Bonner believes GM will make right move

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

The decision Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo makes on draft day will rocket the team right into the playoffs next season.

Or so says the Red Rocket, Matt Bonner.

"There's no clear choice for No.1 (this year)," Bonner said yesterday from his home in Concord, N.H. "But I have total confidence that (Colangelo) will make the right moves.

"I'm really exited about next year. I really can't wait because it just seems like everything's coming into place and that will take us right into the playoffs."

Colangelo, of course, is keeping his thoughts on the June 28 draft close to the vest, but there have been numerous reports that he is leaning toward selecting Italian forward Andrea Bargnani with the team's No. 1 overall pick.

Colangelo has scouted the 7-footer extensively and has spoken highly of Bargnani's skills. But there also has been rampant speculation that Colangelo's supposed interest in Bargnani has been a smokescreen -- that he wants other GMs to think he will pick the big Italian when, in fact, he has his sights set on someone else.

No one knows for sure what Colangelo has in mind in terms of the No. 1 pick. The general consensus with most basketball insiders is that it is a three-man race -- Bargnani, who plays professional ball for Benetton Treviso, forward Adam Morrison of Gonzaga and forward LaMarcus Aldridge of Texas.

Bargnani has earned rave reviews from scouts overseas, who love the his ability to shoot from the outside and his basketball IQ, but the athletic Aldridge may be just the frontcourt player the Raptors need to go along with young star Chris Bosh. In fact, Bosh already has said that he would like to see his GM draft his workout buddy from Dallas.

Morrison, a 6-foot-8 small forward, can shoot from anywhere on the floor, and also is a fine passer and rebounder. The one concern that may scare of some GMs is the fact that he has Type-1 diabetes.

Of course, there's always a chance Colangelo will trade down if he is sure the player he seeks in the draft will be available lower down, and that he can get something else out of the deal, such as a veteran player.

The Raptors have worked out Jay Williams this spring. The one-time No. 2 pick overall by the Chicago Bulls is attempting to return to the NBA after suffering career-threatening injuries in a motorcycle crash three years ago.

If the Raps do sign the 24-year-old Williams, for certain they will attempt to work out a sign-and-trade with last season's backcourt leader, Mike James.


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