Feels goooood to be back! Follow me on Twitter – @therealphdsteve

Some of the talking points.

  • 48 conference games, 16 out of. Every team won’t play every other team. At least one back-to-back-to-back
  • Prediction: 13-35 in conference, 4-14 out of conference – 17-49 for the season
  • Day-One Starting Lineup: Davis, Bargnani, Johnson, DeRozan, Calderon
  • Ed Davis is a big chip moving forward, Amir Johnson is a “nice” chip
  • Andrea at the four, what’s the offensive/defensive trade-off? Cross-switching?
  • When Kleiza comes back…
  • If the Raptors have one 20-point player, who will it be?
  • Jose Calderon will thrive under Dwane Casey: 8, 40, 45, 90
  • Filling out the remaining spots
  • Raptors a player in the trade market
  • Three options for this team:
    1. The Delusional One: Getting a guy like Chris Paul
    2. Just Tanking It: Nose drive right into the ground and into a deep draft
    3. Aim for Something: Fix the team to get to 35 wins
  • The amnesty clause and the Raptors. If exercised, what are the free-agent targets? (yes, I know Brooks is in China)
  • Prepping for Valanciunas
  • The Myth of Cap Space: What’s this talk of the Raptors being $20M under the cap in one year?
  • Mid-level contracts for bench players will crush teams in the new CBA
  • Over-under for games started by Ed Davis at Center?

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  • ilmago43

    Hoping for a single-digit-win season…the shortened schedule will make it more bearable, draft is only 7 months away, I can wait. Bringing in JV and another lottery pick next year will make the outlook much brighter and much more exciting.

  • 2damkule

    so, the ed davis/bargnani pairing & the positions they’ll play (bargs is a 5 defensively & a 4 offensively, vice versa for davis, but we’ll call davis the centre) is…exactly the same as last year.  got it.  but we’re calling bargs a PF now, so…

  • 2damkule

    uh, actually…that IS a bad starting 5.  that’s why they’re slated to be one of the worst teams in the L, by your own reckoning.

  • 2damkule

    deron is pronounced ‘darren’

    shit, i’m bored…

    • Guest

      also Valanciunuas is Va-lan-chu-nas

      • raptors phdsteve

        o-k-

  • brother

    Wins – Under 17.

  • 2damkule

    i thought aaron brooks was playing in china (and is pretty much stuck there for the season)?

    • raptors phdsteve

      yes, as of now, he is in China and all the players who signed with teams in China do not have an “out clause” in their contracts.  However, it still remains to be seen how “iron clad” that clause will be once the NBA actually gets up and running.  I expect to see some flexibility there.

      • 2damkule

        true enough…i’ve never really associated china with flexibiilty (see: Yao Ming’s feet).

  • slaw

    I’ll take the under on the wins question. This team is really bad and the other really bad teams all are materially better than last year. They don’t really have any mismatch players on the floor, which is crucial in the NBA, so, I don’t like how they set-up against anyone.

    Whoever starts alongside Bargs in the frontcourt has to play both C and PF, so I’ll take the over on 20 games for Davis. I don’t think they plan on it but I think he’s going to play well enough to force their hand.

    Bargs will get his 20/game even if he needs 30 shots. Over. Tough to say on DD cause a lot will depend on the offense they run. I’ll reluctantly take the over just cause I don’t see where else on this team the scoring is going to come from. Davis, Amir, Johnson, are limited offensively, Bayless is inconcistent and Calderon doesn’t look to score. I guess Barbosa could get a lot of shots but he’s streaky…

    • raptors phdsteve

      If Bargs takes 30 shots a night to get 20pts, then this team will be in serious trouble.

  • AmirFan

    If we do not get any new player, I predict that we will have anywhere from 13-16 wins this season

  • Borg

    Borg – The wishful thinker says 31 wins and season avgs of:

    Andrea 27ppg 7reb 1blk All Star? Almost
    Ed Davis 8ppg 9reb 2.5 blk 45 starts
    James J. 7ppg 5reb 5ast 1blk
    DeRozan 21ppg 3reb 3ast 33% 3pt
    Calderon 8ppg 3reb 10ast 4 7, 39, 82 %s
    Amir 14ppg 8reb 1.5 blk
    Kleiza 11ppg 7reb 4ast if at 100% health
    Payless 9ppg 3reb 6ast ppg doubled if starts
    Barbosa ? :S not with the team!

    I want Garbo back!

    With the coaching system in mind, this will be a Real Tough inside-out team and explains high team rebounds and assists. Efficient 3% shooting by Calderon and Kleiza for the most part. Andrea will try playing more of a mid range game then previous years.

    I say don’t sign anyone else except minimum vet players to fill the bench and to support the occasional injuries.

    Will make 8th spot if Kleiza, James J. and Calderon stay healthy, which is high unlikely :)

    • raptors phdsteve

      wow! that is some wishful thinking!  I think Raptors fans everywhere would rejoice if your predictions came true- especially the part about getting Garbo back.

    • Robert Archibald

      It is good to dream.

      Hopefully every Rap will have a career year.

      Of course that would probably result in a 1st round exit in the playoffs and the loss of a lotto pick in an excellent draft.  

  • Timo in Waterloo

    Here is a thought… given the short timeframe to prepare and the myriad amount of moving pieces in terms of amnesties, free agents etc I am glad we have continuity in our front office and some experienced and plugged in execs like Colangelo and Stefanski… Ill be staying tuned over the next month to see what this roster will look like.. second thought, the Raps youth bodes well for all the games in a short period… those stretches last season where they played many games with a short bench and showed a lot of heart will serve them well this season

    • raptors phdsteve

      this is a really good point.  Another thing the Raps have going for them is that they play Sunday home games at 1230 in the afternoon. For West Coast teams this is 930am, and for a condensed schedule with lots of back to backs- those young legs could help them steal a few games.

  • ad

    One thing that worries me is that these “star” players are already trying to dictate where they go. Like Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Wasnt the new CBA supposed to address this somehow or only after 2 yrs? I think its BS that these players can pick where they want to go. Its the teams decision. They can choose where they want to sign but not where their current team will trade them.

  • Baffled

    phdsteve, 17-49 is not winning roughly one third of their games!

    • raptors phdsteve

      ha ha! yes, my phd is not in math- but that is why I used the word “roughly”, which in this case means give or take 5 games.  It was a very generous “roughly.”

      • Baffled

        So between 17 and 27 wins? 

        My guess is somewhere between a 22 and 27 win season because I expect (1) less injuries than last year, (2) some progress from the younger players, and (3) the condensed schedule to help younger teams.

  • Zero

    An excerpt from an ESPN article talking about Tyson Chandler:

    “On Wednesday, when teams and agents were allowed to commence free-agent negotiations, NBA front office sources listed New Jersey, Golden State, Houston and Toronto as the teams chasing Chandler hardest.”

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    What rational, intelligent Raptor fan will even support another regular season starting 5 with Calderon & Bargnani in it? s-m-d-h

    Rap’s will most likely get stuck playing 3 back to back to back game sets with multiple back to back games- I see 10-15 Ws at the most with the roster as is.

    Stern’s propaganda about League wide parity & competitive balance with a post lockout unbalanced regular season schedule is going to produce a bullchit on court product League wide.

    Passing on Kemba Walker is going to haunt us big time.

    Fans, lockout the NBA for 66 games!!!

    • news flash

      …but i’ll be ok if we get KABONGO

    • KaioKev

       I agreed with you that Calderon and Bargnani are set backs to the changing the culture to defense but that why I believe we need to get some cheap veteran defensive presence to start “initiating” the change.

      As for Kemba Walker, he’s a point guard and he MIGHT be a pretty good one. We don’t know yet he’s never played in the NBA before. The reality is there are plenty of “pretty good” point guards available through just about any means possible – UFAs, RFAs, Drafts, Overseas etc. Decent point guards are a dime a dozen. Besides there were 8 team that “passed” on Walker.

      • NEWS FLASH

        not all of those eight teams needed a point guard

  • Pcrombeen

    You’re plan to bring in Chandler, Brooks and a three is predicated on making us a +.500 team and a 5/6 playoff seed. I don’t take that as a foregone conclusion, which is why I’m against this idea.  Even with those additions, I still see Miami, Boston, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Indiana as being better than us.  Throw in Milwaukee, Phili, and Orlando (depending how the howard thing plays out), and I’m not sure that roster even makes the playoffs. And yes it’s a deep draft, but the talent 1-5 is still much better than what we could get 10-15. This team needs a superstar, and the only way we get one is through the draft. period 

  • Cantdl

    The download link just sets up a streaming link.

  • Nilanka15

    What’s the point of signing Chandler with Valanciunas arriving next summer?  It makes no sense whatsoever.

    Besides, we need to take Chandler’s season last year with a grain of salt (since it was a contract year).  We can almost guarantee he won’t be as successful this year armed with a fat new contract.

  • sleepz

    It can make sense if you feel Val is going to take a few years to develop. By no means is he a finished product.
    That being said, I completely agree with you that I think Chandler’s effectiveness is about to drop as last year was a contract year. I like him as a player but he’s a careeer 8-8 guy.