It was pretty easy to figure that Draft Night was never going to meet fan expectations. Rumours of a Hedo Turkoglu draft day deal being done were just that....Rumours. In fact there was no Hedo trade, No Jose trade or a Jack trade. Not even the widely expected 2nd pick in the first round. In fact the Raptors remained at 13 and drafted a player they did not expect to be there. Ed Davis dropped to the Raptors at 13 as some unexpected picks ahead of the Raptors left Davis the odd man out. The Jazz were one of the teams that went a different direction that set off a chain reaction that led Davis to the Raptors.
Normally in most years drafting a player out of UNC in the first round would be a great move. But these are not the Tarheels you know and expect. This was one of the worst seasons for Carolina in years and years. They were in the NIT not March Madness. Davis was injured and that was a part of the Tar Heel free fall. However it was already well underway. A Texas team that featured 3 players in the Draft (Bradley, James, Pittman ) at Cowboy Stadium pounded this UNC team. After that game Damion James and Avery Bradley looked like the lottery picks not Davis. Duke demolished UNC this season as well. Davis injured his wrist in one of those games. The Raptors say they think the wrist is ready to roll. After Medical staff check out Davis it is expected he will be cleared and at summer league.
Ironically Davis is a Chris Bosh fan. Last year Demar DeRozan was a Vince Carter fan. Just like Demar was not the second coming of Vince, although I still love the "Heir Canada" nickname. Ed Davis is nothing close to Chris Bosh. While Davis is a solid force on the glass and a shot blocker and solid defender on the college level. His offensive game is far from polished and needs a ton of work. He likely never comes close to being the dynamic force that Chris Bosh is on offense. While the things we measure are the same with 6ft 10 and 225 frame while being left handed. The comparison ends there.
In the end the Raptors hope the have drafted a solid post defender and a shot blocking presence. It still remains a question how this team intends to score with no Bosh, Turkoglu and Calderon or Jack potentially. Bargnani even at his max will give you 20-25 points? Demar and Sonny hope you get 15 each? I am just saying that taking for granted this team in a post Bosh Era can score is a mistake. Andrea will now see double teams perhaps. Whatever the case the Raptors become easier to defend. Even a sign and trade for Bosh would unlikely produce a number 1 scoring option in return.
The Raptors would make another minor move on draft night. Not minor in terms of size, with a 7 foot 1, Nigerian Giant coming their direction. It would take dollars and 2nd round pick in 2013 to acquire Solomon Alabi out of Florida State. It goes without saying that this guy at his height is another shot blocking presence. He is very raw but unlike a Nathan Jawai of a few years ago, he has some experience here in North America playing in the ACC with FSU. This is another player that has limited offense and has a lot of work to do.
What the Raptors have done speaks to a couple things. First of all if you were holding out any hope that Chris Bosh was coming back, this would appear to be your answer. He isn't it would seem. The Raptors also have Amir Johnson, Patrick O'Bryant and Rahso Nesterovic all not under contract. The only of those 4 you have a decent chance of seeing is Amir Johnson. So by drafting these 2 kids it is a clear sign the Raptor believe they will need to restock their big positions.
The second is the Raptors are trying to focus on improving the terrible defense of the past. Still it is my belief you need to unload Jose to truly do that. However if you add a shot blocker behind him that can save him a lot of times when he gets beat. At least that would be the thinking. Raptors have clearly focused on D heading into this draft. So if you wanted to see the Raptors D improve these 2 picks should help. However, it also is another clear sign the Bosh Era is coming to an end.
Raptors fans expected so much more from this night. It is nothing against these young men at all. They could both turn out to be decedent selections at the end of the day. However there is no sizzle to these guys. Demar DeRozan had TONS OF SIZZLE with jaw dropping athletic talent. The Raptors this season have drafted two real lunch bucket type of players. They could develop into fan favourites but will not replace the star this team is going to be missing. The bar of expectations has been set to an impossible level for Colangelo and the Raptors to match it. If you are expecting miracles from this Raptors team you may be setting yourself up for a rude awaking.
You have to hope that their two picks can be part of the solution going forward. This is going to be a long summer for the Raptors, and at the end of the day it is not Chris Bosh who is to blame. The Raptors have had many chances to get it right to build around him and they have failed to do so. Raptors are fighting long odds as teams are going crazy trying to cut salary. The most extreme example is Miami with just 2 players under contract. The Raptors may have got tougher tonight but not better in the short term.