Now that Hedo Turkoglu is gone and Mike Ulmer doesn’t have to face him after every shootaround, he mustered up the courage to write a piece where he ripped Hedo Turkoglu for being Hedo Turkoglu. If he had written that article, say in mid-February, it would’ve carried a lot more weight, but taking shots at Turkoglu when he’s a thousand miles away seems pretty cheap. It’s understood that a person close to the team can’t start criticizing the people he has to see everyday, but it would be nice if once in a while we didn’t get tin-canned articles from those who have the best access to the players. On that note, I’m a big fan of Cabbie, he uses his media credentials in the best way possible – by being a joker and giving us a different side of every personality he interviews. I can take that, it’s a lot better than reading articles that just transcribe what we see in the videos posted on raptors.com.
Thought I’d get that out of the way. So the trade became official yesterday with the Raptors receiving Leandro Barbosa (lee-AN-dro BAR-bow-sa) (phonetic spelling courtesy of raptors.com) and Dwayne Jones (Dow-AY-n JAU-ns) (phonetic spelling courtesy of Jack Daniels) in exchange for Turkoglu.
I suppose I have to say a final word on Turkoglu. We didn’t like him, he didn’t like us. He wanted us to run our offense entirely though him, but we had two capable point guards. Clearly there was some massive miscommunication at the outset of this signing as management didn’t convey their expectations of Turkoglu and he came into training camp expecting a much different role than that which was offered. From training camp fatigue to questionable effort on the floor, to mouthing off to the coach, it just never worked. He disappointed at every turn and made the people who defended him look like idiots, he never made the effort to adapt to what the Raptors were doing and expected the team to revolve around him. His on-court demeanor was lackadaisical, his attitude towards the media was insulting, his relationship with the fans bordered on resentment, his tone of voice spoke of indifference, his body language was defeatist, his effort was never even marginally acceptable, his leadership non-existing, and his relationship with the coach was factious. He was the worst Raptor of all-time.
Apparently he’ll be playing power forward in Phoenix, which is just not going to work because he’s not going to get the touches he needs to be successful, not with Nash around. I’d go deeper into his potential role in Phoenix, his ill-timed pizza commercial, his hilarious but narcissistic interview, but I just don’t care. I’m glad he’s out, and the the fact that he waived a 15% trade-kicker worth $5M, says he would rather play for the Idaho Stampede than the Raptors.
The main man coming back is Barbosa, a tweener guard that is an unusually bad defender for a guy that quick. He’s never challenged for a starting spot in Phoenix and the nature of his game suggests that he’d come off the bench in Toronto as well. An uber-quick, change-of-pace guard who gambles defensively and has the potential to turn a game on its head, often for the better. The Raptors were in need for some speed in the backcourt, and although Barbosa isn’t a true PG, he can still up the tempo when need be.
You can view the depth chart in two ways, either the point guard stands at: Calderon, Jack, Barbosa and Banks, or the shooting guard is: DeRozan, Weems, Barbosa, and Belinelli. Barbosa is more suited to playing shooting guard because that’s where he can take advantage of his quickness. Ideally, you’d want him to come in and defend second-unit PGs while going at second-unit SGs, mostly because at 6’3″ he’s giving up a few inches at the off-guard but can use his quickness to get them in trouble. If Calderon ends up being traded, there’s also not a pure playmaker here, Barbosa hunts his shot too much to be considered one and Jarrett Jack is a tweener in a tweener’s body asked to play starting point. Jack doesn’t have the speed of Barbosa, but the two players are more similar than different and this overlap will need to be addressed if Calderon is on the outs.
RR Forum mentor and sage, Buddahfan, has done some extensive research (some might say, a little too extensive) regarding Barbosa’s right wrist surgery. It’s a blast, especially if you’re a medical student desiring to know more about inscrutable growths on your body. Maybe once Barbosa returns from Brazil somebody can ask him about it in the press conference, instead of whether he understands the HST.
I don’t know much Dwayne Jones but forgive me because I don’t think Dwayne Jones knows much about Dwayne Jones. I like the Hoopshype scouting report: Excellent shot blocker…Good rebounder…No offensive game. At least they used the word excellent to describe some part of his game, but oh wait, Hoopshype also uses words like “great” and “incredible” in Patrick O’Bryant’s scouting report. Seriously though, he can’t be any good, it’s one thing to get traded every year and say, “Well, people want me, that’s why I get traded”, another to play 20 minutes in a game four times in five years. And those four times happened in one season. I’d be shocked if he even arrives in Toronto.
Yesterday, I live blogged the Raptors beating the Knicks in summer league action, it was the third straight game where Weems and DeRozan completely overmatched the poor souls tasked to defend them. One of those unfortunate enough to be on the other end of the punishment was Andy Rautins, who obviously doesn’t pay much heed to his father’s advice when it comes to shot-selection. I don’t want to say his shot-selection was poor, but it rivaled that of Antoine Walker. He went 1-4, all threes, all deep, all which made you go WTF? In three games, he’s shooting 28% from both three and two, not the kind of stats that get you a guaranteed contract. He’ll get a training camp invite, but after that it’s up in the air.
While DeRozan and Weems led the onslaught with 23 and 19, Joey Dorsey continued to impress with nine rebounds and held his position as the summer league’s leading rebounder. I’ve raved enough about his activity on offense and defense, but the man showed a nice passing touch yesterday, mostly after getting the offensive rebound and finding a cutter. Ed Davis had his best game going 5-6 with 13 points, the rookie played a nice two-man game all afternoon, and executed some post-moves which you know he’s only starting to get comfortable with. Defense is his calling, but there’s no reason why he can’t add moves to his offensive game and become a Carl Landry or Al Jefferson (yes, those two are very different) type scorer in a couple years. He’s an athletic 6’10″ and has a frame which is conducive for weight and muscle gain without increasing the chance of injury. You can read the live blog for more, including points on Solomon Alabi and Kapono-clone Michael Roll.
Yesteray, Michael Grange reported that the Raptors might be interested in Roy Hibbert which resulted in a massive but interesting discussion. Denver has till Saturday to match Kleiza’s offersheet. It’s not going to happen.