2011 NBA Mock Draft: What Will Raptors Do To Return To Relevancy?
The Toronto Raptors have had a mediocre 16 seasons at best (If you want to be that generous). They have only been to the second round once, and have only four other postseason appearances. The last time they made the playoffs, in 2008, seems like it was ages ago. The loss of Chris Bosh last summer pushed them further into the slums of the NBA in terms of their play and the number of headlines they make.
Management has some work to do this summer for them to even get on track to becoming respectable again. Here are a few ways they can do that.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Raptors have the fifth pick in this year's draft. While many teams look to fill a positional need in the draft, Toronto should definitely look to pick the best player available.
The Raptors could very well have the least talented roster in the league. Drafting the best player who's still on the board at No. 5 will definitely help improve the number of impact players they have on their team. Never mind the fact that the center position is their weakest, they desperately need the best overall player that they can get.
This will get the fans a little more excited than they were, and perhaps generate some kind of buzz going in the Air Canada Centre.
The best player available could very well be UConn's Kemba Walker. He would serve as one of the very few athletes on the team.
Next Head Coach
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
It was recently announced that Jay Triano will not return to the Raptors as head coach, but as a consultant to GM Brian Colangelo.
Triano provided almost nothing in two full seasons on the sidelines in Toronto, so it is important for them to get a respectable replacement.
It is probably not possible nor smart for them to hire a big name to coach them. An established candidate would not be intrigued with what the team has to offer, and it would be a waste of both parties' time.
What they need is someone who is young, and can grow with this team in progress. Much like the Warriors did in hiring Mark Jackson.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
There are not many high quality free agents available this summer. But there are some worth taking a look at.
As I said earlier, the Raptors are in grave need of pure talent. Swingmen such as Wilson Chandler and Thaddeus Young are two guys they should really try to sign this offseason. Both are young, and their talents aren't in question.
It is important for Toronto to not overpay on anyone as well. They definitely do not want to be tied up with a huge contract on a bad team.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Raptors should definitely experiment with some trades this summer. They have a few players that have ineffective in their roles in Toronto in terms of team production, but could find some value from other teams.
Moving away from guys like Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon and bringing in players in return could shake things up in a positive way for them.
Just Find a Direction
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
It seems that the Raptors don't have a solid plan in place at the moment. It's integral that they establish what they want to be as a team. What kind of style do they want to play? Do they want to go young? Do they want an experienced roster? Do they want to play fast?
Once they get that figured out, they can really begin to construct something in Toronto.