Shhh ... Raps draft Jawai

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

The teams in question can't comment on the done-but-not-officially-done Raptors deal with the Indiana Pacers, but Jermaine O'Neal has no problem talking about it.

O'Neal, who officially will become a Raptor on July 9 did exactly that, confirming the deal with the Associated Press yesterday.

But O'Neal will not be the only return in the deal -- T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Baston and Toronto's 17th pick -- for the Raptors. Coming with O'Neal to the Raptors is the Pacers' 41st pick in last night's draft.

With that pick, the Pacers, on behalf of Toronto, selected Nathan (Baby Shaq) Jawai, a 6-foot-10, 280-pound behemoth out of Australia. Raptors director of player personnel Jim Kelly was in Australia earlier this season to scout Jawai and came back describing him as an "emerging" player who only has played a couple of years. Don't expect to see him in a Raptors uniform soon.

It appeared the Raptors might have had a shot at selecting Chris Douglas-Roberts, the guard from Memphis who excelled in his workout in Toronto, but the New Jersey Nets took him off the board at No. 40, one pick before the Raptors' second-round selection.

Of course no one from the Raptors could comment on the Jawai selection until the Pacers' deal is official.

With the 17th pick, the Raptors selected Georgetown centre Roy Hibbert on behalf of the Pacers.

Colangelo, before he traded the No. 17 pick, felt he had a good shot at Stanford centre Robin Lopez, but Lopez was snapped up by the Phoenix Suns at No. 15.

O'Neal, meanwhile, believes his arrival and pairing with Chris Bosh in the front court will give opposing defences fits.

"I think playing alongside Chris Bosh gives us a different dynamic," O'Neal said. "You look at teams in the NBA, you look at their low-post players, and they always have one good player, and when that player goes out, you can change your defence a little bit and load up on other areas. Even with us starting out the games together, one of us will always be on the floor. You won't get a chance to adjust your defence."

O'Neal believes he's a good fit for the Raptors and Bosh in particular.

"You're talking about a team that's extremely athletic, extremely big at the wing positions, and they play defence," O'Neal said. "With my defensive mentality and ability to change the game and Chris' ability to block shots and change the game - it's exciting."


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