With the basketball world watching, the NBA Draft is set to kick off in New York City on Thursday night. This is the start of what is expected to be a very busy offseason for Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo.
Colangelo's first and most important task is to resign or attempt to find a sign and trade for superstar power forward Chris Bosh.
After that, it is expected that Colangelo will look to trade maligned point forward Hedo Turkoglu. His contract isn't the greatest, but there are still teams out there who could use his services.
Turkoglu was very unhappy with his season in Toronto. He felt he was treated badly by fans and management after a sick day of supposedly hugging porcelain turned into a night of debauchery in downtown Toronto. I'm probably exaggerating, but I like to add it for fun.
Hedo believed that the fans did not know the whole story and neither did management on what happened that night. He later stated on a Turkish television show that he wanted a trade out of Toronto and didn't like playing there anymore.
Colangelo's next step will be to try and trade a point guard—Calderon or Jack—to make room for who I believe will be Toronto's draft choice, 13th overall, combo guard Avery Bradley.
Yes, I'm saying it now, if Bradley is available at 13, the Raptors should grab him and run. Not since the days the Raptors had Alvin Williams did the Raptors have a combo guard who can score, defend, and be a leader on the floor like Bradley has the ability to become.
Bradley's greatest attribute is his defense. He's a great on the ball, man defender and actually loves to play defense. He has the athleticism and quickness to become a true lock-down defender in the NBA. The possibility is there that he can become an All NBA Defensive Team member.
The Raptors greatest weakness in years past has been their perimeter defense. The poor defense can be attributed mostly to possibly the worst man defender in the league, Jose Calderon. The point guard initiates the play and if he gets free reign on the court, you'd think the team will be very successful offensively. For what Calderon gives you on offence, it gets cancelled off by what he provides on the defensive end.
With the possible addition of Bradley to a very athletic backcourt which includes sophomore DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems, the perimeter defense could take a turn for the better in the next few years.
My stance on the NBA Draft is simple, draft the best player available regardless of the position. If you draft for need, you run the risk of a Rafael Araujo like epic failure. Raptor fans truly don't want to see that again. If Bradley is the best left, you take him and you run if you're the Raptors.
What I don't want to see is the Raptors decide to draft a power forward just because they lost Chris Bosh via Free Agency. There are many avenues to replace his game on the team such as a sign and trade or signing some other free agent. Unless the player is the best available, I don't try and immediately replace Bosh at the draft unless it involves a trade that night.
With adding Bradley at the draft, it also gives the Raptors a true combo guard on the team. A player that can create their own shot and can adequately set up others. It's been a long time since we've seen a player who can create something out of nothing, the days of Vince Carter. I've always liked the idea of adding a player like Jamal Crawford or Barbosa as a sixth man on this team, so adding Bradley instead seems like a logical move.
Bradley will instantly become the Raptors best perimeter defender and arguably their best defender on the team. Pretty sad when a rookie could be your best defender, but that is the reality of the Toronto situation, and it's been like this for years. The Raptors whole situation is a jumbled mess right now, but hopefully Avery Bradley can help stop the bleeding and bring the Raptors back from possible extinction.
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