Raptors covet Brandon Knight

The Raptors could select Kentucky guard Brandon Knight with their No. 5 pick in Thursday's NBA...

The Raptors could select Kentucky guard Brandon Knight with their No. 5 pick in Thursday's NBA draft. (Getty Images)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 PM ET

TORONTO - In one breath Bryan Colangelo says he thinks he has a handle on what the three teams with the four picks ahead of him are doing.

In the next he uses words like “murkiness” and “deception” to describe the draft board landscape.

Any certainty in the days and hours approaching draft night in any professional sport are about as common as back-to-back solid rebounding efforts from Andrea Bargnani.

The certainty a draft participant like Colangelo is willing to share is rarer still.

Following are a handful of draft revelations Colangelo was willing to make with the caveat that he, like every other GM in the game is more prone to deception at this time of year than any other.

On the status of his draft list for the No. 5 pick:

“I kid you not, I’m still somewhere in the four range. I got a box around four guys there right now. A guard, a small forward, a couple of bigs and if that changes between now and draft time I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Obviously Colangelo wouldn’t identify those four but if we had to guess it would Lithuanian centre Jonas Valanciunas, Kentucky guard Brandon Knight, San Diego State small forward Kawhi Leonard and centre Bismack Biyombo of the Congo.

On the likelihood of trading for another pick in the first round:

“It’s not looking very likely. Everyone is talking about what a weak draft it is and now everyone is in love with their pick. It’s a scenario where you look at the value of the pick. Can we get No. 10? Can we get No. 14? Whatever it is, what’s it worth giving up to get that? Are we going to get a player that’s better than what we have? You might also talk about swapping future firsts with some protection on it. I’m open to that. Of course I have inquired about some picks and they’ve said sure, if you give us an unprotected pick in the future, then we’ll do it.”

Suffice to say if Colangelo does obtain a pick for a future draft pick that selection will be protected.

On his impression of Bismack Biyombo, one of the draft’s great unknowns:

“He is so raw that with a little bit of focus and coaching, he’s an interesting prospect for sure,” Colangelo said. “Someone is going to get a very good player there. We’re looking at the health and making sure everything is good there and we’ll look at the background stuff, but he’s a guy I think we have to have in that group at No. 5. He showed some things offensively (at a workout Monday in New York) that you just can’t teach with the athleticism and the hops. I saw some things that were very impressive. Then you look at the rawness and say ‘Lot of work to do’ and are you willing to go through that. We have to decide what the right situation is for us.”

And about Biyombo’s shot?

“He doesn’t have a broken shot by the way,” Colangelo said. “It’s not broken at all. We’ve seen broken.”

Around the league

The hot rumour — and everything being reported with sources the night before the draft should have RUMOUR in capital letters — has the San Antonio Spurs talking with both the Raptors (5th pick) and Sacramento Kings (7th pick) about a swap for point guard Tony Parker. Parker has since come out and said he has no interest in leaving San Antonio while the Spurs have yet to comment at all on this one ... Canada’s own Steve Nash to Minnesota in a package for the No. 2 pick overall. That’s one of a handful of rumours involving the Timberwolves out there. You can also find the Lakers sending Andrew Bynum to Minny for the pick or — and this one screams “deception” — Timberwolves GM David Khan reportedly informing the world the Timberwolves will be selecting Enes Kanter with the No. 2 pick and leaving consensus No. 2 Derrick Williams on the board. If that one is true it could work in the Raptors’ favour because it might mean Brandon Knight, the player the Raptors are believed to covet most, is on the board for them at No. 5 ... This one isn’t quite as fresh nor is it necessarily draft related, but the Atlanta Hawks are said to be interested in moving Josh Smith.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos