Raptors lose another draft option

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:41 PM ET

TORONTO - Another blue-chip prospect has pulled out of the 2011 NBA draft, but Bryan Colangelo doesn’t seem too concerned.

North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes — the first freshman ever to be named a pre-season all-american — made the somewhat shocking decision on Monday to return to school, despite being a virtual lock to be selected in the top five, likely even in the top three.

Barnes wants to win and make an impact for the storied Tar Heels and might do just that since fellow likely lottery picks John Henson and Tyler Zeller also decided to return there.

Baylor’s Perry Jones III and NCAA freshman of the year Jared Sullinger of Ohio State previously opted to stay in school.

The NBA’s labour uncertainty played a huge role in those decisions and several of the prospects also seemed legitimately interested in getting more out of their college experience.

Colangelo praised them for wanting to return.

“Kids are staying in for the right reasons,” he said.

Duke’s Kyrie Irving, Arizona’s Derrick Williams and UCONN guard Kemba Walker are the most well-known names that are in the draft. The Raptors have the third-best odds of winning the May 17 draft lottery.

— WOLSTAT


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