NBA Lockout WTF

Here’s how everybody feels:

Cards on the table, the reason I was so optimistic yesterday about the NBA lockout was Bill Walton. Yes, Bill Walton. He said they were “close” when they’re in fact “very far apart on virtually all issues”. I’m starting to think Bill Walton was talking shit.

Back to reality, and the first two weeks of the season are cancelled, so no games till November 14th. This doesn’t necessarily means games will be lost since they can crunch them together to make up for lost time, but assuming we do lose them, here’s what we’ll miss: vs Philadelphia, @ Cleveland, @ Minnesota, vs Dallas, vs LA Clippers, @ Memphis and @OKC. Full schedule here.

Couple notes on the severity of the lockout: one GM thinks only 50 games will be played and another thinks that it’s only starting to get ugly. Here’s a good piece by J.A Adande which gives some perspective to things.

And c’mon now, you met for seven hours and couldn’t come any closer to a deal? Give me seven hours and I’ll convince a random guy off the street to saw his arm off for 5 bucks. “Hey self, calm down now”, is what I tell myself, it’s not like the first two months of the season matter anyway. Hell, as long as they play 58 games or so I’ll be happy because that’s how long the season should be anyway. Maybe all this will finally give me a chance to start writing that book about Molecular Physics that everybody tells me I should write.

Ed Stefanski Stuff

I read in the local newspaper that we’ll be hiring Ed Stefanksi as the new GM and Bryan Colangelo will be giving up his GM duties. Can someone please explain to me what that means? Will Colangelo still have final say on trades? (yes) Will Colangelo still dictate the lineups and playing time on the floor? Will Stefanksi be allowed to run this team like its his own, or will he be chaperoned by Colangelo through every decision? And if Stefanksi will be doing all the general managing, what exactly will Colangelo be doing? Is Colangelo’s plan to assume a VP role like his father used to in Phoenix, while another GM did the work?

This is a fairly standard model for NBA teams to adapt so this really isn’t that big of a news, especially if Colangelo retains all the authority, which it appears he has. Mind you, I’m asking these questions for the sake of asking them. It really doesn’t matter to me what either one of those two will be doing, because the next draft is a ways away and the team doesn’t have much in the way of assets, so any trades either GM would pull won’t shift the landscape by too much. I’m resigned to years of suckage, who administers that suckage doesn’t matter to me. I’m still coming to terms with how we got into this suckage.

Let’s see what Eerie Ed has been upto in Philly:

  • Traded forward Kyle Kover to Utah for Gordon Giricek and a conditional first-rounder
  • Re-signed Lou Williams to $25M/5yr
  • Re-signed Andre Iguodala to $80M/6yr
  • Signed Elton Brand to $80M/5yr
  • Acquired Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans
  • Drafted Jru Holiday with the 17th pick
  • Traded Samuel Dalembert to Sacramento for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes
  • Drafted Evan Turner with the 2nd pick
  • Drafted Nikola Vucevic with the 17th pick

I’ll let you assign grades to these trades, it shouldn’t be that hard and I’m sure consensus on them can be reached quite quickly. Unless you’re HoopsHype that is, who have the signing of Elton Brand marked as his “best transaction”.

Stefanski was also a candidate for the Portland job, and it’s generally thought around the league that he’s been neutered in Philly since the ownership change. There’s an interview here which he gave to a fan website where he was described as a “forward-thinking GM”, the article has some nice quotes where you might get an insight to his basketball thinking:

“The ultimate goal every year when you start this thing is to win an NBA championship. If that isn’t your goal, you shouldn’t be in the game. Kyle Korver is a good player, a very good shooter, I’ll say. A very good shooter. On a team that doesn’t have a low-post presence, he isn’t as good of shooter as he would be on a team with one. He’s not going to get as many open looks on a team without a low-post presence because if I’m coaching against them I just tell my guy, well just cover Korver, don’t worry about helping out. If you’re coaching against us (the Sixers) who do you have to double that’s going to leave Korver open?”

“”We’re in a position right now where we want to go into the Summer with cap space. Right now, we’re at a low of $10M in cap space, a high of $12M depending on where the league number comes in. We are under the cap and our options are much, much more liberal than they would be if we were over the cap. We can use this money either to sign a free agent, or to trade, with a player or without a player, to another team in a situation where that team doesn’t have to take money on. If you look around the league, there are always teams that are unhappy with what went on. They’re spending a lot of money on their players, and you know, it’s just not working so let’s see if we can get rid of a guy or two. We’ll be situated in the Summer so that if an opportunity like this arises, we can seize that opportunity. We feel that it’s really important that with the team we have, it’s crucial that we have this flexibility. We also got extra value in the future draft pick.”

Good good. So he knows his way around the salary cap works and figures that you need space to shoot. Sign me up for 10 years of Ed!

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  • Last time we had a short season teams were playing 3-4 games a week to make 50 and, even though the Raptors fans liked it, it made for a lot of ugly games and pretty tired players. To get to 50, they will probably have to settle by mid-November. If they go to January, they will do 40 tops.  
    If Billy was truthful (doubtful) when he alluded that there wouldn’t be any real discussions for maybe a month, we should all be scared.

    • Milesboyer

      Let those rich bastards lose a few paychecks, life goes on for everyone else.

      • Milesboyer

        I’m referring to both sides.

  • Darien

    Whatever situation enables us to have high draft picks at the end of the year is fine by me. Its the LAs, Miamis and Bostons which lose biggest in the lockout as their windows shrink needlessly by one year. At the end of all of this, I think the raptors should be in a better position organizationally than they were at the beginning of the lock out.

  • Arturothundergatti

    millionaires who cant agree how to divide up billions of dollars in
    today’s horrid economy = go fuck yourselves. u lost me as a fan. i will never give them a direct dime…i’ll watch the games if i have nothing better to do but merchandise or league pass or going to a game live is done for me.

  • Nilanka15

    I was hoping the San Antonio guy would get the gig…..simply because of the organization he’s coming from…

  • barenakedman

    For some reason NBA players think they deserve a much bigger piece of the pie than NFL players. They don’t. I think their brain-trust has an inflated and distorted sense of self importance  and will eventually have to come out with a face saving statement while accepting the reality of a deal from the owners that will be better for the game, its’ fans and in the long run its’ players.       

  • brother

    The solidarity of the players – led by veterans like Wade, Bryant, Fisher, etc – is simulataneously impressive and confounding. WTF does Kobe Bryant care about some minor percentage point on a future contract that may or may not happen for him? Wade? Fisher? Why would these guys risk the entire year and maybe more over time as the potential for fan exodus exists? Not wholesale exodus, but at least an impact on the growth of interest in the game which could reflect itself in reduced ticket sales and TV revenue going forward.

    Still they stand by one another. I’m impressed by it, but it is nonsense. It feels a lot like a couple of greedy toddlers fighting over the last few pieces of a 5,000 piece chocolate cake. WTF is the difference? You’re full after the first 10 pieces. You’ve already got a pile of 2,450 pieces in reserve. WHO CARES who gets the final 10 or 15 pieces of cake?

    Guys like Wade and Bryant whose teams and bodies are ripe for a championship run, risk a lot in losing a whole season. You never know when those minor injuries that used to be “nagging” become “paralytic” as you age. It can happen quickly. One day you wake up with a sore finger. The next you wake up and can’t pick up the remote.

  • Superjesusman

    Mysteries of the Universe:

    Apparently, Arse can convince a random guy off the street to saw his arm off for $5, but yet hasn’t manage to put together a decent post in months…

    I kid, I kid.

  • Kobe

    I don’t understand how players think that they deserve more than 50% of BRI ??!!
    Is there any other business that operates like that by paying more than 50% to the employees ?
    I for one hope that owners don’t back off and make this stars pay. I want a league that is competitive and not all these stars are in big cities and …

  • Employee

    That Elton Brand signing might not have been that bad if he wasn’t getting injured. I think at the time a lot people were impressed. Especially since he was supposed to resign and start the Clippers legacy with Baron Davis.

    • Nilanka15

      Good point.  Similarly, Pritchard gets a lot of criticism about picking Oden over Durant.  But if Oden never got injured, who knows where he’d be today.

  • so basically colangelo makes stefanski do all the hard work and then says yes or no.

    he’s like mr. burns and stefanski is smithers.

  • AnthonyF

    Why do  the Charlotte’s, Atlanta’s, Memphis’, Toronto’s, Cleveland’s, Indiana’s, Sacramento’s, GS’s want to play?  We have the haves and have nots.  Only a lucky pick and a superstar results in chances for these teams to not just be competitive, but battling for a chmpionship.  OKC  is only viable because Portland chose Oden not Duant.  You have players all congregating to big money, bright lights and warm locales. 

    The NHL has a system that works and players make choices in capped system that has grown 50% since the players signed the deal thinking they were screwed.

    So I am happy to see the owners toe the company line, because I have no interest in seeing Boston, LA, Miami and the other glamour teams continue to hold the league captive.  

    • Guest

      The main problem here is the intelligence level of some of these players. We have been in economic recession for past 6-7 years with many people loosing their jobs, moving to part time from full time positions, NOT getting raises or getting lower raises and not getting any bounces and …

      However these guys think they should be immune to all of this and asking for higher raises and … Even Barkley pointed out to this major flaw in players logic in his latest interview with ESPN.

      Personally, I am sick and tired of this trio of super stars in big city and their arrogance and bullish behavior when they come to small towns.

      This is the time to end this BS. Cancel the whole season and teach some of these thugs a lesson of real world.

  • Boomer

    Maybe Stefanski should have been neutered before that ownership change…

  • sleepz

     “I’m still coming to terms with how we got into this suckage.”

    Look no further than the “President” who’s star is now tarnished so he’s moving on up higher in the corporate management structure and seeking to hire a GM who we will be able to blame for the next 5-6 years of suckage.

    It helps to have ‘layers’ when things get cold

    • barenakedman

      I’m not willing to condemn the bringing in of a high level basketball mind to work for the betterment of the team. Colangelo moving up allows a basketball executive to be in charge of hiring the GM instead of a suit from MLSE.        

      • sleepz

        I was responding to the comment of how we came into this suckage, not whether or not it is a good idea for the franchise.

        • barenakedman

          Hi sleepz. 
          Your comment predicts another 5-6 years of suckage. That doesn’t sound like you think it is a a good idea. 
          A lot of fans are negative about things right now but the Raptors have as good a shot as anybody to be a champion caliber team in 5-6 years. A new defensive culture, a couple more good draft picks, a few trades, free agents and nothing is impossible.

          • sleepz

            My comment does predict another 5 years of suckage. The reason why is that the talent level on this team is low and to get to the type of championship level you are referring to doesn’t happen overnight. Casey is in his first year on the job. He might be the right guy to change the culture, but if he’s not he’ll get 2 years, replaced, and they will be looking to hire a new coach and implement new schemes over another 2-3 year period.

            It will take at least 3 years to significantly upgrade the talent level and then you need to add the right veteran pieces and gain experience for your youngs guys. I agree nothing is impossible but I also think most good stable championship calibre franchises took awhile to be built. Unless you have a major infusion of talent, the Raps will need 3 years of good draft picks and even that doesn’t guarantee winning, never mind a chip. I don’t think Colangelo has the blueprint or will sign off on the blueprint that goes contrary to his vision and his type of “buddy ball” doesn’t win rings.

            His idea to hire a new GM means jack to me if he’s still making all of the decisions.

    • Arturothundergatti


      • sleepz

        Lol, intelligent response.

        Judging by your moniker you are probably as wise as he was.

  • Gradgrind101

    What to do if I were Brian Colangelo…

    First…We need to remember he is a consensus dude. He will never make a decision in a vacuum. He talks to people both on his payroll and basketball minds he confides with…Having said that bringing in a fresh different minded GM like the reputed Stanfanski is brilliant (not saying anything negative about his current gaggle of wise men). 

    The raptors, in order to be successful, cannot sit tight and hope for a lottery miracle that will propel them upward and onward. They need to do what other teams have done in order to be successful…Draft smart. Here are some recent smart draft picks other GM’s have made that I would like for the raptors…

    Rajon Rondo (21st pick)
    Kyle Lowry (24th pick)
    Jru Holiday (17th pick)
    Mario Chalmers (34th pick)

    It would be nice to get a Chris Paul or Derrick Rose with a top pick but even then it may not work out. Years before Chicago got Rose they picked Jay Williams (2nd pick). Remember his promising rookie season? Unfortunately he never played a second season. So you never know what you are going to get. You have to do the best with what you have. A smart GM will get the job done.

    Why all this ramble on point guards….


    In order to win you must be good on either side of the ball. That means  a point guard who can quarterback the offense and defend the ball on defense. Knocking down a j when defense sags is also very important. 

    Dallas did not win because of Nowitski…It was more than that…More importantly they won because they had effective ball defense, great ball control and wonder of all wonders Ason Kidd finally added his “J”

    The Raptors don’t have any perimeter presence. They need a point guard who can play defense period. Neither Jose nor Jerryd are what I have in mind…See the above list instead.

    Once you have perimeter defense your bigs can do their job better without fear of rotating to cover perimeter penetration. Not only that but good perimeter defense forces up a few more bad shots which equ.als a few more rebounds and a few more ball possessions and maybe a few more wins.

    If I were Brian I would be looking for the best basketball mind who could land us the coveted point guard that hasn’t blipped on everybody’s radar.

    p.s. Keep your eye on local Toronto native Myck Kabongo…Should he decide to come out in the next draft (2012 or 2013) he could easily be the next unnoticed point guard everyone would like to have after the fact.

    • Nilanka15

      I agree on most of your post.  Although, I don’t believe Rondo would’ve ascended to stardom if drafted by any other team.  I have no way of proving this, but based on gut feeling, it seems like the veteran presence of KG, Pierce and Allen was primarily responsible for Rondo’s quick learning curve….especially on the defensive side of the ball.

      Rondo’s biggest knock coming out of Kentucky was his inability to shoot (and it’s still an issue today).  If Rondo was drafted by Toronto instead of Boston, he would not have had the offensive weapons to defer to (when left wide open), and the lack of defensive culture would’ve diluted Rondo’s natural defensive instincts.

      • Gradgrind101

        That’s the whole point…A smart GM knows who will flourish in their program and who won’t. Most GM’s are collectors not architects.

    • barenakedman

      Kabongo is already on everyones radar.

      • Gradgrind101

        I hope so. Anyhow, it’s great for basketball in TO to have Joseph and Thompson in the NBA after 1 season of ncaa. Maybe Kabongo is next.

    • Theswirsky

      “Once you have perimeter defense your bigs can do their job better without fear of rotating to cover perimeter penetration.”

      Not true. 

      Chicago has had  Rose…. yet they were the top D in the league
      LA has had Derek Fisher…. yet always a top defensive league
      Orlando has had Jameer Nelson… yet always a top D

      Forget the PG position for a second.  Teams with good defenses have good defenders.  Teams with good defenses work hard at defense. 

      This team is bad defensively for one reason. 

      Defense was an afterthough by the executive at the top leading to team planning and a culture where defense didn’t matter. 

      Doesn’t anyone find it funny that every single PG that has started for this team for 3 years has been criticized for their lack of D?  I remember reading articles about how good Jacks D was in Indiana.  Bayless was supposed to be an upgrade over Jose defensively.  No one said boo about Jose’s D before his injury. 

      Now what happened 3 seasons ago?? Oh thats right… someone decided to change the culture.

      • Gradgrind101

        Are you saying with good coaching Jose could lead the Magic and Lakers as top defensive teams? I don’t think so. Although I see what you are getting at…A properly enforced defensive approach will yield better results and the PG’s will look good in the process. Agreed. But I was talking about individual players and what they bring defensively and not team defense…But since you brought it up I’ll go there in a minute…

        As for Jose, I like some of his skills but I have never liked his ball defense (before, during or after his injuries). Having said that his D did improve a little last year. As a backup he would give us a solid 18 minutes per game. The problem I have is the fact that the raptors are behind only the Cavs in allowing the highest 3 point percentage in the NBA….And thats due to the raptors sagging defence which allows for a perimeter pass for an open 3, poor ball defense which means either we get beaten by the guard to the basket or the guard can shoot the 3 and lastly a lack of defensive intensity.

        As for Chicago…Rose is an average to slighlty above average defender. Incidently I don’t consider Chicago a good defensive team. They are slightly better than AVERAGE. They play a low possession game which accounts for the low scoring. They rank 11th on an adjusted points per 100 possessions.

        As for LA…You have a point. Fisher is a decent defender but Kobe and Artest are great defenders. That allows Fisher to be more aggressive. LA is the best defensive team in the NBA. Good system and great effort and hustle on defense. The hallmark of champions.

        As for Orlando…We all know they have a dominating interior presense. That helps their defensive numbers. But I disgree with you…Nelson is a decent defender. Not a great defender but good enough. He had a bad rap in his first few years (all offense and no defense) and that seems to have carried to present. But his defense has greatly improved over the last 3 season. We can attribute that to a strong defensive style enforced by Stan Van Gundy’s 4 years at Orlando. Orlando is the second best defensive team in the NBA.

    • Raps Loyalist

      Rondo (drafted in 2006)
      Lowry (drafted in 2006)
      Jru Holiday (drafted in 2009)
      Chalmers (drafted in 2008)

      LaMarcus Aldrigde, D Rose, and Blake Griffen were the consensus #1 picks in those drafts. (We over course selected Brags b/c BC thought L.A. was a PF and couldn’t play with Bosh…still hurts.)

      “Picking Smart” with late round picks is great but it requires a lot of luck and draft picks in those slots in deep drafts (either through being a playoff team or trading assets.)  I would rather try and get a franchise guy with a top 5 pick in a great draft (2012) than hope/try to “pick smart” in the 20s and second round.

      If you want to be championship relevant in the NBA you NEED a top 10 player. I’m 99% sure the only way Toronto lands a player like that is through picking at the top of the draft.

      As for the Mavs championship D.  It was built on strong wing defense and two athletic 7 footers communicating/helping in the lane.  Kidd’s great D was on a wing (D Wade)not a PG.  All great defenses are built inside out…meaning the PG is the least vital (though still important) component on the floor on D…The Raps need to pair JV with another athletic/aggressive 7 footer and build their D that way. Like Andre Drummond from UConn. (can’t wait to watch him play college ball this year!!)

  • Gradgrind101

    Top 5 picks for last 4 years (2007-2010)

    John Wall   (very good for a bad team)
    Evan Turner
    Derrick Favors
    Wesley Johnson
    DeMarcus Cousins

    Blake Griffen   (standout)
    Hasheem Thabeet   (bust)
    James Harden
    Tyreke Evans
    Ricky Rubio

    Derrick Rose   (very good)
    Michael Beasley
    OJ Mayo
    Russel Westbrook   (very good)
    Kevin Love   (very good for a bad team)

    Greg Oden   (bust)
    Kevin Durant   (standout)
    Al Horford   (very good)
    Mike Conley
    Jeff Green

    From where I stand I see only 2 standouts and 5 very good players (I know this can be argued). I also see 2 busts and the rest are good players with a good and maybe great career ahead of them.

    So if you are planning on tanking so you can get a top 5 pick then according to the last 4 years you have a 10% chance of getting a standout and a 25% of getting very good players.

    I’m not sure if I would want to to tank to get one of these players because even with a standout or very good player you still aren’t guaranteed a championship team. How does LA, San Antonio and Dallas manage to always stay at or near the top? They don’t rely on their top 5 picks in order to get there…

    Raps Loyalist you are assuming that even a deadbeat organisation can make the right choice if they were picking in the top 5. I disagree. There is a reason why they are picking in the lottery every year. They can’t appraise talent. That’s why they suck. Look no further than Cleveland. They sucked. They got Lebron. They were good. They lost Lebron. They suck again. Maybe they will be on an upswing again but if they don’t get decent players to fit into some sort of a solid plan they will be picking in the lottery again in the next 3 years. I mean really…Did they really think Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker were going to take them over the top?

    As for the Mavs…
    Dirk is not a great defender but Chandler is…
    Tough wing defence…Yes that is where Miami triggered their offence…
    Building defense from the inside out…I have heard rhetoric like that pouring out of the lips of idiot old time high school coaches who complain that they need someone big inside in order to be competitive. That’s a cop out…And it always has…The best thing about Dallas’s defense is that they are able to adapt. They can go man-to-man or 1-3-1 which by the way is how you cover strong wing players. I even saw what appeared to be a 3-2 zone which is a very aggressive up top defense. This type of defense must have decent low post players who are able to close out the corner pockets in a quick ball rotation.

    Champions are not built with a single great lottery pick. They are
    engineered from the ground up with a culture of winning. Yes a good top
    pick will help but it can’t end there. It will take great management to
    find the right mix of talent to produce a winner. The GM “Architect” has
    to make great draft picks and trade better then the rest of his
    counterparts. He then has to put the best coaching staff together that
    will execute his vision. The GM will have to make the best with what he
    has. That’s how we build a winning franchise. Not by tanking a season
    and hoping to get something in return for ineptitude.

    • Raps Loyalist

      Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes, and Anthony Davis all have standout/all-NBA potential.  Usually there is only one such player in a draft at most.  Every draft analyst is comparing the 2012 draft to the year James, Anthony, Wade, and Bosh were drafted.  2012 is not just any ordinary year mon ami.  And there is no top Euro talent or big clumsy center prospect (so no chance of a Thabeet/Oden or a Darko mishap..haha)

      We have the least talented roster in the entire NBA and have no chance at making the playoffs this year (if there is a season).  So lets just sit tight with the team we have and not add to the payroll until we have a couple core guys in place. A la OKC 

      We CANNOT add top level free agents year after year like LA and Dallas and the only reason San Antonio has been good the last 2 decades is because they got two amazing #1 picks (Tim Duncan and David Robinson) then added good complimentary roll players around them. (Exactly the model the Raps need to follow if they wanna win a championship) 

      LA, Miami, Orlando, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Boston (are the prime free agent locations for various reasons)

      The REST of the league needs to draft a franchise player and build around him with a good mix of young talent and vets b/c they have very little chance of convincing an all-star to sign in free agency.  (The only exception to this rule is when a team has an all-NBA talent on the roster that other great players are drawn to because they see a possible championship opportunity.) 

      The Raptors have the good complimentary young talent to help build around a top pick.(Jonas V, Ed, Demar, Amir, Bayless, J.J.)

      The Raptors have some good/decent players to trade for more picks/young talent (Barbosa, Jose, Andrea).  The Raptors payroll right now is roughly $50 million.

      If you let Barbosa expire after this season his salary would roughly cover JV’s and a #1 pick’s salary.

      Jose would have 1 year left at 10 million and Andrea 3 years at 10 million. Making it easier to trade them. 

      This would be the time to add pieces (summer of 2012) as we would have a better understanding of what our young guys can do and we would be sure about what position our 2012 1# pick would play.  If we pick in the top 3 in the 2012 draft we will get an all-star level talent (and possibly better.)  One bad season (shortened) is worth enduring for a chance at a franchise player imo.

      ps. You have yet to say how you would get a true franchise player in a Raptors uniform.  Or do you think the Raptors can win a championship without one?

      pss. Every NBA champion since the Jordan Bulls has had dominant inside defenders. (Every Spurs team (Duncan/Robinson), LA (O’neal) the Pistons (Wallace & Wallace), the Heat (Mourning, O’neal), Boston (Garnett, Perkins), LA (Gasol, Bynum), Dallas (Chandler)…championship defense starts exactly where the old school coaches say it does. A good defensive point guard is a great asset but it does jack shit when you are getting pounded on the glass and abused in the paint. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel GradGrind! 

      psss. 7 out 8 of the top defenses in the league last year were built around athletic bigmen!

      Opponent Field Goal Percentage Leaders

       POINTSFG PCT3PT PCT REBOUND PCTTURNOVERSRKTEAMOWNOPPDIFFOWNOPPOWNOPPFT%OFFDEFTOTOWNOPP1Chicago98.691.3+7.3.462.430.361.326.743.294.762.53514.214.12Miami102.194.6+7.5.481.434.370.345.769.252.755.51813.913.23Boston96.591.1+5.4.486.434.365.340.770.211.747.49514.615.44Orlando99.293.7+5.5.461.436.366.350.692.261.769.52114.913.95LA Lakers101.595.4+6.1.463.437.352.335.779.292.723.51513.113.66Milwaukee91.992.7-0.8.430.447.342.334.757.247.748.49113.515.27Indiana99.8100.9-1.1.442.449.354.359.782.259.741.50215.413.98Dallas100.296.0+4.2.475.450.365.343.777.241.748.50414.013.6

      • Gradgrind101

        I can’t respond to everything you said. There’s way too much to address. Instead here are some bullet points…
        >  OKC is not the model I want. They have 1 stud and 2 good players. I am not a big 
             Westbrook fan either. He’s skilled but undisciplined.
        >  In the new nba you ain’t gettin anything good for Jose or Leandro. Someone might 
             take a flier on Andrea
        >  My point of ball defense is independent of the need to have solid interior defense. 
             I am not saying ball defense and screw interior defense. That would be absurd.
        >  What I am saying is if you can’t defend the origin of a half court offense then your 
             bigs (whoever they may be) will foul the quicker guards as they rotate to cover.
             Case in point: Why do you think Amir gets sooo many fouls? Guys like him can’t
             guard speedy guards/wings. Neither can anyone you mentioned above. Gasol and
             Duncan are soft. The rest will drop a slasher to the floor if they try to drive inside.
             It doesn’t take fast athletic big guys inside to do the job…It takes an Oakley or 
             B. Wallace.
        >  Oh yeah…I’m a huge tar heels fan. I am not convinced that Harrison Barnes is the
             real deal. I think he is a notch below Tayshaun Prince. He is soft.
        >  I’m of the opinion that a smart GM will be able to build a contender no matter what
             the obstacles. Brian Colangelo is not that guy. Even if he gets a stud he can’t put
             together the rest of the pieces. Kleiza, Barbosa, Jack…These are players that
             would go anywhere there is a paycheque. That’s why Mourning would never suit
             up in TO. It would have ended his career.
        >  ……

        • Raps Loyalist

          a)HARRISON BARNES “a notch below Tayshaun Prince”…b)”Duncan and Gasol are soft”….c)”a smart GM will be able to build a contender no matter what”…d)”OKC is not the model I want.”

          a) You are the worst talent evaluator I’ve ever come across. Barnes doesn’t turn 20 until May 2012. He can already shoot the ball from anywhere, can handle the ball, and has great potential on D because of great size and athleticism.  He is a guaranteed multiple all-star if he doesn’t suffer a terrible injury.  Tayshaun Prince came out after his senior year and got drafted in the 20s. Barnes will come out after soph year and be drafted top 5…you must know more about talent evaluation than every NBA scout though.
          b) The San An and L.A. teams would never have won without Duncan and Gasol rebounding at a high level and protecting the paint.  You are typical of every other hack job know nothing bloger that thinks because a big guy doesn’t scream in peoples faces and act like he is tough then he must be “soft”…what a bullshit evaluation of two of the best players of the past decade that are multiple champions and by far their teams best inside defender and rebounder.
          c) So your plan for the Raptors is find “a smart” GM to build a contender out of this team (wow Grad what a great/novel idea). GREAT PLAN!!!!! Where do we find said “smart GM” that can magically build a contender out of the least talented roster in the entire NBA but not through using the San An/OKC model b/c you don’t like getting studs in the draft and building around them? This was such a dumb comment I have no idea even where to start in explaining to you how ridiculous this statement was.  GREAT PLAN though!!!! I would have more respect for you if you came up with “the Raptors just need to clone MJ”.  (At least not every other team in the league is already trying to do that.)
          d) “OKC is not the model I want”  YEAH what Raptors fan in their right mind would want to have an exciting young team that will be competing for championships for the next decade!!!! You really are stupid!

          • Gradgrind101

            Wow…Deliberately Losing=Kevin Durant=Your plan?? You don’t even deserve a reply. Admit it you googled everything you know about “basketball” didn’t you…LOL…

            • Nilanka15

              I think what Raps Loyalist is trying to say is that we should be aiming for championships one day.  And you can’t reach that level without “superstar” talent.  And since we support a team that is justly/unjustly seen as a “small market”, attracting superstar talent via free agency is a virtual impossibility.  We simply don’t have the assets to trade for such a player either….so our only means of obtaining such talent is through the draft.

              Now obviously, a high draft position doesn’t guarantee we land that player, but you can’t argue the fact that it certainly increases our chances.  Yes, there’s luck involved, but the same can be said about any strategy whether “tanking” or not.

              • Gradgrind101

                I agree…Point taken…My problem is that Raps Loyalist has stated that he advocates tanking to get a high pick. Would I like a #1 pick. Sure I would. That would be great…But I can’t tolerate not doing your utmost to win every game. It’s who I am. I hate losing and hate players and management who don’t do everything possible to win. If Raptors had skillful management sooner or later they will get that lucky break or draft pick that would put them over the top. Somehow Detroit did it for a few years. If Joe Dumars was skillful when he built the Pistons then he will get it done again . If he had a series of fortunate picks/trades then it will not happen again for him…Brian on the other hand was lucky his first year and had made a string of bad decisions thereafter…

                Anyhow…I believe you have to try to win every time. Even a losing team has to get somewhat lucky at the draft and then they need to be skillful the rest of the way…Otherwise you have the clippers…Always losing…