First off an apology we had mix-up yesterday with the blog. Normally Ryan does his Top 10 feature and as such I decided to take the day off. Ryan was not available though so my apologies to you all. But were back and talking about all those lottery balls some of you were cheering for at the end of the season. The NBA Lottery takes place on Tuesday and the Raptors in their history have been participants far to many times for peoples liking. 16 seasons minus 5 playoff appearances make this the 11th time the Raptors will be a part of the NBA Lottery. They have won it officially once but technically twice. There was the Allen Iverson year that technically the Raptors had won the lottery but based on the agreement they signed to enter the league were unable to select one and ended up settling for Marcus Camby. Now Isiah Thomas claims that Camby would have been his pick at number 1 anyway. I know believing what Thomas says for some is hard, but to be honest with Damon Stoudamire coming off the Rookie of the Year I tend to believe him. The Raptors also were in bad need of a big man at the time. The other time the Raptors won was of course the Andrea Bargnani draft in which the Raptors took Italian number one making him the first ever European to be selected as such.
Much like that draft class Bargnani was a part of this one is just as bad if not worse on paper. Irving out of Duke is expected to be the number one pick in this class that is clearly lacking star power. That fact has also caused both Tristan Thompson and Cory Joesph to jump into this draft as well. Sad news for Raptor fans that were hoping to see them turn in Texas burnt orange for Raptor red and white. It would seem unlikely that either fit in the Raptors plans for the draft. Thompson being an undersized 4 is one of many at that position that probably don't make a ton of sense for the Raptors. A big reason for that is the performance of Ed Davis who slipped to the Raptors last year in the draft. Amir Johnson has a long term deal and Davis has been good enough to think the Raptors are set at power forward. You also have Reggie Evans who at least seems willing to return if wanted.
We still have no idea who will be running the Raptors draft but regardless of who it is the fact remains that Raptors if there is one position they can feel somewhat confident in what they have it is power forward. Not that anyone is making the position better than the guy that held that position for 7 years in Chris Bosh. But there is no dynamic player in this draft class "like a Bosh". You could make a strong case that if the Raptors don't win the lottery outright they may feel happy and justified to get out of the draft altogether. Whoever the Raptors would take at the other possible positions would not be worth the rookie contracts they would sign. That is important to note because under a new and expected to be more restrictive CBA to be over paying on rookies not worth the value of their deals could be costly. The draft is the last event of the current CBA so it would be unlikely you see those values change (for this draft) under a new agreement. In fact I am almost certain they can't. But not 100% certain. If the Raptors don't win on Tuesday it would seem likely they try to package the pick and tie it to Bargnani or Calderon for a trade. But that may also be difficult as teams may not want to risk taking on their significant salaries going into that CBA as I just mentioned is expected to be more restrictive.
If Colangelo is not running the show it is expected or at least rumoured (was a story on Yahoo) that Wayne Emery would once again step in and run the show on a temporary basis. He did the same when the Raptors finally showed Rob Babcock the door. He actually did a decent job in his short time at helm. He was able to unload Jalen Rose on the Knicks and set up the cap flexibility that Colangelo enjoyed when he arrived on the scene. That being said the fact the Raptors have just left this whole situation of who is actually in charge of things up in the air is a total joke. Safe bet to say we will not see Colangelo representing the Raptors at the Draft Lottery. I mean how could he given his uncertain future with the club.
The Raptors are not in a great situation no matter how it plays out. If the Raptors were to win the Draft Lottery and select the expected number one pick in Irving that would almost certainly make the Raptors out of the mix in terms of Myck Kabongo in next seasons draft. Kabongo will be playing his freshman year at Texas next season. In the people I have talked with, some of those being NBA Players, seem to be a believe that he is the most talented of that Texas/Toronto Trio. So to just assume he will be in next seasons draft is not much of a stretch. Irving also a point guard would make it a very interesting situation with Calderon and Bayless also currently on the roster. It is hard enough in this league to have two guys that believe they are capable of being the starter let alone three. That being said if the Raptors win the lottery trading the 1st pick seems unlikely. 1993 was the last time it happened when the Magic who had won the draft lottery two years in a row and drafted Shaq the year prior traded Chris Webber to Golden State after selecting him number one overall. But anything other than number one for the Raptors it is likely the pick is very much in play you would think.
Bottom line there is no Lebron James, Shaq or Yao Ming that can drastically change a franchise in this draft. Not even a John Wall or Blake Griffin. The Raptors have the bad luck of being very bad at the worst times it would seem.