Final Pre-Draft Thoughts

Posted on June 28, 2012 | 4 Comments

Just to clarify my reasoning behind why I think the Raptors need to “hit a home run” in this draft. I wouldn’t be so adamant about it if I didn’t think this wasn’t the last chance the Raptors would have at a top ten pick for a while. Bryan Colangelo seems to be intent on an “accelerated rebuild” which means he wants to make the playoffs next year. Apparently no matter what. This is a ridiculous strategy when you consider the lack of talent the Raptors have right now. He wants to push the Raptors into the playoffs without even one All-Star on the team and the “best” player being an inconsistent, inefficient scoring big man who can’t rebound and is a below average defensive player.

So much hinges on how good Jonas Valanciunas it’s scary.

Look what happened the last time Colangelo pushed the Raptors into the playoffs with only one star. Do we really want a repeat of that? Does Colangelo not see history repeating itself?

Players seem to be sliding up and down the polls faster than an Amish chick during rumspringa, and the latest is one of the guys on the top of Colangelo’s wish list, Dion Waiters, who could go as high as 4 to Cleveland. Does this make ANY sense to anyone? After the season ended, he was a mid-first round pick, at best. But for some reason he’s now considered a top 5 prospect?

This is a bench player for Syracuse who averaged 12.6 ppg, yet his biggest strength is apparently his scoring. I may be forgetting someone, but I can’t remember the last time a college bench player was predicted to go in the top ten.

This goes back to my post about how teams put WAY too much emphasis on workouts rather than, you know, how they actually played. What are these GMs thinking? All he’s proven at Syracuse is that he can be a good guard to have coming off the bench. Unfortunately you don’t draft a guy in the top ten to be a bench player.

Another guy who continues to move up since the season ended is Damian Lillard, a guy whose been described by scouts as a very good scorer who still has a ways to go in the passing department. Doesn’t this argument come up every year? While you can definitely win with a shoot first PG, he’s generally a role player who defends the PG position while the offense runs through the franchise player (LeBron, Kobe etc). Unless he’s Derrick Rose, having your PG taking most of your shots is usually not a good idea. And I don’t think Lillard is Derrick Rose.

Speaking of stupid GM moves, it seems Brooklyn Nets GM, Billy King, doesn’t regret trading their 6th pick for Gerald Wallace, who will become a free agent this summer. My question is, why on earth not? He didn’t help you reach the playoffs, and you probably won’t end up getting anything in return if he leaves. Even if you don’t like any of the players available, I guarantee you’d get more for the pick now then back when you traded it. Picks always increase in value the closer you get to the draft.

So with some players rising up in the mock drafts, some players are falling. Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond, both top 5 picks at the beginning of the season, and possibly even just a couple of months ago, now might be in play for the 8th spot for the Raptors (if they don’t trade up).

Harrison Barnes is an interesting case. Had he come out right after high school, he might have been a #1 pick. In college, though, he has looked more and more like a complimentary player that will have trouble creating his own shot in the NBA or really do anything extraordinarily well.

I think he’d do well with a team that already has a franchise player that he could play off of (Washington would be a great fit), but if he’s available at 8 for the Raptors, you have to consider taking him because there’s a chance that he could end up being a better pro than college player, and you’d hate to miss out on that. Plus, the alternatives aren’t all that appealing.

It seems that both Charlotte AND Washington’s picks are up for grabs, with the right offer. You know Houston is looking to move up, and apparently Cleveland wants to move from 4 to 2, in order to grab Bradley Beal. Speaking of Beal, apparently Oklahoma, San Antonio and Denver are looking to move up to draft him. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. The last time there was a rumour of San Antonio wanting to move up into the top five in the draft, t was to draft Jonas Valanciunas.

So with those picks up for grabs, and the Raptors with assets to be able to move up, I desperately want to see them move up and will be disappointed if they don’t.

The difference between Bradley Beal/Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to whoever is likely to be available at 8 is definitely worth Bargnani. Or DeRozan. Or Ed Davis. Or a combination of those players.

Speaking of trading, apparently the T-Wolves are offering up Derrick Williams. Think maybe the Raptors could work out a deal if they can’t move up? It seems a little early to give up on Williams, and if the Raptors can trade Bargnani, he’d be a good scorer to have.

Are they desperate enough to get into the draft (they only have one late second rounder) to maybe do this deal:

DeMar DeRozan
8th Pick


Derrick Williams

Should Toronto offer it?

I never do draft predictions because trying to figure out what’s in those guy’s heads is impossible. What I have done in the past is predict the players, so here’s this year’s version…

Sure-Fire All Stars

Anthony Davis

I think there will be, at least, a couple of other All Stars, but Davis is the only one I would be shocked to see not make the All Star team. He’s head a shoulders above everyone else at this point, although I wouldn’t be shocked if he wasn’t Rookie of the Year. He might take a couple of seasons to adjust to the league.

Potential All Stars

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Bradley Beal

There are others out there, no doubt, but these are the only one’s I think are at least even money.

Could Go Either Way

Harrison Barnes

Jeremy Lamb

Andre Drummond

Thomas Robinson

Jared Sullinger

Quite frankly, I see most of these guys as future decent players, but I’m not sure about All Stars. Which means several of them could be put in the next category.

Safe Picks

Terrence Ross

Kendall Marshall

Avoid At All Costs

Austin Rivers

Normally I’d put guys like Andre Drummond and Perry Jones in here, but since the Raptors should be looking for high risk/high reward picks, then they stay out this year. Rivers is an undersized, ball dominant shooting guard who takes too many shots, doesn’t hit enough and refuses to pass. Plus he apparently thinks he’s the next Kobe Bryant, but isn’t. He’s a nightmare waiting to happen for an NBA GM. Hopefully not Bryan Colangelo.


Terrence Ross

Kendall Marshall

Jared Sullinger

Royce White

Andrew Nicholson

Quincy Miller

If you’re selecting outside of the lottery, these are the top guys that should be on your list.  Actually, if you’re selecting outside of the top ten. Maybe 6…

And here we go…..

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Join the discussion: 4 Comments


  • Rich

    Why the hate on Waiters though? He played 24 minutes or so per game, the guys on ESPN said that if his PPG in that period of time were extrapolated over 40 MPG he’d be averaging 21 PPG, 4 reb, 4 assists, 3 steals, which is better than Beal’s 40 MPG average…. talented young back court for the Cavs now.

  • Tim W.

    It’s not just about stats, especially in college. It’s not that I think Waiters is going to be a bad player, but to move up from a mid-first round pick to 4th solely based on workouts is a HUGE red flag for me.

  • Steve

    The last time a bench player was expected to be drafted in the top 5 was Marvin Williams…so yeah good luck with Dion Waiters.

  • Tim W.

    Ah, yes. Marvin Williams. I forgot about him. The big difference, though, is Williams was drafted on potential while Waiters is more a finished product. But still, probably not a good sign.

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