After a particularly disappointing year that left them short of the playoffs for the second year in a row, the Toronto Raptors are looking for a team boost that can make them contenders for the 2011 postseason.
This catalyst, in the form of fresh talent from the 2010 NBA draft, can come from many places.
Some think the help will come from Cole Aldrich, the former University of Kansas big man whose wingspan alone is enough to act as a defensive force against any team.
So who will actually go to the struggling Raptors?
Regardless of who goes to Toronto, the Raptors need to prepare for the loss of their top player, Chris Bosh.
Here are a few possibilities for who can fill the gap, and pick up the slack.
Although there are many predictions Cole Aldrich will be selected earlier than the 13th round, the 6'11'' Kansas center would be an obvious choice for the Toronto Raptors.
Aldrich averaged 11.2 points and 9.9 rebounds last year with the Jayhawks. His huge wingspan and low foul rate made him one of the most feared big men in the NCAA.
Should he not be picked by another team (like the Utah Jazz, another team for which he would be a key player), Aldrich would greatly help the Raptors' defensive unit.
Many analysts believe the Raptors' Chris Bosh will be leaving this summer. Although he is not a top scorer, Aldrich could keep the scoreline in the Raptors' favor in Bosh's absence.
Avery Bradley would also be a good choice for the Raptors should he not be chosen by another team early in the draft.
Bradley would be another strong defender, and would likely pair well with DeMar DeRozan.
Although his offensive skills are lacking at this point, Bradley would be a good "work-in-progress," and would likely develop into an essential piece for the Raptors' play.
Bradley is just 19 and can only get better with a developing Raptors team.
If Chris Bosh leaves Toronto, there will be an immediate need for a finisher, a top-scoring, drive-the-paint guy.
Patrick Patterson could be that guy.
He has the versatility necessary to put up big numbers for the Raptors, and could work well with big man Andrea Bargnani.
With the University of Kentucky, Patterson averaged 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Like Cole Aldrich, Daniel Orton has the size and ability to step in as another defensive force for the Raptors.
At 6'10" and 260 pounds, the Kentucky forward could be a great person to put under the basket in the NBA.
Another big man, another good option: Soloman Alabi would also work well for the Raptors.
Seven-foot-one and 237 pounds, Alabi is the perfect size for pulling down rebounds and blocking shots.
Should the Raptors miss out on Aldrich or Patterson, Alabi might be the right guy to add to the roster.
Ekpe Udoh will undoubtedly be one of the top picks in the draft—many analysts believe he will be selected within the top ten.
But should the Baylor Bear be available by the 13th pick, the Raptors should snatch him up, and quickly.
Udoh is 6'10" and 240 pounds, but has the versatility to be a forward or a center. He averaged 13.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for Baylor last year.
With the Raptors, Udoh would have a chance to put up big numbers, as the setup for scoring would be much more ideal than it was at Baylor.