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Old 05-29-2012, 09:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Smith: Raptors hoping to beat odds in NBA draft lottery

More lottery articles as we await for tommarow's 8pm start...


This one from D. Smith via thestar.com

Quote:
Toronto Raptors hoping to beat odds in NBA draft lottery

NEW YORK—Bryan Colangelo and Dwane Casey will sit patiently in a television studio on Wednesday night, chatting with fellow NBA executives and hangers-on while a swirl of activity goes on in a hidden room behind the scenes.

The Raptors general manager and their coach will smile and make nice and engage in some banal chit-chat while 56 ping-pong balls rattling around four tumblers will determine their fate in the June 28 NBA draft.

It won’t be fun, they won’t know the results until the rest of the world does and what transpires will have a huge impact on their short-term future.

The Raptors go into the lottery, live at 8 p.m. (TSN) from the Times Square studios of Good Morning America, with the eighth-best chance to win the top pick.

The greatest percentage suggests that the most likely scenario is they fall back to No. 9, adding a level of high intrigue to a franchise that could use another excellent young player to add to a young core.

The Raptors’ needs are clear. Barring any trades before the draft, they need a small forward, depth at shooting guard and, perhaps, a young point guard to play behind incumbent Jose Calderon.

The top prize Wednesday night — without doubt — is Kentucky forward Anthony Davis, seen as the overwhelming top pick in the draft.

After him comes a disparate group of mainly power forwards — a position the Raptors see as one of their strengths — with a few small forwards and shooting guards likely to sneak into the top half of the 14-team lottery.

Colangelo, who will be in the audience during the lottery while Casey is on stage and a member of team’s media relations staff witnesses the drawing of the numbers in a back room, has been out scouting diligently since the regular season ended and he will ramp up the proceedings once the lottery results are known.

The likes of Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Florida’s Bradley Beal would seem to be the best fits — aside from Davis — right now but it would take a lottery win for Toronto to have a legitimate shot at either of them. Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb or North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes might be more legitimate hopefuls, depending on Wednesday’s result.

The woeful Charlotte Bobcats, who won just seven games last season, have the greatest chance — 25 per cent — of getting the first pick, followed by Washington (19.9 per cent) and Cleveland (13.8 per cent).

Toronto has a 3.5 per cent chance to win the No. 1 selection and no team has ever moved from eighth to first since the lottery was implemented in the mid-1980s.

There are other storylines that will add some intrigue to the night’s proceedings.

The Brooklyn Nets, currently sitting sixth, need to move up to the top three to retain their pick or else it goes to Portland as part of a trade involving Gerald Wallace earlier this year.

And the Golden State Warriors, currently slotted seventh, have to stay there or move up or else they lose their pick thanks to a long-ago trade with the Utah Jazz.

Toronto Raptors hoping to beat odds in NBA draft lottery - thestar.com
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