I posted my immediate reaction to the Raptors staying put at No. 8 earlier on Wednesday night, but in the hours since, some interesting Bryan Colangelo quotes (he held a conference call after the Lottery) have emerged and a couple of guys with reputable draft knowledge have already updated their mock drafts.

First, on those Colangelo quotes.

From Jeff Blair’s Globe and Mail story: “We feel with a player at eight, we can add to our building process, or package it with something else to create a trade asset.”

From Eric Koreen’s National Post story: “I don’t think there’s any option we shouldn’t look at. Again, some of that might come in the form of trades.”

From a Canadian Press story: “We have the flexibility to explore all options and that’s something that we worked hard to get.”

Also in the CP story: “Adding three young draft prospects is not the end of the world but I wouldn’t say it’s the best situation either for our coaching staff. Especially for a coaching staff looking to take a step forward.”

You can watch a Raptors.com post-lottery interview with Colangelo here. In it, B.C. discusses the next month leading up to the Draft, the lottery itself, and even the issue of “tanking” (A Dwane Casey post-lottery interview can be found here).

Obviously, Colangelo is going to be guarded and keep his cards very close to his vest, but strictly from reading those quotes and even if you’ve heard any recent Dwane Casey interviews, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that a trade involving the Raptors’ No. 8 pick will be heavily considered, and so it should be. As B.C. himself points out, no stone should be left unturned this off-season, given the current position of the team and the amount of flexibility the franchise has created for itself.

I’ve stated in the past that I wouldn’t be opposed to a trade, but I worry about when a deal would have to be completed. For example, if the Raptors were to trade the pick based on the assumption/projection that the player they are acquiring is better than anyone that should be available at No. 8, but then a guy like Harrison Barnes somehow slips to No. 8, I’d be pretty crushed, at least for the time being.

The question then becomes, will the Raptors still be able to get good value for the eighth pick if they wait until the last minute (right until the seventh pick is announced) to close a deal? I guess at the end of the day, we just have to trust in the fact that Colangelo and his team have been doing this for years, and obviously know how to wheel and deal under pressure.

On the other side of the spectrum, if the Raptors decide to keep the pick after all, who will it be at No. 8?

There should be a decent group of prospects to pick between, including players such as Damian Lillard, Dion Waiters, Jeremy Lamb, Kendall Marshall, Terrence Ross, Terrence Jones, Austin Rivers, possibly Perry Jones III, and potentially others who impress between now and June 28.

As I stated in my previous post, we have plenty of time to pour over scouting reports, highlight reels and the works to come to our own opinions on who the next Raptors draft pick should be. In the meantime, some draft gurus have already updated their mock drafts now that the order has been officially set.

ESPN’s Chad Ford has the Raptors selecting Syracuse guard Dion Waiters, and tweeted the following shortly after the lottery results had been revealed:

Meanwhile, Draft Express (Jonathan Givony) now has Jeremy Lamb landing in Toronto. Interestingly enough, both Ford and Givony have Perry Jones III dropping to the Bucks at No. 12.

Let the debate begin…

Comments (5)

  1. The always faultless Scott Carefoot says:
    “Because Casey and the rest of the Raptors organization should have known that they’d win the lottery if they finished tied for exactly the third-worst record and then lost the tiebreaker coin toss, right?”
    and then you go listen to Colangelo’s interview and – after the usual bla bla bla – he just expresses frustration for the fact the Raptors slipped to n° 8 drafting spot because of other teams tanking in the second half of the season.
    What he says – in a few words – is he didn’t feel to ask his own team and head coach to go out on the floor and lose, but at the same time he kind of regrets the fact that so few less wins – or so few more wins – were able to set the table in a way he’s now forced to choose at a position he’s not so comfortable at. And he even go further, hoping the tanking issue to be “somehow” addressed by the NBA board in a future!
    Morale: those few less ping pong balls did really affect his building perspective, guys.

  2. I don’t know. It sounds like PR spin to me. BC built this team to tank this year. No question about it. If he is upset, it is because they didn’t tank as hard as the other teams all around them. Plus, those three wins vs the Cavs should Never have happened. They blew it right from the first game on.

    I’d much rather have number 8 locked up for 5 years, than package it for a more NBA ready player on a two year contract. That would be just BC trying to get himself another contract.

    Build through the draft and through free agency. Don’t trade away the future for the present BC.

    • BC didn’t fill the last roster spots and cap space with veterans that wouldn’t be a part of the team in 3 years for the sake of winning 5-6 more games last year. That’s fairly innocent compared to what other teams in the league did.
      Not to mention their hard play up until the end, when those other teams literally traded/sat their better players (while the guys on the court played with little energy and heart) and yes it sucks that those teams get rewarded while the raptors get punished.

      Ethics aside it would be funny if the Lotto really was rigged, and the NBA ensured teams that were obviously tanking by sitting healthy players, and just laying over on the court down the stretch (The GM not acquiring a bunch of talent excluded as a tanking method) were given an added disadvantage in lotto and teams that had heart and fought it out for the integrity of the sport were given an edge.

    • It’s pretty obvious that Casey is not the coach you want, when you are trying to lose… I don’t care, if you didn’t get the top pick, then you should still get a good player in the next 10 picks, easily.
      Lots of solid players like Waiters, Lamb, Lillard, Ross, PJIII (if he only plays SF), possibly Kendall Marshal even, if they can trade down. There is also a possibility that Barnes falls to 8, but we’ll see on draft night

  3. I’m hoping Colangelo makes one of these moves…
    http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/2012/05/lets-make-a-deal/

    I would be upset if he traded the pick for a veteran. It would mean even more years of mediocrity, as if the Raptors have not had enough of that.

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