After spending the season looking forward to the lottery last night's event was a true downer for Raps fans.
In a draft of "2" the Toronto Raptors now pick 5th in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Hope the Raptors scouting department is ready to do a whole lot of work the next little while.
Well Raptors fans, start brushing up on your knowledge on players like Brandon Knight, Jan Vesely, Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Byombo and Donatas Motiejunas and quit dreaming about Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams.
On the same day the Raptors announced they have come to an agreement with GM Bryan Colangelo they suffered a set-back in their rebuilding plan falling two spots in the lottery and ending up with the 5th pick in the draft.
You got it - a worst case scenario for a team that desperately needed a break.
It was night where conspiracy theorists had a field day, with the Cavaliers winning the lottery with the pick acquired in the LA Clippers trade giving them two picks in the top five. It was also a night that made you pause for concern as a Raptors fan.
Take a look at the names listed above and around the web at current mock drafts picks 4 through 10. It's filled with European big men and projects at that.
Now put yourself in Bryan Colangelo's shoes. The last time the Raps took a European big man it produced arguably the most polarizing figure in Toronto Raptors history outside of Vince Carter. Just how comfortable would you be taking another European big man? Will disgruntled fans embrace such a selection? Or does it matter? Can you let mistakes of the past now haunt the present?
This could be a defining moment for Bryan Colangelo - in particular at a time when he really needs to prove himself. The "Colangelo" name simply doesn't hold as much water as it used to and there was, despite what the party line is at MLSE, some doubt over whether he was the man for the job. Hitting on the 5th pick in a weak draft would go a long way to rebuilding his tarnished reputation.
It's going to be an interesting few weeks down at the ACC. Had the Raps ended up atop of the draft there is no question they would have brought in far less prospects. Now? Expect the Raptors to work out a record number of players and watch an incredible amount of tape from the EuroLeague.
Perhaps what is most disappointing as a Raptors fan is that no matter who the Raptors pick it is rather unlikely, by most accounts, that the Raptors get a true impact guy. Reading the scouting reports on the international players they are mostly major projects and there are legitimate questions about what sort of impact players like Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker can have on the next level.
The optimist will take solace in the fact that despite having dropped in the draft the Raps still have an opportunity to add another young talent to a roster that still needs major rebuilding. The realist will take solace in the fact that despite having "lost" the lottery this team is still years away from truly contending and there is no reason to hit yet another panic button. For the pessimists - yesterday was just another bad day and the icing on the cake of what was a miserable season.
No matter how you slice it, the unfortunately reality is that the Raptors needed some luck and they just didn't get any. No matter who they pick it won't create any buzz in the city and will only go so far on setting this team back on the road to success.
Before the lottery last night there was hope in Raptors nation that the draft would be the highlight of the off-season - now it has simply become a small piece to what needs to be an incredibly successful summer.