Tucker a solid choice

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

LaMarcus Aldridge was selected second overall in the NBA draft last night, but the Raptors managed to grab the guy who both outscored and outrebounded him at the University of Texas this past season.

P.J. Tucker averaged 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds, besting Aldridge in both categories.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Tucker is the second Raptor player in the past two drafts that will have to adjust from playing primarily as a power forward in college, to the small forward spot in the pros. Joey Graham was utilized largely down low at Oklahoma State but played both small forward and shooting guard for the Raptors as a rookie. Tucker is regarded as a slightly better ball-handler than Graham.

Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo said he didn't know what position Tucker would play, but knew he would bring intensity and rebounding skill to the team.

"(He's) capable of playing against the smaller players out there," Colangelo said. "He's not a shooting guard by definition because he's not a terrific perimetre shooter, (but) he's a terrific rebounder."

Tucker, a second team all-American selection this past year, lacks shooting range and is not a very good passer, but is very effective in the low post. He was named Big 12 player of the year but slipped to the second round because of his lack of height. Meanwhile Aldridge, who often deferred to Tucker in key moments, went to Portland via Chicago, largely because of his impressive size and wingspan. Tucker tallied 10 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in Texas' NCAA Tournament loss to LSU, nearly overcoming Aldridge's poor performance.

With the 56th selection, the Raptors chose Edin Bavcic, a native of Bosnia, but traded him to Philadelphia for cash considerations.

Colangelo said they did not consider Toronto native Denham Brown at the 35th pick.

"We decided to pass on Denham for a couple of reasons," Colangelo said. "We felt it might not be the right environment for him to be in."


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