Grantland: NBA Draft Lottery Preview (Raptors)
Old 06-22-2011, 09:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Grantland: NBA Draft Lottery Preview (Raptors)

State of the Team: The Raptors were ill-prepared for life after Chris Bosh. (And yes, that statement says everything.) The roster is a reflection of the ill-fated attempts to build around their departed "superstar." Andrea Bargnani could be the second scoring option on a decent team, but nobody should build a team around his jump-shooting, porous defense and even more porous rebounding. To remedy Bargnani's deficiencies, the Raptors drafted Ed Davis last year, but injuries kept him off the floor. The rangy and athletic DeMar DeRozan showed that if he learns to handle the ball and shoot, he could become a potent offensive weapon.

When is Andrea Bargnani going to become a great shooter? Since he entered the league in 2006, 73 players have taken 1,000 3s or more. Bargnani's taken 1,368 and hit 37.1 percent of them. Among those 73 players, he's 40th in accuracy. Not terrible, but he's behind Ron Artest. Fortunately for Bargnani, he looked pretty good compared to the guys around him last year. The average team hit 35.8 percent of the their 3s last year, but the Raptors hit only 31.6 percent of their shots from downtown, good for worst in the league. Toronto had just one player take 50 3s with a percentage above that league average, and Leandro Barbosa was only able to get his rate up to 36.5 percent. Respect is truly due to DeMar DeRozan, who was an impossible 5-for-52 from beyond the arc. That 9.6 percent success rate is the worst in league history for a player who took 50 3s in a season or more. On the bright side, the three worst seasons from downtown before DeRozan's feat belong to Hall of Famers: Dennis Johnson (1986-87 and 1988-89) and, yes, Michael Jordan (1987-88, when Jordan went 7-for-53 from 3).
They Said It: "A lot needs to play out in the coming weeks. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I'm confident that Chris [Bosh] is coming back. That's why the selection of Ed Davis at this spot is one that looks to be the right piece." Bryan Colangelo on Ed Davis (TSN)

"He's got the physical tools reminiscent of Vince Carter." Colangelo on how DeMar DeRozan is a lot like the player who torpedoed the franchise

"We felt Andrea Bargnani was really the best pick for the future of this organization going forward. It's not about today; it's about today and tomorrow and we think Andrea is a player that's not only going to help us in the short run, but we think is going to grow into a terrific star in this league." Colangelo on Bargnani
The NBA Executive Says: "They'll likely take the point guard that Utah didn't pull the trigger on, whichever one is left after Cleveland and Utah picks."

They Should Pick: Kemba Walker
Grantland's First Annual NBA Draft Lottery Preview - Grantland
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