Rasual Butler signed with the Raptors, there’s talk of Aaron Gray (backup center from NO) signing as well, and there’s the Forbes offersheet as well. Oh yeah, Anthony Carter too.

Super quick thoughts.

Butler – Defensive minded guy who is a career 36.1% shooter from three. Obviously, the franchise couldn’t afford to start the campaign with James Johnson as the lone option at the three, and they’re taking action to add some depth to the position without asking Kleiza to pretend to play it. It’s a stop-gap signing which should spread the floor out more without compromising defense (see Jason Kapono). As has been preached on this site for some time now, there is no reason for the Raptors to be signing anything close to an expensive player unless it’s a legitimate building block. Butler will likely do whatever Julian Wright did, only he won’t be null and void on offense. Still though, loved Wright’s point-forward work.

Forbes – Poor James Johnson. He just went from surefire starter to fighting with three other legit threes for playing time. The sharp-shooting swingman was praised by George Karl last season, but I doubt the Raptors are testing the Nuggets’ resolve by signing the undrafted second-year man to an offersheet. This could be a perfect “buy low” signing because he seems to have a fire burning in him, and will compete with anyone for minutes. Anytime somebody goes undrafted and fights his way back into the league so soon has to be admired.

Gray – Can’t say I’ve seen much of him other than whenever the Hornets are on national television. This signing, like Magloire, Butler and Pietrus, is in the mold of defense, and you have to love that. The Raptors aren’t signing bandaids for deep problems, they’re buying time until they’re in a position to play the market and the draft. This is the right move, be patient. We’re not the NY Knicks who can afford to test fits for their team by splurging money around without having to worry about long-term repercussions and tax issues, the Raptors have to pretty much flatline and go from there.

Carter – Not sure if we really needed a tweener, but what the hell. Carter is an experienced guy and Dwane Casey is pretty clear on why he’s here: “What we want to do is put veteran players, veteran leadership around Andrea and DeMar and James and our young guys.” I kind of view him as the Mark Jackson of this team and expect him to be third string all the way, either at the PG or the SG (where he has enough experience playing). Unless of course, Calderon is dealt/amnestied.

These signings would take the training camp roster to 15 players, and in doing so the Raptors haven’t made one fiscally questionable move. All they’ve done is improve their woeful three-point shooting, improved their interior defense (albeit not by much, but still), and added defense at the wings where it was sorely lacking. There

There aren’t any expectations being set for the post-season, and this truly is shaping up to be a training camp of a season. The rebuilding might have finally just started.

  • RRondo-DWilliams

    Casey + Bargnani + Derozan + Ed Davis + Valanciunas. Add 2 pieces and you have a Contender. See you all next year 2012-2013. (no rookies but 2 stars to be added).

    • Bpepallc

      Excellent observation! The improvement of the 4’s defensive skills plus awaiting future FAs

    • sek99

      Bargnani, Val and Davis won’t ever be on the floor at the same time. Who plays the 3? And that is certainly not a contender, sorry. This team is nowhere near contender, unless Val is the next Shaq, which I doubt. Here’s hoping though.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      What 2 stars are coming to the TDot?lmfao

  • Truthkiller

    This puts the Raptors in a good state, they’ll have enough depth to carry this team in a compressed season. With the way the roster is constructed they can push for an 8-seed.

    • Minks77

      You really think this rent-a-team is going to push for the playoffs?

      • Daniel

        There is a race to the bottom going on now in NBA as teams realize they have no chance of competing against the super-teams.We may get to the 8th seed almost by default if the coaching staff is any good and we stay healthy and hungry. In addition the talk of super-draft creates even more incentives for teams to tank. The business model is really broken and the players bear almost the entire responsibility.

      • Your dad

        Hold on are we still getting Pietrus?

        We are competing for eight seed at best.  We have a good chance if players and coaching staff step up and the schedule.

        But I say we tank…hello Harrison Barnes

        • Jkchang

          The Eastern Conference is getting much better…forget any idea of making the playoffs if we couldn’t do it before.

          If we do sign Pietrus, we have to wait 2-4 weeks while he heals so he can retake the physical, otherwise Gary Forbes was supposed to be his replacement.

          Also, Harrison Barnes is one of those good ‘college players’..wouldn’t fare well in pros.

    • Brian B

      Compete for 8 seed? In what , the D-League? Baring devastating injuries, 7 teams are a lock (Bos, Chi, NY, NJ, Atl, Orl, Miami). that leaves Phil, Indiana & Mil to compete for the 8th. Washington is the outside shot. Toronto, Charlotte, Cleveland and Detroit are hopeless.  Though it would be dazzling if the Cavs became a miracle team. Like the Raps, they lack decent wings and a center. But they have a point guard prospect, so are one up on the Raps. No GM wants to give up a shot at a lottery pick in a deep draft like 2012 to be first round cannon fodder this year. Raps will be lucky to win 18 games.

      • Truthkiller

        – Orlando is losing Dwight cross them off the list. NJ is pretty much the same as last season so cross them off the list. That leaves      (Bos, Chi, NY, Atl, Miami) as all locks. The rest  are up for grabs.

        – Alot of the teams in the East though have absolutely no depth. And I’m not sure if you looked at the schedule but 66 games in 120 days, sooner or later teams will be FORCED to give their best players DAYS off (not a day, days). And I think that gives younger teams like Philly, Indiana, Washington, Raptors an advantage. 

        • Brian B

          You can’t cross off both NJ & Orl… expecting Howard in NJ, where he will team well with Deron W. And SVG will scrap into playoffs with Lopez, Nelson, and spare parts – best coach in league at adapting to his roster. So I stand by the top 7.

          Huge debate going as to whether shorter season actually helps veterans not wear down more than young legs. And raptors lack depth and quality… a lot of bums are still a lot of bums.

          • Truthkiller

            NJ if they land Howard is in the top 7 I agree with you on that, but without Howard they’re still the same as last year winning only 24 games. 

            Orlando is not a good basketball team w/o Howard, defensively they would be more terrible than the anemic 2010-2011 Raptors.

      • Truthkiller

        Hell NO you did not compare us to Goddamn Cleveland. 

        We have Jonas V (Center Prospect) in Europe and if you recall Cleveland really wanted him, we also have Demar and Ed (SG & PF Prospects).
        And Kyrie Irving being the 1st pick doesn’t guarantee anything remember he only played like 7 games. 

        • Brian B

          Heck, Yes- it’s the obvious comparison. AND what I said was that  it would be dazzling, as in fun to watch, them be Cinderellas.
          Don’t think it’ll happen, labeled them “hopeless”, but it would be fun.
          My theme throughout this thread is Toronto this year will be neither
          good nor fun, so it’ll be pathetic and painful to watch. I accept that Irving is untested – thus “prospect”. And they are clearly a center away from being even decent. But Jonas V isn’t here yet (and might turn out to be a stiff, after all BC drafted him). I’ve said before I’m not convinced about Davis, and at his very best, this year, he’s no better than Cleveland’s corp of fours.  Irving has the chance to be something special. and if Tristan Thompson was to emerge from the pack  …. I’d watch that.

          • Truthkiller

            Wow Tristan Thompson are you kidding me, this guy is a bona fide scrub. I guarentee it Ed Davis will be a helluva lot better than Thompson in 5 years.

            But I understand where your coming from with the whole gloomy Raptors this season and I’m excited to see them play.

            • Brian B

              Thompson is unproven, just saying it would be neat to see him mature into something, if he does.

              NJ will not be same as last year- they have DWill, and even without Howard, Lopez is a scorer, and they have cap room to add a decent defensive presence. Their shooters will space the floor. While not contenders, I see them as playoff locks, though I agree, if one prediction is iffy, it is this one.

    • Ihatehaters

      #areyounuts??

      • Truthkiller

        HAHA! Gotta love the trolls

    • Noodle

      I am sure Raptors will taste the playoff once we get Harrison Barnes! But this year……

      • Truthkiller

        Listen I love to see Harrison Barnes in a Raptors uniform but think of all the teams that will suck more than us (Detroit, Phoenix, Cleveland, Denver) they too don’t have a legit 3. We are alot better than those crappy ass teams and b/c of that I can’t see the Raptors getting a top 5 pick this year unless half the roster gets injured or via trade.

  • howlonghowlong

    I’m curious to see what rotation the Raptors will have at the five.  How many minutes will Alabi get?  Who will spend more time at the five Ed Davis or Amir Johnson?  Will they use Bargnani there at all or is he strictly a PF?  At some point before July 1, 2012, one of the Raptors’ three PF will be traded.  I just can’t see how they will all get minutes once Valanciunas arrives.

    • Brian B

      if the roster is finished Alabi is a healthy scratch is the other bigs are healthy. No minutes for him. Magliore and Gray will fill the void. Davis & Johnson will only play the 5 if there is foul trouble or they “go small”.

      Though I doubt the roster moves are done. Still, can’t see Alabi in the rotation in any scenario.

  • Daniel

    So Colangelo hopes to get next season to the similar situation he inherited in 2006: high draft pick and a ton of cap space. What a waste for the city and the organization. The ironic thing is that in the year the expectations are so low the team to overachieve. I don’t think the coaching staff or the players want to tank. Last year we actually were close in a lot of games until the injuries decimated us.

  • Riego

    Gray is an awful awful defender…just terrible.

  • Daniel

    In the big scheme of things though Raptors machinations don’t matter much. The owners blew it with the new CBA which was supposed to create competitive balance NFL or NHL style. The trend is clearly to build super-teams which seem to be embraced by the media and the League’s brass. Stern has been pushing for superstars and superteams his whole career to the detriment of team-building in accepting markets. I don’t see any other logical conclusion to the current madness than to contract a few teams. The reality is there are much less franchise-players and superstars than teams so the bidding wars for 2nd and 3rd level players destroy the small franchises.

    • why

      I don’t think there ever will be parity in basketball like other sports – a great player has much more impact and scores are too high (you can’t win 2-1 like in hockey) – => will likely always be a huge gap between the top and bottom teams in term of w-l records.

      what you want is for the system is to be fair such that all franchises have equal ability to acquire and retain those elite players rather than what we have seen with Miami, NYK,, etc.

      • The Rub

        You can’t force parity, the fact is players will go where they want to go.  And a 25 year old millionaire might realize life’s a bit more fun in NY and LA than in Minnesota. And since as you correctly pointed out, one or two players make all the difference in the NBA, don’t expect to see parity.

        This was a league built on dynasties like the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls.  Scream parity all you want but it’s much more entertaining when a few teams are Goliaths and the rest of the league are slinging rocks at them hoping to break them down.

        • Dobsully

          One or two players don’t make a difference.
          This is a team sport.
          A hard salary cap would bring parity to the league.
          Did Cleveland win with James?
          With Kobe and Shad they didn’t start winning until
          Phil Jackson came.
          Inverson in Philly.
          The list can go on.
          To win in the NBA you still need a good bench.
          That’s why the Spurs didn’t do anything in the playoffs
          last year.  Their bench which did well during the regular
          season, did zero in the playoffs.

  • TD

    “The rebuilding might have finally just started.”
    You mean building, not rebuilding.

    Signed, Dwane Casey.

  • Brian B

    Rasual Butler? Really? With a career PER of 10 (as far below average of 15 as an all-star is above)? Is he supposed to be the stater? And, btw… get your facts checked. He’s a career .361 3 pt shooter. Which beats Julian Wright (.262) and Kleiza (.336) and about the same as Pietrus (.359). Heck, Ray Allen is only .399… 40% is his overall shooting percentage…pretty anemic for a wing player (DeRozan is .477).

    The NBA should void the signing for basketball reasons… being that the Raptors not be allowed to tank two straight seasons.

    What a joke.

    • Arsenalist

      My bad on that. 

      • Brian B

        at least you’re man enough to admit & fix.

  • KaioKev

    Not bad, for a weak roster anyway. I don’t believe this team will compete for 8th seed or even the 9th seed but I am sticking to my 25wins on the season.We have more depth and more veteran leadership that wasn’t there last year so hopefully we can get a few more stops per game than last year and be able to close out a few more tight games.

    We also have to remember that all these one year contracts isn’t to “tank” the season but so that the Raptors can have a lot of money to spend in a big free agency group in summer 2012. 

    For all the non-contending teams the draft and free agency will be huge.

    • Brian B

      It will be painful to watch. Unless you enjoy 95-82 losses. They won’t be competitive in many games at all. No post game. No one who can spread the floor. The play-making point guard can’t stay in front of folks, and bayless can’t finish at the rim and refuses to dish when he drives.

      And anyone who thinks a good FA will sign with the Raptors any time soon must have thought the Hedo deal was smart.

      They could have gone one of two ways and been better for fans this year:
      – signed a coach who would have run a D’Antoni style offence , for excitement, but then DD doesn’t develop
      or
      – blow it up, trade AB and JC for a center or a point and spare parts

      this is an insult to the fans.

      • Buschfire

        If you recall Bayless did improve at the end of last year. Fine he is inconsistant as can be but hopfully he’s still has room to grow, what is he 21? 22? To be quite honest, I think the perception of playing in Toronto is slowly changing I think we might actually have someone want to play in Canada. Why on earth would you want a coach with D’antoni style ball? so we can score more points and watch bargs get destroyed in the paint? why do you want to see last year happen all over again?!?! Casey was the best signing for the club. Defense is what builds championships. The pieces that we acquired will be back up this is the chance to see what our young team is made of and for a chance for all of them to develop. I do agree with getting rid of AB and JC though. This is an insult to the bandwagon fans, I think the real fans understand this is what is needed to creat a championship culture in T.O

        • Buschfire

          sorry I should have done that in point form i’m all over the place…

        • Brian B

          I see Bayless as at best a rotation player on a decent team. Investing in him as long term is magical thinking, methinks. He’s at best Jarret Jack. There’s a reason 3 teams gave up on him. DeRozan, IMHO, is the only Raptor who has potential to be on the team as a starter if we become a contender – AB has the skills, but needs a fresh start elsewhere, where he can play defenseless stretch 4, with a power player at center. Too bad NJ won’t have pieces to trade for him once they sign Howard. Objective US commentators agree with what I see in Davis – a rotation player (think third big) at best. But if we think he is our PF of the future, we need to move AB & let Davis play now. James Johnson is even less of a prospect.

          I suggested the D’Antoni style because at least it’s an exciting way to lose.

          • Buschfire

            I think Ed Davis should get a lot of minutes this year to see what he has. I think he has potential to be a Camby type of player. Maybe better? yeh AJ will need to go for by the trade deadline  wish it was AB on the block though. If JJ gets the work ethic, I think he has potential to be a good 6th man. I think most of our players are fairly offensivley talented I think this season will be fun to watch even with a defensive style bball. with only 66 games what are there like 30 home games? I’m sure demand for tix will be stronger than we think with the lack of supply.

          • Why

            Did you consider the NYKs exciting when they were losing with the D’antoni stye (David Lee teams)?

            Seems to me the D’antoni style is exciting when you have Steve Nash and are a contender.

          • KaioKev

            JC definitely needs to go. He’ll probably get traded or amnestied next year and we’ll probably draft a PG in 2012. I think there are two options for Andrea. Mask his defense with a rebounding nut like a Reggie Evans-type or trade him. My preference, TRADE HIM. 

            Your right it was exciting last season to see the Raptors loose 110-105 but what about those games where the offense wasn’t clicking and we’d loose 130-90. Thats just embarrasing. Also, IMO, If we were to continue with the high offensive style of play wouldn’t that slow our development down? As was said above defense wins championship. Although we’re probably 3 years too late, at least we’re starting to build (Aww, I said it again!) build a foundation on defense. 

            The NYC Knicks will be competitive and compete in the playoffs but won’t have the defense to win championships.

    • news flash

      “we must remember that all these one year contracts isn’t to tank the season but so that the Raptors can have a lot of money to spend in 2012″ i’m just worried about having 4 players in a contract year (calderon/chandler) making us LOOK better than we really are and costing us a better pick lets remember these guys are looking for jobs next year i would have prefered we had used a good D leegerrrr with a couple of those signings

      • Ddan71

        I think part of the reason behind the players being older is to teach the young guys how to be more professional. Anthony Carter and Rasual Butler were both second round picks that have had long careers based on hard work. There are many more talented players then them to have come along that don’t stick. look at Gerald Green. Then there are star players who bottom out by thirty because they coasted on pure talent. Like Marbury and Francis.  Think of how good Vince Carter could have been if he actually worked hard.

  • Buschfire

    Personally, I think the signings make sense, we need vets to pair up with all our youngnz’  not the greatest players but who cares? 1 year deals, they’ll be gone next year which leaves us with the cap space for a potential big signing and hopefully we do well in the lotto to get a top 5 pick. I look forward to watching this season to see DD, JJ, Bayless, and Ed grow. I really would still like to see Bargs traded next season. I doubt this season will make me change my mind. Unfortunaley I think it is Amir who will probably be out before the trade deadline.

  • it is what it is

    Theses singings mean we are offically trying to land a top 5 pick…Call me when the lottery starts….I mean seriously can’t we ecen try to pick a young piece for the future…..Gasol or Jordan atleast try…Gray Carter Butler I just puked in my mouth go Leafs go…I miss the lockout

    • KaioKev

      We have some pieces for the future and at least one on the way next year. Plus a likely high draft pick in 2012’s deep draft and a bigger free agent class next summer with money to spend. Gray, Carter and Butler aren’t long term stays thats why all their contracts are 1-year. 

      But hey we’ll call you when the lotto starts. For now stick to the Leafs, they’re the only playoff team in Toronto this year 😉

      • 511

        I agree. The way the league is going right now – and I guess, has been for a while – the only way the Raps are gonna have a chance to contend is to get seriously strategic over as long a period of time as it takes. And it looks like that’s just what they’re doing. 

        • guest

          To Toronto: Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu
          To Orlando: Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis, Leanardo Barbosa, Jonas Valanciunus, 2 First Round Picks

          Amnesty Turkoglu,

          I can dream….. :)

          • Nilanka15

            You can’t amnesty a player after a trade.

          • 511

            I wouldn’t do that trade. Aside from the reality of whether it could happen or not, I wouldn’t include Valanciunas in any package that I could imagine right now. Anyway, I’m quite looking forward to watching JV grow into the player a whole lot of people really believe he’ll be, right here as a Raptor. Could be fun. 

    • Brian B

      At least Minnesota has Rubio & Love for excitement. I’m thinking of petitioning my cable provider to replace Raptors NBATV with the T’wolves feed

      • kabongo

        kabongo can be our rubio the kid has got skills (tj ford/ nashish)type of player and i don’t think he would leave

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

          Fuck Kabongo- Tony Wroten Jr or bust!!

  • JWB

    I am reserving judgement on the impact Casey will have, the growth we will see from Demar, ED, JJ and JB and the impact of these new signings until we see some games.
    Let this painful off season be over and tip off already !

    • JUSTME

      call me a heter but i like seening players name being mension about growth and being part of the core going forward and one name is ommited WHAT?

  • Ppellico

    looking forward to seeing gray make believers out of many here.
    i can only say the doubters are simply uniformed or have not seen much of the big kid.

  • Statement

    These are unexciting but intelligent signings.  They don’t take away playing time from the core. 

    IMHO, James Johnson should get the majority of minutes from the SFs (which he probably will with Pietrus not being traded after all).  Last year, it was his jumpshot which needed improvement and that is the one thing that can improve the easiest of all. 

    Overall, I’m happy with the signings and am looking forward to some b-ball. 

  • scummer

    These are about as good of moves as they could have made for this season. Not sure they’ll make the playoffs, but they’ll be better than most think. They are setting themselves up great to make a move this summer.

  • Statement

    What happened to the dude that used to talk about “Ragae Even” and “Leonard” Barbosa.  Or even “make millk honey”

    That guy needs to come back.  Where are you dude?

    • Bendit

      He’s busy with his ESL course

    • Jae

      Yaaa I remember him, his name was Overeem.

  • Bigbalboski79

    Call me an eternal optimist but I love these signings. We have added defensive players who can hit the three and a true centre. The real loser is Amir . With Davis backing Bargs there won’t be any minutes for AJ. Pietrus is a huge pickup. This team is gonna surprise people. I expect this team to look slot like the 98 raps when VC was a rook. We might lose more than we win, but games should be exciting. I also expect to see Davis supplant Bargs as starting PF by seasons end.

    People who are angry we didn’take a big splash in FA should consider this: even if we waived calderon, we woulda had $18m in cap space. Chandler alone is $15m. To make it worthwhile we woulda needed to get a SF like a Caron Butler and that woulda meant we were still short. It also woulda left us short on depth. With no cash to add a bench. Nobody likes waiting while u rebuild, buy the raps r positing themselves to have a huge offseason next yr. And r looking at a future with cap room and a nice stockpile of assets. The futur looks bright.

    • Buschfire

      uhm Pietrus deal is off… thats why we got Butler, and are trying to pick up Forbes…

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Amir is the Raptors starting center……

      Who are the Rap’s going to sign next off season?

      CP3? DH? DWilliams? lmfao

      Fuck cap room get real quality players in order to compete or cut ticket prices in half all the way around!

  • Daniel

    I am shocked by the pessimism on this board. I thought young people are supposed to be optimistic. I guess years of false expectations and a culture of instant gratitude do that to people. I call a season of at least 0.500 record if we stay healthy.

    • Ihatehaters

      It’s not pessimism – it’s being realistic. And, you’re crazy if you think the Raps will have a 500 record.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      This team won’t win more than 20 games out of 66 as is more likely around 10-15 wins- reality check.

  • GUEST

    maybe Anthony Carter asks for Jersey #15 and i can pull the old VC jersey out again : )

  • news flash

    eef Anthony Carter back in the day when we wanted him he didn’t want to come here he pull a steve francis we had vince at the time

  • ABB

    With all the talk about building and rebuilding and …
    I am confused what is the ultimate goal here ? 
    What are we trying to acomplish ?
    When are we planing to be competitive in East?
    Is it in 4-5 years from now, OR is it within the next 2 years ?

    • KaioKev

      2010-2011 season was a building season 
      The upcoming 2011-2012 season is a building seasons
      We’re trying grow and develop our young talent with a foundation centred around defence. 
      We plan to be competitive in 2 years from this season so 2013-2014 season.

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Stop drinking BC’s kool aid media spins like they are the truth- learn to think for yourself……

    • KaioKev

      Sorry, I meant to say the 2010-2011 season was a RE-building season.

    • kanbongo

      I think that if we can pick up a 2nd draft pick some how with (money,player,next season 1st and 2nd round picks) then used that 2nd pick to draft a pg Kabongo and tank to make sure we can get one of the other top three picks in the draft and i would care what we did with the pick .but the main thing is that we get our point guard which would be kabongo then i think we start going for a .500 record in 2012-2013 season

  • jd4

    I like what BC has done.  Low key signings that offer salary cap relief at the end of the year.  In addition, with 66 games in 4 months, some of the contending teams might come calling for a few of these players come the trade deadline to add depth to their line-ups as the playoffs come.  I’m hoping  this team does not win a lot of games and ends up with a top 5 pick in what should be a loaded draft but what happens if these group is good enough to say push towards 30 wins and we end up with a 10-15 pick instead?

  • tonious35

    At least Anthony Carter doesn’t look like Mr. Potato head (if anyone can remember Derrick Martin)

  • Harry S. Truman

    You gotta give it to Colangelo though – he’s no dummy. These depressing, completely obvious “We’re tanking, what’s it to ya?” signings will be much more tolerable in this shortened, lightning-round season.

    • knockz

      i love these signings, couldnt be more happy to tank

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Tank?

         Just like last season when TDot dropped from 3rd to 5th in the Lottery- fans like you are pathetic.

  • drizz

    Fuck, Colangelo’s weasel face trying to sell me a used car.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    The NBA is currently a joke league with a too short bullchit training camp coupled with a condensed 66 game regular season schedule all the while Stern is blocking every legit CP3 trade attempt made for basketball reasons although he ok’d the lopsided KBrown for PGasol trade and many other questionable one sided NBA trades in the past.smdh

    Kwame Brown just got a 7 million dollar 1 year contract from GS- lockout anyone?smdh

    An untenable owners lockout, crooked refs, closed door League manipulated lottery draft selections, super star calls/non calls, only 9 (LAL, PHI, DET, CHI, HOU, SA, DAL, MIA, BOS) Franchises winning NBA title since 1980…….