Colangelo has tough decisions to make, so I’ll help him out by dropping players into three categories for him: Shape Up, meaning they need to improve considerably if they want to stick around. Ship Out, meaning their time is up and we should part ways. Finally, there’s the All Good category, which means that based on the current trajectory of the player and the incremental improvement they’ve shown, they should stick around.

DeMar DeRozan: He answered the questions put to him at the end of last season by improving his mid-range game and his ball-handling skill. The efficiency numbers took a slight dip due to increased shot attempts, more minutes and greater pressure to score, but he never came close to dominating the ball or becoming a volume shooter. The defense is still a ways away, but if he can replicate his offensive improvement on the defensive end next year, he could take a big step towards becoming a complete player. The question of whether he’s a good player on a bad team, or a great player in the making will be answered very soon, well before his rookie-deal expires in 2012.
Verdict: All Good.

Jose Calderon: 68. That’s how many games Calderon has played in each of the last three season, but only in the one that just ended has he been close to being healthy. Calderon will be 30 once training camp hits and remains the lone reminder of the Raptors’ wishful thinking of Chris Bosh being a centerpiece. We’ve gone as far as we can go with Calderon at the point, his ceiling is quite evident (if he hasn’t reached it already), and for both parties’ sakes, a change of scenery is in order. For the Raptors, it’s because new, young blood is needed and for Calderon, because he deserves a better legacy than being a poor defender on a treadmill team who is inequitably blamed for the team’s poor defense. He’s better than that, and I hope he shows it with a good team. The Raptors need to have two-way players at at least four out of the five starting positions, and Calderon is definitely not one of them.
Verdict: Ship out.

Jerryd Bayless: If his end-game is to be a starter in the league, the improvements he needs to make are immense because a point guard is more than just about the occasional drive-and-kick and sweet passes in transition. Bayless needs to mature, become less petulant, more of a floor general, and stick that jumper with dead-eye accuracy to make his quickness a factor when driving (needs to get better at both live and unused dribble situations). Defensively, he surprised me with his footwork and wasn’t the foul-machine that his reputation hinted at. As a backup, he could be an ideal, improving fit. As a starter, we’re risking having another Jarrett Jack on our hands. I’m going to assume he’s part of Colangelo’s backup PG plans and hence give him a pass, while throwing caution that he does need to improve the mental aspect of being a point guard.
Verdict: Shape up.

Leandro Barbosa: There’s an element of redundancy in having Bayless and Barbosa on the roster, both are undersized shooting guards who have been asked to play the point because of their size. Barbosa is a more refined scorer who can make a meaningful impact off the bench for any team looking to contend, or even aim for the playoffs. His skill-set is desirable and I can excuse his high shot volumes because he’s on a bad team where he’s implicitly slotted in as a scorer. Barbosa is a good enough player with a reasonable contract, that he will attract suitors on the market. Colangelo has to answer one question explicitly before deciding on Barbosa: Is winning games important? If it is, then keep Barbosa, if it’s not as high of a priority as player development, then his trade value in bringing in an asset (individually or as part of a package) is the way to go. Again, I’m assuming player development is the calling for next year.
Verdict: Ship out.

  • Why

    great point about barbosa, when he injured his hamstring last season I thought The Raptors would be lucky to win a game while he was out (I think they were somethig like 1-10)

    .. there is limited patience amongst the fan base for building and losing.

  • KuH

    I would disagree on the Calderon assessment.

    Advanced stats guys would point out that he was the best player on our team this past year, even with the injury.  I would also put it a different way.  Our team has a lot of youth and limited offensive skills (especially assuming we ship out Bargs, as I think we should – see stats).  We need an experienced point guard who can make the other players look good and facilitate offense for them.  Calderon fits that role perfectly … and I think the defense comments are a bias based on his pre-injury/recovery period rather than actual fact.

    Let’s add defense at the center position where we need it the most, and keep Calderon around to make sure our offense learns and grows.

    • Theswirsky

      Completely agree.  Jose was, again, one of the teams best players.  And while I don’t think his defense is “good” or will ever be “good”, well the number of “good” defensive PGs can be counted on one hand.

      Can’t discount his leadership (especially to the teams next pg), his experience, or his passing. 

      I picture him coming off the bench (with a Amir).  I understand his contract is a bit hefty for a bench role, but he is down to 2 years left on the contract.

      He is probably the only guard (or perimeter player) on this team I would fit into the “all good” category.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Jose aka The Spanish X Ray was one of the team’s most inconsistent and injured (once again) players.

        Where’s Jose jumper at? Lane penetration at? Defense?

        The number of good defensive pg’s in the NBA can be counted on one hand (5)? Really?

        Jose isn’t a leader nor a mentor (he wants to start as he has said repeatedly in the media) the players don’t look ot him for leadership. I recall Jose going out to meet the fellas during a timeout and all the players walked right pass Jose who had his hand up for high 5’

        20 million due over the next 2 years million coming off of the bench? I don’t think so.

        When Bayless got starters minutes his numbers were the same or better than Jose in almost every category. Now, Bayless isn’t the future

        Almost every year with Jose we have a pg issue- why because Jose isn’t better than his back up, due to lack of talent.

        Jose has got to go as he has too much bad karma in his being as a Raptor and the sooner the better.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

          Now, Bayless isn’t the future Rap’s starter at pg but neither is Jose who lets opposing pg’s penetrate almost at will thus breaking down the defense from the top to the bottom (Bargnani). I still remember Chalmers (Heat) making Jose sit down on a jab step (not a crossover). 

    • Statement

      Well said KuH

      • Statement

        Calderon is a solid starter in this league and would be a starter for a deep playoff team IMHO.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

          I call bull shit on Jose being a solid starter- he can’t even stay healthy much less hit a wide open jumper.

          Would he be better with more talent around him- maybe, but he still has to defend and make shots plus stay healthy (68 average played games over 3 years) while JJack hasn’t missed a game during that same time period- Jose body looks soft like puddy while JJack’s body was very much more in shape to the eye.

          • Theswirsky

            One thing with Jose’s injury, he was brought back much to early from his initial injury (08/09 season) because BC planned on making the playoffs but didn’t have a back up PG.  They then proceeded to allow Jose to play injured, which I personally think has had a long term effect on that hamstring.

            • mountio

              That may well be true (I think it is). But facts are facts .. Jose has been oft injured, meaning not only has he missed games, but hes lost his first step (remember when he actually used to get to the rim from time to time?) and cant defend anyone. On top of that, he has lost his shot (dont know if thats injury related or not .. but its not what it was (or needs to be).
              Do I like his attitude and decision making? Sure, but they dont make up for the deficiencies. If there is any way we could get anything for him .. Im all for it. Hes in the shape up or ship out to me. I cant beleive anyone would put him in the alls good …

    • Randyspierre

      I fully agree

  • KuH

    I agree on Bayless and Barbosa.  I would be a little tougher on Derozan and put him in the Shape Up category.

    • Arsenalist

      I hear you, and the only reason he’s not in “Shape Up” is that he has shapped up his offensive game considerably last year.  And if his improvement continues at the same pace over the next 1-2 years, he’ll be just fine.  It’s too much to expect a guy to fix all his weaknesses in one season, DeRozan has addressed a couple of them and that’s a good enough improvement to say that he’s on the right path.

    • Raptor4Ever

      Fully agree. Assuming that AB is gone, DD will be the leader of this team and one of its best players. It is up to the coaching staff and him to preach the culture of defense and going after the opponent on the defensive game.
      DD needs to step his defense and more importantly his attitude in defense. He has all the tools to be a good defender and it is the matter of “WANTS” and ” Desire”. We have all seen a prime example of a player who had all the tools and NOT the desire to be good on defense and rebound in AB and after 5 years, we are all know now that he will not step up under the current system and current coaching staff.
      I think this is the season for DD to do so or otherwise we should not spend more time on him. 
      Another area that I like to see DD to improve is his rebounding. Again, he has all the tools to be one of the best rebounder in this league in HIS POSITION. So Why isn’t He ?

      This season is the season that DD needs to take a next step and show us a more complete game and not just a polished offensive game. Lets Not forget, some players never make this jump from a good offensive player to a great ALL Around Player, example is Vince who never became a good defender or even a good rebounder !!!

      • mountio

        Everything you are saying is bang on in terms of what DD should improve to become a complete player. BUT – i think we need to compete the expectations realistic.
        If DD gets a good three point shot, becomes an elite defender and top rebounder for his position .. hes an all star lock.
        Would I like that? Sure I would. Is it realistic this season? Probably not. The notion that we shouldnt spend more time on him if hes not an elite defender this year is crazy.
        I would be more than happy if he adds one of the three (3 pt shooting, top rate defense or top rate rebounding) this year. Of course he should improve everything a little bit, including his strengths (mid range shooting, getting to the hoop) but to expect more than that is unrealistic.
        And btw – if DD gets to where Vince was at his peak, Ill be the happiest guy in Toronto .. I wouldnt site that as an example of what not to aspire towards. He wasnt perfect, but he was a damn good player

        • Raptor4Ever

          You are right and it is unrealistic to expect him to come in and be a dominate on defense and rebounding. However, instead of him working on the 3 point shot, I like to see him add some size and focus on the defense. I think we all know that he can improve his 3 point shot but I am not sold on him having a defensive tenacity that is needed to be an ALL-STAR.

          Carter example was for defense and not offense. As much as Carter was a polished offensive player, he was below average defensively and it was not because he did not have the tools. Carter never had the desire to go after the guy on the defensive end, never took it personal and never took pride in winning or took exception in the losing. 

          I really hope DD does not turn up to be a player with Carter’s attitude and out look at the game.

          • Beaverboi

            Carter was a below-average defender and was still an all-star. I don’t think DD’s defensive ability will have any influence on becoming an all-star. I guess the question is which would be better for the franchise. DD becoming a premier defender while continuing to score 16-19 ppg, or increasing his scoring, becoming an all-star and remaining status quo on D?

            • mountio

              An excellent question. Personally, I would be happy to have him improve his three point shot, making him a very very solid all around offensive player. Id love to have both .. but if I had to chose, Id take the three point shooting.

  • barenakedman

    Agree with Calderone and Barbosa.  Ship out.

    DeMar improved immensely but still has quite a ways to go to reach his potential so I say shape up.

    Bayless was one of the most improved players on the team looking at  where he started as a backup to where he ended up as a starter. For that reason I wouldn’t slot him as a backup this early in his career. He could be the solution if he continues to shape up.

    • Bradjezzy

      Your wrong dude you don’t know b ball

      • Soft Euro

        You might be right dude, but you don’t know the argumentation game

      • DeMar

        stfu he’s totally right your just a moron.

        • Soft Euro

          Good point.

      • barenakedman

        Everyone is entitled to their own opinion know matter how ridiculous.

  • FromDeep

    DeRozan’s situation shouldn’t really be considered “all good” until he’s extended his shooting range out past the 3-point line.  That development would reap benefits not just in the scoring efficiency of an added point per made FG, but also give a leg up to a SG who isn’t yet the most devastating of threats to break-down the defender with  the dribble.  Once he is a threat at 3-point line, he will have all the more opportunities to blow by defenders trying to stifle the 3, allowing drives that can truly take advantage of DD’s athletic abilities: commanding more help defenders to to sag, opening up space for spot up shooters, more high-percentage dunks and lay-ups, and more trips to the free-throw line.  Oh yeah, and something this team is lacking – 3-pointers made.

  • Daniel

    This is a simple game:
    DeRozan: no basketball skills, only hype in a city starving for stars. His only saving grace: great work ethic, otherwise limited talent. Verdict: Shape up.
    Calderon: the only player capable to run an offense, a rare commodity in today’s NBA dominated by softness and athleticism. Without him there will be no development from the young players. Verdict: All good.
    Bayless: garbage. Ship out.
    Barbosa: wrong piece in a rebuilding team. He doesn’t make other people better, he needs to get his to be effective. Ship out.

    If Colangelo changes the strategy or the right trade comes along the verdicts would be different. My premise is that we are in rebuilding mode centred on developing young players. I prefer the Boston route – trade all the young players for proven veterans and start winning – however BC seems to have a different plan.

    • Jonathan

      “I prefer the Boston route – trade all the young players for proven veterans and start winning – however BC seems to have a different plan. ”

      It’s not a matter of preference.  The stars all aligned for Boston that off-season; do you see two HoF-level stars being shopped by any cellar-dwelling teams?  Best we’d do are guys like Granger and Jefferson, which will help us secure one of the last playoff spots for the next several years before bottoming out again.  Pass.

    • R.U. Serious

      You’re a clown.  Go watch hockey or curling, while doing your nails, Daniela.

    • Nilanka15

      It’ll be a long while before any team replicates Boston’s success…mainly because Garnett is a one-of-a-kind player.  Replace Garnett with any other big man in the league, and Boston never becomes a serious threat.

      • Statement

        IMHO when Shaq started to fade, Garnett was the  best two-way player in the NBA  until the emergence of Lebron last year.

      • points

        don’t forget paul

        • Beaverboi

          Thats what makes Boston’s model so hard to replicate. They already had one underappreciated allstar and the pieces they brought in all fit perfectly. Then the addition of Rondo.
          I think the Miami model unfortunately will be the new model of success unless there are serious changes to the next CBA.

    • DeMar

      keep sucking on calderon. Derozan is the best player we have right now and everyone in the nba thinks he’ll be something special so just stfu you don’t no nothin. Bayless is 2x better than calderon, if your started bayless over claderon and compared their stats bayless would avg double the points and around 6 assists. The boston route is stupid cause they have only won one championship with that team and now they are falling apart.

    • Theswirsky

      I agree on all accounts… although I’m not sure on Bayless.  I don’t like the style PG he is, although he did show some signs at the end of last season.  Then again, I’m not sure how much value one can put in a handful of games at the end of the season that don’t matter.

      • Raptor4Ever

        Bayless is not a PG. He lacks the vision and the desire to get his teammates involve and we will see it this season. The beauty of this season is that we are NOT going to go anywhere but will have a chance to really evaluate these guys and see if we can include them in our future and what role they can play for us.

      • points

        bayless =jarett jack we need a player like that taking it to the rim you touch him foul,but off the bench …if BC can put a bench together that can score 35-40 points per game raps will be in good shape. We need bayless to run our second unit like starters and our #5 pick >>>CARDIAC<<< can start and play  mins. like DD in his first year.

  • ak

    i don’t even think playoff is ever a lock with al as your centre. his best chance to get rid of a looser tag was lost with sloan’s resignation.
    to be successful players like that need to stay within a dominant high level coaching system methinks.

    it is refreshing to see so many calderon’s supporters out here. he remains one of my favorites ever since he got here. always humble team first hard working player. he has his limitations athletically, but he makes it up with smarts attitude.

  • Bigbalboski79

    i think DDR is a 20 ppg player soon.  he is young and still improving.  bayless wil be a serviceable backup/combo guard.  barbs?  i’d move him, get something for him as he is seemingly wasted here.  calderon (and il mago) both should be dealt. 

    the core of davis, amir and DDR are what u build around.  we need a rudy gay type SF, a couple vets, maybe a centre and a SF/PF that plays D.  draft a pg with the 5th pick, and add a three shooter, and u r on yer way to a balanced roster.

    as bad as this team was, an 8th seed next year is within reach.  the bad mix of players made the team seem worse than it was.   a couple more athletes and some “glue” guys and this team is 10 games better.

    the real bad part of this offseason was missing out on mike brown.  big miss by BC.  a youngish coach who has won b4, can manage egos (like lebron’s)  and is big on D.  triano cannot coach D, that woulda made the biggest dif…

    • Daniel

      20 ppg from your SG on a bad team with low efficiency, no 3-point shot or dribble and no defence are a dime a dozen in the history of NBA. We need to take off the rose coloured glasses when we evaluate DeRozan. I actually like the guy however I hate the hype around him. The latest drafts have been horrible due to the low skill nature for the players being drafted. Given the context DeRozan at 9 and Davis at 13 were very good picks. In NBA though you need veterans to win. Only OKC bucked the trend in unique circumstances that are impossible to duplicate. DeRozan and Davis are not even close to the players OKC drafted the last 4 years. Imagine our ceiling if we built around DD and Davis: at most the last play-off spot.

      • Bigbalboski79

        winning young isnt impossible to duplicate.  look at portland.  even with roys injury they r solid playoff team, and as guys like batum grow, the team will improve.  or look at memphis, another young team, 

        the issue is patience.  few teams r patient.  we r on the right path.  we need to divest ourselves of the euros that dont play D and lack edge.  garbo is the only euro player we have had that has been really useful.

        as for derozan.  he may have the defficiencies u suggest, but he made big strides in his 2nd season.  he was only 21, too.

        there r lots of reasons to be excited about this team and expect them to nip at the heels of the 7 and 8 seeds next season, as long as some changes are made.  guys like davis and amir, with more playing time should continue to improve.

        • points

          right onnnnnn!

          7 or 8 will give us ROY COY EOY that means we can’t get rid of JT after that.

          Demar DeRozan
          Rudy Gay
          Ed Davis

          James Jonhson
          Amir Jonhson
          ????? or (BC love child)
          35-40 points scoring bench

          should be good to beat the bulls.

    • points

      I think we should keep barbosa, I like the way he makes the defence shift DD can learn from him, it’s just that when barbosa take it to the rim there is no clean-up man there for put backs ,bad coaching because we have the type of players that can do put backs.

  • kaboom


  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    Nothing on Weems?

    Bayless we really don’t know about since BC via Jay was still starting an injured Jose (trying to win games fuck player development that’s just some pr bs for the fans) late in this so called ‘rebuild’ year over Bayless so Bayless never got the proper sample of games post All Star break as a starter to evaluate his overall talent level with in game consistency.

    Bayless played much better as a starter than he did as a backup but what does that really mean since he didn’t get to start enough games to make an educated assessment of his current skill level going into the offseason?

    I have just as many questions about Bayless in the off season as I had when BC initially acquired him using part of the CB TPE.

    Barbosa is a 6th man scoring machine- when healthy, and does what Bayless does only better. He could be valuable as an expiring to a team or as a bench option for a playoff or contending team.  

    DD’s offensive game is expanding but his defensive game is stagnate. DD needs to be coached right and held accountable but he has the right attitutde and work ethic to be a future All Star type of player. Needs to work on his dribbling as that will help him in half court sets.

    Everyone is tradeable.

    • DeMar

      i like your analysis. I Too believe that bayless can become a good starter if he gets the time and DeRozan is definantly on his way to becoming an all star.

      • Raptor4Ever

        ALL STAR !!! One step at a time. Lets wait to see if he can make the jump to be a STAR in this league by improving his defense, rebounding and over all game.
        Then we can talk about ALL-STAR next season :) :)

  • Malefax

    Calderon: needs to bring his shooting back to career levels. A good fit for the team. Shape up.

    Derozan: Needs to continue to improve his shooting and get better on defense. Shape up.

    Barbosa: A valuable offensive weapon, gives the Raptors options, experienced player. All good.

    Jerryd Bayless: Please improve decision making. Shape up.

    Sonny Weems: Is a guard, not a forward. He played 3 out of desperation. Ship out — he’s redundant.

  • RapthoseLeafs

    . **** To Guard or Not ****

    Jose O Latte: As much as this milk seems to have spilt, there is a certain comfort that comes with a real play-maker. His hamstrings may have partially petrified, resulting in a defense that is no such thing. But he is a veteran. Not just of the league, but of this Raptor team. An enthusiastic veteran, who enjoys this “cultured” city. One with an attitude that might not be enthused about coming off the Bench, but that would adapt. He offers a style that would return our Secondary to better days. He may be expensive, but he’s only got 2 years left. A future salary adjustment will  make him a good piece, not just for the team as a role player, but an asset for which a play-off bound, top flight team who’s missing a quality back-up PG, might pay dearly for.

    Of course, if a trade comes around that is beneficial, you have to weigh what the return is – subject to what the team takes in the draft. Losing Jose in some trade, while acquiring a PG in the draft, has to remember Raptor past. Who now starts? Outside of a Sliders episode, where we get Kyrie, this potential scenario could see a return to the continuing saga of dueling Raptor Guards. Have to wonder if this is an addiction.  

    It’s not surprising that Bayless just got here, and already he’s the future. Toronto fans are desperate for something, to the point where we lower the floor, then remove it when the player’s ceiling is not what we expected. Another version of Moonitis – sans mouth guard.

    If Bayless has potential as a solid Guard, one who can be an effective role player (in 2 positions, no less), why can’t that be marketed as such. While I think he can bring some moxy to a lethargic team (leadership wise), I still (like you Ars), find him somewhat petulant, and not sure if that’s good for a young team.

    As for DD, some people harp on this efficiency rate, forgetting that he went from a marginal scoring option, to now being paid attention to. As did Andrea. Both these players experienced a different level of defensive attention (for the first time) – part of the reason why I think (coupled with a normal injury season & quality draft pick), we are a 35 win team (or better). Subject to a normal coaching situation, of course …. whatever that means.

    For the summer, Demar needs to practice 3 point shot after 3 point shot, as that facet of his game now has to surface. Unless he evolved into one of the top 5 lock-down defenders at the SG, that 3 point shot will become crucial.

    His defense will certainly have to improve, but on a team that has limited long range shooters, this perimeter skill is important. Otherwise he’ll be replaced in due time.

    The more I follow this team, the more I feel the way to success is to fit a team together, and hope a Star comes your way. Or you mold someone to be your star.

    Of course we could do more of these tanking seasons for a few more years, but frankly, I’m tired of it. Plus I also think it does damage to an already precarious situation, perennial losers who just so happen to be the only “outside” team. And owned by MLSE – for a bit longer it seems.

    While I think we need to develop a team that’s missing it’s franchise player, I also don’t want Raptors to “damage” talent because of high expectations. As Andrea might have implied, his “role” was not to be that guy. Toronto just needs to let it happen.

    As for Barbosa, he’s here for a good time, not a long time.

    And Sonny – time to remove the DD umblical cord. This baby needs to find it’s real home.

  • Bo4

    We agree on DD, but you are harsher on the other three than I am. JB is one of my five ‘Keepers’, and I can live with JC & LB until we find younger legs with more potential left in them. In the meantime, we could end up with worse players. DD, AJ, ED, & JJ don’t need to go a step backwards in the hope of going two forward afterwards. They just need to go one step forward …

  • Kjhghsf

    The end season games mattered to most of the other teams.Bayless is a promising talent that is SHAPE UP.Derozn need to improve in almost ever area in his game but he IS a good player,he showed improvement and given his age he is definitely SHAPE UP.