Colangelo Pleased With Lottery Results

Check out 2009 Draft Central

by Mike Ulmer
raptors.com
May 19, 2009

The Toronto Raptors werent losers at Tuesday nights draft lottery and by Bryan Colangelos estimation, that meant they were winners.

The Raptors president and GM was in NBA headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey as the Raps were awarded ninth spot, the exact position they were seeded at seasons end.

The Los Angeles Clippers were awarded the first spot with the Memphis Grizzlies at two and the Oklahoma City Thunder third overall. The Sacramento Kings fell from first to fourth and the Washington Wizards, who went into the lottery with the second choice, fell all the way to fifth.

Colangelo said the night brought lots of good news for the Raptors.

Six of the seven top picks will go to Western Conference teams, Colangelo said. Washington had very good odds of finishing first and ended up moving down three spots." Meanwhile, no team seeded behind the Raptors leapfrogged past Toronto into better position.

I cant imagine a situation where things could have ended up more favourably other than us moving up, he said.

Colangelo was hoping for the kind of outrageous good fortune he enjoyed when the Raptors moved from fifth to first in 2006 and drafted Andrea Bargnani.

Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin will be the first overall pick when the draft is convened, June 25 in New York. Ricky Rubio, a slick ballhandler from Spain is expected to go second.

The prospects who may or may not be around at number nine include Stephen Curry, a sharpshooting guard from Davidson, Memphis shooting guard Tyreke Evans, or UCLA point guard Jrue Holliday.

While the Raptors have identified a need for scoring from the wing and toughness, Colangelo is wary of drafting by position.

Its pretty tough to draft solely by position. We are looking for the best talent that we can find. At nine based on the draft projections and intelligence we have, it appears that there are going to be some players that we like.

The final listing means teams can begin paring down their choices.

It brings clarity to everyone, Colangelo said. Now we know what cards were dealing with.