I hope that in my lifetime I get to associate this team I love so dearly with anything other than the word “suck”.

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  • Guest

    did anyone catch Dwane Casey on TSN radio yesterday ? was curious to hear it, but got out of the car and forgot about it

    • Mack North

      They didn’t talk basketball really. More about Movember and the NFL, you didn’t miss much man…

  • WJF

    If you read the article and look at the 12 man roster break down the Raptors are not in the bottom 5. Also if you take Jose out of the mix as a starter and put in Bayless with the the other 4 we are a very young team who’s players should be moving up the rankings while some of the other teams players are on the down turn. While we are still not in win now mode  do feel the team has a direction, and that direction is moving forward. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DANSRO43XQD3CLQZ2JFM5JZRQI 2damkule

      and if you eliminate all stats except assist-to-TO ratio, jose is the best player in the league.

      just to be clear…unless something has changed with the whole the space/time continuum thingy, there isn’t much else anyone/anything can do except ‘move forward’ through time.  so…yay, time continues to progress forward.  moving ‘forward’ doesn’t say a lick about the actual trajectory of team…which, if you’ve been paying attention, is fairly level.  i don’t see them getting much worse (well, anything’s possible), but in all reality, for the next 2-3 years, they really aren’t going to be appreciably better (in terms of raw Ws & Ls) than they were last season.  and unless there are drastic changes in terms of the players (and play) on court, and a revised vision for the structure of the team as a whole, they could very well slip into the worst possible situation (again) – perpetual treadmill status.  always ‘good enough’ to compete for a playoff spot, never good enough to do much/any damage once/if they do make it, but too good to get into the high lottery & really start from scratch.

      • WJF

        So as I point out that the youth of the team is moving up the curve while many of the aging teams are moving down and with that upward climb we are getting better positioned to improve overall as a team for the long haul you feel the need to crap all over that. I see direction, I see a team that is not trying any band-aid solutions this time and is re-tooling to be a consistently winning team in the near future. We have a solid young core, not all world, but solid, we have a potential franchise center getting seasoning over in Europe, we should have a top 5 pick in 2012 in a very deep draft that will more than likely give us the impact player we need to finish a core that can grow together and make some noise. We may end up like the Atlanta Hawks, but we may end up like OKC, and I like either one better than the roller coaster we have been for the last 10 years. 

    • BrianB

      Bayless? Really? At best a role player on a good team – too small to play or defend shooting guard, not good enough handle/judgment/court vision to be a good point guard. Indifferent attention on defence. Don’t confuse age and experience – 23 looks young until you realize durant is 23. Bayless has been in the league long enough to show what he is.  If Bayless starts at PG for the Raps, that means they are still a bad team. Which they will be this season if it happens.

      hope only comes from scoring a decent PG through trade or 2012 draft, then hope Jonas V matures quickly into what we hope he`ll be – then if Casey is still around, he can surround those two with shooters & defenders as in Dallas & we might dream…

      • Nilanka15

        “Don’t confuse age and experience -23 looks young until you realize durant is 23. Bayless has been in the league long enough to show what he is”

        Sure, they’re both the same age, but they’re not even close when it comes to experience.  Bayless has 3400 career minutes played.  Durant has 12,000.

        I’m not Bayless fan.  I’m just saying it’s a little too early to write him off completely.  I agree that the odds are he won’t morph into our PG of the future, but considering the current circumstances, it makes more sense to me to give Bayless the minutes and see if he can handle it, rather than maintaining Calderon as our starter (since we already know what Calderon can/cannot do).

        • Vincent Man

          I’m ready to write him off. Not a very good defender. Not a very good passer. Not a very good scorer. What does he do well? Nothing. And that’s why I have no faith in his ability to package and improve on the few mediocre skills he has to become a productive NBA player.

          • Nilanka15

            All I know is that Bayless was an intriguing prospect coming out of college.  He hasn’t been given the minutes yet, nor has anyone taken him under his wing to teach him how to adjust to playing PG at the NBA level.

            There is no reason to panic and trade for a PG next season.  We can address that hole through the draft (when the time comes).  But until then, giving Bayless the minutes makes more sense than Calderon.

      • WJF

        I did not mean to say Bayless is our answer at PG, just that he would be in that youth group and should move up the rankings while Jose is getting older and more than likely moving down the rankings. 

  • AnthonyF

    And this is exactly why there is a need for a salary cap and the need to clean up the league in this collective marketing.  Yes ESPN dislikes the Raptors and the rankings I think are off, but the league can no longer be controlled by the so-called “superstar, the glamour teams and warm weather locales.  A salary cap has worked wonders in the NHL and the NBA needs it to address the current inbalances that would only get worse. 

    • BrianB

      “salary cap has worked wonders in the NHL”

      ummm…Leafs anyone?

      A hard cap means only stars have bargaining power – everybody else is on a fixed rookie + scale contract, or at or near the veteran minimum. Since vet salaries similar across the board, free agents with a choice (ie more than one offer) will go to the best teams (as in The Heat in the NBA) because everyone wants to win, with a few exceptions where they prefer a location or might get more playing time.

      This means minimal meaningful movement for “middle of the pack” teams, with little chance for teams to improve except through great drafting or good trading luck.

      • AnthonyF

        Absolutely wrong as either you have money to spend or you don’t and money is spread amongst the teams.  Yep the Leaf’s have not prospered, and yes a lot has to do with them not having more money to spend (same as the Knicks).  The Knicks unsuccessfully tried to buy their way to success and it was incompetent ownership that did them in (Isiah).  The Leafs will always have a full building and while I am a fan, I have no problem that they have to build a team on an equal footing with other teams. 

        The only chance the Raps, Bobcats, Pacers, Atlanta, Cleveland and a host of other NBA teams have to actually compete is under a capped system and/or catch lightning in a bottle as OKC did with Durant and Westbrook, because otherwise no one is going there.  

        • Theswirsky

          nonesense.  Having more money will give some teams an edge to ‘buy’ teams.  That is some teams can afford to be inefficient with their money.  However, spending more money doesn’t necessarily mean winning. 

          The biggest issues has been spending money inefficiently.  Spending money on players that weren’t productive enough for their salary.  A hard cap won’t change that.  Teams that still spend inefficiently will still lose.  All a hard cap does is prevent LA or Dallas to spend through their inefficiency.

          10 or 11 of the playoff teams spent less than the Raptors last year. The Raps were a top 7 or so spender last year yet finished 3rd worst in the league. 

          This entire “oh the Raptors need a hard cap to compete” is a complete inaccuracy.  The Raptors need management to spend wisely.  Don’t forget, the Raps are a ‘have’ team, making a profit.  They are one of the bigger spenders league wide on a regular basis.   They may not be tax spenders, but they still spend more than most teams.

          You hit the nail on the head though in one of your comments though:

          “the league can no longer be controlled by the so-called “superstar, the glamour teams and warm weather locales.”

          Thing is a hard cap does nothing to change one locations weather vs another and it does nothing to make big cities less glamorous.  It also does nothing to prevent a superstar to prefer those teams over other teams. 

          in fact, I’d argue a hard cap will hurt the Raps worse than most teams as they:

          1) have the ability to spend
          2) need to spend more than most teams to attract those FAs that are willing to come.

          A hard cap is only good for the ‘poor’ owners in small markets.  A hard cap is not good for the Raptors.

           

          • p00ka

            “10 or 11 of the playoff teams spent less than the Raptors last year. The
            Raps were a top 7 or so spender last year yet finished 3rd worst in the
            league. ”

            I don’t know where you’re getting the numbers from, but the ones I’m looking at say the Raps were 21st in payroll, not “top 7 or so”, and only 3 playoff teams spent less on payroll.

             “They are one of the bigger spenders league wide on a regular basis.  
            They may not be tax spenders, but they still spend more than most teams.”

            Wrong. 20 teams spent more than them last year, including such powerhouses as Pacers, Bobcats, Cavs.

            “Thing is a hard cap does nothing to change one locations weather vs
            another and it does nothing to make big cities less glamorous.  It also
            does nothing to prevent a superstar to prefer those teams over other
            teams. ”

            A hard cap certainly doesn’t prevent a superstar’s preference, but does alter their ability to go wherever they want. If the Lakers ($51 million over the soft cap), Magic ($40 million over), and Celtics ($32 million over), and other insane spenders (some that make $$ anyway) can’t pay the star that prefers the nicer city/locale (or the buddies he can hook up with), he has to go to a smaller/colder market to make his $15 million, or take less. Result: the talent gets spread around the league more equitably and the teams that are managed better can compete, rather than the current status where mostly the teams with much bigger marketplaces (LA, Boston) or owners with deep pockets that don’t mind throwing millions away (Dallas, Orlando) have legit shots at the championship every year.

            A hard cap is good for the competitiveness of the league, thus good for the Raptors. It’s also good for the Raptors specifically, unless you can find a Mark Cuban type buyer who doesn’t mind losing $$$$millions every year. There aren’t many of those to go around, but I’m all for it if you can find one for the Raps.

            • Theswirsky

              “I don’t know where you’re getting the numbers from, but the ones I’m looking at say the Raps were 21st in payroll, not “top 7 or so”, and only 3 playoff teams spent less on payroll.”

              “Wrong. 20 teams spent more than them last year, including such powerhouses as Pacers, Bobcats, Cavs”

              Your information is incorrect.  You are probably looking at current payroll rather than last season. (Don’t forget the Raps had Peja’s 15 mil contract to buy out).  Toronto spent approx 71.9 mil… see payroll in Arse’s post (although I thought it was in the 68 mil range but I think the difference there is Peja’s salary vs his buy out) only behind the playoff teams of Dallas, LA, Boston, Portland and Orlando.

              “A hard cap is good for the competitiveness of the league, thus good for the Raptors. ”

              again not necessarily true.  You completely ignored my part about the Raptors having a history of having to pay more for players.  A hard cap makes it more difficult for the Raptors to attract talent by paying that difference they have historically needed to.  Plus they are a team that has the ability to spend more than most, which means that ability is lost under a hard cap.  MLSE may never be willing to do that, although BC has stated they are, but they can afford it (both due to their wealth and the wealth generated by the Raps themselves) and the ability to do so in the right situation is lost. 

              There is a huge assumption that players won’t take a salary cut because of where they are going (Trevor Ariza recently did).  Don’t forget how much more lucrative endorsement deals can be in NY or LA than they can in Toronto or Minnesota.  A superstars salary is a fraction of what they make in endorsement deals.

              Being good for the league as a whole, does not mean its better for Toronto.  Thats where Raps fans have misplaced their trust in a hard cap.  Thinking Toronto is like Charlotte or Indiana or Minnesota.  Its not.  It may be as, or more, unattractive as a FA destination, but financially Toronto is a far superior city, one of the best in the league.

              What Raps fans should want is some method that entices FAs (specifically superstars) to stay with their team, while still affording the Raps the ability to keep spending.  A hard cap balances teams ability to spend as a whole, but not attract or keep players… where Toronto lacks more than most (if not all) teams.  There ability to spend atleast balances that out a bit. (although that difference may not be huge, something is better than nothing) 

              • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DANSRO43XQD3CLQZ2JFM5JZRQI 2damkule

                great points.  i think you really nailed the big issue from the raps’ perspective, in that a hard cap doesn’t necessarily help them build a competitive team.  sure, it MAY prevent the uber-rich teams from out-spending the ‘nots’ by $50-mil., but at the end of the day, as salaries even out & the gap decreases between rich teams & poor ones (in theory), the intrinsic value of playing in a particular city becomes greater & greater.  with the current (er, previous) CBA, certain destinations that were/are unattractive to FAs could be offset by simply offering more $. if  the incentive of slightly more money is removed, then other factors (i.e. quality of team/franchise, city, weather, tax situation, etc.) all become more impactful in the decision-making process for FAs.  TO is never going to win against the ‘great’ US cities (for players) for any number of reasons – weather & taxes being primary ones – which is why it’s absolutely imperative that they build a strong, stable & highly respected organization.  of course, to do that, you need, y’know…good players.  chicken/egg.

                • Nilanka15

                  “weather & taxes being primary ones”

                  I would say ignorance is the biggest factor.  Remember, Toronto “smells” different 😐

                • Juicy

                  I know it might be a little Apples to Oranges, but the NHL’s flex cap doesn’t seem to have prevented smaller market teams from attracting or retaining players.  For the most part they are heading to the better teams as far as chances to win, and not necessarily following big markets.   Meanwhile a team like columbus could still keep Rick Nash (or Stamkos in TB as another example).  In the end of the day it comes down to which teams are best run, and which teams can clear some cap space. 

                • Theswirsky

                  I’m not sure of the exact system in the NHL when it comes to Free Agency, but I remember reading how if a team wanted to sign Stamkos this past offseason, they would have had to give up 3 or 4 first round picks to Tampa Bay.  Which had a huge influence in him staying.

                • Vincent Man

                  @2damkule and theswirsky:

                  A couple comments. First, a hard (or semi-hard) cap will almost guarantee that teams will have a limited number of “max dollars” that they can give a player. Under such a model, the hope is that you can spread around the superstars and prevent them from clustering in a couple of cities like LA, NY, and (now) Miami. The effect on the tier 2 players 8-12 million dollar guys will be similar. 

                  Secondly, I agree that the best locales will still have some advantages in attracting talent. However, there will still be benefits to “small market” teams. Toronto is a good illustration for this second point, which is that small market teams often have to rebuild “prematurely” because superstars either leave outright (Bosh, McGrady) or force their way out (Stoudemire, Carter). The result is that the time line for a “small market” team to win is very short. If they don’t succeed within 3 or 4 years, they have to start over again because they lose one or more significant pieces. The ability to slow down that turnover (i.e., because a superstar is forced to stay if they want max dollars) have several advantages.

                  1) it allows teams to focus more on long-term moves if they can count on talent being around (think O’Neal/Marion trade)
                  2) it gives the team a better chance of signing free agents if they can reassure those free agents that a superstar is going to stick around (think LeBron James)

                  It gives teams more time to get on an upward trajectory. Think about San Antonio. Think about Oklahoma City. And then think about what would have happened if Tim Duncan or Kevin Durant held a gun to their managements respective heads, demanding that success come immediately (although in Tim’s case, it DID come immediately, because he had Robinson with him). I think what the NBA wants is more OKC and San An, and less Miami/NY in terms of team-building. And I whole-heartedly agree. 

                • Theswirsky

                  “I think what the NBA wants is more OKC and San An, and less Miami/NY in terms of team-building. And I whole-heartedly agree.”

                  Oh I’m sure they do, and I think most fans do to.  Hell I do. 

                  But those two are proof you don’t need a hard cap, that a team just needs to be smart.   The assumption that a hard cap will do that, I believe, is misplaced. Its an attempt by owners to control their costs so when they screw up its lest costly.  And its a hope by fans that somehow it has always been the Lakers or Boston or Dallas that screwed their team.

                  “The ability to slow down that turnover (i.e., because a superstar is forced to stay if they want max dollars) have several advantages”

                  as I mentioned, a superstar can only get max dollars right now by staying.  The exception is the sign and trade…. which has nothing to do with a hard cap.  Get rid of that and change the rules of bird rights and this the superstar will always get paid more by their current team.

      • Mapko

        Not necessarily. It could also mean that Knicks can have Anthony, Stoudemire & 10 rookies/minimum wage players (but definatly no 3 stars) OR 1 star, 3-4 solids players & the rest rookies, minimum wage guys. Star players want to win but more than anything they want as much $$ as they can get. Sure a former star, now in mid 30’s may sign with Heat for less money than w Raptors or Cavs or…BUT not a guy in prime.
        Lets not kid ourselves: Howard would like to go to Lakers or Knicks or Bulls, AS LONG AS HE gets max contract -He will NOT go there for mid-level. If Cavs happen to be the only team able to give him max in new CBA -Howard will give you lots BS about challenges of winning w Cavs etc and he will go there.
        I think a hard-cap (or close to it) will do wonders for ballance.
        The secret is to give “right player” big contract & surround him with several “role players” (think Chicago Bulls with MJ).

        • Nilanka15

          Or the Mavs with Dirk

        • Theswirsky

          “If Cavs happen to be the only team able to give him max in new CBA”

          just off hand what is the likely hood of that?  This past offseason we saw what 8 teams with enough cap space to offer a max contract to players.

          While it is a possibility, I think its more likely that a number of teams will plan well in advance, especially when the ‘big stars’ are available, and go after them 

          And its not like Dwight could just go sign with the Lakers or Dallas right now either.  Those teams are so far above the cap the way it currently is they can’t do it.  Orlando would have to pull off a sign and trade.

          Easy answer…. lose the sign and trade and change a player’s bird rights when they are traded.  This way a player will have to take a big pay cut when their contract is up if they go to another team, and player’s can’t just demand a trade to another team while keeping their contract status the same.

          “The secret is to give “right player” big contract & surround him with several “role players” (think Chicago Bulls with MJ). ”

          completely agree.  But a hard cap doesn’t mean teams end up doing this.  Teams are just as likely to give the wrong player a big contract as they are today.

  • FAQ

    Da homies just don’t wanna play in another country ‘canada’… no prestige, no friends, no women, no hood,  no winning …. plain & simple.

    • Bendit

      “…no women…”?

      Get out much?

    • Nilanka15

      “…no hood…”

      Ever been to Scarborough? 😛

      • Your_email

        anywhere black people congregate soon turns hood….they share a slice of africa with us wherever they go.

  • Statement

    Andrea Bargnani sux!

    • Statement

      Trolling…like a boss!

  • Statement

    Reports are indicating that Ed Stefanski is hired…

    Egads.