I know the league can’t hold summer league because of the lockout, but surely they can change how the CBA negotiations are happening to give us something to discuss. Now what harm could possible happen if the players and the NBA decided to hold the negotiations in some sort of a house, with video cameras in each room broadcasting what was going on. For good measure, they should allow the players’ wives to live with them as well, and at the end of each week, one person (not a wife) gets kicked out of this house. The negotiating table could be situated around a continually happening cocktail party where each wife hands out roses to owners they think make the best point of the day. You could even have everybody in the house vote in a council of some sort to have one individual banished from the house, but before they leave they have to wrestle a crocodile one-on-one in the swimming pool. And have David Stern yell out You’re Fired! at a random person right at the end of each day.

Just sayin’ man, things are slow. On to today’s topic described so aptly in the headline.

Ed Davis
It has to be frustrating for Davis to miss out on playing time early in his NBA career, when that time is all but guaranteed. The competition in the form of Amir Johnson and a displaced Andrea Bargnani isn’t a concern for Davis, who is seen as a cornerstone of a franchise in desperate need of pillars. The praise for Davis stems from his aptitude for rebounding and playing defense, but not enough is talked about his skill level. It’s his offensive skill development that will suffer if the season is shortened, no matter how much you practice a hook-shot or a post-move, its true valuation can only happen in actual game time where the variables of help defense, a ticking shot-clock and limited touches are all in play. There is little doubt that Davis will, based on his work-ethic, continue to improve his strength and conditioning, it’s his offensive growth that will suffer if the lockout takes a bite out of the season.

DeMar DeRozan
They say by the end of the the third year you get a pretty damn good idea of where a player is headed for his career. The same can be said for marriage. DeRozan’s taken the step from being a raw rookie playing as a fifth wheel, to an improved sophomore shouldering increased scoring responsibility. The next stage in his evolution should tell us whether he’s on his way to being a dominant scorer, or an average to above-average shooting guard with a long but pedestrian career. There isn’t a player on the Raptors that is hurting more from not being able to play than DeRozan. He’s the face of the franchise right now and appears only too excited to capitalize on the chance wasted by Andrea Bargnani.

Jerryd Bayless
Bayless must have breathed a sigh of relief when the Raptors didn’t select a point guard in the draft. He had to be thinking that the team already tried to trade Calderon once, and that the Spaniard is getting on in years, making Bayless’ youth and potential an attractive candidate for starting duties and copious amounts of playing time. Bayless is entering the final year of his contract and if the season is lost, the impression he would have left on teams isn’t going to be a great one: three teams in three years. Contract years are notorious for players being hyper-productive, and Bayless had to be looking at 2011-12 as a chance to make a lasting impression leading to a long-term NBA deal.

James Johnson
Johnson went from playing 9.5 minutes per game with the Bulls to 28.0 minutes with the Raptors. There isn’t a team in the league which can afford Johnson that kind of playing time, and that will still be true if Kleiza comes back healthy. He was thrown a NBA lifeline by being traded to a team whose best available small forward was Julian Wright, and now he’s wasting away playing golf. You have to check out this line from the article:

As a professional basketball player who plays forward for the Toronto Raptors, Johnson knows what it’s like to be on centerstage with lots of pressure.

Oh yeah! Centerstage at the ACC on a Wednesday night in March with 3000 fans in attendance going for win #22. The pressure must be killing him.

  • Andre

    Why doesnt their agents do something for them? Call teams? start a couple tournaments? Play exibition games against Euro-teams or NCAA team?

    LOCK OuT PLEASE end, you may turn me into a hockey fan… and the leafs suck :(

    • leafswincupin2013

      Leafs suck?  We signed Tim Connolly, he’ll play 12 games and get 4 assists before he gets concussed. 
      As for the idea of exibition games…I’m sure there is a mile of red tape around NBA players doing anything official against NCAA or Euro teams, but what would stop a bunch of players from getting some good charity games going, or something like that.  The unfortunate part is that if they did that, all of the TV networks probably have ‘loyalty’ deals with the NBA, so anythign would have to be broadcast online.

  • Nilanka15

    Noticeably absent from the last 2 articles is our lovable “magician” (the only player under contract not mentioned).  What are we to make of this?  Is Bargnani the man of steel where a lockout doesn’t faze him?  Or is the Republic simply indifferent about how he’s affected?

    • arsenalist

      I don’t think it affects him either way.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

        One full year of full-on carb (pasta) diet, without working out?  How can that be good?  :)

  • Nilanka15

    Another person hurt by the lockout would be Casey.  If/when the season gets going, we can assume that training camp and preseason will be significantly shortened.  Will there be enough time for a new coach to implement his philosophy with a VERY young team?

    Then again, if the Raps are slow out of the gates, Casey’s got a built-in excuse to catch his fall.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B32FGJ2BOTMWNQTMO2XEDRGBCA JW

      Only Jay Triano needed 2 seasons to show something.  A lot of teams make coach changes on the fly and get benefits.   I am not worried about a short training camp.

  • Steve

    Is BC getting paid during the Lock Out ?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B32FGJ2BOTMWNQTMO2XEDRGBCA JW

      Yes, so is Dwayne Casey. 

      • Steve

        So if this is lock out season, BC will have only one more year on his contract ?

  • Mediumcore

    “There is little doubt that Davis will, based on his work-ethic, continue to improve his strength and conditioning”
     
    I’ve been looking for any quotes or information on Ed’s growth or information on what he’s been up to this summer, so was wondering where you got the information you’re basing your opinion of his work-ethic on? Derozan’s worth ethic is well publicized, but I have never heard anything about Ed being a gym rat. Any links you’ve seen with regards to Ed’s development would be great.

    • arsenalist
      • Mediumcore

        Gracias senior Arsenalist!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B32FGJ2BOTMWNQTMO2XEDRGBCA JW

      I think the fact that he scared us with reps at the Mississauga YMCA last year tells me that he is active in terms of finding court time.

  • wburroughs

    This from Hoopsworld story on which teams would benefit most from how the new collective bargaining agreement would likely be. 

    The Toronto Raptors have a solid Canadian fan-base and a low payroll ($46 million), but it’s unclear exactly how this 22-60 team is going to improve.
    The owners want to make it easier for teams to keep their existing stars with a soft franchise tag that wouldn’t require a player like Chris Bosh to stay, but would give him greater financial incentive to stay.
    Of course the Raptors need to find that franchise star.  Andrea Bargnani can be a match up nightmare with his outside shot but he still hasn’t developed a complete game.  Jonas Valanciunas may be the sleeper pick of this last draft.  Toronto management has a lot of work to do to get a competitive team together but the new CBA should put the Raptors on a more even playing field.
    Read more NBA news and insight: http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=20424#ixzz1SZU2lTqV

  • wburroughs

    The Raptors chance to get a ‘franchise player’ lies in a high pick in next year’s strong draft, Valanciunas and Ed and Demar’s development. If it is easier down the road to keep stars because of the new CBA that would be a boost for Toronto. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

    As I hypothesized in the forums, I think an 2011 NBA lockout coupled with the upcoming 2012 draft, not to mention the presence of a healthy Kleiza on the roster will spell the end of Johnson’s career, not only as a Toronto Raptor but likely as an NBA player.  He’s a young player that needs minutes and he won’t be getting any for the foreseeable future.

    • Nilanka15

      You make a good point.  The 2012 draft is expected to be deep in small forwards/power forwards, and if Kleiza returns to his national team form, then J.Johnson could be on the outside looking in.  If the full season is lost due to a lockout, then J.Johnson could get screwed.

      On the other hand, if reports of him losing 15 lbs are true, it sounds like J.Johnson is a motivated player, willing to do what it takes to improve his game (hopefully that includes his jumper).  If we have a shortened season, even if it’s just 30 games, Johnson will get a fair chance to prove he belongs on this team.  The starting SF position is currently his spot to lose.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

        I’m not sure that losing weight will make much of a difference but yea, any semblance of a season for 2011-2012 may save his career.  As we all know, with any young player they need to log NBA minutes in order to really develop their game. 

        He might average about 10 mpg during the 2012-2013, so with a FULL 2011-2012 lockout, he will have played about 2500 minutes of NBA basketball.  At age 25.

        Most players in the NBA will have logged over 12000 minutes by the time they’re 25.  Chris Bosh had played nearly 19000 minutes by the time he was 25. 

  • Nilanka15

    THIS JUST IN!!!! 

    The NBA released it’s 2011-12 schedule….nobody cares.

  • YeDig

    DUDE WHERE ARE YOU FINDING THESE RIDIC. PHIL JACKSON PICS

  • KJ-B

    Noticably missing: The Raptors Fans!!! We’ve been here since day 1!!! I know it’s about the players BUT lockouts suck the most for the sports fan–PERIOD.

  • Nilanka15

    lol, nothing biased about this comment…

  • arsenalist

    As Nilanka said, there is nothing but truth in that comment.  Maybe next year Bargnani will take over, who knows.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ebrian Brian Y

    Reporting?  You’re on the wrong site..

  • JL

    You forgot the “H” in your username.

  • arsenalist

    > featured equally in both off court promotions

    So Bargnani was sharing the spotlight with a guy entering his second year. That’s kinda my point.

    I don’t want this thread to turn into another Bargnani debate.  All I’m saying is that he has been here 5 years and was groomed as the future face of the franchise.  It hasn’t happened for whatever reason, and when you think of the Raptors these days, Bargnani isn’t the player that comes to mind first.

  • Guest

    the “wasted chance” equals about 5 rebounds per game

  • Nilanka15

    The “chance” Bargnani had was last year.  That is, to separate himself from the rest of the roster and establish himself as the best player and/or leader of the team.  Although, he improved his PPG, I think it’s fair to say he didn’t exactly stand out in the same way Carter and Bosh did in previous versions of the Raptors while establishing themselves as All-Star calibre players.

    Theoretically, you can make the same argument regarding Weems, Amir, and DeRozan…but that argument wouldn’t align with preseason expections of each player.

  • Nilanka15

    C’mon now, let’s not blame Bosh for Bargnani’s situation.  That would just be adding to an already exhaustive list of excuses that Bargnani supporters love to lean on.

    Regardless, we’re playing a game of semantics here.  Clearly there is no universal definition of a “wasted chance” in this case.  It was Arse’s opinion that Bargnani didn’t make the most of the opportunity handed to him this season.  As a blogger, he’s entitled to express his opinion.  And as a reader, you’re entitled to express yours.

    But to say that one’s right and one’s wrong, is in fact, wrong.

  • what about barni

    so now its CB4 fault for not holding Bargs hand and train/mentor him

  • hateslosing
  • Bud

    Bargnani sucks.

  • Nilanka15

    Right….I mean wrong….I mean….go Raptors

  • Nilanka15

    But it is wrong to “like” your own comments 😛

  • Nilanka15

    You’ve won this round…

  • what about barni

    STOP joking

  • what about barni

    big ones

  • RapthoseLeafs

    .
    Yes …. yes it is.
    .