NBA Draft Rumours: Lillard Gone at 8, Raptors Keeping Pick?

In case Lillard is gone at 8, the Raptors are getting a look at other options this Thursday such as big men Terrence Jones and Jared Sullinger.

Isn't this always the way?

Over the weekend I prepared a giant statistical examination of Damian Lillard, comparing him to various other draft options and similar former draftees, all in hopes of building a conclusive piece of work as to why he should be the Raptors choice with the eighth overall pick.

But then John Hollinger's draft rater piece yesterday evening threw me for a bit of a loop when Lillard's marks were some of the poorest in the class.

And then from the Toronto Star, it sounds like Bryan Colangelo doesn't even think Lillard will be there at 8 when the Raps pick!

From the article:

While Colangelo would not name names as far as who he might pick, it's not difficult to figure it out. He expects Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky, Brad Beal of Florida, Thomas Robinson of Kansas, Weber State's Damian Lillard and, likely, Harrison Barnes of North Carolina to be gone - leaving Duke's Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters of Syracuse and Ohio State's Jared Sullinger as possibilities at No. 8.

Hmmm.

So can we say unless a team like Portland or Golden State does something wacky, the Raptors are locked in on Dion Waiters?

It's looking more and more like that's the case.

As well, it sounds more and more like the Dinos are going to keep this pick. From the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat last night on Twitter:

@WolstatSun: Things can change, but hearing at moment per a source far more likely Raptors keep the pick than trade it. And moving up unlikely

However while it may seem that Colangelo is leaning towards keeping the pick, it sounds like he's had exploratory talks about various trade scenarios. From the same Toronto Star piece, BC acknowledged that he's had conversations about packaging the pick for both an existing player, and a player and a later pick in the draft.

It may very well come down to who's around at 8 in terms of pulling the trigger on some of these scenarios. That's why the Raptors aren't done their homework in terms of seeing prospects up close, and will hold a pretty big workout this Thursday at the ACC.

We expect to be in attendance to see players like Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones III, Terrence Jones and John Henson go through their pre-draft paces.

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