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Raptorshq Mailbag: June 14

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Chicago has shown a great way of turning around is drafting quality players from elite college programs. Get guys who are coachable. Hinrich, Duhon, Gordon, and Deng come from great programs and great college coaches. With that in mind, how about Hakim Warrick at 7 and Wayne Simien at 16? With those long arms, Warrick is a matchup nightmare and developed a offensive game in the tough Big East. Simien is a proven post scorer who will be a very solid pro, considering he developed a reliable outside jumper as a senior. Both know how to play D too.

â€" Lion

Lion,

Thanks for writing. You make some solid points. Chicago has done very well recently by drafting players from established programs. While I agree with what they’ve done, it is not a foolproof solution.

Think back to 1995 and the NCAA champion UCLA Bruins. Ed O’Bannon. Toby Bailey. Tyus Edney. George Zidek. Solid college players from an established program. Ten years later, a Hall-of-Fame NBDL lineup.

So, while drafting players from established programs helps your casual fan identify with a draftee, it should not rule your decision-making. Warrick at 7? That’s a tad high for a tweener with a suspect jumper.

At 7, I’d like to see them go after an impact swingman like New Mexico’s Danny Granger or Antoine Wright from Texas A&M. These guys aren’t coming from established programs but think back to 1999 when Phoenix drafted an unknown (for casual fans) out of UNLV: Shawn Marion.

My point is: Just because you haven’t heard of someone doesn’t mean that they can’t play.

As for Simien at 16, I find myself warming to the idea. For years at Kansas, he dogged persistent rumours that he was closer to 6-6 than 6-9. At a recent workout, he measured out at 6-9. He’s tough, can score and rebound and is extending his range. You’d also have to consider someone like Jarrett Jack at 16 as well.

- Jeff Chapman

I'd love to see Felton on the Raptors. May not be the best shooter ever but he loves to push the ball and get his team involved. At 16 a big man who's not afraid of contact would be nice. I'm not sure about May and Warrick but I doubt theyll be around at this pick anyways. I like Villanueva and Splitter, as well as Graham although his ideal position may not fit in well with the Raps.

- CrOss

Cross,

Felton, for whatever reason, is a guy that people will debate whether he can make it in the league, no matter the quality of his workouts. Question is: Do the Raptors take the chance? Based on Raptorshq.com research maybe things are not so bad with Rafer at the point. He now has a year under his belt as floor general and although the year was bumpier than Jessica Simpson's "before" face on the ProActiv commercials the guy can play. Besides, is Babcock really ready to put his first signing on the bench while being paid starters money? I doubt it.

Unfortunately we already have a big man who is not afraid of contact. Did you see Hoffa's 2004 summer league stats?! What is even more disconcerning is that this is Hoffa's only skill at this point. That said, we still have big front court issues. The question is: Who will be available at 16 to address this need? It seems like the Raps will go swingman or hope a point guard falls to them at 7, but then what? A solid big man at 16 is going to be hard to find. Do we want a guy who publicly declared he wants to stay in Carolina in May, or Riff-Raff Taft? Might find a steal with Diogu or Warrick, if he's still around. A draft of Granger and Warrick with Bosh and Pape would make for the most athletic Raptor team in years.

- Dave Randell

Chapman gets 5 stars for comedy factor. You other two clowns better step this junk up.

â€" Big Chips

Big Chips,

Thanks for reading. Love the R. Kelly reference. That name alone gets you five stars on the comedy meter.
I appreciate the praise. However, you’ve got to cut the other two guys some slack. It’s tough working with a comedic genius all of the time.

- JC

Does anyone else watch Detroit or Chicago and wonder what Arroyo or Pargo would have done with a shot in TO? Same thing goes for Rafer. We could have resigned him for much less dough if we would have held on to him after 2002-03. Even up front, we had Brian Skinner. You can't tell me he wouldn't help out. Even Rebraca in L.A.

- RapsFan

RapsFan,

The Raps have gone through PG's like Lindsay Lohan through a DQ ice-cream cake. Ironically, they have spit them out even faster. That being said, most of these guys are still only back-ups. Arroyo is Utah's version of Rafer, but O'Connor was able to rectify that mistake fairly quickly. He is a backup who had one good year (contract year) and now his true colours are coming through. Pargo is a backup as well and it is debatable how much he would have helped out the team. I think we may have a solid backup now in Omar Cook. He was solid with St. John's and is your classic example of coming out too early. The nice thing here, though, is his game is growing and he could develop into a key contributor down the road. He's hungry, has had a taste of the Association and now wants more.

Brian Skinner? Come on! We might as well bring back Radojevic or Greg Foster! Now there's a best selling Raps jersey. That and Rafer's #12 from the first time around!

- DR

Hey guys,

Two comments:

1) Rip Hamilton is the most underrated player in the NBA.
2) Imagine if the ping pong balls fell our way in 2003 and the Raptors picked 3rd. Darko wouldn’t even be the “Human Victory Cigar.”

- Pistol Pete

Pistol Pete,

Hopefully, you were rocking your Maravich LSU throwback when you wrote this. On that note, anyone know where I can get a Chris Jackson LSU throwback?

1. Is Hamilton the most underrated player in the NBA? That’s a tough call. Has someone ever been “underrated” for so long that he eventually becomes “overrated”? While I’m not calling Hamilton the next Bernie Federko by any stretch, I think commentators do get a lot of mileage out of this angle with Hamilton.

In my humble opinion which, along with 140 cents gets you a large coffee at Tim Horton’s, there isn’t anyone more underrated in the NBA than Elton Brand.

2. Ah, the age old question. Basketball fans will be debating this issue until the Raptors win their first NBA title. If the Raptors got the third pick, I think that they probably would have gone with Carmelo Anthony and Raptors fans from Abbotsford to Antigonish would have been rejoicing.

Truth be told, I think that if the 2003 draft is held today, the top five are:
1. Lebron James
2. Dwyane Wade
3. Chris Bosh
4. Carmelo Anthony
5. Kirk Hinrich

And I might even be tempted to put Hinrich over Anthony just because of their movie roles. I mean, really, is there any contest between Harry Potter and Stop Snitching?

- JC

Sorry about the double post. I was not sure if it went through, as I could not see it after. I will say for a third time though that the site looks good.

- Jamie

Jamie,

Please, stop with the complements.....well on second thought.....

- DR

Love the comments, keep 'em coming.