Kyrie Irving

Harrison Barnes

Other topics:

  • PFs in the draft, the issue with drafting tweeners.
  • The Raptors “Big 3” – DeRozan, Davis and Bargnani and “Tier Drafting”.
  • The Raptors two positions of weakness and whether they are addressable in the draft.
  • Is Linas Kleiza a core component moving forward and how does that affect the Raptors drafting.
  • Will Kyrie Irving declare? Is the PG position the Raptors most urgent need?
  • Harrison Barnes as a Top 5 pick.
  • Are Barnes and Irving a class apart?
  • Scouts evaluations of late first-round picks and what it doesn’t take into account.
  • Not having lottery talent does not mean you can’t draft solid components.
  • Revisiting the “Top 50 Talent” argument from last week.
  • Win total and conference position projects for next season.
  • The difference between being active and actually getting it done.
  • Boston re-tooling on the fly with Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo and the salary cap freed up by their Big 3.
  • Andrea Bargnani – a great second or third contributor on a good NBA team.
  • Colangelo suggesting the TPE is still in play and that trades are to come. Raptors tradeable assets that are attractive to other teams.
  • Leveraging a Top 20 player into getting other Top 20 players – NY, MIA, NJN?
  • Who is out there that the Raptors can acquire via trade that is a top 10-25 player?

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (18:07, 17.4MB). Or just listen below:

Note: The Rapcast is a day late because Arsenalist is a lazy editor.

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  • KJ-B

    This is Small Forward draft I agree there–but I’m not against drafting a bigger versatile guy like Jan Vasely if Barnes/Irving are taken or don’t declare…This way James Johnson could play that 6th man role because he can play 2-3 positions quite well and if his shooting can improve with work, that could be a great addition in player like Vasely (I think GMs will cry for passing on him a la Paul Pierce in years to come)…

    Sonny’s gone for sure come summer time and that won’t be losing much as I don’t see many identifiable NBA skills in his game worth ‘locking up’… No consistent j, bad handles–great athleticism which he doesn’t use on D!

  • hateslosing

    I’m all for drafting Barnes if he’s available, I still think he’s got what it takes to be a superstar in this league. Like you said, as nice as Kyrie might be I don’t think he is better than Barnes and we have a greater void to fill at the 3 than at the 1 (Calderon<J Johnson and Kleiza). If we miss on both Barnes and Irving and we can get some value for the pick I'd be fine with trading it.
    In terms of a top 25 player we could attract here….maybe Josh Smith or something?

  • JezusP

    Chris Paul…..For…..

    Calderon / Kleiza / First round pic.

    Or even if we can get Barnes or Irving, trading them to NO with those other two. I don’t know how Bosh’s Player Exception works but maybe throw some of that over there too.

    • Nilanka15

      As nice as this would be, I’m sure the Hornets could get MUCH more than Calderon/Kleiza/pick if they were officially taking offers for Paul.

      I mean, D.Will was traded to New Jersey for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, two first round draft picks, and $3 million.

    • I’d rather take Irving than trade him and others for Chris Paul, if I’m Toronto. I think Paul is great, but he’ll be 26 next season, has trouble staying healthy, partly because of the way he plays and he’s not the most solidly built guy. And unfortunately, when he’s playing hurt his game suffers a lot because his game is predicated on speed. That’s why I like PGs like Ivring, because they will most likely be able to play at a high level for a long time.

      Of course, the other problem with trading for farm for Paul is he might be gone in a year.

      • Ruuuuuuuuu

        The only reason not to put together a package for CP is that he would not extend

  • Dk

    Hmm, not sure what to make of PAWS, but here is Berri’s take:

    Barnes doesn’t fair too well.

    My feeling is that’s Irving or bust for the Draft.

    • sleepz

      I think once the tournament is done and work-outs are scheduled for college prospects there will be players identified that can help you on the next level.

      Maybe limited in ‘superstar potential’ but plenty of help available if the GM is a good evaluator of talent and players that fit the team are selected.

    • Barnes doesn’t have good stats because he stunk it up for the first two months of the season. He’s played A LOT better lately.

      • Ruuuuuuuuuu

        I am really on the Harrison Barnes bandwagon.

        I agree with the sentiment that its: Irving, Barnes, then the rest

        How’s this for a comparison for Barnes….paul pierce?

        • I like that comparison. I remember being at the draft in Vancouver when Paul Pierce fell and my buddy and I kept looking at each other after each pick wondering what the hell was going on. I seem to recall having him as the third or fourth best player, but because he wasn’t an athletic freak, he fell. There’s something to be said for guys who simply know how to play.

          • Ruuuuuuuuuuuuu

            Yeah I like players who just know how to play.

            Even when Barnes was dominating the highschool circuit, the reports were he had a “quiet/subtle domination of the game”. Which means he’s at least making a lot of little plays that make his team better.

            They way Barnes moves reminds me of Pierce too – he has these kind of long strides instead of a crazy vertical.

        • sleepz

          Pierce was a machine at Kansas. No disrespect to Barnes at this time but he hasn’t done enough on the collegiate level yet to be compared to the Truth.

          • Ruuuuuuuuuuu

            PP stayed 3 years in college though

            He didn’t absolutely kill it like Durant/Anthony did…he had 16.4 points and 6.3, which I know doesn’t tell everything. It may be similar to how he is in the NBA – solid but not overly impressive stats – but either 1 or 1A the best player on the floor.

            • sleepz

              I hear what you are saying regarding stats but they don’t always tell the “truth” lol

  • Jpweiss

    I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard talk of Reggie coming back, can’t anyone else see that he’s way too heavy to jump around for more than a few days in a row

    Kleiza will be another waste of a signing

    Barnes seems legit, but with a high pick just take the best guy regardless of position, even if we were forced into taking sullinger another PF

    • KJ-B

      Hmmm, Reggie def won’t help Jose’s assist #’s or overall ball movement/shot blocks on D… He’s kinda like a Jeff Foster, guy who would work well on a deeper roster–not happy that he’ll be grabbing developmental minutes from #7,,Special Ed + Amir… They can’t trade showcase him–couldn’t MLSE have bought him out by March 1st so he could latch on to a contender???

      ((Makes no sense for either party))

      • KJ-B

        except that they’re being “nice guys” and considering his young family that have moved up here this year–if so, I can sorta understand…

  • Regarding the draft Big Board on this site.

    There is always an Avery Bradley in every draft that winds up on someone’s Big Board.

    • Why wouldn’t you have Avery Bradley on your big board? Have you even seen him play?

      • sleepz

        Or Damion James who made other observers “big boards”.

  • GOod podcast, but the audio was awful. It needs to be mixed a lot better. The clips were far louder and clearer than Steve’s audio.

    Anyway, I agree that Irving is the guy the Raptors should be targeting, but if they don’t get the top pick, he’s likely gone. If Minnesota or Washington gets the top pick, maybe a trade can be worked out.

    Barnes is looking better and better. I’m anxious to see how he does in the NCAA. I think that will say a lot.

    One guy not mentioned who, if his knees check out, the Raptors should look at is Enes Kanter. The guy is exactly the type of center the Raptors need to compliment Davis and Amir.

    Yes, there’s always talent at end of draft, but are they really better than James Johnson? Guys who look good in college don’t necessarily look good in the NBA. Chances are, the guy you draft at the end of the first round isn’t going to do much. Johnson, at least, has talent and can play some. Still, I probably would have held onto the pick and tried use it to trade up at the time of the draft

    Speaking of the draft, I was a big proponent of waiting to use most of the TPE at the draft. That’s when Oklahoma used their cap space to trade into the lottery last year.

    Raptors don’t need a top 50 talent to attract people, or even a 10-25 talent. They need a top 10 talent. Bosh was a top 20 talent and he didn’t attract anyone.

    Unfortunately, most of the top 10 talent either aren’t going anywhere or are already in their prime. What NEw Jersey did getting Deron Williams was nice, but it was a huge gamble. The guy is already 27 and they really need to build around him quickly. Of course, the big difference between getting Williams and someone like Chris Paul, is that Williams has the type of game and body that will probably allow him to play at a high level well into his 30s. Guys like Paul, Wall and Rose are obviously great players, but all of them have shown that if they aren’t at full strength, their games suffer. That’s one reason I like Kyrie Irving. He’s got the type of game and body that will allow him to play at a high level for a long time.

    Lastly, I think you should change the name of the podcast to “Moving Forward”. Just kidding.

    • Jim

      Enes Kanter is a bust. I bet you have not seen him play and are just basing this on few articles that you have read.

      He will never be a solid NBA center and putting him beside Amir and Davis will make the offensive productivity of that line almost zero.

      • I haven’t seen him play a whole lot (a couple of games), but you’re assuming a hell of a lot. Why do you think he’ll be a bust? How much have you seen him play?

        • Jim

          I have seen him play alot since I used to live in Turkey. From what I remember, he can not be any taller than 6’10” and so he is not even suited to play NBA center. He can maximum be a PF , coming off the bench and banging and …

          His game will over lap with both Davis and Amir. Add to that the health concerns and I just don’t think he is a safe bet for Raptors given that we have AB, Amir and Ed at this moment.

          • mountio

            Im admitedly not overly farmiliar with his game, but based on this description, Enes is NOT what the raps need (at least with their top pick). I agree with Tim, that we need talent that has the potentially to be superstar talent – we have little, if any, of that now. That is Irving or Barnes. We do NOT need a banger who can play D with our top pick. Thats what the 2nd round is for ..

            • If Irving and Barnes are gone, the Raptors simply need to get the player who will help the Raptors the most. That might be Kanter. The only thing about Kanter I don’t like (other than the knee questions) is that he hasn’t played in almost a year which means a lot of decisions are going to be made on workouts, which I hate.

          • There are loads of centers who are 6’10 and have excelled. Hell, Hakeem was barely 6.10 and he was one of the best centers ever. Besides, height is not as much of an issue as reach and strength. Kanter has, from what I have seen and gather, a very good reach and is very strong.

            Why I think he compliments Davis and Amir is because a lot of his strengths are weaknesses of them. Davis and Johnson are very good defenders, but struggle against bigger, stronger players. Kanter is already 250 lbs and a beast.

            Amir and Davis are very good shotblockers, but sometimes that puts them out of position on defense. Kanter is more of a positional defender than shot blocker.

            Neither Davis nor Amir are good scorers, and while they shoot a high percentage, aren’t the type of guys you want to throw the ball into to get a basket very often. Kanter is a good post scorer and can shoot from outside, as well.

            Davis and Amir are both excellent offensive rebounders, which is usually the case with high energy big men, but because of their lack of strength, sometimes have difficulty on the defensive boards. Kanter is a better defensive rebounder.

            Again, I’ve only see a couple of games, but one of the World Select Game last April and I’m not sure when the other one was, but it seemed to be fairly recent. When is the last time you saw him play?

            • Jim

              “gain, I’ve only see a couple of game”

              This is Key point in your whole Rant. Kanter is not anything that you describe. Plus, you can never really look at the numbers a big puts up in Europe against European PF and Centers and think it will translate to NBA. A good example of that is Keliza who dominated European PFs but can not do anything in NBA.

              If Kanter is available in late 20s then I would take him.

              • I didn’t realize it was a rant. I initially simply said that Kanter is someone the Raptors should take a look at. Then I listed the reasons why I think Kanter compliments Davis and Amir.

                And in the games I saw, Kanter was exactly how I described him. And that’s pretty close to what the scouts seem to say about him. Again, when’s the last time you saw him play? The guy is only 18 years old. If you saw him at 15 or 16, I’m sure he played and looked a bit different since then.

                Also, I’m not looking at stats at all. I was looking at play and scouting reports.

                • pran

                  kanter is verrrry long, along with his bulk i can easily see him playing centre, how awesome would it be if BC could nab this guy along with barnes.

                • Not as good as if he could nab him along with Irving, and then sign Jeff Green or Thaddeus Young.

                • pran

                  that is wishful thinking, I was suggesting the only way we will get kanter is if people stay away from him b/c they fear injury and he ends up falling somewhere in the 10-15 range, where we can arrange a trade a la bargnani for him, there is no way in hell irving will drop low enough to be picked up by us…….or were you being sarcastic I cant tell :s

                • It’s a common trait. Most people just assume I’m sarcastic all the time.

                  My wish, though, is that the Raptors get the first pick, then trade Bargnani for a lower pick and get Kanter. Then obviously sign Green or Young. I can dream, can’t I?

      • Bendit

        You didnt say whether you have seen him play…and how often?

        • Jim

          I have seen him play since I lived in Turkey for few years and have seen him develop. He is nothing like Tim is saying.

          Have you seen Splitter of SAS play???

          Kanter might become as good as him ( given that his knee hold up which is hhhuuuge question mark) in 5 years !! This is what this guy will be in future.

          We have AB who is much more polished and much better offensice threat which can go well with Ed Davis. We don’t need an under size center with health questions.

          • You sort of ruin your argument by saying the Raptors already have Bargnani, so don’t need another center. If Bargnani could play defense and rebound, the Raptors wouldn’t need to find another center.

            As for Kanter, I’m not the only one saying it. The scouts are pretty much saying the same thing. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying that what I saw watching him play is what I said. And apparently so did a lot of scouts.

            Do you know anything about his knee issues? Everything has been VERY vague about them.

  • Bendit

    The podcast indicated that the 1 and 3 were the Raps biggest needs. I believe you will find a large portion of the readership here who would choose the 5 over the 3.

    • mountio

      3 is a much bigger need than 5. Even if you dont like Bargs, there is nothing that says Ed cant grow into the 5. His body is almost there already and his game suits the 5 (blocks shots, limited range, good rebounder). We need talent at the point and wing that can score and defend more than anything by far.

      • Ruuuuuuuuuuu

        I dont think Davis can be a 5, he is a prototypical 4.

        I’ll have to look for a pic somewhere, but I think his overall frame is smaller than Amir Johnson.

        • Well, his father is Terry Davis, and even in the latter stages of his career, he was skinny as hell. That said, I think he looks to have a bigger frame than his father. His shoulders seem pretty wide, which is a good sign. I don’t know if he’ll be able to play center on a consistent basis for, at least, several years though. Remember how skinny Marcus Camby was? Or Tony Battie?

          • Ruuuuuuuuuuu

            Im going to have to stare at Ed Davis today…

            because when I think of him I picture more of a skinny guy with actually narrow-ish shoulders. Kind of like a Batun, TayPrince build…but bigger to play power forward.

            • “Im going to have to stare at Ed Davis today…”

              That sounds kind of creepy.

        • mountio

          No way .. wider shoulders and larger lower body than AJ. More importantly, his game suits the 5 way more than AB (or even AJ). Also – interestingly, look at ABs draft profile from 2006 – 6’10” – 225 lbs ( .. and Eds from 2010 – an identical 6’10”, 225 lbs ( Not saying these bios are perfect (AB was closer to 7 feet for sure) – but my point is given how young Ed is, hes much more of a 5 to me once he matures than AB is, assuming their size is even close to each other (especially considering how few real 7 footer centers there are in the league today)

          • mountio

            Which, just to finish my point from earlier, this tells me to focus more on the PG and wing spots, given both Ed and AB are potentially very solid options at the 5. Not saying Id pass up a stud center is one is available and the best player on the board (we need talent for sure, regardless of position), but we should not, in any way shape or form, be seeking out a 5 man (particularily a banger) to “fill a need” with our top five pick

  • Mediumcore

    Awesome podcast, finally someone is talking abou draft prospects. Raptors need to hit the jackpot and get that number one pic. That way the ball is in their court. Kyrie Irving or bust. I’m not as sold on Barnes as I use to be, but the tournament will be the tell all.

    As far as where we get top 50 players…Memphis was willing to part with Mayo for Josh McRoberts and Indiana’s #1 pic before the trade deadline. If our pic is 3rd or below then I’d say we move anyone of our bigs besides Davis or Andrea…I guess that is either Amir or Evans along with the pic for O.J.

    Another top 50 player I would look into acquiring would be one of either Steph Curry or Monta Ellis from Golden State. That combo hasn’t really worked in my opinion and they need wing players badly. Just so happens that this draft is heavy with two’s and three’s, so perhaps a trade involving our top 5 pick, trade exception, or one of the two with Calderon…not sure what would be reasonable to give up to get either of the two G.S. guards.

    If we do get the #1 pic then I’d say we hold onto it and take our chances with Kyrie..perhaps Barnes.