Raptors exploring all options

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- After four days of gabbing, meetings and scouting at the NBA's pre-draft camp, only one thing is clear for the Raptors.

Their first pick in the June 28 NBA draft remains up in the air.

There are, of course, rumblings -- the Charlotte Observer reported the Bobcats, who have the third pick, have talked to the Raptors and other teams about trading point guard Brevin Knight. The Portland Trail Blazers, at No. 4, may want to move up, while Toronto-born Milwaukee Bucks centre Jamaal Magloire continues to be mentioned in rumours. But there is nothing firm. And nothing will be decided for quite some time, if you believe Raptors coach Sam Mitchell.

"You don't make up your mind until you see them all," Mitchell said yesterday, the final day of the four-day camp for players fighting to be picked late in the first round or the second round.

"We haven't seen them all. There are a bunch of guys we haven't sat down with, got in front of, talked to or worked out. Until you get in front of all of them, you don't make up your mind."

Mitchell and Co. will get to see them all in the next couple of weeks with all the top prospects heading to Toronto for workouts. First, however, all the college studs checked into Walt Disney World Resort last night for physicals and will meet with the media today.

"When it gets down to (decision) time, you sit in a room and everybody puts on a table who they like and why they like them," Mitchell said. "Bryan (GM Colangelo) is going to sit down and listen to all that and then at the end of the day, he'll make a final decision."

That final decision won't be an easy one.

"No. 1 presents itself with some very intriguing ideas because there isn't a No. 1," Marty Blake, the NBA's long-time director of scouting, said.

But while there is no LeBron James No. 1-type lock, those who say it is the wrong year to be picking first are foolish.

"It's always better to be picking No. 1 because you've got a lot of options," Indiana Pacers president Donnie Walsh said. "I would always want the No. 1 pick.

"What (Colangelo) is trying to do is see whatever player he likes (and then decide), 'Can I get him at No. 3 (or later), can I get another player, can I trade it or should I stay with it and make sure I get the guy?'"

One player who could be that guy is Italian forward Andrea Bargnani, whose team -- Benetton Treviso -- advanced to the Italian league final with a win Thursday night. Therefore, Bargnani will not participate in the next big NBA draft event, the Eurocamp next week in Treviso, Italy.

Nevertheless, Colangelo and several other Raptors employees are expected to be in attendance at that camp.

"There are all kinds of possibilities," said Phoenix Suns general manager/coach Mike D'Antonio, who worked under Colangelo before Colangelo left for Toronto this year. "He'll make a good decision. I don't know what's expected. It's going to be unexpected because nobody expects anything."


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