The NBA Draft is tomorrow and the Raptors have some big-ass choices to make. There's not really anything you can do to help with this process. Masai Ujiri cares not one iota what you think. It sucks, but you'll have to get over it.
That said: what if he did? What if Masai summoned you into his well-appointed office, invited you to have a seat in a comfortable office chair, then turned to you and said: John Q. Raptor Fan, what should I do with the ninth and 27th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft?
Well, what would you say?
Consider the options in play. First, keep in mind the Raptors have a gaping need in the frontcourt. Jonas Valanciunas is the present and future as the starting centre. But after that, things get dicey. Bismack Biyombo is probably gone for big money elsewhere. Patrick Patterson is a great reserve power forward (with one year left on his contract). DeMarre Carroll can play a bit at the 4 in certain situations, for specific runs of time. And Lucas Nogueira is Bebe. There's not a strong starting power forward or backup centre on that list (unless you're in love with Bebe, which, I mean, I get it). Like I said, a gaping need.
These big man positions are the ones Masai will likely be looking to fill when he reviews the field of prospective players. Most of the names that have been mentioned for both draft slots have been big men. The Raptors need players who could potentially jump straight into playing 12-15 minutes a night. Can they get that kind of talent at no. 9? How about at no. 27? What kind of ceiling are you looking at? What kind of floor can you tolerate?
Second, the Raptors will not have a ton of cap space and have exactly one (1) movable contract in the short term. The cap space will mostly go towards re-signing DeMar DeRozan (who will definitely be back) and towards the new large contract extensions signed by Valanciunas and Terrence Ross.
It's Ross who represents that movable contract. With the cap going up, having a 25 year old wing player -- even one as spacey as Ross at times -- who can defend passably well and shoot 3s on a (newly) reasonable $11 million deal is a good thing. Everyone else on the Raptors roster is either a cornerstone (Lowry, DeRozan, Valanciunas, Carroll) or not particularly tradeable (Patterson). The Raptors will also have to decide on how much they want to count on Norman Powell (in place of Ross) or Nogueira (in place of free agent power forward/centre X) before they pull the trigger on any trade.
There's also something to be said for what kind of value Delon Wright brings to the table. Is he a guy you could bundle with the ninth pick, plus Ross and whatever other cap ballast you'd need to make a trade work? Moving on Wright (or Cory Joseph) seems unlikely at this point, but you may suddenly find yourself with too many quality point guards. Is there even a reasonable trade package to be put together?
Finally, there's always the draft-and-stash route, which has become increasingly popular (/likely) for the 27th pick. If they Raptors do use the ninth pick on a player they feel can contribute soon, that'll put the team back in a similar situation as they were last season. They'll have 4-5 guys (depending on what you think of Powell) in that "development" role for the year. That's a lot of guys. Having a sixth (the 27th pick) feels extremely unlikely. In fact, Masai even said he's not sure his coaches would like having that many young players. It's tough to be competitive while also trying to grow a roster. (It's how you end up starting Luis Scola in the Eastern Conference Finals games, to be honest.)
So, yeah, maybe you draft a foreign player and let him sit in Europe for another year or two. Maybe he becomes something, maybe not -- this is not the worst thing to happen to a team. It's yet another wrinkle to consider. There are a lot of wrinkles to consider. I haven't even gotten to actually naming any of the possible players the Raptors could take. That's a whole other can of worms. Being an NBA GM is hard, is my point.
But Masai is looking at you and he's growing impatient. What are you thinking about John Q. Raptor Fan? What is your decision? What should the Raptors do with their two picks in the 2016 NBA Draft?