Let’s talk about Marty Burns this morning as he addresses the Raptors’ depth (or lack thereof). He’s lodging the same complaints that as everyone else really, citing the O’Neal signing as a positive event but not enough. You can’t argue with him when he says that the signings of Will Solomon and Hassan Adams are likely to have little impact on the team unless they have massive breakout years which is unlikely. On the flip side of the coin and assuming everything goes right you’ll have little need for the two. If Jermaine O’Neal returns to All-Star form and Chris Bosh steps up his post and outside game, who’s to say having Calderon as the third best player isn’t enough.
Burns is wrong when he says that we don’t have any cap flexibility, sure we don’t have cap flexibility next summer but in 2010 when O’Neal comes off and Bosh has a player option, we’ll have more money to spend than anyone else in the league. This is a Catch-22 situation, if we happen to suck for the next two years it won’t matter how much cap space we have, nobody will come to a losing team in Toronto. It’s imperative that we make the playoffs and show some resilience once there if we hope to attract some free-agents when we do have space. I don’t think the lure of playing with Chris Bosh is enough for a serious free agent no matter how much money you pay him. At the end of the day the franchise needs to be attractive, not the money.
His other point is that the Raptors have hit the ceiling. Wrong, last year’s Raptors might have hit the ceiling but its stupid to make such a comment about a starting five that’s never played together. Truth is that we have some idea of what the ceiling for this team might be – anywhere from first round exit to winning two rounds! The variability obviously comes from O’Neal’s knee, Bosh’s clutch play, Andrea Bargnani’s development, Sam Mitchell’s coaching ability and the X-Factors of Kapono and Moon. This question needs to be asked at mid-season, not now.
The Blazers are looking to trade Travis Outlaw who I’ve always wanted on the Raptors from the minute I saw him while the Grizzlies want to trade but aren’t willing to part with Gay, Conley or Mayo. Jamario Moon is a poor man’s Travis Outlaw and if we somehow managed to grab him (which is day-dreaming) I’d feel a lot better about our wing position. Neither is a true scorer but Outlaw provides intelligent defense, a mid-range game and reads scouting reports.
A little sad story about Wayman Tisdale – the man had his leg amputated.
The dirty little munchkins over the The Bleacher Report have put out a very researched, concise and thought-provoking article of whether Chris Bosh’s Olympic experience can help the Raptors this year.