The Toronto Raptors are in serious need of an upgrade. After finishing the 2011-12 lockout shortened season at a disappointing 23-43, they qualified, not for the playoffs, but for the NBA Draft Lottery. The Raptors had about a 3% chance at moving up into the top spot, but alas, luck wasn’t on their side and they remained in their 8 spot.
While NBA fans continue to watch in awe at the talents on display in the NBA finals between Miami and Oklahoma City, the Raptors management has been evaluating the best college players to decide who would be the best fit and be able to contribute the quickest.
Last week, the Raptors had potential draftees Jeremy Lamb, Austin Rivers, Damian Lillard and Canadian Robert Sacre among others at the Air Canada Centre. Most showed well, but one unnamed rookie couldn’t answer the seemingly simple question of what country he was in. Let’s just assume he wasn’t a college senior.
Today, the Raptors welcomed another player to the ACC, Jared Sullinger of Ohio State. Sullinger made news this week as it was reported that some of the teams he has visited have raised medical concerns over his back. He and his father insist it is not a problem, but his draft stock has fallen from being a top 10 pick to now in the early 20s. Sullinger is a bit of an enigma as some analysts see him as a dominant player in the Dwight Howard mold, or on the other end of the spectrum, a defensive stopper like Emeka Okafor. Either way he could improve the Raptors, now it is a matter of risk versus reward drafting 8th.
After the workout Sullinger was spotted in Real Sports restaurant enjoying some food. Probably not the ideal destination for an elite athlete to feast after a workout, but it definitely shows the passion of Toronto sports fans. If a team brought you in for a visit to Toronto, where would you want to be taken to show the passion that Toronto fans have and make you want to play in Toronto?