- We’ll update our Team Capsules with more specific info once the lottery is complete.
2008-09 Record: 33-49 (3rd Atlantic; 13th in the East)
Draft Pick: 9th
Key Free Agents:
Shawn Marion (unrestricted)
Anthony Parker (unrestricted)
How They Got Here:
It was thought that the Raptors had a chance to fight for a playoff spot heading into this season. They had a perennial All-Star in Chris Bosh, and the midseason trade of Jermaine O’Neal was supposed to free things up even more on the offensive end for head coach Jay Triano. It didn’t work. Toronto was in the middle of the NBA in field goal percentage but they lacked to offensive firepower needed to compete on a nightly basis. And with Shawn Marion and Anthony Parker both being unrestricted free agents Bryan Colangelo will have his work cut out for him in building a team that can contend for a playoff spot. The Raptors plan to negotiate a long-term deal with Bosh in the offseason, and if they find that he’s set on testing the market in 2010 they could attempt to trade him.
What They Need:
Simply put the Raptors need some serious help. The feeling of many draft experts is that the 2009 class is especially weak (maybe the weakest since 2001) so this won’t be one of those “get rich quick” selections. In regards to the position of their draft pick, Toronto needs to look for a versatile perimeter player who can hold his own on both ends of the floor. Should they lose both Marion and Parker, that’s quite a bit to make up on the defensive end of the floor. If they do deal Bosh they’d better be sure to get a polished big man in return; outside of Blake Griffin you’re not going to find a guy like that in the lottery.
Who They’ll Take:
Tyreke Evans (Memphis) and Gerald Henderson (Duke; should he remain in the draft) are a pair of intriguing options on the perimeter. Henderson is the better defender but Evans is the more versatile of the two offensively. Toronto could also see James Harden (Arizona State) slip to them should too many teams higher in the order ignore his body of work and focus on his play in the NCAA Tournament instead.
Draft History (since 2000)
2008: Nathan Jawai (41st)
2007: no picks
2006: Andrea Bargnani (1st), PJ Tucker (35th)
2005: Charlie Villanueva (7th), Joey Graham (16th), Roko Ukic (41st), Uros Slokar (58th)
2004: Rafael Araujo (8th), Albert Miralles (40th)
2003: Chris Bosh (4th), Remon Van De Hare (52nd)
2002: Kareem Rush (20th)
2001: Michael Bradley (17th)
2000: Morris Peterson (21st), DeeAndre Hulett (46th)
Stephen Curry - PG/SG - Davidson
Tyreke Evans - PG/SG - Memphis
Blake Griffin - PF - Oklahoma
James Harden - SG - Arizona State
Jordan Hill - PF - Arizona
Ty Lawson - PG - UNC
BJ Mullens - C - Ohio State
Ricky Rubio - PG - DKV Joventut
Brandon Jennings - PG - Arizona
Hasheem Thabeet - C - UCONN