Colangelo Takes Centre Stage At Workouts

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Video: Bryan Colangelo | Cole Aldrich | Devin Ebanks
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Mike Ulmer -

June 22, 2010

Bryan Colangelo won't kid you.

The next few days will be among the most impactful in Raptors' history.

“It's pretty essential, it really is,” the club's president and general manager said Tuesday.

Thursday, the Raptors choose 13th in the NBA draft.

The trade market is percolating. While media reports indicate Bosh is leaving, there won’t be any word until June 1. The possibility of Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James changing teams has made this an off-season like no other.

Colangelo also has a disaffected Hedo Turkoglu to deal with while angling for another first-round choice and puzzling over the future of his point guards.

The club returned a pair of talented candidates for workouts on Tuesday. West Virginia forward Devin Ebanks is a gifted defensive player who should be able to guard a number of positions. Kansas centre Cole Aldrich is best known for his eccentric jumper which he developed doing throw-ins for soccer.

“We have explored teams with multiple picks, teams that want to avoid a cap charge,” he said. “Maybe there’s a chance to pick up a second player. That’s why you see us working out someone like a Devin Ebanks today. There a lot of players in that 15 to 30 range that we like.”

The GM repeated that Bosh's status won’t be indicated by whether the Raptors choose another big man.

“We’ve got to be prepared for life with and without Chris and if that means drafting a big, and this is a year with multiple bigs who we feel are pretty decent, then so be it."

Colangelo said there hadn’t been much conversation with Bosh. Free agency is set for July 1 but if they cannot return their all-time leading scorer and captain, the Raptors would want to sign-and-trade Bosh, giving him the maximum salary while fetching some live bodies in return.

The Raptors GM downplayed Turkoglu's remarks that he had been mishandled and while he stopped short of saying he wanted him back, Colangelo said there were plenty of teams that would have Turkoglu even after his disappointing season in Toronto.

“Regardless of the comments, he remains a talented player. He's commanding a lot of attention in regards to trade discussions. Whether or not we move him will be based on whether or not there is a deal that makes sense for our team. We have talked about that internally.”

Colangelo has long been concerned about the play of the club's point guards and said after the season he would study the feasibility of a move. That process too, he said, is ongoing.

“It's more about trying to figure out whether the two guards can co-exist. The conversations I have had with both players have been very productive. They have both said things that make me comfortable if they were to come back. There's no mandate to make a move. I like both players. “

Put it all together, the draft, Bosh, Turkoglu, the point guards and you have a frenetic picture that very much mirrors the league as a whole, Colangelo said.

“All the uncertainly would lead you to believe there are a lot of balls in the air, a lot of trade discussions. How the roster looks today, it's going to look entirely different a few weeks from now when it all plays out.”

Meanwhile, Ebanks, a six-nine forward, said the last-minute workout left him encouraged.

“This is the only team I’ve worked out twice for. I thought if they wanted to take a second look, they liked what they saw in the beginning.

“Speaking with the coaches, they thought I did a better job than last time, shooting, handling the ball and doing all the things I have been working on since the last time.”

Aldrich, a six foot 11 centre said handicapping where he would land was nearly impossible.

“It’s about finding the right niche for a team, where you can help the team be successful.”


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