My post makes a few assumptions and takes a number of TL/MU statements at face value:
1) Masai is going to build with the core currently in place for another year or two: KL, DD, AJ, TR, JV, PP, GV;
2) Lowry will be resigned as per TL comments;
3) Masai intends to build through the draft.
All these threads going up on getting a lottery pick neglects the Raptors have to send away numerous assets. That goes 100% against everything the front office and top brass have been preaching. I believe Masai when he says the Raptors won't be stuck in no man's land. What the Raptors are currently doing, in my opinion, is accumulating assets.
I expect draft night to see the Raptors get another draft pick on draft night via trade. This year's draft is very deep. There are a number of talented players in the 2nd half of the 1st round (#15-30). To get anything #1-14, the Raptors are going to have to give up pieces of their core. Sending out 2 or 3 assets to return 1, and an unproven one at that, goes against the idea of asset accumulation.
The following are the types of trades I think make much more sense than #1 or #8 or anything in the lottery:
#16 - Chicago
Boozer, #16, #19 for Salmons, Hansbrough, Buycks, Stone, #20
Bulls waive all 4 players and save about $16M off their cap and books.
#21 and/or #29 - OKC
Perkins, #21 and/or #29 for Salmons and (maybe) #20
#22 - Memphis*
Prince and #22 for Salmons
#25 - Houston*
Lin and/or Asik, #25 for Salmons and/or Hansbrough, Buycks, Stone, #37
#26 - Miami*
#26 for #37
#28 - LA Clippers*
Dudley and #28 for Gay TPE
#30 - San Antonio
Bahahahaha, the Spurs don't trade picks, silly!
* All sniffing luxury tax.
Personally, I would be ecstatic if the Raptors can pull off the above Bulls trade, the Clippers trade, and/or the Heat trade. Bring in 2 first round picks for next year and stash one/two more in Europe. It is all about ASSET ACCUMULATION. When the time is right, Masai has a cupboard full of assets to improve by trade and with a roster full of cheap rookie contract talent he also has the ability to improve with cap space deals (unbalanced trades or free agent signing).
In summary, ASSET ACCUMULATION is the name of the game right now. Any trade that sends out more assets than it brings in is a no-no. Patience.