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Toronto Raptors Team Overview

2010-11 record: 22-60

Fifth place, Atlantic Division

Did not make the playoffs

DRAFT PICKS:
Round: 1
#5

Areas of Strength:
Youth and athleticism. The Raptors just posted their worst record in 13 years, but they've arguably got more of a plan now than they've had since they last made the playoffs four years ago. They've got a young core that gives the franchise some hope for the future.

Needs Work:
Defense and experience. That youthful core needs a leader to keep them focused for 82 games. Defensively, the Raptors need a complete overhaul.

Two Stats That Matter:
2 -- The Raptors are the first team to rank last in the league defensively in two consecutive seasons since the Clippers did it in 1998-99 and 1999-00.

112.5 -- Raptors' opponents scored 112.5 points per 100 possessions when Andrea Bargnani was on the floor. That was the worst on-court defensive rating among 299 players who logged at least 750 minutes.

The Way To Go:
Though they've got a lot of young talent, the Raptors don't have a singular player to build around. So their choice at No. 5 should be the best player available, which may be a European that doesn't necessarily play for them next season. No matter what they do with the pick, they'll need to improve defensively via free agency, trade (they still have $9 million left on their Chris Bosh trade exception), or a coaching change.

2010-11 Team Stats:
Offensive: 103.3 (20th)
Defensive: 110.0 (30th)

Players Under Contract:
G: Jerryd Bayless
G: DeMar DeRozan
G: Jose Calderon
G: Leandro Barbosa (Player Option)
F: Ed Davis
F: Amir Johnson
F: James Johnson
F: Linas Kleiza
C: Andrea Bargnani
C: Solomon Alabi

Free agents:
G/F: Sonny Weems (Restricted)
F: Joey Dorsey (Restricted)
F: Reggie Evans
F: Julian Wright (Restricted)
C: Alexis Ajinca

-- John Schuhmann
Source: NBA.com

Likely Targets:

Brandon Knight
Strengths:

* Intelligent
* Good shooter
* Got better as year progressed at running his team
* Athletic

Weaknesses:

* Needs to get bigger and stronger
* Needs to develop mid-range game
* Continue to emphasize facilitating for teammates


NBA projection:
Lottery pick. Just as former John Calipari point guards Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and John Wall before him, Knight used his freshman season in college to continually evolve as a point guard. He’ll continue to get better and better in the NBA and add the dimension of consistent deep shooting that his predecessors didn’t have.
Kawhi Leonard
Strengths:

* Relentless rebounder
* Huge hands
* 7-foot-1 wingspan
* Can put the ball on the floor
* Can guard several positions
* Big-time leaper

Weaknesses:

* What's his true position?
* Jump shot is good enough to keep defenders honest, but could be more reliable


NBA projection:
Leonard is a probable lottery pick whose best basketball is still ahead of him. Given his rapid acclimation to college basketball as a freshman in 2009-10 and the improvement he made from then to his sophomore season, Leonard has proven that he's willing to work hard to excel. The things you hear most about Leonard are he's got a motor that's stuck on high gear and he's a matchup nightmare because of his ability to score so many different ways. And his length and hands, combined with great athleticism, make him a formidable defender.
Jonas Valanciunas
Strengths:

* Tremendous size and length (7-6 wingspan)
* Highly efficient shooter around the basket with jump hooks, & R/L layups, great touch
* Very good FT shooter
* Competes, has a good motor
* Pursues rebounds
* Good rim runner and very good pick/roll guy
* Works hard on his game

Weaknesses:

* Still needs to add strength and some bulk
* Needs some defensive improvement
* Continued work on developing a low post game


NBA projection:
Best young player in Europe, he's the inside version of what Ricky Rubio is on the perimeter. Lottery pick with great potential to be a good starting center in the NBA.
Bismack Biyombo
Strengths:

* Strong body for his age
* Great physical condition (4.8 percent body fat)
* Incredible wingspan and reach for his size (7-foot-7 wingspan and 9-foot-3 standing reach)
* Explosive jumper, rebounder and shot-blocker
* Strong offensive rebounder; aggressive to the ball
* Tenacious defender
* Runs the floor well, rim to rim
* Vocal leader; very mature for his age

Weaknesses:

* Offensive game away from the basket
* Limited range
* Free-throw shooting


NBA projection:
Hoop Summit performance makes him a likely lottery pick, despite questions about his age.
Source: NBA.com