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Old 06-12-2006, 12:03 AM   #23
power works
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 475

That's why they're said to be one of the teams talking with Toronto about a trade for the No. 1 pick. Although is has been rumored that Toronto will pick Italian 7-footer Andrea Bargnani, I don't believe that. It's clear Chris Bosh, the Raptors' star forward, doesn't want that, and priority No. 1 is extending Bosh's contract. Plus, as a first-year general manager, Bryan Colangelo probably doesn't want to take such a risk with the No 1 pick in a draft with personnel experts saying any one of six players could justify a top pick.

One of the rumors from Toronto has been that the Raptors would add a veteran inside player to ease the burden on Bosh and try to be a playoff team immediately. Memphis' Pau Gasol has been mentioned, and one could make a case for the Grizzlies trying to get younger and save some money with an ownership change apparently imminent. The other rumor is a deal for the Pacers' O'Neal, who could be the kind of low-post presence to ease the strain on Bosh.

Bosh is said to be pushing for Texas forward LaMarcus Aldridge as the No. 1 pick. They're even working out together now. But it would be hard for the Raptors to say no to O'Neal, a perennial All-Star.

The talk is the Pacers would throw in their No. 17 pick, which would give the Raptors a shot at a point guard and a team ready to compete next season with the Pacers getting back forward Charlie Villanueva, whom Colangelo is said to be willing to deal.

One rumor is the Pacers would take Gonzaga guard/forward Adam Morrison No. 1 if they made the deal. But it seems more likely they'd try to re-sign Peja Stojakovic and draft a big man, probably Aldridge, to pair with Villanueva, and then move Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley and be back in contention sooner than many would expect.

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