Draft De Ja Vu?

First before we get into what the Raptors did last night I just want to thank the folks at St Louis Wings for being our hosts for another year for the NBA Draft. Thanks to everyone that came out and had fun with us as well. No matter what the Raptors do in the draft it has been proven the last couple years that will have fun on NBA Draft night. As for what the Raptors did let's first take a walk down memory lane.

Mighty Mouse was back in the house for the Toronto Raptors as he was a guest for the Raptors draft party down at the ACC. He of course played at Arizona and in the Pac-10. The draft that year was held in Toronto at Skydome. The crowd that night would boo the eventual rookie of the year that night the crowd wanted Ed O'Bannon not the small point guard from the Wildcats. Speed ahead to modern times and the Raptors were picking and headed to that same conference for their pick. Terrance Ross from the Washington Huskies and now the Pac-12 was not on anyone's radar for the Raptors at 8. Most had Ross pegged to go in the mid-teens in the draft. So why did the Raptors go there? According to them it was a combination of his ability to shoot the ball and do it from distance along with his defense. It is not a case of complete De Ja Vu as I am pretty confident in saying Ross is not going to be challenging for Rookie of the Year. The Raptors hope they might have that in form of Jonas Valanciunas, that would their hope anyway. If there is an Ed O'Bannon in all of this that might be Austin Rivers who many felt the Raptors would select. That said just like Ross is likely not going to win Rookie of the Year, it is doubtful Rivers would be a complete bust.

Tank Nation will look to a few wins down the stretch of the season that forced the Raptors into a coin flip with the Golden State Warriors. In winning that coin flip the Warriors ended up with Harrison Barnes who many believe that if he was there the Raptors would have surly loved to pick him at 8. Let's face it there are always a lot of would of and could of situations in an NBA Season. If Andrea Bargnani does not get injured are the Raptors even picking at 8 in the first place. If he was healthy the Raptors likely are even deeper in the pool in terms of their pick. While I love Raptor fans some of you tend to over react just a bit at times. No more so than at the draft it seems. Can I tell you Ross was a terrible pick. No I really can't. In terms of seeing him play with the NBA Lockout I can't say that I caught a lot of Washington Huskies games this year. I am pretty sure not to many people in Toronto Canada were checking out the Huskies on regular basis. Ultimately it looks like Ross will have a chance to be a roll player with specific tasks in terms of making shots and defending. If that guy that everyone says is coming home to Canada actually does, Ross would be a nice player to play along side him at times with Demar DeRozan who is looking a little bigger playing at small forward. If Nash does indeed come along with Jonas already coming the amount of pressure on  Ross will be small. If anything by what he wore last night I know a girl that will be a fan of his just based on that.

Now the Raptors had two more picks in the 2nd round and as promised at 56 the Raptors drafted a Euro at 56 that will not be part of the roster this year so let's not even bother talking about that. I had half seriously and half jokingly said I was more interested to see what the Raptors would do at 37 than I was at 8. While nothing is a sure thing and especially in the 2nd round that is true, the Raptors may just have finally hit a home run in the second round. If you were a fan of Reggie Evans and the way he played basketball just go down to Real Sports and get a Jersey with Acy on the back. From the first time I saw Quincy Acy play at Baylor I nicknamed him "Baby Reggie" because he looked like a clone of Reggie Evans. Turns out the comparison is not lost on him as well as he mentions Evans as one the guys he patterns himself after. This kid just flat out works. Ed Davis if he ultimately is around just got someone that will push him for minutes in a major way. Dwane Casey is going to LOVE LOVE LOVE Quincy Acy. This guy is nothing but hustle with a big old beard. Raptors fans have always respected hard working blue collar players and that is what Quincy Acy is.

So at the end of the day the Raptors still have a lot of work to do for this team to be a playoff team. But they did get some pieces to a puzzle last night. The largest piece of the puzzle is likely still Steve Nash. Once that domino falls it would lead to an exciting era for the Raptors regardless of anything else that happens. Still just Nash alone will not be enough, it will take some more moves and work to be done. It is exciting times for the Raptors. July 1st can not get here soon enough for people. I was able to drop in at the ACC and speak with Amir Johnson and Demar DeRozan prior to the draft and will get those interviews up in some form or fashion later today or Monday.

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