Yesterday was a fairly slow new day with regards to the draft, so until I have enough time to properly describe my hatred for Damian Lillard, I thought I might explore some hypothetical trades. Granted, hypothetical trades might be the biggest waste of one’s time possible, so by all means abandon ship now.

As I stared at the many mock draft boards that inform almost all of my opinions, I kept coming back to MKG and thinking, he’s going to be a solid NBA starter for the next 15 years. Other than Anthony Davis, I don’t think there is any other player you can say that about. There are quite a few with higher ceilings (Beal, Drummond, Robinson, PJ3, Waiters if Hollinger is to be believed), but none who have such a high floor. This past season on the Raptors roster, there wasn’t a single player who provided the kind of consistent play and effort that MKG is projected, and I believe will, bring. Sure, Toronto has many players that ooze the kind of potential that dominates the discussion surrounding the NBA draft every year, but none who were consistent, solid players. The Raptors are in the danger zone of listing in-between mediocrity and an 8th seed in the playoffs, which is the death knell for franchises in the NBA.

If Raptors prospects like DeRozan, Bargnani (prospect or established vet?), Davis and JV reach their full potential, and a quality player manages to fall to them at 8, there could be the start of something special. What is far more likely to happen, on the other hand, is that about half the prospects will pan out with varying degrees of success, and the 8th pick will turn out to be a middling prospect that has the potential to be quite good. We have been sold on the idea that players like Bargnani and DeRozan are cornerstones of the franchise, however, for the most part, we now this to be untrue. Waiting in the wings is a young Lithuanian, who many believe (even outside Toronto) could be a legitimate player to build around. If this is indeed not just the latest delusion we’ve been peddled by Bryan & Co., then I see no reason to do it halfway.

There is no player on the Toronto Raptors that I would not gladly bundle with our first round selection (JV being the exception) for the opportunity so select MKG. Embrace mortgaging the present for the future, as the present didn’t look so bright anyway. Powerhouses are being built in the East, and it’s no longer a place where a ragtag group of misfits and other NBA team’s outcasts can actually compete. I’m actually a big fan of DeRozan, Baragnani and Davis, but building blocks of a championship they are not. There are teams desperate to sell their fans some tiny glimmer of hope (here’s looking at you Charlotte); I say give it to them, whatever the cost may be. Allow Dwayne Casey to instil a true culture change, and have the Raptors be reborn in his defensive minded image. Mortgage the farm, and soon the flock may prosper.

So, if you managed to stay on the ship, I did warn you what a fantastic waste of your time this would be, so you really only have yourself to blame. The blame game aside, I really do think MKG and JV are legitimate building blocks for a championship contender, and an imaginative GM secure in his job might be able to see it and execute. Unfortunately, these things we do not possess. Talk to you tomorrow Republic.

Draft Party on June 28 – Yonge/College. Good times for all, MKG or not.

  • Nilanka15

    Like you, most are indeed high on MKG (including myself).  But you have to admit, there is a strong element of risk here.  Putting all your eggs in MKG’s basket could seriously backfire if he doesn’t develop the perimeter game to accompany the lofty expectations.  We might end up mortgaging the present for 15 years of Tony Allen.

    • Mapko

      Or S Battier.

    • LTDupside

       Toronto could do (a lot) worse than Tony Allen, but I agree with your point. The notion of packaging ANY of the current core + #8 for MKG is a bit of a stretch for me. I support the idea that he’ll be a longtime NBA contributor, but it’s far from a guarantee that his skill level will ever match up with his motor and IQ. He’s going to be a very good player, but may never be elite. Battier and Allen are both probably decent comparisons.

    • David Helm

       I agree that there is risk involved, but there is risk in every action and also risk in inaction. My main argument in the piece is basically that I believe that there is less risk and a higher reward pursuing MKG than going ahead with the 8th pick+Bargs/DD. There is another factor to consider though. If MKG doesn’t pan out or live up to expectations, the Raptors will be a significantly worse team, but will have the opportunity to improve through via the draft. If the 8th pick and Bargs/DD dont pan out or live up to expectations, the Raptors will remain static, or may very well improve (with the addition of JV), rendering them unable to accrue quality talent in the draft.
      So as far as risk vs. reward, I see no probable scenario in which pursuing MKG would put the franchise in a worse situation long term.

      • Nilanka15

        Good points.

        But once we factor in Colangelo’s contract status (and thus, his motivation to “succeed” now), it muddies the water quite a bit.

      • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

        Thanks God you are just a fan and not a GM. Try again with a nice cooking recipe maybe you will be more successfull

    • Raps Loyalist

       Gerald Wallace would be a better comparison to MKG’s floor than Trick or Treat Tony

      • WhiteVegas

        Disagree, MKG’s offensive game is nowhere near Wallace’s. I’d say Wallace is closer to the ceiling for MKG than the floor.

        • Raps Loyalist

          Not a chance!!! MKG is 18 and miles ahead of where G W was at a similar age. MKG will be a multiple Allstar. I think your a little high on GW…MKGs prime will be much better

      • SMJenkins1

        Dude, are you doing Bill Simmons’ schtick?  Good lord..

  • Matt52

    I see many flaws with the argument but the biggest one is the only assets Toronto currently have available that would entice Charlotte/Washington/Cleveland would be #8 and JV.

    • Brian B

       I think either AB or DD would be attractive to Charlotte- they have need for a wing player, and lack bigs as well. Not sure I would package BOTH with the #8 to get MKG, but …

      • 2ndavepete

        Charlotte will be taking Robinson.  He’s a 20 pt 10 reb guy on a bad team for sure. 

    • Mapko

      Matt
      Maybe the solution is NOT to go from No 8 to No 2 in draft (& consequently likely high cost), but to go to No 4 or 5 (Assume, Davis, Robinson, Beal, ?). Would MKG still be available? How much to go from 8 to 5? (8 & Ed?).
      Kings are fairly desperate to move Evans. Maybe tie the 2 together? DD & 8 for Evans & 5? Even if Cavs take MKG at 4 that leaves Barnes as a consolation prize. I still thing Cavs or Charlotte will throw a “curve ball” & pick somebody totally outside of this.

      • kumarbrosyaman

        Maybe tie the 2 together? DD & 8 for Evans & 5?  – are you serious mate? the only way i am doing it is if they throw cousins in there.

    • Theswirsky

      Charlotte has their own Bargnani and Derozan in Byron Mullens and Gerald Hendereson.  They are near mirror players…. the former on a much smaller contract and the later likely to have a smaller contract aswell.

      Unless Ed/Jose/Amir/JJ etc. holds more value for Charlotte than I could imagine, I don’t see how a deal with them gets done.

      • Milesboyer

        Comparing Byron Mullens to Bargnani is absolutely ridiculous, as is the notion that Colangelo would ever consider giving away Bargs and the 8th pick for MKG.

        • Theswirsky

          I don’t believe for a second Colangelo is willing to part with Bargnani for anything short of a superstar player.  His ego would take to big of a hit.

          As for comparing Bargnani and Mullens…. your right, that might not be fair to Byron Mullens.  After all he almost rebounds at an average rate

          • voy

            never really understood this argument. his ego is too big to admit he should have taken LA(?) or to trade Andrea but not too big to be the gm of a crappy nba team?

            In the end I would think your ego would be attached to the team you’ve constructed, not one player among 12.

            • Theswirsky

              Andrea was his #1 overall pick, who he fired a coach over, forced into the starting line up, gave a large long term contract to while no one else was competing for him, and then turned into the teams ‘franchise’ player.

              You don’t think he has something to prove when it comes to Andrea thats a lot bigger than just being the wrong pick?  I sure do.   

              • hater

                you’re a sensationalist man.

              • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

                Really ?

          • Tesla

            I laughed at that more than I probably should have

  • sleepz

    MKG would definitely be a Casey-type player. The only issue is he is not that much different than J.Johnson. He’s a  hustle player that focuses on defence and energy and is a good leader (an important intangible) with limited offensive ability. He played a power or big forward game in HS and played the same type of game in college. The NBA will demand he displays traditional small forward skills and that is where the big questions begin on him when trying to project his future.

    Btw, Derozan is a “prospect”, and for some not a very good one while for others one still with potential. Bargnani is a veteran.

    • Brain Colangelo

      He is more intense and focused than James Johnson.

  • c_bcm

    Come on. Seriously? MKG and Val are cornerstones of a championship franchise? They haven’t played a single minute of NBA ball yet. Let’s not start the raving-mad fan homerisms just yet. We did that with Bosh and Bargs which yielded an entire fan-base placing too high of expectations on players who never had the means to meet. How about we just say that we have a nice piece coming in and hopefully we can get another. If they can develop, and if the current players continue to improve, we should have a chance of making the playoffs some time soon.

    • Brian B

       I think the key phrase is “building blocks”- he did not say “cornerstones”. Most champions or contenders have at least one MKG type in the rotation – Battier; Sefalosa; Marion; Artest; 2008 Ariza…

      • c_bcm

        Well let’s not get all technical on our architecture terminology. The intent was clear. Val and MKG will be what gets us to be a championship contender. There is no way that I will ever support this sort of talk before I have seen them play in the NBA. No way at all.

        • David Helm

           It’s not even necessarily that; the argument is that Val+MKG>Batgs/DD+8th pick. I’m not just saying MKG is going to be a better player or have a higher value than Bargs/DD and the 8th pick, but also that this would set up the franchise far better in the long term.

          • WhiteVegas

            We would have absolutely no offense. I don’t get why people on these boards always fail to see that. MKG and Val will never be much more than 10pt per game scorers. We’re not going to win games with stellar defense if we can only score 60 points a night. If we could somehow get MKG for the 8th + DD, then do it. Finding a scoring SG who can shoot is not terribly difficult (say make an offer to Lou Williams). But finding a PF who can consistently score 20 points a game is extremely difficult. Say your trade idea goes through, this would be the lineup.

            PG: Calderon
            SG: DD
            SF: MKG
            PF: Ed Davis
            C: Val

            Who the fuck is going to score points on that team? We’d be worse than the freaking Bobcats were this past year. Building around MKG and Val requires new players at basically every other position so we can have sufficient offensive production. I for one am sick of complete rebuilds.

            • Scottbbaird

              JV will score more than 10 ppg his rookie season. We just have to learn how to feed the big fella. Count on it 😉

    • Theswirsky

      I like how JV is looking, but their has been no indication he will be a franchise calibre player.  An all-star or near all-star, quite possible.  But franchise player?  Unlikely.

  • Rus

    I don’t see MKG ever making an all star game. A solid starter, yes. But definitely not a 1st or 2nd option on offense….
    So trading up to get him doesn’t make sense to me….

  • Arsenalist

    I don’t know man, I think we need to look at things relative to what other teams are doing as well before we start anointing people as cornerstones.

    Our core group of players are unknowns at best, and mediocre at worst.  The exception is Bargnani who has shown what he’s capable of, and we know for a fact that he can be a rotation player on an NBA team.  DeRozan – might cut it as a rotation guard, not sure as a starter (at least, he hasn’t shown that yet).   Amir Johnson is a rotation big off the bench, and Calderon is on his way out after this year.

    Forget about Davis, Bayless, J. Johnson, relying on those guys do pan out to be more than below-average to average players (even in terms of PER) is a mistake.  JoVal is the next big hope, and it goes without saying that we should be cautious of our expectations.  As c_bcm said, these guys haven’t played a minute of NBA ball.

    I’d be shocked if we’re even going to be in playoff contention next year, and that’s not because of what we’re going to do this summer, it’s because of how little we’ve been able to do with the draft, and how badly we’ve messed up free-agency since BryCo has been here.

  • Brian B

    I was the outlier who had MKG as my #1 pick on the Rap Draft Board, because I think he will be a solid starter, and fills a need. So, I need to beconsistent and agree that trading up for him makes sense.When you are near the bottom, bold moves don’t cost much and can re-energize a fan base *cough* New Orleans*cough*

     Of course, if the price is AB, then the “glut of bigs” argument I made against ADavis sort of fades into “a glut of practice players at PF”.

    As always, will admit to not investing in following JV overseas, so don’t know enough to guess at whether he is all that. Do agree though that if he isn’t Raps future will be dim until they next get an early (Top 4?) lottery pick, plus two years after that. 

    • David Helm

      The only way the Raptors are getting good quality picks in the next 2-3 years is if they get rid of serviceable players like Bargs and DD, because while they are good enough to keep the Raptors afloat (or even make a run at the 8th seed), they are not good enough to elevate the franchise. The front office continues to balance between re-building and win-now attitudes, and you simply cannot do both.  Bryan & Co. should either be extended or fired, as the decisions he makes this off-season and upcoming season on a one year deal will be a detriment to the franchise…but more on that tomorrow.

      • WhiteVegas

        Utah is actually a perfect example of re-building and win-now attitudes at the same time. They have the future in place on rookie contracts contributing heavily off the bench, and they have the win-now players on larger contracts in starting positions. They can seemlessly transition from Jefferson and Milsap to Favors and Kanter in a year or two.
        So they are built for the future, but solid playoff contenders every year. I’d love it if the Raps were set up similarly, and I think it’s entirely possible.

        • David Helm

          I agree that Utah is a good example of win now and rebuild, but you forgot to mention the reason why they’re set up that way. They traded their most dominant players for a slew of draft picks, enabling them to continue on as a quality basketball team (minus Williams) while reaping the benefits of high draft picks.

          • Brain Colangelo

            And yet they don’t have any top 15 NBA talents so they won’t win anything soon. No to the Utah model.

  • sleepz

    When I really think about it although i’m not big on his game, trying to make a move for MKG would be fine by me if: 1) Andrea is traded
    or
    2) Derozan is traded
    or
    3) Both players are moved

    I think playing MKG and JV big minutes in their rookie year would ensure we have a poor record and hopefully have the opportunity for a high lottery pick next year. It would also end the ludicrous notion that Andrea or Demar are players that should be key building blocks or prospects you build around. A ‘rebuild’ or ‘build’ should move forward to the next stages when you have youth that can be built around, The Raptors do NOT have this type of youth yet.

    • Nilanka15

      I’m not against trading both Bargs and DeRozan, but I would hope we’re able to receive more than 1 rookie.

      • sleepz

        My thing is we need to put ourselves in a better position to select better players in the draft. You know which side of the fence I am on when it comes to building a team and I look at it like Andrea is making too much money for what he contributes to a “rebuliding” team and Derozan will be asking for  a new contract very soon. I don’t hate either player to be honest with you but don’t envision either as a key piece moving forward. 

        Make moves and position yourself for the future while there is ample opportunity to do so.

  • Rookie

    I don’t think it’s worth trading for a higher pick.  Everyone past Davis is a crap shoot – good players but not impact players.  If that’s the case then let’s try trading down to get both of Houston’s picks straight up (#8 for 14 and 16) and pick up a SF at that level like Terrance Ross (who’s shooting lights out at the combines), Quincy Miller (who is really undervalued I think), Moe Harkless or Royce White.  Then with the other pick look at a point guard like Marquis Teague or Tony Wroten Jr. 

    Of course you might also be able to pick up a higher risk player who falls like PJIII or Austin Rivers or even Kendall Marshall or Jeremy Lamb. 

    I would feel uncomfortable picking up any of these players at the number 8 spot but not at 14 or 16.  And the main point is that I don’t think there is anyone significantly better at 8 that will make a big impact.  Trading down to get these two picks would give us two serviceable players to fill the need at PG and SF.

    • salim

      If we traded down for the pick and got a respectable veteran I like a guy like Moe Harkless or Kendall Marshall. Austin Rivers’ play scares me and PJIII is either gonna be a Dirk or a flop in my opinion. Personally I value basketball IQ over anything and Kendall Marshall is the man for that but I never thought of it this way. Props for thinking outside the box since we already get a rookie in JV

      • Brain Colangelo

        He is nothing like dirk. Not a bit. He is Kevin Garnett without the dire or smarts.

        • Brain Colangelo

          Meant “fire or smarts”.

    • David Helm

       Trading the 8th pick for Houston’s 14th & 16th picks would be in my opinion a very good value. The downside, however, is that Houston never does this deal unless they absolutely love someone at 8, or someone falls out of the top 6, in which case the Raptors should select that player. I think Houston will be able to get comparable prospects with 14 and 16 as the Raptors get at 8, and they’ll be cheaper.
      On the Raptors side, they might be hesitant to do this deal as it would put them in a position where they have 3 rookies (not to mention the 2nd rounders) coming onto their roster, which could prove excessive. 

      • WhiteVegas

         Only way I see Houston doing this deal and the Raps being willing participants is if the player who drops is Drummond, and for whatever reason Houston loves Drummond (do they? Probably not). Otherwise Houston would be better off keeping their picks, and if Barnes or someone else drops to the Raps, they’d be better off keeping their pick.

      • Bendit

        Along the same lines (and as has been discussed already in the Forums section) Portland might also be amenable to a swap of their #6 & 11 for the 8th plus other incentives including possibly a lottery proteced pick in 2013. The next best thing in a team build (without a clear tier 1/choice) is good talent acquisition in order to entice a v. good/franchise type free agent to round off the team and take it over the top. This is a slow process not a 1-2 yr sprint. But be certain, this is a watershed year …not to sound too ominous..imperative we make the right choices….including holding on to cap space in the new cba era where cash will be even more so “king”! 

  • salim

    I agree with the fact that for the Raptors, MKG would be the best available selection. Keep in mind that the NBA, unlike the NFL, takes the player with the highest ceiling in a draft as opposed to positional need. Thus, if by some miracle Anthony Davis is still available, then by all means draft the guy. It just needs to occur to the Raptors that they have to pick that and think of the criteria they look for. The general stereotype is that they are looking for “winners”. That’s how BC likes to build his team, hence we signed guys like Nesterovic (ring with SA), Garbajosa (winning spanish championship), Anthony Parker (3x Euro Champion). Putting these guys alongside Bosh and Bargnani gave us 2 playoff seasons until it all went downhill with injuries and the 2010 free agency. But in terms of winners look no further than Davis and MKG and the rest of the Kentucky squad. 

    The second factor is the John Calipari factor. If you look at the lottery picks that were coached by Calipari, I will simply let the names speak for themselves: Wall, Rose, Evans, Cousins, Knight, P. Patterson and of course Camby. Kanter is the exception here but he is still young and I’m sure coach Corbin of the Jazz knows that you have to let big men develop to reap their rewards. The other exception is the unfortunate Dajuan Wagner, who had injury issues and ultimately had his entire colon removed (not really a basketball injury).

    In terms of the prospects in this draft, the obvious “winners” stand out in Davis and MKG. If and only if the Raptors are to trade their pick then I believe that the only one truly worth it would be MKG. Davis is sure to be gone at #1, but compared to top 5 guys like Beal, Barnes and Robinson, MKG has the talent to either lead the raptors and be the next LeBron (I said it, but this is my best case scenario) or worst case you look at a guy with high basketball IQ who can play two positions and be a Marion/Battier/Artest-like player as someone said before. High basketball IQ along with Athleticism = potential and add a winning attitude and you add the hunger to continually feast on victories and take the Raptors to the promised land. So in my opinion, here’s how BC should rank this draft (if available when he drafts them).
    1. Davis 2. MKG 3. Barnes 4. Robinson 5. Beal 6. Lillard 7. Waiters 8. Lamb 9. Drummond 10. Lamb. 
     

  • Raptorboy

    1) BC is going to draft Damien Lilliard at 8.
    2) Portland going to draft Rivers at 11.
    3) Raps will trade Lilliard and the #56 pick for Rivers and the #41 pick.

    Rivers is one player in this draft who you can count on to be a solid pro. He has the pedigree and he has the work ethic. All of Rivers shortcomings can and will be overcome with coaching and practice. Rivers is a clutch player who has the confidence that the other Raptor studs do not possess. Upgrading the #56 to the #41 will also be a major upgrade in players available. Raps get their man plus an upgrade…love it!!

    • hater

      no offence, but in my opinion, that would be a shitty trade for the raptors.

    • Quirk

      1/ I hope so
      2/ Couldn’t care less
      3/ I hope not, Rivers will never be a good NBA player, his 

      Rivers is the one player in this draft you can count on to never be a solid pro, yet get lots of minutes and lose lots of games because of his “pedigree.” He doesn’t just have “short comings” he’s below average at everything. He does not have one basketball-related skill that is above average, and the stats show it. Drafting Rivers will likely cost a GM somewhere their job.

      • Nilanka15

        I’m with you on Rivers.  Take away who his dad is, and there’s nothing there to justify a lotto pick.

        I think people in Toronto are over-valuing him because he had nice things to say about the city.

      • RaptorFan

        Rivers was actually the 2nd highest recruit from highschool……Rivers also won freshman of the year……what did Lillard do in his first year????  What about Waiters?  Lillard is 3 years older than Rivers….. Lillard also played for a weaker conference for 4 years….Waiters was coming in off the bench for 2 years…..i think a lot of fans are making statements about Rivers and forgetting that he’s not only younger than the other guys but he also started for a big conference team (DUKE) as a freshman…..Perspective is needed sometimes…. players can improve.  Rivers reminds me of taller version of Stephen Curry

        • Rpsfan95

          agree with this, plus Rivers has been around his dad, and a year with Coach K doesn’t hurt either, Waiters seems like the most well rounded player, Lillard seems like a legit scoring pg which is good but not sure if thats what the team needs, but would be happy with any of them, Marshall too

        • Quirk

          Lillard was not bellow average in every single statistical category in is first year. If Rivers stays in school and improves perhaps he could make a case for himself, but I wouldn’t want to take that chance with a NBA roster spot and guaranteed contract.

    • Nilanka15

      What happens if Portland grabs Lillard with their 6th pick?

    • WhiteVegas

       Why the hell would Toronto do that? We must really want the 41st pick?!?!?! Sorry, but a crappy 2nd round selection does not equal moving up 3 spots in the lottery. How about we swap picks with Portland and send the DD in return for a Batum sign and trade. That actually makes sense.

  • voy

    upgrading to 41 from 56 is like going from eating animal shit to eating your own shit.  sure one may be an upgrade (?), but in the end you are still eating shit.

    from my perspective, giving up an 8 for an 11 so you can draft a 46 instead of a 51 is insane.  there are other ways to get a 41st pick.

    • Raptorboy

       It’s not about giving up the 8 for the 11. It’s about wanting Rivers and upgrading a second round pick during the process.

    • sleepz

      Interesting anaology,lol but then there is the consideration that if you can get the player you want at 11 (assuming it’s Rivers), thereby paying him less then it is worth it for them to make that trade.

      I am really interested to see what Colangelo is going to do. I’m hoping it’s something I can get aboard and is looking forward to the longterm future of this franchise, because my doubts on him as a GM are at an all-time high right now.

      • CJT

        And that’s been keeping him up at night.

  • Brain Colangelo

    Sullinger looks to be a solid, Zack Randolph but not a headcase, 10-year starter too.  I think teams will regret letting him slip out of the top-10. 

    Big Baby is really not the same guy as Sullinger and is a poor comparison.

    • Nilanka15

      My opinion of Sullinger has changed over the past weeks.  I’m starting to see his value.  I wouldn’t want the 8th pick used on him, but if GMs are scared of his “bad back”, and he drops to the cusp of the 2nd round, he could represent great value.

      • Brain Colangelo

        He won’t drop that far. Mid to late teens.

  • hater

    this would be worst case for raps:

    1.Davis
    2.MKG
    3.Beal
    4.Robinson
    5.Barnes
    6.Lillard
    7.Waiters
    8.Drummond

    this is a very possible scenario, and if drummond drops that low, are we forced to take him if we can’t trade up? yikes!

    • Nilanka15

      Even if it plays out this way, doesn’t mean we have to keep him.  You know some GM will be salivating over “the next Dwight Howard”.

    • salim

      Rather him than Meyers Leonard for a centre though Terrence Ross and Austin Rivers still available. I don’t think BC is looking to gamble and Drummond seems like a more athletic yet less finesse DeMarcus Cousins… though he is less of a headcase (that’s not saying much though)

    • David Helm

       Although I’m not a big fan of Drummond, having him fall to the Raptors at 8 is probably a best case scenario. While his value in the top 5 picks isn’t too attractive, at 8 your getting a big man with the potential to blossom into something dominant. Compared with the other options floating around at 8 (Waiters, Lamb, Lillard, PJ3), I’d take Drummond in a heartbeat.

      • Rookie

         That would be one scenario where a draft night trade to Houston for their two picks would make sense. 

    • Toshmon

      Are you serious?

      Drummond and JV would be sick.

  • RapthoseLeafs

    .

    I’d love to “try out” MKG on this team – but not for the price of #8 plus one of Bargs, Derozan, or Jonas – especially not the latter. Fact is, I wouldn’t trade JV straight up for MKG. 

    These guys are “potential” – so why the desire to gut a team, to get another “maybe”. Are we so enamoured with our past phases, that we want to stay there in perpetuality. 

    As for your comment Arsenalist, I concur with much of it – except the play-offs. I think Casey has the ability to get us there this season – pending NORMAL injury issues. The bottom 3 spots are ripe for the picking. It may not get us beyond the 1st Round, but Raptors have to start somewhere. This waiting for the Messiah to show up if we continue to sacrifice ourselves to the God of Uselessness, is more a fashion of Supreme luck.
    .

    • David Helm

       The bottom three spots in the Eastern Conference (especially the 8th spot) is where teams go to die. In the NBA, you want to be horrible, or really good. Recently, the Raptors have been bad enough to comfortably sit in the mid lottery, and they are on the verge (as you observed) of breaking out and being just good enough to be out of the lottery, and our of the first round. How exactly does that kind of mediocrity signal a truly improving franchise?

      • Theswirsky

        “How exactly does that kind of mediocrity signal a truly improving franchise”

        it doesn’t. 

      • Nilanka15

        Finishing 6th, 7th, or 8th in the East would be welcome ONLY if our young core shows significant improvement, but hasn’t yet reached their ceiling.

        In other words, this is a good scenario as long as it’s generally understood/expected that the team is only getting better.

        Conversely, if high-priced, aging veterans are signed this summer, and THEY do most of the heavy-lifting next season, then there isn’t much hope for the future, and finishing 6th, 7th, or 8th would be a disaster of a scenario.

  • FAQ

    Lin doesn’t want to be a Raptor; he wants to stay in NY:

    An arbitrator has granted Jeremy Lin his so-called early-Bird rights,
    which will give the Knicks much greater latitude in free agency on July
    1, according to a person who was informed of the ruling.The ruling means that both Lin and
    Steve Novak of the Knicks will be able to re-sign with the team without
    respect to the salary cap, for a starting salary around $5 million each. New York Times

    • Nilanka15

      It’s probably for the best Lin doesn’t end up here.  The arbitrator did us a favour.

    • Tesla

      I’m pretty sure I speak for everybody here when I say “Nobody cares”

      • FAQ

        The entire city of Markham is disappointed but the downtown jammies are pleased because they want somebody from the US draft list.

    • Bendit

      As a Knicks fan you must love the ruling. Bought his jersey yet? But you did not say that the ruling is to be appealed by the league!! I remember Stern saying that the CBA explicitly has wording which cannot be misunderstood (in favour of the L of course). Muddy waters my friend. The appeal might of course not be decided by July 1 which does not bode well for the decision making one way or the other for either Lin or the Knicks.

  • pran

    we’ll be ok next year. if all goes well… 

    PG Calderon (or nash)/lillard
    SG Derozan/barbosa 
    SF Gay/Johnson
    PF Bargnani/Amir 
    C Valanciunas/?

  • Iamsnapperjones

    to the last comment, i’m pretty sure Barbosa was traded at the trade deadline in feb

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TRPH647AXY5T5XHXI2AFSG3XHA OvertheWall

    Bargnani + 8th pick for MKG?  Signn me up please.  Anyway to get rid of Barg, I am happy.