Around the Association: 2010 NBA Draft Previews - Toronto Raptors: A need for speed and athleticism?

Chugging along here. With the 2010 NBA Draft only days away, let's take a look at the Toronto Raptors, who own the 13th pick -- and that's it. Here's who they have committed (and not) for 2010-11...

COMMITTED MAYBE OUT?
pg Jose Calderon
Jarrett Jack
Marcus Banks
sg DeMar DeRozan
Marco Belinelli
Antoine Wright
sf Hedo Turkoglu
Sonny Weems
pf Chris Bosh
Andrea Bargnani
Reggie Evans
Amir Johnson
Rasho Nesterovic
c Patrick O`Bryant

My first reaction to this roster? I'm amazed they only fell one game short of making the playoffs. And they need some size and athleticism in the wake of the seemingly inevitable departure of Chris Bosh. Let's see what the mock draft boards have to say...

  • 2010 SB Nation Mock Draft: RaptorsHQ was on the clock with Ridiculous Upside and with the 13th pick, selected Paul George (sf, 6'9", 214, Fresno State, sophomore). Unfortunately I don't have much to go on with George from personal observances, but I tell you what, if he's comparing his own game to that of Joe Johnson -- regardless of whether or not such an assertion is ridiculous (pun intended) -- the fact that he's 6'9" and has been touted as being quite athletic intrigues the hell out of me.
  • NBAdraft.net: Avery Bradley (sg, 6'3", 180, Texas, freshman). Wow, really? With the young backcourt that the Raptors have, I don't think they'd keep Bradley. He's too unproven. RaptorsHQ agrees. And there are better best-player-availables ("BPAs"). Btw, that's a generous 6'3" listing there. 
  • DraftExpress: Patrick Patterson (pf, 6'8", 223, Kentucky, junior). That's more like it. This Baby Amare Stoudemire is NBA-ready and is more refined than many other names on the Raptors' existing roster.
  • Chad Ford: Bradley.

Still on the board in the 2010 SB Nation Mock Draft is Luke Babbitt, but I actually do not think he's a good fit on the Raptors. As RaptorsHQ says, they've got two backups running the show at the point and with names like Belinelli, Bargnani, Reggie Evans, and even Turkoglu on the roster, with DeRozan the only fringe all-star at best as far as ceiling is concerned, the Raptors are in sore need of some athleticism and talent. While I like Babbitt, he's more of a play-ender than a playmaker. A similar assessment can be made of Gordon Hayward, who is also still on the board.

Another name that's lower on every draft board is Damion James, the athletic 6'7" 225 senior at small/power forward from Texas. He can slash on occasion and is the type of versatile tweener that could be a breath of fresh air on the Raptors roster. But perhaps he's not worth being selected as high as #13.

NEXT: Memphis Grizzlies or 19th pick for the Boston Celtics (which I forgot to discuss)

PREVIOUS:

HOU - Expect a lot Morey than just the 14th pick on Draft Day (14th pick)
MIL - Power forward or shooting guard? (15th, 37th, 47th picks)
CHI - Shooting guard or big? (17th pick)
MIA - Riley's got some work to do (18th, 41st, 42nd, 48th picks)
SAS - Drafting guys into the Popovich system (20th, 49th picks)
POR - Odin a bigger impact than Oden? (22nd, 44th picks)
NYK - What if they don't get any marquee free agents? (38th, 39th picks)
OKC - Drafting bigs? (21st, 26th, 32nd, 51st picks)
LAL - D-Fish most talked about this summer? (43rd, 58th picks)
BOS - Oh Danny boy! (19th, 52nd picks)
PHX - Shoring up behind Amare? (46th, 60th picks)
ATL - Calling all shooting guards not named Joe (24th, 53rd picks)
ORL - Improving while Dwight improves (29th, 59th picks)
DAL - Depends on Dirk and Dampier dollars (50th, 57th picks)
CHA - S-Jax stuck (no draft picks)
DEN - Just need Coach Karl back? (no draft picks)
CLE - If you leave (no draft picks)

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