Picking at #13

Let’s assume the Raptors will stay put and pick 13th (I am pretty sure Colangelo will do something, but let’s play long here).

Who will the Raptors pick at this spot?

I have compiled a list of mock drafts run by different websites, and here is what they think the Raptors will pick at 13.

ESPN: Avery Bradley

Analysis: The Raptors already have two pretty good point guards on their roster — Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack. However, neither is the uber-quick speed demon that coach Jay Triano would love to have. Bradley also gives the Raptors something else that neither Calderon and Jack provide — the ability to play lockdown defense.

CNNSI: Larry Sanders

Don’t view the athletic big man as a potential replacement for Chris Bosh; Sanders isn’t of that class. But he can score in transition and could ultimately learn to complement Andrea Bargnani up front.

Sporting News: Ekpe Udoh

His offensive game needs work, but Udoh is big, can run the floor and block shots. He’s not Chris Bosh, but he is a promising big man.

CBS Sportsline (1): Donatas Motiejunas

What do you do when you know your star power forward isn’t coming back, but you don’t want to let him know you know he’s not coming back? Motiejunas will be a great complement to Chris Bosh. Or so the Raptors will say on draft night. Actually, they hope he’ll be a great replacement.

CBS Sportsline (2): Hassan Whiteside

If Chris Bosh moves on as seems likely, Andrea Bargnani can move to power forward, where he probably belongs, and the Raptors can look to develop a center and a defense. Whiteside has a lot of work to do offensively, but that is not the Raptors’ problem. He is extremely long, jumps well and led the nation in blocked shots last season.

Foxsports: Ed Davis

With Chris Bosh possibly on the way out, a young post with upside like Davis could be in the cards for Toronto.

Draft Express: Daniel Orton

Yahoo: Donatas Motiejunas

A typical European big man with a nice outside shot. Playing against older competition in the Italian league, the native of Lithuania averaged only 9.3 points but did shoot 56 percent from the field.

These things will obviously change as the workouts start for these players.  A lot of these sites have the Raptors picking a big to replace Chris Bosh.  My thinking in terms of draft has always been BPA (best player available).  You worry about the position later.

I have seen several of these players in NCAA play, so here is my breakdown on these players:

Avery Bradley: Very quick, and athletic, can score but definitely not a PG.  It’s usually very difficult to ask someone to learn how to play the point.  People compare Bradley to Rondo, I just don’t see it.  Rondo is a better athlete and actually run the point in college.  Bradley do excel on defense, so that would help the Raptors.

Ed Davis: Like him quite a bit.  Would have been a late lottery pick last year if he came out.  I do like PF coming out of North Carolina, they usually knows how to play with good work ethics.  Davis is no exception.  He can run, very athletic.  Works hard, good rebounder and shot blocker.  I think he is going to be a very good pro.  I don’t think he will drop to 13 though.

Hassan Whiteside: Didn’t see him play much but anyone blocking 5 shots per game deserves a mention.  From what I have heard and seen, he can run the floor and a good rebounder.  The Camby comparison doesn’t seem out of place.

Ekpe Udon: I bet on Baylor upsetting Duke, but it didn’t happen.  The reason I bet on Baylor was because of Udon.  This guy can play, good rebounder, lots of energy.  Excellent passer for a big.  He will be 23 soon, so his upside isn’t as good as others.

Daniel Orton: I am never comfortable with drafting someone who didn’t get much playing time.  Potential is nice, but I want some substance.  Scouts love Orton, and when I see him, he is good.  But he didn’t get enough playing time because KU did have Cousins.  I would let other people fall in love with his potential.

I am not going to comment on Larry Sanders and Motiejunas.  I think I have seen Sanders play once, but I don’t remember much about him (though if you are around in the mid 90s, the Larry Sanders Show is a must see).  I haven’t seen Motejunas at all, so I don’t want to comment.

As I looked through these mock drafts, the range of these players being picked are all over the map.  For example:Udon is 8th on ESPN but 18th on Yahoo.  So there isn’t really a consensus pick here, but as you get closer to draft date, things may be a little different.

Finally, I will add two players that I really like, both of them will not be picked at 13th, but will probably be available later on in the first round.  Hopefully, the Raptors will give them a look and maybe buy a pick to get them.

Damion James: I have followed James since his Sophomore season.  Love his energy and effort, he is tough, athletic and a very good rebounder.  To me, he is a more athletic version of Andrei Nocioni.  He is not going to be a star in this league, but he will be around for a long time.  He is my favorite player in college last year.

Willie Warren: If Warren came out last season, the Raptors might have picked him as the #9th pick.  Has all the talent in the world, but struggle this season because of injuries and he couldn’t get along with his coach.  As a result, his stock has dropped.  He can create shots, and get to the basket with ease.  I would take a chance on a talent like him.


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