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2 AM Draft Thoughts…

Jawai has some game...but will Raptors' fans ever get to see it?

Jawai has some game...but will Raptors' fans ever get to see it?

I’ve never been stabbed in the back.

In fact, I’ve never been stabbed at all.

However I’ve experienced levels of emotional and physical pain (good ol’ Grant Hill ankles) that didn’t exactly feel so great.

So how does seeing the draft pick I coveted all year fall into the second round, only to be selected with the pick RIGHT before Toronto’s (by the arch-rival New Jersey Nets no less) compare?

I’m not going to lie, it hurts.

In fact at Harbour Sports Grille, we were counting down the picks till Toronto (via Indiana) was on the board and we had prospects like Jamont Gordon, Bill Walker, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Devon Hardin and Richard Hendrix lined up.

However when pick number 40 rolled around, and CDR was the selection…and let’s just say it was not a pretty sight.

I mean, what are the chances?

What are the chances that CDR falls into the second round, let alone lasts until the pick before Toronto?

It was Danny Granger all over again for me.

Now granted CDR is not the talent Granger is on paper, and may have fallen to the second round for a reason, but I have to say I’m starting to question BC’s draft decision making.

Bargnani isn’t panning out so well and others like Gay, Aldridge and Roy are flourishing. PJ Tucker is out of the league while HQ favourites from that year like Gibson, Powe and Millsap were still on the board when PJ was selected. We’ve yet to see Giorgos Printezis and now we bring on a Printezis clone in Australia’s Nathan Jawai. Yes Toronto needs to get bigger behind JO in case of injury, but couldn’t that be accomplished via free-agency instead of via the long-bomb in the draft?

Granted Jawai isn’t Printezis in terms of an unknown. He’s been discussed a good deal this year and is a Glen Davis-esque player who’s light on his feet despite his size, with great length. However I have to scratch my head when at present, Toronto needs to somehow fill at least five roster spots before next year and has little money to do it with.

Will Jawai, Printezis or even Roko for that matter, come over next season? If not, it’s mighty disconcerting to see players like Bill Walker being bought for cash by teams that are already overflowing with talent.

Yes we’ve got Jermaine O’Neal on the way…but admittedly tonight just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe overnight something else will develop.

After tall, an hour ago OJ Mayo was a Timberwolf and now he’s headed to Memphis as part of a deal for Kevin Love!

Because as it stands, Toronto’s line-up consists of:

SG: Anthony Parker, Jason Kapono
SF: Jamario Moon, Joey Graham
PF: Chris Bosh, Kris Humphries
C: Jermaine O’Neal, Andrea Bargnani

Even assuming Jose re-signs in a few weeks, that’s a lot of holes to fill with not a lot of money to work with.

As per my current math, which admittedly might be slightly sketchy at this time of night, Toronto will have the following salaries to pay out next season:

-$21,352,500 (O’Neal)
-$14,410,581 (Bosh)
-$ 5,784,480 (Kapono)
-$ 5,176,440 (Bargnani)
-$ 4,550,000 (Parker)
-$ 2,522,913 (Humphries)
-$ 2,449,184 (Graham)
-$ 711,517 (Moon)

Add in another 8 or so to Jose and we’re talking about $64,957,615 in payroll if indeed Maceo Baston and not Joey Graham is being sent to Indiana with Ford and Rasho.

Considering the salary cap is approximately $56 Million, that doesn’t leave Toronto with much room at all with which to work in order to avoid the luxury tax, which should come in at around $68 Million.

So my question then is, why not try and grab some second round or even late first round talent for cheap if you’re Toronto? Other teams seemed to be moving in and out with ease (ahem, Portland) so unless BC and co simply didn’t see anyone they liked, I’m not sure why this wasn’t seen as a more viable option?

Hopefully BC answers these questions in the next few days.

For now, I’m heading to bed and hopefully after an hour of tossing and turning with visions of Walker and CDR on opposing Atlantic Division clubs, I’ll doze off.

If not, I just hope that while I’m laying in bed awake, Bryan Colangelo is up working the phones and securing some more assets with which to fill out what is a fairly barren roster at present.