There are roughly three ways to assemble a championship caliber team in the NBA, where one or two players can so easily dictate the course of a franchise. The first -- be a free agent destination for superstars -- isn't really open to the Raptors and won't be at least until they establish themselves as a place where championships are won.
The second is kind of what the Raptors have been attempting to do: add some decent, if not transcendent talent in the draft (Jonas Valancuinas, Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan); layer in some quality veterans (Kyle Lowry) and hope that over time and with the right added pieces a solid playoff team emerges. Call it the Indiana Pacers or Milwaukee Bucks approach. It's not easy and requires its share of luck too.
The last is a complete high-wire act. It might get you across that canyon, but it might send a franchise tumbling. The third option is the 'draft basketball Jesus' approach.
When it works, it works spectacularly well -- see Cleveland with LeBron or Chicago with Derrick Rose or Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant and on and on.
The Raptors have never really embraced that route, in part because it involves giving up on an entire season and sometimes more, and Colangelo, whatever his flaws may be, can't stand the prospect of just such a thing.
But circumstances change and opportunities present themselves accordingly.
There is a kid named Andrew Wiggins who will be available to be drafted in June of 2014. There are people who make a living evaluating basketball talent who feel that the 6-foot-7 live wire is as gifted an NBA prospect as has emerged in the past decade. A franchise-changing player, in other words: A saviour.
On a rational level, it's crazy talk. The kid is a kid. Being talented is a long way from being able to lift a franchise. They call it the draft lottery for a reason -- the balls don't always bounce the way they should.