On Pro Bball Report last week: Canadian rookie prospects Tyler Ennis and Jordan Bachynski, Raptors GM Ujiri on the draft, Patrick Patterson Kentucky connections, the next step for Terrence Ross, Rim protectors, Sam Mitchell, updates about Donald Sterling’s Clippers and more.
“I think it is more important (to get) the fit,” Ennis said. “There are people that have to go high and (may) not fit on a team and I think it is more important to end up on a team where you are needed and you are able to be successful rather than being a high draft pick and it’s tough for players, we don’t get to choose where we go and you just have to hope you end up in the right spot with whatever team picks you.”
“Those draft boards as fun as they are to look at and when you are in college, when you get on a draft board it’s big news, but one thing I’ve come to learn is that no one knows the future,” Bachynski said. “I just try to stay focused and do the things I can do and another thing, they don’t take into account team need. There are very few bigs in this draft and there is a big need for bigs and especially rim protectors.”
“We have needs on the team, but at some point you go best player available,” Ujiri said. “Especially in this kind of a draft maybe because it’s a little overrated from the beginning when we first started talking about it until now, but it’s pretty good, there is talent. Maybe the two-guard position there is a couple of younger guys there that are pretty good.”
“Things seem to go more smoothly here,” Patterson said. “The transition was easy due to my relationship with the guys and having a great coach – Casey – Kentucky relationship right there as well.”
“Now he has experience to draw back from in reading situations,” Casey said. “3-and-D, I like that, that’s pretty good. That’s probably pretty good description. We want him to be more of a pick-and-roll guy, that’s the next step in (his) growth.”
There are some interesting big men available outside of the lottery, however, there isn’t much agreement out there about where they should fall on June 26. It’s even possible to find a prospect listed as a late lottery pick in one mock draft and as a second round selection in another. A few big men that have been long assumed as solid NBA prospects don’t even make some mock drafts.
Mitchell had a record of 156 wins and 189 losses as a head coach with the Raptors and led Toronto to the playoffs in 2007 and 2008. He won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2007 with a franchise high tying 47 regular season wins.
It appears there will be at least six bidders for the franchise and even that number seems low at this point. The vast unrealized potential of the franchise under Sterlings’ guidance has only recently been coming to light as the team passed the Lakers in on-court-success over the past couple of seasons and is poised to remain there for the foreseeable future.
Apparently there was some truth to earlier reports that Donald Sterling had instructed his (ex-)wife Shelly Sterling to find a buyer for the Los Angeles Clippers. According to Los Angeles Times reporter James Rainey, Steve Ballmer has won a bidding war for the team with a $2 billion offer.
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“Training for the NBA is much harder than training for anything else,” Carr explained recently. “Getting in shape to keep up with the top athletes in the world is my priority and I’m blessed to be surrounded by people with professional experience that will help me reach the next level.”
It didn’t take long for the Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin to let the world know the number one overall draft pick in the upcoming NBA Draft is up for grabs. “I think we’re very open-minded,” Griffin said. “We will try to get radically better, much quicker. We really feel like there’s a sense of urgency in improving our team as a whole and we’re going to look for the right fit and we’re very open-minded to what that really means.”
“For me, (college) was an amazing experience,” Vasquez said. “The only thing is you get to the money – those one-and-done or two-and-done guys. That is a very complex subject. I enjoyed college, but if I knew I was going to be okay in the NBA, I would have left earlier. Obviously I am happy with my degree and the experiences that I have.”
After a very disappointing season, the Cleveland Cavaliers are open for business and just one of the many young players that could be available is Toronto’s own Tristan Thompson. The fourth overall draft pick in 2011, the Cavaliers forward is just 23-years old and has nearly averaged a double-double during his first three seasons in the NBA. The Raptors should be all over any opportunity to pick up this kid, shouldn’t they?
“(Sterling) has until next Tuesday to respond to our charge and then a hearing will take place the following Tuesday on June 3rd, most likely here in New York. I envision once we move through that process that we will then put the team in order, and presumably we will hire an investment banker and we will conduct an orderly process. We also have a fiduciary obligation to the Sterlings to ensure that we sell it for the highest possible price, and there’s no doubt it’s an incredibly valuable asset.”