In Colangelo We Trust: Toronto Raptors Draft Day Preview
"In BC we trust!"
During the first two years of Bryan Colangelo's tenure as Toronto Raptors General Manager, this was a popular saying amongst the fans. He had turned the troubled franchise around in a single season and was enjoying messianic status.
Coming off a terrible third season in which the Raptors failed to make the playoffs, his reputation has taken a hit and many fans have lost faith in their one-time savior.
But this summer he has the chance to redeem himself. He already managed to trade Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans, not an easy thing to do.
Colangelo's next stop will be the NBA Draft, where Toronto picks ninth. Colangelo has had great success picking at the ninth spot, picking up both Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire for the Phoenix Suns.
Who Is Colangelo Looking At
In an interview today on Toronto radio station Fan590, Colangelo said he is looking at DeMar DeRozan, Johnny Flynn, Jordan Hill, James Johnson, and Jrue Holiday with the Raptors pick.
That's a pretty logical list. With this said, the inclusion of Johnson, who looks like a reach at No. 9, and the omission of Gerald Henderson, who I thought he would at least consider, are surprises to me.
Then again, he could be setting a smokescreen and reach for a player who he thinks will fit our needs.
Colangelo also said he feels that Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans will not be available at the No. 9 spot. I'm confident he would pick them if either became available.
Don't Expect Big Moves
The Raptors have very few valuable assets to make a move with on Draft Day. Jose Calderon, Andrei Bargnani, and Chris Bosh are off-limits and the rest of the Raptors lack vale.
Still, Colangelo knows the Raptors need an infusion of young talent. The Raptors are most likely going to trade the $3 million they received from the Marion trade and/or a player like Kris Humphries for a second first-round pick.
Another possible option would be to absorb a bad contract to move up in the draft or acquire another pick. Since Colangelo is looking to re-sign Marion, I don't expect him to do this. Forget I even mentioned it.
Who Am I Looking At
I have been looking at some guys. These are the players I like in this draft:
Tyreke Evans: If he falls, the Raptor must take him. His ability to break down his man would be invaluable. The way he carried a weak Memphis team looked promising. He should be the clear pick if he is available.
DeMar DeRozan: I'm not that huge a fan of DeRozan, but Toronto needs a major talent like him. He has an NBA-ready body and, unlike Gerald Green, he has a good attitude and work ethic. The superstar potential DeRozan possesses is too tempting to pass on, even for a skeptic like me.
Johnny Flynn: I like his game, his leadership, and his character. Flynn seems more than willing to play in Toronto, something Colangelo will surely value. The creation of a new version of the Calderon-Ford tandem would be a great lift for the struggling Raptors' bench.
Gerald Henderson: His defense and basketball IQ at the shooting guard could be huge for the Raptors. It is unlikely he busts and if he works on his three-point shot, I think he would be a great replacement for Anthony Parker.
Terrence Williams: This kid brings athleticism, rebounding, passing, and elite defense to the shooting guard position. Williams will be a reach at No. 9, but with a second pick I would be over the moon to have him.
Austin Daye: A high risk, high reward type of player I am certain we can obtain with a second pick. He is an amazing shooter and has good athleticism despite underachieving at the combine. If he adds some weight to his body, he could be a poor man's version of Rashard Lewis or even Kevin Durant.
I will end the article like I started it.
In BC I trust!... I have no other choice.
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