This summer, ESPN.com championed a great format, the 5-on-5: five questions asked of five ESPN bloggers (The Raptor one here). Since Arsenalist is wigging out from writing article after article without anything new to talk about, we thought we would adopt the 3-on-3 format created for the TrueHoop Network sites. Three of us (as well as bloggers from other sites, folks from Twitter and even RR commenters) will answer three burning questions.
How would you rate the hiring of Ed Stefanski: good, bad or meh?
Arsenalist: Good. An experienced mind in the front-office can only help, unless of course Colangelo and Stefanksi end up constantly butting heads. That’s unlikely to occur, though, as Colangelo would’ve taken that into careful account before making the hire. The Raptors haven’t had a fresh set of eyes for a while, and Stefanksi does provide that. A guy you can bounce ideas off, maybe if he was around two or three years ago, the thoughts of signing guys like Hedo Turkoglu and Jermaine O’Neal would’ve been cut short.
Unlike Colangelo, Stefanksi’s played the game at a relatively high level (got drafted in the 10th round too), so he definitely brings a blend of both executive experience, and a first-hand knowledge of the game. His recent picks are Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, and Marreese Speights, and I expect him to be very beneficial to the Raptors when it comes to the draft.
Avid readers of RR will note that he did select the great Rodney Carney.
AltRaps: Meh. We already had a second in command in Embry that has gone untapped and/or ignored over the past few years. Not many in the league demand the respect that Embry has and his track record here is pretty damn good. I don’t need to remind you (I hope) of the gifts he provided to Colangelo upon his arrival by clearing space and setting us up for a pretty good rebuild. I also don’t need to remind you that Colangelo pissed it all away like he had been drinking Carlsberg by the keg.
Sam: Meh. Another guy batting .500 is brought in, and given more power than a guy whose been here longer, and hasn’t done worse than a double on any hit. Landing Pritchard would have been the move; that’s just me though.
How much authority will Stefanski have to make the moves HE wants to make?
Arsenalist: He has zero authority to “make” the moves, he can suggest them to Colangelo as much as he pleases, but in the end it’s Colangelo’s decision. He knows that entering into this job. I’m sure not having full authority isn’t ideal, but then again there are only 30 NBA GM jobs in the world. You take what you can get.
AltRaps: About as much authority as I have to go to Arsenalist and demand we change our logo every week. Nil. BC has gone for the quick save and brought a fellow GM in and razzle dazzled the MLSE Board in thinking that 2 heads are better than one. I’m sure there were some lovely graphs and charts showing how more is indeed more and we should pay some money to get a proven piece in to help this organization out in a spot that we needed filled. See Hedo. I’m convinced Ed is working in a cubicle beside JYD and that both have as much pull as each other.
Sam: Does puppet-master come to mind? Trying not to be pesimististic about this, and the guy has made some good moves, but BC isn’t the kind of guy to concede giving his stamp of approval on moves. This is how I see things going down:
- Ed working the phone, putting together a deal that makes sense
- Puts together his fancy pitch-deck using Keynote
- Takes it too Colangelo who gets hung up on the background colors of the slides
- BC tells Ed to leave it to him….and he does…
- Calderon gets a 3yr/$21m extension
What will/should his first official act be?
Arsenalist: Deal with the power-forward glut: Ed Davis, Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson and Linas Kleiza. If Bargnani is option #1 there, we don’t need Davis and Johnson to vie for 25 minutes a game, it’s better to just hand them over to one of the two and cash in on the other in the trade market. Basically, one of the three has to go.
AltRaps: to increase the budget for halftime entertainment. His first official act won’t matter. You best believe Bryan has a list of guys he wants once free agency opens and nobody is going to change his mind. Stefanski I think will try, but it will be a lost cause. Once that passes, though, I’d hope he sits down with Steve Fruitman (the genius behind some of the good moves in the Colangelo reign) and they do a deep dive in the new CBA. Beyond that, we need someone that will be a solid back up to Jonas. This will surprise you but I’m not sold on the kid. It will be Andrea-like the first few years, so need a piece to bridge that time.
Sam: Seems to me a lot of time and effort will need to go into understanding, and really getting, the new CBA after something gets agreed too. Last summer was a disaster for the Raptors in this regard. Otherwise, any move that can improve the Raptors short term, with the future in mind will do. Just pick any position and make a move.