.
The buzz in basketball is that something will get done and perhaps the Raptors can peddle Turkoglu in some kind of multi-team deal that features a Bosh sign and trade.
Colangelo signed both Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack, but now finds himself wrestling with the issue of whether the two point guards can co-exist.
“There’s not a mandate to do something,’’ Colangelo said.
The sense is that something will happen and one of Calderon and Jack, perhaps both, will be moved.
There’s been interest and inquiries about his roster, but Colangelo will only make a move if it helps his team.
What those potential moves are, no one knows with certainty, not even Colangelo.
Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva faces a charge of domestic assault after a May 19 incident in Burlington, Ontario.
The 25-year-old Villanueva was released by Halton Regional Police on a promise to appear in court on July 9. The name of complainant and other details about the incident weren’t available Tuesday.
His lawyer, Owen Wigderson, says Villanueva, “denies all allegations of wrongdoing and I’m very confident that he’ll be exonerated.”
MILL’S LINE: The team with the highest percentage of 45% and has the best chance, I believe is the Dallas Mavericks. CB4 is from the Dallas area. He won a state championship during his high school years, and his whole family still resides in Texas. Also, if the other superstar, Dirk Nowitzki stays, then that would give the Mavericks a tall and talented tandem. Similar to the one the San Antonio Spurs had when David Robinson and Tim Duncan were teammates from 1997-2003. And all they did was win two NBA championships (1999 & 2003). If a team coming off a second seed in the Western Conference can add a player like Chris Bosh, the current NBA champs just might have their hands full.
Bosh is set to sign a deal in the neighborhood of six years and $135 million, which would net him a maximum salary of $17.5 million next season. David West (one year, $8.3 million), Darren Collison (four years, $8.4 million million) and Mo Peterson (one year, $6.6 million) would go in return.
This is obviously a great deal for the Hornets but one that would further complicate payoll and personnel issues for Toronto. The Raptors are desperate to move the disgruntled Hedo Turkoglu and need to sort out the combined $45 million they’re spending on a point guard platoon of Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack.
Adding West and Collison to that mix doesn’t help matters but such a situation is probably viewed as a problem that can be taken care of at a later date.
The Raptors greatest weakness in years past has been their perimeter defense. The poor defense can be attributed mostly to possibly the worst man defender in the league, Jose Calderon. The point guard initiates the play and if he gets free reign on the court, you’d think the team will be very successful offensively. For what Calderon gives you on offence, it gets cancelled off by what he provides on the defensive end.
With the possible addition of Bradley to a very athletic backcourt which includes sophomore DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems, the perimeter defense could take a turn for the better in the next few years.
My stance on the NBA Draft is simple, draft the best player available regardless of the position. If you draft for need, you run the risk of a Rafael Araujo like epic failure. Raptor fans truly don’t want to see that again. If Bradley is the best left, you take him and you run if you’re the Raptors.
What I don’t want to see is the Raptors decide to draft a power forward just because they lost Chris Bosh via Free Agency. There are many avenues to replace his game on the team such as a sign and trade or signing some other free agent. Unless the player is the best available, I don’t try and immediately replace Bosh at the draft unless it involves a trade that night.
13. Toronto Raptors: Paul George (SG/SF) – Fresno State
I’ve recently read that the Raptors are high on Udoh and that if he falls he will likely be the choice – but in my mind he doesn’t fit very well with Bargnani because neither are big interior players. What I do believe, however, is that George and DeRozan on the wings would be a nice complement. Those two fit together pretty well as far as their strengths and weaknesses go, and their athleticism is off the charts.
SNP: I hope somebody before pick 16 is high on Udoh because I think he’s got bust written all over him and I want him as far away from the Wolves as possible. George and DeRozan on the wings would be quite the athletic pairing.
The agent for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh isn’t about to put any odds on where his clients may end up or handicap the race once free agency begins in earnest July 1. Henry Thomas is just waiting like the rest of us to see how it all plays out.
Maybe not quite like the rest of us.
"Who knows what happens," Thomas said this week. "I’m curious to see how it all plays out."
The agent with CAA Sports, who also counts Devin Harris and free agent Udonis Haslem among his clients, recognizes the attention being placed on Wade and Bosh. Led by LeBron James, those three are recognized as the crème of the most celestial free agency crop of all time. Where they land could cause a domino effect for everyone else and those teams in the hunt.
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"This free agency summer wouldn’t be what it is now if they didn’t structure their contracts in a way where they could take advantage of their options," Thomas said.
He did maintain that being on a contender is important to Bosh. The Raptors missed the playoffs this past season.
"It’s fair to say he wants to win," Thomas said.
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Thomas expects his clients and the several of the high-profile stars to talk to each other during the coming weeks, but dismissed the possibility of a "summit" sit-down. He’s confident that the decisions made after July 1 will be made individually.
"It’s sort of a unique situation for guys at this stage of their careers to have the opportunity to look around and decide where they want to play," Thomas said.
They’re in this position through a good bit of foresight and what was perceived as a gamble four years ago. Wade and Bosh, like James, signed three-year extensions with an option for a fourth year in the summer of 2006. They each had a year left on their contracts at the time and were eligible for five-year extensions.