I thought I’d poll the RR crew on who they think the Raptors should select with the fifth pick. Before we get to that though, the big news story was Andrea Bargnani saying that he’s like to play in a warmer climate if he’s not to remain in Toronto. Here’s the full quote:

“I want to stay in Toronto, at least this is the politically correct answer,” Bargnani told Sky Sports in Italian. “If [I am] to go somewhere else, I’d like a warm climate city and a team where I can actually play my role.”

Let me break this quote down for you:

  1. This is a translated quote from an interview he gave to Italy’s Sky Sports, so there’s something getting lost in translation, namely the “politically correct answer” bit. I don’t think Bargnani’s English is strong enough to use phrases like these, and his answer likely resembled: “I want to stay in Toronto (giggles and says something like, you silly reporter, what else would I say to you, and why are you interrupting my vacation?)”.
  2. “I’d like a warm climate city”. Unless you’re a penguin or a polar bear, given the choice to play in cold or warm climate, you’d always pick the warmer one. The only way you wouldn’t is if it’s something crazy like Dubai or somewhere in Kuwait, where the sun’s concern isn’t to provide sustenance for life but to kill it as fast and efficiently as possible. Having said that, it’s a really needless quote from Bargnani because he has to know how fickle he sounds. Or maybe he’s conveying a humble request to Bryan Colangelo about not wanting to be traded to Minnesota for Ricky Rubio.
  3. “Where I can actually play my role”. STFU already man. The Raptors have done everything but lick your feet (maybe even that) and have pampered you in every conceivable way including defending your weaknesses, promoting you in the media, getting you to skip tough games, guaranteeing you playing time even when it’s not deserved. So what if you don’t officially play the power forward, it’s not like your numbers when you do play the position are that great.

On to the RR crew giving their take:

Blake Murphy: It may sound ethnocentric, but I’m really not feeling either of the big European prospects at #5 (although Kanter, who will be gone, sure sounds like a good bet to contribute). With a 2-year extension, Colangelo can afford to gamble, but it must pay off in the near term. I think Derrick Williams is the best fit but won’t be available (without a trade), so I’d rather hope Knight or Walker can work around their weaknesses and become great NBA guards instead of hoping one of the Euro-Bigs is an instant-Asik. Even with Calderon and Bayless on the roster, the franchise needs to identify a guard to build with DeRozan/Davis/et al, and I have them ranked Irving/Knight/Walker.

phdsteve: If the Raptors actually keep the pick (I think there is a strong chance of them moving up to as high as Minnesota at #2 or down to Washington at #6) then I think the Raptors at this point take the best player on the board at #5. If by some chance Kanter is there, then he’s the guy. If Kanter is gone, then I think they take Knight. But there are still some rumblings that Knight may go at either at #3 or #4, in which case, I think its Vesely since he is the next best talent in this draft.

Tom Liston: It comes with the same caveat from Tim Chisholm’s comments in phdsteve’s podcast, but my early pick is Kawhi Leonard (6’7″, SF, San Diego). He’s lacking a 3-point shot (only 29.1% from college 3), but from all accounts he has a strong work ethic and he’s developing that shot (see: “Leonard’s shooting mechanics look significantly more consistent than they did during his days at San Diego State”). Safer route if you can move Bayless or Calderon for reasonable value? Take Kemba Walker and I’d highly recommend buying a late 1st rounder (or early second) to pick up Justin Harper (6’9″, SF/PF, Richmond), who’s currently pegged at 38th on DraftExpress’ board. He’s just behind Irving and Williams in points per play (good shooter and 6’11.75″ wingspan).

Sam Holako: While I would draft Kemba at #5 if he’s available, no question, I’m a little torn between him and Kawhi Leonard. Right or wrong, Leonard reminds me of Joakim Noah and Luc Mbah a Moute in respect to their work ethic on the defensive end. The jumper can be developed, but there are far too few guys on this team who leave it all out on the floor every game. I recognize the need at three requires a player with a better all-around game, but I irrationally trust that Leonard could grow into that type of player for us.

A-Dub: Bismack Biyombo. Let’s admit that it’s a weak draft, and even guys like Brandon Knight (overall skill) and Kemba Walker (size) have question marks. Biyombo has freakish measurements and athleticism that project him as a center. And he does actually look more like an 18 year old then a 25 year old as some are suggesting.

Matt52 (forums): With a talent level that is underwhelming beyond shooting guard and small forward, the Raptors cannot afford to be picky in their selection. The bottom line is the best player available needs to be selected – which is an old and tired cliche, yet very true. Ideally the Raptors manage to find a way to get Kanter either through him falling or by trading up. I am a fan of Kanter because he has legit size and solid fundamentals while playing the hardest position to fill in the NBA right now – C.

Me: There’s no secret that I’m willing to take a chance on Kemba Walker, this does mean that I’m picking against the generally adhered to principle that you have to draft the best player available. I don’t believe for a minute that Jerryd Bayless is the answer at point guard, and the position needs to be addressed permanently. Brandon Knight’s raw game, if developed, could project him to be a better NBA player, but given the skill-set of DeRozan (poor shot-creator who needs some pressure to be lifted off of him) and the intangible weaknesses of the Raptors (lack of leadership, communication on the floor), Walker is a great fit. A defensive center is the other major need, which I feel is more easily acquired via trade, free-agency, or a later pick, than a starting point guard. Walker’s defensive frailties have been overblown because of his incorrectly rumoured height, now that he’s measuring 6’1″ in shoes, it puts him in the same category as Rajon Rondo.

Hump. Day.

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  • Milesboyer

    I really, really hope that Bargnani’s comments are the tipping point for Colangelo to pull the trigger on a trade.  Probably not, but it doesn’t hurt the chances.  The guy is just too defensive about his crappy defense (and rebounding).  Because he can score 20ppg, he thinks it entitles him to take half the game off.  I hope he’s watching the Eastern Conf. finals so he can see the importance of putting defense front and center…..but it looks like he’s too busy eating gelato and pizza.

    • points

      please, bargs watching the nba finals? you got to be kidding,bargs watching the nba finals like allen iverson is watching euro basketball.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Bargnani in all his off season glory- does he have 1 muscle on his body?

      Infamous Bargnanisms:

      Sometimes I get lazy.

      I got the flu coach. (Again- someone get AB a flu shot he has the immune system of a 5 year old)

      What I do on offense is more complicated than rebounding & defense.

      Get better. Work hard. Be the best. (standard Bargnani pre-post season reply when asked about his game).

      It’s called basketball not reboundball. (or defenseball or hustleball)

      I’m a PF not a center. (7 foot and 250 pound wuss)

      Bargnani’s lazy non dedicated self needs to go in a trade this off season str8 up and down- point blank his shit does stank!!

      BC’s Golden Child aka Bargenstein has finally turned on him and the shit is starting to hit the fan.

       I wonder if Bargnani was 6 feet tall would he still e a basketball player or did he fall into basketball not because of the love of the game but because he was 7 feet tall?

      As well, Bargnani average 21 ppg on 17.8 shot per game- CB never averaged that many shots per game as a Raptor during his tenure in the TDot.

      It’s not a true ‘rebulid’ or ‘winning plan’ until both Bargnani & Calderon- the 2 longest tenured current Raptor players, are traded away.

  • Guest

    Picks – I think the question is what you’d need to do to buy a pick in the 10-15 range.  I don’t think it’s a lot and there will be cost-conscious teams who don’t want to put guaranteed money forward on a rookie.  I like Leonard for pick #7 and below but would choose Kemba Walker over him – Kemba is a leader and a winner.

    Vesely, Burks, Donatas or Faried would be a good pick in the #10-15 range.  I think the strategy with young guys is to pick for upside and hope someone turns into that tier 1 or 2 player who changes the franchise (Faried is the outlier on my list – only pick him if the upside guys are gone).

    I particularly like Burks – I see him as a Kevin Martin type of player.  Not a star, but such a good scorer and shot creator that every team (ie the 2011 bulls) needs one as a killer off the bench in that Manu Ginobili, Jason Terry role.

  • Unfortunately, you defend with your hands, not your forehead. So Kemba’s while, height is not so bad, his  reach is still andissue. That said, he does have a lot of positives. I’d say Kanter, Leonard and Burks seem the safest choices and they should at least be rotation players, with Valanciunas and Walker as being the riskier ones.

    • ak

      shuffling your feet and being able to stay chest to chest is more important than possessing long reach.

      •  Well, he can’t do that either with 99% of the players in the league. Do the publish Chest Height at the Combine?

    • aristides

      Walker’s great vertical makes up for his lack of reach. Check out the sorted combine measurements for all PGs drafted in the top 30 over the years. In th max vertical reach category Walker ranks higher than guys like Darren Collison, Jameer Nelson, and DJ Augustin–all considered decent NBA PGs.   http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?year=All&sort2=DESC&draft=30&pos=1&source=All&sort=13

      • Theswirsky

        “Walker’s great vertical makes up for his lack of reach”

        we are talking a pg here right?  How of a PGs time is spent in the air? 

        • Nilanka15

          I would think his vertical is more relevant when discussing Walker’s offense, rather than defense.

          • aristides

            Fair enough; max vert reach probably helps more on offense (to get a shot off) than on defense for a pg. But presumably it would also help on defense for bothering shots. Besides, doesn’t Walker have pretty good rebounding numbers for a pg? Doesn’t that suggest he’s not hampered by his lack of reach?

            The fact that Walker’s shoulders are lower on his body might not be entirely bad: it might actually give him an advantage when going for steals (2 st/g in junior year).

            • Nilanka15

              I’m with you man.  I like Walker.  I would pick him over Knight.

              • points

                omg nilanka is starting to see the light

  • Nilanka15

    RE: Bargnani, I think the comments are overblown, and shouldn’t affect what the fans already think of him (good or bad).  But Colangelo’s first off-season priority following the draft, should still be to trade him.
    RE: the draft, like some have said, if Kanter is available at 5, he seems like a no-brainer.  If he’s gone, I would lean towards Walker over Knight.  Walker’s game (1-on-1 shot creation) seems to mesh better with DeRozan’s than a PG without ballskills (i.e. Knight).
    Lastly, the Sun is recommending the Raptors make serious inquiries about Rudy Gay.  The articles’ comments then completely rip Frank Zicarelli for writing an article AFTER Grizzlies owner flat out told the media that Gay is not available, and how annoyed he is at such a thought.  Hilarious!

  • Nilanka15

    From TSN:

    “The Raptors did quietly open the door to trading Bargnani this year,” said Feschuk. “That was a non-starter in previous years with Bryan Colangelo, because he had a lot at stake with Bargnani, because basically picking Bargnani was his first real, official act as Toronto’s general manager or certainly his most significant act as Toronto’s general manager in the early days.

    “You’ve always got the sense that Colangelo really wants Bargnani to work out in Toronto and he’s been very adamant about not trading him, but that’s changed.”

  • pran

    #3, well said.

  • Jmarsale

    What Bargs said isn’t fundamentally wrong as much as it is misguided and as far as litmus tests go, it’s pretty mild when compared to the ‘objective’ criticism that has been written about his inability to do just about anything for this team.  The Bargnani era never really got off the ground and this seems like an ideal opportunity to cut the cord before the fans fully turn on him and his value winces toward the basement.

    For some reason the T-wolves are the only team I can see taking him on.  The three headed white monster of Love, Darko and Bargs is pretty solid on paper and we could take back Rubio, thier number 2 or both if we simply traded picks.  We would probably have to throw in Bayless as well (who I really like), but it wouldn’t make sense to keep him with Rubio and/or Irving.  Also Bayless and Love are boys and extending Love is the T-wovles utmost priority heading into next season.  

  • I don’t remember a draft that’s been as difficult to predict as this one.  I really hope the Raptors get Kanter, either by moving up or by him dropping, because, if he works out, I think he’s what the Raptors need the most, and I think he could have as much upside as just about anyone in the draft.

    As for Bargnani, I’ve already said my thoughts here…

    • Nilanka15

      Bahahahahaaaaa!  That pic is ridiculous!

  • Jmarsale

    It is not hard to understand why this draft is so hard to predict.  The lack of star talent murkies the water and the infusion of foriegn talent pretty much throws a monkey wrench into any and all projections.  Kyrie Irving barely played this year and is a consensus top two pick.  Call it xenophobic, ignorant or tired of the same, but I don’t anything to do with any of the international player’s being touted as lottery picks.  It is nothing against them personally, although Kanter is one ugly dude, but the transition from Europe to the NBA is a major obstacle for development and while Toronto serves as a great bridge between the two worlds, I have watched too many young international players struggle to adapt to the pro game.  Toronto is an ideal city to assimilate, but the fanbase will have no patience for a project and all three players are exactly that.   
    It may seem hypocritical that I advocate taking on Rubio and shunning Kanter et co., but Rubio has already been groomed for the pro’s, has an NBA game that would thrive in a faster pace with more athletic player’s around him and is familiar with the media circus that has become North American sports.  These guys may thrive in the NBA and I’m sure at least one of the three will survive the transition, but I would much rather strike out drafting Brandon Knight than Enes Kanter.

  • Jonathan

    Walker the same category as Rondo?  Are you really that fixated on how high above the ground the top of his head is?  I find it amusing you picked probably the worst undersized PG to compare Walker to, considering Rondo has a mammoth 6’9″/6’10” wingspan (compare to Walker’s 6’3″ wingspan) and Walker has one of the worst standing reaches of any drafted PG with measurements recorded.  And then there are even bigger factors like Walker being a junior.

    • points

      you got to have HEART and be a winner like cardiac,enough of this size bullshit . BC you know who you got to get , JT you know who you got to get. So get it done… EOY,COY,ROY and we will be singing KEMBA YAH MI LORD at the end of the season
      with cardiac raptors will be on tnt espn and nbc like the SUNS

      THANK YOU BC .

  • Ops

    Man Bargnani is so damn flabby. What the hell man, too much primo pasta or what? That is just pathetic, I bet Glen Davis looks better with a shirt off than this fat slug. What a lazy ass, he should be ripped as hell. Slob

  • Bendit

    Too delicious…actually saying it is “the politically correct answer” makes “want to stay in Toronto” a negative.

    And what about that new deal BC gave him to play out of position as he claims. He probably used a pen firmly entrenched in teeth to sign the contract.  

  • Juicey

    I don’t think we should read too much into his quote, as it could be somewhat out of context, or atleast that is the politically correct answer.

    If I had to analyze what he said, I wish he would take Colangelo’s criticism more as a learning opportunity.  As far as his role, he should just be happy he has the oppportunity he does in this city, as most other teams would be using him in a lesser capacity, making him take less shots, be a second or 3rd option, and maybe even have him sitting on the bench.

    • Nilanka15

      “…he should just be happy he has the oppportunity he does in this city, as most other teams would be using him in a lesser capacity…”

      The problem is that Bargnani probably doesn’t have an accurate idea of what his actual value is as a basketball player.  Thanks to 5 years of coddling at the hands of Colangelo (and to a lesser extent Triano), Bargnani probably thinks he’s much better than he really is…and thus took offence to Colangelo’s season-ending comments, rather than using them as motivation to improve.

  • Juicey

    Oh, and speaking of Hump Day.  Apparently he just got engaged to Kim Kardashian.  Lemar might have the rings, but Hump has got the better Kardashian.

  • RapthoseLeafs

    TSN reported Bargnani’s interview last night, but only quoted part of the interview – the part that seems inflammatory.

    What they forgot to include was:

    “(Bargnani) said, ‘I understand what Bryan Colangelo said.’ He said,
    ‘I need to improve. I know that I have to improve.’ He wasn’t happy
    about Colangelo’s comments, but he understands these comments, because
    he knows he’s a young player and he knows he has to improve in his
    game,” Mamoli said in a phone

    “I spent 25 minutes with him and he does not have any problem with
    Toronto or with Bryan’s comments. He didn’t seem angry. He understands
    and he accepts what his general manager had to say.”

    I understand the need to sell more papers (or bring more online traffic), but why do people pay attention to this Fess-up article, yet think he’s an idiot most other times.

  • Nilanka15

    Bargnani released a statement.  From the National Post:
    “I wish to personally clarify and correct an inaccurate portrayal of my words that recently appeared in the media. Much of what I said was taken out of context with respect to an entire conversation.“I want to make clear my love for Toronto and that I consider the city a second home. I never said that I want to leave Toronto and I’m sorry if fans interpreted the inaccuracy that way.“I am proud to represent Toronto and the Raptors organization. I appreciate what Bryan Colangelo and the organization has done for me during the past five years of my career. I will always continue to work to improve myself as a player in an effort to reward the organization and our fans with the best team possible.”

    • RapthoseLeafs

      It’s funny Nilanka, how Andrea’s words are getting more play, than the debate about who do we pick in the draft.

      Toronto media does more damage (IMO) to the sporting cause (for our teams), then we as fans. I guess it’s understandable, considering the absence of play-off games in the past 10 years.

      • mountio

        Agreed. He gets under people’s skin .. thats for sure. The visceral reaction to a few comments that appear to be taken out of context is alarming.
        Lets hope this whole thing gets quashed quickly and we do focus our efforts where they should be – on our draft pick and the upcoming year.
        At this point .. Im about as numb as I could be about whether AB comes back or not. I still think he has more talent than any other player we have .. but his inability to come through in the clutch really soured me on him this year.

      • Raptorfan

        100% agreed. It is truly shame how Media will help some uneducated fans to push our stars out of the town and … The attitude of the fans and Media needs to be changed in this town. We have 4 different sport franchise here and all of them are losing !!!

        • points

          BY ANY MEANS ! i want this franchise player gone from the raptors as soon as possible maybe we can get a couple of players for him (bench players i don’t care)

          • Tim

            Who is the Franchise player ??!! If you are referring to AB, then you are wrong. He is not our franchise player since he is not even getting paid like One !!! He is our number one option on the offence since the other players like Amir Johnson can not create their own shot if their life is dependent on it.

            • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

              Amir has hit a game winner for the Rap’s against OKC- has Bargnani ever done that?

              17.8 shots per game says Franchise to me or at least trying to be one- on offense.

              AB is currently the Rap’s most talented player and most lethargic as well- a bad combination.

              AB needs a teammate like KG who would put his foot up Barg’s ass for missing rotations on D and so forth.

              • Tim

                He also fouled a 3 point shooter with less than 20 second in the game and cost us the game !!!  Did AB ever do that !!

                17.8 shot  =  Franchise !!! No, It is not. It means that the team has no player that they can go on the offence to and therefore they have to USE their best player which should be a 2nd or third option in a good team as their main guy  🙂 🙂 AB is getting paid like a 3rd option in a good team, Lamar Odom, but since he is in a team full of Scrubs, he is used as a first option.

                How is he the most Lethargic ??!! This is your personal opinion at best. 

                I agree. AB should not be a first option, team leader or franchise player. He needs to be in a team that has all that plus a coach that keeps him in line. However, BC and Jay have made a team that lacks all that and even without AB, will have a tough time competing in the D-League.

              • KuH

                 So, returning to the draft, let’s draft Bismack Biyombo … and let him put his foot up AB!!

            • points

              bargs said he was the franchise player , i’m pretty sure thats the word he used.

              • Tim

                No, He did NOT 🙂

                • points

                  buddy go read what ne said in the interview after BC calls him out.

              • Who really cares whether he said he’s a franchise player or not, or whether he’s considered the franchise player, or not.  He’s a big man who doesn’t play defense or rebound and has a negative effect on the team when he’s on the floor.  As the franchise player or the 8th man, that’s simply not good.

                • Tim

                  Wrong again. He can have a Positive impact on the right system and when he is used the right way. If you install a Jet engine on your refrigerator and it does not work, then it does not mean there is a problem with Jet engine. It is your moronic brain that did not realize how to use the jet engine.

                • Nilanka15

                  Only Bargnani’s isn’t a jet engine on a refridgerator.  He’s more like an ice dispenser that doesn’t dispense ice.  A 7 footer who doesn’t rebound or rotate is, for all intents and purposes, useless.

                • Steve

                  lol, that is ur personal opinion but great to see that you did understand the logic here  🙂 and did not get confused ………… NOTTT

                • Nilanka15

                  I understood the (poor) analogy just fine.  Regardless, that doesn’t change the fact Bargnani is as good as gone.

                • Steve

                  Dream on !!! AB will be here next season. Mark my word !!

                • Nilanka15

                  Quit lying to yourself.

                • Bendit

                  That sounds like a Hedo-ism. He and his supporters as well made the argument that the system did not fit him. And in some ways he had more of a leg to stand on coming off a couple of v. good seasons in Orlando. We now know it had nothing to do with the system…after his stopover in Phoenix and somewhat abysmal showing back with the Magic. So, please, this notion that a single player (not named a James or Kobe or Novitzski and of that ilk) must be catered to to the exclusion of the rest is not to understand the game at this level…or very player centric.  

                • You disagree with me so you call me a moron?  You pretty much lost any rational argument right there.  

                  Also, do you have any evidence to backup your claim, or just your intuition?  This is a big man who is an extremely poor rebounder and defender and really only does one thing well.  What makes you think that’s not a problem?

                • Jeff

                  read again, he did not call u a moron but your idea and ur argument is moronic. So strop crying when someone proves you wrong.

                • Statement

                  how did he prove Tim wrong?

                  Cesco, is that you?

                • Roy

                  It is simple, this is the problem that Raptors have had for years now. Not using the guys the right way and then expecting miracles. The example points to that and is simple to understand  if you are familiar with this team’s history.

                  Now, as far as Tim W, he has had a personal agenda against AB for a long time. It is quite sad to see a grown up man with such an anger issue that can not let go. I wonder what happened when he was in Italy with his wife 😉 🙂

                • Nilanka15

                  Unrealistic, hypothetical scenarios (i.e. jet engines on a fridge) = proof?  My, what a world we live in…

  • Kevin

    I also do not believe that Bayless is our answer at the PG spot at all.  My pick would be Knight or Walker which ever one is on the board or there’s always going for a PG in next years draft?

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      We really don’t know about Bayless’ game since he was never given a proper pg audition during the so called past ‘rebuild’ season as Jose continued to start late into the season (even when he was hurt).

      Bayless palyed well when given starters minutes but we don’t know about his consistency going into next season.

      Knight nor Walker aren’t currently better than Bayless and there’s no guarantee that they will be better than Bayless in the future.

      • points

        would you have a problem with bayless and walker ?

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

          I’d pass on Walker as well at 5. I want Kwahi Leonard at 5!! 

          Walker is a very good player but just not what the Rap’s need right now especially with all the potential solid pgs (Teague, Kabongo, Wroten, Rivers) coming out next season in the draft.

          I want the Rap’s to acquire a veteran NBA pg like TParker or RFelton via a trade while somehow trading away Jose in the process.

  • Raptorfan

    “now that he’s measuring 6’1″ in shoes, it puts him in the same category as Rajon Rondo.”

    I don’t think we can compare his height to Rondo since Rondo has a huge Wing span of 6’9″ which will help him on defense and …

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    Kawhi Leonard or bust!!!!

  • kaboom

    when bargnani said that sometimes he just gets lazy after playing for the team in years, thats when I realized that BARGNANI NEEDS TO GTFO OF TORONTO BEFORE I PERSONALLY CALL MAYOR FORD TO PACK UP HIS BAGS FOR HIM COS HE FRIGGING SUCKS

    • onemanweave

      Have yet to see a comprehensive comparison between Kanter and Valanciunas.
          Most  bloggers lean towards Kanter because JV might not be available for a year or two.  Why is this the most crucial element?  Are the Raps planning a title run next season?
        A small piece of the Kanter puzzle I’ve never heard touched on is that before his Nike Hoop Summit explosion, his practices were curtailed by ‘lower back problems’. Is this in addition to his ‘knee problems’?
          Experts have been quick to point out that he isn’t the ghost of AB, but how about Greg Oden?
          If a big is chosen, it should be the best long term prospect. Not saying JV or Biyombo ARE better long term prospects, but short term success shouldn’t really enter into the picture if we are truly re-building.
         Unless, of course, the main issue is to save a GM’s butt who has a rapidly-closing, two-year window on job security.

      • Nilanka15

        You’re last line pretty much answers your own question.  As much as we’d like to think Colangelo has the team’s best interests at heart, he’s human after all.  And if he can make a pick that visibly fills a glaring hole, while helping his own job security in the process, he’s obviously going to do it. 

        Based on this, Kanter seems much more likely to end up in Toronto (if available) than Valanciunas, who may not be in a position to contribute until after Colangelo’s contract expires.

        • onemanweave

          IF the minority owner and the GM hold the Toronto fan base in that kind of contempt, maybe the little bean counter was right.
              Hope BC has the cojones to build the best team he can going forward and that ownership has the brains to not judge him on short term gains.

          • onemanweave

            One further point on Kanter’s lower-back, knee, achilles ankles etc. — he hasn’t gone through the rigors of an collegiate season, let alone the longer NBA grind.
                Is he physically capable of handling that?   Oden at least held together through his NCAA career to the point where it was pick-em between Durant and him.
                Love the fact that Kanter may be a beast, BUT so was Oden and he had a lot fuller track record to go on.

          • Nilanka15

            Having said that, I don’t think Kanter would disappoint.  He may have less “potential” (whatever that means) than Valanciunas, but if Kanter can turn into a Bogut-type player, and there’s no reason to think otherwise, it’ll be a great selection.

            This is especially true if the 3 team Pacer-Grizzlies-Raptors trade rumour is real!

            • onemanweave

              Like Kanter’s size, toughness, polish, avalability.  Wonder about his durability. 
                 It boils down to a issue for medical experts and insiders on European b-ball that have watched Kanter, JV and Biyombo develop and/or compete. 
                 Don’t pretend to have the knowledge to make a call. Just hate to see so much emphasis placed on a possible one-year wait if Valanciunas is the best bet.
                  What is the trade rumor?  I’ll bet it involves Gay.

              • Nilanka15

                Regarding the trade rumour, see separate post below.

      • KuH

        Agreed.  I am glad to see A-Dub’s choice of Biyombo.  I think the consensus is overlooking someone who is going to be a very good player two years out.

        By the way, if we do draft Biyombo type, I think it is essential to keep Calderon.  While we have a forecourt that is raw in offense, I think having a player like Calderon – who makes other people around him look good – is essential.

      • You bring up some good points in your comments.  A comparison between Kanter and Valanciunas would be a good idea.  As a blogger who favours Kanter over Valanciunas, I do so not because I feel he’ll make more of an immediate impact, but because of I feel a couple of Valanciunas’ weaknesses scare me a bit.  He has a penchant for fouling that makes Amir Johnson looked restrained, in that area.  He fouls at a rate of more than 1 every 5 minutes.  In other words, he’ll have to improve markedly just to stay on the floor for more than 20 mpg.  The other red flag with him is that I haven’t been impressed with his hands.  He seems to fumble passes a lot and doesn’t always grab rebounds that he probably should.  This isn’t a good trait for a big man.  Kanter seems to have great hands.  For those reasons, I actually like Kanter’s potential more than Valanciunas’.  

        If Valanciunas was guaranteed to come over right away, I’d still take Kanter over him.  Your question about whether Kanter can withstand the rigors of playing 82 is a valid one.  He hasn’t HAD to play a long season, so we simply don’t know.  But I don’t think there’s any comparison between him and Oden.  Oden moved like an old man.  Kanter is fluid and moves like a professional athlete.  Obviously, I’d want to check him out medically, but he passes the “eye test”.  Oden did not.  Which was why Bill Simmons was vehemently against drafting him, by the way.

        • onemanweave

          Good post. Those are the sort of things that will be weighed, rather than immediate availability, I’d hope.
              I’m sure they’ll check out EK quite thoroughly.  The ‘lower back’ thing just kind of jumped out at me, cause all I’d ever heard about were knee problems.
             Kanter, at least at this stage, seems more of an NBA center than Valanciunas. A young, physical big man — the best one that scouts can find — would open the door to a lot of other options, as we discussed and discussed and discussed ….. lol.
             That’s why it’s so important to get the right one.  Hope they can add a late first -early second pick as this draft lacks height but has some depth.

  • Mediumcore

    I’d support the Raptors trading the 5th pick along with assets to try and acquire a starter. Anyone in the draft not named Irving or Williams will not have an immediate impact on this team … possibly Kanter could, but I’m not completely sold on him as a centre. I can see the attraction to Walker because he can provide that immediate gratification for scoring, but I think the Raptors need to aim higher than that for their PG of the future. That role can be filled in next years draft if not by a trade.

  • MC

    Great comments guys and I like following the thread.  For what ever it is worth…was at ONE in Yorkville the other night and Jay Triano was there.  Went up to him said hello and he was gracious enough to chat for 10 minutes about the Raptors and the draft.  When I asked him about his thoughts on Kanter and his comments about where he would play, Jay said they are definitely not taking Kanter.  They thought there were some issues with him (didnt mention what they were obviously) and given the lack of depth in the draft that there would be players available to fill needs.  Again, not sure what this all means given it’s still early in the evaluation process, but Jay was quite frank in his discussion of the raptors and draft.

    • Nilanka15

      Thanks for the comment.  Either Triano was telling the truth, or he was just blowing smoke.  Maybe he knows of an upcoming trade that’s being discussed in the forum 😉 

    • barenakedman

      Triano or any other NBA head coach chatting with a fan he had just met and saying his GM is definitely not selecting Kanter or any other high pick because there are issues with him is more than a little far fetched.       

  • Nilanka15

    Cut & pasted directly from the forum:

    “Rumblings of trade rumours are coming out of the NBA for those teams now out of the post season. The news could get much more real for teams like the Pacers, Grizzlies and Raptors as a proposed 9 player trade could take place. Although just rumours one source has stated GM’s of these teams have been in heavy talks. This proposed trade works out on paper with the required salaries balancing out and beneficial to all. This could be much more than a rumour!This idea out of the woodworks has put forth a 3 team proposal involving the Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors. 9 players will be changing cities if the rumoured trade goes down.The trade breaks down as follows;To Indiana we would see OJ Mayo from Memphis, a player the Pacers have previously tried to trade for during the trade deadline as well as Xavier Henry the 12th pick of the 2010 draft. The Toronto Raptors would send Jose Manuel Calderon giving the pacers a veteran point guard who could again replace the departed TJ Ford.The Memphis Grizzlies would receive Andrea Bargnani. Recently Bargnani stated on Italian broadcast of the playoffs his displeasure with how Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo ousted him out in his exit interview at the end of the season. The Grizz would also get Leandrinho Barbosa from the Raptors, along with the 10th overall pick of the 2010 draft; Paul George.The Raptors would welcome a very much needed Rudy Gay, as well as James Posey and Dahntay Jones from Indiana. Rudy Gay would fit in perfect with this young, exciting, athletic core group of guys like J.Bayless, D.Derozan, J. Johnson, A. Johnson and E. Davis. Posey and Jones would be trade fillers with some possible up-side in Jones who was mainly signed to his current contract because of his defense which Toronto could use.Trade rumor recap:Trade to MemphisAndrea Bargnani, Leandrinho Barbosa, , Paul GeorgeTrade to IndianaOJ Mayo, Xavier Henry, Jose CalderonTrade to TorontoRudy Gay, James Posey, Dahntay Jones”

    • mountio

      Sign me up for this one if its true. Sure, Gay is a little overpaid .. but if you are able to move Jose (plus AB) .. its worth the risk. It is a risk, for sure as he could end up being a lame duck with a massive, long contract .. but hes exactly what we need position wise, and to be honest with ourselves, hes about the level of superstar that we would realistically be able to keep in Toronto (the ‘Lebron’esque caliber star will likely always leave, even if we draft him)
      I would also do this deal all day every day if Im Memphis. AB would be a great compilment to Gasol and z-Bo, it gets Gay of your books so you can pay Gasol and makes your frontline even scarier than it is today. Theyve proved they can win without Gay .. so as good as he is .. its not a bad time to get rid of him if you can get value.
      Very interesting …

    • Mediumcore

      Very interesting….was there a source? If this was to go through the Raptors would be left without a starting PG as well as starting Centre. One of the two spots can be filled by the draft pick but I don’t think any rookie could start right away. Perhaps more trades to come? Very interesting proposal none the less.

      • Nilanka15

        The source is mentioned in the forum thread (I personally can’t access it at work).

        The holes at PG and C might be filled from the draft (Knight, Walker, Kanter).  I would say that Walker or Kanter would be capable of stepping into the starter’s role from day-1.

        The other option is free agency.  A lot of people hate the Dalembert idea, but if he can be obtained for a relatively inexpensive 2-year deal (and stays healthy), he would fit pretty well.


        Not too shabby.

        Posey has 1 year left on his contract.  He can either be bought out for added cap flexibility, or traded mid-season to fill a hole.

        • Juicey

          Posey is getting old, but I always liked his defense and clutch 3s.  Might be a good stop-gap until the trade deadline and then could be a good trade-chip to a better team.  But then again I thought the same things about Reggie and Barbosa.

          Overall good trade for everyone.  But I am not certain Memphis would make that bold of move (moving Gay and Mayo), or if the Raptors fill those two spots that easily.  But to be honest if they are left with short term holes, but long-term solutions, then it’s great.  Another year in the tank means a better pick in a better draft, while they will have solved a problem they have had for years at the 2.  And I would be glad that this trade doesn’t involve sending off our pick.

          AB up-front with Gasol and Z-Bo would be scarry.

        • Jeff

          Dudem u really live in a dream world , right ??

          • Nilanka15

            Smartass, I didn’t start this rumour.  It was reported in the forum. 

        • Steve

          One has to be a moron to believe that this trade is possible unless Toronto is giving its fifth pick to the Nuggets and more !!!

          • Nilanka15

            One has to be a moron to give Denver a pick in a trade that has nothing to do with them, lol.

            • RapFan

              It is obvious that he means Memphis Smart ass. Do you really think this deal is realistic and not just a wet dream of some teenage blogger ??!!

              • Nilanka15

                Is the trade fair for all 3 teams involved?  Yes
                Do the salaries match?  Yes
                Is it likely to happen?  Probably not due to it’s complexity
                Is it fun to discuss?  Yes

                • mountio

                  Agreed. Ive seen a lot more far fetched ideas thrown around. I think this is a pretty good trade for Memphis. They have a lot of salary locked up in Gay and they would much rather spend it on Gasol. Could they get more for Gay? Maybe, but Im not sure .. hes clearly overpaid, despite being a quality player. Not a lot of teams are lining up to take him at the max ..
                  Anyways .. dont know if its real or not but it passes the smell test to me and is worth discussing

                • Moses

                  How is this a great trade for Memphis ?? Post this trade in a Memphis fan site and see what they will say about this.

                  Mayo to Indiana will happen since it went almost through before the trade deadline. However, Mayo’s price tag has gone up since the play offs.

                  Toronto has nothing to offer to either these teams and neither of them need the over paid, defensively challenged Toronto players unless we offer them our fifth pick and one of our young players as well.

                  Memphis needs to sign Gasol and this is why they need to get rid of Gay. They don’t want to take that much salary back, plus, they can get alot more for Gay than AB and Barbosa !!!

                  Really, Do you live in a Dream land ?

                • Nilanka15

                  Gay’s a borderline all-star making max money.  With a new CBA looming, do you really think there are 29 teams lining up in front of Memphis’s door?

                  They already proved they are a solid team without Gay on the floor.  And now that Gasol’s contract is in limbo, wouldn’t it be nice to have a contigency plan (i.e. Bargnani) in case Gasol is offered a contract that Memphis simply cannot match?

                  And with Mayo gone, a scoring threat off the bench in Barbosa makes perfect sense….and it’s low-risk with just 1 year left on his contract (assuming he picks up his player option).

                  And don’t discount the importance of Memphis receiving Paul George in this deal.  He has future all-star written all over him.

                • Mosses

                  Gay is an ALL-STAR and the same way that Raptor fans here are jumping up and down and having wet dreams about the possibility of having him, there are teams like Minnesota, Kings, Cleavland, Clippers and …. who would love to pair him up with their players and use him as a building block for future. Don’t kid yourself when evaluating a player like Gay and thinking he has NO demand in this market.
                  This reminds me of last year when Collision was available and people were thinking they can give up Calderon for him and … you all saw what it took for Indiana to get Collision.

                  As I said, the deal between Indiana and Memphis seems logical but Toronto has no place in there with all the BAD contracts that are mentioned in this trade UNLESS we give up our fifth pick and even more in players like Ed, DD or Amir.

                  Lets face it, our team is dumping 2 of biggest contracts here in AB and Jose, two players that the whole league knows can NOT play defense and our team has NO room for them in the future. Then we are dumping another huge contract of Barbosa, an ageing SG with a suspect health.

                  In order to do all that, we need to give up more or Otherwise, other teams in NBA will be able to offer them more. That is Reality and you should try it.

                  That being said, if BC manages to pull this trade without giving up more, then he should become the GM for Toronto for the rest of his life.

                • mountio

                  Im with Nilanka on this one. Perhaps we need to add in our draft pick this year .. Ill give you that, but I dont think this trade is miles off the mark.
                  Your comments are all valid, but you seem to me missing the point that Gay is very overpaid and thus his desire to many teams is limited. On the contracts, all that Memphis is taking is AB (4 yrs for 42 m total or 10.5/yr) and they are giving back Gay (4 yrs for 69 mm total or 17.2/yr). Calderon is going to Indiana, so that is moot from a Memphis point of view. Barbosa is an expriing at 7.6, so not that big a deal, and Paul George has a great contract at like 2.5 mil / yr for 4 yrs.
                  In terms of Gay himself, think of him as analgous to Bosh (only a little bit worse and thus a little more overpaid). He has the potential to be a franchise killer with that contract. Would I take the risk if Im the raps? Hell yeah. Would I take the risk if Im a bunch of other teams that have decent futures without him? Im not sure.
                  We will find out though, as Im pretty sure he will be shopped aggresively this off season ..

                • Nilanka15

                  There is next to no info on this rumour anywhere.  But the Sun (not a reliable source, I know) did suggest the idea of going after Gay.  And ESPN’s rumour central has a similar headline involving the Raptors and Gay…

                  …all I’m saying is that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

                • Theswirsky

                  I think people feel like Toronto is giving up nothing in this trade but getting a “star” (I use that term loosely) in return.  But I don’t think its that simple

                  I’m all for Bargnani going but its not like it hasn’t been discussed around here that he would be best suited as the 6/7th man off the bench, which I imagine he would be doing in Memphis.  I personally think Memphis would regret this, but hey its memphis I don’t care.

                  Jose moves into a back up, leadership role and adds immediate experience to a young team in Indy.  I know people knock his D, but he is still one of the top passing PGs in the league.  Indy now has a legit consistent backup if Collison gets injured or stays inconsistent.  (Indy as a whole gets immediately deeper)  I think losing Jose is going to hurt more than alot of fans think (although the need for change more or less demands this)

                  Barbossa is more or less irrelevant but a reasonable replacement for OJ.

                  Gay on the other hand comes with a lot of risk attached.  His injury was not exactly minor and he has a max contract attached to him…. considering his team didn’t loose a beat when he was out, I’m not sure thats a compliment to his improtance/value.

                  Would another team covet Gay?  Sure, but would Memphis get a future potential all-star in that deal (like they may in Paul George) as well as a lottery pick?  I do think in the end, George will become the best player in this deal. 

                  Indy gets deeper and gets experience immediately.

                  Toronto gets a potential star and gets the change it needs

                  Memphis doesn’t change much from what they were in these playoffs, except add a threat (and detriment) from the bench.  But George and/or a pick means a possible replacement in the medium term for Battier.  (now if this trade, or additional trades, doesn’t allow for Gasol to be resigned I imagine this trade is nixed)

                  If Toronto has to give up the #5 pick in this deal, well I hope they find a way to keep Jose then. 

                • mountio

                  Well said. I just flipped through the forum and lots of good chatter on this too. Clearly the trade is worth discussing, and not totally crazy / lopsided as Mosses suggests

                • Mosses

                  If you include our fifth pick or give them back some young talent like Ed or DD or Amir, then this is a possible trade otherwise, it is totally one sided for us.
                  My feeling is that we will get the over weight Diaw this summer for Calderon and maybe another player from Suns if they decide to break it up and rebuild for AB. 

                • Mediumcore

                  Just in case it’s not just a rumor does anyone know if this trade can go through before the playoffs are over or is there a certain period of time they have to wait until pulling the trigger?

  • Statement

    Sorry to redirect the chat, but this was a funny little piece which contained some content about our boy Colangelo.
    The money quote:

    • Statement

      “To be a successful coach or general manager, you don’t just have to make good decisions.  You also – and this is probably more important – have to get along with other people.  This list of other people includes the players, other coaches, other people in the front office, and of course the owner.  If you can’t do that – as Cho discovered — you are not going to stay in your job.   And if you can do that – as Bryan Colangelo has apparently discovered – you can keep your job even if you don’t do a very good job of building a playoff team.”

  • kaboom

    I’d take Biyombo over walker if knight is not available in the 5th pick. Im just no sold on kanter being our center. Biyombo could be an okafor type of player if not more because of his athleticism and wingspan.

  • Daniel

    By no means is Bargnani stating his dissatisfaction with the Toronto Raptors. He is merely stating a preference of his: that if he WERE to be traded, then he would prefer somewhere warm. N.B. He only said that IF he were traded, then he would like somewhere warm. You cannot extrapolate from a comment as fickle as his. In doing so, you only achieve to generate needless speculation that has no purpose in the greater scheme of things.

  • Look he said if he was traded.  Some days I wish I got traded to some where warm and hot. I don’t care if leaves or goes.  But he is a nice piece an if he had players around him.  For example Nene Hilario, Tyson Chandler, Tayshaun Prince, J.R Smith and Jamal Crawford (All of them are unrestricted free agents) I just hope our GM signs does his job right. If not it’s going another long year for us

  • Statement

    I posted this on raptorblog cause I thought it was interesting.  Do you folks agree or disagree with this?”Well said about Reggie Scott,I would take Dorsey over Reggie too. Dorsey is good value for money and replicates Reggie’s most valuable skill.I don’t know if the narratives about Reggie bringing out more intensity and toughness in his teammates is true or not, but it didn’t seem to me that Reggie made any difference to the defense.82 games.com says that both the Raps defense and offense was worse with Reggie on the floor and his 2 year-adj plus minus was negative. Meanwhile, Dorsey’s defensive impact was way positive, according to 82 games. Keep Dorsey.”BTW Dorsey is younger and will probably just want work while Reggie will probably want to hold out for something long-term.KEEP DORSEY!

    • Nilanka15

      The only thing Reggie has that Dorsey doesn’t is “veteran experience”….whatever that’s worth….

    • RapthoseLeafs

      Reggie’s contribution wasn’t always on the floor.

      • Statement

        My question to that would be,

        If it doesn’t show up on the floor, than what does it matter?

  • sleepz

    Not sure where to find this info but does anyone know if there has been an NBA Champion during the last 20 years that was NOT a top 5 defensive ranked team that year?

    Maybe you can help me Liston? Needed to settle a friendly wager. 

  • sleepz

    Not sure where to find this info but does anyone know if there has been an NBA Champion during the last 20 years that was NOT a top 5 defensive ranked team that year?

    Maybe you can help me Liston? Needed to settle a friendly wager. 

    • The ’94-95 Houston Rockets fit the bill.

  • sleepz

    Not sure where to find this info but does anyone know if there has been an NBA Champion during the last 20 years that was NOT a top 5 defensive ranked team that year?

    Maybe you can help me Liston? Needed to settle a friendly wager. 

  • Raptorfan

    Congratulation to CB4 for making it to the NBA finals.

    20 Pt, 10 rebound, 4 Block Shot.

    Congrats big man and good on you for shutting up the Haters in RR.

    Next Year, it will be AB making noise in a big stage.

    • RPMan

      yes, it was a thing of beauty seeing him play tonight. Just last year, he was getting a beating here on this site and was called all kind of names and  …  Now look at him, playing in NBA finals in Miami 🙂 I am happy for him and have a feeling same thing will happen to AB next year.

      • kaboom

        difference is that bargnani is not a chris bosh caliber type of player. I dont see him scoring with that chicago bulls defense and rebounding against noah or boozer around him. he could be in a championship team but i dont see him being the second or third option. Even chris bosh is a third option and is considered soft by alot of people. Just imagine bargnani being in the spotlight that chris is in right now. The whole american media would probably wont just throw mud but shit with a mix of piss at him.

    • Statement

      Bosh doesn’t bother me at all.

      It shouldn’t bother me that James is on the finals, but “the decision” just left a bad taste in my mouth.  Although, I heard that the proceeds from the ad revenue went to charity.

      Still, I can’t help feeling what I feel and that is disappointment.  Next year Chicago, next year.

    • sleepz

      +1, indeed Bosh silenced the critics after his recent performances

      -1, AB will not be making any  noise without serious improvement in his game 

    • e2thed

      +1 , 
      It is always nice to see players that we saw growing in front of our eyes for years do well in NBA. It is just sad that the bad management, bad and uneducated fan base are running these guys out of town and we can not see them doing what they do in the Raptor Jersey.  I am sure AB will also explode next year and might even win the 6th man of the year ( his Salary really is for the 6th man for a good team). 

  • RapthoseLeafs

    Over at Holly-Land, Phil gave his thoughts on the Bargnani fiasco:

    “Reporter to blame, what city would you go to if you rub a genie lamp
    etc, give me a break, why not just ask him what superpower he would like
    to posess? This is bball man, not hypothetical world of bizarro…none of
    this would have happened if the reporter had a quality relevant
    question to pose, what a shmuck… ”
    Now that’s a +1

  • Sean

    “I don’t think Bargnani’s English is strong enough to use phrases like these,”

    obviously he gave that interview in italian …

  • shiett

    friggin bargnani just doesnt give a fuck about what people tell him. This guy instead of working on his game just keeps on doing interviews radios show hosting and guesting tv shows. stupid fuck needs to gtfo of toronto for the sake of the franchise. And did he said in one of his interviews that he wants to run a basketball team when he retires? omg this guy is dreaming seriously. BC PLEASE TRADE BARGNANI FOR A MORE EFFICIENT PLAYER THAT DOESNT NEED TO TAKE 19 SHOTS A GAME TO SCORE 21 POINTS WITH NO REBOUNDING SKILLS OR DEFENSE. IM BEGGING YOU PLEASE BC FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

  • Nilanka15

    Funny stat:

    Andrea Bargnani and Kemba Walker both averaged 5.2 rebounds per game last season.  LMAO!

    • mountio

      You have lots of resonable things to say .. you hurt your credibility by throwing out completely useless, irrelevant AB comparisons/thoughts like this one ..

      • Nilanka15

        Is it really irrelevant to point out that an undersized, 21 year old PG is just as good a rebounder as a 7ft, 25 year old centre?  Sure one played in college, and the other in the pros, but my post still highlights the drastic difference in each players’ willingness to hustle, and lay his body on the line.

        Chances are you didn’t like the comment simply because it painted a bad (yet accurate) picture of Bargnani.

        • mountio

          I could give a million analogies that point out how ludicrus it is to compare any college stat to any NBA stat.
          Kawhi Leonard (a 6’6′ small forward) had WAY more RPG than Kevin Garnett (10.6 vs 8.9). LMAO! (Clearly shows Garnett is slow and lazy!)
          Jimmer Ferdette scored more ppg than Lebron and Durant! LMAO! (must show LBJ’s inability to score!)

          Starting to get my point .. ?

    • RapthoseLeafs

      Kemba played in the NBA?

  • Nilanka15

    From Sports Illustrated:

    “It should surprise no one that Minnesota is entertaining offers for this pick. Williams is considered by most teams (including Minnesota) to be the best player available after Irving, but it’s hardly a fantastic fit. Michael Beasley has a similar skill set, and forward Kevin Love and swingman Wesley Johnson don’t appear to be going anywhere. One source says the Wolves have considered moving down a spot or two to take Enes Kanter while getting additional assets in a trade.”

    If a trade isn’t made before the draft, and Kanter happens to fall into our lap at 5, perhaps a door is opened to trade for Derrick Williams.

    • Johhny

      Kanter will be taken by Minny even if they do not make a trade. Then, It will be Utah , trying to replace Okur by getting Kanter and letting his country man Okur mentoring him. Then it will be Cavs who have dreams of pick and role of Ivring and Hickson and Ivring and Kanter.

      I think there is less than 5% chanse that Kanter will be avaliable at 5 unless the issues with his knees surface again.

  • Sunrisehwy

    Hello Barn man was taking a shot at +1 Bosh, wanting to play in the sun!!! Give it a brake.