Is a two-week training camp enough for Dwane Casey? No, but there’s a 66-game training camp after that to prepare for the arrival of Anthony Davis and Jonas Valanciunas. That was a comment on the Facebook page which is one way of looking at things.

The Raptors are shedding dead weight, and will be getting good, young players into the system. The payoff won’t be immediate, nor will the upcoming season be close to anything we’ll want to remember, but if a couple things click, the Raptors could be one of those teams that you’d just pay to watch. Up until now the injection of key youth players has happened via the draft (DeRozan, Davis), and that might be about to change. Yes, the Raptors could be going for marquee players, at least that’s what the rumour mill is now suggesting.

Tyson Chandler’s name has been thrown around because of the Casey connection and it’s gotten a little old, even though the player himself said that he doesn’t see himself staying with the Mavs. What’s new here is that the Raptors appear to be targeting a younger crop of players, which could blend in better with the current squad than an older player like Chandler. Marc Gasol is the key man here, he’s only 26 and could be the center the Raptors have been left wanting all these years.

With Memphis already paying out Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, how much money would they have left over for Gasol? Not much is what the Raptors will be hoping, in which case a substantial offer for the RFA could be enough, with the Grizzlies having only three days under the new CBA to make a decision to match. Under pressure much?

Lot of talk that the Raptors should stick to sucking and continue on the path to rebuilding, and wait for Jonas to come over and go from there. But wait, go from there? From there is another three years of development for Jonas, and in that time who knows what can happen. If Gasol is available, you nab him right now for the sole reason that he’s a young, proven NBA player who happens to be a good defender. Doesn’t that fit the requirements of a team in rebuild-mode under the tutelage of a defensive coach?

Someone slap me if I’m not making sense, but even this argument of tanking for a high pick doesn’t hold water. Look what happened last year, we ended up picking two spots out of where we were “supposed” to pick, and there’s every chance that’ll happen again. In a deep draft like the one that’s coming up, does it really matter if you’re picking #2 or #5? If the Raptors rack up a few wins along the way to a season that might restore some respectability in the eyes of the league, and some enjoyment in the heart of the fans, you have to go for it.

Having said that, I don’t want Tyson Chandler. Not for a multi-year deal, because that’s what’s going to entice him out of Dallas and that’s the mistake I hope Colangelo doesn’t make. Chandler is going to get his fair share of offers, I would think multiple 2-year or 3-year terms will be on the table. Colangelo could try to win this race by offering more money and a longer deal, which is exactly what he shouldn’t do. Chandler’s looking very good right now because he’s coming off of title-winning season. I’d like to draw an analogy to Hedo Turkoglu – free-agent coming off a NBA Finals appearance who was considered a key member on the team, and was about the same age. I realize Chandler could be different, but he also could not. The risk of giving someone their final NBA contract and asking them to come and play in a pressure-free situation is too great for my taste. The injury concerns aren’t massive, but they’re there: he played 74 games last season, but only 45 and 51 the years before that. Just sayin’.

What does the shortened NBA pre-season look like? Like what the real NBA pre-season should look like. Two games against Boston. Done. Nobody wants to see the Raptors play eight meaningless games while travelling to Vancouver, it tires the players out (especially Hedo), makes us over-analyze things, and gives people like Joey Dorsey hope, only for it to be shattered when the games start counting.

ESPN says Jose Calderon or Linas Kleiza could be the amnesty cut. Don’t we only get one for the entire duration of the CBA? Sounds like a waste, I’d hang on to it till later when that luxury tax kicks in at a higher level and there’s somewhere to be for this team. Just bite the bullet for now.

  • dojeta

    Allen Iverson is the Answer. But not even I know what the question is.

  • KateC_22

    Great article, and sums up my feelings exactly. Chandler is not the answer, and the best thing we can do this season is give the youngsters lots of run (DeRozan, Davis, Bayless) and see what we’ve got and if they can develop some team chemistry. No need to try to tank – I expect we’ll be in the lottery regardless. Hopefully get a good piece, and go from there. Also – no need to use the amnesty this year.

  • Kujo

    Signing Chandler makes no sense.  Don’t take away minutes from the young bigs.  Now that he has a championship ring, perhaps he’d be willing to make big money on a rebuilding team that’s going to lose a lot games over the next few years, but I doubt it. 

  • Saints91

    The Amnesty Clause only works with a player signed before 2011. So if we were to hold on to it, it would limit who we could use it on. Basically, Bargs and Kleiza would be the only two that would be worth doing it with because the size of their contracts and length.  Although, I would never use the clause on Bargs.  Calderon will be a free agent in two years, so he will be a trade asset for next year.  

  • Malefax

    Hey, do you know what would be cool in an article that talks about whether the Grizzlies have cap room to re-sign Marc Gasol? Actually CHECKING to see if the Grizzlies have the cap room to sign Marc Gasol.

    But, that would be a lot of effort, I guess. It would probably turn the 5 minutes it took to write this article into ten, and that would be a drag.

    • arsenalist

      Cap room to sign Gasol?  Did something change in the CBA that says you have to remain under the cap to sign your own FA?

      • Malefax

        Nope, I meant tax, not cap. My bad.

    • cesco

      They are currently at $ 55.225 millions salaries (see NBA salaries – Hoopsworld.com)
      and Marc salary is the team option at 4.466 millions . So if you figure
      he will get 12 millions+ , you will have to add around 8 to 10 millions
      for a total salary of around 65 millions , under the tax threshold
      which is around 70 millions . They may not be able to resign Battier
      (unrestricted) who will want around 7 millions/year for at least 3 years
      .

    • 2damkule

      so, apparently checking on the grizzlies’ salary situation is super-duper easy, but having basic understanding of the Bird Exception (y’know, only the most well-known aspect of any CBA for the last couple decades) is HAAARD.

      congratulations.

      • Malefax

        Or maybe I said ‘cap’ when I meant ‘tax’, like a million people have before and will again. 

  • Nilanka15

    SAY NO TO CHANDLER!!! (unless we’re talking about Wilson)

    I can live with bringing in Marc Gasol, but I would honestly prefer to see that effort directed at acquiring Gay instead.  Yes, he’s somewhat overpaid, but he could be the game-changing wing we’re looking for.  A combo of DeRozan and Gay is as athletic as you’ll get. 

    NOTE: This is on the assumption that it DOESN’T take Valanciunas 3-5 years to develop into an everyday starter.  I’m hoping he’s ready to play 30+ mpg in his 2nd year.  Combine that with Davis in his 4th year, and potentially Kabongo in his 2nd year, we’d have a very nice, young, athletic nucleus, all peaking together.

    2013-14 starting lineup:
    Kabongo
    DeRozan
    Gay
    Davis
    Valanciunas

    • Bendit

      Gay would be a trade though and we aren’t sure the Grizz want any of our assets. Gasol is the prize and rfa though he is there are not too many good centres to be had over the next 2 yrs. f/a or draft. He makes others around him good and JV would get eased in. I think we might get him just below Gay type money which maybe also overpaying! 

  • KaioKev

     I agree with this article. I dont believe Chandler is to be apart of a rebuilding team. I would say getting a young Marc Gasol type or a Marc Gasol is one option. Giving Solomon Alabi minutes and evaluating how much his game has improved is another option.

  • Superraptor

    I say go for Chandler if you can, I think It can make a dramatic difference on this team, lets be honest JV isnt going to be ready to play major minutes right away, Centers take longer to develop, this will give him an experienced veteran to learn from, and give him time to develop.

  • 2damkule

    must have…but i don’t have the 5 minutes it would take to find out.

  • sleepz

    Some fans want to stay the course, but I do believe if Gasol is available you have to consider it. I also think this is all talk and until I see BC actually do something it could be an attempt to charge up the fanbase and make it seem like he’s actually doing something.

    On a quick seperate note, I would love someone to start a forum discussing what’s worse. A player playing out his contract, without informing the team of his intentions of leaving in FA (like Lebron) or a player telling his team that he won’t sign with him, and letting them know the only team he can be traded to (like Paul)?

    I know Carmelo was lauded last year for letting Denver know he wasn’t going to re-sign and they can trade him to the Knicks, but this is nonsense. To me it’s worse than what Lebron did. Lebron has no obligation to make a verbal commitment to the Cavs and he played out his contract. What Melo did and Paul is doing now is putting their former teams in the worst possible place. “I’m going to leave but don’t try and trade me anywhere where you could possibly get a good deal, no I want to go to the Knicks!”

    What possible assets could the Knicks give after the Denver trade last year, to help the Hornets? None. If I was the GM on principal alone, I would let hm walk at the end of the year if he chooses. You want to play for the Knicks in 2012/2013, go ahead, but I’m not helping you do it. It’s a shame that the lock-out was nothing more than getting owners more money and no thought about maintaining competitive balance for smaller market teams.

    How can Raps compete at a high level if their best players can force their way out before their contract is even done? Your just grooming your talent for the big markets.

    Apology on the rant.

    • 2damkule

      good points…it does put teams as a disadvantage.  the hornets are under no obligation to trade him to the knicks, though, and i would think that considering how bare their (the knicks) cubboard is, there may be teams that could offer a better package – teams that paul may not want to extend with – who may take a risk that they could change his mind (like the nets did with dwill).

      on a radical note – the hornets could amnesty paul.  if paul has stated that he won’t re-sign with the hornets under any circumstance, and that he’d only re-sign with the knicks, that does limit what they could get back…if they do a deal with the knicks, it’s for scrubs, prospects, draft picks & billups (i.e. nothing).  if the hornets amnestied paul, they’d be on the hook for his remaining $$, but doing so would put him into the waiver pool where he’d essentially lose the ability to dictate where he played.  it’ll never happen, obviously, but it would be a bit of an eff-you to paul from the hornets (and by dint, the league). 

      of course, this would mean the hornets would end up cutting their payroll down to levels that would make just getting to the cap floor difficult.

      further, i’m not sure how the other owners would feel about the hornets amnestying anyone, considering they’re the ones who’d be paying that salary (i’m guessing there’d be 28 pissed GMs/owners, and one happy as a pig in shit).

      ok, so it’s a stupid idea.  unfortunately, there’s not much in the new CBA to prevent players from being dickish in these kinds of scenarios.  that being said…the hornets are a pretty unique situation, and there’s no telling how much the ownership issue has contributed to paul (apparently) wanting to leave.

      • sleepz

        The only difference I would say in the case with DWill is that he had 1 extra year left on his deal. Paul’s contract is finsihed at the end of this year so trading him to another team for 3 quarters of a shortned seaosn knowing he can walk at the end of the year is a risk many GM’s are not prepared to take (NO-Boston rumors for Rondo as an example).

        I didn’t consider the amnesty option, but if he’s put me in between the proverbial rock and a hard place,  I might just explore that option.

        The league shouldn’t be like this. How do the smaller teams realistically compete with the big boys? OKC might as well enjoy Durant now cuz I’m willing to wager his next contract extension will be with another major market team.

    • Bendit

      You kicked up a serious shitstorm in my noggin with that. But you missed the Bosh tact…and that while perfectly within his rights to leave like Lebron after his contract, he led everyone on with various innuendo and apparently promises of cooperating on a team friendly s&t etc. That was the most cowardly way out on what was quite clearly a premeditated move to the Heat. He even earned a Carmelo refrain of “I wouldnt do a Bosh” during his saga.

      What Paul is doing is even worse because the Knicks cupboard is truly bare having paid off for the Melo trade. My money is on the league (who owns the Hornets) calls the bluff (he leaves big money on the table waiting thru free agency and then leaving).  

      • sleepz

        I acutally don’t have a problem with the way Bosh left. BC could have traded him and he never said he was coming back, only that we was going to make a decision in the off-seaon, which he did. He might have indeed only have been interested in playing for Miami, however BC had the freedom to trade him wherever he wanted during the past 2 years of his deal. BC was content in the knowledge that he would try and re-sign him and if he didn’t would go the route of sign and trade which was exactly what happened.

        At least the option was there for BC over that last 24 months to weigh his options and make a deal, like Utah did with Deron.

        If I was Bosh and I was certain I wasn’t coming back, I would have just told BC, in a private meeting that he should trade me cuz I’m not planning on re-signing but keep it hush-hush so the team can try and parlay it into something. Maybe he didn’t because he wanted to play out his contract in TO, who knows? But he fufilled his contractual obligation. Carmelo is a punk to say I wouldn’t do what Bosh did when he basically held his team under the fire, saying that you need to trade me, but only to this one team here, which unquestionably affects the type of assets you can get in return. How is that any better?

        He’s under contract to one team but telling this team that there is only one destination you can trade me to! I would get fired as GM in the league because I wouldn’t help out any player with that kind of demand.

        • Bendit

          Utah had the luxury of experiencing what happens dillying while your star is setting you up.

          I am sure Stern is experiencing a slight case of heartburn alongwith other small market teams. The Paul case is exactly what they were beating their chests about.

          They still havent signed the deal. Just saying.

          • sleepz

            Good point

          • 2damkule

            i’m not sure utah made out as badly as you’re suggesting, nor do i think the dwill situation was really all that similar to what we’re seeing now with paul/howard, or what happened last year with melo; his trade seemed to stem more from a ‘this just isn’t working anymore, we need to be proactive & not let the situation drag on.’

            the jazz have some excellent young prospects as a result of that trade, and should get through a rebuild phase pretty quickly (i wouldn’t be doubting o’connor).  obviously, it’ll take time for those young guys to learn to play the game at this level, but they have about as exciting a young core as any team in the league (favors & kanter anchoring a future frontcourt, burks & haywood in the backcourt, with enough vets – AJ, millsap – to make them a playoff contending if the kids progress quickly, or to trade for even more prospects/picks).  yeah, they don’t have a ‘true’ pg, but harris is good enough to hold down the fort.

            • Bendit

              I dont know that I was suggesting that Utah didnt do well. They did great under the circumstances. DWill was actually quite surprised when told and probably a bit peeved it was the Nets. It happened because a)Utah knew what was coming (a Melo repeat at least)  b)they were secretive, quick and lucky…I heard the Nets approached them so a willing partner.

              I hear what you say about Melo’s perceived thinking but remain unconvinced. The Nuggets went to the conf. finals the previous year, has a great coach and a spending team…whats not to like re either team or Colorado. Melo also turned down a deal to be sent to the Nets. It was his team or he was not going to “play”. I admit a certain bias (dont think he is a team guy or play defense) but he rather have gone to a totally gutted Knicks than a reasonable Nets team….thats my sense but I forget the Nets offerings now.

              I just dont know what the fascination is with wearing a NY Yankees baseball cap…and I lived in that city!      

          • Theswirsky

            I don’t think Stern is too upset about it.  He’s never been against the best players in the best markets, thats how the most money is made.  I don’t doubt a few of the owners hate it… but Stern?  Not in the least.

            The guy didn’t even bother to blink when Lebron, Bosh and Wade got together to plan their movement…. just smirked and saw $ signs.  Coincidence the league just had its best year ever?  I think not. 

            Stern’s no fool.

            • Ken

              So what did you want Stern to do? Veto the signings? By all accounts, under the CBA, that move was totally legal, done so under the genius of Pat Riley.

              • Theswirsky

                if Pat Riley knew of the move ahead of time it was no longer legal and should have been voided.

                But my point is Stern was not against it.  He built this league to the size and strength it is today with big names in big cities.

                • Ken

                  Riley didn’t know of the move ahead of time, he knew it was possible if he played his cards right, but he didn’t know it would actually happen. More teams were in the running for the big 3, such as Chicago, Knicks, and Clippers, they ultimately chose Miami.

                  Stern wasn’t against it because he didn’t have to be against it. But you’re right, Stern is no fool, he’s fine with big names in big cities as long as it rakes in the dough, and evidently it does, unfortunately for the rest of us.

    • Nilanka15

      I would love to see the Hornets to trade him to some sucker team…the Clippers, TWolves, and Warriors come to mind.

      • 2damkule

        uh, i wouldn’t put the clippers in that mix.  if i’m CP3, isn’t that a PERFECT spot?  big market, kobe entering the decline phase of his career, an otherworldly alley-oop partner & a wicked SG to play beside?  even if the clips have to give up a slew to get him, that’s a pretty enviable core trio to build around.

        • Nilanka15

          That would be a great opportunity for CP3 on paper.  But it’s the Clippers.  Every move they’ve ever made has been a disaster.  I’m a big Eric Gordon fan too, but until that talent translates to wins, the Clippers are a “sucker team” in my books.

          • 2damkule

            have to disagree, at least going forward.  i know the clips have a stench on them, and likely will as long as a-hole numero uno owns the team, but i’m all-in on the clips.  even without making a big splash, they have a solid core of young guys around gordon & griffen…they also have a tantalizing expiring big contract to trade (kaman), made even easier to deal because he can actually play/contribute (well, when healthy).  i’m guessing they’ll be pretty big players in FA over the next week…if they amnesty kaman, wow, they’ve got a boatload of room to go after pretty much anyone (chandler? gasol? hill?).

            if they did target paul, they could offer a pretty sweet deal…some combo of bledsoe, aminu, jordan, picks, $$ etc.  i don’t think they have to match salaries (both teams are under the cap, but kaman could be thrown in to match if that’s important (hornets may need/want to do that just to get to the floor).

        • sleepz

          Speaking of the Clips. If Griffin and Kaman for Howard is on the table, this is the type of deal that I’d like to see under “superstar deamnding to leave” situations. Both teams get something and life goes on (although Clips easily win that one if it goes down)

          • 2damkule

            interesting…my immediate reaction was ‘no way the clippers are giving up griffin for anyone.’  then i thought of it from orlando’s side, and i’m not sure it’s a deal that works for them.  weird.  of course, i’m not a huge dwight fan, so i’d balk at giving up a guy like blake (who seems to BURN to play ball) for dwight, who – after 7 years in the L – is still a liability at the line & still doesn’t have much of a low-post game.  can’t argue with the D/rebounding though.  if i’m the clips, i’m looking elsewhere for help at the 5, and building around griffin & gordon.

            • sleepz

              I guess I still see upside in Dwight and even if he never gets better offensively his affect on the game on the defensive end would be too great for me to ignore. He’s as physically gifted as Griffin but his physical presence is greater.

              I really like Griffin’s game but I think when it’s all said and done Howard will have the more accomplished career, but there’s still a lot of time before that debate is finalized.

  • 2damkule

    i, uh, wouldn’t put the clippers in that mix.  if i’m CP3, isn’t that a PERFECT spot?  big market, kobe entering the decline phase of his career, an otherworldly alley-oop partner & a wicked SG to play beside?  even if the clips have to give up a slew to get him, that’s a pretty enviable core trio to build around.

  • 2damkule

    EFF YOU, DISQUS!

  • news flash

    Don’t worry Rapsfans we are getting CHANDLER & KABONGO

  • 2damkule

    i guess it’s a good thing the raps aren’t a small-market team then…

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    A pure bullchit article with very little research done whatsoever…

    Just to promote the premise of a 66 day training camp is an insult to any intelligent Raptors basketball fan that shells out hard earned dollars in support of the Rap’s- especially after last seasons bullchit on court product.

    Are the Rap’s cutting ticket prices- if not they should at least a 50% rate for those who will turn out at the ACC in 2011-12 for the 33 home games.

    As well, Memphis has stated in the media that they will match any offers made to MGasol- end of story, plus ZRandolph re-signed in Memphis because he was given assurances that MGasol would be re-signed by the Grizzlies.

    Tyson Chandler isn’t coming to Toronto- end of story.

    Why are the Rap’s targeting a f/a big man when they drafted Val plus have Amir, Ed & Andrea?

    Btw- there is no ‘rebuild’ going on that is just another BC bullchit media pr spin to rationalize all the Rap’s losing due to his questionable player transactions as both President & GM of Raptors basketball.

    There is no official ‘rebuild’ until the 2 longest tenured Raptors under BC- Bargannai & Calderon, are traded/amnestied away- point blank!

    If the Rap’s start both Andrea & Jose again this season I won’t even watch their games on tv until next season……..

    • news flash

      TRUST ME  chandler is coming and jv will be his backup and amir will be backing up ed davis and Andrea she will be in philly story done.

      • cesco

        Please stop your stupid wishes about Andrea . Read what Casey has to say about his coaching philosophy at Toronto Raptors.com . He want to duplicate what they did in Dallas in term of DEFENSIVE and OFFENSIVE schemes , obviously he does not expect miracles with the players he has now . HOWEVER if there is ONE player who he thinks can duplicate to some extent what MVP-Dirk did in Dallas , you know who that player is , need I say more ? .

        • news flash

          sorry my bad i forgot we clone DIRK

        • news flash

          …DON’T FORGET TO CLONE  J KIDD,J TERRY,

          • cesco

            That will be difficult and it will take lot of luck (finding a star PG in the draft ) . Dallas tried and tried to win the championship and acquiring the player BC wanted to couple with Andrea , they won it . So a Terry can be found via trades .

          • RapthoseLeafs

            Or Marion

            .

    • HK

      Hey boycott guy,

      After a lengthy hiatus, you conveniently chose to come back to this site after the lockout ended, and you conveniently choose to read the articles, and I suspect you’ll continually chose to do so as the season progresses. All this coming from a guy that claims he will not watch any games this season, and asking the rest of us fans to do the same. Right.

      So how about instead of telling us what and how to think, go find a Snuggie to cuddle up in for the winter and watch soap opera re-runs. 

      I think the NBA could care less about losing a part-time such as yourself.

      As for the rest of us, let’s just enjoy a season of basketball.

      And God bless eh.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        I’m boycotting pre-season

        .

  • JHP

    They have 9 healthy bodies, a new coach, no real veterens and the first round pick is in Europe.  Last year with more pieces they won 22 games , so I believe this year has all the makings for a long season.  Fortunately it’s only 66 games and they have cut ticket prices.  I believe the league minimum is still 14, so they need to hire 4 more bodies and it will be interesting to see who they bring in. Maybe Chandler will be brought in but he will be only one of many.

  • news flash

    it seems to me that the raptors are still building around DIRK/DRE

  • K.J.P

    Akeem The Dream, Alonzo Morning*. I don’t want another big guy to come and retire here! Toronto shouldn’t be the waiting room for retirement.

  • ad

    No point in signing chandler. Why pick 7th overall when u can pick 3rd. This team needs star players desperately. The easiest way to get them is the top 3-5 picks of the draft.

    • news flash

      7th is where kabongo will be

  • Mediumcore

    Who is going to get a contract way bigger than he’s worth?

  • Guest

    i don’t think we should go for quick-fix and sign another huge contract player without having enough roster depth to compete in the coming years. these signings/trades failed: jermaine, marion, hedo. i would rather trade some of our older guys like barbosa, caldy or even bargs for draft picks since next years draft is stacked. i hope we get to draft harrison barnes who could be the answer at the 3, and our homey myck kabongo our future pg. 
    imagine a future lineup of:
    jonas/ed/alaby
    bargs/amir
    barnes/jj/kleiza
    derozan/someone else
    kabongo/bayless

  • Buschfire

    I like the idea of picking up Marc Gasol, if we can sign him for a 5 year contract. He is a great playmaker and makes the players around him better.

    Keep JV in Lithuania this year.

    what to do with the log jam at PF?

    As much as I like Amir Johnson and he’s part of the YG’z i think he is a great trade asset.

    next years draft we need a PG, kabongo or Davis?

  • raptorsdd10

    Raptors should only try to go after Marc Gasol or Deandre Jordan..NO1 ELSE!  get a top 3 pick next year on a LOADED draft…amnesty Calderon next summer and be a huge player in a LOADED free agent class!! absolutely no point in signing older players who would do nothing but hurt our chances of getting a high draft pick that could turn this franchise around!

  • Dconnolly

    HE IS NOT THE ANSWER. yes he’s a good fit in Dallas, but ask the folks in Chicago about him. Plus he has a bad attitude, which didn’t turn around with team USA like some seem to think. If you won a championship and truly love the game of basketball, would you be so eager to leave for the money. He doesn’t have passion for the game, he gets hurt too easy, and he’ll be overpaid. I’d rather wait for Jonas to develop and let the young ones develop. 

    Gasol and Jordan YES! but Chandler, please… he’ll stub his toe and be gone for 3 months. We’ll get to see him laughing on the bench counting his money!