Crazy day today. Besides all the draft stuff, there’s news from Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon.
That stuff first:
Bosh was on ESPN Radio and had a few things to say. Basically admitted LeBron is the first domino, everyone is waiting to see what he does before they make their move – no surprise there, the other guys will wait to see what the league MVP does.
“Am I waiting on LeBron? Pretty much,” Bosh said. “I think everyone has to. I have to as well.”
“He’s a great player and I would be crazy to think that all the teams that are considering him, they would talk to somebody else first,” Bosh said. “I think everybody is going to be going at him first.
Bosh talked of the importance of playing for a great coach. As I said earlier, he’s bang on there. You need a proven coach to get it done in this league, history shows that.
Bosh said Toronto isn’t out of it, but I think that’s just to appease the remaining fans he has here (and from the e-mails and Twitter comments I’ve been getting, most people have already turned on him)
“Toronto is a great place. … They have a lot of good things going,” Bosh said. “And they’re definitely a team that I’m going to be looking at very hard because they can do things that other teams can’t.”
To me, though, that’s been one of the main problems. How many good teams give the ball to their star big at the end of games? Dallas and who else? It doesn’t work. This is a guard’s league now. You build around a stud swingman or point guard and have a great No. 2 big man to help out.
Going to address a couple things than move on from Bosh topics for the day. A lot of people have turned on the guy, predictably in this city. But, unlike Vince Carter or Tracy McGrady, Bosh was straight up and played hard for the organization from Day One. Is he acting a little suspect by basically whoring himself out for attention the last little while? For sure, but to forget about everything else and hate on him for that is a bit silly if you ask me.
On to Jose Calderon. My friends at Raptors Republic found a Spanish interview and summed it up like this.Calderon doesn’t know if he’s staying or going but thinks he will stay in Toronto. Free agent market is crazy. Few players know where they are going to play next season.
Now, the main event, the 2010 NBA Draft.
I still maintain, barring the freefall of one of the top guys (including Paul George), the Raptors will end up with Cole Aldrich or Patrick Patterson at 13. I’ve talked a lot about how well Aldrich fits in Toronto but what about Patterson?
Patterson’s main weaknesses are lack of ball-handling (faceup game in progress) and underachieving rebounder considering his size, athleticism and length. So, horrible fit with Andrea Bargnani right? Well, maybe not so fast. Yes it’s a bad combo on the boards, but offensively, Patterson actually might complement Bargnani better than Bosh did in that he is a low-post scorer who can also step out and hit the jumper whereas Bosh could hit the jumper but was far more often a faceup player than a low-post scorer.
Patterson, like Bosh, is a poor passer who doesn’t recognize double-teams quickly, but I think if he sets up down low while Bargnani, the centre in theory, roams around a bit more, it could work. Defensively, Patterson will be able to guard NBA fours and Bargnani has proven he can guard fives. The question is, is Patterson a good enough help defender to make up for Bargnani’s huge failings in that area?
The Raptors continue to try hard to add another pick. If George, Patterson and Aldrich are gone, I can see them trading 13 for a proven player and a later pick (but not Rudy Fernandez, as was rumoured, more like an Eric Maynor) or for a couple of extra picks. Oklahoma City has picks to dangle and Maynor, a player I have liked going back to his days as a Duke killer at VCU.
Problem is, New Orleans may want to trade the 11th pick for two Oklahoma City picks, trumping the Raptors. I think the Thunder take Aldrich if they make that trade.
Update 2:45 – Yahoo! reports New Orleans has turned down that offer, so the Raptors are back in business.
Like Doug Smith, I don’t expect the Raptors picking at 13 to be the only thing they do tonight.
We shall see.
More as I get it.