Looking towards the lottery
In this year’s draft the Toronto Raptors would do well to draft the best player available regardless of position. We have no sure-fire stud under contract and being a lottery team as we are, we don’t have the luxury of drafting based on need.
Over the next two months we will be following mock drafts from around the web and also reporting on workouts once they get underway.
The Raptors are slated to get a pick in the range of 10-14and we currently are projected to go 12th-13th according to ESPN’s draft machine.
The current three most popular picks seem to be Ekpe Udoh from Baylor and Patrick Patterson and Eric Bledsoe from Kentucky.
Udoh is a Center from Baylor who projects as a NBA center while Patterson is a Power Forward from Kentucky who projects as an incredibly gifted NBA small forward or an undersized power forward with the hops and wingspan to make up his lack of ideal size. Bledsoe is a point guard from Kentucky who took a backseat to John Wall but is a special talent in his own right, playing behind Wall may allow the Raptors to nab him so late in the lottery.
I am all for drafting the best player available, and am reasonably certain that, if the draft happened today James Anderson would also be available, a potent scorer from Oklahoma State who appears to be ready like Patterson to contribute to an NBA squad right away.
As echoed before here at Raptors Digest, with Bosh opting to test the free agency waters, missing the playoffs may have been the best thing for this team. The way Bosh’s season ended may also give him more of a reason not to abandon the team that drafted him 4th overall and proceeded to make him a max level player. We were well on our way to the playoffs before Bosh went down, and no doubt Bosh realizes this and will take it into account when deciding between options this summer.
Alot of people are not too excited about our pick, but there is reason to be as quite a few studs were drafted pick 10 or later in the last 10 years such as: Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Marcus Thornton, Brook Lopez, Jason Thompson, Anthony Randolph, Bill Walker, DeJuan Blair, Rodney Stuckey, Wilson Chandler, Thaddeus Young, Aaron Brooks, Ronnie Brewer, Rajon Rondo, Andrew Bynum, Nate Robinson, Danny Granger, Jarrett Jack, David Lee, Andris Biedrins, Al Jefferson, Jameer Nelson, Josh Smith, J.R Smith, Kevin Martin, David West, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Howard, Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince, John Salmons, Joe Johnson, troy Murphy, Gerald Wallace, Zach Randolph, Richard Jefferson, Samuel Dalembert and Tony Parker.
Further analysis of mock drafts around the net have North Carolina power forward Ed Davis, Donata Mutiejunas who is another 7 foot center from Benneton Trevisio (who has been tied to the Raptors in many mock drafts), WV forward Devin Ebanks, U Conn forward Stanley Robinson.
There is still alot of time before the draft so we will be providing prospect analysis and video during the weeks leading up to the draft starting with Kentucky Wildcat Patrick Patterson.