Nothing could be further from my typical Statophile post than this one. I was more than a little frustrated by many in the Raptors fan base. The initial negative reaction to the pick of Jonas Valanciunas was based on less than stellar knowledge of the player.

Those who disliked the pick often cited one or more of three main reasons:

  • He’s Bargnani 2.0 / He’s another “soft Euro”
  • We needed a PG / We needed help now
  • NCAA players are more reliable (less bust potential)

Argument #1: “He’s Bargnani 2.0” / “He’s another ‘soft Euro'”

I have absolutely no idea where this is coming from. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What have respected observers (who have seen his play in person) said about Mr. Valanciunas?


  • “Uses all of his physical skills to the fullest when attacking the glass”
  • “Shows a good understanding of boxing out, which is somewhat rare for young players”
  • “Solid shot blocker with the potential to be very good in this area”
  • Tough player that’s not afraid of contact”
  • “Unlike a lot of bigmen that were pushed into the game of basketball, it’s obvious he has a genuine love for the game
  • “Has a lot of enthusiasm for the game, and eager to improve.”


  • “His terrific effort level and hands made him a terrific pick and roll finisher”
  • “He was asked to play hard and spend a considerable amount of time setting screens out on the perimeter”
  • “He’s an incredibly intense competitor, a boundlessly energetic player who never stops working for a moment and whose presence is constantly felt on the court”
  • “Has no qualms whatsoever about throwing his body around in the paint”
  • “He’s not afraid to challenge opponents, even if that means taking a nasty spill to the floor and tasting the hardwood.”
  • “Valanciunas is a major presence in the paint”
  • “Players with his combination of size, length, mobility, toughness and budding skills are extremely difficult to come by.”

From ShamSports

  • “Smooth, polished, controlled, never rushed, and highly poised, with good touch around the basket and a very nice free throw stroke”
  • “If there’s something he can’t do, he learns it incredibly quickly”
  • “It doesn’t matter if you have to wait an extra year. It’s worth it”

From Mavericks (psst, current NBA Champions) GM Donnie Nelson on the Fan590:

  • “I would have done the same thing”
  • “You guys got one of the real diamonds”
  • “You’re going to love Jonas… he has a heart as big as all outdoors

I’ve added the bold emphasis. Read all the bold parts and now tell me they describe Bargnani. Or a soft player.

Argument #2: “We needed a PG” / “We needed help now”

I understand this view. However, a couple things on the PG argument:

  • We are one of only a few teams with TWO points guards in the top 40 PER ratings: Calderon at 20th, Bayless at 36th. Raptors fans like to consistently bash our point guards.
  • You can win without an all-star PGs. LA’s Fisher (60th in PER ratings) / Blake (61st) tandem is a prime example.
  • The Raptors would have $15.7 million wrapped up in 3 point guards, or 34.9% of its committed salary (although this is not a large problem as Calderon or Bayless *potentially* could be moved and Bayless’ deal ends after next season).

I’ve lumped the “we needed help now” argument in here. Why? My view is similar to John Krolik’s, [From our TrueHoop colleagues at Cavs: The Blog] who wrote this before the draft:

Here’s my justification: Do I think that Valanciunas will be a better player in the 2012-13 season than Kanter or any other non-point guard player who will be available at the #4 spot? I do. Do I believe the Cavs are ready to make a serious playoff run in 2011-12? I do not. Given those two conclusions, I think it makes sense to take the best player, wait the year, and not settle on a lesser player because of impatience.

Top-5 picks do not come often. And if the Cavs end up being horrible again and getting another high-lottery pick next season instead of flirting with the 7th or 8th slot, I think that would ultimately be for the best…

Bang on. Find and replace “Cavs” with “Raptors”. Do you want perpetual mediocre seasons? Sure, plug near term needs now. Do you really want to go deep in the playoffs and try to win it all? If so, that requires a multi-year rebuild, unless your Boston, LA and now Miami. Reality is, you need to approach winning like OKC since Toronto is not in the top few FA destinations category like Boston, LA, NY or Miami. This means multiple years of high picks. I know its tough to take another losing season, but isn’t a high pick in a great draft (2012) not worth it?

Besides which, many of you also have the view (and are probably right) that we will not have a NBA season start before the new year. So why the rush this year?

I have always viewed the building process much like Kevin Pritchard, the former Portland GM: “The challenge is to assemble a team and try to get everyone when they’re peaking.” (from the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference). This means looking a few years out, not plugging short term needs. Thus, the Raptors have a couple years to get a PG – and it could be by building a young talent core of wings and bigs and acquiring that final PG piece via free agency. Or perhaps obtaining one in next year’s draft. But since we’re not going to win it all next year, why the rush?! Do it right.

I agree with Mark Cuban: “the worst position in the league is a 40 win team”

Argument #3: “NCAA players are more reliable (less bust potential)”

Yes, the statement may be somewhat valid. It could be argued there is often more predictability with NCAA players. But don’t select Darko and Andrea as your sole examples of why international statistics do not translate well. My response? How did Adam Morrison’s, Ed O’Bannon’s, Kwame Brown’s (American High School), Stromile Swift’s, Luke Jackson’s, Robert Traylor’s etc NCAA performances translate to the NBA?! Cherry picking a few examples is easy. How did international players Tony Parker’s, Manu Ginobili’s, Dirk Nowitzki’s, Nene’s, Mickaël Piétrus’, Pau Gasol’s translate? There are plenty of examples on both sides of the argument. While some international leagues *may* not have the equivalent competition as the NCAA, it works both ways. Perhaps you’re double teamed more since your also playing with less talent. Perhaps, in the NCAA, you rack up several assists since you’re playing with elite players who finish better. Perhaps, as a big at a NCAA school, you foul less as your wings and guards do a better job of keeping defenders in front of them. It’s often difficult to make simple correlations.

Could Jonas Valanciunas be a bust? Maybe. Could he be the steal of the draft? Maybe. Is Brandon Knight a guaranteed NBA all-star? No. Could he become one? Maybe. Its difficult to predict how 19 or 20 year olds will mature. But to argue he going to be a bust because of where he was born?! Non-starter.

Talent, passion and toughness are not defined by geographic boundaries. Judge players by not by what’s on their passport, but what they do on the floor.

“So it’s lazy people you don’t like?” – Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking

  • Kevin Oppella

     This article is music to my ears. THANK YOU! I wish i could add to you comment but you pretty much said everything I was thinking or could have said in response to doubtful Raps fans.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      That article is a one sided propaganda piece like no other I have seen on RR.lmfao

      I don’t like the pick because he not coming over right away plus he’s a project not a ready to go player from day 1.

      The Rap’s aren’t the Spurs, Lakers or Heat with roster talent overload who can afford to wait on player development- isn’t that what the D League is for- development?

      I’d rather have an ex breakdancing PG from the Bronx, NY with a NCAA Basketball Championship to his name that’s ready to contribute from day 1 than a (6’9 w/o shoes) project from Lithuanian that is at least 5 years away (using the Bargnani development rhetoric from BC) from being an effective player for the Rap’s at this time & date given the Raptors current organizational particulars.

      Kemba would be in town now working out w/ Casey DD and the rest building chemistry & talking to the fans around town instead we got nothing but empty promises of potential along with the wait a year for him pr spins- maybe that’s what MLSE should have told BC- wait a year- in relation to his contract.

      • Kevin Oppella

        This team is going through whats called a rebuild. We are developing players through the draft in hopes of becoming a contender a few years down the road (I used the word hope because there is no guarantees in pro sports). Are we a playoff contender next season if there is a season? No. So whats the rush? Ed Davis and DeMar DeRozan still have at least a couple years of growing and maturing. These things take time. I’m willing to wait and watch the process. You should join me.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

          Didn’t BC reluctantly in the media call a ‘rebuild’ in January after the losses started to pile up?lmfao You drank that kool aid- did it leave a bad taste in your mouth?

          As well, it can’t be called a ‘rebuild’ until the 2 current longest tenured Raptors under BC- Jose & Andrea, are traded away until then it’s just more PR media spins in the wind like a politician politicking- image over reality.

          Also, both Jose & Andrea exemplify exactly what is wrong with the Rap’s- lack of consistent defense over 82 games.

          Plus AB is a ‘Cancer’ keeping the lockerroom split (as per JJack, JJohnson, AWright & Turk) it’s time for some radiation treatment on AB via a trade out of the TDot! 

          Furthermore, we are not in a ‘rebuild’ BC has just fucked up the Rap’s post Sam (2 3/4 seasons)- point blank!

          The D League is for player development- recognize!

           I want ready to go players from day 1 ala KWalker!

          Patience is for waiting rooms not the NBA- especially for money paying fans- who wants to sit through all the losing with no future guarantee of winning?

          It was better to wait & watch when Sam was around at least the Rap’s made the playoffs & competed under him too bad BC didn’t get CB any real help like a real center to play next to & a vet wing man to slash & drive.

           After the past 2 3/4 seasons I’m not waiting on no more of BC’s bullchit Nostradamus predictions for the Rap’s future str8 up & down the time is now to compete or- beat it(Michael Jackson voice)!

          • Kevin Oppella

            Ok but under your vision wouldn’t you think there is an opportunity for the Raps to trade for or sign a free agent, ready to go, guard after July 1st?

        • Raptor Jesus

          What is with this new found acceptance of failure? Exactly when did Tanking become anything but a mark of shame?

          It has to be this idea that being the worst EARNS you the right to future assets.
          This is what’s wrong with this draft ordering. 

          An organization and fanbase that accept failure is clearly high on FA lists of places to go.

          • Copywryter

            It isn’t an acceptance of failure, it’s an acceptance that we do not have enough talent to be mediocre even with a Kemba Walker. I’m a Raptors fan, but I’m also a basketball fan, and this team is not even close to being competitive. It’s going to take time and a crapload of luck.  

            Cuban is right. It’s counter-productive to be a 35-40 win team unless you think you can win 10 more games the next year and go deep into the playoffs the year after that. 
            What draft ordering would you have? A meaningless catch-all where the richest teams simply buy whatever talent they need? Where small-market teams are essentially priced out? Has that worked for baseball? 

          • POINTS

            tell it brother! +1

  • Bearvon

    Amazing post.

  • Robert Archibald

    Excellent.  Totally agree.

  • Matt52

    Great read.  You know what the problem with common sense is?  It isn’t that common.

  • Milesboyer

    A true Gospel has been spoken…Amen brother, amen.  The doubters need to be educated.

  • Maurice “Mo” Shats

    One of the best posts ever on this site.

    • Riego


      I’m spanish and have seen some Euroleague games of Valanciunas on TV.

      I’ve heard this days comments as ”he only plays 15 minutes in Lithuania”…Something people sometimes don’t realize is than although Europe is not the NBA, a 19 years old kid is going to have a hard time in a grown ups league like the lithuanian one, or the Euroleague, with some shit teams and some preety good ones. Valanciunas had difficulties this year playing against some players with less reputation, but A LOT more of experience. NCAA prospects are all the year playing against inexperienced guys.
      Despite that, made some good games, and he COMPETE always. Took a chance on his athleticism and youth and impressed everyone, seeming to be a player with a lot of potential.

      I dislike euro basketball, but must admit than for a 17-19 years old player is much hard to compete here than in the NCAA tournament. This point can be applied too to Ricky Rubio’s this year stats.

    • Riego


      I’m spanish and have seen some Euroleague games of Valanciunas on TV.

      I’ve heard this days comments as ”he only plays 15 minutes in Lithuania”…Something people sometimes don’t realize is than although Europe is not the NBA, a 19 years old kid is going to have a hard time in a grown ups league like the lithuanian one, or the Euroleague, with some shit teams and some preety good ones. Valanciunas had difficulties this year playing against some players with less reputation, but A LOT more of experience. NCAA prospects are all the year playing against inexperienced guys.
      Despite that, made some good games, and he COMPETE always. Took a chance on his athleticism and youth and impressed everyone, seeming to be a player with a lot of potential.

      I dislike euro basketball, but must admit than for a 17-19 years old player is much hard to compete here than in the NCAA tournament. This point can be applied too to Ricky Rubio’s this year stats.

  • cesco

    If you are IMPLYING with point # 3 that Andrea is a near bust then how come he remained the #1 option the entire season . He received double coverage and that is not a sign of a bust to me  . Other than that you made excellent points about Jonas , we will be watching him some more this summer at the European championships and possibly next summer at the Olympics .

    • yertu damkule

      yes, bargs ‘received double coverage,’ on occasion, as nearly every player with a semblance of offensive skill is likely to see in the NBA.  let’s not make it out that he was being doubled every time he touched the ball, because that’s simply not close to the case.   although most teams identified him as the raps’ primary scoring option, very few teams chose to send consistent double-teams at him.

      FWIW – i hope we all enjoyed bargs’ season as the #1 scoring option, because it may have been his last.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        Yertu …. I gotta disagree with you. I watched every game (except MAYBE 1 or 2), and Andrea WAS the focus of defenses. As was Demar.

        Opponent coaches even acknowledged this (about Bargs), so I don’t get where you can casually say AB had the kind of coverage on him, that is typical in the NBA (with those who have a semblance of offensive skill).

        To say coverage on Andrea was “on occasion”, strikes me as maybe you didn’t see enough games.

        • yertu damkule

          i didn’t say opponents weren’t scheming for andrea & focusing on stopping him, what i’m saying is that he wasn’t facing constant double-teams, as cesco seemed to be implying.  even the greats of the game aren’t doubled nearly as much as people assume, since it takes an extremely well-coordinated & focused defensive unit to pull it off consistently.  i stand by what i said.

    • Tom Liston

      “If you are IMPLYING with point # 3 that Andrea is a near bust..” No, someone else did in a comment to a previous RR draft post.  My point is Jonas is a much different player.  I believe Andrea Bargnani can be quite effective – perhaps as a 6th man who’s paired with a defensive big and a wing who’s effective in the post (Kleiza).

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      Bargnani is a lazy piece of shit- point blank, a 7’1 250 pound PF- sisssssyyyyy (Brother J XClan voice).

      He has been coddled like a toddler and still is a half ass player never diving on the floor nor fighting for loose balls just watches his teammates hustle like an Upper Class snob!

      2 double doubles on the whole season and 1 came in a triple overtime to NJ in London- Ed had 12 double doubles while playing half the total game minutes as Bargnani.

      It appears as if Casey has fallen in line as he called Bargnnai -‘Dirk like’ – not even close, as Barg’s calls in sick with the flu (flu shot anyone?) while Dirk balls with a 102 degree fever.

      Dirk is a basketball player while Bargnnai is someone who just plays basketball.

    • Ihatehaters

      Him receiving double coverage might have more to do with a lack of other offensive options on the Raptors, then simply Bargs offensive proficiency. If Reggie is on the floor, for instance, why wouldn’t you leave him open and throw a double at Bargs?

  • rapsfan

    Finally someone’s talking some sense.  The Canadian media are partly to blame for this Euro-hate, somebody named Jeff Blair wrote a ridiculous Globe and Mail article right after the draft, apparently he did his research on Twitter to gauge the fan reaction.
    (Note to Jeff: Only twits use twitter and even bigger twits believe everything they read there)
    The fans read this and think to themselves “You see, even the media thinks it’s a bad pick” and they start to bray even louder.  The media repeats more nonsense and back and forth it goes like an echo chamber of stupidity.

    The Toronto papers have historically been completely clueless about basketball and nothing has changed 16 years in.  When the Raptors were actual contenders in 2001 they flew almost completely under the radar of the local media.  Even in 2006 the attention was minimal, when Bargnani was selected No. 1 it was headline news on every sports website and newspaper sports section in the world, but the next day the top headline in the Toronto Star was “McCabe signs five year deal”.

    Fast forward to today and suddenly everyone is an expert, mostly it’s johnny-come-lately fans to blame for the nonsense since they only follow the Raptors because they’re beloved Leafs are so bad.  Meanwhile, Colangelo is making one fine draft pick and trade after another.  The rebuild is happening right under everyone’s noses and many people still don’t have a clue.

    • Nilanka15

      Blair’s just another douchey puck-head pretending to be aware of any other sport in this city.

      But in the same way we shouldn’t dismiss all “Euros” as soft thanks to Bargnani, we shouldn’t dismiss all Toronto media thanks to Blair.  Grange, Koreen, Chisolm, and everyone on RR provide terrific reads on the Raps, and everything that’s basketball.

    • SpriteZone

      I agree with you as far as the Toronto media’s pathetic coverage of the Raptors is concerned. Have you ever noticed that TSN, Sportsnet, etc. always show ALL the f***ing hockey highlights of ALL the NHL games (even if the Leafs didn’t play that night), complete with ALL the hockey insider shit, but will only show brief highlight of the Raptors game at the tail end of their show (at best, a 20 second mention)? These sports news shows’ programming look something like this: news about Leafs, then the NHL, then NFL, MLB, NHL, Curling (FFS!), NHL (again!), commercial break, Leafs, NHL, the royal wedding, then Raptors (no rest-of-the-NBA, just Raptors highlights).

      I can understand the love affair of the media with the Leafs, but even if they are not playing, the Raptors can’t even be their main sports headline news…whether the Raptors win or not! Who the flip cares if the Flyers won against Boston? These sports channels/sports shows would sooner report Sydney Crosby farting on the Pens’ team plane than report about Calderon almost breaking the record for most-consecutive free throws made. They’d rather show WWE Raw or Poker Night than to air Raptors games.

      Are you surprised then that we get idiotic articles from the likes of Jeff Blair of the Globe? Are you surprised that we get basketball “insight” from that ice-skating-turned-basketball-commentator Rod Black or from that pompous bore Leo Rautins?
      Are you surprised when American players would rather not play here because there is hardly coverage of the Raptors or the NBA (one of Chris Bosh’s many complaints)? It is understandable that the Raptors are ignored by NBC, TNT, ABC, and/or ESPN…but to get the same inconsideration from TSN, Sportsnet is absurd.

      • O D

        Let it out big boy let it out.

        Score needs more Raptors support, They’re broke but atleast they’re showing to be loyal to basketball. I hope it continues, and that the Raptors show more support to them.

        Sportsnet TSN spend shit loads to hide our tames on their specialty channels and are so whack with their coverage.
        TORONTO AREA AND PROBALY CANADA WIDE AUDIENCE should have complete and free access to the games. The government should consider it as an important part of our culture. Fuck this corporate capitalist shit I have to experience.
        Let’s talk to BC about airing the games @ dundas square!

      • POINTS

        THE SCORE RULES ! #1

      • yertu damkule

        hopefully grange joining sportsnet will have some kind of positive impact…

      • Gradgrind101

        Good point…That’s why I find the commentary on this site more interesting than the dribble coming from the Raptor talking heads. Although Jack Armstrong might be interesting if he were to have 7 or 8 cold ones before going on the air. Rautins on the other hand should take his act somewhere else…He doesn’t need his job with the Raptors or the National team. Instead he needs to get an assistant role with the Knicks before his son’s rookie contract is up.

        And another thing…If you get NBA League Pass you can watch all the games except for the Raptors. Rogers imposed a blackout on all Raptors games (Home and Away). To my knowledge they are the only NBA team that has done this.

        • D.A.

          Actually the blackout rules are brought on by the NBA, League Pass allows you to watch all the out-of-market games, your local home market, this case all of Canada since the Raptors are shown nationwide wouldn’t be available to anyone in Canada.

          I’m all for bashing Rogers, but this isn’t a case where its on them.

          • Gradgrind101

            Thanks for the reply…

            I was told by someone from “The raptors are the only team who will not allow you to watch a single game. All the other nba teams allow you watch some games.” He went on to say that the fans of the remaining nba teams are allowed to watch their teams via League Pass as long as they are not televised regionally (cable or over the air) or nationally. In most cases that leaves you with 30 to 35 games. Also he said, “Rogers has a specific agreement with the NBA that restricts the broadcast of raptors games to anyone within Canada.” But when I double-checked Rogers doesn’t own the broadcast rights…I think he meant to say MLSE has the specific agreement…
            Bottom line…Internet broadcast of Raptors games are fully restricted to Canadians and I am upset over this…I guess I have to buy Slingback (or something)…

      • RapsM


    • Thatpeterguy

      I agree with you comment on the media but only old people who are scared of new things make the twits and Twitter joke.  

  • Theswirsky

    Argument #1

    -shouldn’t you compare his predraft scouting report vs Bargnani’s if we really want to get an idea of how far away he is from Bargnani?  Just giving Val’s only offers one side of the story.  Its not like Bargs draft report was a no effort, jumpshooting big who can’t rebound and has the potential to be one of the worst defenders in league history.

    -they look like different players offensively… the real question is will they have different results?  Val can defend and rebound in the Lithuanian league… can he do that in the NBA?  Will be be strong and tough enough to battle with NBA bigs?  I think more than anything that is where people have serious concerns with him.

    Argument #2

    a) PG – Personally I completely agree.  Never fully understood why people feel this team needs another PG.  And I don’t think Walker will turn out to be that great.  Regardless the Raps are at a level that they could use talent at any position

    b) Help Now – would any pick make this team better now?  Griffon didn’t make the clip a playoff team (they would have ended up in the #1 spot).  Wall in Washington, they ended up with the 6 pick.  Tyreke Evans gave the kings a statistically phenomenal rookie season yet they have had picks 5 and 7 respectively over 2 years.  Durant in OKC was still bad for years.   

    The difference… fans can see these players play.  Can watch them develop.  Can get an idea of what they can do/provide in the NBA.  What he would not do if he played here this year (or any other draft pick) is somehow take this team out of the lottery or into the high lottery.  And IF in the odd chance he did (or another draft pick did.. ala Derek Rose) you are talking about a superstar in the making, which is more or less what everyone is hoping to draft at somepoint no? 

    Of all the arguments I hear for Val vs another pick, this one is the absolutely bunk.  Any pick (whether good or bad) is not guaranteed to make a team more successful or instantly put them into the mediocracy spiral.  And the FEW that would/could are the ones the Raps would want more than anyone else.

    Argument #3

    -“Yes, the statement may be somewhat valid. It could be argued there is often more predictability with NCAA players”  Predictability is something I think alot of fans want considering the # of high risk moves Colangelo has taken to date.

    – a whole lot of “maybe’s”, “could be’s”, and “I don’t know’s” in this argument.  If one believes the NCAA is a better indicator of talent than it is a valid argument.  If one doesn’t, then it is not.  On a personal level someone would have a hard time convincing me that the NCAA doesn’t offer more predictability.

    • yertu damkule

      actually…’Its not like Bargs draft report was a no effort, jumpshooting big who can’t rebound and has the potential to be one of the worst defenders in league history.’:

      ‘On the negative side, there are concerns about most of the other parts of his game beyond his offense. While he’s a smooth and fluid athlete, he most certainly is not an explosive one. He plays under the rim for the most part, and has fairly small hands, which combined make him a below average rebounder, particularly in traffic. He gets pushed around too often and doesn’t fight back as much as you’d perhaps like to see. It’s not rare to see bulky American big men back him down in the paint and score on him, without intense resistance coming from Bargnani’s direction. He is able to contain players on drives to the hoop, but not prevent when strength becomes a factor in static situations. In team defense situations, he is just average in terms of the awareness he shows. In both team and man to man defense, he can be quite foul prone, as he gets baited into using his hands and body excessively and therefore commits unnecessary fouls by players that are more experienced than him.’

      ‘Too often we’d see Bargnani going through long stretches where he just disappears within the flow of the game, not trying to make his presence felt, and certainly not helping his team out that much in other aspects. When his shot is not falling, there are legitimate concerns about how much he will be able to contribute elsewhere. Becoming a better passer, rebounder, defender and post-scorer are all things that Bargnani needs to work on.’

      so, while the language isn’t as strong as you use (i.e. ‘worst defenders in league history’) because, let’s be honest, what draft evaluation service is going to write such a thing, there were definite signs.  it was simply hoped that he’d be as good or better offensively than expected, and that he’d improve on his D/rebounding.  one could make the argument that he simply hasn’t been as good as was hoped offensively, and that he’s been worse as a rebounder/defender than was expected.

      • Theswirsky

        and I’m not saying Val will be like Bargs.  I’m just pointing out that if the argument is Val will (or will not) be like Bargs its important to have both their pre-draft reports included (and ideally from the same sources when possible) and not just one set.

        I honestly couldn’t for the life of me picture a player… big or small, euro or american etc. showing the same “unique” skills (trying to be nice here) Bargnani does

        • JW

          from wiki:

          “Bargnani began his career in 2002–03 with Stella Azzurra Roma in Italy’s Serie B2 division, averaging 13.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 23 games.[2] He then signed with Lega A side Benetton Treviso for the 2003–04 season and played there until 2006.
          In 2003–04, he posted averages of 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10 games in his first Lega A season with Benetton.[2] He made eight appearances in Euroleague action, recording 2.4 points 1.5 rebounds an outing.”

          So just based on stats alone, JV’s rebounding is miles ahead of andrea’s, who could not even rebound in the B2 division with his 7 foot size. JV is also more than just a role player. He is the rebounding leader, on his team and doubles the next guy in that category with half as many minutes.

          Is this good enough for you?

          • Theswirsky

            umm besides i already stated I don’t think Val would be the same as Bargnani?

            No its not. 

            Bargnani from “Wiki” is not the same as a scouting report. 

            • yertu damkule

              you mean…like the one i posted above?

              • Theswirsky

                you mean the partial one you gave me?

                What about this:

                Beyond his terrific offensive skill, there are other things to like about Bargnani’s potential. Defensively, he can deny angles to the basket due to his quick feet and excellent length. He’s quite an agile player, not explosive, but moves his feet well enough to get the job done.

                All indications are that he’s a hardworker who is very much dedicated to achieving his goal of becoming an NBA star, which is the type of work ethic you’d expect from a player who was almost a complete unknown even in his home country three years ago. As mentioned, his court demeanor is excellent, as he’s a mature player who understands the game, executes well, plays under control and is relatively mistake free despite his age. People often mistake his calmness for a lack of intensity, but you must understand that chest-beating and trash talking isn’t the European way.

                From “or “Where Bargnani lands will be of utmost importance; and his team will have to design a fair share of their offense around him to really let him maximize his full potential. From

              • Theswirsky

                anyways my point (again) is if you are going to compare (or try to dissuade) comparison’s between players you have to provide both of their info.  Not just one side.

                And even at that… take what scouting reports say with a grain of salt. 

              • Theswirsky

                thought I’d add a few more while I’m at it (couldn’t find anything else from Shamsports or


                interesting part:

                “Strong defender down low – adjusts shots due to his length and is a decent rebounder”


                take from it what you will (have no idea about the legitimacy of these scouting reports either).

                • mountio

                  Im with you on this one. The footage Ive seen (albeit limited, of course) doesnt strike me as a great (or even good) defender at this point. I take these comments with a grain of salt, especially considering the competition. Having said that, hes super long and it stands to reason he should be a good shot blocker.. but lets not declare him a great defender just yet …

  • Bendit

    Echo above.

    It is ironic that you included the Cavs rep’s feelings about JV. I assume it was pre-draft. He must be pissedas would other fans of the Cavs. More so because reportedly the Cavs chose Tristan Thompson for the Bobcats who were then going to choose JV (gambled to fall to them). The Cavs would then receive the Cats’ later first rounder for the “favour”!! Seems BC may have convinced them that Knight was the choice while the Wiz were high on Vesely.

    • yertu damkule


    • Theswirsky

      that potential deal was prior to the Mil – Charlotte – Sac trade.  Once that deal went down I’m pretty sure the Cle – Cats deal was blown out of the water.

  • Andyann

    Great article! Problem is lots of so call fans don’t truly understand the real meaning of rebuild, nor do they really have the patient required for it.

  • mountio

    I like everything behind the theory of the post. I have absolutely no problem (in fact encourage) the theory of getting the best player with the most upside. If you have to wait a year for him, no problem (might evcen be better because makes you worse this year going into a HUGE draft.)
    BUT – what I am still not sold on is whether JV will be that guy. I hope to all hope that he is. But, what remains to be seen if whether this guy has the body / skillset (body probably more importantly) to compete in the post day in and day out in the NBA. Its great to have a motor and good work ethic .. but if your body cant hold up or you get pushed around, thats all moot. Im not saying JV cant put on weight, but we have been many examples of NBA 7 footers who havent been able to (Shawn Bradely). The flip side would be that while everyone seems thrilled that JV isnt AB – I like to turn that argument on its head. At the very least, AB is extremely skilled offensively, so he can somewhat compensate for his lack of toughness / motor. What Ive seen out of JV are pretty simple put backs / lay ups on guys who look like they are 6’7″ (same for his blocks). Its great to stay within 10 feet of the rim, but a) that likely suggests your game isnt very developed away from the rim (not a bad thing, necessarily, just a fact) and also means you better be ready to get beat up in the NBA night in and night out (JV is like 30 lbs lighter than AB). Also, even if he puts the weight on, is he more like Tyson Chandler or Spencer Hawes / Joel Prizzbilla? I hear the Chandler comparison, but lets be honest, he is /was more athletic than JV ever will be.
    Anyways – I dont mean to hate on the guy .. I hope this all works out. I think Tom’s thesis is bang on. I think the Raps are thinking the right way. The jury is out on whether JV is the right guy.
    One other side note on the PGs. JC is irrelevant, because he wont be here for sure when the team turns the corner. So, the argument to me is whehter JB is good enough or not. If not, taking a PG this year (I liked Knight) makes sense .. because the other option is taking a freshman PG next year (who would be that much more green as you try to build a winner). If you feel like JB deserves another year to show what hes got and could potentially be a legti starting PG .. then going big now (and probably SF next year (Barnes?)) makes sense…

    • Tom Liston

      Fair, rational critique.  Well thought out concerns – and refreshing.

      • Daniel

        I am still shocked by the slight Calderon receives from some corners. Without any shooters around him he still managed to be the 3rd in NBA in Assist rate and 2nd in NBA in TO/Ass ratio. These are incredible numbers. His game is not based on athleticism so he will age Kidd and Nash style. He does everything anyone would want a PG to do.  For some reason people are focusing what he cannot do instead of what he can do. Somehow though the same people focus on what other players – DeRozan, Bayless, JJ, Davis, Amir – can do and choose to use the term “potential” for what they cannot do. This warped reality must have some fundamental biases buit-in. Bayless will never hold a candle to Calderon regarding running an offence. Casey keeps repeating he wants a “multiple pick-and-roll flow” template for our offensive sets. Imagine Andrea, Valanciunas, Davis or Amir running PnR with Jose and tell me there are better PG’s than Calderon in the NBA to run it. The “new age” PG’s have no clue how to run PnR: all they know is ISO plays, which will always be stopped in the play-offs. Life with blinders on is a terrible thing. Especially when they are coloured-based.

        • yertu damkule

          agree…but the difference between caldy & the guys you mention (DD, bayless, JJ, ED, amir) is that jose has already peaked & is either at the plateau stage of his career, or the beginning of a decline.  that’s not to say he can’t continue to be a highly efficient, ball-control, pass-first, great teammate kind of guy…it’s just that the players who do have their faults/limitations ‘excused’ because of potential have, well, more POTENTIAL to improve.  jose’s biggest weakness is his D…not his effort, simply his physical limitations.  he is NEVER going to become a top-notch defender.  meanwhile, each of the younger players you specifically mention certainly have CURRENT limitations/flaws/faults with their respective games, but the general consensus is that they still have the opportunity to correct those weaknesses & become well-rounded players.  it’s why there’s so much criticism of bargs…he’s passed that ‘potential’ stage, and we now see that what he is today is – more than likely – going to be the player he is in 5 yrs.  i think we both need to be appreciative of what veteran players CAN do (instead of over-focusing on what they can’t), & also be cognizant of the fact that young players who have not yet fully developed need time to do so.  bayless, as you say, doesn’t hold a candle to jose in terms of pure PG play (offensively) at the moment, but there is no reason to believe that he cannot develop into a bona fide, well-rounded PG in the future.  we need to compare apples to apples…in this case, compare bayless at age 23 (what he’ll be when the next season starts) to jose at the same age.  i mean, we do remember what jose was when he joined the raps (at age 24, i believe, after a number of years playing pro in europe & with his national team), right?  it wasn’t exactly pretty.

          • Daniel

            Jose at 24 was World Champion and he was arguably Spain’s MVP at the tournament. Coming back in NBA he shot 50/40/90 for 2 seasons and then established an NBA record for FT percentage. His name will be in the record books of NBA after the rookie season when he shot 19% from 3. He worked his a$$ off for his team, never complained and always making people better. It’s not his fault that BC gave him the contract he got and that he got injured and played with a 6 cm tear in his hammy muscle. I cannot stand to see all these kids and teenagers bashing him and ridiculing him and treating him like scumbag for no rational reason. Yes, he did beat out some black PG’s for the starting position and yes, he does not create offense and he’s not flashy. He’s just a damn good b-ball player from Spain who played his heart for a Toronto team when other players dissed the city and the organization. There is more in life than b-ball: Toronto is geographically in North America however culturally is a  cosmopolitan metropolis. Players coming from all over the world reflect the make-up of this city and the morons who don’t like it should move and cheer for other teams.

            • yertu damkule

              you’re proving my point…he did all those excellent things because he developed over time.  even with his pro experience in europe & being part of a world champ, he wasn’t ready (even though he was older & had more experience when he joined the raps than was bayless) to be a significant contributor.  it takes time.

        • mountio

          JC does do some things well – for sure. But, he is oft injured, has lost a step (or more) on both defense and offense and this year even struggled knocking down the open shot (.365 from 3pt this year, having dropped each of the last 4 years – was .429 4 years ago). As a result, its hard to see him being the part of our team as we turn the corner. Hes almost 30 years old and, as I described above, his body seems older. True, he doesnt rely on athleticism .. but if he doesnt figure out how to shoot again (like Nash always could and Kidd picked up) .. Im not sure what this guy has left. He certainly doenst bring anything of note of the defense end, as an undersized (height and strength) and slow PG.
          Could he be a piece on a good team today (Lakers, Magic, even Heat?) .. ya he probably could. Is he going to be key a part of a rebuilt raps team 2-3 years from now .. I just dont see it. 

    • JW

      I think, the same question about holding up 82 games can be asked of anyone in this draft.   One can easily ask this question of Kanter, who has not seen action.  One can ask this of Irving. 

      It’s a chance we take for all the players in the draft. 

      • mountio

        Sure .. it can be asked of anyone .. but its much more relevant to a few .. JV (and the other JV) being the most relevant probably. Irving has had a toe injury, but otherwise is NBA ready in terms of body, athletism, etc – lots of precedent for guys like him succeeding in the NBA. Same for Knight, Walker, Williams, even Kanter (who at least has an NBA body in terms of size .. still question marks about his actual skills though).
        Im not saying he wont do it, Im just saying there isnt a tonne of precedent for tall, skinny 7 footers, whose game is focused within 10 feet of the rim, with only euro league experience becoming “true 5s” in the NBA. There is some (P Gasol the best I guess .. but he was always quite skilled with a lot more talk about hitting the mid range J in his draft year (thus the need for a big frame was less acute), but not much.
        Anyways – I hope Im wrong .. just pointing out my worries ..

    • santimo

      mountio, good analysis. I just wanted to point out though that I think most of the people Dwight Howard blocks are mostly guys who are like 6’7″ too. I have to admit I don’t watch too many Magic games but when you watch D Howard highlights a lot of the blocks he gets are from blocking guards as he comes over from the weakside. You don’t see too many 7 footers getting blocked by other 7 footers in games let alone highlights. 

      • mountio

        Fair point .. I guess what I was trying to say is the guys hes blocking in the euro league are generally smaller, less athletic than NBA players .. so blocking shots an easier task (I realize this is also true for NCAA players who appear to be good shot blockers)

  • Eddy

    There is no evidence that Toronto’s pick will be better in the NBA than Knight and there is no evidence that the rebuild will be successful. Consequently, there is zero evidence for suggesting BC did the right thing, other than to join his merry band of media sycophants, including thin skinned morons like Doug Smith. 

    • Nilanka15

      Similarly, there is no evidence that Knight will be better than Valanciunas, and there is no evidence that the rebuild will be a failure.  Consequently, there is no evidence suggesting that BC did the wrong thing.

      • Eddy

        Yes but Knight would actually be helping us win more than 22 games this coming year, year 16 or whatever it is of the “rebuild.” I guess what we have been doing for 15 years is competing at a high level? 

        Dallas just showed the model for winning. Get one star and then spend 30 or 40 million more than everyone else. It is even better than the two and a half buddy system.

        • Tom Liston

          Okay, I’ll bite. Say Knight contributes right away and we play Calderon less than 20 min a game to accommodate Knight.  Let’s say he’s so effective he wins 5 more games than if Calderon/Bayless played in tandem.

          So, why is, say 31 wins better than, say 26 wins this year?The only thing I see it drops our chances for a better pick in a very strong draft?

          • Eddy

            If your objective is to lose, then not taking a player who can actually play right now makes sense. 

            Which one of the two teams in the final built through the draft would you say?

            • Tom Liston

              A) The objective is to build a team that competes for the NBA championship.

              B) Neither.  As I noted, some cities can easily attract FA talent (BOS, LA, MIA and NYC, to some extent).  DAL was built on successful implementation of advanced analytics,  a massive payroll of $90.8 million and a very special player named Dirk Nowitzki (gasp, a “Euro”).

              • Bendit

                Another rationale for picking JV this draft is that next year’s does not have a comparable Centre selection (from what I hear) while smalls incl. pgs are more abundant and of quality.

              • Eddy

                Dallas was built by an ownership group that is willing to invest in the product — spend money–  rather than just focusing on ripping off the customer, calling them stupid, and selling them the future, year after year.

                • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!


                  BC challenges anyone who questions his moves with condescending talk- it’s basketball not rocket science here.

                  Just like with his draft of Val a reporter asked how in good conscious could BC draft a player who won’t be here for a year possibly more (at the time) after putting the fans through last season.

                  The BC ‘CON’sensus- is a scam being run on Rap’s fans- just listen to Casey regurgitate BC words- nouns, adjectives & verbs verbatim!!

              • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

                Get this NBA championship propaganda out of here as the Rap’s need to make the playoffs 1st and they’re not looking like playoff contenders for the next 2 years- as is.lmfao

                The Rap’s have never competed for a NBA Championship under BC since he arrived in 2006 full of empty promises- now they will and fans should be patient w/BC’s Bullchit?lmfao

                With a 90 million dollar payroll it looks like Cuban bought a NBA title- Dirk or no Dirk.

                • Copywryter

                  It’s not propaganda, it’s a blueprint that needs to be followed by every team that doesn’t rhyme with ‘takers’. I don’t care if the Raptors make the playoffs as long as we’re developing our assets. I’d rather cheer for a lousy-but-developing non-playoff team for three or even four years than the Atlanta Hawks or Portland Trailblazers. 

                  I’m no BC apologist — he’s just another example of the nepotistic gentleman’s club that is the NBA. But in fairness he didn’t inherit a rebuild situation when he arrived, so I’ll be patient with this decision. 

                  That said, the draft is 90 per cent bullchit anyway. Nobody really knows if a player will become an all-time great or a nobody, stay healthy or be Greg Oden 2.0. League benches, d-league rosters and GM resumes are littered with lottery picks who will never break through. 

                • Eddy

                  Your argument is based on the assumption that the current plan is automatically guaranteed to work. Once again, which of the two teams in the finals this year built through the draft?

                • Copywryter

                  Uh, the Mavs? The were a horrid team in the 90s, and eventually swapped a lottery pick with the Bucks to acquire Dirk. They later acquired Nash in the same fashion – trading picks they earned by being awful. It didn’t really work out, I admit, but those picks helped them assemble a lot of talent. They later lost in the finals to the Heat, who won on the strength of a monster performance by yet another top-5 lottery pick. You’ve probably heard of him.

                  No plan is guaranteed to work, but I don’t think the Raptors have a choice. The last five or six years of disgruntled free agents and the Bosh debacle have closed the door on a quick turnaround. This organization has a history of losing and half-assed play that only a  slow-cooked nucleus of young players is going to fix. 

                • Eddy

                  I disagree completely. Hopefully, I can do so without being branded a bigot by that large faction of Raptor fans that celebrate losing.

              • Copywryter

                –> A) The objective is to build a team that competes for the NBA championship.

                I am shocked by how few Raptor fans understand this.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

            Or the Rap’s can lose 60 games then drop 2 places in the Lottery draw, huh?lol

            Folks that promote, embrace the losing of games aka ‘losing with a purpose’ is sad, really sad as it defeats the whole competitive spirit that the team needs to be showing to attract fans as the potential NBA lockout is sure to push away the casual NBA fan in the TDot as is all the losing or projected acceptance of losing.

            BC’s new ‘Winning Plan’ is more Euro vision bullchit- str8 up & down, the Rap’s are the circus and we (the fans) have just been clowned by BC 1nce again with promises of future success!

            • sesco

              This is the internet, you can say bullshit (which, coincidentally, all of your posts are.)


    • guest

      There is also no evidence that Knight will be better than Bayless, the person he was compared to in the draft evaluations!

      • Eddy

        There is also no evidence that “Europe” is a race. So it also doesn’t make sense to call all the Raptor fans, who don’t cheer for failure, racists.

        • guest


          • Eddy

            The title of the piece suggests that those opposed to the pick are doing so because he is from “Europe.” Many of the professional media types have also suggested that being anti-Euro, which they assume anyone opposed must be, is the same as being a racist, even though “Europe” is a not a race. It is a federation of independent nations.

            • Gerald Flemming

              I agree it’s not racist parse, but it at the very least is prejudicial.  And depending how somebody defines Euro it could be racist…because some people make the demarcation of Euro as white.  

              • Eddy

                You are assuming everyone who opposed this decision hates Europeans. If you remove those imaginary thoughts the problem will no longer exist, at least to the same degree.

                • Gerald Flemming

                  No I’m not.  But there is a large contingent of the people who oppose this pick that are throwing around some pretty dubious language.  Don’t make excuses for idiots because you end up looking like one yourself.

                • Eddy

                  I do not have access to what “most” people think and I presume you do not either. I also don’t understand how you can equate Europe with a race. It isn’t even close. I think it is pathetic that anyone who disagrees with this pick is automatically assumed to be racist. Cheap accusations like that could also be directed at BC. Does he have some sort of problem picking black players? Brandon Knight was rated very high so those who couldn’t believe we had a chance to get him now have a right to their opinion without being accused of one of the worst things one can be, a racist.

                • Nilanka15

                  Last time I checked, Davis, DeRozan, Alabi, Marion, Stoudamire, etc. are black.

                • Eddy

                  See above.

                • Gerald Flemming

                  I never said I had access to what people think.  People have stated pretty obviously what they think.  They’re anti-Euro.  And I never accused anybody of racism.  Xenophobia absolutely.  At the very least prejudicial thinking.  

                  And BC’s last two draft picks were black americans and he just hired the best possible coach for the Raps, who also happens to be a black man.  

                  I love how you accuse me of being assumptive when I have infinitely more proof of what I’m suggesting than you do with your wildly ridiculous thoughts.  

                  I’m done…I’ll refer to the more educated posters from now on.  

                • Eddy

                  Educated posters probably read before they post. I didn’t accuse him of being racist, I said it would be just as easy to do that, as it is to write the title of this thread, which implies that anyone opposed to the choice hates Europeans.

                  However, I won’t miss interacting with you as you seem like a moron anyway.

          • POINTS

            you you saw what he wrote,whats with the ‘huh”read it again dummy

            • guest

              When you can write a competent sentence you can call someone a dummy …until then you can kiss my ass.

        • Thomas A.

          It’s not racism; it’s xenophobia — basically a fear of people who aren’t like you. And it comes from the same family as racism: strongly held assumptions based only on the class/appearance/culture of others.

          Some people think that women can’t drive; some people think that some races are more likely to commit felonies than others; and some people think that European athletes are lazy and soft. Those people are wrong.

          I’m not trying to call you anything like that. I just think that we should all take a deep breath and give the kid the benefit of the doubt.

          • Eddy

            Are you saying everyone opposed to this pick is opposed to all Europeans? If so, I’d argue you have set up a false delima and have started to erect a straw man. Some people want the team to get better, not worse. That means we need players. We need a point guard for the future too.

          • J.J

            Dunno what city you live in but in Toronto… women can’t drive Period.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

          That’s a propaganda ploy used by many of BC’s supporters to label people who disagree with his Euro flavored vision of the Rap’s as somehow being racist and/or xenophobic in order to rationalize to the fan base (season ticket buyers) all the losing post Sam & CB instead of focusing in on how much BC is messing up the Rap’s with his questionable transactions, personnel decisions and the like which have led the Rap’s str8 to the Lottery quagmire of the NBA- point blank!

          • Eddy

            Who wouldn’t want a gig where the deliverable is 5 years down the road and every move you make is automatically assumed to be a stroke of genius? I wish I had a job like that. Just call all your customers stupid and sell them the future, even if they have already suffered through years of failure.

            • Bendit

              Where were you the last decade? Remember the tech bubble in 2000 and for a double whammy the housing one in the States at least. The herd mentality never fails in a crisis atmosphere and plenty took advantage. 

              • Eddy

                It is the same sort of sell as real estate investing, or derivatives, isn’t it? The premise of the plan is never reviewed and each move, the path toward even greater riches. You just have to have patience, knowing a “plan” is in place. In 5 years you will understand the brilliance of it, even though you are not capable of understanding it now.

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    I don’t like people that sell losing to the fans w/ a high Lottery pick as some type of reward for ‘losing with a purpose’ especially after the Jay Triano coaching era we just suffered through the past 2 3/4 seasons. I hope the ticket buying Public shows less interest in BC’s rebuild hype  post lockout as empty seats in the ACC speaks louder than anything.

    I’ll tell you why I don’t like the pick, after suffering through the past 2 3/4 years of Raptors basketball, because the kid won’t be here this year- lockout or no lockout, I want a player who will be here come training camp to begin to grow with the other players immediately and so we can see up close what he brings to the table not more pr spins on his potential.

    In my mind the Raps (fans) don’t have the luxury of waiting 1 year for his arrival then another 5 to develop him- then presto magic there you have it- who knows what the team will look like by then on the court and in the front office.

    Jonas may or may not turn out to be a good NBA player- time will tell, but until then it’s all potential speculation not actual factual until he steps onto a real NBA court playing against real NBA players and has to show & prove or step & move.

    Also, the Raps have enough young players as is and would have been better off trading the  pick away to the Spurs for the TParker/RJefferson/CoryJoseph (#29 pick) package throw in Jose/Barbosa/#5 pick going back to the Spurs and call it a deal.

    Then go after Canadian Sam Dalembert as an unrestricted free agent.

    As well, sign Canadian Jamal Magloire, whom the Heat aren’t bringing back according to reports, as the 3rd roster center for the Raps.

    Trade Bargnani for assets- players/picks, and add that to the roster as well and the Rap’s would then have a playoff talented team that the fan base would fully embrace in my mind.

    2011-12 Raptors:

    PG: TParker JBayless CJoseph
    SG: DDeRozan SWeems
    SF: RJefferson JJohnson LKleiza
    PF: AJohnson EDavis JDorsey
    C: SDalembert JMagloire SAlabi

    Looking back on this draft in 5 years it will (in my mind) most likely be full of ‘potholes in my lawn’ ala the 2006 draft w/ busts all over and a few gems among them until then it’ll be interesting to see what develops and who impacts.

    That being said a backcourt of KWalker & DDeRozan w/ EDavis at PF would have been a nasty fresh start to the so called ‘rebuild’!

    • Jiles


    • sauce jr.


      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Just like the roster we currently have- unreal.

    • Max Powers

      You want Richard Jefferson and Jamal Magloire? And Sonny Weems as backup SG.. good luck

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        I didn’t say I want RJ but I would have taken him along w/ TParker because that’s what the Spurs were trying to do according to reports. RJ could be a potential amensty buy out or future trade piece but as is he is a veteran SF who can D up in the inbetween time.

        Jamal is a Canadian NBA veteran who would be good in the locker room and community as the Rap’s 3rd roster center.

        Sonny is a decent back up SG at a potential decent contract amount- if coached correctly.

        • Max Powers

          If coached correctly, Bargnani could be a 20 – 10 guy but the problem is that these guys are not coachable. And Magloire… yeah, isn’t he the same guy who refused to play for Team Canada..

          As for RJ being a future trade piece, he must have one of the worst contract in NBA right now and is nearly untradable. It was nearly impossible to trade Turkoglu and RJ is same.

          If you call Sonny a decent backup after last season, then I guess we were watching different basketball games. He was probably worse than Bargnani and no one can be as bad as Bargnani.

          • yertu damkule

            guys either have the rebounding gene, or they don’t…one can only ‘learn’ to rebound to a degree, after that, it’s up to them.  if they lack the gene, then they have to make up for it with hustle & effort.

            • Raptoronto

              I think “hustle & effort” are connected to the gene…so if you don’t got it, you’re busted.

              • yertu damkule

                true…the ‘gene’ i’m talking about is that seemingly innate understanding of where the ball is going to go.  working to get into position once that’s been ascertained goes to the ‘hustle & effort’ aspect of it.  sadly, and i know this comes across as bashing, andrea seems to be limited in both areas, which is why it’s somewhat foolhardy to think he’s ever going to become a decent rebounder…even if he suddenly decides to put in the effort, he still lacks the instinctual nose for the ball.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

            Bargnani has self motivating issues plus with a new contract in hand he doesn’t have to play hard just show up as long as BCGheradiniJay are in control of the Rap’s they will find the excuses to keep him around ie he’s a PF pr spin- after 5 years in the NBA.lmfao

            If BC can trade Turk he can trade RJ- right?lol

            Sonny was injured last season and playing out of position at SF- he’s a NBA SG. I bet you loved Sonny when he hit that game winner in Orlando- it’s not his fault that Raptors trainers don’t make the players stretch before working out- that’s basketball 101 (stretching-warming up before any on court activities) from the Boys Club to the NBA.

            Sonny’s effort, hustle >> Bargnani’s effort, hustle

          • Copywryter

            Don’t forget that Dalembert was kicked off the Canadian Team : ) A real charmer, that guy.

            • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

              By an asshole named Leo Rautins- do the math.

              None of the top Canadian Pros are lining up to play for Team Canada under Leo.

    • Shadybiz

      wow that’s a winning roster you’ve built there…….

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Add to it what you’d get for Bargnani and it looks alot better than what is currently out there potentially for 2011-12 w/ some Canadian flavor.

         We have had a Canadian coach why not some Canadian players on Canada’s NBA Team?

    • Riego

      So nobody is bitting the RJ bait (arguably worst contract in the NBA) and you want the Raps to do it????

      Magloire thing….hilarius…

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Take his contract new CBA possible amnesty clause.

        Magloire grabbed 20 rebounds against in the Rap’s last game of the season.

        He’s a big, veteran bruiser who is from Toronto and at 33 isn’t over the hill yet plus he could be a mentor in the lockerroom & is a good community pr for the Raps.

        • mountio

          Magloire couldnt even crack the lineup of the heat (the team with the worst bench (and worst big men) for a NBA finals team in the leagues history. I love the guy and whats hes done for Canadian bball .. but lets call a spade a spade, put a fork in him .. hes done.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

            Magloire, who is 33, was on the court in the playoffs for Miami in a few games was he not?

            He can be a veteran presence on the Rap’s and teach the young bigs a trick or two that he has learned over his NBA travels.

            The Raptors aren’t the Heat- far from it- recognize.

          • Bendit

            I didnt know that Magloire did much if anything for Canadian basketball. He certainly never participated in/join the team despite many pleadings. He may well have done things anonymously I am unaware of. 

            • yertu damkule

              jamal’s biggest contribution to Canada Basketball was declining their offers…

              • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

                I believe that Jamal has donated both $$ and time to Canada basketball outside of suiting up for the team- recognize.

    • sesco

      Don’t ruin De La Soul for me, faggot.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Isn’t that a homophobic remark?

        I have turned down more pussy that you have jacked off to,

        In the words of DeLaSoul- It’s Me, Myself & I- recognize chump!

    • Deep Sandhi

      That lineup is horrible! Wtf are u thinking? JV is better than all those sad centers you listed.

      Those are pretty much the 10th, 11th and 12th men on that roster.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        If you can read- I would trade Bargnani as well so whatever that would net would be added to the roster.

        If you would like I can make up a potential AB trade to alleviate your concerns with my speculative

        I just put Alabi who is a scrub in my book on there for decoration as well Magloire would be the 3rd string roster center as Sam, Ed & Amir would rotate in a 3 man big rotation with Amir playing center for 10-15 minutes a games in that scenario- recognize.

        JV isn’t currently any better than Magloire, Magloire will abuse him even at age 33.lmfao

        Sam would look like Wilt against JV right now!lmfao

        Heck, even Alabi would hold his own against JV if not more- right now!lmfao

    • Kevin Oppella

      And to coach them: Leo Rautins

      Championship HERE WE COME!!!

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        I’d roll with Alex English as Head Coach.

        I never said championship- I said playoffs, but you have to be in the playoffs first in order to compete for a championship- recognize.

        • Kevin Oppella

          We probably should have made English head coach before Sam Mitchell.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

            After Sam was fired instead of BC promoting his human puppet Jay ‘Company Man’ Triano.

    • Copywryter

      Ladies and Gentleman, your Spectacularly Underwhelming but Still Good Enough to Need us to Rally them Into the Playoffs 2012 Toronto Raptors!

      RR needs an ‘unlike’ button.

  • Tinman

    No revalations here. It’s what anyone with half a brain has been saying since we chose the guy. We might well of got the best big man available, shoring up our middle for years to come. 

    Since mid season last year it has been a common discussion, perhaps not on this sight here, that next years lottery is where we will acquire our starting PG. A rebuild takes time, the smart fan knows that.
    The others, well they wanna trade Davis for Tony Parker.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      Who the hell wants to trade Ed Davis for TParker?

      I believe that you are misposting your thoughts- re look at my post, as I said trade the #5 pick not Ed, kiddo.

      As well how can you call a ‘rebuild’ with the longest tenured Raptors under BC- Jose & Bargnani, still on the roster?

       BC has not replace CB properly so he called rebuild in relation to the losses piling up in January- recognize, CB TPE do you know me?

      Time started was when BC fired Sam at 8-9, it’s been all downhill since then- now we the fans should wait some more patiently with visions of hope in our minds?lol 

      • vino

         to reinforce Gerald Flemming’s idea: BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!! you wrote a crazy post!!

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

          Crazy like a fox- recognize!!

  • Gerald Flemming

    Ah, the neurotic Toronto sports fan.  Thinks he/she can out GM the pros.  This is a great article trying to give a little perspective to the mass hysteria.  I’ve read three Cavs pundits who are crapping on Gilbert for not taking Valanciunas.  

    The fact is that there are a lot of educated insiders who think he could end up being the best player in this draft.  That and the fact that we don’t have a five and that true fives are actually the rarest players in this league, you think, would conspire in peoples heads to calm their jangled nerves.  

    Let me posit an idea…that Toronto Basketball fans are starting to have little man complex… and because of that they’re starting to ingest the worst of American sports arrogance.  One of the things crazy people do is seek opinions that agree with their own so they can feel validated regardless of the legitimacy of that opinion.  You see it on American political blog posts all the time.  And because of that you have fringe professional writers trying to stir up the sh*t storm because they will get more hits that way.  Steve Simmons anybody?

    It’s like anything…we all should seek out the most educated opinions so that ultimately we learn, right?

    And this article does that.  It seeks out educated opinions in the hopes we all will learn.
    Much thanks Mr Liston…

  • ardy

    Excellent read. Agree with everything you said 100%. Thanks for the post.

  • Tom Liston

    This is Tom’s wife…now I see what he`s been doing for the past day and a half…good post.  I admit that I made points #1 & #2 as soon as Tom got home on Thursday night.  Perhaps that makes me his muse? :)

    • yertu damkule


  • Michael Knight

    Utah Jazz play by play announcer reviews Jonas – doesn’t see what makes him a top 5 pick and I concur. No lift, I don’t see any supposed high level defence, but he is a good pick and roll player.

    I don’t want to hear anyone using stats from u-18 euro tournaments, those are kids playing against kids so of course a 7 footer is going to dominate. Rubio for example destroyed everyone in those tourneys and hes struggling in the actual euroleague.

    • Gerald Flemming

      So a play by play announcer cherry picks the bad moments of a single game which is what this is, is more valid than all of the basketball brain trusts in the world?  Please…

      So instead of using stats covering periods of his career, you see this as a more valid metric to base an opinion on.  See my last post…

      • mountio

        I actually hadnt seen this clip – had seen a few others that were more flattering than this .. but to me, still quite unspectucular. As my post describes above .. Im ok with the THEORY of taking the most talented guy available and waiting a year (especially for a big man, as they are rare). If this guy was, even, Tyson Chandler type upside, Id be on board. Im just not sure he is. Hes getting pushed around like crazy and his defense looks average at best in this clip – agianst pretty weak opponents.
        I know a lot of experts like him .. I acknowledge that and hope they are right. As of now, I still need to be (and want to be, dont get me wrong!) convinced.

      • Michael Knight

        All the basketball experts in the world thought Darko was a can’t miss prospect. I have seen as many of Jonas’ highlights as I could and he doesn’t look like anything special At all- and those are the highlights. I see a skinny kid who plays the pick and roll well but gets abused in any other situation.

        I think the backlash against the backlash has gotten to be too much now- a healthy dose of skepticism is essential when being sold a pick based sorely on faith and goodwill, which this raptors administration has absolutely squandered over the past few seasons.

        • Thomas A.

          There’s a difference. Darko looked great in workouts and highlight videos, but did nothing for a small team in Europe. Valanciunas looked ok in workouts and highlight videos, but played a significant (albeit not starring role) on a very good Euroleague team. His rebounding percentage — a stat that almost always translates well to the pros — puts him in the company of guys like Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah.

          From every account I’ve read or heard of him he outworks everybody else on the floor and has the talent to back it up. If you want a culture change in Toronto, it starts by getting guys like that.

        • Gerald Flemming

          I’ve never seen an abundance of faith and goodwill as Raptor fans.  There’s always the bipolar contingent just waiting for excuses to go off their meds.  The fact is we have no idea how good this kid is going to be…

          But we do know that he was the only true five in the upper portion of the draft.  (some argue Kanter is more of a four)  And we still haven’t seen what Bayless can turn in to.  He looked pretty damn good the last month and a bit there.  There’s a reason Knight and Walker fell as far as they did.  And it probably has to do with information that we are not privy to.  

          Just because we can see in through the front window doesn’t mean we know what’s going on inside…

        • Gerald Flemming

          And I think Darko’s development was seriously stunted by anti-rookie coach Larry Brown. That’s something that has been tossed around for years.  Not saying he would have been brilliant but he couldn’t even get off the bench his first couple of years in the league.

    • Riego

      If stats against other 20 years old players can’t be used, what the hell is the NCAA????

      In that game against Malaga Archibald schooled Valanciunas, because in Euro League athleticism is less usefull and Archibald has a lot more of experience. Lietuvos has bad perimeter defense, and allows other teams to get a path to the rim easily.

       I just want to say that people should be more careful when trying to analyze an Euroleague game, is way more complicated than an NCAA game, and that should be known when measure a prospect.

      For example Jeremy Tyler, who years ago was named future nº1 pick, and struggled big time in a weak league as the Israel one. You need more fundamentals than athleticism to make an impact in euro basket.

      Lucky for us, Jonas has both.

      • Michael Knight

        U18 stands for under 18, so these are all genuine teenagers and kids not NCAA college players. I absolutely love the euroleague, but I’m not impressed by gaudy numbers put up in a tourney for kids- any 7 footer should destroy them.

      • Michael Knight

        U18 stands for under 18, so these are all genuine teenagers and kids not NCAA college players. I absolutely love the euroleague, but I’m not impressed by gaudy numbers put up in a tourney for kids- any 7 footer should destroy them.

    • Tom Liston

      You “don’t want to hear anyone using stats from u-18 euro tournaments”, but yet will make conclusions based on 4 minutes of grainy YouTube video (all from one game)? 


    • Johnn19

      Kids playing kids, just like the NCAA basketball, you mean?

  • Markbairos

    horrible post Liston. keep sucking cock kto get to the top.

    sonny B

    track stars USA/JAMIACA
    soccer BRAZIL
    hockey Canada
    Baseball DOMINICAN


    • Tom Liston

      Ahh… you got me.  B/c Dirk Nowitzki, the NBA playoff MVP, hails from Germany, USA (A state b/t Alabama and South Carolina, I believe).
      Oh… and and Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas, hails from Michigan, Canada (a province b/t Saskatchewan and Ontario, I believe).

  • guest

    This site has become so negative about this team until I really don’t know why it is called a fan site.  It is nice to finally read a piece where someone understands what rebuilding is all about.  Point guard has never been the greatest need on this team.  They need a center and they need a banger. Let these players go through a training camp together, learn from a defensive minded coach how to play team defense and then make a logical decision about what the team needs.  My greatest fear for this group is that the lockout will not allow them to have a training camp and that is what this young team really needs so that they can develop synergy. 7 footers don’t become available that often …passing on him would have been a mistake.

    • barenakedman

      RR is my favorite Raptors site by far but I do find myself scrolling past the comments of guys that think they have all the answers and are compelled to make 10 -20 posts on every article.     

    • Copywryter

      I’m not disagreeing with you overall, but this team doesn’t need ‘synergy’. It needs talent. A lockout isn’t going to do us that much harm, just as a training camp with a new coach and new system couldn’t make us that much better.

  • Samuel (Frost-Byte)

    At first I wasn’t ok with the pick, but when you think of it in the long run, In the Worst Draft, we picked one of the best players, it does even out.

    My biggest issue is the future of the team.
    Colangelo wants to play like a Euro Team, however Demar, Davis and probably who ever we get in the free agency will not have the chemistry with a Calderon, Bargani, and Val style of play.

    I want calderon and barbosa to leave, and in return get draft picks next year. Then Bargani and Davis’s faith will be determined by how we should play our PF UNLESS Bargani becomes a 6th man being Pf/C. That would help our team ALOT and Allows us to look at our final piece of need, a SF.

    • Daniel

      Demar is so overrated by the fanbase it’s not even funny. How do you know that Calderon/Bargnani/Val will not be more successful than Demar/Davis? How do you know all 5 will not work together? demar is pushed by BC as the face of the franchise however I haven’t seen any respectable NBA professionals mentioning Demar as some kind of special player. He has strengths and weaknesses and a ton of work in front of him. I would personally trade him in a millisecond for a Harden or Mayo. Demar is worse defensively than Jose: he has no lateral quickness and no defensive positioning. For his athleticism this is quite shameful. Davis got injured in a pick-up game right before the season started: how stupid is that? He hasn’t done anything special in his rookie season in a 22-win team. I don’t give a damn if Demar and Davis will leave at the end of their contracts because they don’t like the city. I just hope BC or another manager will get something out of it. Demar is starting to act like a spoiled brat recently. We’ll see what he’s made of now that we finally have a defensive-minded coach. No more excuses for him or anybody else for that matter.

  • Paul

    Jonas is more like Amir than he is Bargnani. The question is: Is he even as good as Amir?

  • Frank

    You are a guy who has been feeding the boards numbers and comparisons and … to prove his point all year long. 
    How come that is missing now ?? 
    How come you did not do a comparison of Val’s number with some of the current European centers/ PFs in the league ? 
    Why not use those numbers to project how goo he is or how much Talent, Passion and Toughness this kid has ?
    Is it because you already did that and the result was not what you wanted so you went on and wrote this Cliche article ? 

    • Tom Liston

      “How come that is missing now?”  Because I’m working on that as well.  The data is always difficult to compare, but its generally positive for Jonas.  Stay tuned.

      • Frank

        Good, Thanks. Please in your comparisons add guys lie Bierins, Primoz , Darko, Gasol Brothers, AB and …. depending on the availability of the data of course.

  • Jperrin7

    Very nice positive post.  Now here’s why I’m a little bummed by the pick/state of the franchise.

    – with 12 players (1 injured) coming back I see a repeat of last year.  Now what happens if the season goes ahead and attendance falls by 5k a game?  I mean the team will suck and the fans are suppose to keep paying?  With the GM extended and the coach nearly hired this could get ugly in a hurry.  At some point attendance does matter and I don’t care who says it does not.

    – Rubio waited a couple years and by all acounts regressed(I’m presently working in Minneapolis)

    – after 2/3 rough years I think the fans have a right to expect a different lineup.  So far I see no changes!!

    – all the project picks it appears the GM’s think this season will be shortened or not all

    Sooo overall it’s not the person but the franchise.  If they keep the core 12(minus Reggie) and not bring in any talent then the outcome will be roughly the same.  Maybe not tanking but deferring to the future?

  • Tim W.


    Great article.  I think a better argument than mine, but I liked my analogy better!

    • Tom Liston

      Came across your article this morning – excellent work.
      Your analogy was as good as it gets.

      • Tim W.

        Thanks.  Although now I can’t stop thinking about cookies.  

        • vino

          Good read, Tim. Thank you. Your cookies brought memories of the “rich dad poor dad” game “Cashflow” targeting the escape from the rat race…

          Another thought passed by when I scanned RR this morning… there are lots of teenagers here.

          • Tim W.

            Thanks.  And there always seems to be a lot of teenagers here.

        • mountio

          Was a good read. And, I think the AJ comparison is a good one. Similar range, similar skill set both offensively and defensively. Not sure JV is as athletic .. but you’re in the right ballpark for sure.  As Ive stated above, Im in total agreement on waiting a year for the right guy.
          However, I worry about the same thing I would worry about with Amir if he was a couple inches taller. If hes being asked to bang in the NBA with true centers (as opposed to someone like AB who drags them out away from the rim) – how will his offensive and defensive games hold up?
          Maybe he will be fine .. but not a lot a precedent for guys with his size, game, experience and athleticism succeeding in the NBA. Doesnt mean it wont happen .. just means hes a bigger risk than others.

          • Tim W.

            Those are very valid concerns, and ones I have myself.  Another reader wrote that he thought Tyson Chandler was also a good comparison.  They probably have more similarities.  But hopefully without Chandler’s early injury problems.

  • Bob

    When I first heard  the draft I thought oh no it is 7 foot Linas Kleiza. But reading articles and watching highlights made me think otherwise. Besides he needs to improve so keep him in the Euro league for 1 mor year.

    • Raptoronto

      If Kleiza was 7 feet he would be a BEAST, top 5 C in the league.

      • Tim W.

        Man, I’d love to see Kleiza as a 7 footer.  He’d be a top 3 center.  

      • Copywryter

        Imagine if he was 8 feet tall!

        • Superjesusman

          Or 9!

  • SEIZ

    I, think the biggest problem is the fact that Jonas is FAR from a finished product. Who is to say he will develop into what people want him to be? I mean he easily could, but I believe this pick is based STRICTLY on potential, hence the reason why many believe he wouldn’t be able to really contribute until even after another year of playing in Europe. Will he get stronger? Will he develop a post game? Will he improve on his passing so he can pass out of the post? No one really knows.. 

    • yertu damkule

      of COURSE it’s based on potential, he’s 18 fucking years old.  how many 18 yr olds came into the league ready to contribute immediately?  1?

      • SEIZ

        All I know is that when you draft strictly on potential the chances of failure are high. Again I’m not saying that Jonas won’t be able to put on some weight, develop a post game, and bang with NBA 4s and 5s. He may be able to even exceed whatever people believe he should develop into. However between now and maybe 4-5 years we’ll all have to wait and see. 

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Jonas sounds like just the US HS kids coming into the NBA except this one is from Europe- Stern’s draft eligibility rules decidedly favor International players- why is that?

        I thought Stern’s NBA age limit was to deter projects from coming into the League watering down the talent levels in favor of more mature players?

        Or is that rule for the mostly black college kids looking to enter the NBA draft?

    • santimo

      Until any of these draft picks start playing NBA games, they’re all based strictly on potential. The teams selecting these players are projecting how good they will be in a few years, no one is drafting them thinking that they’re finished products.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Not exactly, as you can get a better read on a US college kid’s game and transference on the NBA level as you have a larger sample of competitive games to use as data points.

        Jonas is a str8 up project ala Barg’s- 5 years at least, hopefully BC will be gone before that time arrives.

        BC- SA wanted him so I drafted him, that reasoning sounds so childish from a person who knows that he pissed on the fan base draft night and called it rain water via pr media spins.

        • santimo

          I think you’re partially right, it depends on the situation. For example Kyrie Irving played about about a 1/3 of the season and people where still saying he’s the number 1 pick this year. Not much data points to go off of there. Brandon Knight has only played 1 NCAA season whereas JV has two years (I think?) of Euroleague experience already. I think when people refer to JV as being raw, they’re talking about his strength and his offensive skills, but defensively and for rebounding he’s ahead of the curve for his age group.

    • Raptoronto

      Knight and Walker (the consensus fans choices) have just as many questions marks (SG’s in PG’s bodies)…and the fact that it appears no teams were pushing to move up in the draft for them (at and 8 and 9 in a supposedly weak draft) and several were for Val (at 4 or 5), tells me a great deal of how teams viewed their potential or lack of. 

      If either Knight or Walker have a decent season, this site will become unbearable.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!


      The extra skinny Jonas is at the very least 3-5 years away from being a contributer- as per BC & Casey, and is already starting off behind the 8 ball as a rookie that has to stay in Europe instead on coming over right away and getting to work to see if BC is full of chit 1nce again- time will tell! 

      Jonas is a project- point blank.

      While a player like Kemba is ready to go from day 1 so of course Jonas is going to have a higher ceiling because Kemba is already a player ready to go ball for his team from jump street.

  • SEAN H

    This post is so dead on man.  Good work

  • Otty Woods

    Nice read, BC made the right move IMO, raps fans are used to bitching about something because they usually have a reason to. We’ll be a solid team in a couple years, everyone needs to chill and enjoy the rebuild

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      And if the Rap’s are still a Lottery bound team in 3 years?

      Rebuild- aren’t Bargnani & Jose still on the roster?lmfao

  • Arsenalist

    Calling this a great pick is just as fucking retarded as calling it a bad pick.

    Oh and BTW, Donn Nelson also said this about Darko when comparing to Drik:

    “We saw Dirk as a multi-position player, but I think Darko is a
    pure (power forward),” Nelson said. “Darko doesn’t shoot it from
    as far as Dirk does, but Darko is more dominant in the paint. Dirk
    is more of finesse player while Darko is more of a power guy.  Obviously, we think the world of Dirk. But I would be very
    surprised if Darko was not a success in this league.”

    So he’d be shocked if Darko wasn’t a success?? Hmm.

    So please give me a break about pulling out quotes from other GMs.  No GM in their right mind will say the other team picked a dud, it’s called lip service and it’s common amongst GMs.

    This pick is a massive UNKNOWN and being skeptical about it is a natural reaction, as it should be with almost any other player out there.   Anybody who is 100% sure about this (as many of you seem to be) have just been brainwashed by the positive reviews resulting from not much being known about the player.

    • Gerald Flemming

      Skepticism is absolutely understandable because every single pick in this draft is a massive UNKNOWN.  

      Right now what this is about is that, as you know, the loudest (and craziest) of the Raptor faithful freaked out the moment this pick was made.  

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        Not true, every Lottery pick in this draft isn’t a massive unknown but looking back in 5 years there most likely will be alot of busts ala 2006 in relation to the high draft picks.

        Will Jonas be 1- time will tell.

        • Gerald Flemming

          Every pick is completely unknown…Irving has injury issues, Williams is a tweener forward who could have trouble finding an identity on the team he’s landed, we don’t know what Kanter will be because we haven’t seen him play in a year and a half.  

          There, that’s the top three…and I guarantee you I can rationalize neurosis for every pick in this draft.

          Seriously, I just believe that people are buying in to the hype of the other picks because the NCAA is sexier and sold to us in glorious ESPN colour commentary.

          I have no idea whether JV will be a great player.  I think he’s got as good a chance as anybody, but the reason I like this pick is two fold.  It was the ballsy pick to make.  He knew a lot of Raptors fans would freak out and he did it anyway even though he knows his leash is only two years long.   And we don’t have a real five.  Partly because a real five is the rarest commodity in the NBA.  Next year is filled with quality points and small forwards…and as you pointed out…big men develop slower, so in a rebuild you get them first, right?  And then you add the guards and small forwards so that the team grows together.

          That’s got to make sense on some level to you…

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

            We, the fans, deserve much better from BC (especially after getting a contract extension) after the past 2 3/4 seasons BC has no right to ask the fans for our collective patience- did BC give Sam any type of patience before he prematurely fired him at 8-9 while Jay finished up at 25-40 yet got a new contract to be BC’s puppet coach?

            DWilliams will be able to score in the NBA from day one as he’s a Jamison type and Jamison did ok for himself in the NBA. Plus DWilliams has something to prove- a chip, since he didn’t go #1 overall.

            KWalker will have an impact from day 1 just with his swag, confidence & personality which is infectious. This kid will replace DJ by next season as the Bobcats starting pg- DJ & Kemba what a potential speedy 1-2 punch at pg for MJ.

            BKnight will be out to prove the Teams that passed on him wrong- did you see him on draft night? His eyes were all watered up as he did all he could to keep from crying- the kid is now motivated to succeed (not that he wasn’t before) for being passed up by Teams who most likely said if he was available they would draft him- the NBA is full of empty promises.

            Fuck a ballsy- get real.lmfao

            If BC didn’t draft Val, Bismack was next of the Rap’s draft board he’s not ballsy but ‘stuck on stupid’ looking for a 1 trick pony ala Kapono and/or projects instead of complete well rounded players ready to go from day 1 ala DD & Ed. 

            We have a  7’1 250 pound center on the roster he just wants to play PF like there really is a major difference as all AB will do is float on offense & defense like he’s done his whole career whether at C, PF or SF.

            Maybe Alabi will be the guy if reports are true about his injured knee last year hurting his game & summer workouts w/ David Thorpe because it’s sure not the bean pole jump shooting Ajinca aka Bargnani Light.

            We can target a real 5 via trade (Kaman) and/or Free Agency (Dalembert) as well we still don’t have a real 5 as Val won’t be here until the 2012-13 season and even when he does arrive in Toronto he won’t be ready to man the Center position effectively for another 5 years (using BC’s Bargnani 5 year grace period as a starting reference point) as he’s just a rack of bones right now.

            Also, Val may turn out to be another PF as he’s only currently 6’9 w/o shoes according to an interview he gave pre draft.

            Val could be another Divac or another Brezec we just don’t know it’s the unknown particular that I’m most concern with as the Rap’s need quality players now- not tomorrow, don’t sell the fans with losing before the season even begins or the fans should shut their collective wallets.

            I do  not embrace losing at all- win or lose compete & try to get better or we may find ourselvels in the Lottery every year ala the T’Wolves!!

            Val seems like a good kid who has been thrown into a media hyped quagmire by BC but still he’s not the right guy for this team at this time- BC shitted on the fans draft night- point blank- it’s more than just ‘angst’ as he so eloquently tried to spin it.

            • Gerald Flemming

              Look I appreciate that you think you have this amazing Basketball crystal ball but I’m telling you you don’t.  There’s a reason that Knight and Walker fell as far as they did.  
              I don’t know what it is but I guarantee you that the advanced scouting teams of the top seven teams do…and I guarantee you that they’re combined Basketball IQ so far outreaches yours that it’s like comparing the moon to a piece of rat sh*t.  

              Look I get it, you’re an angry guy who thinks what he says gets more important with extreme statements and your little texting aphorisms like lmfao…but it makes you sound like some tweener girl, because you come across as petty, precocious and irrational.  It basically works to stiffen anybody against anything you might say, regardless of it’s validity.  

              I’m telling you now that a full rebuild takes time and unless you look at what happened along the way incoherent anger and impatience aint gonna cut it.  

              Just a heads up.  

              • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

                A full rebuild would be getting rid of BC, Gheradini, Jay, Bargnani & Calderon anything else is just more BullChit media spins on ‘losing with a purpose’- add sugar, water and stir……

                I’m far from angry so stop trying to psychoanalyze people over the internet my insecure friend you make yourself look very facetious in Nature.lmfao

                KWalker ROY.

                Time will tell about this draft.

                You can keep your heads up as I got your mom tails up- tell your pops that she’ll be late tonight- chump, I mean son!lol

    • Raptor4Ever

      Fantastic, Words of Wisdom. This is what journalism is all about. It is about being honest and having a perspective. 

      This is definitely not the worst pick but you have to look at our needs , what was available at the time and what position we pick this guy and then evaluate it. 

      Based on those factors, I think this was NOT the best move we could have make and we missed on a great opportunity to address some of our main weaknesses. 

      • Tom Liston

        So, what was the best move and why does it address our main weaknesses?

        • Raptor4Ever

          The best move in my opinion was to target the SF or PG in this Draft. Over all, big men take a much longer time to develop in this league especially if they are European. It is a different beast banging against the PFs and Centers of the NBA versus the guys in Europe. Examples is Keliza and how successful he was in Europe as a PF and how he can not play that position here. 
          This team has been lacking Leadership, Identity and Heart. Why not go with PGs who have shown that they have those and can relate to DD ? Knight and Walker.
          We need a defensive oriented SF who can defend and takes pride on that? Why not go with Lenoard who has shown that he can do that ?

          It is ok to draft a European 18 year old center but then you have to be willing to wait . Look at how long Mak Gasol, Splitter o even Scola spent in Europe ( 4-5 years) before coming over and even then look how both Gasol and Splitter struggled in the first season or two. 

          I think it would have a been a better, safer and faster way to rebuild this team if we addressed our Center problems through Free Agency this year or next year when we finally know what AB is all about.

          For Val to come in and play a center and show his full potential, we need to wait minimum 5 to 6 years !! ( Look at how much time BC wanted to give to AB to develop and how much time other teams have given their European big men). 

          While it would probably take guys like Walker, Lenoard and Knight only 2 to 3 season to be a capable player in NBA ( example, DD ).

          This team is still going to struggle with the Center position for next 5-6 years till Val comes here, grow up and become ( if he ever become) strong enough to compete with guys like Howard, Gasol, Noah and ….

          There is always a risk in drafting a player and this draft did NOT have a sure thing BUT there were other players who could have FIT raptors better. Team like Spurs could have easily wait on Val for another 4-5 years since they have Splitter now and …

          This was the matter of fit and taking the best way forward and I personally think BC did no considered those factors.

          • Tim W.

            It’s never a good idea for a 22 win team to “target” a certain position in the lottery.  That’s how get Araujo over Iguodala, Bargnani over Aldridge and Sam Bowie over Jordan.  The consensus among learned basketball people, including the Spurs, was that Valanciunas was the best player available.  

            • Rapto4Ever

              “It’s never a good idea for a 22 win team to “target” a certain position in the lottery. ”

              Not Always. This is true when the level of Talents varies significantly in the Draft between certain positions. For example, if you have a clear ALL-Star type of Player or even Clear STAR type of player then you should go for the most talented.

              But when the talent levels are the almost the same and there is not a clear difference among the players, then targeting for certain need or position is quite wise.

              An example to support this is the tier system that many teams use. The ONLY clear Star of his draft was Irving and some may argue Williams. After that, the talents between Val, Kinight, Kemba  and Kanter and … is very close to one another and hence, Raptors could have choose a player that NOT onl addresses their need for ONE position but also addresses their identity, character and … needs as well.

            • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

              “The decision was made according to our roster, we have umpteen million guards and we were looking at the young men Walker, Knight, and Leonard, but we had a lot of players at their position. What we don’t have is rim protection, length, and athleticism in the middle. Amir is a good player but he doesn’t have the length of this player.” – Dwane Casey

              I believe that an immediate ready from day 1 impact player like KWalker would have been the better selection for the Rap’s at #5 as the Rap’s could have addressed their center needs via trade (Kaman) and/or free agency (UFA Dalembert) like they are doing anyways as per Casey.Val is currently a 19 year old skinny ass project with potential may or may not turn into a starting caliber NBA center but that day is at least 3 years away at the earliest and 5 years on the long end via my educated guess using his current particulars as a starting point. I like the kid he doesn’t come off as snobbish like King Bargs aka The Pope but I just don’t like his selection under this current Raptors basketball environment.

              • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

                “The decision was made according to our roster, we have umpteen million guards and we were looking at the young men Walker, Knight, and Leonard, but we had a lot of players at their position. What we don’t have is rim protection, length, and athleticism in the middle. Amir is a good player but he doesn’t have the length of this player.” – Dwane Casey

                I believe that an immediate ready from day 1 impact player like KWalker would have been the better selection for the Rap’s at #5 as the Rap’s could have addressed their center needs via trade (Kaman) and/or free agency (UFA Dalembert) like they are doing anyways  as per Casey.Val is currently a 19 year old skinny ass project with potential may or may not turn into a starting caliber NBA center but that day is at least 3 years away at the earliest and 5 years on the long end via my educated guess using his current particulars as a starting point. I like the kid he doesn’t come off as snobbish like King Bargs aka The Pope but I just don’t like his selection under this current Raptors basketball environment.

          • Tom Liston

            All good arguments. I am a fan of Leonard as well – but think the opportunity to trade down for him didn’t present itself.

            I *hate* proposing trade ideas – but if they Spurs love Valanciunas, is trading the 15th pick (Leonard) and 29th pick (Joseph) not an interesting idea for both clubs? 

            Arsenalist likes Joseph, and everyone generally believes Leonard is a solid player.  Could work.

            • Balls of Steel

              Nah, I’m going out on the limb here and say that I won’t even trade JV for Kemba and Biyombo (in Charlotte).

          • Gerald Flemming

            If it takes longer for a big man to develop, than it makes sense that in a rebuild you target them first right?  So when we get our SF and maybe a point next year (if Bayless doesn’t pan out) then we have players that are growing together.  That makes sense right?

            • Rapto4Ever

              It depends where you are in rebuild, what options you have and what pieces you gave. It depends if you have your leader , your identity and … It is not as simple as just because it take longer, hence we need to go after it first. 

              Rebuild does not mean you have to develop all your players from Rookies and guys who are 18 and 19. At some point of time, you can add FAs and … As I said earlier, I think ( just my personal opinion) for where Raptors are and the voids that they had, This draft could have provided us with a player that would have helped the team much sooner and in many intangible areas as well.

              • Gerald Flemming

                Thanks for the rebuild 101 advice.  Obviously there are many ways to aggregate a winning contingent of players. I agree with everything you just wrote(regardless of the patronizing tone).  

                But I also think finding a real five is the hardest thing to do and that’s why there aren’t many of them in this league.  When you have a chance to get one you grab it…And we have a few voids…the ones your pointing out could be filled next year in a draft that is rife with guards and small forwards.  It also gives us a chance to see how Bayless pans out when given a larger sampling size of starting with hopefully Calderon coming off the bench.  

                Considering the last month of the season he averaged over twenty points and almost seven assists, I think he’s earned the chance.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        That was a one sided fluff piece designed to fool the casual fan into buying BC’s hype about Val- potential gets most coaches/GMs fired.

    • Tom Liston

      All of your points are based about what one GM said.  There are many points there beside what Nelson said (and besides, while they don’t have to stress the negatives, they also don’t have to give them a glowing review either).  Just because you pick one quote to attack doesn’t make your argument stronger.  Look at the entire bit of data, please (btw, I was using those quotes largely to show the differences with Bargnani, not to claim – as you imply – that Nelson is a excellent projector of how a player will develop. BTW, in any fair rebuttal, to use only only example seems unfair. Perhaps there are quotes were he projected more upside than others and it became true? You didn’t mention those. No one has 100% success and I can always find the one example when they made a mistake. Doesn’t prove much. Even if you ignore those comments, there seems to be some consistency from everyone that has watched him play live, no?)

      Again, everyone LOVES to pick the one European player that didn’t work out.  I am disappointed that you’d (like many) cherry pick the one major player that didn’t work out.  I expected more.  Guess what?  Darko is not the only International player in the NBA.  

      For every Darko you put out, I’ll raise you a Dirk.  

      “..skeptical about it is a natural reaction, as it should be with almost any other player out there.”  Most of these players or 19 or 20.  But most fans (including yourself) were pushing a Knight or a Walker with some confidence and were sure this was a poor pick.  THIS IS the reason for the post.  Not because I’m guaranteeing he’ll be better.   

      What is unknown is often greater than what’s known when a young man is 19 or 20.  But you can still call it a good pick – as with stocks, buying a car, picking a university, etc you chose based on the best available information.  Hence, one can argue it was a good choice given the available information.

      And to be fair, I didn’t say it would be a great pick – only in context.  I thought I was clear: “Could Jonas Valanciunas be a bust? Maybe. Could he be the steal of the draft? Maybe. Is Brandon Knight a guaranteed NBA all-star? No. Could he become one? Maybe. Its difficult to predict how 19 or 20 year olds will mature. But to argue he going to be a bust because of where he was born?! Non-starter.”

      • Theswirsky

        “For every Darko you put out, I’ll raise you Dirk”

        1998 – 2008 European big men (PF – C) drafted in the first round

        Dirk Nowitski (9)Radoslav Nestorivic (17)Mirsad Turkan (18)
        Aleksandar Radovejic (12)Fredric Weis (15)
        Dalibor Bagaric (24)Iakovos Tsakalidis (25)Primo Brezec (27)
        Pau Gasol (3)Vladmir Radmanovich (12)
        Nikoloz Tskitishvili (5)Nenad Kristic (24)
        Darko Milicic (2)
        Andris Biendris (11)Pavel Podkolzin (21)
        Fran Vasquez (11)Johan Petro (25)Ian Mahimi (28)
        Andrea Bargnani (1)Oleksiy Pecherov (18)

        Not included are other international players.  I used up to 2008 since anyone after would have less than 2 years experience.  If they played NCAA ball they were excluded (example Jerome Moiso). One exception is Radovejic as he played in Barton Community College (and I’m not giving that credit for much of anything) (Feel free to criticize my criteria and find any errors I may have made.)

        Quick glance and I see alot more Darko’s than Dirk’s.

        This does not mean that a European born player can’t be a stud/good/tough or whatever… but unless someone wants to use Pau and Dirk over and over again, you run out of names quick.

        • yertu damkule

          i guess the only thing left would be to take the ratio of studs:busts for euro bigs vs. NCAA-groomed bigs, and see if there’s a significant difference.

          • Theswirsky

            haha if someone wants to do that be my guest.
            But you’d also have to define stud and bust (example I’d define Bargs, Biendrins and Radmanovich as busts but I’d wager there are a number of people who would disagree), and also put into the context the amount of NCAA scouts(ing) vs Euro scouts(ing) over the years.  Fit in highschool players etc.

            Anyways I wasn’t posting that to show the number of duds that have been drafted per se, but rather more to Tom’s argument of “(arse) cherry pick the one major player that didn’t work out” when he cherry picked one of the only 2 that did. (although I’m sure you can put Marc Gasol in there to)

        • cesco

          On your list there are 5 bigs who were picked in the top 10 . Dirk , Pau , Andrea , Darko and Tskitishvili. Three of them are starters playing around 35 minutes for their team , Darko is playing nearly 25 minutes , may be considered a starter and from what I understand did not have the pedigree Jonas has before coming over  . So the odds are good that Jonas will be a starter , playing an important part on the team in a few years . The team is still light years away from winning a championship (think the Mavs till this year , Cleveland and Orlando failing to win it with their superstars ) . Let us relax and see how it play out with Jonas .

          • Theswirsky

            well if you want to play that game…

            … considering Jonas was a top 5 pick, there were 4 European bigs selected inside the top 5 (Pau, Bargnani, Darko, Tski.) of those only 1 wasnt a bust… so therefore the “odds” are 25% he won’t be a bust.

            See how easy it is to make things look stupid when you try.  I tried to make things as open and neutral and fair as I reasonably could, and ofcourse it took you to change that.  (sorry what were you saying before again about not watching basketball until Bargnani and only being a fan of him and not the team?)

            • cesco

              It is well known that the chances of surviving in the NBA decreases the lower you are picked , the chances of becoming a starter and not a fringe player or bust,  increases the higher you are picked. This rule applies to ALL draftees  . For every Nesterovich  who survived many years in the NBA , you have 2-3 Weisses who did not survive . So the chances of Jonas doing well are good (being picked higher). And you are a sick man when you say that I am not a fan of the team . If Andrea leave I will still pull for the Raps to achieve their ultimate goal . Get that in you thick noggin  , once and for all .

              • Theswirsky

                you said it not me.

        • Daniel

          That’s an interesting argument. Gasol won 2 championships as the 2nd best player and Dirk won 1 as the best player in their respective teams, at least so far. So you have 3 championships between 2 bigs European players. The only other bigs with the same roles who won championships after 1998 were Shaq, drafted in 1994 (I believe), Timmy, drafted in 1997 and KG (I don’t remember when he was drafted). It looks like no other bigs drafted between 1998-2008 won a championship, isn’t it? Given that in the same period 10 more American players were drafted with no championships it does demonstrate that you can win with European bigs, doesn’t it?

      • Arsenalist

        Here you go.  The internet is very big and will help you “prove” any point.  It’s best to classify Valanciunas as a fairly risky pick, hope for the best, keep expectations in check, and move on.

        Draft Express on Adam Morrison:

        College basketball hasn’t seen a player with Adam Morrison’s natural
        feel for the game in a very long time. Obviously Morrison knows how to
        score the basketball, but his instincts make him much, much more than
        just that. Mentally, he is just a step ahead of everybody else on the

        Chad Ford on Darko:

        “Darko is really one of a kind. He runs the floor, handles the ball, shoots an NBA 3 and plays with his back to the basket. So you can slot him at thethree, four or five. OK, a few other guys can do that, too, but what sets Darko apart is his toughness in the post. … Fact is, Darko plays in attack mode at both ends of the floor. The more you push, the more he pushes back.”

        Marty Burns on Darko:

        Given their need for help in the frontcourt, it’s hard to argue with Joe Dumars for taking Milicic over Anthony. If he is as good as advertised, the Pistons could be in the NBA Finals next season.

    • Statement

      Who said anybody is 100% sure.  I don’t recall reading that.  The article is just against the knee-jerk backlash stuff that happened when JV was picked.

      JV may bust, or he may be good, the point is it is a defendable pick…for all reasons mentioned ad nausem.  That’s all you can control, pick who you think will be the best and hope for the best.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!


      This pick could be good or bad- we just don’t know and will have to wait at least 5 years from his arrival in the TDot to find out.

       BC is just stringing the fans along buying himself time- hopefully many of the seats will be empty in the ACC this season to send BC a real message!

      • Gerald Flemming

        BC is not stringing anybody along.  He either really believes in this pick or has suicidal tendencies, because anybody could see from the outset that this wasn’t going to be a popular pick.

  • Raptoronto

    It’s all about building assets at this point.  Jonas developing over in Europe for a year has several positives (mentally, physically along with skill-set) and very few negatives.  

    We build an asset without committing $ this year and we then have him for one extra year before he hits unrestricted free agency (and a bigger contract).  Based on Val’s current body he would likely be limited in NBA playing time anyway and his confidence may have been affected simply by being outmatched physically.  He now knows what he needs to focus on for the NBA and will be a more polished product and still only 20 when he puts on a Raptors jersey.The Raps can continue to give minutes to our young core of big’s this season (if there is one) to develop and increase their value.  One of Barg’s, Amir or Ed will likely be moved to make room for Jonas depending on how they all develop.  I like the fact this is the position we are stock piling as there is a void in the NBA for bigs and a huge stock of talented guards, which would bode well in the any trades.  So basically we are developing an asset without losing the capability to develop other key assets (or having to move before we know what we have).The prospects now are that we may likely have two high-level rookies in 2012 (possibly both starters) at entry level salaries at key positions, Ed Davis also starting at a reasonable salary (possible stud at PF), several other young assets and a ton of money to spend.  I see a nice framework of a solid rebuild that has long term success in mind, something we have never seen in Raptorland.

  • HyePwrd

    Basketball is a TEAM GAME. People who understand the game; realize that the most important position in Bball is NOT CENTER….NOT PF…NOT PG….NOT SG…NOT SF!! The MOST IMPORTANT position is ALPHA-DOG. Until you have one—Your team is garbage. If you are wondering what an Alpha-dog is…Its the guys that get MVP votes. Here’s the list Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant,  Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade. You dont WIN a title in the NBA without an MVP candidate. Once you have that piece–you can build around him. Perpetually good playoff teams without an ALpha are a waste. History proves it EVERY year! Teams Like Atlanta..Portland..Denver..all of which have “good pieces” and make playoffs–but will always LOSE. To me, a 17 win team is no different than a 50 win team that loses in the 2nd round.

    The only way for Toronto to get a MVP-type player is to draft one. You can tell within 1 or 2 seasons if a guy is an MVP-type guy. if he’s not—its time to move on and try your luck at the draft again. All other moves are just sideways moves. Lets say we traded Bargnani for LaMarcus Aldrige and Amir for Amare….Nice team……but still not a Championship team.

    My philosophy is that you keep going to the well(the Draft) until you get lucky(ie-Wade at #5/Durrant at #2). Once you have the MOST ELUSIVE part of a Championship team…you can worry about backup PG and all that other non-sense. To worry about it now is meaningless.

    • POINTS

      raptors have a ALPH-DOG his name is  bargs

  • Rpsfan95

    day 3 of the 15 month debate on this guy = nice time

  • Jonathan

    Thanks Liston.  I was waiting for RR to put out a piece that would calm all the xenophobes with good points, considering so many people respect RR’s opinion.  It was really disappointing that the earlier articles didn’t really say anything (considering the writer admitted to not knowing anything about Valanciunas), but only added oil to the fire (perhaps not his intention but it’s what happened).

    An addition on your tidbit re: Boston.  Don’t forget that until they lucked out that off-season (how often do HoFers get moved, let alone at the same time), they went through 14 years of bumbling around in mediocrity.  This, despite being a rather famed franchise as well.  They had accrued a lot of young talent and pieces over the years of flailing, which they ultimately used to acquire Garnett and Allen.  Yes, we’ve had 16 years of mediocrity, but it’s not like we started from a firm base as an expansion team.  Boston was a very successful team before they began their 14 years of nothing.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      So if you don’t agree with the Jonas pick and/or BC Euro vision for the Rap’s you are to be labeled as an xenophobic person?

      Is this some FBI Cointelpro misinformational operation here?lmfao  

      Even my (Societal) conditioning has been conditioned.

      The greatest weapon of BC is the minds of the fans.

  • RapthoseLeafs

    Have a couple of questions regarding Jonas:

    1) Does his salary count against the cap – even though he won’t be here this season.

    1a) If it doesn’t count, does that allow BC to spend more on a F/A, or facilitate a trade where we take back more contract than goes out (as we’d be under the cap)

    2) They say Jonas can’t play till the 2012 season. Can that change? – ie. come over in January or February if the season is back on?

    2a) If JV can come over late in this upcoming season, is the “holding off” a game or loophole, so that we can spend more on F/A (or trades) at the beginning, and then tack on Jonas’s salary when he comes. Obviously it will depend on the new CBA.

    • yertu damkule

      he doesn’t have a contract with the raps and hence, no salary; he won’t sign a contract with them until he actually comes over (see recent examples splitter & rubio)…the raps simply own his rights.

      so, theoretically/technically, it allows BC to spend more, but it’s all moot anyway, because the CBA as we know it goes kaboom in a few days.  we’ll all have many months to think about trades, FA, the CBA, etc.

      JV has apparently agreed on the buyout with his euro club, but the agreement is that he’ll play with them for ’11/’12.  earliest we’ll see him playing in TO is training camp, 2012.

  • Rapto4Ever

    Math 53, where are you Pal ?? Do you remember that I told you Barbosa will pick up his option ? It is June 25 and 5 more days before AB’s contract also kick in if BC does not trade him. 

    Now, after 2 month, do you understand why I said your estimation of our Cap room is product of pipe dream and not realistic ??

    Hope you learn a small lesson here Pal.

    • Rapto4Ever

      Raptors now have 47 million in guarantee salareris . I am not sure if Val’s contract will count toward our cap or not but seeing that TPE is expiring as well, How much money do Raptors really have to spent on a FAs ? 

      This simply show that what Arsenalist wrote few month ago about our Cap Space flexibility was totaly correct and it is much smaller and much less significant than what BC was advertising and  was trying to make everyone to believe.

      • yertu damkule

        it’s a little early in the game to be speculating on cap space flexibility.  the NBA as we know will cease to exist in a few days, and NO ONE really has a sweet clue what arcane ridicularity ™ the new CBA will produce.  chances are, the soft cap disappears, as does the MLE…there could very well be salary rollbacks, amnesty clauses, a ‘franchise tag’ (doubtful) &/or various other loopholes to allow teams to maneuver their unwanted pieces into assets, etc. 

      • cesco

        I checked HoopsHype teams salaries and Rubio had $ 0 for 2010/2011 and 3.4 millions for 2011-2012 , so it looks like it is only when they come over and sign a contract here (at the scale of the year they were drafted ) that their salary count toward the cap . I just confirm what yertu said .

  • Dmetrical

    “You can win without an all-star PGs. LA’s Fisher (60th in PER ratings) / Blake (61st) tandem is a prime example.”

    You failed to mention the part about having once-in-a-generation type athletes in Kobe and Shaq. I’m sure Fisher and Blake were fine on their own, but they were also quite appreciative of Kobe’s contributions.

    Not to mention a certain Hall of Fame coach in Phil Jackson.

    Regarding your overall assessment:

    I think you’re drawing a strawman here in vilifying anyone who’s doubted this pick by labeling them as “anti European” or dismissive of a player because of where he’s from.

    To me, like a lot of Raps supporters, the frustration comes from the lack of imagination on BryCo’s part, and a climate of mediocrity that hangs over the whole Maple Leafs organization.

    To just have your contract renewed and to follow that up with a limp gesture in a weak draft year? How about a trade or two? Maybe draft lower and swing for the fences? At least give us something dramatic.

    Instead, what we have here is a weird, timid endorsement of a player who’s not a proven entity.

    Without the context of an abysmal performance record, this pick is probably inconsequential as the seasons go by. But from the view of Bryan Colangelo, he should be absolutely fighting for every tooth and nail to ensure a successful franchise. There must be a sense of urgency in the face of a slowly dwindling fan base and interest in the game.

    Something that corrects a gaping schism and also make sense in the long term.

    I understand that it’s easy for us complain from our armchairs and keyboards, but it’s also important to keep in mind that we have every right to question and criticize decisions made on the salaries and eyeballs provided by us.

    Not all of us are complaining about this move just because we want to shake some of our xenophobic cobwebs loose.

  • hateslosing

    This is a great article. I am also looking forward to the more stat based article since I seem to remember that Val had very good advanced stats. 

  • Toshmon

    Hey guys, 

    I agree that this pick was got us a potentially good player but its still a bad pick don’t listen to these people saying calm down.
    Calm down, relax? 

    No no.

    Lets say this guy is good to a great player:

    Lets say he turns into Chris Bosh ok- 20-30 points a game. 10-15 rebounds  (this may be a stretch)

    Multiple time All star top 50 player in the NBA.

    What happened when we had a player like this?–He was weak, not a LEADER and couldn’t guide this team into the playoffs because of team chemistry and lack of locker room leadership.

    It doesnt matter if this guy is good(which there is no guarntee)We need to build a team that gets pissed when they get scored on and can lead the team on and off the court vocally-

    Do we have that? Do we get beat by less talented teams? 

    Remember when we drafted Bosh ahead of Wade because a guy that is 6″10 has more potential for the franchise than a pg?  What if we had Wade and Carter? What if man? We would have had a leader and a pg that has rejected Bosh(on the Raps) in the paint several times because he didn’t like punks scoring inside on the Heat.

    Remember when we drafted Bargnani instead of B Roy because 7footers with his skills are at a premium?  What happened  do I even have to explain the chemistry and leadership issues that followed?

    We all remember Haffa? Babcock Drafted a big man that has potential to grab rebounds and add toughness….F*ck you Babcock don’t pull that sh$% here, I said.

    Colangelo picks this guy and tried to talk down to me like I don’t know basketball!? 
    He says,
    –This is a good pick trust me.  

    Yeah its a great pick but not for this team. 

    Not at this time.

    So this guy is gunna play here 15 months form now and lead the team to the Championship?  Are you guys being serious?  What do you think DeRozan’s thinking? yeah ill play on a twenty win team again this will be fun.  Jonas is a great guy but I really doubt he’s gunna command the lockeroom. You have to consider chemistry-one of the MOST UNDERATED   elements of a championship team(Paul Pierce  and Garnett even said this on an ESPN documentary about when Perkins got traded).

    We got f*cked with this pick guys. As fans, and DeRozan as a franchise piece. Knight, Walker of Leonard could help him and Davis. 

    Now these issues will have to be addressed and I hope they will be as Colangelo never stops.
    So based on what happens next your right, we can’t be too pissed we have a good piece for the franchise down the road…cool.

    OK now Lets say he’s better than Bosh and Chandler Combined. Lets say this guy turns into Hakeem Olajuwon.  How long will that take guys?
    It took him about 7 years to reach his prime 
    About 5 to be a great player.
    Personally I would rather buy a Center.  
    A proven one.

    Brian better do something in the mean time to have DeRozan sign an extension or else we will be wondering, what if?

    Good job Liston. I like this article. It did calm me down actually but I feel like this is all it is: 
    a reaction to the bad reaction.  

    Will we be wondering what if?
    What if B. Knight wins R.O.Y?’
    What if this kid breaks a leg overseas?
    Now we have to not only hope our pick turns out but the guys we passed on don’t turn out while or pick isn’t even on the team!-not fun.

    People can’t be judgemental if some don’t like this pick. For those of you that play ball know that winning is not often about talent its about a winning attitude and confidence. 
    Chandler isnt this good based on his talent alone, he’s good because of his life experiences; he doesn’t want punks scoring on his net.

    This pick has amounted in a lot more questions than answers. Everyone must agree on that even if you liked this pick.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

      I concur!!

       Except for the part about the article calming you down- it was a fluff piece used to try and pacify fans who are questioning BC’s drafting particulars in realtion to Jonas.

      Where there is smoke there’s fire!!

      As well, I don’t see DD signing an extension I believe he will paly out his rookie contract and explore Free Agency- especially if the Rap’s continue to lose games hand over hand the next 2 years & Barg’s is still around- no one wants to play with Bargnani outside of

      As soon as anyone says ‘trust me’- that’s a red flag- especially coming from BC’s deceiving lying ass!!

    • cesco

      What if B. Knight is a bust a la Morrison or has knee problems a la Roy ? What if DD accept an offer from one of the LA teams ? . What if , what if ? . Time will tell .

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

        As well, Morrison blew out his ACL during the pre season of his 2nd year so we don’t know if he would have developed or not so to call him a bust is untenable given his ACL history.

        AMorrison does have a NBA championship ring to his name even if he was just the 13th or 14th man on the Laker’s roster.

        Time is the truth maker!

    • Superjesusman

      Your post is way too long to read…

  • O D

    I think applying frameworks to some of our arguments would help.
    If your signing a free agent to a 4yr 60mill contract I’m sure the organization and it’s representatives expect an immediate return.
    In the case of Val and all the othe draft picks were talking about players with NO NBA experience. Depending on the level of talent you may get a really raw exciting player in your first year, but I’m sure throughout history the amount of rookies who carry their team to playoff birth, Nevermind a championship are reserved for no doubt HALL if FAMERS. Depending on the kids iq he may turn into a drop dead star in his 2nd or third year, that being said let’s think about the hall of FAMERS and superstars who take those first few years to figure ish out before they start to carry a team.

    With regard to our draft pick 3 for years down the line let’s compare his impact with raps to the other rookies with their teams and then cone to a few conclusions. 11-12 draftees should only be compared to their class because that’s the only competition they were up against.

    I like to argue but looking realistically the comparison between knight, Kanter, and Val Is like splitting hairs, they are ALL RAW!
    Kanter wasn’t on the board and Knight and Val are both hyped off of potential. Knights gonna be good if Detroit puts some pieces around him, and Vals gonna be good if he has any heart.

    Some of us here are stringing together so many arguments that were sounding incoherent.

  • laughoutlouder

    Simmer down now. Simmer down now. Gilbert et al. will extend the impasse and we’ll lose a year of Bball. Apparently, he and his lottery-bound ilk are willing to bunker down knowing that another year without Bball guarantees the heatles get a year older without getting a title, and the loettery teams get another lottery pick — thus increasing the likelihood that they “win a title before Lebron”. The owners have so much leverage, it’s not even funny. And an Ivy league education ensures they’ve diversified and hedged much more than street bballers living off monthly paychecks, partying and whoring like animals. BTW, JV is a tall unknown.

  • Matt Bracken

    Excellent write up, I couldn’t agree more.

  • Alexand

    Jonas, if he becomes a solid starter and a  “true centre” may make AB more effective and be a good choice in a very poor year.   Jonas may also develop better than most other players if the strike is lengthy.  Also strategic since few true centres in 2012.  BC may already be looking at Kabongo, a pass first point guard in 2012 and if not, there are good small forwards that would really help the Raptors.  Jonas will probably be happy in Toronto so may play 10+ years whereas Knight or Walker are much more likely to leave as free agents if they turn out to be really good.  If Jonas continues to steadily improve, 2012-2013 could be a very exciting year for Raptors fans. 

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      I don’t even know what to say- even my conditioning has been conditioned, wow.

      Or 2012-13 could be more BullChit for Rap’s fans- which is the most likely scenario?

  • EuroPussy

    Jesus, every discussion starts a “i hate Bargs” thread. Val is totally different, hi is A CENTER which Bargs never been. Val will play as a center in the post and this will give Bargs the place for shooting and also rebounding (yes!) or giving up the ball to the guards (which cannot shot, but this is another problem). Bargs haters pleas stop this insane nonessential discussion.. For the first time during the last 5 years BC had a good decision and the new coach will build a good team, and AB and DD (which is a more terrific defender than AB) will learn a little bit to defend. Next season will also be very difficoult if the Raps wont have a real center (free agent?), but give the coach a chance. I admit, i chanced my opinion about this draft. p.s. as usual pleas sorry my very bad english, hope you understand.

  • JustAFan

    A quick question…shouldn’t BC be trying to stock pile draft picks for 2012?  He should trade for/grab a bunch of picks (to go along with our own), since even a 10th to 15th pick will yield a very good player, given the depth of the draft.  It sucked only having one draft pick this year, since it is completely hit or miss on one guy.  I would think that we could atleast get some picks and a serviceable guard for Calderone.

  • Puffere

    Lots of comments on how the Mav’s bought a championship. Well…it took years, so apparently spending money by itself isn’t enough. You need to trade and build through the draft, as effectively as you can. As well, the Raps will never spend $90 million on salaries as long as the Teachers Pension Fund owns a majority or large chunk of MLSE, so forget about that route.

    Personally I don’t get any additional satisfaction out of a team I’m rooting for winning 34 games out of an 82 game season if I don’t see them heading in a better direction. I enjoyed watching the Raps play last year because I saw young players getting better and competing hard. I credit Jay with that.

    Taking draft picks that have the most upside potential when you are a bad team is good planning, not tanking. Casey gets to work on existing players, helping them improve by providing playing time, and also insert an improved defensive system that can accomodate a couple of weaker players (Bargs/Jose?) and that will only get better with continued use.

    Why would people expect that a kid who just turned 19 a month and a half ago, who is 7 foot tall and still finding out how to fit into his body, and who has likley only stopped growing taller in the last few months would not put on 30 pumds in the next couple of years, and most of it muscle? The simple fact of growing has a huge impact on a players ability on the court.

    I was 6’4″ when I was 12 and as ungainly and clumsy as you would expect, but four years latter I was on 4 school teams and had numerous firsts for track and field as well as being the starter in all my team positions. The difference was I had grown into my body.

    As for weight, I put on 20 pounds between 18 and 22 and I didn’t workout at all. I didn’t have 2 or 3 million reasons to focus on my muscle development.

    What I like about the video clips of JV is he shows an awareness of where to be and what to do on the court. If he isn’t always stellar in execution, he can reasonably be expected to learn. If he isn’t particularly big, he can gain weight. Anybody can improve their shooting. Anybody can get stronger and bigger. But it is hard to teach correct positional awareness and desire to rebound.

    Just my thoughts.


    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      I give Jay credit for last season’s disaster on the floor as well- 30th in NBA in team Defense as Jay didn’t develop cultivate shit except a losing basketball culture while instilling the ‘no accountability’ era as the Rap’s puppet head coach the past 2 3/4 season post Sam.lmfao

      Video clips, well that’s all Casey saw of Val as well?lmfao

      No wonder BC keeps getting over on alot of Rap’s fans- really now don’t be silly now.

  • Andre

    So. the raptors are never going to win. Doing another project like that makes no sense, The Cav’s arent going to the playoff this year, but the 3 years were waiting for Jonas to develop and not play with the raptors, the cavs will have a top PG and a pretty good defensive forward with 3 years NBA experience. The NBA is the best league in the world. So not having the player now isnt a good thing. If we think about it, A Brandon knight or a Kemba walker in 3 years in the pros is better then Jonas with NO years. Then you say long term? so give jonas the 3 years he needs (Andrea took 6 and he STILL isnt that good, cant rebound or defend) so thats 6 years of waiting.. 6 years is a long time… If kemba or knight DIDNT WORK out we would know within a year or too… So your arguements dont make sense… excuse my spelling mistakes.

    • Puffer

      You don’t develop much playing 5 minutes a game in the NBA. 
      1. You develop through practice (which JV would only get a limited amount of with the Raps because there is limited time for practice during the road trips in an 82 game season and the players union has limited pre-season playing time). 
      2. You develop during the off-season (which JV will do this summer and next).
      3. And you develop by playing (which JV will do in Europe, playing in at least two leagues and the World’s and putting in more practice time because of a weak or non-existent players union). 

      The Raps will have him as a much better player next year and he will be able to contribute, the more so if there is a lock out or shortened season when the NBA coaches are forbidden to have anything to do with the players.

  • Brian Y

    Tom, your example of Derek Fisher and Steve Blake’s PER is severely flawed because the Lakers have a triangle offense.  The triangle offense does not require an all-star point, and never has.  All you need is a point guard who can defend and shoot 3s.  That’s it. 

    Look at Derek Fisher, Ron Harper, John Paxson, BJ Armstrong.  11 Championships won by these guys. Never has any triangle offense required an all-star point.

    • Tom Liston

      Not flawed at all. You explained it – you can build an offence around inferior PGs if you have a strong wing that w/ good handles.  I think your 11 championships without a premium guard says it all.