Dwane Casey said he was "shocked." And maybe that was a good way to characterize the state of being of a lot of the folks who follow the Raptors on Thursday night. In a week that had already seen Casey, the newly installed and defensive-minded head coach, tell of his plan to build a "hard-hitting" team, there was plenty of educated speculation that, come Thursday's NBA draft, Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo might stock the coach's bench with a ready-to-use commodity of the coach's mentality. Instead, when the Raptors made their selection with the fifth overall pick, Colangelo chose a 19-year-old from Lithuania who isn't likely to play in the NBA next season. That'd be Jonas Valanciunas, the 6-foot-11 centre who is under contract with a Euroleague team for the next three seasons and whose services will only be available to Toronto if Colangelo can help negotiate a buyout amenable to the player and his current club. No matter what happens with those wranglings — and it's also possible the kid could play in Toronto as soon as the coming season, whenever it comes — it's unlikely the teenager is going to provide the team with much help in the near term.
Colangelo gambles as Raptor fans grimace
Toronto Star | Jun 24