The NBA Draft lottery was today, May 30th, 2012. The Raptors were projected to get the eight pick in the draft after losing a coin flip to the Golden State Warriors for the seventh pick. That held to form and the Raptors will pick eighth at the draft on June 28th.
New Orleans obviously won the lottery, and many people say it was rigged and was is a conspiracy theory (by this I mean a team that just lost its superstar wins the lottery, not to mention the Hornets were just recently owned by the NBA).
Now back to Toronto. With the eighth pick, there are many options for the team. They can trade up, trade down or stay with the No. 8 pick.
Now the big question comes from the team needs. Do they bring in a consistent small forward on both the offense and defensive side? Or do they draft a durable point guard who can take the reigns of the team after Jose Calderon's contract expires?
At the eighth pick, players like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes and Bradley Beal will most probably be off the board, but a player like Damien Lilliard will likely still be available. He has proven himself as a consistent scorer and during this past collegiate season, he proved that he can be a good passer as well.
If they do trade down, which will probably be a rare occurence, they should try to trade around the tenth or eleventh pick in order to draft a small forward like Terrence Jones who is a hard-nosed defender and a decent rebounder for his size.
Trading up is the best option for the Raptors. If they can move up to around the fourth pick, it will be very beneficial for them. As long as they can move ahead of Cleveland any way, it will be positive for the Raptors. Why you might ask. The answer is plain and simple—Bradley Beal.
Brad Beal is the top shooting guard prospect in the draft and unlike Demar DeRozan, the current SG for the Raptors, he is a good shooter. If they can trade picks and draft Beal, along with moving DeRozan to SF which might even be better for him, they will have a great core of young players.
Now I cannot predict the future, but Bryan Colangelo must make a smart decision in order to not only turn things around for the Raptors, but to also keep his spot in management.
Thanks for reading!