This year’s draft class is proving to be much more interesting than originally predicted. At first, scouts, GMs, and media minds all suggested this draft would be one of the weakest in history. According to those people in the know, this year’s draft class lacked a superstar stud. In fact, many argued that not only was the draft devoid of a guy who could turn a franchise around, but that it also was extremely short on high-level talent and that very few of the players expected to declare for the draft would be All-Stars at the NBA level.

And what followed was unheralded:

Young Guns Say “No “to the NBA
With a looming lockout and new financial structure for rookies on the horizon, 3 players in contention for the #1 overall pick (Sullinger, Jones, and Barnes) all decided not to enter the draft, passing on a guaranteed 20 million+, and instead will all return to school in the fall – adding more top flight talent to a 2012 draft class that is shaping up to be one of the best (and deepest) since 2004, with multiple top flight players at the upper echelon of the lottery.

A Euro Invasion
Even before three of the top American College players decided not to enter the draft, this year’s crop of talent from overseas was both particularly strong and significant in size. However, since then, the stock of Kanter, Vesely, and Valanciunas has risen dramatically, so that all three are legitimate top five picks, and the potential of five foreign players going in the top ten is not that unrealistic. In fact, it is possible that a third of all the players drafted in the first round may be from overseas!

Teams Trading Out
Lottery picks in this league are almost never traded without significant protection restrictions and I can’t recall ever seeing one traded in the same season that wasn’t protected. And yet this season, that is exactly what has happened twice, as both New Jersey and the Clippers traded their picks to teams already headed for the lottery, so that both Cleveland and Utah have multiple lottery picks. In fact, the Clippers pick that was traded to Cleveland ended up winning the lottery.

In addition to the teams that have already traded out, there is significant chatter around the league that basically every pick in this draft, especially #2 by Minnesota is on the trading block.

The Raptors Pick at #5. So, while no one can say with any certainty how the top four of the NBA draft will play out this year, it is almost a guarantee that Irving, Williams, and Kanter will all be chosen in the top four, by whoever drafts in those positions and if the Raptors don’t trade up, down or out of the draft, when Colangelo does select for the Raptors with the fifth pick, here are his choices:

#1 – Brandon Knight

As was first reported here the night of the lottery, Brandon Knight will be the first choice of the Raptors. Knight a 6’3″ point guard with a 6’6.75” wingspan played only one year at Kentucky for John Calipari. Entering into the season Knight was ranked #1 on most boards, and along with Harrison Barnes was considered to be the top talent in college ball. However, instead of dominating, Knight struggled to start the season and much was made of his shot selection and inability to lead from the point. However, what was often overlooked was that the Kentucky team that Knight was asked to lead had lost five, yes five players to the NBA draft last year, all of whom were drafted in the first round. And while he struggled, Irving was leading Duke to a #1 overall ranking in the coaches poll and his stock rose dramatically. So much so that he eclipsed Knight as the number one point guard in the draft, and Barnes as the top talent in the draft, even while not playing a game between November and the middle of the tournament in March. Meanwhile, Knight continued to improve his game. His jumper got better, his shot selection more intelligent, and his teammates, all of whom were freshman also learned to play – and ultimately, Knight, with much less around him than last year’s top pick, John Wall. He helped lead Kentucky to within a game of the national title, and made some HUGE plays down the stretch demonstrating his ability to make his teammates better, to score off the dribble, and to stick the jumper when need be. He rose to the occasion.

The only problem for the Raptors is that Utah appears to like Knight at #3, and given that he is clearly at a different talent level than most of the other prospects in this draft, and that he is a long, athletic, defensive-minded point guard in a league now dominated by perimeter players – it is more than likely he goes top four. While Irving may be the safest pick in this draft, I think Knight is best point guard in the draft.

#2/3 – Jan Vesely or Jonas Valanciunas

It is truly hard to guage which of the European big men is the top Euro prospect in the draft and depending on who you talk to, the Raptors are certain to draft one or the other. I think Vesely is the better prospect, with more upside, and with two years of professional basketball already under his belt he could come over and contribute right away to the Raptors. Not to mention the fact that unlike Valanciunas, Vesely’s free to come to the NBA without all the issues of the contract buyout that hamper the former’s draft status. Unlike most, I actually think that Valanciunas’ complicated buyout might be a bonus for the Raptors, who are at least 2-3 years away from competing anyways. So, why not save the money (roughly $3.5 million), the roster space (so that you don’t have to deal with the lack of minutes to share between Bargnani, Davis, Amir, and whomever they draft – not to mention Alabi or Evans), and let the guy play overseas and develop. Since he stands a much better chance to improve over there than he does being the third big off the bench on a team that might win 20 games next year, it’s better he stays in Europe.

Here is what international scout Chris Denker from NetScouts had to say about each of the players, when I spoke to him in March:

Valanciunas:

Velsey:

There is no denying that both guys have talent (although their talents are very different) but they also both come with some pretty big question marks. For the Raps at #5, pretty much everyone they look at are going to have question marks, which is one of the reasons why many people believe Colangelo will ultimately trade the pick (if he can).

#4 – Tristan Thompson

At first I was absolutely against writing his name onto my big board, based on the fact that not only is he not a top five player in the draft, but the idea that this franchise would stick it to its fans by drafting a player with less talent just because he is a local boy makes me sick to my stomach. But then, I realized, that’s precisely what they have done with the coaching situation for this team, so why wouldn’t they think they could do the same with their draft choices? However, Thomas is more than just a local player. He was one of the best rebounders in college basketball last year and, as ESPN stat guy John Hollinger has demonstrated on multiple occasions, rebounds are really the only statistic that translates from the college game to the pro game. Over and above that, he is a guy with a crazy motor, a great demeanour and work ethic, and is known to be a top flight teammate. Oh, and did I mention he should be able to find 12-14 points a night at the pro game to go with this knack for grabbing boards. In short, the consensus seems to be that he’s going to be a decent pro with a chance at being great if he can convert his upside. Doug Gottlieb of ESPN said that he thought Thompson is a better pro prospect than Ed Davis, and while I don’t share that sentiment, it is worth noting that Thompson’s stock has risen dramatically since February where he was seen as a fringe first rounder to now, where he is widely regarded not only as a lottery pick, but also as a lock for the top ten.

As a PR move this is a good pick, but there is really no way that drafting Thompson makes sense, especially for a team that already is loaded at the power forward, especially since he will not be the best prospect at his position available at #5. If the Raptors do select him at #5, look for them to move Andrea. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see them trade down, or work to acquire another pick later in the lottery with which to draft Thompson. Again, he will be a nice NBA player, just not sure about #5 overall.

And that is where my big board stops. I know the Raptors will be actively looking at others players and that many of you are wondering why I have not included some of the other big names being linked to this pick, like Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo, and Kawhi Leonard, and here is why. Ultimately, I think for the Raptors this is a pick at #5 that will be Knight or Euro. Period. The Raptors are not in a position to draft for luxury. They are a 20-win team and are light years away from competing for the East against a team like Miami that boasts two top-five players and a third player in the top fifteen. As I have already written all year, the Raptors currently don’t have a player on their roster in the top 40 of the NBA. So, when it comes to be their turn to select, drafting a guy like Walker or Leonard, both of whom will be nice pros but both of whom have limited upside, doesn’t make sense. And this is why I put Thompson on the big board. If the Raptors are going to select a safe, rotational guy, they might as well select the hometown guy (who rebounds!) and get double the value for the pick. Drafting Kemba for this franchise would be a mistake. I think he will be a solid NBA pro but Toronto is a bad fit. And when it is all said and done, Biyombo is simply too risky a pick. I mean, even if he does pan out, I don’t think he is more talented or has a larger up side than Vesely or Valanciunas. So, the point is that when it comes to #5, if Knight is there, he is coming to Toronto – and if not, then it is almost a given that unless they trade the pick that the Raptors will be choosing between Vesely or Valanciunas.

In case you missed it, there’s also the Rapcast from last week with Tim Chisholm which contains all draft talk:

There’s also the explanation of drafting tiers. Back tomorrow with a guest and another draft-related Rapcast.

As always, standing in the key, I’m the Doctor. I’ve got my feet firmly planted and I’m planning on taking a charge.

phdsteve

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RCWVIXH72H7GPHMFZ2B3HGJ3TM Alec

    I’m not sold on Vesely. Can’t see him playing well in NBA
    And in Tristan Thompson scenario, trading for a lower pick, I rather grab a wing player that can shoot 3s than another power forward, albeit a canadian

    • John

      How can I take this column seriously?  Kemba Walker “not a good fit” and Tristan Thompson even listed.  Ridiculous. BC has 2 years to turn this around Walker, will be the best talent available and a need position.  Assuming BC keeps the pick, it would be suicide for him to fail to select Knight or Walker,

    • Flyguy59

      I agree with you 100% Alec. The combine to me means nothing until these guys like Vesley and company start playing against NBA players. As for Tristan thompson , I do like him but with Amir at PF,Bargnani PF or center, and the young Ed Davis already slated at those positions I dont see Tristan being drafted by Toronto.

  • Mediumcore

    Tristan Thompson was not a player I had on my radar and don’t understand the reasoning behind picking another PF. Especially when we already have a possible double digit rebounder in Davis holding down that spot. I could see Davis being moved to the C spot but not this early in his career.

    • Triano?

      I agree there is absolutely no question the Raptors take Knight if he is available, but I don’t see them going Euro if Knight is off the board.  Vesely is ultimately a 4 (can’t guard the three, nor can he shoot).  Valanciunas is high-risk and is arguably a 4 as well.  Colangelo realizes that striking out on a Euro would end his career in Toronto. 

      Ultimately I think the Raptors will be choosing between Walker and Leonard (and will go with Walker).  This will be a terrible pick, but Colangelo is going to go with the player who he can most easily to the moronic fans.

      • Triano?

        ^^this wasn’t meant to be a reply to mediumcore

      • Nilanka15

        I’m not so sure Walker would be a bad pick.  He’s not as short as critics suggested, and he’s unfairly labeled as a “scorer”, even though he played more like a prototypical PG during his first 2 years at UConn. 

        His FG attempts increased last year out of neccessity, but if you listen to him in interviews, he sees himself as a pass-first PG, and almost laughed at the comparisons to Ben Gordon.

        Knight on the other hand is a PG without PG skills.  Sure he’s long and can play defense, but what’s the point if he doesn’t have a knack for his position?  Quarterbacking a team isn’t something that can be improved on over the summer.  It’s an innate ability to see plays before they develop, read defences early in the shot clock, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates, and where/how to get them the ball where/when they feel comfortable, which can only be honed (not learned from scratch) as a career progresses. 

        I see much more risk in drafting Knight than Walker.

        • Bendit

          But isnt there something to be contemplated about the fact that going into the year Knight was the top pg in the country and that at such young age a new team, system and freshmen on the team he struggled until of course the tournament? The point being that one doesnt go from being toprung to not have pg skills in one year. As a bonus I hear the guy had a 4.0 academic avg. as well :)

          • Nilanka15

            Those rankings were based solely on high school play, weren’t they?  It’s possible that Knight was given a lot of credit for his scoring ability, with less emphasis on his ability to run an offense.

            Similar rankings had Harrison Barnes as the early favourite for top pick in this year’s draft, but as the season unfolded, we saw a solid shooter with a lot of upside, but who was anything but a lock for first overall.

    • Nilanka15

      I wouldn’t waste the 5th pick on Thompson, but if we acquire another pick in the first round, I’d be all for it (not just for the PR benefits, but because this kid can actually play).

      As for the glutton of big men created, Ed Davis would immediately become our biggest trading chip.  As much as I like Ed’s game, Thompson would make him expendable.  And I’m sure Davis could fetch a nice young wing player in return.

      • Beaverboi

        They do that and ultimately this team becomes a conveyor belt turning over players every year. I don’t think you can draft someone one year and say they are expendable the next. Give the dude a year or two. He was a lottery pick last year, missed all of camp and the beginning of the season. 

        • Nilanka15

          Regarding your conveyor belt comment, it worked the last time when we traded Villenueva for Ford.

      • Mediumcore

        I wouldn’t give up on a 6-10 Davis that blocks shots, rebounds and has already shown that his game translate to the NBA for a rookie that looks closer to 6-8. Also you have to keep in mind that Davis was thought of as a top 5 prospect in last years draft prior to injury which in this years draft could mean he had a chance of going first over all.

        • Nilanka15

          “Giving up” on a player implies a feeling that he has no room for improvement, which is not what I was suggesting.  I know Davis is a solid player, and will only get better with experience.  But if our scouting department feels that Thompson has just as much upside, then I don’t see an issue with dealing Davis and potentially getting an Eric Gordon, OJ Mayo, JaVale McGee, Ricky Rubio, Steph Curry, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Paul George type player in return.

          Sure, we’d lose a good player, but his shoes will be immediately filled, while addressing another of our team’s needs. 

          • Mediumcore

            I can see how you could have read that in a way it was not intended, but what I meant to say was that I wouldn’t give up a proven player for an unknown and undersized PF. With Ed the PF position is solid so I personally wouldn’t move that peice (unless I’m getting a star in return) just to plug another hole. Amir, sadly is not the same quality of player that Ed is and I can see Ed eclipsing Amir possibly as soon as the 2011 – 2012 season.

      • Triano?

        If Knight is off the board, I would see if M.J. (Charlotte) is interested in #5 (Kemba Walker) for #9 and #19.  I would then take either Burks or Thompson at #9 and one of Jordan Hamilton, Tobias Harris, or Josh Selby at #19

        • stan

           Interesting – Burks AND Selby – nice

  • Jackreacher

    I think it would be publicly suicidal if Raps draft a guy that won’t be with the team right away and play in Europe. The last thing a GM, although given a new contract, but in reality is in a short leash, needs is to have a Ricky Rubio type of situation. But, I’m sure it won’t come to that because all indications are that Valanciunas will resolve his contract situation even before this month’s draft. If Raps really want Knight they should hope that Utah falls in love with Kanter or one of the JVs.

  • sleepz

    Interesting analysis. I don’t think it is as cut and dry regarding the players the Raps will select or even the players that will be available when the Raptors select their pick.

    Knight is logical because he has been a top tier prospect and Raps need talent. The issue is how does he fit with this team? I think Kemba would actually be a better fit right now. Knight would probably be playing the 2 at Kentucky this year (Teague would take the job) if he stayed and you see they run a lot of off the ball screens for him to get him jumpers. He struggled a lot with the pg duties last year and definitely showed more scoring ability than playmaking ability. He’s young but would be a project in my opinion and a player you have to spend the time developing ala DeRozan. Not sure if Colangelo can take this time to develop him and not sure you even want to go pg this year when next years draft looks significantly better in getting a franchise pg.

    The Euro’s are a huge risk for BC in this draft as he needs talent now and going back overseas will get him nothing but heavy scrutiny unless the player can contribute right away. If Andrea is traded asap, this might change that outlook but until that happens I think BC shuns the Euro’s as his rep as GM is stained and he doesn’t need anymore immmediate criticisms as he loves to preserve his ego. 

    I don’t think you can eliminate Leonard from being selected as he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the draft and even a kid like Burks. If you can duplicate and create redundancies at the 4 with Tristan you can do it at the 2 as well. Talent is talent and the Raps need it at any position they can get it. I also do not feel Kanter is a guaranteed top 4 pick. His game is about to get dissected by NBA decision makers and while he may indeed turn out to be a great pro, the inactivity might scare some GM’s to safer alternatives.

  • Toshmon

    Hold on a second phd…

    D Williams 19.5 pts/gm 1.1ast 8.3rbs 1 stl .7 blks per game

    K Irving. 17.5pts 4.3ast 3.4 rbs 1.5stl per game

    B knight. 17.3pts 4.2ast 4 rbs .7stls per game

    K Walker 23.5 pts 4.4ast 5.4RBS!!!! 2stl

    taking those euros over walker is like taking thabeet over curry.
    I honestly think that you cannot let a guy like this slip past u at #5.

    I love how everyone hates on walker because of his size.
    Do u remember mighty mouse? Remember when everyone said he’s too small? Remember iverson? Isaiah Thomas?

    Just my humble opinion.

    • Jonathan

      If it was that easy, then:

      M. Brooks – 24.6 ppg, 2.5 apg, 7.0 rpg, 1.5 spg, 1.2 bpg!!!

    • Johnny

      After AB, BC is not going to take Vasley or Jonas  and Kanter will not be available for him to pick anyway. He will get Knight or Walker and that is the end.

    • stan

      If size were the concern then I would take Isaiah Thomas over Kemba

  • hateslosing

    Seems like a pretty accurate big board. Knight does seem like the pick, he fits the long athlete mold that BryCo seems to be trying to build this team around.
    I think the next choice for us is Vesely. People talk about how he doesn’t defend well but as we have scene many times: defense in Europe is very different than defense in America and a guy with Jan’s length and athleticism has all the tools to play good defence in the NBA. I think what you get in Vesely is a guy that has the height and lenghth to play the four but who may be fast enough to play the three. He’s the good type of tweener, a guy you can play at either spot depending on the match up and have sucess.
    My next guy is Leonard. Once again, I think he fits in with the team we are building and a combination of him and DD would give us a lot of options for attacking. He is also a very different player than James Johnson and Kleiza so we would have some substitution options at the three.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

    For the blogger’s sake, hopefully the Raptors do not select Jan Vesely, because you guys can’t spell his name for shit.  Jan Vesely was mentioned 7 times in this article and his name was spelled correctly only twice.  Unless you count the picture of him with the correct spelling in it, but still that’s only 3 out of 8.  “Vesley” was mentioned 3 times, “Velsey” twice. 

    • Mediumcore

      Great Brian, thanks for bringing that to everyones attention

      • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

        LOL… the thing is no one was getting it wrong in the comments!

        • Mediumcore

          LOL

    • Juicey

      Well if Vesely is such a challenge let’s just hope that neither Biyombo or Valanciunas is selected.  And REALLY cross our fingers that Motiejunas is not our pick.

      Though, I would be interersted to see what Overreem does with any of those names.

      • Statement

        Vesely = Van-silly?

        Biyombo = Bizzjumbo?

        Motiejunas = Ffrarkdix3?

  • ak

    knight and the euro squad look like high risk players with limited upside. i mean you talk about knight as a top tier talent. cmon man!
    if he was in the draft last year, he wouldn’t even sniff the lottery.

    i say we take either leonard or singleton. both are long athletic and take pride in playing defence. hell i am so high on them i would buy an extra pick and take them both, see if one pans out.

  • dfp

    Just a heads up, the headers for the audio clips are reversed for Valanciunas and Vesley

  • Fk900

    I will throw a shoe at my tv screen if we draft either Valanciunas or Vesley. Just take Burks and cal it a done deal if that is the case.

    • ak

      alec burks is being compared to derozan, ie. slasher with limited shooting ability. he is the last player we need at this moment.

      • Fk900

        His game is different from Derozan. He’s only 19. I don’t see why he can’t develop a good 3 point shot.

  • aristides

    These are breakdowns of Valanciunas, Vesely, Knight, and Walker by David Locke, a scout for the Jazz, who will be picking 3rd. Instead of giving  soundbites, he analyzes actual game footage. 

    Valanciunas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS_-RMKoX9Y

    Vesely: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QZxGrVco3o

    Knight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw1h5zCJB5w

    Walker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaqjvJwrd8wAs you’ll see, he’s very unimpressed by Valanciunas, and from watching the footage, I think he’s right. The guy’s just not big enough to be a 5 in the nba, and his impact on the game is just not significant enough to cover for that.

    Vesely seems more promising, on the other hand, although I would still take Walker over all these guys (except maybe Knight). The analyst just keeps saying over and over: “the guy makes plays.” He’s a basketball player, period, and what the Raptors need even more than size and athleticism is basketball players. 
     

  • dribbles

    Vesely looked interesting until I read about how bad a shooter and defender he is. Not what I want at all in a 3, and I don’t like him playing the 4. Jonas V may eventually pan out but he will be tossed around in the paint at his current size. He’s not going to help a finesse front line anytime soon.

    I would still take Walker over Knight based on what I’ve seen, but it’s guesswork with those guys. Knight strikes me as a bigger gamble but his upside may be higher with his size. I’m not convinced, but you never know.

    I’m also warming to the idea of taking Leonard or trading down for a guy like Singleton. James Johnson didn’t look like a lock-down defender and he lacks in the motor department. I’m fine with keeping him around for another season but if D and rebounding translate, either of those guys may turn out to be good pieces. I don’t see start potential with anyone else anyway.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2DJNFKVBP3UURZLLWZVZ6U3ZGQ Bay Street Lawyer

    Good lord are you ever going to regret marginalizing Kemba Walker.  He’s a superior prospect to both Irving and Knight.

    Oh, and if Bryan drafts a Euro, I agree that it’s shoe throwing time.

    • Mediumcore

      I hate grouping all Euro ballers as not being impact players, but I can’t think of anyone that’s come out in any of the recent drafts that has been an impact player. Is Tony Parker the last impact player to come out?

      • ak

         danilo gallinari

        • Mediumcore

          Impact player though?

          • ak

            i like gallo’s game a lot. in my opinion he is the second best player in denver and if things stay the same he will be their number one offensive option come next season.

            • mountio

              To suggest that Gallo > AB (not sure you are saying this explictly, but its suggested by calling Gallo the last “impact” player since TP) is crazy. AB is a much, much better offensive player (Gallo might be a better pure shooter, certainly from 3, but thats it). Both their defense sucks and AB is a much more diverse scorer.

              • Statement

                Gallo is most definitely > AB.

                AB is a piece of garbage.

                • Statement

                  Hey look at me, I can shoot mediocre, but don’t ask me to rebound or play defense.

                  What I do is more complicated than that.  That guy is a dumb fuck.

                  Don’t blame Bargs though, blame Morongelo for lavishing him with that dumbass contract.  All the Bargs fans don’t understand that he is not an NBA player.  He would be an all-star in the Euro-league (Barely) but that is all.

                  Kwame Brown > Bargs.

              • ak

                comparing bargnani to gallo is a bit tough since they play different positions.

                impact player is not a good indicator of somebody’s statue. for example, both gallo and melo had a similar impact in nyk. however, the latter is a significantly better player.
                a lot of it is a matter of fit. in gallinari’s case he is in a great position to make an impact next season.

                maybe it sounds stupid but the best thing i like about this guy is his body language. he is very vocal and animated, especially when playing zone.

            • Mediumcore

              I think he’s a great shooter, but I’m not in love with his game and wouldn’t define him as an impact player…atleast not yet. I’m talking about an impact player, a guy that is or can be an All Star and can put his team on his shoulders and win a bunch of games on his own (well as “on his own” as you can in basketball). I suppose the main point would be if it was worth it to use the 5th pick in this years draft to get a European player when the last several drafts since perhaps the one Tony Parker came in has not yeilded any great Euro players?

    • ghostface

      Walker doesn’t play a lick of defence…he’s worse the JC…no thanks.

  • Rpsfan95

    Knight is the best overall fit, no doubt

    Vesley looks better than I thought in those videos and seems like he could start at SF

    I think Leonard is a good fit for the raps too, how can we not look at a defense first guy

    Kemba is starting to fade for me, seems like no defense at all and will need the ball in his hands at all times

  • YeDig

    you definitely nailed it when you said knight was overlooked because  of his team.   If he had a Demarcus Cousins or someone like that on his squad this year, we’d be saying there’s no chance the Raptors get him at 5.  @af5abb75f3700315140966cde935f21b:disqus , Walker’s ceiling is considered much lower than nights (as a PG).  And keep in mind that players like Isiah and Iverson  come along once every 20 years.  Kamba is more in the realm of Ty Lawson than any Hall of Famer

    • ak

      ty lawson and kemba walker are different players stylistically, you can’t compare them.

    • Jonathan

      Not to mention Isaiah was #2 in his draft, Iverson was #1 in his draft, and Kemba isn’t even considered top 3 in this relatively weak draft.

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    I see it palying out something like this as is:

    Clev: DWill
    Minn: Kanter
    Utah: Irving
    Clev: Knight
    TDot: Walker or Leonard

    Fuck a Euro as Jan aka Brick-House won’t even work out for teams pre draft. Red flag alert!!!

    As well, Jonas has a very sticky contract situation- why is he even in the draft if his current basketball contract is so fucked up that he might not even make it over to the NBA for 2-3 years according to reports?

    The thing with drafting a pg is that neither Knight or Walker is currently better than Bayless and it’s not guaranteed that either one of the 2 will be better than Bayless in the future. I’d rather acquire a veteran pg like Felton/Parker/DHarris via trade than go with a rookie pg.

    I prefer that the Rap’s select Kawhi Leonard with their pick at 5 but Walker could be DStoudamire 2.0 in the making though.

    • Nilanka15

      Irving dropping to #3?  That’s a very bold prediction.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

        Well, reports are coming out that some NBA people are somewhat disappointed with KIrving’s shape- 10% body fat, and refusal to participate in any of the agility drills at the NBA pre draft camp in Chicago. Leaving question marks about how far along he really is health wise (toe) and will this be a lingering problem in his future.

        DWill had a 10% body fat result as well but he represented very well in the agility drills so well in fact that rumors are that Cleveland may take him number 1 overall.

        If DWill  does in fact go #1 Kahn (who knows what he will do depending on the Rubio situation) may: take Irving in order to trade him or keep him, draft another player (Kanter) or trade the pick outright.

        If Kahn does draft another player like Kanter (who could back up both Darko & Love) who he’s very fond of according to reports then Irving would fall into Utah’s lap at 3. It’s not that far fetched unless you buy all the KIrving pre draft media hype.

        Myself, I don’t trust Duke players in the NBA to do what they did in college especially ones who only played 11 games because of an injury maybe others in the NBA feel the same as you can’t spend the number one overall draft pick on a potential question mark health wise until that player proves to you that he is 100% healthy in my mind.

  • RapsM

    Random, but the only reason the heat have homecourt in the finals is cause they beat the raps.  So in a way, we could affect these finals.  And also….walker.

  • Bo4

    So far, I’m convinced the following is what is probable & do-able …1) Extend Bryan Colangelo. DONE!2) Extend Jay Triano.3) Use the #5 pick to draft Kemba Walker.4) Trade José Calderon, Leandro Barbosa, a future pick & Soloman Alabi away … to get Rudy Gay (#26) or André Iguodala (#31).5) Trade the $9M Traded Player Exception for best offer, period. (It can be a draft pick next year.)6) Sign Free Agent Joey Dorsey as an injury sub.7) Sign three Free Agents ________? as list players. Walker, BAYLESS, & ________?, BAYLESS, & ________?Gay or Iguodala, DEROZAN, J. JOHNSON & KLEIZA & ________?., J. JOHNSON & KLEIZA & ________?.BARGNANI, JOHNSON, DAVIS, DORSEY, EVANS, & ________?., DAVIS, DORSEY, EVANS, & ________?.~Kemba Walker.4) Trade José Calderon, Leandro Barbosa, a future pick & Soloman Alabi away … to get Rudy Gay (#26) or André Iguodala (#31).5) Trade the $9M Traded Player Exception for best offer, period. (It can be a draft pick next year.)6) Sign Free Agent Joey Dorsey as an injury sub.7) Sign three Free Agents ________? as list players. Walker, BAYLESS, & ________?, BAYLESS, & ________?Gay or Iguodala, DEROZAN, J. JOHNSON & KLEIZA & ________?., J. JOHNSON & KLEIZA & ________?.BARGNANI, JOHNSON, DAVIS, DORSEY, EVANS, & ________?., DAVIS, DORSEY, EVANS, & ________?.~get Rudy Gay (#26) or André Iguodala (#31).5) Trade the $9M Traded Player Exception for best offer, period. (It can be a draft pick next year.)6) Sign Free Agent Joey Dorsey as an injury sub.7) Sign three Free Agents ________? as list players. Walker, BAYLESS, & ________?, BAYLESS, & ________?Gay or Iguodala, DEROZAN, J. JOHNSON & KLEIZA & ________?., J. JOHNSON & KLEIZA & ________?.BARGNANI, JOHNSON, DAVIS, DORSEY, EVANS, & ________?., DAVIS, DORSEY, EVANS, & ________?.~

    • Bo4

      Sorry about that. New laptop, with new OS produces unexpected results sometimes.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      Rudy Gay isn’t being traded by Memphis…………

  • Pete

    Just grab Kenneth Faried– safest pick in the draft.  He’s a fantastic defender, high-energy, super strong and athletic, and an elite rebounder.  Worst-case, he’s Brian Grant– a 10-year starter in the league.  He’s very raw offensively, but he brings so much to the table, he’s easily worth a top-10 pick in this draft.

    • Nilanka15

      Way too high for the 5th pick.  Biyombo would be a better gamble, but would still be too high for 5th.

      • ak

        if we have an opportunity to trade out and get either leonard, singleton or faried we should do it.
        i don’t know gm’ing but if there is a slightest chance we get two of three of those guys on a cheap salary we should do it.

        to look for A-list talent this year is pointless. this is how it looks to me at this point..
        no.1 guy has no college ball mileage, comes in with 10% body fat
        no.2 guy is a tweener
        no.3 guy hasn’t even played in a year
        no.4 guy is a shooter with limited ball handling and questionable playmaking
        no.5 a skinny euro tweener
        etc. etc. etc.

  • Kevin

    It’s Knight or die.  None of the Euros with the exception of Kanter show me anything impressive.  If Knight is off the board trade the pick if that can not be done take Kemba.

    • Johnny

      I think Knight will be available for sure given that Cavs hold on to 1 and 4. 

      1) Cavs: Ivring
      2) Min:  Kanter
      3) Jazz: Williams
      4) Cavs: Vasly or Jonas or Biyombo
      5) Knight or Walker

      • ghostface

        It’s  possible

        1) Irving
        2) Williams
        3) Knight or Kanter

        If 3rd pick chooses Kanter, we will get Knight. If 3rd pick  chooses Knight we’re screwed.  

  • Harry S. Truman

    According to my Presidential Advisory Council, we’ll take Kemba and be done with it. Bargnani will be traded mid-summer, and we’ll head back to the lottery this time next year. By the spring of 2013 Torontonians will be heading back to the ACC for playoff basketball for the first time in  5 years. 

  • kaboom

    NO FUCKING EUROS! DIRK IS THE LAST EURO TO COME IN AND BE A HALL OF FAMER IN THE NBA! SO NO FUCKING EUROS! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7QVNLAJUHPKXQIZRAJVDGVFZB4 Frank Cccccccccccc

    Take a gamble on Biyombo

  • Joel W Wass

    The only player worth drafting is Brandon Knight. He exudes all the necessary attributes of a franchise-altering player (which we need desperately): Über athletic, willing defender, budding playmaker and open to taking clutch shots. Today, championship teams are built from the outside in. Our guards and wings need to be elite if the Raps hope to become, and then stay, a playoff team. Brandon Knight, DeRozan and James Johnson are decent, and potentially spectacular, pieces to build around.

    • Nilanka15

      But is Knight really a “budding playmaker”?  I admit to not seeing much of his game in college, but everything I’ve read suggests he’s anything but a playmaker, which for me, would be the most important criteria when drafting a PG.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      Kawhi Leonard then Kemba Walker 4 me.

       I hope BC trades the pick for proven NBA talent as the Rap’s have enough young players plus the 2011 draftee might not even make the Rap’s rotation unless directed by BC.

      Knight isn’t any better than Bayless nor is he guaranteed to be any better than Bayless in the future.

      BK, DD & JJ are decent pieces to build around in your mind- seriously? For what- a bench unit, a yearly Lottery bound team?

      No wonder BC continues to get over on TDot fans as the overall basketball IQ of some fans need to be upgraded- on the real.

  • Johnny

    CB4 , +11 in the NBA finals :) The Highest Number between both teams !!!! Wow, this guy is really shutting up the dumb Raptor fans who were bashing him here last year !!! Good on you Big Fella.

    Question: The current CBA is expiring on June 30 !!! Does these mean if a player is NOT traded till that date, then he is NOT trade able till the new CBA is in Place ??!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RCWVIXH72H7GPHMFZ2B3HGJ3TM Alec

      very likely
      and GMs aren’t going to do big deals before that date either

    • Theswirsky

      Indeed he is proving Raps fans wrong… because he is clearly the key player on that team. oh wait he’s the 3rd Banana on the team?…… sounds about what most of the “bashers” said about him here.

      Way to be the Horace Grant to Michael and Pippen… hopefully the Raps can find another Horace Grant to build around!!!

      • sleepz

        Like him or not he’s a key contributor on the biggest stage.
         
        As a “3rd Banana”  how many games did those Bulls team need Grant to play well to win because of a sub-par performance from one of the other more important players? Not many.
         
        This Heat playoff run has provided multiple games in which Bosh had to step up due to a sub-par performance from one of their other stars (usually Wade). 23-7 on 60% shooting? Lets see Horace do that.

        • Theswirsky

          I know he’s your boy and all Sleepz

          But Mike Miller, Joel Anthony and Udanis Haslem are also key contributors on the biggest stage.  So is Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea….

          but Bosh is working right now in the way people around said for the longest time.  NOT being the main player on the team, and having others as the focus on the team.  Others are responsible for making the big shot, other are responsible for anchoring the D, others are responsible for running the offense, others responsible for leading the team.

          Thats why Bosh is the Horace Grant of the Heat.  Not because his numbers are the same… but because he is just a body there that is a good role player. 

          And NOT the franchise player he was mistakenly viewed to be around here for years. 

          PS. 23-7 on 60% shooting?  Bosh is averaging 18-9 on 48% shooting in the playoffs… pretty David West type numbers….. much like the regular season for the Heat

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

            If you think CB is a role player then you are stuck on stupid rewind it and loop it as CB is much better than anyone on the Rap’s- so does that make the current Rap’s a roster full of role players assembled under BC’s directives?

            CB’s defense has been top notch this whole playoffs not to mention that he has led Miami to a few playoff wins this off season.

            It’s better to congratulate than utterly hate- where is CB? Oh, in the NBA Finals. Not to mention that CB will most likely be a NBA champion at the end of this series as well.

            True, CB had a bad shooting night in the 2nd half but in the 1st half he kept the Heat in the game plus he got to the foul line 12 times putting pressure on the Mav’s D all night long.

            A BC mind control victim in full & total pr media spin e-f-f-e-c-t!! lol

            • sleepz

              I forgot to mention the defensive play. Thanks G2G

              All of the talk about him being a wack defender has dried up as he’s turned into “Mr. Show Hard” for this Heat team

            • Theswirsky

              umm who’s hating on Bosh?  I say he was overrated when he was here and thats hating?  Is Bosh better than anyone on the Raps right now… sure… thats hardly a compliment to Bosh.

              This has NOTHING to do with BC… why you even think that I have no idea.  Not everyone who was a fan of the Raps had a Bosh hard-on for 7 years.

          • sleepz

            more than others. Wade and Lebron are also key contributors…..they just happen to contribute more than the other players on the team. 
            The 23-7 I was referring to was in the Eastern Conference Finals. Bosh is indeed averaging 18-9 on almost 50% shooting like in the regular season. Even those numbers however indicate a larger and more important role than the Grant comparisons. There’s also no guarantee that with D. West on the team that he duplicates those numbers but I like your comparisons as you do a good job of framing your arguments.lol
            Whereas you compare him to Grant, I think a closer comparison might be to J. Worthy. Magic and Kareem were the essentials but Worthy was important to their success. I am NOT saying Bosh is as good as Worthy, only referring to the contributions.
             
            Lol, he’s not my boy as he no longer plays for the Raps, but I do sometimes feel compelled to defend his game as he’s a good player. imo.

            • Theswirsky

              indeed so we are gonna cherry pick stats.. what about the 13 – 10 on 40% against Boston then? 

              You do not have to like my argument.. you do not have to believe my argument.  By all means go one believe that somehow Bosh has a huge influence on the outcome of these games.  I’ll keep knowing that the heat are built on a foundation of Wade and Lebron (just like Chicago was Pippen and Jordan), and you could replace any other 13 players on that team and they would still be in the position they are today.

              …. but I would love to hear you tell me that I’m wrong when I say that Bosh is not the foundation of that team, that he is not the focus of the offense, he is not the guy making the big shots, that he is not the anchor on that D, and that he is not the leader on that team.  If you can’t tell me I’m wrong there.. then you are just blowing smoke.

              • Nilanka15

                Perhaps there’s a happy middle ground between “franchise player” and “role player” where Bosh belongs.

                • Jamesr

                  LOL, If Bosh is a Role Player, then what is Amir and the rest of Raptor Team !!! D-League Player :) :) :)

                • Theswirsky

                  Indeed.  When I said role player I did not mean in the Amir Johnson/Garbosa sense.   Much like I mentioned in the first couple posts… David West or Horace Grant.  Both good players.  Both useful to their team.  Neither one you build a team around but use to play a role beside your stars.

                • sleepz

                  There is. It’s called “all star” lol

                  I love this forum.

                • Nilanka15

                  “All star” is too encompassing since it also includes franchise players 😉

                • Theswirsky

                  coincidentally enough Jamaal Magloire has also made an all-star team.  And Shawn Marion.  And Mike Bibby.  And Peja.

                  …..finals appearance between them before now? 

                  Good thing they are all-stars playing key roles helping them to the NBA finals….

                  wait.. what?

                  (PS. David West has also been an all-star)

              • Johhny

                Damn, you are still Stuck on Stupid. The Whole NBA is talking about Bosh and how he has been a dominate force in these play offs and you are still stuck on your Non-Sense !! Wow, Sit home and watch the rest of the Play off and see how the big fella going to make you eat your words and make you look even more stupid …. :) :) :)

                • Theswirsky

                  Really? the “whole NBA?” I’m impressed you are connected to everyone involved in the NBA.  The “whole NBA” has also been talking about Marion, Terry, Chandler and Barea.  They were talking about the importance of Haslem since he returned and what Mike Miller has provided for the heat…. its still Nowitski that makes the Mavs, and Lebron/Wade that make the heat.  And the “whole NBA” will tell you that…

                  When there are only a few teams left to talk about… every player gets disected and how much “good” they provide a team. Remember James Posey? Trevor Ariza? Ron Artest? Jason Kapono? Hedo Turkoglu?  just a few names that ring a bell that the “whole NBA” talked about during their teams playoff runs.

                  Look, my posts in this thread were never intended as a “Bosh sucks” as people seem to have interpretted it.  But rather… he is showing exactly what role he should have played and how he should have been treated when he was on this team.  That was hardly bashing him… that was saying this team was setting itself back by building around him.  Suprise suprise… it did….

              • sleepz

                Not cherry picking stats. I stated the 18-9 for the playoffs as you did which were indeed similar if not identical to his regualr season numbers.
                 
                The Boston series his numbers were no doubt lower, but he also played a defensive role as Boston’s gameplan was to attack him with Garnett. Save 1 good Garnett game of that series that strategy failed miserably.
                 
                If you have Wade and LeBron and you are going to win many games period, but to suggest that Bosh can just be replaced by anyone is a matter of opinion. There is no guarantee that they would still be in the same position in that scenrio whether you agree with my perspective or not. I’m just stating the facts not hypotheticals.
                 
                Who said Bosh was the foundation of a team that has 2 of the top 5 players in the league?lol. His coaches and teammates however might argue with you regarding him being an anchor on D and being a KEY component to what they do offensively. I don’t have to be the one to tell you your wrong if they are saying it.
                 
                I don’t let hate get in the way of objectivity. I simply said he was a key contributor which you started to liken with Chalmers, and Haslem, and SToyac etc, when most people who have been watching the playoffs would conceed that Bosh’s contribtuions have been greater than the scrubs you are mentioning.

                • Theswirsky

                  “to suggest that Bosh can just be replaced by anyone is a matter of opinion.” 
                  ofcourse it is (and seen how nothing in the NBA can be replicated in a vacuum it always…thats just assumed), But then again so is thinking that Haslem is a “scrub” and that “most people who have been watching the playoffs would conceed that Bosh’s contributions have been greater than the scrubs (Chandler, Marion, Terry, Miller, Haslem, Barea) I have been mentioning”
                    
                  So how does what I think about Bosh being my opinion make the argument anyless relevant, relative or accurate?  If its not any less relevant, relative or accurate why bring it up?  Can’t we assume that 99% of everything said on this blog are not opinion?  I will give you a fact though.  He is the 3rd option on his team… not being asked or having the same expectations he did in Toronto. 
                   
                   
                  PS exactly why, where, and how do you think I “hate” Bosh.  If you think I “hate” Bosh, then I’m not the one with an objectivity problem. 

                • Theswirsky

                  edit: can’t we assume that 99% of everyting said on this blog are opinion?

  • Al

    what about that pic: Vesely from…czechoslovakia? That country doesn’t exist anymore since last century…

  • 45c

    WHAT ABOUT GETTING BARGNANI OUT OF TORONTO? HOW IS THAT? 

    • James

      LOL, Is it you Tim W.

  • Rpsfan95

    this is even better than getting Rap of the day

  • Balls of Steel

    Yea, where’s Kanter in this post bro?