Bryan Colangelo Admits This Year’s NBA Draft is Not That Deep
by Chris Fedor
It was a rough season in Toronto for the Raptors. After losing their franchise player in the offseason, Toronto struggled through their worst season since 1997. The 22 wins landed them with the third best odds to win the NBA Draft lottery the other night, but like so many times this season, the Raptors lost. The Raptors dropped from the potential third pick to fifth pick in the draft.
Prior to the lottery it was announced that Bryan Colangelo was surprisingly given a new contract extension. While he has made some positive moves during his time in Toronto and was named Executive of the Year at one time as well, he has also made some really questionable moves and it’s tough to fathom a team like Toronto allowing him to keep the keys to the franchise when his team in Toronto has never won a playoff series. Bryan Colangelo joined the Fan 590 in Toronto with Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt to talk about his new contract extension, whether or not he would’ve like a longer deal from the Raptors, and what he thinks about the Raptors having the fifth pick in the draft.
How it came about that he got a new contract extension:
“The process was probably more of a thorough analysis of what was going on. There was some discussion and talk at the board level. There was not much of a negotiation and in fact there was no negotiation going on until just a few days ago. When it all came together it came together very quickly between myself and Richard Tuesday morning, but it’s something that obviously took a little bit of time to come to a resolution but I think we can all say that we’re happy that it’s behind us and now we can move on with the business that’s so important to get to right now.”
Whether or not he was upset that he didn’t get a longer deal:
“Look Bob if someone offered you a ten year deal versus a two year deal what are you going to be happy with? You’re gonna be happy with the ten years and security, but that’s not the reality in this world that we live in. I understand where things are. Nobody is happy or content with where we are record-wise right now, but again if you look at some of the positives that have been done of the last several years now that we are realizing that it’s time to rebuild and we’ve gone through the initial phases of that there’s some realism to what we’re doing. I understand perfectly well the position the board took not only with their apprehension to move forward, but ultimately making the decision with some very clear goals and objectives.”
On the idea that being at pick number five might be better than being at pick number three:
“I absolutely concur. You’ve kinda hit the nail on the head. After the top two picks and I might’ve said this last night talking to a few people, I think there is a very clear two picks and then there are several players that we like. If you were to ask me who number three was I’m not sure I would have the answer for you and it’s not because we’re not prepared, it’s that there’s another five weeks to go in the process and I think some of the things, the warts, the background discussions, the medical discussions, those things kinda clear the air there. I have to say that if we’re looking at addressing some of our needs or areas of concern there’s several players that we like. I don’t think it’s a draft that’s 10 or 12 deep, but I do think there’s a good six or eight players that I’d be pretty excited about joining our team right now. You can just look at a couple of the names in the guard category.
You’ve got Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker probably after those top two. There’s a couple of the European bigs that I think are interesting, (Jonas) Valanciunas and then (Enes) Kanter who was at Kentucky this year without eligibility. There’s an international big that has kinda burst onto the scene, a guy who is going to be talked about, Bismack Biyombo who played very well at the hoop summit just a couple of weeks ago. Jan Vesely might be the most talented of all the Europeans that is out there. He’s a long 6-11 three or four who can address a few areas of need and there’s a couple of dark horses who I will probably keep off the list now. I listed five or six names there and I haven’t said anything about Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams, the clear-cut one and two it looks like.
There may be some jockeying for position or there might be some of those picks available at the top because it’s not considered a really deep draft but I think there are going to be some impact players that emerge perhaps less than in previous seasons because there were a couple of top five defections but it’s gonna be an opportunity for us to certainly add someone nice. The benefit is, if I can look at this with a silver lining, there’s going to be a little less of a cap charge for the fifth pick as opposed to the third pick. It’s funny a lot of people kept saying you can’t pick a guy at three that’s too high. Well at five it becomes a little more palatable if you know what I mean.”