Injury prevents Joseph's Raptors workout
By MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency
Injury prevents Joseph's Raptors workout
TORONTO - Making an assessment of Montreal’s Kris Joseph and where he belongs in this 2012 NBA draft class is not getting any easier.
The standout Syracuse forward was in Toronto yesterday but a groin strain kept him from taking part in a scheduled workout for the Raptors with five other draft eligibles including fellow Canadian and Gonzaga big man Robert Sacre.
Barring a sudden change in fortunes, neither man can realistically expect to hear his name in the first round, but at least Sacre has been able to show teams what they might be getting.
Joseph skipped a workout in New Jersey for reasons he did not want to express — although he did confirm it was not an injury issue — and then watched the contact portion of Wednesday’s workout from the sidelines after tweaking his groin.
Joseph showed off a silky smooth jumper after the workouts were conducted but sitting on the sidelines while the rest of the would-be NBAers showed their wares certainly didn’t help his stock.
If Joseph was at all concerned with yesterday’s turn of events, he wasn’t saying so.
“I think teams have four years of film on me,” he said. “They have seen me a lot in my career. I think that even though it’s a tough time right now you still have to be cautious because at the end of the day we all want to have a lengthy career and I don’t want something that can be solved now to linger longer.”
Forward is not necessarily an area of need for the Raptors but GM Bryan Colangelo has said that he will draft best player available when the Raptors choices come up.
Even with that the case, Joseph remains hopeful of a homecoming.
“That would be the best situation to fall under,” he said. “Being a Canadian and being able to play for a Canadian franchise would be great.”
Next up for Joseph is a workout with the Chicago Bulls (injury permitting). There’s another seven workouts scheduled after that one so Joseph is going to be rather busy the next few weeks.
“It’s kind of like a lockout season,” he said. “My workouts will be all bunched up. It will be interesting to see how things pan out.”
SACRE MAKING ROUNDS
While a number of the players auditioning for the Raptors this week are just getting started in the process, Sacre, a seven-foot native of North Vancouver, is already a veteran of the pre-draft workout.
When the Gonzaga centre touched down in Toronto it was either stop No. 7 or 8 on his current tour.
“I don’t even know anymore,” Sacre said. “They tell me where to go and I just show up and play.”
Pressed about his schedule, Sacre, who has played on Canada’s senior national men’s team, said he believed he had two more workouts coming up in short order and then after a small break he had another five planned. That’s 14 different cities in about a month. Surprisingly he says he’s not that tired.
The key is spacing them out, as Sacre has done. The Toronto stop was his first after a week off back home in Vancouver.
If you go by the mock draft boards that are out there, Sacre is a long shot to be drafted, but his size might convince a team otherwise. Legitimate 7-footers aren’t easy to come by.
The Raptors have openly admitted they could use their second of two second- round picks, assuming they hang onto it, on a guy they would draft and then stash over in Europe for a little more seasoning.
It would benefit the player and, as Raps executive VP of basketball operations Ed Stefanski said yesterday, it would benefit the team as well.
“The one issue we have is that we have three picks in this draft and we have (2011 first-rounder Jonas) Valanciunas coming over,” Stefanski said. “No coach wants four rookies on his team so that’s an issue we know we have to look at.”
Trades are one option but so too is brokering a deal with a player and his agent to spend a little time in Europe.
Stefanski though said the Raptors focus Wednesday was on the two point guards in the group.
“The two guys we were looking a lot at were the two point guards in Jordan Taylor from Wisconsin and Tyshawn Taylor from Kansas,” Stefanski said. “Jordan we know can run the show. He’s a scoring type of guard. Tyshawn is a more athletic kid, more of a shooter than Jordan but they had a very good matchup against each other. Both are definitely draftable people in the NBA.”