The week leading up to the NBA draft is fascinating to me.
And every year it plays out in an almost identical manner.
The one to three or four spots in the draft are set, and then there's rampant speculation as to which teams like which players enough to call their names on draft night after that. And as part of this process, there's usually a tier of about three or four names that we Raptors' fans start to establish as legit options for wherever Toronto is picking.
But then that week before the draft comes and lo and behold, those names are no longer available!
It happened in 2010 when everyone expected names like Paul George and Xavier Henry to show up for TO. However days before the draft, suddenly both were slotted to potentially go much higher.
And it's happening again this year if you believe yesterday's string of mock drafts.
Up until about two weeks ago, the popular mock draft opinion was that the Toronto Raptors were either drafting Jeremy Lamb or Dion Waiters. There were even rumours of a promise to Waiters and even when Lamb's name fell out of favour, the prevailing theory was Waiters if the Raps didn't trade the pick.
Then Damian Lillard's name began to gain momentum (I'd like to say thanks to a little push from ourselves), and he was viewed as a potential option for the Dinos at 8, with Waiters still being considered a strong contender.
But what if both of those options are off the board?
This is what the Toronto Raptors may be facing Thursday night if the latest mock draft by Draftexpress is to be believed. They now have Lillard and Waiters being drafted with the sixth and seventh picks respectively and if that indeed plays out, what does Toronto do?
One option would be to select Andre Drummond, the UCONN big man who could represent some great trade value for the club.
Or, the team could choose from another of their top options.
Unfortunately based on that same mock draft, it would appear said option would be Duke guard Austin Rivers. Even as a Duke fan I detest this option as I simply think there are more productive options to be had at that spot.
What are those options? Well if our top two are off the board, here's our next three options:
Really, these have been our top options for a while now outside Ross. The fifth spot is a bit of a wild card as we had Moe Harkless there before, and the reality is that after our top four, there's a glut of guys we'd be interested in such as Harkless, Ross, Royce White, and even Draymond Green.