With Raptors' needs, Aldridge may be No. 1 on list

Updated: May 24, 2006, 1:13 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo was on his way to the draft lottery Tuesday night when he gave a hint into the Raptors' most pressing need.

"We need a one [point guard] or a five [center]," Colangelo told ESPN.com as he made his way to the NBA's Secaucus, N.J., studio.

If that's the case then maybe the Raptors will select Texas sophomore center LaMarcus Aldridge at No. 1. The draft is still nearly five weeks out and Aldridge might be the leader in the clubhouse based on the Raptors' need.

Or maybe not, since Colangelo wasn't about to give a stern commitment to whom the Raptors would select prior to the announcement.

"I think there are about five or six names that could be there," Colangelo said.

Colangelo said the two locks on the Raptors are Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva, two forwards. Picking Aldridge would form a formidable frontline and give them a solid shot-blocking frontline. In discussing some of the top picks earlier in the day he pointed out Aldridge's slight frame as a potential negative.

Colangelo also downplayed a rumor floating around that the Raptors were looking to select Andrea Bargnani of Benetton Treviso (Italy) to go along with the possible hiring of Bargnani's current boss -- Benetton executive Mauricio Gherardini -- as his second in command.

"It's not possible to plan a package deal," Colangelo said. "Would I like Mauricio as assistant GM?"

Colangelo finished by saying that Gherardini would be a good fit for the Raptors. He said that any inference that the Raptors had to draft Bargnani because of a shift toward international players in Toronto isn't true. He said he simply said that Toronto is an international city and foreign players might adapt quicker.

Colangelo didn't rule out trading the pick if the Raptors received the No. 1 selection. Now that they have it, expect them to be a bit more private in the coming weeks as they spend an exhaustive amount of time on whether to choose Aldridge, Bargnani, Gonzaga's Adam Morrison or maybe even LSU's Tyrus Thomas.

Let the politicking, lobbying and poker-face games begin.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com