As the Toronto Raptors begin working out prospects for this year’s draft, one can’t help but wonder if Bryan Colangelo is angling to get another pick. Not that the Raptors’ GM hasn’t been accused of trying this in the past. And acquiring additional draft picks is never a sure thing.
But the first group of players coming through included potential late first round picks in Devin Ebanks, Gordon Hayward, and Avery Bradley. There were even couple of guys of the draft board bubble in Samardo Samuels and Latavious Williams.
With the Toronto Raptors picking at 13, it seems unlikely that any of these players would be under serious consideration that early. But the draft tryout process is just getting under way and one must be careful not to read too much into anything that happens now.
And the story makes some sense.
The 76ers would love to get out from under Elton Brand’s three years and $51 million. Giving up the second overall pick to do it might just be a price that they are willing to pay.
Of course, the receiving team will be expecting that they have just acquired a player who is worth less than a third of what they’ll be paying him, so at least one bad contract has to be sent back in return.
But that second overall pick is very attractive. Any one of Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, or DeMarcus Cousins could become a dominant player in future years.
If the Toronto Raptors are expecting to lose Chris Bosh and want to rebuild while providing their fans some hope, this is a situation that they would have to explore.
A good deal for Toronto under the present circumstances might be: Hedo Turkoglu and the expiring contract of Marcus Banks for Brand and the second pick.
The 76ers can use Turkoglu’s play-making skills and the deal saves them $15 million over the next three seasons.
If the 76ers are really only interested in a salary dump, then Banks, Evans, and Belinelli nearly get the job done.
In any case, this is something the Raptors should be taking a look at.
And the potential Minnesota situation is similar.
It has already been discussed here that the T-Wolves might be looking to move Al Jefferson’s contract, as the big man doesn’t seem to fit into the team’s long-term plans (Boohoo Hedo Turkoglu).
Al Jefferson is owed $42 million over the next three seasons and the Timberwolves could fill a serious need at small forward by trading him for Hedo Turkoglu. Not to mention the $10 million they’d save over that period.
Assuming Jefferson’s stats were not down because he is suffering some lingering injury, getting both Al and the fourth overall pick would seem unnecessarily generous.
But the Timberwolves have two later first round picks, and if the Raptors believe that they are about to lose Bosh, these could be two very motivated teams. One would have to believe that there could be a deal here somewhere.
The Toronto Raptors do have other potential opportunities to acquire late first round picks. The more obvious means would be in trades involving Hedo Turkoglu to this past season’s playoff teams.
Bryan Colangelo has been nothing if not a risk taker when trying to improve the Toronto Raptors. Getting involved in the moves suggested with Philadelphia or Minnesota, or looking to get another draft pick(s) in deals involving Chris Bosh or Hedo Turkoglu, shouldn’t surprise anyone.
This summer has the potential to see a lot of players and draft picks moving between a lot of teams before it is all over.