Sam contributed to ESPN’s 5-on-5 which dissected the Raptors. Check it out.


  1. Fact or Fiction: The Raptors were wise to draft Jonas Valanciunas.
  2. Fact or Fiction: Toronto has a future All-Star on its roster.
  3. Fact or Fiction: The Raptors’ recent strategy of finding and featuring top international talent has worked out well for them.
  4. Fact or Fiction: Toronto should do all it can to sign Tyson Chandler.
  5. Fact or Fiction: It’ll be years before the Raps recover from losing Bosh.

Full Article Here

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  • Employee

    Nice seeing David Thorpe loving JV.  Him and Sam seemed to be the only ones that really knew what they were talking about.

  • ShaneA


  • Juicey

    1. Fact – Though all drafts are crapshoots, his potential looks great.
    2. Fiction – Cant speak to JV since he is not currently on the “Roster”, but I just dont see it for anyone else.
    3. Fiction – Some good talent from international sources, but they have never put it together in a meaningful way.  Overpaying doesn’t help.  Not playing defense hurts too.
    4. Fiction – It’s time to rebuild, not over-spend on a quick fix solution that probably still wouldn’t work.
    5. Fiction – The rebuild will be slow, but it probably should have happened with or without Bosh.  Plus hitting rock-bottom can be better than living in endless mediocrity.

    All in all, good job by Sam.  He and Thorpe had the best, and most reasonable answers.  Though I did like the guy who said DD “has the potential to average 20-25 points per game for the next five to seven seasons…. he’ll be a no-brainer to make the team”.  Forgot the name of the guy who wrote that, I think it may have been Colangelo.

    • Theswirsky

      completely agree.

  • Nilanka15

    1. Fact – Including Irving and Williams, there wasn’t a “sure bet” pick in this year’s draft.  Taking a chance on Valanciunas with the 5th pick seems like a good move if his only downfall was his European contract status.  He misses a year…but as things are going, so will everyone else.

    2. Fiction – Given what we’ve seen so far, it’s difficult to see DeRozan, Davis, or Valanciunas reaching all-star status.  But obviously, it’s too early in their careers to get an accurate read.

    3. Fiction – As said in the article, a strategy only “works” if it results in wins.  I don’t think the problem was European players, but just players in general that Colangelo has over-valued.

    4. FICTION!!!! – The LAST thing we need is to sign an aging (perhaps 1-year wonder) veteran to a long-term contract when we’ve got a plethora of big men to find minutes for: Bargnani, Valanciunas, Davis, Amir.

    5. Fiction – The Raps have some good young talent, cap space, a new coaching mentality, and most likely another high pick (or two).  We don’t have a franchise player yet, but the surrounding pieces seem to be filling out nicely.

    “When you win, the fans watch, and nobodies become stars.  When you lose, the fans stay home, and the stars become nobodies”.

  • FSU Raps Fan

    1. Fact- JV was our best option. Knight IMO is Bayless 2.0 while I have a feeling Kemba is TJ 2.0 (not in terms of attitude, but playing style).
    2. Fact- DeMar should make 1 AS team…whether he does so as a raptor is another story.
    3. Fiction- hasn’t done jack for us.
    4. Fiction- we need to rebuild, not strive for mediocrity…agree with above posts.
    5. Fact- considering we weren’t exactly an elite team with Bosh, I can see us getting back to that level (i.e. 07-08 seasonish).

  • The Golden State guy doesn’t seem to know what he’s saying at all. 

  • KJ-B

    1. Fact – JV is no Junior Varsity with hill roll in the P&R…

    2. Fact – If DeRozan improves his trey, he’s 25 ppg ALL day

    3. Fiction – Besides JV–I dunno… I consider #7 worst draft pick of 
    all time due to his uncontrollable laziness in cf. to talent

    4. Fiction – Toronto may want Tyson but I’m not sure vice versa

    5. Fiction – After 2012 lottery draft + hopefully Austin “Powers” Rivers, I don’t think that’ll be the case-no way, no how!

    • KJ-B

      Typo with “his roll game in the P&R”

  • Sammckee814


  • Guest

    until Jonas and the 2012 pick hit the floor i think the Raptors will still be haunted by the ghost of Rupaul

  • Malefax

    Fact: Valanciunas has a good shot at beaing the best overall player from the whole draft.

    Fact: Although I don’t know who it is. Between Ed, DeMar and Bargnani, I say odds are better than 50% that one of them makes the team at some point.

    Fiction: I don’t think there’s much of a strategy there, and the Raptors haven’t accomplished much. We can partly credit the Eastern Conference banner to Parker, Garbo, and Calderon, I guess.

    Fiction: Chandler would be a nice addition, but I think he will cost more than we should be willing to pay.

    Fiction: I think we’ll be able to squeak into the playoffs just fine without Bosh, either this year or the next, and what more did he ever give us?

    • Nilanka15

      Playoffs this year?  That’s some serious optimism 😉

      • Malefax

         I wouldn’t bet on it, but it could happen. Bear in mind there will probably be some trades and so forth before the season starts.

  • TheR3dMenace

    That ESPN thing was good for a laugh.

    Fact. Fact. Fiction. Fiction. Fact.

  • Tinman

    Congrats for being asked to participate.

    Your comments were on the mark – would only disagree with calling Kleiza a bad fit. He played hurt the whole year,from the first game until they shut him down, Writing him off is much too premature.
    Might be a nice tutor from his fellow countryman.

  • Milesboyer

    1. Fact.  He appears to be a solid player with the potentially to potentially be great.

    2. 50-50.  Ed Davis, Demar Derozan, Valanciunas and even Bargs have a chance.  None will be perennial all-stars unless Val and Davis surprise.

    3. Fiction.  It worked out well the first year, since then it’s been uninspiring, but I’m not sure chasing Euros is a mandate or happening by default or a bit of both.

    4. Fiction.  That’s crazy talk, they’re rebuilding.

    5. Fiction.  Anything’s possible!!!!!!!! (they have a few nice pieces and if they get lucky in next year’s draft…..anything’s possible!!!)

  • RapthoseLeafs

    1. Fact or Fiction: The Raptors were wise to draft Jonas Valanciunas.I’m more apt to describe this as “Agree” or “Disagree”, as fact implies there’s current proof, whereas Fiction means it didn’t happen. That being said, I’m going with …. Agree. I like what I see so far, and the optimist in me hopes he’ll be part of the turn-around. .2. Fact or Fiction: Toronto has a future All-Star on its roster.

    Like Malefax said, I will “predict” one of Demar, Davis & Bargnani to make at least ONE All-star selection. I’d also add Jonas to the grouping.


    3. Fact or Fiction: The Raptors’ recent strategy of finding and featuring top international talent has worked out well for them.
    The key word here is “recent”. Does this question include Garbo? If it does, I’d say the score was 50/50. Turk is still too fresh in our minds, that he taints our perspective. And while Andrea may not be a typical #1 draft pick, he was not a bad pick. Had BC moved Bosh for a dominant Centre, and a couple of draft picks, things might have been different. As for Jose, he gets too much grief for a guy who’s been like a yo yo to the team – with all the trade, no trade, starter, back-up, starter crap that has happened..

    4. Fact or Fiction: Toronto should do all it can to sign Tyson Chandler.

    That boat has sailed. If Raps hadn’t chosen Jonas, then I would say … Go for it.


    5. Fact or Fiction: It’ll be years before the Raps recover from losing Bosh.

    I’ll turn this around, and say Raps would’ve taken years to recover, had Bosh signed for 6 years and 120 million. CB is a good player, but not your top dog. Just as I believe AB should not be defined, or built around – as the top dog. He needs to get back to being the #2 option, with someone else roaming in the Centre position. If Demar can rise to the occasion, then so much the better.


    • p00ka

      Very well said.

  • tonious35

    1)  Fact, BCo was gambling on his short term reputation that the NBA strike will allow JV to get better in the EXTENDED off season with Lithuania and the leagues and not let Irving, Kentucky hot-shot, & Walker make any damage at all in 2011 and 2012 season.  JV seems to be a hard worker, WANTS & LOVES to do damage, defend, & produce inside the paint.  If he has an Amir-like engine with a better touch around the basket and more meat on him, this can be a double-machine.

    2) Fiction: Unless Demar or Ed Davis somehow freaking explode their stats and nail clutch shots.  If Bargs actually plays like he give a shit, maybe he can be an All-Star (f!@#$, no)

    3) FICTION: Since Garbo, BCo never used 2nd round draft picks or unsigned free agents to get those over-achieving gritty players that can give you production.  Plus our coaches (pretty much Triano) never awarded minutes to productive defenders and gritty scrappy efforts shown by them.  Even if we drafted the right Euro, Triano will F@#k it up by spoiling Bargs with undeserved minutes and bad defensive systems.

    4) Fact:  Give this man 3 yrs to patrol our paint and keep loose balls alive if we want progression, but it will lead us to mediocrity still.  2012 draft is supposed to BE a DEEP draft class, so let JV and Solo trial-by-fire this thing, and hope more blame goes to Bargs and he gets traded for 1st round picks or bench players that turn it around.  Where is Alex Anthopolous when you need him?

    5) Fact:  How many years? 3 years I’ll say, depending if all the pieces match.  If Casey awards minutes to players that TRY HARD and plays defense, then we won’t be an <25 win team.  If Colangelo takes his 2nd round draft picks seriously and gets a gem from a 2nd round, then it might inspire our team to play harder and save a crap load of money for short term.  If we can finally rob a team from a trade (eg. Trading Crappy-Bargs for a 1st round pick and two very young bench players that become All-Defensive Team or All-stars) then it might cut it down to 2 years.

  • EazyE

    1) Fact – he’ll be a top 10 Center in the league.  Knight/Walker will not be top 10 point-gaurds.
    2) Fact – Derozan is almost there, and really D-wade is the only lock allstar in the eastern conference.  Joe johnson, Ray allen, iguodala are not locked in.
    3) Fiction – 22-60!  ’nuff said
    4) Fiction – I can think of 10 reasons not to. but salary cap and JV development are 2 of them
    5) Fiction – not signing Bosh was the best thing that happened to toronto … 6 years 115 million would cripple us and we’d never get past the first round of the playoffs!