On Wednesday night the Raptors, and their fans will be hoping and praying for some lottery luck to help expedite the turnaround of this franchise. Whether it’s a rabbit foot, a troll doll, or a purple horse shoe, fans will be bringing out their lucky charms to help send the Raptors positive energy in the hopes that one of the Raptor ping-pong balls comes out first.
Though the team has shown glimpses of success and has a great deal of free agent money to spend, The Raptors really lack a clear franchise player. This type of player is available, but not likely if they stay where they are at the number 9 spot.
The days of Vince and CB4 are gone. Although there is little reason to doubt that Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan will turn into serviceable players, they likely are not going to become franchise players.
This NBA draft offers a couple of almost sure shot superstars in the opening round in Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The Toronto Raptors are currently slated to draft 9th if everything stays the same, but could move up or down depending on what happens around them.
Lady Luck needs to smile on the Raptors at this Wednesday night lottery. I hate to say it, but it isn’t likely to happen.
Take a look at our draft lottery history.
The Toronto Raptors have never really had great success in the draft lottery. Even in their first season they were put in the 6th position by the NBA offices. Something that had never happened before until Canadian expansion. True, the Raptors went on to draft eventual rookie of the year Damon Stoudamire, but still, a lottery win could have been exciting and the team missed out on players like Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett and Michael Finley all who went on to have better careers than “Mighty Mouse”.
The Raptors actually won their second ever draft, but because of league rules were forced to draft 2nd. That turned Allen Iverson into Marcus Camby. Don’t even mention that Isaiah Thomas missed out on Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Peja Stojakovic. Luck just wasn’t on their side.
The Raptors did eventually strike the number one overall pick in 2006, the same year the NBA ruled that it would no longer allow underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft. Had high school students been given that opportunity that year, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant would have been very serious possibilities to join the NBA.
Nothing against Andrea, he has turned into a very good player and probably one of the top five players from that draft, but I’d rather have Kevin Durant. I think everyone in the history of time and space would agree with me as well. We may have actually dodged a bullet with Oden, but still, the universe has seemingly been against us.
Lady luck just hasn’t got it done for the Raptors. They’ve had to make the best out of their poor draft position and, for the most part, they have. Early on the Raptors found diamonds in the rough in Tracy McGrady at number 9 in the 1997 draft, Morris Petersen at number 21 in 2000 and DeMar DeRozan at number 9 in 2009.
They were also able to create their biggest success through a draft day trade that moved Antawn Jamison to the Warriors for Vince Carter. The rest is, of course, history.
It would seem that Bryan Colangelo, Ed Stefanski and Dwane Casey are going to have to make the best of their current draft position, but you never know. This could be our year. This could be the year the Raptors get to draft that highly touted “game changer” that has alluded them since the franchises inception. I mean it is mathematically possible according to Jay Satur but it really isn’t all that likely.
Raptor fans are better to hope that some bigger names drop for some inexplicable reason like Peterson, DeMar and Ed Davis did in their draft years. Or the Raptors will have to hope Bryan Colangelo does his homework as he appears to have done with last years surprise Jonas Valanciunas. The pick was widely panned at the time until common sense and the opportunity to see him play changed people’s minds.
Still, at the end of the day; I’ll cheer for our 12.3% chance of landing one of the top three picks and our 3.5% of winning the whole thing. It could happen.
I mean it’s already happened twice.
Hopefully this time it will land the franchise player the Toronto Raptors so desperately need.
And if not, well we’re going to have to trust the Raptor brain trust to make a smart move at a lower position. Something, we know, they have been able to do over the years.
Happy Draft Lottery Day folks!
The Zan Tabak Herald