Do not expect a saviour to come out of the NBA draft this year.
That was the message Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo got across as he met with the local media for an informal gabfest yesterday at the Air Canada Centre.
"It's a very deep draft," Colangelo said. "At the top, there are quite a few players that are worthwhile additions to any club, (but) in terms of one star -- one LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan type of pick -- it probably doesn't exist at this point."
Colangelo said he is looking forward to the draft lottery on Tuesday when he will find out where the Raptors will pick. The team finished fifth from the bottom of the 30-team league, giving them the fifth-best chance to land the top pick, but can select anywhere from first to third or fifth to eighth, depending on how the ping pong balls bounce. The Raptors have an 8.8% chance of notching the first pick. Toronto never has had much luck in that regard -- the Raptors moved up to the first spot in 1996, but had to settle for the second pick and Marcus Camby instead of Allen Iverson, because of the NBA's expansion rules -- but the Milwaukee Bucks moved all the way up to first from sixth last year.
While Colangelo said the club has huge holes at point guard and centre, he knows they won't necessarily be filled on draft day.
"You're looking at trades, you're looking at free agency," he said. "There (are) quite a bit of options for us to address those needs."
Colangelo also weighed in on the future of free-agent-to-be Mike James.
"Whether he leaves and we have the (cap) flexibility (an extra $3.5-million US), whether he stays and we sign him at a reasonable number, or whether he leaves in the form of a sign-and-trade where we're getting back something that we really think is adding to our team, I think it's a win-win for us," Colangelo said.