Hey there, Raptor fans. The NBA Draft is tonight (7 p.m. EST on TSN2), which is normally an exciting event for us in the Republic. Tonight, however, the Raptors enter without a pick.
The 2013 1st round pick is owed to Oklahoma City, via Houston, thanks to the Kyle Lowry acquisition. You can read a look back at that trade and an updated analysis of it from myself at that link. In case you get frustrated or bored tonight, do remember that Kyle Lowry is probably better than anyone who will be picked 12th overall, at least for the next few years.
The 2013 2nd round pick is owed to Memphis thanks to the Rudy Gay acquisition. While we didn’t update our take on that deal in specific, we did take 100-word opinions on Gay from around the Republic a few months back.
So the Raptors are left wanting a pick. This week, Zarar detailed some of Masai Ujiri’s draft pick hunting and potential targets, while I took a look at how a pick might be acquired. There’s also Tim’s piece on what needs to be done tonight. That’s some nice, informative reading for you between refreshes of Woj and Stein’s twitter pages, hoping for a rumor to come through.
The purpose of this post is to create an open thread for discussion throughout the day. Garrett will be taking care of any news that filters in before 4 p.m. EST, throwing up a Putback/Tumblr post if it’s a rumor or a full post if any real news breaks. Around 4 p.m., I’ll be back here to play in the comments, take over the news coverage, and possibly post some updates in here if there are small ones during the draft.
We’ll also be keeping a close eye on Canadian content in the draft, including Anthony Bennett (mocked at 8th per Draft Express), Kelly Olynyk (12th, to troll Raptor fans) and Myck Kabongo (58th, a desired target of some as a Canadian back-up point guard for the Raps).
So check back throughout the day, follow the RR twitter (and/or mine, linked below), look for Putbacks and fresh posts, and have at it in the comments. Because it could be a long day of speculation without much pay off, we strongly encourage commenters to discuss trade scenarios, favorite draft targets, elaborate off-season plans and photoshops of Garrett and Aaron Gray, who, curiously enough, have never been seen in the same place at the same time.
Important Note: It’s also David Stern’s last draft as Commissioner, and I fully expect him to go full Hollywood Hogan soaking in the boos as he walks to the podium. Someone please GIF this.
BREAKING NEWS: BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
That’s right, it’s 7:30 p.m. EST, which means David Stern is being booed at the podium for the last time. Boy is he soaking it up.
I’ll double back with any Raptor-related stuff, as promised. Keep the commenting going.
7:45 BOOM! Anthony Bennett goes first overall. Ca-na-da! Ca-na-da!
8:30 This draft is INSANE so far. The order’s all weirded up, the Bobcats blow another pick, and the Sixers grab Nerlens Noel and a 2014 1st for Jrue Holiday. Boom.
8:45 The OKC Thunder have selected Steven Adams with the #12 pick, the pick that was originally Toronto’s and landed in OKC via Houston, thanks to the Kyle Lowry (and subsequent James Harden) trade. So…Kyle Lowry for Steven Adams. Or, if you’re the Maple-Boner type, Kyle Lowry for the chance to have drafted Kelly Olynyk, who is still on the board.
9:00 Dallas has selected Kelly Olynyk, of Kamloops, BC, Canada, 13th overall and dealt him to the Boston Celtics. So we’ll get to see Olynyk in Toronto twice a year!
9:25 Still nothing happening in Raptor-land, although apparently they tried really hard to get the #13 pick to draft Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF) Greece. Interesting to note that Milwaukee took him, and their assistant GM (Jeff Weltman) will be joining the Raptors front office after the draft. That said, reports indicate the Bucks plan to have Antetokounmpo play in the NBA with them this year.
Also, Lucas Nogueira won the internet. His hair is the best, and him putting his hat on was gold. Here’s a GIF from The Score: Boom.
9:55 Barely a Raptor rumor right now, though sometimes these things trickle in late. 21 picks deep, though, it’ll probably be a purchase of a 2nd round pick or acquiring one for a future 2nd, if anything.
David Stern is the goddam best, by the way. Going full-on Vince McMahon tonight.
10:05 Per Chad Ford, the Raptors are one of several teams in on the #26 overall pick, which is for sale by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
10:15 It appears the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to nab that 26th pick from the Wolves, per Woj. And then, per Ford, “Golden State bought 26 and then traded to OKC for 29 & cash. Allen Crabbe going at 26.” Woj saying Andre Roberson is the pick. Whatever. So, either way, no Raps action.
10:40 All the 1st round picks have been confirmed on Twitter, and the Raptors have not made a first round pick. Perhaps some better luck in the second, though it sounds unlikely from the beat guys.
11:50 Still nothing doing 50 picks in. Apparently Raps still making some overtures but at this point it looks like there will be some decent undrafted options to try and sign, so it’s not worth dealing any assets for a bottom-10 pick.
12:05 Okay I’m wrapping this now and will have an AM post on my thoughts on the Raptors non-draft. Hope you all enjoyed the crazy first round.