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A Road Map for the Raptors 2010 Draft

With only two days before the 2010 NBA Draft, the HQ weighs in on a few scenarios they'd like to see transpire...

Last night I participated in a round table on the Fan 590, the main sports radio station here in Toronto.  Myself, along with Sway Sports' Darren Andrade, and the National Post's Eric Koreen talked all things basketball, from the NBA Finals, to the state of the Toronto Raptors and the upcoming draft.

One of the main points that we discussed was just how many different directions Toronto could go in the draft; big, small, wing, best player name it.

Mr. Koreen made a solid point in that one of the main reasons this team could go in various directions is because outside of Andrea Bargnani, there isn't another player on the roster that Toronto wouldn't want to take major minutes from.

I argued that DeMar DeRozan might be the exception, but even with DeMar, Eric correctly noted that he probably still wouldn't be playing 36 minutes a night next season.

Of course if Bosh sticks around, you include him too, but right now who knows what happens with that situation.

This got me thinking about a post for this morning.

We've got our annual chat with DraftExpress' Jonathan Givony tomorrow, and some last minute thoughts, insight and analytics draft day morning, but what we haven't done yet is talked about what we'd like to see transpire Thursday evening.

Sure, readers know that we're big Paul George fans, and that we'd be completely happy to see other guys like Aldrich or Patterson taken at 13, as well as sleepers like Devin Ebanks grabbed with a second acquired draft pick, but what about from an overall big picture perspective?  There are so many options right now for this team, so to that end, we've decided to lay out our "RaptorsHQ Masterplan for the Draft:"

The first point that needs to be discussed is regarding Mr. Bosh.

I'm not sure even Bryan Colangelo has any sort of inkling regarding which way Mr. "I don't want to be a complementary piece" is leaning.

But I think to a certain degree BC HAS to plan for life after CB4, and if so, I'm not sure how this can't be anything but a full rebuild situation.  The team disappointed last year even with Bosh, so time to start the youth movement.

Enter Paul George.

Not sure there's much more to say about George that we haven't said already, but George would be the future 3 this team craves.  Length, athleticism, rebounding...he's the anti-Hedo.

Speaking of the Ottoman, I expect Toronto to move him in the coming weeks, even for a couple pies from Pizza Pizza (how appropriate would that be?)  I'm not going to speculate on returns in trades at this point, but suffice to say that I'm hoping the Raptors future at the 2-3 is a combo of Weems, DeRozan and George.

If George is off the board, a distinct possibility, if I'm BC, I draft Cole Aldrich (assuming he's still on the board at 13 as well of course.)  No, he's not the biggest upside guy in the world, but I truly believe he can become a shot-blocking, solid rebounding big man at the next level akin to Joel Przybilla.  This would allow Toronto to then move Andrea to the 4, a position he's more suited to play and one I feel that will minimize his weaknesses.

If he's gone, I'd look at Patrick Patterson.

Next?  Grab another pick.

This might be as a result of a cash-grab, or perhaps another team like Chicago drafts the player for Colangelo (to be used later in a Bosh sign-and-trade.)

With that pick, I'd then go one of two directions.

If the Raps have grabbed George already at 13, then go after Eric Bledsoe or Avery Bradley if either are around.

If not, go big with one of the big man projects like Solomon Alabi or even Jarvis Varnado later on.  Both bring NBA-transferable skill sets (motor, shot-blocking) which could have an immediate impact on this club.

If Aldrich or Patterson are the choice at 13, I'd love to see the team upgrade its perimeter D or athleticism therefore taking someone like Devin Ebanks, Quincy Pondexter, Stanley Robinson or Damion James.  Ebanks in particular is interesting as both he and Aldrich are back in Toronto for workouts this morning.

Suddenly you've got a very intriguing young roster for next season, one that could contain the following pieces:

PG:  Jarrett Jack, Marcus Banks

SG:  DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, Marco Belinelli

SF:  Paul George,

PF: Andrea Bargnani, Reggie Evans, Joey Dorsey

C:  Amir Johnson, Solomon Alabi

You'll notice I've removed Bosh, Calderon and Turkoglu from the roster as under this scenario, all are going to be plying their trades elsewhere next season.

As a result, players will be obtained in return for their services and thus the other four roster spots will be filled out.

A 50 win team?


There would still be a lot of work to do to get the talent level up to scratch.

But I think for the sake of the future, this is Colangelo's best case scenario on Thursday evening.  Guys like George and Alabi have the potential to be very nice players down the road, and hopefully trades involving Bosh, Hedo and Jose bring in more youthful talent.

What I certainly don't want however is another Marcus Banks situation, where Colangelo takes 20 cents on the dollar in exchange for Hedo or Jose (he might not have a choice with Bosh) and takes on an even more onerous contract without upside.

Or even worse, trading this pick in order to move Hedo at all!  This team desperately needs, cheap, young talent.

I know BC spoke about the team not being in a "doom and gloom" scenario at his year-end presser, and that he believed the club would be "fine" this upcoming season. 

But let's hope that doesn't mean forsaking the future, and some very nice talents in this draft class, in order to try a third consecutive overhaul to help fuel his delusions of being "not that far off."