A few draft odds and ends in addition to the usual poll this Sunday morning...
As of the time of this posting there are about four days and 13 hours left before the NBA draft.
And depending on which mock draft you look at, the Raps are definitely taking Kemba Walker, Jan Vesely, Jonas Valanciunas or Brandon Knight, if he's around, when they pick.
As TSN.com's Tim Chisholm tweeted yesterday,
Its kinda amazing about this draft but usually less than a week out there is some consensus about what will happen. Not this year.
I mean, does anyone feel certain about any pick in this draft? Every team still seems to have 4-5 names attached to them. It's kinda fun.
And I agree completely.
In fact this is the first year since about 2007 where I'm legitimately excited about the draft. The past few I felt have been robbed of much drama by the time the last week rolls around, thanks in part to social media and a pretty clear-cut order in terms of which prospects were ranked higher than others.
Not so much this time around.
So what do we know?
Well aside from Kyrie Irving going one...not a whole lot.
I'd put money on Derrick Williams being the number two pick if Minnesota can't work out a trade, but Utah still seems like a wildcard.
Brandon Knight apparently had a solid workout for the Utah Jazz on Thursday and perhaps the third pick is his to lose.
But Jimmer Fredette's been getting a lot of buzz lately, as high as seventh to the Kings, so will a player it sounds like the Utah Jazz crave be around when they make their second selection at 12?
That's one piece of the lottery puzzle.
Then we have the Cavs, who seem to be deciding between Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas with the fourth pick.
The choices the Jazz and Cavs make will have major repercussions for the Dinos therefore, as the club may have to "settle" for a Kemba Walker or Enes Kanter at five, if indeed Knight and Valanciunas are selected with the third and fourth picks.
I put "settle" in quotes though because I'm starting to change my mind a bit on Kemba, thanks to some recent advanced statistical analysis, and an enlightening chant with Draftexpress.com's Jonathan Givony, which we'll be posting in the next two days.
I'd still prefer Brandon Knight, but let's put it this way; if Bryan Colangelo comes out of this draft with Walker and a second solid first-round pick, I'd be all smiles.
Well that seems to be the other certainty right now.
Based on recent activity, it sounds like BC is doing everything in his power to acquire a second, first-round pick, possibly even a lottery one, and his target appears to Bismack Biyombo.
While I'm not big on taking a flier on the Congolese big man at five, or Jan Vesely, another player Toronto is getting an additional look at today, if the Raps could grab him just outside the lottery I'd be thrilled. Bismack was at one point slated to be a top lottery pick, but his stock may have fallen thanks to some less than stellar reviews from a recent workout in Europe in front of various NBA front-office types.
In fact, Biyombo did not receive a green room invite, a sign that the NBA is simply not confident that he'll be one of the first 14 players chosen.
Biyombo may be the definition of raw, but he's got physical intangibles that just don't grow on trees, as well as a reputation for having a great work ethic, so swinging for the fences in the mid-first round for such a player would be fine by me.
How do the Raps grab him?
Well that's the tricky thing, although if he does indeed fall out of the lottery, the Wizards, Bobcats and Timberwolves all have second first-round picks at 18, 19 and 20 respectively, that may be available. Minny in particular looks like a nice target as the club is so young right now. But will Biyombo fall that low?
In some ways though this whole process isn't even about Biyombo, but simply the fact that Colangelo is being so aggressive this off-season already. He's done a ton of work pre-draft, and may even be ready to announce a new head coach in the next few days, a lot earlier than many, myself included, expected.
This is what I desperately hoped to see him do in the post-Triano era, and going into next season, lock-out or no lock-out, with two blue chip prospects, some cap space, and a defensive-minded coach, would be a huge step back in the right direction for this franchise, in my books.
On that note then, we move to our regular Sunday poll...