Bryan Colangelo is preparing to embark on the most important off-season of his career. With Chris Bosh set to become a free agent in just 9 days, Colangelo must do whatever he can do keep his franchise player in Toronto and keep the Raptors relevant in an ever-so increasing NBA market. However, thanks to media reports and speculation, experts believe Chris Bosh will leave Toronto in a sign and trade deal. On the contrary, fans like myself are trying to be as optimistic as possible and pray every night that Bosh stays in Toronto. As far as I'm concerned, these media reports are nothing more then rumors, and Chris Bosh is the only person who truly knows what he'll do in free agency. Although I'm only 16 years old, Chris Bosh is someone who I've looked up to since he was drafted in 2003. It's going to be an extremely hard pill to sallow if Bosh leaves, and it's going to even harder to watch the Raptors fail next season without their all-star. These past three years have been stressful for me, because as a Raptors fan, it's disappointing to see my team underachieve year after year. Needless to say, this upcoming summer will determine Chris Bosh's fate. As of right now, Bosh will leave Toronto for another team--back when Bosh was giving his season ending press conference, he admitted changes need to be made in order for him to stay in Toronto. Unfortunately, as a fan, all I can do is sit back and wait for the pieces to fall in place. I can't dictate what Bosh and/or Colangelo do in the coming weeks, and I certainly can't control where other free agents sign.
The Raptors' off-season officially starts on Thursday, where the team will have the 13th pick in the NBA Draft. For fans of the NBA like myself, the NBA Draft is one of the biggest, most important days of the year. It's the first step in a very long off-season, and is a great opportunity for teams to improve or build their roster at an inexpensive cost. Granted, the 13th pick won't sway Bosh one way or the other, but it's the first step in a series of (hopefully) many more steps.
I've always been a believer that the Raptors should trade the pick for a veteran. In my opinion, adding a veteran would be more appealing to Bosh, compared to a unproven rookie. Although the Raptors probably couldn't get a significant stand out veteran by trading the pick, I believe by facilitating a package deal, a player deserving of attention would land in Toronto. However, media reports suggest the Raptors will indeed draft a rookie.
The Raptors have many presentable opportunities at the 13 pick. Since Colangelo has indicated he wants to trade either Jose Calderon or Jarrett Jack, the Raptors could go the point guard route, and draft a point guard who could fix the defensive issues in the backcourt.
NBA Insider Chad Ford has had the Raptors drafting Texas' guard Avery Bradley in several of his mock drafts. Bradley was #1 on ESPNU's Top 100 back in 2009 (which also included John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Xaiver Henry). Here's his scouting report, from ESPN.com: