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Looking Ahead to the 2012 NBA Draft: Toronto Raptors

16 February 2012 No Comment
For all of us Toronto Raptors fans this season has been a particularly taxing one.

Injuries to Andrea Bargnani and Jerryd Bayless have sapped some of the excitement from a pretty boring roster to begin with and DeMar DeRozan’s regression in Dwane Casey’s offense has led to many unhappy fans.

Yes, Casey’s style of play will work when and if we get the right personnel but in a season that was all but lost from the outset, witnessing the growth of Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis was supposed to be our only respite.

Instead Davis has disappointed with averages of 6.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1 steal on a Ben Wallace-esque .381% shooting from the field in his seven starts this season; DeRozan has caught the Vince Carter disease and started chucking up threes which has helped lead to his career low and simply atrocious .387% shooting from the field.

Andrea Bargnani, who has been our lone bright spot this season has played less than half of the Raptors games this season appearing in only 13 out of 30 contests.

And of course as we all know, our first round draft pick is overseas for the entire season, so nothing to get excited about there.

Some hardcore Raptors fans are already looking ahead to the particularly deep 2012 NBA draft, out of which at least five players would have probably been drafted before Kyrie Irving.

Now to familiarize ourselves with some of the prospects to watch during the rest of the NCAA campaign.

Chad Ford’s top ten is as follows:
Forwards: Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes, Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones
Guards: Bradley Beal, Jeremy Lamb
Centers: Andre Drummond, Cody Zeller

Bear in mind that bigs are usually rated higher than guards at this point of the season.

What is notable from this list is that eight out of the ten prospects are forwards or centres, while only two of those eight play small forward which could easily be identified as our biggest area of need.

My money is on Zeller staying in school for a couple more years to further develop his body and game.

NBADraftnet’s top ten is as follows:
Forwards: Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes, Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Arnette Moultri, Andre Drummond
Guards: Bradley Beal, Jeremy Lamb

Again we see that the top ten is littered with eight bigs, only two of which play small forward, if we are not in the position to land Barnes or Gilchrist we are going to have some serious decisions to make regarding Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson.

Beal and Lamb both play shooting guard which is the same position DeMar DeRozan has been cast at.

We will take closer looks at some of the top prospects in the coming weeks, but for now the million dollar question must be answered, draft for positional need or draft the best player available?

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