Before we get into all of this basketball stuff, I just feel that I should talk a little about some life stuff. If life doesn't interest you feel free to skip this paragraph. It was eventful weekend in Toronto that started out kind of funny. Sure no one was happy about the flooding at Union Station, but it did lead to tons of funny stuff on social media that made you chuckle about a bad situation. What happened on June the 2nd was a different matter and no one would be making jokes about what happened on that day. For me personally that date has always been painful, as it is the day my father passed away. In the early years after this happened, I would tune out the world as a whole. But as time has passed I deal with it much better and remember all the good memories I have of my father. In Toronto it was your normal Saturday until news broke that there was shootings at the Eaton's Centre in Toronto. Several people were injured, one was killed and thousands have an experience they would like to forget about June 2nd forever. One of those was Toronto Blue Jay Brett Lawrie, the young Canadian star of Toronto's baseball team. One of the things we have always tried to get across in the DNB is that athletes are at the end of it all, human beings the same as you and me. A bullet doesn't know if your famous or not. So often we build athletes into these non human figures that we expect to perform and are some how different from the average person. They are in only one sense that they excel at a sport. Other than that they are just like everyone else. People will move on and endure just like Toronto moved forward after events like the G-20 riots, life will go on. Still, even if it is in the back of your head, will you not feel a little less safe after this weekend? Maybe I look at it differently as a casual visitor to the city. It makes you wonder what kind of world we live in. In OKC there were shootings after the Thunder had knocked off the Lakers, that has likely already been forgotten by most. I guess there is no real way to feel 100% secure in this life. As much as we all love all of this basketball stuff we talk about here, you should never lose the sense that at the end of the day this is just a fun distraction from life. While it is a big part of my life and likely is for some of you, it still is not bigger than life itself. So be safe out there and remember to enjoy life each and everyday.
Now on to our wonderful distraction that is the Raptors and basketball. Thiis is a big month in the future of the Toronto Raptors potentially. Bryan Colangelo has made moves to make it this way. There is the normal things that happen every year at this time of year. The Raptors will start bringing in a number of hopeful future NBAers to have a up close and personal look at their skills on the court and have the chance to know them as people off of it. The Raptors could draft 3 players in the upcoming as they hold their own picks at number 8 in the first round and number 37 in the second round. They also have a second first round pick from the Pacers at 56 that came as part of the Barbosa trade at the deadline. All of that said if the Raptors were to use all of these picks it would be a surprise to most I would imagine. Bryan Colangelo seems to have an aggressive agenda in mind to improve this basketball team and take it to "the next level" as he was quoted as saying after the draft lottery.
So the chances that by the end of this month we are talking about a Raptor trade of some kind would be considered high I would suspect. As a refresher any team that is eliminated from the playoffs can make a trade. That is a pool of 26 teams currently. It will be a busy month between working the phones and preparing for the draft. In terms of the Raptors 1st round pick it might not actually be traded until the night of the draft itself. The Raptors may want to see what their options would be at the 8th spot before they just dismiss it and trade it away. I would be surprised if there is not a small forward that they deem to be a player for them that could be a rotation player and an eventual starter if they ultimately keep the pick. They won't know if that is true until the night of draft and after they have evaluated their potential options.
It leaves us all in a kind of waiting mode to see what exactly the Raptors will do. However, unlike in past seasons, you can bank on the fact they will do something. Bryan Colangelo is in effect playing for his job this year. MLSE is going to have a new ownership in place for this season and ultimately they will decide his fate. The teacher's pension fund is no longer the ultimate decider of his fate. His fate now rests with two media companies that happen to also be the broadcasters of the Raptors on T.V. So what people generally want in the world of television and in radio as well is ratings. So they want to see Bryan Colangelo make some moves and make a splash that will engage casual basketball fans to check out the Raptors. Although maybe not, at least for half of this new group running the show. Rogers has taken a slow and deliberate approach in building the Blue Jays as many casual fans lamented at the fact the Jays did not land Prince Fielder or Japaneses sensation Yu Darvish. Rogers along with Bell if they are on the same page could secure or seal Colangelo's fate. The rivals in sports media on both radio and on T.V with Sportsnet and TSN have shown they can work together over the short term in covering the Olympics as they will later this summer in London. How this partnership will work to run MLSE is a different matter that has yet to be seen. Still safe to say even they can agree that they want a basketball team that winning more games and challenging for the post season not the first pick in the NBA Lottery.
So welcome to the waiting room. While we are doing all this waiting will try to get you ready for the draft and chat with a number of folks on both that subject and the Raptors off-season as well. There will be lots of people guessing at what Bryan Colangelo might do. Ultimately only he knows. It should be a busy and interesting month a lot more interesting than last year as the NBA Draft was the end of basketball and start of the lockout. This year it is back to normal and the Raptors should be a big part of all this off-season talk. Also thanks to the lockout the NBA Finals if it goes seven games could leave us just two days to wait for the draft. Basketball will be on a bit of a fast forward this year so enjoy it. One thing is certain the Raptors could look a lot different at the end of this month than they do currently.