It appears as though quite a few in the Republic disagree with my assertion that the Raptors should trade their first round draft pick. There generally seems to be three main criticisms; Jared Sullinger isn’t that good and wouldn’t have been selected before (or when) the Raptors came up, that a player from the top six would fall, and that players chosen in the Raptors slot in past drafts have (with some frequency) turned out to be all-star talents. With regards to Sullinger, my point wasn’t so much that he had value to the Raptors (although a healthy Sullinger in my opinion would be a solid pickup at 8), but rather how much value he had to the first seven teams.
As the pool of potential top ten draftees’ diminishes (as it did with Sullinger’s red flag), it increases the odds the Raptors will get an inferior prospect. As for the other two criticisms, in another draft class I might even agree with them, but the NBA draft needs to be looked at in a vacuum. The value of a certain pick can vary wildly depending on the particular year, so while it’s nice to think you’ll get a player comparable to past eighth overall selections like Rudy Gay or Robert Parish, you’re far more likely to end up with T.J Ford or Brandon Wright. In the worst case scenario, you might also end up with Joe Alexander or *gulp* Rafael Araujo. While the names I threw out there either put a smile or tear on your face, they’re really meaningless, as none of those players are in this year’s draft, and that should be all we’re concerned about. The assertion that every year a player in the 7-12 range turns out to be a future all-star is false, and even if it were the case, there is no way to predict which player that will be.
Finally, many believe that the Raptors would be misguided to trade their first round pick because a player from the top six prospects (Davis, Robinson, MKG, Beal, Barnes and Drummond) will fall out of their draft slot and right into Toronto’s eager hands. This has happened in the past, and to be quite frank, it’s happened quite a lot, as GM’s overreach for players who had no business being taken that early (Hoffa’s a prime example). Just because it has happened in the past, however, in no way indicates for a certainty that it will happen this year. Actually, I would argue that there is no chance of this happening. If you look at the top 6 in this draft, I would love to hear which 2 of the remaining 24 first round picks will supplant them. Even if you think one team’s GM in the top 6 will make a misguided choice on draft night, the Raptors need one third of the GM’s in the top 6 overreach.
Before we go, I’m in need of some feedback. For tomorrow’s article, I’d like to do an in depth analysis of one potential Raptors draft pick, since after all, odds are they keep the pick (even if I disagree). So, when replying to my flawed logic, please give the name of player you’d like to see profiled. And yes, Jae Crowder counts (he of the unexpected 1 ½ inch growth spurt).
Last but not least – the RR Draft Party near Yonge/College at St. Louis Bar and Grill. This is your chance to throw eggs at us. Like, actual eggs.