Toronto will miss the NBA playoffs this year, but the team is headed in the right direction under first-year head coach Dwayne Casey. The Raptors defensive effort this season was terrific and the future is only looking brighter in Canada.
Last year the team selected International player Jonas Valanciunas with their top choice and though he didn't play with the team this year, his play this year in Europe has many experts believing he could become a top player in the league.
This year the team has three choices in the upcoming draft and with some good work from the scouting department, this Raptors team could make a push at the playoffs in the 2012-13 season.
The latest mock draft from ESPN has Toronto taking shooting guard Bradley Beal from Florida. Beal is a high-motor player that will give the team an added scorer and a back-court player that loves to play defense. Beal has good size at 6'4" and over 200 pounds, but his hustle and love to play is what can infect team-mates and raise their level of play, something this team needs as they move forward.
With two picks in the second round, look for the team to add some depth to their bench and Darius Miller from Kentucky would be a good choice. The small forward just won the NCAA Tournament at Kentucky and is a player that does everything on the floor. Miller won't wow scouts with his play, but he is solid on both ends of the floor and would give the Raptors some much-needed depth.
The NBA has become all about the big name free agents, but Toronto is building a team the old fashion way, with good young talent and hard work on defense and that has worked wonders in Chicago.