It’s time to return for a moment to the coming NBA draft.

As I continue to ponder this year’s draft, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that this is a franchise defining moment for the Raptors. I don’t want to over-hype the significance of the 2012 rookie class, even though they’re quite an intriguing bunch. It’s just that, like it or not, the Raptors are not going to suck next year and probably won’t suck for the foreseeable future. That’s not to say they’ll be a guaranteed playoff team (although in a weak Eastern Conference, it’s likely) or a contender for some hardware; rather it’s all but assured that the days of top 10 picks and high-end rookie talent are behind us for a while. Regardless of who they pick in 2012, the Raptors will be improved with the arrival of last year’s heir apparent, as well as a second season (and full training camp) from an effective head coach, and an influx of talent via free agency as Bryan Colangelo scrambles to save his job. This is a franchise defining pick for the Raptors not because so much rests on that player’s shoulders but because they’re due for significant improvement, in any case. If they manage to grab a stud, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a meteoric rise up the Eastern Conference standings next year. If, on the other hand, they take a player who ends up a bust, they’ll still rise to that wasteland of mediocrity that teams like the Rockets have wandered in for the past decade.

So now that I’ve over-blown (or put into perspective) the importance of this year’s draft, let’s start looking at some players. March Madness gave a lot of potential middle-to-late first round picks an opportunity to boost their stock but unfortunately for the Raptors, it provided more questions than answers for those players likely to be available when they will be picking. Sure, Anthony Davis cemented his status as the obvious number one pick, but it was a roller coaster for just about everyone else. Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb took a big hit to their stock with a quick first round exit. Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger missed the opportunity to establish themselves as top 5 picks with dominant performances. MKG and Thomas Robinson managed to hold steady with impressive (if unspectacular) tournament performances. The only player who truly boosted his value was Bradley Beal, who now seems poised to be the second coming of Ray Allen (albeit a 6’4 version). When I did the player profiles by position a little while back, I slightly fell in love with each one of them (except for Damian Lillard, there’s no lovin’ Damian Lillard) and as a result, I probably overvalued their “best case scenarios.” Now that the honeymoon is over, I challenge anyone (really, please convince me) to prove that any one player, picked 2 through 8, will be a guaranteed stud. While it’s easy to be intrigued by just about everyone on that tier, they all come with lots of question marks.

So,  we’re looking at an incredibly crucial draft that currently only has the number one pick penciled in. Since most mock drafts seem oblivious to Toronto’s actual needs — a lot of sites have the Raptors selecting a center prospect, on the reasoning being that we don’t have a center prospect (sigh) — I thought it might be beneficial to give a Raptors perspective. First, some ground rules. I’ll update the Raptors Big Board whenever something noteworthy happens or the order significantly changes. The Board will go 10 deep, and it will be based on the Raptors current squad (Jonas included), my own opinion, and any new information/research that becomes available. There’s no real point in doing a board for the second-rounders (since it fluctuates so wildly) but I’ll throw out some names every once in a while that I think the Raptors should be looking at. To start, we’ll take a quick look at my man crush from the NCAA tourney.

Currently slotted to go anywhere from the late first to late second round, Jae Crowder is everything the Raptors should be looking for with the first of their two second-round picks. He’s a senior at Marquette who possesses unimpressive size for the small forward position, and lacks any single elite skill. But he makes up for these less than eye-popping qualities with a ridiculous motor and a jack of all trades skill set that make for a potent combination. He reminds me of a shorter version of Kenneth Faried, and not just because of the hair. While he lacks Faried’s elite rebounding ability, he makes up for it with an extended shooting range, and I believe he could have a similar effect on the game. Unfortunately, I’m fairly sure other folks are going to fall in love with Crowder, and someone will take a chance on him at the end of the first round. Dare to dream though. Now, off to the board.

Raptors Big Board Version 1.0

#1 – Anthony Davis PF 19-years-old, 6’10; 220 lbs.

The only player the Raptors would be forced to take if he were available (as in, they win the lottery), Davis would immediately warrant a trade or position change for Andrea Bargnani. Paired with incoming rookie Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors could have the beginnings of a one two big man punch reminiscent of the Duncan-Robinson Spurs.

#2 – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF 18-years-old, 6’7; 228 lbs.

The Raptors have a slew of holes they need to fill in the offseason, and MKG fills just about all of them. He brings a rare combination of defense, toughness, leadership, athleticism, and an improving offensive game – all at a position where the Raptors currently have an opening. His ceiling has been set by many as Gerald Wallace, which either means I undervalue Gerald Wallace, or overvalue MKG.

#3 – Bradley Beal SG 18-years-old, 6’4; 201 lbs.

The controversy begins! Or maybe it started with MKG… Either way, I have Beal third because of his tempting combination of shooting and defense, as well as the fact that I’m not sold on DeRozan yet. Even if I’m proven wrong with regards to DeMar, this can still work. While a 2-3 combination would potentially be a disaster, I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason why Russell Westbrook can be a star point guard, but converting Beal to the point position is unfeasible.

#4 – Andre Drummond C/PF 18-years-old, 6’10; 251 lbs.

Despite the fact Drummond has been playing uneven basketball all year, he was still rated 1.A to Anthony Davis on potential alone. After a horrible showing in Connecticut’s first-round loss in the tournament, his stock has taken a dip but he’s still the same potential-laden player he was all year. The Raptors would have the luxury of bringing him along slowly, and Dwayne Casey could be the right coach to turn Drummond into the monster many believe he could become. Too many Power Forwards you say; well I agree, but it’s hard to pass on someone who’s being compared to Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum.

#5 – Thomas Robinson PF 21-years-old, 6’9; 240 lbs.

The same argument against drafting Drummond will apply to Robinson. We already have a good 4 man in Bargnani, and far too many prospects behind him to add yet another to the mix. Again, I agree, but high motor big men with chiselled frames and improving offensive and defensive games are a rare commodity, and while the Raptors have a lot of power forwards, they don’t have any with the qualities Robinson possesses. Is he good enough to force a Bargnani trade? Maybe not, but you’d have to consider it.

#6 – Harrison Barnes SF 19-years-old, 6’8; 223 lbs.

It’s hard to get excited about the prospect of the Raptors drafting Barnes, but it’s also hard not to recognize that he fills some of the Raptors needs. He would be an upgrade over James Johnson in the small forward slot and could provide the steadying offensive production the Raptors have been looking for from the position for the past decade.

#7 – Jared Sullinger PF/C 20-years-old, 6’9; 280 lbs.

The Raptors have never had a true low-post scoring threat, and in Sullinger they would be getting the best one in the nation. His lack of athleticism and shot-blocking ability are going to scare some teams away, but players like Kevin Love have proven that Jared Sullinger’s deficiencies don’t preclude him from being a star in this league.

#8 – Perry Jones PF 20-years-old, 6’11; 220 lbs.

Possessing one of the highest ceilings in the entire draft, Jones is only rated so low in the draft because there are real questions about his motor and desire to become an elite player. Surrounded by the right coach and teammates —  and potentially a switch to the small forward position — who have the patience to live with his mistakes while demanding consistent effort could allow Jones to become the steal of the draft.

#9 – Jeremy Lamb SG 19-years-old, 6’5; 185 lbs.

Suffering from many of the same questions about motor and desire, Jeremy Lamb has also seen his stock hurt by an unspectacular NCAA tourney performance. He has undeniable shooting ability to go along with a wingspan to make Chad Ford drool, and if he puts it all together he really could be the second coming of Reggie Miller. Aside from his many question marks, Lamb’s ranking suffers because I’m not certain he’s an upgrade over DeMar DeRozan.

#10 – Kendall Marshall PG 20-years-old, 6’4; 180 lbs.

If you’re going to reach, reach for something you need. The Raptors are in desperate need of a franchise point guard, and while I might be wrong, I think Marshall is going to boost his stock as we near the draft. His passing ability is something that just doesn’t come along often, and he’s the kind of throwback player that you want in a pure point guard.

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  • valantime

    Great read! just wondering, would the team that wins #1 (davis) consider trading it for picks 2 + 3? Clearly davis is a franchise player, but taking the next 2 best players in the draft after davis could potentially be better in the long run. just imagine taking 2 good players out of the ’03 draft instead of just one. (im ignoring the whole darko thing). 

    Personally id just take davis, but im just curious whether people think the value of davis outweighs the potential value of the next two lottery picks immediately after him.  

    *Obviously the teams that get picks 2 and 3 would need to get somehow acquire the other in order to trade for number one, but stranger things have happened. 

    • Gman

      A more realistic scenario…if we got #1, and NO got #2 and #10, would we be willing to trade Anthony Davis for MKG and say…whoever Colangelo might target at #10…now that’s an interesting and totally improbable thought.

      • Truthkiller

        Are you insane trade Anthony Davis… the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard, Anthony Davis is eons away better in talent than anyone in the draft. If we get #1 you draft him and trade Bargnani away. 

        Jonas V and Anthony Davis 2 7feet tall athletic big men who can command a defense in our starting line-up… i’m going ga-ga over that

        • Iozier

          ABSOLUTELY.  Davis is a franchise player who will have an immediate impact.  And the trade possibilities that gives the raptors with Bargnani, David and Amir (who I love when he’s into it)
          Unfortunately I can’t see anyone trading away the Davis pick.
          But I think the team will be really exciting next year on their way to being really good.  Just need the right trade and the right pick. 

      • Raps Loyalist

         Davis is a keeper.  No GM is trading that pick b/c not worth the risk if he’s a perennial all-star (like most think he will be).

        • Gman

          Thus the reason I included the word improbable…

    • FAQ

      Drafted rookies have a LOW b’ball IQ, and most are ‘projects’ who will hopefully mature in the NBA within 3-5 years.

      Adding two more rookies… JonasV and Project 2012… will cripple the Ratpors and destroy the development of the rookies  too.

      If I were one of the listed top 10 draft prospect, I would be praying not to be picked by the Ratpors.

  • Sam Toman

    Great read David. I think you absolutely nailed it. Though you said you were reluctant to take a stab at round 2, I and the rest of the readers would love to see you try. At least a post on maybe 10 2nd round prospects. 

    My only issue is that it looks like the Raps will be picking 8th or 9th this year, maybe you should extend the board a few more sports. It is depressing but necessary.

    • 2damkule

      8th/9th is pretty much worst-case scenario.  so, i guess we should be expecting it.

  • 511

    This was really good. Top notch. 

  • 2damkule

    oh, such a crapshoot.

    IMO, the ONLY guy on the roster (or whose rights are owned by the raps) who could possibly prevent the raps from picking a player because said player would make the new player redundant, is JV.  and since there really aren’t any C prospects in the high-mid lottery – at least any that wouldn’t be equally comfortable at the 4) – the raps are free to focus solely on the best player available.  if that’s a SF (MKG), combo guard (beal), PF (davis/drummond), whatever, it doesn’t matter, you pick him & work it out.  if the incumbant at that position was truly a significantly better player, we’d know it difinitively by now. 

    so, if they land #1, it’s davis (duh), because bargs is, well, let’s not go there.  #2 – MKG, and IMO, it’s not really that close…i see the real drop-off in this draft starting at #3, but hey, that’s just me.  assuming they pick in the 5-ish range (looking likely), they’ll have a pretty wide range of acceptable choices – but not likely anyone that’s going to be a franchise-changer.  beal if he’s available, obviously (because derozan is looking like a 2nd-tier player).  drummond/T-rob would be good too (making amir & ed expendable, you’d hope, but neither is likely good enough to supplant bargs – at least not in this regime).  barnes…meh.  lotta skill, but does anyone talk about his heart, desire, motor, intangibles (in a good way)?  why not? 

    so, you take the best guy, and work out the details after…if you take a SG (beal), then you figure out what to do with derozan (trade for a prospect or pick & cash, move him to SF, etc.), or, as david suggests, try to go the westbrook route (won’t work, IMO, but that’s a story for another day).

    or…if they wind up with a draft slot outside the top-5, they could trade the pick (and a prospect &/or cash) for a known commodity.  haven’t put much/any thought into who might be available or what teams would be keen on dealing an established player for a mid-lottery pick (though mayo always seems to be at the forefront of such trade rumours).

    • Nilanka15

      Yahoo was reporting that Mayo was almost dealt to Boston for Allen at the trade deadline.  The deal fell through at the last minute.  The guy is ALWAYS involved in some sort of rumour.

  • Nilanka15

    My big board looks like:

    1. Davis
    2. MKG
    3. Beal
    4. Robinson
    5. Barnes
    6. P. Jones – his potential at SF is too much to ignore
    7. Drummond
    8. Sullinger
    9. Lamb
    10. T. Jones

    • SweetRiverBaines

      I see P. Jones as being someone BCo would be very interested in if/when the Raps pick in the 5-9 range…

    • c_bcm

      Why no love for Marshall? 

      • Nilanka15

        I like Marshall, but I don’t see him as a top 10 pick.  I think there’s much more talent with the guys mentioned above.

        I’d rather address our PG situation via trade (Nash, Jennings, Holiday, Lowry, Dragic, etc.), or even take a flyer on someone like Scott Machado in the 2nd round.

        • Raps Loyalist

           couldn’t agree more.  It’s like that broken wrist then NC losing was the best thing that ever happened to him. 

          He was the 4th best player on that team and no way he should go higher than Henson, Zeller, or Barnes.  He benefited so much from being surrounded by that type of talent and would be a 20-30 level pick if he played on any other team this season.

    • Raps Loyalist

       My Big Board for the Raptors (not how I would rate them necessarily overall)

      1. Davis
      2. MKG
      3. Barnes
      4. Drummond
      5. Beal
      6. Robinson
      7. Lamb
      8. T. Jones
      9. Austin Rivers
      10. PJIII

      1/2. Davis and MKG are no brainers.

      3. Barnes is underrated right now b/c of a bad tourney.  He’s a lot like Rudy Gay in that a bad tournament really hurt his draft stock more than it should have.  He’s got the ability to be an elite defender and outside scorer at the SF (both huge Raps needs).  He’ll be great next to a PG like Calderon and complement the slasher DD well

      4. Drummond is really young and really underrated right now.  It always takes big men a few years longer to put things together  Paring him with JV would give the Raps the best interior defense in a couple years.  Two athletic aggressive 7 footers is always a great foundation for a team.  PF/C is not a “need” for the Raps but his upside is way too much to ignore if we are drafting a player at position we already have good players at.

      5. Beal
      6. Robinson
      7. Lamb 

      (not players at a “need” but too good to pass on for the players behind them)

      8. T. Jones love his defense at multiple positions, attacking style and athleticism…could easily be a Lamar Odom (before this season) type player

      9. Rivers flat out scorer that could be Steph Curry 2.0 no problem.  Curry came out after 3 years Rivers after 1 and Rivers is wwwaaayyy better than Curry was at the same age.  He could learn the point from Jose and like his upside at the point and his scoring more than I like K. Marshall (who is good but has no potential to be great/an all star)

      10. PJIII  He doesn’t have the handle or outside shot to play the SF and though he’s athletic at 6’11 he might have a hard time defending many smaller SFs.  He’s a good PF prospect (like Sullinger) he have no need for a PF so his value is not very high for the Raptors 

      • sleepz

        Interesting take on Curry vs Rivers.

        T.Jones is underrated. Lamar was a point forward at Rhode Island but I see the comparisons.

        I’ve been saying it for quite awhile but there are many players that won’t necessarily accomplish what we projected them to. Based on this, MKG is not a no-brainer. Excellent ‘motor’ and gets after it defensively and on the boards but is a swing with a RAW offensive game and being taken in the top 3 expectations will be high. 

        • Sek99

           Kawhi Leonard? He’s had a huge impact as a rookie with similar skills but to a lesser degree. MKG will be a very good player in this league looking at his type of game.

          • sleepz

            Maybe…..but only time will tell.

            I also don’t think any team that takes MKG at #2 will be satisfied with Leonard’s rookie production.

            I’m not saying Olowakandi type bust, but I believe there will be better more productive pro’s drafted after him

            • Rick

              I personally think MKG will be a Shane Battier type of player, maybe providing a bit more on the offensive end, and not worthy of a #2 pick where you should be fishing for star.

              • sleepz

                I think thats a fair comparison.

              • Aaron8007

                I disagree he is nothing like battier.  MKG is a much better athlete and rebounder the Battier was in university.  When have you ever see battier leading the fast break and finishing with dunks and slashing to the hoop. Battier was much older the MKG when he entered the nba.  MKG is 19 years old and is a stud athlete with drive and killer instinct on d..  On offense he is a slasher and rebounder and can also lead the break or finish with athleticism.  Go to draftexpress watch some video’s

                     Why don’t people have love for t. rob?  He reminds me of blake griffin 6:9-6:10 super athlete.  He goes off for 17 points and 16 rebounds in the final game matched up with the defense of kentucky.   Griffin never took his team as far as t. rob.

      • CJT

        I always love when we talk about how underrated a player is.  While I respect that we all have different opinions about what we like in a player, the people doing the rating do pretty much full time.  I am not suggesting that you are wrong, but one guys says player X is overrated and the next says underrated.  It’s so subjective.

        • Raps Loyalist

           Yeah I see what you mean

          I only say underrated b/c so often it seems that guys are rated top 3 picks all year then a bad tourney leads to them dropping to the 6-9 range. 

          This is exactly what happened to guys like Greg Monroe and Rudy Gay…bad tournament performances made them underrated going into the draft…I think Barnes and Drummond (to a lesser extent b/c of his size) will drop a couple of spots more than they shoudl because of this and when people look back at this draft they will be top 5 players from this class easy 

          • CJT

            Good point.  Thank Christ my job doesn’t revolve around accurately guessing at what talent is going to mature in to a great NBA player. 

    • Rick

      You must really be scared of Drummond. I’d actually slot him as high as 4th, because his potential at PF/C is too much to ignore. 

      • Nilanka15

        There is something about athletic, yet extremely raw big men that scream Stromile Swift, Kwame Brown, DaSagana Diop, Tyrus Thomas, Patrick O’Bryant, Hasheem Thabeet, etc., all lottery picks drafted based on potential.

        Now, I fully realize that there is zero correlation between these guys and Drummond, but that fear is still there.

        • Rick

          Yeah, he does have among the most bust potential in the draft, and that’s a long list of busts, he definitely is not the safest pick, but if he reaches his ceiling, he can be scary good.

        • Theswirsky

          not to be nit picky but alot of those guys didn’t have the combination of ‘qualities’ Drummond has

          Swift/O’Bryant/Thabeet were thin, Brown had midget hands, Diop wasn’t overly athletic (or O’bryant/Thabeet), Tyrus Thomas was smaller.

          Not saying Drummond is going to do anything, but atleast he didn’t have the physical limitations those above had, which I think would put him a step above.

          • sleepz

            Fair points but that 30% from the FT line hurts my eyes to look at.

        • leftovercrack

          I hear you, but the potential of a big-man combo of Drummond and JV developing together is pretty exciting long term. plus one more year of sucking would bring us another lottery pick

        • Raps Loyalist

           You could also cite opposite examples of 19 year old raw athletes that are now amazing and lived up to potential and then some. 

          K. Garnett
          Amare Stoudemire
          T. Chandler
          D. Howard

          Drummond has legit basketball skillz and won’t be a Thabeet/O’Bryant/Diop and is much bigger than Thomas and Swift

          He could be the next Kwame or the next D.Howard…scary draft pick to make for sure but 7 is way too low and I’ll def go top 4

  • Ismail

    As much as people are doubting Barnes, i think he could end up being one of the best players in the draft. He has weaknesses, but I think with the right coaching and training facility he can improve his ball handling and his slashing ability. I really think Barnes will be on a mission to prove his doubters wrong after his performance in the tournament. 

    • Bendit

      He was at an elite school (UNC) with a pretty good coach for 2 years. Another seeming deficiency is creating his own shot (with Marshall injured he was lost). He was already on a mission this past year to improve which is why he went back. Just mo but he may in fact be the best player available when we pick!

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    Even if the Raptors do luck out and win the lottery, I’m not convinced that Bargnani would need to be traded, at least not right away.  More realistically, I think that scenario would guarantee the end of both Amir and Ed Davis in Toronto.  I doubt that BC/DC would want to start 2 rookies at C (Valanciunas) and PF (A.Davis).  I think Bargnani would start at PF, with A.Davis coming off the bench, to form a fearsome 3-headed C/PF monster for the Raptors long-term.

    • voy

      I dont think you get rid of bargs right away either.  I think you gotta hold on to him till you get a chance to evaluate jv and davis.  once they get some experience and when their play dictates you gotta start giving them 30 minutes a game then you gotta start sending out feelers for andrea.  May take a year, may take a little more than a year or a little less. 

      Keeping Andrea around for a litlte will also take some of the immediate pressure off of jv and davis.  If you move andrea too soon you need to dramatically increase Ed Davis and Amir’s minutes.  And if those guys dont replace andrea’s production (and I dont think they will) the pressure will build to get ADavis and JV in there before they may be ready to log serious minutes. 

      • sleepz

        Or the offensive production just comes form another position other than your bigs.

        He is their leading scorer no doubt but not particularly efficient at getting his.

        • cesco

           Dirk stats for this year show that he is taking 16.8 shots to average 21.8 PPG . Andrea stats show he took 15.6 shots to average 19.5 PPG which translate into 21.0 PPG if he took the same number of shots/game as Dirk . So you are telling me that the 0.8 PPG difference is what would make Dirk supposedly much more efficient than Andrea since he is a champ and an all-star ? . Seems to me the haters/hyenas will never stop showing their stupidity  .

          • sleepz

            Diirk is an MVP.

            Dirk has a ring.

            Dirk will go to the Hall of Fame as one of the best if not the best International players to ball in the league when he retires.

            Andrea shoots 43% from the field and 30% from the field. You can call me a hater or a hyena but it will always be better then what others will call you when they hear you spew your drivel.

            • sleepz

              30% from 3pt. Like it matters anyway.

            • Destro

              and the point that really stings the junior bargs club is all star appearances…
              Dirk 8
              AB 0


            • cesco

              I am not convinced you have a brain because talking about Dirk being an MVP with a ring is totally irrelevant to a discussion comparing players on their scoring efficiency and your continuous mud throwing on the best player YOUR and MINE team has  .

              • sleepz

                I have a brain. You have no objectivity fan man

          • Destro

            Whats funny is the he still doesnt compare favorly against Dirk whos having a down year….lol

            Theres no just no way to spin 43% Its bottom barrel % among bigs in the league…no amount of deflection-age can hide that statboy… 

          • Truthkiller

            The problem with your meaningless stat is your comparing Dirk Nowitszki, a four-time All-NBA first team selection, 10-time allstar, greatest european to ball, finals MVP, future Hall of famer in his 13th season to Andrea Bargnani in his 6th season. 

            In their 6th season:

            Andrea: 19.5 ppg on 43% shooting & 5.6 reb
            Dirk: 21.8 ppg 46% shooting & 8.7 rebNow being a fanboy you’ll probably argue that he was injured this year blah blah, so just take a look at their 5th season in the league as well, it’s no different.In their 5th season:Andrea: 21.4 ppg on 44% shooting & 5.2 rebDirk: 25.1 ppg on 46% shooting & 9.9 rebChew on these stats.

          • Truthkiller

            The problem with your meaningless stat is your comparing Dirk Nowitszki, a four-time All-NBA first team selection, 10-time allstar, greatest european to ball, finals MVP, future Hall of famer in his 13th season to Andrea Bargnani in his 6th season. 

            In their 6th season:

            Andrea: 19.5 ppg on 43% shooting & 5.6 rebDirk: 21.8 ppg 46% shooting & 8.7 reb

            Now being a fanboy you’ll probably argue that he was injured this year blah blah, so just take a look at their 5th season in the league as well, it’s no different.

            In their 5th season:Andrea: 21.4 ppg on 44% shooting & 5.2 rebDirk: 25.1 ppg on 46% shooting & 9.9 rebChew on these stats.

        • voy

          either way, if you move AB too soon you’ll need to give primetime minutes to ED and/or AJ, I dont know if either can produce the kind of numbers you want from guys playing 30-35 minutes a game. 

          • sleepz

            Good point, but if you hold onto him too long, the return might be less.

            Try and sell as high as you can, especially if you think the ceiling has been reached.

            • Brain Colangelo

              absolutely. We should trade him for someone who believes in those 13 games. The tragedy of Bargs is not that he’s a bust. It’s that he has high level skills that the raps have never been able to use effectively because he played the same position as the team’s best player and when bargs became the best player it was on horrific defensive team. Bargs would have been a nice player next to a top-10 defensive centre.

          • Destro

            Maybe we can sign Mike James to a 1 year deal….Its not hard to find scorers in the league who can put up 20 on 16-17 shots….Maybe we can lure Shareef Abdur Rahim out of retirement…

            • NyAlesund

              …..or what do you think if we lured Michael Jordan?

      • NyAlesund

         +1. Davis and Valanciunas are not (untill now) so consistent as a scorer. Despite all, we need player with 15/20 points per game. And if the team won’t change drammatically I don’t see alot of scorer without AB. In addition let the young fella to take the right time to growth and decide about AB during the season. We don’t need to trade him except for a great proposal.

    • Destro

      Why would they need to go ?

    • Mapko

      It (getting A Davis & above scenario) would be a very nice problem to have. And yes, Ed and/or Amir would bring back some assets.

  • sleepz

    A few observations

    1) Beal like R. Allen……. I saw Beal play this year at UF and Ray play ay UConn and I can’t make those comparisons at this point. Allen was a stud coming out of college

    2) Too much stock is put into tournament performances. If they play well cool, but if they don’t it shouldn’t necessarily be a knock on a college player going into the draft. You have regular season tape on these players already, why not rely on that?

    3) You overvalue MKG

    4) ‘Motor’ is quickly taking popularity from ‘upside’.

    5) Sullinger and Perry Jones over Lamb? Not an upgrade over Derozan? One has deep shooting range and can hit the 3 and the other cannot. I can’t wait to look back at this year’s draft in a few years to see how this draft class careers have begun.

    Really excited about this years draft.

    • aman

      I like your point 2.

      -I read an article which said most NBA scouts actually do put alot of stock on regular season and workouts for drafting players, more so then the casual NCAA march madness fan.  Case in point H Barnes after the UNC lose, fans started dropping his stock out of top 10 because he can not creat his own shot.  However as most scouts will tell you, they already knew this becuase it happened in the regular season too and his stock may drop a few spots. 

      -On the other end a good tournament can up your stock alot because it shows you have the potential.

      Great Article

      • sleepz

        Or a good tourney can inflate your stock (I’m talking about you Ed O’Bannon!)

        • CJT

          I understand your point, but if we (and by all accounts on this forum) are trying to draft a stud, the tournament should be representative of something.  Playoff basketball.  How much hate did LeBron take after his performance last year?  I certainly don’t base my whole opinion on the tournament, but if one of the prospects you are considering raises his game at playoff time that seems like a traint i might want to have.

    • David Helm

       I agree with you on almost everything; Beal isn’t the second comming of Ray, but there are similarities (which should excite), too much stock is put on tourney performances — and for good reason (although the seasons performance should be weighted more), Motor is my new favorite word – surpassing length.
      Now the two point I don’t agree with, I don’t overvalue MKG, or if I do, then almost everyone overvalues him as well; and I’m not sold on Lamb, and I’m slightly more sold on Sullinger and Perry

      • sleepz

        I don’t see the similarities between Beal and Allen and Allen was far more accomplished and polished a player coming into the league.

        How can you put so much weight on tourney performances? What if a prospects team didn’t make the tourney i.e Lilliard, Wroten, etc?

        Motor doesn’t mean anything to me unless its accompanied with a whole lotta skill and heart.

        Everyone does overvalue MKG imho.

        I’m quite pleased we disagree on all of these points.

      • sleepz

        My bad, we agree on certain points and disagree on others. 

        Either way, time will tell how things turn out

    • Aaron8007

      The question to you sleepz when did you see ray when he was in his second of third college season?  Beal was a freshman this year and improved all year and also rebounded really well a guard. Also people are saying he’s 6:5 now which would make sense and why he lead his team in rebounding.

      • sleepz

        Fair points. The question then is do you think Beal would be comparable to Ray a few years from now?

        Not sure I see that

      • keybordwarrior

        beal shot 34% on 3 balls this season, it is not really ray allen esque. judging from youtube videos beal is a brandon roy/kyrie irving type athlete and his body is like the one of eric gordon or james harden, ie a little undersized, buffy shooting guard.

        ray allen type prospect would in my mind be a wiry player with great hops, speed and compact shooting motion.

  • Ion66

    I keep seeing Damian Lillard’s name come up in draft boards. I assume he’s likely too far down the pecking order to be a consideration, but I’d be curious to hear thoughts. I figure we wouldnt pick him unless we were trading a pick or dropped down the board somehow.

    • David Helm

      Damian is a shoot first point guard who put up solid offensive numbers against weak competition. I did a comparison piece between Lillard and Marshall, and in doing research, I wasn’t all that impressed. Stay away from Damian Lillard 

    • Draft

      I would only take Lillard if I was looking for a Wade or a Rose! Fast and can shoot. He might be the second best player in the draft and a true star. Would not waste a first round pick on a guy who can’t shoot or get to the rim like Marshall. Have not seen any of the prospects play except about 10 sec. of MKG. The fluidity of his movement suggest someone special but the fact that he can’t shoot is a major concern. Whoever they choose, I would love to see a bigger fan  backlash than the drafting of JV. I hope BC leaves no stone unturned in searching for a star and goes way off the board if necessary.

      • Bendit

        MKG has a nearly 50% (0.492) shooting stat though his 3 pt shot is deficient. imo this is his only drawback. 

        • Draft

          The way he moves suggest he might be able to get to the basket frequently. How accurate is his mid-range shot? Do you think the raps would be able to accurately assess his potential to become a good shooter because all the chips would be on that? Generally you don’t become a good shooter in the NBA but exceptions. I value speed and shooting accuracy above all else in a draft prospect.

      • CJT

        Don’t worry, the one thing you are guaranteed of on this forum is fan backlash regards of who is chosen.

  • TheR3dMenace

    I hope as many GMs are sleeping on Barnes as draft prognosticators are… but somehow I doubt it.  By the time pre-draft workouts are done he’ll be at the 2-3 spot in most mocks.  He’s the player the Raptors need, and IMO will be the second biggest impact player in the entire draft.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    My pre NBA draft combine big board:

    1. ADavis (NBA All Star in the making)
    2. Thomas Robinson (as strong as a bull to make up for lack of height)
    3. MKG (solid all out hustle enegry guy 2 way player)
    4. ADrummond (the enigma of enigmas in this draft)
    5. TRoss (the best SG coming out at a legit 6’6 w/o shoes)
    6. HBarnes (Marvin Williams clone?)
    7. Perry Jones (2nd highest ceiling/most potential behind Wroten Jr)
    8. Tony Wroten Jr (currently putting in 2 days with BRoy and will be the steal of draft)
    9. BBeal (solid skill set needs to be able to play both guards spots effectively in NBA)
    10. Austin Rivers (a brand name baller- Duke, w/ NBA genes Doc- he will most likely go top 10 even if he shouldn’t. Needs to be able to play both guard spots at NBA level)

    • Nilanka15

      Your illegitimate son, Wroten Jr. going up against the paraplegic BRoy?  That must be doing wonders for his development 😐

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Fyi- BRoy is considering going to see Kobe’s doctors in Germany that fixed his knees.

        BRoy has much gas left in his tank according to my nephew who is also working out with TWJr & BRoy led by ex UW Husky pg Will Conroy.

        He’s not my son but my nephew’s friend but then again I don’t really know him.lmfao

  • Rick

    Outside of 5, I’m warming up to the idea of drafting Wroten Jr, who could actually be the steal of this draft. 

    Chad Ford recently said: Interviews will be key. Everyone sees the talent. Concerned about the intangibles, leadership ability. If he aces those, he could go very, very high. I think he’s a Top 5-6 talent.

    The chance to be an elite defender, a jump-shot that can be fixed, opposing coaches said he was the best passer in college b-ball although sometimes careless, and some scouts have compared him to Gary Payton.

    I think we’ll see his stock soar as the combine/workouts near.

    • Nilanka15

      I haven’t seen much of Wroten Jr., but he reminds me of an Alvin Williams type (with much more potential, of course).

      • sleepz

        Williams was solid at Villanova but Wroten is a better athlete and can get past defenders at will.

        His passing is very underrated as he showed his abilities in the HS all-star games, but not as much in college as he needs to work on the to’s.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      He’s a leader- swaaaaaggggg, well spoken plus a gym rat not a club rat.

      I agree individual workouts is where his stock will most likely bolt up as at the pre draft combine he will measure out at least a legit 6’5 w/o shoes (6’6.5 w/shoes) and 205 of solid body mass with cat quick reflexes to go along with sprinters speed.

      I see him as a potential mix of Gary Payton & Anfernee Hardaway on the NBA level.

      If Raptors fall out of top 5 I can see BC (if he keeps the pick) going with Wroten Jr or PJones especially if all the workouts go good for both.

      • Nilanka15

        I have to admit, you’ve got me very intrigued about Wroten Jr., especially after your comparison to Penny (my favourite player back in the day).  If we do fall out of the top 5, it seems like there are still some solid options available for Colangelo, assuming guys like PJ3 and Wroten Jr. can live up to their potential.

      • Nilanka15

        Has he officially declared for the draft?

        • sleepz

          Yes he did, I believe a day after T.Ross.

          Gotstogo has been biggin’ him up for quite awhile and for good reason. He is definitely a young talent.

        • Rick

          Yep, one-and-done out of Washington. 

          There’s a great article on him from Steve Kelley who covers Washington sports that shows the two sides of Wroten and why scouts either love him or hate him, called him the “wildest of wild cards” worth a read.

          • sleepz

            Thats a good read.

      • Rick

        Ya, Wroten does measure well and has an athletic build, and the smarts to go with it.

    • CJT

      More turnovers that assists on a per game basis running the point?  He looks like a talent, but damn. 

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Naw, Gaddy ran the point for the UW as he played around 33 minutes a game TWJr ran it sporadically plus the UW center Aziz couldn’t catch & finish his dimes even when they hit them right in his hands it’s all relative.

        • CJT

          maybe, but 3 assists and 4 turnovers.  Has nothing to do with the other guy running the point and maybe guys can’t catch his passes because they aren’t good passes.  I haven’t watched him so don’t think I am pretending to know all the upside to his game because I know that he is talented.  But to take a bit of a flyer on a guy that has not proven that he can run a team is a little scary.

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            Spoken like someone who hasn’t watched a single Husky game or knows anything cognitive in relation to TWJr’s vision & passing ability.lmfao

            • CJT

              That’s why I said I haven’t watched many games.  I just expressed concern about his ability to take care of the ball. 

  • triano?

    “We already have a good 4 man in Bargnani.”

    Ummm…I guess we differ on our understanding of the term “good.”  Personally, I don’t consider “good” to be a synonym for “shit.”

    • NyAlesund

      So, the Toronto Raptors is composed of shit players.

      Because if AB is shit I don’t want imagine what is your opinion about DD, JC, JB, JJ, ED…………………….

  • Cdhall

    Does anyone have an opinion on Aaron  Craft from Ohio State? Would he be worth considering in the 2nd round?

    • Destro

      Yea def 2nd round pick…..I dont know where he lands but i think a guy defensively you can find a spot for in the NBA….Great on ball defender….

      I dont want to make comparisons but defensively (Hinrich)

    • ckh26

      Don’t think he is entering the draft this year. If he was, for sure in round 2.

  • mountio

    My top ten (weighted somewhat for fit with Raps (ie I realize Drummond will likely go higher, but I wouldnt take him if the guys Ive listed ahead were on the board)
    1. Davis2. MKG3. Beal
    4. Robinson5. Drummond
    6. Barnes7. Lamb
    8.Lillard (surprised I havent seen his name mentioned .. especially since PG is a key need) 
    9. T. Jones10. Marshall

  • ShermanTank

    How about those Cavs! They just beat the Knicks, and Mavs lead by 1 at halftime against the Warriors (go G-State). #TankNation

  • Gfhh

    Evan fournier going to be raptors point guard of future!!! Trade up to get him.

  • Raptor4Ever

    One thing for sure, There are so many PF in this draft and great PFs in the NBA now. Neither Amir or Ed have much value in the trade market especially Ed. With Arrival of  Big V, we will have a log jam at 4 and 5 position with all 4 of these guys.

  • Quirk

    1. Davis
    2. MKG
    3. Beal
    4. Barnes
    5. Lillard
    6. Tony Mitchell
    7 T. Jones
    8. P. Jones
    9. Lamb
    10. Waitors

  • FAQ

    Any draft rookie chosen will tank on the pathetic Ratpors.. and then the attacks will start all over again.  Every one of the top 10 draft picks are praying they won’t be chosen by the Ratpors… and if they are chosen, they will ask to be traded…. just watch …!!!!