With the top pick now in this year's NBA draft, the options for Bryan Colangelo and Raptors' management are indeed plentiful. Should they keep the pick? Trade it for veterans? Trade it for more than one lower pick? In the next few days we'll be digging into each of these scenarios here at the HQ but in the meantime thought it would be beneficial to see what everyone else seems to be saying.
First off, let's hear it from the GM himself. Bryan Colangelo held a press conference yesterday afternoon to discuss his thoughts on the pick. While Colangelo was fairly ambiguous about his plans, it was hard for me after watching not to come away from it without hearing Mr. Bargnani's name echo in my head. It's no foregone conclusion that the Raptors' select the 7-footer but maybe the fact that Colangelo had Larry Tanenbaum "drop by" to watch Bargnani play in Italy had something to do with the ringing in my ears...
In any event, one player who sounded happy about the results of the draft was Chris Bosh. Colangelo has stated that they will seek Bosh's imput to a certain extent concerning this year's draft and Bosh has stated that he didn't want the Raptors to draft for size just for the sake of trying to get another big body. In fact it doesn't sound like he's a big fan of drafting Bargnani as he feels the Raptors have other needs to be addressed.
So what about Bargnani then? The Toronto Star's Doug Smith takes a closer look at the Euro-sensation and over at Chris Young's Jabs page, Young looks at some of the options available to the Raps and raises some good points concerning the pick ranging from salary implications (something Colanagelo raised at the press conference) to GM double-talk.
And no, although we're still anxiously waiting, there's been no sign of a Dave Feschuk "doom-and-gloom" classic yet...
Further away from Toronto, Chicago Sports.com's Sam Smith looks at some of the thoughts the Chicago Bulls may have based on the Raptors' decisions at the top. The Bulls of course will be picking second in this year's draft and will wait to see if Toronto attempts to trade down (he mentions the possibility of Toronto trading the first pick to Portland for the fourth and one of their point guards such as Jarrett Jack) or stands pat and selects a big such as LaMarcus Aldridge. While I've never put much substance into Smith's reports, the Portland idea no doubt will be bandied around for the next month.
And of course with a little over a month before the draft, mock drafts are in full effect with pretty much a split vote as to who the Raptors will select if they keep the top pick.
At ESPN.com (password required), Chad Ford and co. have the Raptors using the first pick on Bargnani based on Colangelo's familiarity with the player some are calling "the next Dirk."
Over at NBA Draft.net it looks like LaMarcus Aldridge is the consensus top pick for the Raptors while CNNSI.com has Bargnani on top again.
And finally over at Draft Express, Aldridge gets top billing and the site does a great job of breaking down their rationale behind their mock-up of the first 10 picks. In addition, Draft Express yesterday posted a recap of Colangelo's post-win press conference and some other comments from rival league GM's.
As we draw near to Draft Day '06 we'll keep a continuing watch on what the media is saying about Toronto's draft plans but in the meantime, as mentioned previously, we'll be breaking down the various options available to the Raps over the next few days and looking for your input on each. We'll also be giving continued updates on scheduled workouts and hopefully will get to attend a few in person.
Oh...and one thing we won't be doing however...taking pictures of Lil' John with the Stanley Cup.