Despite the fact that the Raptors will now officially select eighth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, the immediate picture is no clearer for the team than it was 24 hours ago. As the HQ's Scott Campsall argues, getting the eighth pick in the upcoming draft simply means more questions for Bryan Colangelo and the rest of the Raptor braintrust.Well, the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery is in the books and aside from a particularly convenient finish for the formerly league-owned New Orleans Hornets and an unfortunate result for the much beleaguered Charlotte Bobcats, things came and went rather anticlimactically.
From a Raptors perspective, as the odds predicted, they stood pat and will select in the number eight spot come June 28th. That is unless they opt to move the pick.
At this particular juncture it is difficult to say what Bryan Colangelo will do with that number eight selection, but one would hazard to guess that by virtue of not moving up into a top three slot--which would have guaranteed them a shot at either Michael Kidd-Gilchrest or Bradley Beal--the odds of that pick being traded have gone up significantly.
Colangelo has gone out of his way on a number of occasions to point out that the Raptors will be one of the few teams with enough financial flexibility to add a player via a potential trade prior to July 1st. Given this flexibility and the low-probability that the eighth pick will yield the type of impact talent that Colangelo is in search of to help the club make a significant step forward next season, all signs point to a possible deal that could include the eighth overall pick.
With a roster full of mostly youthful players that is set to get even younger with the addition of last year's 5th overall selection Jonas Valanciunas, it would make sense for Colangelo to explore the possibility of adding a solid veteran presence to the team. And while it is still very early on in the process, possible trade targets have popped up over the past couple of days including Kyle Lowry, Andre Iguodala and Rudy Gay--all talented players that their current teams would not give up without receiving significant talent in return. Of course, other options exist, but based on Colangelo's comments of late, he will be searching for a serious talent to acquire prior to, or during the draft.
There is also the possibility that the Bobcats' pick at number two may be in play. Without being able to add a franchise player like Anthony Davis, the Bobcats are now in need of multiple talented pieces which could mean swapping that pick for multiple picks, or some combination of picks and players which, one would think would have to make the Raptors a possible player in that scenario.
On the other hand, the Raptors could decide to keep the pick and attempt to fill one of the many holes that currently exist on the roster.
The Dinos could consider possible talent at the small forward spot like Harrison Barnes and Perry Jones lll, or they could look to shore up the shooting guard position with possible prospects like Jeremy Lamb or Dion Waiters, or they could even go for a point guard like Kendall Marshall or Damien Lillard. Multiple possibilities exist at almost every position and we won't truly have an idea of where the Dinos are leaning until June 28th rolls around, which is both what is fun, and frustrating about this time of year particularly for fans of teams looking to rebuild like the Raps currently are.
So, what have we really learned now that the draft lottery is over? In all honesty, very little.
The big picture for the Raptors is perhaps more complicated than it would have been had they been able to move into one of the top 3 spots in the draft. Instead, as accounted above, a myriad of options exist for the Raptors' braintrust to consider over the course of the next four weeks.
While it seems, at this point at least, that Bryan Colangelo may be leaning towards moving some combination of the three draft picks they will have on draft night, the honest truth is that anything can happen between then and now and we are just going to have to sit back and wait to see if Colangelo and Co. can make the right decision that helps move this team one step closer to relevancy.