Colangelo’s list includes:
- DeMar Derozan, University of Southern California
- Gerald Henderson, Duke University
- James Johnson, Wake Forest University
- Jrue Holiday, University of California in Los Angeles
- Jonny Flynn, Syracuse University
I have repeated over and over these past few weeks that the Raptors need an athletic wing. All of these players, with the exception of Flynn, fulfill this category.
I believe Bryan Colangelo and company have their eyes on DeRozan. He is an exceptional talent and projects very well for the future. He reiterated in his post-work out interviews in Toronto that in college, he really focused on the importance of defense, which would be an added bonus to a Raptors team that struggled defensively last year.
DeRozan would be a smart selection at the nine spot, if he is still available. The Raptors have not had an athletic combo guard since Vince Carter. DeRozan could fill that hole.
Gerald Henderson is the safety pick at nine. Going into his final season at Duke, Henderson was solely known as a slasher. However, this past season, he showed tremendous improvement on his outside game as well as his dedication to defense. He now possesses a deadly combination of slashing skills as well as an NBA ready jumper.
Jrue Holiday is an interesting addition to this list. Over the past few weeks, his stock has been steadily rising, thus he is projected to go before the Raptors’ pick. If he is available in the nine hole, he will be a no-brainer pick, but it is unlikely that he will be around.
The player that I would have liked to see on this list is Earl Clark. He is another athletic wing who is taller than all of the players in the group, but is now projected to go much lower (14-15 range) than where the Raptors select.
On the Fan590 today, Jack Armstrong and Eric Smith, two Raptors’ insders, talked about the prospect of the Raptors moving up in the draft. Smith even suggested that an agent for a top three talent called Colangelo and urged him to move up in the draft so his player can play in Toronto because the agent believed that his player would be a good fit. However, the cost to move up turned out to be too expensive.
Who could this mystery player be? My guess is Ricky Rubio. Everybody knows that Colangelo embraces European players, so why not hunt the best European player in the draft.
Anybody have any other guesses?