Nothing to get excited about

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

The Raptors hold the 17th overall pick in next month's NBA draft.

If you're a Raptors fan hoping the team can parlay the slot into a piece capable of having an immediate impact, then don't hold your breath.

While the annual crap shoot that results in guaranteed millions for many doesn't unfold until June 26, the pre-draft manouevrings take on a new dimension beginning today.

Virtually every basketball bird dog, top executive, assistant general manager, head coach not drawing up plays in the conference finals and team trainers will gather in Orlando, Fla., to catch a close-up look at this year's incoming class.

For the first time in his three-year tenure as Toronto's hoops czar, Bryan Colangelo heads to the land of Disney, where his team was ousted in five games by the Magic last month, with every conceivable option on the table.

In Orlando, tires will be kicked, names will get floated, individual workouts will be finalized and the top prospects will be made available to the media on Thursday as the draft countdown continues.

Whether the Raptors go big or small, add to their Euro-centric roster or zero in on an underclassmen, it's of no significance.

As currently constituted, the last thing the Raptors roster needs is a prospect pegged to go at No. 17.

D.J. Augustin (Texas), Jerryd Bayless (Arizona), Michael Beasley (Kansas State), Eric Gordon (Indiana), Brook Lopez (Stanford), Kevin Love (UCLA), O.J. Mayo (USC), Anthony Randolph (LSU) and Derrick Rose (Memphis) are each lottery-bound, meaning the Raptors have no chance of acquiring one of the more coveted players.

All of the above will be in Orlando, but none is expected to take part in any of the scrimmages.

The top 10 is rounded out by Italian small forward Danilo Gallinari, whom many believe will be a better NBAer than Andrea Bargnani.

Interestingly, Gallinari's father/agent is Vittorio Gallinari, who roomed together and played on the same Italian club team as New York's new head coach Mike D'Antoni.

The Knicks will pick sixth overall, but some mock drafts have Gallinari going higher.

The Knicks can use any help they can get, in particular young bodies who come cheaply, at least by NBA standards.

POSSIBLE TRADE

Barring some blockbuster trade, the Raptors have no use for the 17th slot.

If recent history is any indication, players taken 17th overall have had a marginal impact, in some cases none at all.

This decade alone, names such as Desmond Mason, Michael Bradley, whom the Raptors took in 2001, Juan Dixon, Zarko Cabarkapa, Josh Smith, Danny Granger, who was taken one pick after Toronto selected Joey Graham, Shawne Williams and Sean Williams have been plucked at No. 17.

The Raptors want to build around their franchise player, but the window to surround Chris Bosh with competent bodies is closing fast.

When the summer of 2010 arrives, Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, each heralded members of the 2003 draft class, will be free agents.

The Knicks are said to be loading up for King James. Wade is in danger of playing for a rebuilding Miami Heat team, while Bosh continues to wait for that legitimate post or wing player who can take some of the burden off of his shoulders.

The Raptors will not accomplish it by holding on to the 17th draft slot.

Even though no major move will be made this week by any team, the behind-the-scenes work of planting a trade seed, and discussing options to move up, down or out of the draft will have a major impact on how the rest of the off-season unfolds.

Up until today, most of the talk was conducted over the phone. Today, it's face to face.

Garbo update

Activity surrounding the Raptors' lawsuit with the Spanish basketball federation over injured forward Jorge Garbajosa has been put on hold as the parties involved try to find a mutually agreeable solution.

Colangelo stressed, though, that the lawsuit, reportedly worth more than $14-million US, has not been withdrawn.

The only people who care are the lawyers, who tend to drag out such matters.

In terms of Garbo returning to the court, which is of greater significance, there remains no timetable.

"He's making progress,'' Colangelo said. "We're being very cautious with respect to his return. A strict protocol has been established with respect to his rehabilitation."

A healthy Garbo is precisely what the doctor ordered. Not an even a lawyer can dispute that.


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