So far the reaction to the raptors drafting Jonas Valanciunas at #5 seems to be extremely polarized; love or hate. I have to assume that hate comes from our previous (and on going) issues with European big men that are drafted high by the raptors. Instead I think that every Raptor fan should breathe a huge sigh of relief.
In previous season BC has made moves that are short sited in order to try and make us marginally better in order to keep his own job and Chris Bosh. Getting Jermaine O'Neal and then Hedo Turkoglu for that massive contract, which both handicapped the raptors in the short term, and then when Chris Bosh left we were left with the current roster. BC easily could of have traded for Tony Parker, or drafted players with less potential and talent because he knew the heat he would take for this move but he took the player with the most potential and a real center. Lets not mistake JV with Bargnani there games are nothing a alike. JV is long, athletic and plays around the basket almost solely. While he has drawn comparisons to Gasol he offensive game has no where near the refined skills but he does have great hands and tries to dunk the ball everytime and shoots 91% free throw.
Rebuilding in the NBA takes time and while I know we all wish we were getting the next Lebron James we aren't and there wasn't even the option for us to get someone like that. It takes collecting talent, patience, getting the right pieces and development. Very few teams every change as drastically as the Celtics, Suns and Heat have recently but those teams do not have serious longevity (Heat are exception), the teams that have contended for long periods of time are built slowly. The Lakers over the last 15 seasons, the Bulls dynasty, the Celtics and Lakers of the 80s, the 90s Knicks and Pacers, Spurs, etc. Now I'm not saying that JV is our saviour or a future hall of famer only time will tell, but what I am saying is that it appears the raptors are building for the future. Even if we don't see JV for a year but we struggle again this year and get another high draft pick there would appear to be a bright future. A core of DD, JV and (Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers, Barnes, McAdoo, etc) or even two of them if we trade Jose or Bargs for picks. I feel like that would be a team built for long term success and not sacrifice our long term success with short sitedness. While I probably am in the minority this is the first time I'm excited for the Raptors in a while, maybe since we first got Jermaine O'neal and there was hopes for the three towers. (That excitement last all of 1month) The reason isn't because I feel that this upcoming season is going to be a success but because there seems to be a definite plan in place to build for the future and long term success through youth. While JV may turn out to be a bust every Raptor fan should be excited that we will not be stuck in mediocrity, barely making or missing the playoffs and never really contending to make it past the second round.