A couple of bigs is just a first step on an okay night
So, everyone okay with Ed Davis?
I’m not going to say Bryan hit a home run by taking a 6-10 lefty power forward who dropped maybe four spots because it's ridiculously early to make any pronouncements but I do think Davis was the best player on the board at the time and seeing how that’s what the GM said he’d take, it makes sense that he did.
Now, I only saw Davis play a few minutes the entire season – and seeing how his season ended in February with a wrist injury, I’m not sure there are a lot of experts on his playing ability out there in this readership area – but he does look like a solid defender who can rebound and block shots.
At least in college.
They say he’s a competitor – a friend in the ACC area disputed that in an overnight e-mail – but the one thing he is, is a big man and given we’re probably running 95-5 that Bosh is leaving, getting a big man can’t be a bad thing at all.
And when people out there wonder why Davis “fell” all the way to No. 13, it’s probably worth mentioning that more than a few people had him at No. 9 to Utah so it’s not like he freefell down the draft ladder.
But overall, was it a good night?
I’d say good, with gusts to pretty good.
I like the fact they did what they said they’d do and buy a second-round pick and Solomon Alabi, the Nigerian kid we wrote about in this tome last week, was a pretty good pickup.
A project, to be sure, but a tall project who’s familiar with some of the folks in the organization. One guy I know who’s seen him play, the inimitable M. Grange ™ , says the kid has some game and that’s good enough for me right now.
All in all, I’d say getting a first round kid who comes with a reputation as someone who can defend and a promising big man to sit on the bench and learn has to be considered at least a partial success.
But it is only the first step.
Now, was there more they could have done?
As it turns out, no. Aside from the public declarations that they tried to make a move up by contacting a couple of teams and that they tried to get into a late-first round slot, the word I got privately was with the way things were unfolding, they were content to hang where they were.
There were picks in play – this roundup of the night’s activities lays it out as well as I could and is much easier for me to link to that write – but nothing Toronto had to offer interested anyone dealing away selections.
Too bad. But not surprising, I guess.
So, whither Bosh in all of this?
Well, the most interesting thing of the night was that Chicago will divest itself of Kirk Hinrich after the July signing moratorium is over and they’ll join Miami as two more teams likely with enough cap room to sign two maximum-contract players.
(I say likely because the cap numbers aren’t official yet and won’t be until early July).
That makes another team even more of a player in what I think is going to be a summer we’ll never forget. And, sadly, one that will make for lots of work for moi.
Speaking of, the more I talk to more people in the Raptors organization, the more overwhelming the feeling is that Bosh is gone and they are absolutely looking at sign-and-trade transactions.
The trouble is, there has been no hint whatsoever from Bosh or his people of where he’d like to go, which kind of hamstrings Bryan at the moment.
I’ve said this all along:
I think Bosh wants to be wooed, he wants to be wined and dined and told how important he is to this or that franchise and won’t make a decision on where he’d like to go until that process is complete.
So I don’t think there’s a list and if there is even in the dark recesses of his mind, it’s a lot longer than just the teams with cap room to sign him outright.
Some day early next week we’ll sit down and go over the league and try to find 10 or 12 franchises that may have a legitimate shot at getting him.
But don’t for a second think the list is small or even finite.
As we were anticipating the drama of Thursday night, there were moments of reflection, as there always are on Draft Night.
And got to thinking about the worst ever.
And 2007 won hands down in my mind.
That was the first time we sat around all night waiting for something to happen and it never did.
So, as is tradition, a Gaggle of Grunts retires to a post-draft cocktail and we’re all sitting around bemoaning the boredom we’d just been forced to endure when the e-mail hits with the breaking news.
Raptors acquire some dude named Giorgos Printezis – the 58th pick in a 60-pick draft – and it sends shockwaves through us.
(By shockwaves I mean the rolling of eyes, general disgust and thoughts of, “man, Bryan just cannot help himself, can he?”)
Out come the computers – thank goodness for wireless capability at our favourite watering hole – we all type about two paragraphs while asking each other: “How do you spell this cat’s name? Where’d he play last year?”
And then we go back to bemoaning the boredom we’d been forced to endure.
Okay, okay, okay.
An earthquake is a geological event, not a meteorological one.
Still, it was pretty cool, no?
Why didn’t Turk get traded Thursday night?
Well, one theory espoused in the last couple of days by people who chatter is that because of the Bosh uncertainty, Bryan wants to wait to see what happens there before divesting himself of another talent and leaving his cupboard even more bare.
I guess I can see the logic in that – see what he can get for Bosh before seeing what he needs to get for Turkoglu – but I believe that if there’s a deal out there for Turk right now, he’s got to do it and worry about the consequences of the Bosh thing later.
I am told there are “a handful of teams” out there looking for Turk possibilities (one of them to kick the tires was Orlando, according to this story from my man Brian) and I think Bryan needs to be more active in getting a deal done sooner rather than later.
So, I’m still all over the Black Stars – and Super Son was in mourning when the Azzurri went out (not to mention my pal sitting on the next stool) – but if there’s a better team nickname than Blue Samurai, I haven’t heard it.
That’s very cool.
You know, I’m sure every draft pick was pretty darn happy to hear his name called Thursday night but I am virtually certain no one was happier than Andy Rautins.
And good on him, really.
When I talked to him on the phone for this tiny piece, he was elated and for good reason.
The Knicks are maybe the best place he could have landed and it’ll be interesting to see if his shooting abilities (it is a “very defineable NBA skill,” was how Bryan put it earlier this week) are good enough to land him a gig with a team that loves to shoot.
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