Let’s get this over with because I’m hating myself for starting this series of posts.

Amir Johnson: One thing is settled: his contract is reasonable, or at least it appears to be because it was so overblown at the beginning. The numbers (9.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg in 25.7 minutes) are respectable, not for a higher caliber starter but for a hustling reserve who is steadily improving. What improvement you ask? He lowered his fouls and made a higher volume of jumpers, the work with Alex English paying off. Johnson has a long ways to go before he becomes a quality starting power forward, let alone a premier one, and all indication point to another year of steady growth for the the 24-year old. My expectations of him are fairly low so it’s tough to be disappointed in him, I see him as a Marcus Camby type player with greater leadership qualities (hopefully), and a better pick ‘n roll player. He’s three inches shorter and isn’t the weakside shot blocker that Camby is, but the length, zeal on defense and unorthodox jumper all match. If the Raptors are good for points at other positions in the starting lineup, Amir Johnson can be the perfect fit providing defense at one of the big positions.
Verdict: As you were.

Ed Davis: Raptors fans are expecting way too much of Ed Davis right now, already calling a rookie who didn’t make it to the rookie-sophomore game, or first or second rookie teams a cornerstone is quite sad. What Davis has is the right attitude and the proper work ethic to be a solid NBA professional for years to come. His offensive game is raw, he’s an above-average defender, an improving rebounder who will likely get better with experience, and above all he’s a lefty which will help him along. Davis overcame injuries to have a good start to his NBA career, he can look forward to an increased role next year and will have to answer questions about his strength, jumper, pick ‘n roll defense to name a few things. How he responds to those challenges is when we can start debating whether he’s worth taking forward. For now, he’s got work to do.
Verdict: Shape up.

Andrea Bargnani: Er…big men take longer to develop? Um…there’s a greater transition period for European players? Ah, I got it, he’s playing the wrong position. No wait! The Raptors have surrounded him with the wrong personnel. No, of course not! He doesn’t get enough plays run for him. Seriously now, I’m tired of waiting for him to blossom into something that he’s never going to be for the Raptors: a consistent high-caliber starter that will play two-way ball and bring a professional effort every night. Forget the #1 pick status, the very least he could do to earn his badges is to play hard and even that’s too much to ask. We’ve gone over his defense over and over again, to sum it up in a sentence it is damn near impossible for a team to “hide” Bargnani’s piss-poor defense and rebounding. I don’t care how much you overload the other positions to make up for his defensive ineptness, it will never clog the hole his mere presence creates. It’s not even just the defense, his passing game is awful, he’s averaging 1.2 assists for his career, terrible for a guy who operates from the top in face-up positions most of the time and has allegedly high basketball IQ. His offensive game today is what it was in his second year, and that is the biggest indictment against him. His “improvement” is completely a function of the minutes he’s played, there has been little to no true development and growth in his overall game. If you like 7-footers taking long jumpers – 34.5% from three last year – and occasionally gliding in for a layup to the oohs and aahs of Leo Rautins, he’s your man. I prefer more dependable offense which one can count on game-to-game, not every other week. As I’ve already said four times this summer, either move him to the bench (no Eric Smith, salary doesn’t matter – Terry, Crawford, Odom all make same/more) or…
Verdict: Ship out.

Reggie Evans: This guy was the token leader last year and he played 30 games. I kid you not, he was the presence in the locker room and I shiver to think what the state of this bunch will be when Evans and Calderon depart and a team speech is needed after a tough game. My guess is everyone will shrug their shoulders and reach for their iPods before heading out to Real Sports Bar. There needs to be some insurance at the four, and Evans’ injury issues make him anything but. We’ll miss the rebounding, but sooner or later we’ll have to ask Ed Davis to step up and next year will be it. His leadership and vocal presence do need to be replaced, Amir Johnson thinks he can do it.
Verdict: Ship out.

Joey Dorsey: He is 27 years old and will always be a guy on the deep, deep end of an NBA bench. I suppose roster spots need to be filled so may as well hang on to him on the cheap. When he does play he’s not terrible, gives quality effort, and lives up to the hype of being the 13th guy on the team.
Verdict: As you were.

Solomon Alabi: I haven’t seen enough of this guy to comment, but he seems to be a blacker version of Patrick O’Bryant. The Raptors were very high on him and so was Coach David Thorpe, I’m thinking it was for a reason and Alabi is just in a voodoo trance which he will soon awaken from to average 25/13 next season.
Verdict: Shape up.

Alexis Ajinca:

Verdict: Ship out.

  • ShaneA

    “stiff” definition was hilarious

  • Stanleysuper

    Many of you have lost your mind. Ship out Bargs our best player yet keep Alabi? I guess its true what Hockey fans say about Raptor fans.  A bunch of moron wannabee Americans.

    • Matt

      clearly you dont know anything about the Raptors or basketball in general….just stick to your hockey.

    • Jonathan

      Go learn about $.  There’s little point to get rid of Alabi at this point just to replace him with another minimum salary player at the end of the bench.

    • ak

      moron wannabe Americans, haha thats hilarious!

    • cb

      stick to your hockey you puck head

      • 25max

        yeah i like this one stick to your hockey pal leafs suck anyways,get barg out of toronto white man cant jump asshole fuck barg.BC fucked up ever since he didnt draft B.ROY

        • Nilanka15

          I don’t think anyone is wishing they drafted Roy at this point.  He’ll be lucky to ever play at a high level again.  The man has ZERO cartilage left in his knees!

          • ak

            i don’t think i care if he can play at a high level again. he gives 100% effort when he is able to play and thats whats important.

            in roy’s case this is probably the only time when i would be fine paying max salary to a spot up shooter.

    • Bendit

      “Hockey fans”? Surely you meant to write “Leaf fans”, no?

      For those who love to tune in to programs like “Leafs Lunch” in mid=summer to contemplate who the Bruins will choose with another Leafs high draft pick whom they traded for a Bargnani clone…I think you have at very best called the kettle black. 

  • cesco

    Amir has been in the NBA 1 year longer than Andrea but you think he is steadily improving . His  stats  have improved because he is playing more minutes , check it out . So if Amir is ‘steadily improving’ then there is room for Andrea to improve also (which is true of all bigs , notice how Dirk is playing the best bball of his life ) . Also , Andrea is #8 or so among starters in assists , which put him in the top third among centers.

    • Arsenalist

      Amir is a better shooter today than he was two years ago.  He is a better defender today than he was two years ago.  He plays hard and wanted to get better after signing a new contract.  Bargnani is content with his money, and has not made a single effort to improve his defensive game. 

      • Illdre

        Amen. Amir simply cares. Andrea,,,,, PRIMO!

      • Jimbojones

        arse. youve lost your mind. stand amir and bargs in front of every gm in the league and they take bargs every time. players like amir are a dime a dozen. the nbadl is full of them. youve lost your mind.

        • barenakedman

           The value of Amir went up after last year while the value of Andrea probably went down.  With the game on the line there are a lot of situations I’d take Amir over Andrea. 
          I just hope you’re right about there being such a demand for him and the Raptors get something really good back.

          • Johnny

            With the game in the line on the offence, you take Amir !! 
            This is when a fan becomes unrealistic and crosses the line. Which offensive move is Amir going to use in these situations ??

            • Nilanka15

              Who said anything about giving Amir the ball???  “Game on the line” refers to any crunch-time possessions, including DEFENSIVE possessions.  Who would you rather have to secure rebounds during crunch time?  Who would you rather have guarding a Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, or Dirk Nowitzki during a final possession?  Who would you rather have protecting the paint against dribble penetration?

              For the love of God Bargnani fans, basketball involves MUCH more than just scoring!

            • barenakedman

              If they need a stop they play Amir over Bargs. If they need a free throw Amir is great under pressure. 
              How many game winning shots do you thing Bargs had last season? Who do you think has a higher shooting percentage?

              • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

                Barg’s has never hit a game winner in his entire career- he’s straight up a product of BC’s coddling & hype- a clone.lmfao

            • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

              The same one he used when he won the OKC game the Alex English running half hook it sure as heck beats the hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold, hold- shoot, brick, shit Bargnani does with the game on the line ie New Jersey in London.

    • barenakedman

      I admire your loyalty to Bargs but could it be blinding you to what is best for the team? Bargs like you envisions himself as Dirk but realistically the chances of that happening are only slightly better than Ajinca becoming the next Dirk and I say that sincerely. Bargs doesn’t have the confidence or mental tenacity to lead a team the way Dirk can.  By his own admission he doesn’t want to work in the low post at either end of the court even though that is what the team needed. Instead of quietly putting in the effort to improve his low post game he’s publicly complaining that he has been miscast by management.  It’s time for the Raptors to develop their new identity and trade Andrea someplace where he can continue his quest to become the next Dirk. 

      • cesco

        I don’t think anyone , including Andrea himself , still think he will be the next Dirk but I am sure he WANTS to improve . He is aware of the criticism directed toward him by the fans (besides BC)  . If he does not get involved more on defense next year of course he will be traded to a team that is much stronger defensively than the Raps but need someone to spread the floor . If he improves his defense , he stays , period .

        • Boomer

          I agree.
          I think that now that everything is out in the open like this, the criticisms from both sides, we will either see a vastly improved Bargs next year or he’ll be gone half way through the year. Then we can finally put these questions to rest (I hope).

          • RapthoseLeafs

            Now that the coddling (or whatever it was), appears to be changing, my thoughts are the same. Give Andrea 1/2 a season (or year – we’re not going anywhere), and decide from there. This may be the 1st time that all the cards are out there, and it would be interesting to see the results.

            Amir had no such “ball & chain” to deal with, and he excelled because of it. His attitude developed as it did, because he had been through the grind (with Detroit), so any upside (to his career) had plenty of motivation.

            Andrea had a “role” that no player would refuse (lots of egos in this league), yet couldn’t fill that expectation. It’s like declining a promotion. In the business world, such an opportunity might be the last. In the sporting world, Egos tend to over-ride logic too often. This is why I’m unsure of Bayless, as his Ego may impact how the PG situation pans out, just as it did 2 other RECENT times with T.J. and Jack.

            Suffice to say, a fire under his ass, may bring out that elusive upside in Bargnani, that frustrated us more-so this past season. If it doesn’t, his value will not be reduced, as one would expect his usage rate to drop, and corresponding efficiency to improve.

            Raptors have many needs, with defensive Centre probably the most difficult to fill, so it’s difficult to understand why our focus is not more on the SF position (Leonard intrigues me), or the PG spot – being as many see a more PG oriented style to the NBA.

            • sleepz

              Fire under his ass might bring out the elusive upside? Upside and potential are what get coaches and GM’s fired. Many people seem to think that now all of the ‘issues’ have surfaced and that now that this has been said he will want to improve defensively??? lol

              This is the NBA folks, not High School hoops. Andrea is just going to turn it on now and start defending? Now that he’s been embarrased he’s now going to start trying?lol. Didn’t he have a fire lit up under him already by a previous coach and what was accomplished? If he miraculousy did have the ability to play better all of a sudden why would you want a coacster and a player that neither respects the game, his teammates the fans nor the opportunity God has gvien him?
              Save all of the Bargnani apologies. He is what he is and i’ll take back players of lesser talent but more desire at this point in any trade for him.

              I still am shocked as to how this dude can disrespect the game and fans are still tooting his horn and petting him on the head like a Dalmation hoping he will eventually ‘behave’ .

          • barenakedman

            We know what we have in Bargs, 20 points a game if he takes a ton of shots and below average D. I could see him scoring at a more efficient rate if he was coming off the bench but what other areas do you see him vastly improving? 
            Wouldn’t it be better for Andrea to go into an environment without the pressure has has here? Maybe he will enjoy playing on a team where not so much is expected of him and he will turn into the offensive star that his fans see him as.
            To me it make more sense for the Raptors to start the new season with a new acquisition than to hope Andrea vastly improves and then make changes if he doesn’t.  

        • http://twitter.com/DJAG88 Big D

          Caliper test disagrees. Didn’t that test say that Bargs doesn’t let criticism affect him and that he just focuses on the task at hand. So this means that what ever criticisms that the Raptors coaching staff or GM say to him he’ll neglect it and continue being his jumpshooting self.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

            Criticism doesn’t affect him because he just doesn’t give a damn- especially now that he got a new 50 million dollar contract outta BC he could give a fuck he just wants to shoot the ball ie this is basketball not reboundball (Andrea voice).

            After 5 years in the NBA dude has not 1 freakin’ muscle- his lazy ass gots to go!!

          • Arsenalist

            The hell the caliper test.  I think criticism should affect a player! If somebody has repeatedly told him he’s not doing his job properly, and he still refuses to make any real effort to get better, then it means things aren’t getting through his head.  You can call it acing the caliper test, I call it being flippant and nonchalant.

        • barenakedman

          You are the one who brought up Dirk presumably because you believe Andrea could improve and play at a much higher level than he did last year. You may be right so why not do it somewhere else on that stronger defensive team that needs him to spread the floor?
          BTW I’m being facetious about his quest to become the next Dirk.  

        • Jimbojones

          cesco. this is just typical of raptor fans. they just have to blame somebody…..last year it was bosh, yet it was clear bosh overrated himself and it was clear he would bolt on us and wanted max. he played all you losers like a fiddle who bought his FIRST INK and REP TDOT TILL THEY BURY ME….i aint seen bargs pull any of that shit. here we have a guy making no where near max, total team player. unselfish to a fault. wants to be here…and the bitches wanna lynch him and pin this teams woes on him. i cant wait to draft a euro to watch the bigots heads pop off.

          this team needs more talent and less role players. but you clowns waana hype role players…its retarded. many of us laugh at you buffoons you are all in a very loud minority. all screamin loud and sayin nothin.

          • sleepz

            This comment doesn’t make much sense to me. Raps fans want to blame someone and it was Bosh last year yet Bosh was overrated and self seving? Make up your mind.

            Bargs is a team player(?) yet he doesn’t respect his teammates, coaches or the fans with the type of effort he puts forth game after game. That screams selfishness.

            The team needs more talent and less role players yet they have the biggest role player on the team making 10 mill a year and on the books for 4 more years.

            Your hyping the biggest role player there is on the team. lol

      • enlightenment

        Hey! If Ajinca works hard enough and we keep giving him oppertunities, I really do believe we have the next Dirk here!

        • Nilanka15

          All we have to do is get 14 other players than compliment his skills/deficiencies perfectly!  But obviously, we can’t make an accurate decision until that happens.  So we should definitely keep Ajinca until then.

    • ak

      of course there room for andrea. he has all the ‘room’ in the world to become an allstar. he never seems to put any effort though. fucking cocksucker.
      oh and i couldn’t give a shit about his assist numbers. pivots have to rebound and play long tough D.

    • Theswirsky

      Andrea is #8 or so among starters in assists, which put him in the top third among centers?

      He’s #8 or so among starters in the league?  He’s tied for 11th among starting Cs per game alone.  Which puts him outside the top third among Cs.  That doesn’t even get into assists vs turnovers (a:t ratio is 30th) or minutes (per 48 he’s 20th) or usage (don’t have those numbers off hand but I can’t imagine you want to see them anyways).

      • Nilanka15

        Remember who you’re talking to, swirsk.  If Bargnani murdered 6 people, sold cocaine to toddlers, and beat up puppies, cesco would still defend him.

        • Theswirsky

          You know…

          … if he murdered 6 Miami Heat/Boston Celtic/LA Lakers players, sold cocaine to Bosh’s kid and beat up puppies…. I’d probably like him alot more as a player.  Atleast he wouldn’t look as soft.

          • Beaverboi

            I agree except the puppy part. I like dogs.

        • cesco

          Andrea does not kill people , sell drugs or mistreat animals . I am ready to defend him on any such charges even though I am not a lawyer and I will win .

          • Nilanka15

            What if Bargnani was…for example…Australian instead of Italian?  Would you still defend him? 

            Actually, don’t bother answering that.  I already know the answer.

            • mountio

              I could care less if AB was from the moon .. the insinuation that most people somehow like him because hes italian is ridiculus. In fact, as a rule, I don’t even like NBA white guys because theyre usually slow and not atheltic.
              The fact remains, he is our most talented player. That is why, at least up to now (more vigourously at the start than the end of this season), I have defended him.
              I really dont care about his defense and rebounding, and neither would you if he lived up to his potential as a scorer. If he was offensively efficient as, say, Dirk (I hate the comparison .. but lets run with it for this example) .. we would all be happy. We’d all be hoping he improved his D and rebounding, but we would live with it. If he became a go to crunch time scorer and actually won us some games .. this other stuff becomes much less in the forefront.
              The fact is though, he hasnt. So, that gives all the haters all the fuel they need for their defense and rebounding fire.
              But, please dont act like my defending AB is based on some irrational connection to his nationality .. its because I actually think he can help this team. Am I losing patience after he didnt improve offensively like I wanted last year? Hell yeah. But, you cant teach talent.

              • Theswirsky

                mountio are you also cesco?

                if not, then I would mention I think Nilanka was referring specifically to cesco

                • mountio

                  I realize the comment was specifically to cesco .. but Im responding to the general sense that all AB supporters have some connection to him because he or they are italian

                • Nilanka15

                  Hit the nail on the head.  cesco has fully admitted he’s a Bargnani fan, not a Raptor fan…and it drives me nuts! 

              • Jimbojones

                dont try reason with these idiots.

              • barenakedman

                I agree with most of your points and don’t believe everyone who likes Andrea does so because of his heritage. I used to be a big fan but have soured on him because like you say he just misses too many shots. As far as him being their most talented player give me three or four areas of the game that he is the best at. I don’t think it’s possible so he isn’t their most talented player. 

                • mountio

                  Most talented is not most versitile or well rounded (clearly AB isnt that). Most talented to me is greatest ability to be a star in the league. Largest matchup issue for other teams. AB is that. Only other Rap who is close is DD.

                  You can argue that defense is a talent – I would argue its somewhat abilities (length, speed, quickness), but mostly effort and bballIQ.

                  Having said all that, .. you have to use your talents, and Im not sure AB is (on top of that, Im not sure hes as talented as I orignially thought .. but hes definitely the most talented Rap)

    • cb

      i thought i told you to stop posting cesco. you betray your utter lack of intelligence and expose the gaping chasm that is your lack of basketball knowledge. Please please please go join Stanleysuper at a minor league hockey game. 

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Fuck AB’s lazy ass straight up & down he’s a sad face clown who needs to get the fuck outta town!!

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      Amir wasn’t drafted #1 overall either- point blank Barg’s coddled privileged lethargic half ass shit does stank!!

  • David Hasslehoff

    Trade Bargnani

    • Beaverboi

      If the Hoff says it, it must be so.

  • dribbles

    Arse, making a reference to Ed not making the Rookie-Sophomore game or the 1st/2nd all-rookie team as a justification for your “shape-up” verdict is probably the weakest thing I’ve ever seen you write here. Apart from the fact that he missed a good chunk of the beginning of the season, others have already pointed out that by any statistical measure Davis deserved to be selected for both of those “honours.” For all the time he missed before and at the start of the season, and considering he’s a ROOKIE who can still get stronger, he showed more promise to turn into a valuable 2-way player than any other guy on this team, as far as I’m concerned.

    Shape up? We’re lucky to have him.

    • deebee

      No, Arse meant that Raptors Fan (in general) have hung tremendous expectations on a player that wasn’t considered to be a league-wide star relative to his rookie class, even at his position (with two other PFs named to the Rookie teams ahead of Davis). Much as DeRozan vastly improved in his second year, I think we’re all hoping for a similar improvement in Davis, but that as of right now it’s unreasonable to call a first-year player that only played 60 games a building block. Shape Up means we want to see more out of Davis next year, and to be honest if you didn’t you’d be settling for some pretty raw work.

    • Arsenalist

      He’s a rookie who we have way too much faith in right now.  I think expectations for him are too high at this point, maybe it’s because we just lost another lefty PF and are desperate to fill the void.  Davis has tons of work ahead of him, as I said, if he improves a couple aspects of his game like DD did last summer, then I’ll have greater faith in him.  

      Don’t get me wrong, everything about Ed Davis is right, he just needs to put in some work before he should be talked about as the nucleus for a team. 

      • slaw

        Davis’ advanced stats are very impressive. More important to me, he was on each of the Raptors 10 best 5-man units this year.

        When he played big minutes, he averaged a double-double (born out in his Per 36 min numbers). I don’t think it’s overrating Davis or setting unreal expectations to say he should be as good as Al Horford.

      • dribbles

        I don’t know what most fans are expecting of Davis. From pretty much day 1, I saw his upside as JO in his prime, but that doesn’t mean I expect him to turn out that way. Anyway, it’s semantics with the verdicts but all I’m saying is the guy probably exceeded most expectations in his rookie year, and shows as much if not more promise than anyone on the team. Of course he has to improve, but who doesn’t? I still think if you had to pick only one guy to keep on this team going forward, he’d be it.

        • Mediumcore

          Do you think he’ll be good enough to build around?

  • East Coast

    Not meeting high expectations  is not worse than meeting low expectations, only more frustrating.   you make no mention of getting anything back, so is this a list to improve the team, or the festivus airing of grievances.

    BTW, we’ve made no effort to hid Bargs piss poor defense, we’ve made him our starting Centre.   We’ve actually hung our hat on his piss poor defense.   Did it ever occur to anyone that we may need a big C not just becasue of Andrea, but becasue we don’t have one? 

    If we could find a way to just cut Andrea, and come back next year, I wonder what kind of grades you’d have for our starting frontcourt of Ed and Amir. 

    If we trade Bargs for an assett we want, that’s fine.  No one should be untouchable.  But you want to ship him out, all last year, we ran our offense through him, and played him the most minutes.  you think we’d be better without him?  If that’s true why aren’t we turfing the Coach and GM.

    It wasn’t Andrea that prevented them from getting better defensive players.  At least he was good at one thing.

    • Illdre

      Yes. Bargs does need to play with a tough shot blocking rebounding defensive center. But these types of “5” are almost extinct in todays NBA. Lol. We gonna clone Mutumbo? I Dunno. Oden, if the doctors give a green light could be our option

      • Boomer

        Emeka Okafor, Greg Oden, Sam Dalembert, Andrew Bynum, Marcus Camby, Chris Andersen, Tyson Chandler, Chris Kaman, Javale McGee, Robin Lopez, Marcin Gortat, Chuck Hayes, Joel Anthony, Omer Asik, Kendrick Perkins, Joel Pryzbila, Andrew Bogut, Andris Biedrins,  Roy Hibbert, Brendan Haywood, Dwight Howard, Nene, Al Horford, Anderson Varajeo, Serge Ibaka, Darko, Greg Monroe,  Ronny Turiaf, Ekpe Udoh, Joakim Noah.

        All of these have various shortcomings, and some simply are not better than average, but to say that these types of Centers that can play tough D, Block shots, rebound, or do all of these things “are almost extinct”.. is.. very ignorant. 

        I’m probably more lenient with Bargs than most, but even I know that almost every single one of these guys would be a good fit on a team lacking interior toughness, size, and shotblocking/rebounding/defense.

  • JHP

    I agree with most of the comments.  AB may get us some value and deserves to be moved.  I’m sure he will be fine and whatever pieces we get will help the team be better.  Just want them to draft/trade for players that want to play for the Raptors.  Peja seems to be doing a lot better in Dallas.

    • East Coast

      I think Andrea does want to be here. 

      in regards to Arse’s point that he’s tired of waiting for Andrea to be a “a consistent high-caliber starter that will play two-way ball and bring a professional effort every night.”do we have any guys like that?

      • http://twitter.com/DJAG88 Big D

        Well wasn’t that the reason as to why he was drafted #1 overall by BC. The expectation was that he could be a consistent high caliber starter that had the potential of playing two way basketball. We gave him his time to develop and to try and get better, because he has the talent and the physical attribute to do this. The fact that he hasn’t looks poorly on his work ethic and drive to improve his weaknesses as a basketball player. After 5 years you would think that he’d at least improve in those areas of his game. 5 years is enough time to gauge as to where a basketball player is headed for the rest of his NBA career. So far it looks like Bargs won’t be anything more than jumpshooting big man that can defend 1 on 1 but won’t provide help defense, terrible pick and roll defender and a beyond lousy rebounder.

  • Illdre

    Blacker? Voodoo? I sense a odd connection. I think Andrea fits the voodoo role you talk about more than Alabi. Nice article, but as we expect professionalism from the raptors, Id like to see you end nicely,cause you lost me in the end. But Davis is too nice. Amir has improved as well.
    And your right about Andrea… Poor BC. The big Italian let him down

  • Nilanka15

    Amir can easily be our version of Udonis Haslem.  As long as there is enough offense being created from the rest of the starters, Amir can be that guy who rebounds well, plays tough D, blocks some shots, takes some charges, and hits open jumpers when defenders slag off him.  He’ll never be a superstar, but he doesn’t need to be a superstar to help this team.

    • Theswirsky

      that is exactly it.  He will always be a role player, but if he keeps learning and working hard he could be one of the best role players in the league.

      I don’t think there is a big in the league that runs the floor as well as he does.  He works/fights just as hard as anyone you can name.  And his offensive efficiency is surpassed by very few.  The only thing that keeps him from being a top defender or rebounder is his size.

      He is not a guy you are going to run an iso for, but is a guy who is excellent in the pick and roll.  When he’s on the floor you push the ball and he will beat his man down the floor. 

      • mountio

        Agree 100% and I like Amir. Only thing is you cant lose sight of the fact that, to be successful, you need at least 4 (maybe more) players who are better than him. Nothing wrong with Udonis .. but hes pretty useless in terms of buidling a championship without Wade, Shaq, Payton, Zo, (LBJ and Bosh now)

  • slaw

    Other than Davis, I don’t see any of the current Raptor bigs as being a top 8 guy in a top-notch rotation. Amir is a borderline 3rd big but I like him as more of the 8 1/2 guy in limited minutes.

    Bargnani certainly could be a top 8 guy but his inability to rebound coupled with his unwillingness to defend distorts the floor so badly that you can’t win with him playing a major role. He might be able to reinvent himself as 6th man of sorts (a la Mehmut Okur) but that won’t happen in Toronto. The well is poisoned in Raptorland. Better for all parties that he get a change of scenery.

  • Nilanka15

    Has anyone else heard about this?  According to Maclean’s, Sonny Weems has been on the losing end of a lawsuit for the entirety of his professional career, lol.  I’m surprised that this hasn’t received any prior media attention.


    • Rpsfan95

      “Money” Weems LOL

  • YourMama

    “Johnson has a long ways to go before he becomes a quality starting power forward, let alone a premier one, and all indication point to another year of steady growth for the the 24-year old.”

    Even as a reserve, Johnson has a very limited offensive power and his rebounding numbers are highly inflated because he played along side an awful rebounder ( AB). Every time Evans played with Johnson, Evans dominated the board which speaks volume about the rebounding abilities of Amir.

    Don’t get me wrong. Amir is Talented and since he has been in this league for a long time ( I know he is 24 ) he is reaching his ceiling soon and his ceiling is a dependable and decent Bench Player.

    However, the Hype Machine of BC and the fanatic fans of RR have paint a different picture of what Amir is and will be for this team.

    • Theswirsky

      just to make this clear….

      …being paired with the worst rebounder in the league makes him look better, but being paired with one of the best rebounders in the league speaks volumes about his true ability?

      I would think that if Andrea makes him look better (which I agree with), being paired with Reggie would make him look worse.  With Andrea there are more rebounds available so it makes sense that his numbers go up…. but if thats the case with Reggie there are less rebounds available making his number skewed no?  Wouldn’t being paired with an average rebounder speak volumes about ones rebounding ability?

      • YourMama

        Not really. Lets see if I can use another example to clear this up for you. Lets say that you claim to be a great Guitar Player. Now, if you play along side a 10 year old who just took few Guitar lessons, you will obviously destroy him with your skills and would look much better than you really are.

        But to truly evaluate your talents and skills, it is better to match you and compare you with a good Guitar player. It is only then, one can judge how good of a Guitar player you are.

        Do you see the difference in the two cases ?

        • Theswirsky

          well I totally understand your point…. guaitar playing is not measurable (well short of artistic value).  Rebounds are.

          Every game there are X rebounds available.  When Bargs plays there are X-5 rebounds available.  When Reggie plays (36 minutes) there are X-16 rebounds available.  Generally, everyone’s numbers will be down with Reggie and up with Bargnani.  

          but… even using your example.

          If you are matched with a 10 year old kid you look great.  If you were matched against Jimi Hendrix not so much.  That doesn’t mean you aren’t good… just means you aren’t great. 

          • YourMama

            I agree and you do have a valid point. The point I was trying to make was that Amir is not a Super rebounder like Evans or other elite rebounder in this league such as Love. This is why his numbers were mostly lowered and lower than Evans when the two played along side each other or he was not able to put up numbers like Evans did ( 15+) when played along side AB.

            • Brasky

              Bear in mind, Toronto was one of the better statistical offensive rebounding teams in the league, and it was Reggie AND Amir leading that charge. Amir needs to take a jump on the defensive glass to truly reach his potential. 

  • Bo4

    ED & AJ are my keepers. JD is a role players that it wouldn’t hurt to keep. RE can be offered a player-coach position that’s reasonably salaried. I can live with AB for a while longer.
    Cause of age, upgrading JC is the priority (Kemba at 5), and JJ isn`t a legit starter, so trading for a decent SF is priority 2. We can wait on upgrading the C until later, if necessary.

  • kaboom


    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Imagine if VC or CB said- sometimes I get lazy, they would have been crucufied for those comments in the media. I mean VC caught all media hyped hell when he said he was done dunking in games.

      BC gave 50 million dollar contract extension to a self confessed lazy player- imagine that?

      Get AB the fuck outta the TDot!!

  • LO

    Quick and nutritious, simply delicious everyone knows we can’t build a team about Andrea!

  • LO

    That was meant to say AROUND, all that pasta is getting to my head

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    Amir is a keeper and the future leader of the Rap’s. As well, Amir played hurt (in a rebuild year?) in the latter parts of the season while another big man kept calling in sick with the flu thus now he needs off season ankle surgery or his stats would have been a little better. He did he a game winner in OKC on 1 ankle but still BC & Jay should have shelved Amir instead of letting him play injured.

    Ed, whose game I liken to CB, led the team in double doubles after missing training camp and the early part of the regular season plus he seems like the real deal going forward @ PF. He actually does all the little things- box out, rotate, defend the rim that you want, expect a big man to do- NC fundamentals. I see both Amir & Ed as a great PF tandem in the future for the Rap’s.

    Andrea has worn out his TDOt welcome. He was set up to win by BC ie given an immediate 5 year buffer, brought over his GM (Gheradini) plus his personal trainer (Cuzzlino) from Italy in order to make AB feel more comfortable in the TDot but all it has done is turn him into a spoiled brat who won’t dive on the floor to battle for loose balls much less rebound, hustle or defend with consistency.  He is a lethargic, lazy, indifferent SOB who should be a leader on this Rap’s team in his 5th season but instead in a toy boy feeder something far from a leader. Hopefully BC will cut the umbilical cord and send Barg’s packing as a change of scenery may benefit him as well not to mention a coach that may force him to D up, rebound & rotate or sit his ass on the bench until he gets the message- play hard or sit. To bad BC or Jay didn’t have the balls to make that call. Hopefully BC will trade AB and the Rap’s will get a piece or two to add to the Rap’s overall roster talent. If AB is a Raptor come training camp- fuck the Raps for 2011-12, I’ll roll with the Memphis (Vancouver) Grizzlies.

    Reggie aka M.A.S.H., it’s been fun but you got to go unless you accept the vet minimum and accept your role as the 3rd roster PF behind Ed & Amir. Even then would Reggie accept that in order to stay in the TDot? For all the positives that Reggie brings to the table his injuries over the past 2 years have made him unreliable in my mind. Rap’s could move Reggie in a potential S&T deal if they decide to part ways with Reggie.

    Joey Dorsey is a man in a man’s league and when called upon (not enough times in my mind) performed adequately enough in my mind to warrant coming back as the Rap’s 3rd roster PF/C DHoward’s mini me Ben Grimm  is a keeper.lol

    Alabi- how did he get a 2 year guaranteed contract?, needs to be bought out ($600,000) or ($800,000) as he’s rawer than sushi. I recall Jay saying that they (coaches) were scared to let Alabi practice with the team because he might hurt somebody. I believe it was Masai Uriji who convinced BC to sign Alabi so let’s trade him to the Nuggets now that MUriji is their GM or buy him out and give his roster spot to someone who is a player not a project.

    Ajinca aka Bargnani Light is another soft jump shooting Euro center that BC acquired with a portion of the CB TPE- I don’t know what the fuck for since he hangs out at the 3 point line just like Barg’s & offers very little inside presence on both offense and defense. Ajinca should be shown the door.

    I’d rather have an old Rasho than either Alabi or Ajinca in a Rap’s uniform.

    In conclusion: Ed, Amir & Joey- keep all 3!! Trade ABargnani! Reggie- maybe come back if situation is right. Both Ajinca & Alabi gots to go.

    • mountio

      you do keep me entertained .. thanks for that. Your take on Ajinca is priceless (and bang on)

  • RapsM

    If Bargnani leaves, it would be better for him and the team.

    • Why

      I just hope he isn’t traded for nothing. If that happens you can be sure 22 wins will seem like a good season.

      • Theswirsky

        I’m concerned BC expects to get something and Bargnani is still in a Raps uni next year…..

      • Johnny

        AB value is so low right now that you will not get anything significant anyway. I can see us getting out of shape, out of their prime players like Diaw and … in return for AB but that is about it.

        I too agree that it will be a great change for AB to leave Toronto now and move on. This relationship has gotten too messy and he is better off spending his dollars in some other city.

        • Nilanka15

          It’s entirely possible that Bargnani’s value is as high as it will get, as next year will see reduced minutes, and possibly coming off the bench.  This is especially true if Kanter somehow slips to us.

  • Brandon

    (no Eric Smith, salary doesn’t matter – Terry, Crawford, Odom all make same/more)
    Those players play on winning teams. The Raps will lose 60 games for the forseeable future, until they add some superstar talent. None of the current roster qualifies. And for those who think some of the current players could “develop” into that kind of player, there just isn’t much deviation from year to year in any NBA player. Amir Johnson and Demar Derozan are not that kind of player. If they were, they’d already be doing the things that win a lot of games on the court.

  • FAQ

    But these “bigs”, “wings” and “guards” are the best you will see wearing a Raptor uniform … and you want to ship out half of them?!

    The only way the Raptors will improve is if you ship the entire franchise to say Raleigh, NC.

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    I recall BC saying that he gets offers for Bargnani all the time- well what are those past offers and can they manifest themselves in the present and/or future to benefit the Rap’s?

    I also recall BC saying that he would go into the Luxury tax in order to put quality talent around CB- after CB had informed (1 week before the free agent signing period started) BC that he was leaving the Rap’s.

    As well,  BC tried to flex on CB in the media after being advised as to CB’s decision to leave the TDot and send him to a team offering the most in return for a S&T but CB then said he would sign with Miami outright and we all know how that turned out- Bayless, Ajinca, JJ & whomever the Rap’s draft at 5 in exchange for CB. *Remaining CB TPE of 9 million likely to go unused as per BC.

  • Justarrfanboy

    yo guy let me ax u yo…des eurows yo we gats ta git moar mericans n tuff brothas yo. trayde bargwhanee.