Well it has been a long time since the Raptors have made some news. However this week we could finally have some, as Jay Triano could have his fate decided and it be confirmed that he will head coach of the Toronto Raptors. I really have concerns about Triano as the coach. However the players and management have been very supportive of the idea of Jay being back. The fact he is a Canadian no matter what I think personally I am always going to pull for Jay Triano. My issue becomes when you look around you see a lot of good candidates out there. Rick Pitino would be not one of those. There was some news that Pitino the former Celtics coach and now coach at Louisville was showing interest in the Sacramento Kings job. Who would want to take that job? Guess that is the real question that I don't have the answer to. Would Eddie Jordan, Avery Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy or any other major name out their want to come to Toronto. I had heard that the MLSE board said the choice on a coach would not be made based on money. Some have suggested because Sam Mitchell is still being paid that is why MLSE would be unwilling to look at a big name coming in as the coach. But much like they have claimed that they are willing to go over the tax threshold they have made the same type statement on the coaching situation. It is one of those things that you can never really test if they are being honest until they would do it. I could say that I am not opposed to giving ever reader of the Dino Nation Blog a chance to win a million dollars. However if I don't have the million dollars and have no intention or means to get a million dollars what does it real amount too. Now MLSE does have the money but if they truly do not intent to follow up on the statement that they are willing to do something it just amounts to empty words.
There is also news that the first set of draft eligible players could be coming in for workouts with the Raptors this week. So we could hear about Triano this week and than the focus will quickly change to the lottery. Those ping pong balls get drawn on May 19th which is only 8 days away. The odds of winning are very long for the Raptors and it would be a huge surprise if the Raptors got into the top 3. There is also all the folks that think the NBA Lottery is not exactly on the level. No one has any proof of that. However you have to admit there is a lot of indirect evidence to at least make the argument carry weight. From the first lottery when the Knicks won Patrick Ewing to recent times with hometown kids like Lebron James and Derrick Rose ending up playing for the hometown teams. It can be fishy at best at times. If they lotto goes that hometown route the people in OKC should be excited cause they would be the likely winner of the lottery. Blake Griffin having played at Oklahoma would be a logical fit with the Thunder given that.
Whatever the case of where the Raptors end up post lottery. Bryan Colangelo has stated he is shopping for another pick in the first round. I think the Raptors could use 2 picks in this draft and give fans some hope and a couple young players to get behind. Bargnani is still young so is Bosh if you want to talk age. But you get the feeling the Raptors lack that future star guy. Most think Bargnani will be very good but not a star. Maybe some have that goal for him. But when you look at this year's NBA playoffs you have seen a lot of rookies contribute to their teams in major ways. Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Chalmers, Beasley and others have all had instant impact on their teams. Raptors need to find 1 or 2 guys that can do that for them. In a draft class with far more questions than answers that could be very tough. Pretty much like walking through a mine field. But Colangelo can not afford to be wrong or his next move will be to blow up this team.
Lots of fun on the weekend in the playoffs. Glen Davis made a huge shot for the Celtics and he was a second round pick out of LSU. Raptors need to start finding some folks like that in the 2nd round as well. When was the last time the Raptors had a successful second round pick? Even from the very start in selecting Jimmy King of the Michigan "Fab 5" the Raps have not had much success in round 2. Roko Ukic was a second round pick and so was Nathan Jawai. Maybe they can change the trend. However there is lots of work to be done on both fronts before anyone is ready to call ether a success.
So the off-season in Raptorland is starting to take shape. It is the most important in franchise history. No pressure. But honestly it is hard to think of a more important off-season for the Raptors.