We’ve spent the last couple of weeks here at RaptorBlog profiling 10 potential Draft targets for the Raptors, as well as continuing to discuss the possibility of Steve Nash joining Canada’s lone NBA franchise.
With the profiles out of the way, we are left only with a plethora of rumours, reports and speculation as we officially enter Draft week. Who will the Raptors draft at No. 8? Who will be available at No. 8? Will the Raptors even still own the No. 8 pick when that selection is on the clock on Thursday night?
So many questions, and they’ll all be answered over the next few days.
For my money, here’s how I would like the Draft to unfold for Toronto. In a dream world where anything can happen, I would pray that Harrison Barnes somehow slips past the top-seven and lands in Toronto. That’s not happening though, so in a more realistic setting, I will leave the Raptors season seat holder Draft party a pretty happy guy if the Raptors come out of it with either Damian Lillard or Dion Waiters.
If Barnes, Lillard and Waiters are all off the board after the first seven picks, I’ll be disappointed, though I could be cheered up with a somewhat bold Austin Rivers selection. In fact, I think I’d still be content with Rivers.
It will be tough to sell coming out of this Draft with only John Henson or Moe Harkless to show for it. It’s nothing personal against either player, it’s just that if they feel Henson (Ed Davis duplicate) or Harkless (another raw youngster who needs a lot of time) is the best player available, the Raps may be better served trading the pick.
Which brings us to the next question – will the Raptors even still have the No. 8 pick come Thursday night?
Recent rumours have the Rockets shopping their Nos. 14 and 16 picks in an attempt to jump into the top-10, with point guard Kyle Lowry’s name coming up in those rumours. You’ll remember that original reports had the Raptors looking at established small forwards and wing players if they were to trade the pick. Imagine a night where the Raptors acquire an established player of Lowry’s level and still get a mid-first round pick? I doubt it happens, and still assume the night will play out with Toronto simply making their No. 8 selection, but there are certainly options to consider.
One of the more exciting and intriguing Raptors off-seasons in recent memory will get started with what should be an exciting and intriguing draft night for Raptors fans.
In the mean time, check out our theScore.com Mock Draft, which will likely change a couple of times between now and Draft night.