Reality – Raptors Stay at 8


Not much more to say, let’s get ready for some Jeremy Lamb stew. Or maybe we can burn down the Harrison Barnes, or better yet, trade up for a dash of Mortal Kombat Gilchrist. All great options, too bad none of those dudes has a unibrow. Fuck! Really, I knew we were doing ourselves some serious damage by winning those games down the end, but now is truly when the cost of the hollow victories is being felt.

Still, it’s a lottery pick and a front office staff that’s got a handle on things should be able to produce something from this. Our three lottery picks under Colangelo who have played NBA ball have been Bargnani, DeRozan, and Davis. You can tell me how that’s worked out for us. Not terrible I suppose since they appear to be NBA players, but have they lived up to what was expected? It’s early, but doesn’t look like it.

Here’s an ESPN Insider snippet up to #8:

1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky Wildcats

Think Tyson Chandler on defense, with some Tim Duncan on offense. With great timing on blocking shots, solid ball-handling on the perimeter and an improving jump shot, there seems to be a limitless ceiling for Davis at this point.
2. Bradley Beal, Florida Gators

Beal is a prototype 2 who wasn’t even run off of many screens in his one college season. He seemed to take a huge leap from the beginning to the end of the season in terms of his off-the-dribble game. He should translate into an NBA shooting guard right away, especially with his athleticism and range.

3. Andre Drummond, Connecticut Huskies

Drummond is a freak athlete who has a way to go to be a starting big man in the NBA. On the other hand, he has massive upside, an incredible body and great spring. There is a DeAndre Jordan quality to how poorly he has developed thus far on offense yet how physically imposing he will someday be, but if the right team takes him and he buys in, he can be better than Jordan.

4. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina Tar Heels

Smooth and steady, Barnes is not the next Kobe Bryant, but he is still a solid NBA wing for years to come. His game lacks the burst to create a lot of his own shots, but he can post, will guard some and really made strides in being a solid 3-point shooter.

5. Royce White, Iowa State Cyclones

White is similar in many ways to former New York Knick Anthony Mason. He is an undersized 4 who can handle, shoot some, rebound and score in the low post. He has been very open about his anxiety disorder, as well as his transgressions that lead to him leaving Minnesota. He is a risk, but he can also be a dominant player, one who took over at midseason after two years of rust wore off.

6. Meyers Leonard, Illinois Fighting Illini

Leonard is a freak athlete, with a perfect frame to play 15 years inside in the NBA. Leonard is Andrew Bynum-like in his goofiness, but even though he’s just a kid, his body and skill set are those of a man. He can play the high and low post, guard ball screens, shoot, and has good hands. Is he a killer? I’m not sold, frankly, but man, the potential is there.

7. Perry Jones, Baylor Bears

He dealt with a ton of hype and pressure at Baylor, where he played a lot of center and spent the rest of the time at the 4 spot. He is a 4 or a 3 in the NBA — one who had moments during college where he looked the part of a super talent.

8. Damian Lillard, Weber State Wildcats

A scoring point guard who is best off of ball screens, Lillard benefits from both the lack of great point guards in this year’s draft and the need for a scoring PG to play right away.

I’m not really sold on the PGs in this draft, and unless you manage to land a pure-talent pick like MKG, Jones, or Barnes, you have to consider what the value of the pick is on the market. This is a draft that’s been touted to be full of players who can find an NBA role early, the question is whether we want to add another young guy to the team and lengthen the rebuild process. You’d think that what this team needs are some veterans who can still play (read: not Magloire), and stacking on youth isn’t the option to take, unless of course, we decide to shed some of our dross, which then amounts to replacing youth (ahem, Davis, Johnson) with better youth. This in effect means restarting the rebuilding with Jonas as the centerpiece, flanked by Bargnani.

There are plenty of configurations here and nobody is untouchable. Well, Jonas is.

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