Oh, front-loading. Fancy.

First up, Draft Party is this Thursday at St. Louis Bar and Grill – Yonge/College.

The nice thing about this time of year, for those of us cheering for moribund franchises like the Toronto Raptors, is that hope springs eternal. No matter the situation, no matter the moves that are made, there’s always a chance to put a positive, rosy spin on things. Homerism? Sure. Blind optimism? Definitely. But one of the primary reasons perennial underachievers like the Raptors maintain strong fan interest throughout the long, dunk-less summer months? Absolutely.

Then again, it’s also the time of year for the negative population among us to spit vitriol, cursing the management of the team up and down, questioning the motives of The Corporation, and tagging every single draft prospect with the Bust label before a single game of Summer League has been played.

How can this dichotomy possibly exist among a large group of people that, apparently, all consider themselves to be Raptor fans? It’s easy – it’s all in how you spin things. Every trade can be looked at a positive or a negative, every pick oozing with potential or an obvious bust, every move management makes as an affront to the future or a gladhand to a mediocre present. It’s all in the spin.

So today, I’m looking at some of the things we can be on alert for in the next few days. In case you don’t have an opinion yet, or are too lazy to develop sentences on either side of the fence, I’m providing the positive and negative spin for a number of moves that could conceivably go down. If any of these take place, simply copy and paste the “positive spin” or “negative spin” in the comments section of the relevant RR article.

Raptors trade #8 pick to Houston for Kyle Lowry
This is the hottest rumor out there right now – the Rockets are looking to stockpile assets to make a run at Dwight Howard, or are just looking to move into the top-10, depending on where you’re doing your reading. Regardless, the scenario is that the Raptors would move the #8 pick, possibly with a roster player, for Lowry.
Positive Spin: Lowry is sick!! He’s a defensive-minded point guard, still has loads of potential, and improved by leaps and bounds in the last two years. He shoots the three, had a 19 PER, guards two positions, and is still only 26. Plus, he’s affordable at roughly $6M/year for the next two seasons. Colangelo maneuvers assets to improve the team in the short-term and long-term once again!
Negative Spin: Great, a coach killer! This guy is at odds with McHale, demands a trade, and now we swoop in and give a top-10 pick we spent all season tanking to get for him. He only averaged 14 points, plus we already have Jose and Bayless, and could have gotten a point guard with that pick. Uggh, Colangelo once again sacrifices the long-term future for a few extra wins now.

Raptors Sign Steve Nash
Let’s assume Nash comes here because of his Canadian roots, his spot as GM of the National team, and the Raptors cap space making a 2yr/$20M offer something that’s doable.
Positive Spin: Maple-boner! Captain Canada comes home! There’s nothing better we could have asked for than a home-grown superstar coming here, making everyone better instantly, and teaching our young guys on the fly. Casey can hide his poor man defense in the team system, and Jose can play off the ball more, while Bayless takes the Barbosa role off the bench. DeMar’s numbers are going to go through the roof, and can you imagine Bargs running the P&R with STEVE F***NG NASH!!!
Negative Spin: Oh great, a near-40 point guard, the third one on our squad, taking up all of our cap space just so MLSE/Rogers+Bell can sell a few extra jerseys and tickets and make even more money off of us. Okay, so Nash maybe pushes us to a first round playoff exit…so what? Oh yeah, playoff ticket revenue for The Corporation.

Raptors Do Not Sign Steve Nash
The more likely scenario, it seems, has Nash signing with a winning team for a shot at a ring.
Positive Spin: Oh well, Nash deserves a chance to try and win a Championship, and we couldn’t offer him that here. While he’d improve the team now, he still wouldn’t be the long-term answer, and maybe he can still come here for his final season further on down the road. Best of luck, Steve!
Negative Spin: Okay, so the best Canadian of all time becomes a free agent and Canada’s only team can’t show the foresight to throw everything at this guy?? Who has he played with that didn’t have a career year? Nash would have had us in the playoffs without a doubt, and been a reason for other free agents to want to come here. Typical Raptors B.S., ignoring the obvious move right in front of their faces.

Raptors Amnesty Jose Calderon
This is somewhat likely if the Lowry trade or Nash signing occur, freeing up about $10M in additional cap space, and reducing the point guard redundancy in those events. It seems far less likely if those events don’t happen.
Positive Spin: Jose’s a great guy, but he isn’t worth his contract, and this frees up significant cash to help the team win now. We had too much money tied up in guards, so this lets us balance the roster out, while also giving Jose a chance to sign on somewhere where his contributions are more needed.
Negative Spin: This guy has been the best, most likable, most consistent Raptor for years now and The Corporation throws him out on his ass…for what? So we can waste the $10M on some overpaid veteran, probably. Brutal…finally a guy shows some loyalty to the franchise and we show everyone that it won’t be reciprocated…nice message to your young players and free agents.

Raptors Amnesty Amir Johnson
This one is probably less likely, but is possible if the Raptors wanted to make a large offer to a free agent and clear up their PF depth.
Positive Spin: Finally! Amir wasn’t worth the contract when we signed him to it, and he hasn’t improved anywhere close to enough to earn it since. The guy can’t stay healthy, can’t stop fouling, and now we can use that money on a position of need. Good riddance.
Negative Spin: His PER! His adjusted-plus/minus statistics! By all accounts this has been our MVP the past two seasons, and now we cut him (and still pay him, by the way) so we can offer that cap sapce to someone who won’t have half the impact on games he had. Colangelo needs to stop just looking at the boxscore and understand how basketball really works!

Bayless is Non-Tendered
Jerryd Bayless can become a restricted free agent if the Raptors tender him a qualifying offer. The Raptors could also work out a contract with him, or they could non-tender him, making him an unrestricted free agent and removing his cap hold from the books.
Positive Spin: Good riddance! We can draft a point guard at #8 to pair with Jose, and Bayless can waste possessions dribbling into traffic for someone else. After four years, everyone should know what Bayless is – a mediocre, out-of-control, me-first “point guard” destined to be a bench player. Potential can only get you so far.
Negative Spin: Are you serious?? Every time this guy has been given a chance to start, he’s shone. His numbers when Jose is out are ridiculous, and the NBA is moving towards score-first penetating point guards. Why draft someone on potential when we already have Bayless, who is what we would HOPE the pick becomes, and he still has untapped upside! We couldn’t spare $4M to at least retain his rights? Typical Colangelo B.S., Nash is the only point guard good enough, and he can’t see how the game is changing to a different style.

Raptors Trade for Gay or Iguodala
These rumors have died down significantly, but two weeks ago rumors were that the Raptors were trying to package the #8 pick with roster players for Rudy Gay or Andre Iguodala. For this exercises, I use them interchangably.
Positive Spin: Finally, the Raptors get an above-average wing player! It’s been what, since Vince left, that we haven’t had any good players on the wing? Now we have someone who can score/defend (Gay/Iggy) at an elite level, and we finally have some roster balance. The contract is fair, and we have to overpay to get people here anyway. We now have depth and talent at every position…playoffs!
Negative Spin: Great, let’s take on another team’s financial mistake and give up assets in the process. If he was worth his contract, they wouldn’t be trading him. He can’t score/defend (Iggy/Gay) on his own, and it’s not like this pushes the team anywhere past the first round. So we’ve tied up our financial flexibility and given up assets for the future for what, a first round exit for the next three years? Great, we’re the Hawks.

Raptors Draft Davis, Robinson, Kidd-Gilchrist, Beal, or Barnes
In this unlikely scenario, one of these guys slips from the top-5 down to #8.
Positive Spin: Holy s**t! I can’t believe this guy slipped! This is one of the luckiest days in franchise history, to get a #1/#2 talent at #8. This is a franchise-changer, and gives us a huge asset to pair with Jonas moving forward! Woooo!
Negative Spin: Okay, there’s a reason these guys slipped…if you’re supposed to go top-5 all this time, and then you mysteriously fall, there’s obviously something we don’t know here, and Colangelo didn’t do his due dilligence. We haven’t even worked this guy out (Barnes excepted), so how can we even be comfortable with him? Groupthink wins the day, I guess.

Raptors Draft Damian Lillard
Positive Spin: Finally, our point guard of the future! He had the second best PER in the country, he tested off-the-charts D-Rose level good at the combine, and he’s the kind of attacking guard that NBA teams need to be successful in today’s NBA. This guy is a game-changer, and the only reason he wasn’t a top-3 pick was his small school. This is a huge steal!
Negative Spin: This guy hasn’t even played against quality competition, and we’re going to annoint him the savior because he’s similar to Rose on some tests? He’s another me-first guard, and we already have Bayless on the roster. We needed a creator like Kendall Marshall, but what we really needed was a wing. This one’s going to look bad when three guys later in the draft are all putting up 20 per game in 2015.

Raptors Draft Andre Drummond
Positive Spin: I can’t believe the guy with the biggest potential in the entire draft lasted until #8! He’s only 18 years old and is the biggest freak of nature in the draft since Dwight Howard! He’s huge, quick, and has growing left to do…plus he’ll have instant defensive impact! We’ve got the time to let him develop, and he and Jonas could make a ridiculous front-court together that would scare every team in the league.
Negative Spin: Umm, didn’t we just draft a franchise center last year? So all the hype about Jonas is out the window now? I don’t see it…he’s the most raw player in the draft and is probably going to be Kwame Brown…the guy has no motor and doesn’t look like he cares at all. This will be a disaster when he’s getting Alabi minutes behind Jonas.

Raptors Draft Dion Waiters
Positive Spin: The D-Wade comparisons have me sold…he was underrated playing on a stacked Syracuse team, but Waiters is a game-changing scorer who can guard multiple positions. He can upgrade us at the two, maybe even play some point, and will finally give us a crunch-time scorer to demand the ball and create. This is the best fit in basketball terms we could have asked for.
Negative Spin: This guy only played half the game at ‘Cuse, now we expect him to be the top guy on an NBA team? We already have Bayless to be a shooting-guard pretending to be a point guard, and you don’t choose a back-up at #8. Way too early for a guy like this, and you could have gotten soemone similar later. Plus, we’ve already got Jose, Bayless, and DeMar…nobody at the three, hello!

Raptors Draft Austin Rivers
Positive Spin: An elite NBA-IQ with great scoring instincts, and superstar potential? Sign me up…on potential alone he should have been top-5. Duke isn’t friendly to high-volume scorers, and Rivers has the potential to be a game-changing combo guard or 2-man. Casey can get him to buy in defensively, and you know he has all-world intelligence with Doc as a father. He’ll be a high-character leader for a team that desperately needs an alpha.
Negative Spin: Terrific, a me-first scorer who doesn’t do anything else at an elite level, and doesn’t even score all that well. Just because his dad is a good coach doesn’t make him a good player, and if his name was Austin Smith he’d be ont he first round bubble. Give me a break.

Raptors Draft Jeremy Lamb
Positive Spin: Lamb is going to fit right into this offense, immediately! The “lazy” concerns are just how he looks and plays, Casey will have no trouble coaxing effort from him….shots and playing time are the ultimate motivator. Remember how hot he got during UConn’s 2011 title run? That’s an All-Star right there, and Lamb can fill it up, off-the-ball or off the dribble. This is the versatile scorer we’ve been waiting for forever…and with his length, he should be a good defender in time, too!
Negative Spin: A lazy, doesn’t care, score-only wing who looks like he could fall asleep any time…didn’t we have later-years Vince Carter already? This guy admitted he has to FIND MOTIVATION each game, and he’s supposed to be our new alpha scorer and crunch time hero? This guy’s gonna colelct a paycheque and chuck mid-range jumpers and that’s it.

Raptors Draft Perry Jones III
Positive Spin: You definitely can’t fault the team for swinging for the fences here! Jones has top-3 potential but just hasn’t had a position or team fit yet, as Baylor asked him to not be himself there. Casey can easily turn Jones into a defensive menace at the three with his length and agility, and the offense will come when you consider his handle and athleticism. He might end up being the best player from this draft…huge value at #8!
Negative Spin: A guy with no position, an ego and attitude, and lacking a motor…ladies and gentleman, your Raptors’ draft choice! Just awesome…he wants to be a three, has the size of a four, but the muscle of a two, and he has no head for the game. There’s a reason mocks had him going anywhere and everywhere….nobody wants to risk their job on a tools-only tool like this…except BC, apparently.

Raptors Draft Another Player
Positive Spin: Wow, nobody saw that coming! You’ve got to hand it to BC for playing this close to the vest the whole time so other teams wouldn’t swoop in on him here. Mocks didn’t really see it coming, but when have mocks after predicted the success of players well? We obviously saw a need and a talent here, and kudos to the team for having the balls to get the guy they wanted, not letting public opinion dictate their pick.
Negative Spin: Colangelo always has to think he’s smarter than everyone else. Reaching at #8 for a guy not expected to go top-10? Why not trade down and get an asset then? Remember when we reached for Hoffa, how’d that work out? You take the best player available, you can’t be reaching this far on a hunch.

I just want to provide the disclaimer here that I don’t really believe any of these things, as it should be clear since I was arguing for both sides. For the record, I’m pro-Lowry (great contract value, and a steal for the #8 pick) and pro-Nash (we’re not winning a title anyway, might as well enjoy ourselves!) if either (not both) can happen. If we keep the pick, I’d like Lillard first, then Lamb, then Rivers…I’m not sold on Waiters above these other guys for whatever reason, just my gut feeling. If we trade down (say, our #8 and #36 to Houston for #14 and #16), I’d be all over PJIII with one of those picks, but feel #8 is too early given current mock drafts. I think regardless, the writing is on the wall for one of Jose or Bayless, since most Raptors rumors involve a point guard, and if the pick is kept I’d get to the gym if I’m DD, since it looks like he’ll be asked to play a lot more small forward soon.

Really looking forward to Thursday! Don’t forget about the RR draft party….I probably won’t be there, as I live an hour away and am currently on crutches after doing ligament damage to my driving foot/ankle landing on someone’s foot off a rebound last week. But you should definitely go.

  • Nilanka15

    8th pick for Lowry?  Too rich for my blood.  We would need one of their 1st round picks coming back (and maybe throw in Bayless or JJ or Davis).

    I’m 100% in favour of Nash…again, as long as it doesn’t cost us the 8th pick.

    I’d be happy if we ended up with Barnes, Lillard, or PJ3.

    • Tim

      PJ3 =  Charlie V

      • voy

        what? different bodies, different skillsets, huge gap in athletic ability etc etc

        • Destro

          One has eyebrows…

      • TheDowJones

        Where do people get these Charlie V comparrisons from? If you know basketball you’d be able to tell that Charlie V doesnt have the speed the PJ3 has. His lateral quicks and quick hops is why people think he can play SF not to mention the fact he shot over 50% from the field, shot like 37% from 3pt. and in games where he scored a 3pt shot he averaged 20pt-10reb. (Stats from watching Inside College basketball on cbs last night) RAPS!!!!!! DRAFT PJ3!!!! AND FOR THE NON BELIEVERS HERES A LINK OF HIM JUST 2 YEARS AGO AT THE VEGAS HIGH SCHOOL CAMP BEFORE HE COMMITTED AT BAYLOR. This is why the coaches came out and said they used him wrong at Baylor. ENJOY.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quxsxSe1YTo                                                                              Enjoy!!!! and if we dont pick him and he turns out to be like another Rudy Gay just remember I told you so. The both looked the same coming out of college and avg. almost identical numbers. Do your homework dummies.                                        

        • Tesla

          I support this.

          • Nilanka15

            Seconded.

        • voy

          i like pj3 and i agree the system in baylor and playing with pierre jackson didn’t do him any favours.  however, i think i’ve seen a drop off in pj3’s athleticism this year.  i dont know if i overestimated his athletic ability last year, or if he’s playing through an injury or maybe just that he didn’t look as athletic cuz he never had the ball in his hands enough. 

          I dont know what the answer is.  But I am convinced that we will make a much better 4 than 3.  he does way more things better than other nba 4’s.  at the 3 he will have alot of his skill based advantages negated playing against other 3s.  regardless of his great ball handling ability (for his size) he is not gonna be dribbling around other nba 3s. he is just too big.  and as fast and quick as you are at 6’10 you are not gonna be faster/quicker than nba 3s.

          I think beyond a cetain height, your size could actually become a net detriment at the sf position rather than a positive.  its like when don nelson envisioned shawn bradley as a 7’6 point forward.  its not gonna work, in my opinion.

          • Nilanka15

            I can’t find the link, but there was a recent article about PJ3 talking about his workouts at the “P3 Peak Performance” lab in Santa Barbara.  His athletic measurements weren’t just good for his size, they were within the top measurements they’ve ever measured at any position.  They concluded that PJ3 moves the way a 6-footer would.

            If this is true, then PJ3 wouldn’t have a quickness disadvantage playing the 3.  He might even hold the advantage.

            • voy

              were these workouts recent?  yeah, i like the guy and its a testament to his athleticism that we are even having this discussion but I think its a lot to ask a kid to combine his size and basketball skill set and play an nba 3.  i dont think he would have the consistent deep jumper I would want in my 3, as well.

              in my opinion, i think the transition to an nba 4 would be the right move for pj3.  who knows though?  I guess alot depends upon matchups, who you are playing beside, the type of system you’re in, etc etc.

              • onemanweave

                 Picking 8th,  the Raps aren’t going to draft a potential super star unless they pick someone with a chance to bomb, as well.
                   Studs win titles and aren’t often available once they become studs.  You have to reach to find them that far down in the lottery.
                   Yes, PJ3 could turn out to be a bomb, but the sky’s the limit on upside. You can always find a rotation player if you have some cap space. 
                   Why not strike out swinging for the fences as opposed to trying to poke a single?

                • TheDowJones

                  @e6beec11b45aba537b65e1bc8fbc0701:disqus Your a smart guy!!!

                • mountio

                  Gotta agree. Not necessarily there on PJ3 .. but the logic is bang on

                • Destro

                  Problem is theres alot of issues with him…..Youd rather gamble on a long shot,where as the scenario created is untrue…because they can not gamble and get a rotation player for years to come,why take a gamble on a longshot he’ll beast when you dont him to be that guy….you need parts NOT what is a perceived project….and i am a PJ3 fan…

                • Destro

                  YOu have to also consider the fact that BC is in a diff boat than alot of GMs,he cant afford to keep missing on guys….he needs to come up with a guy who can play right away NOT a guy who develops in year 4 when he might not even be here anymore…..

            • hater

              that testing was organized by his agent as part of a sales pitch. 

              this statement at the end of the article says it all:

              Despite protestations to the contrary from his camp, history shows that whether Jones makes the leap from scary to scary good will have little to do with his vertical and a lot to do with motor.

              • Destro

                Zactly,its nothing more than rhetoric…

                How can you even believe a 6-11 rook with as much issues as he appears to have,has super voltron potential against the most athletic pos in the NBA given his size is just gullible IMO

            • Destro

              That dont mean shit…all that is is overanalytical drivel….he wont have a quickness adv at the 3 in the pros..thats just a stupid opinion…His workouts dont suggest that all,history in the damn sport suggests thats not possible….

          • TheDowJones

            @f5aba15b1a668b1814665fe5b1d46abe:disqus Aiight let me break it down like this. When you are evaluating a player you have to take in the players entire body of work as well as the bigger picture. At Baylor he played with Quincy Miller who out of high school did the exact same things that he could do but Perry was bigger so was forced to play the PF. He also played with Quincy Acy and good roll players so sharing the ball was a must at Baylor. I also remember reading PJ3 had issues dealing with his mothers health the last year and a bit, and that could mess with you mentally. At the collegiate level no body is above the team though and everybody has to fit into a system. If you watch his games and listen to some of the analysts break down his game it seems the world has come to terms with the fact he’s not a PF in the league on account he lacks the physicallity you need in your big men. Last year they were comparing this kid to T-Mac for piece sake.  His measurables and whether or not he can keep up with other NBA 3’s shouldnt be the question to ask yourself. If you read up on him the only negatives people are saying about him is that he doesnt have a motor? *confused face* Sooooo he has top 2 skill set and potential in this draft  but they have him dropping to the mid first round because they question his motor? Thats STUPID!!!! THIS IS WHY MANAGEMENT GETS PAID!!! Casey was an NCAA coach / recruiter and this is right up his alley. The Raps believe it or not are one of the best teams in the NBA as far as grooming and developing talent. The raptors this year are in a position where they have needs at positions but dont need to address them through the draft. If the Raps have a chance to try to swing for a home run instead of just a base hit, why not? If PJ3 does turn out to be a really good player wouldnt that leave them in a postion to do trades / play with the roster via free agency / and have A+ talent on a rookie scale contract? Now worst case scenerio he’s a bust. Given the raps situation this off season do you really think picking a bust player this draft really effects them like years prior? If your answer was yes I Dont Know Maaaaan

          • Destro

            Agreed,he aint built for SF in the NBA
            Esp being 6-11 smh complete waste of size….he’ll get picked up apart defensively by 3s…4s on the other hand he could create alot of problems…IF he ever decides to care…

        • hater

          perry jones = no motor. he had two years in college to show what he’s made of and he did NOT impress. dont believe the hype, pjones thinks he’s a 3 but the consensus among GMs and scouts it that he’s a 4 or tweener at best, not physical enough for the PF position, not quick enough to guard the faster SFs or no desire. only HE thinks he’s a 3.  a switch doesn’t all of a sudden turn on allowing him to become more agressive and have a motor, you either have it or you dont. he doesnt! youtube clips dont prove jack shit! the team that uses a top 10 pick on him will be sorry as fuck

          • TheDowJones

            @21d8a60875d24fbcde1d3a560c3a6bc7:disqus Aiight hater,so you play GM. Half the players in this draft they say doesnt have a motor. So who you taking? Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones etc. (AND IM WATCHING INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL on CBS as we speak and its funny they echoed these players just now which is pretty funny.) If a GM picked a player based off of someones motor then there would be a lot of vacant GM positions around the league. Whats the diff bettween picking him at 8 and picking him at 12 or 13 where they have him going? The raps would have to pay him an extra couple hundred thousand dollars? So whats the problem? Even if he cant keep up with NBA 3’s the Raps play mostly zone defenses anyways!!!!!! LOL the reason why they played zone this year was to cover up their defensive weaknesses and it worked. Now imagine a JV/AB/PJ3 front court. All 3 players would complement each others games perfect. Whos penetrating the paint on that? Just last season everybody was on PJ3’s nuts. There is no hype on PJ3 right now on account you say the same thing everybody else does that makes me question your bball knowledge. Do you know how to break down game film and tell whether a guys good or not? Of course film matters, lol thats how GM’s break down a players game because they cant make it to em all. There is no switch for a motor, its gained through work ethic. And thats where the coaching staff and established vets come in in helping with the building process of your young talent.

            • TheDowJones

              Im not even going to talk about him being able to gaurd. They questioned Rudy Gay the same way too whether he was a 3 or 4 and had the same knocks about his game but look at him now. I even questioned Rudy that year cause I didnt think he was quick enough. But dude take it from someone who knows a thing or two. Just because your tall doesnt mean you cant keep up. Look at Kevin Durant for example. Im not comparing the 2 players games but just their physical. When your long you cover more ground example: Usain Bolt. PJ3 is quick for his size and is long which can make up for lack of quickness. You guys forget that this is a new Eastern Conference and you dont win a CHAMPIONSHIP with just good players. You win with game changers ala Lebron, Wade, Bosh. At this point in the rebuild and the position they are in you draft for most potential. You dont run away because of ‘motor’. Thats why you have 10 coaches on your staff. To help develop a motor. Reggie Evans has a high motor, I bet you think he could have taken us to the playoffs if he stayed too. Lmao

              • Mr_wallace21

                He didnt improve his second year in the NCAA but neither did A LOT of former superstars. Ask yourself who your fav NBA player is and look up his stats in college. Say bet its not that much of a diff from year to year. People get caught up in stats too much and iits pissing me off I have to explain myself this long but screw it. Look at where PJ3 gets the ball. Only in the low blocks or he’s catching it on the go in the paint or a lob. HE WAS A POINT FORWARD BEFORE THIS CHANGE!!!! He transformed his game to PF to fill a need for Baylor. He hardly was ever on the perimeter and when he was, was when they had their best games. And also you tell me, isnt a good SF supposed to have post / mid-range game. I mean last I checked Miami won a championship this year cause Lebron found his ass in the paint

            • hater

              half the players? lol you name 4 guys bruh and no motor probably only applies to 2 of them, drummond I’ll give a pass cuz the guy is just 18 years old with only 1 year under his belt. you’re just a fan watching college b-ball at home, you know no more or no less than anyone here including me, on various ballers besides what you hear on the internet. he’l be picked at 12-13 because he is the best talent available thats why he’ll be picked but being the best talent available at that part in the draft does not mean you are the best player or talent, just that through opinion and analysis/consensus you’re most likely better than anyone under you. you’ve seen in the playoffs how valuable having a motor is, how much of an advantage you have when players on your team outwork the players on the other team, that trumps all physical measurements and hype that you clamor for. 

              perry jones is a 4, a quicker 4 with more skills, but a lot less physical than you’d like your 4 to be. is he a 3? everyone and their dog says no. 2 years in college and the guy has shown to not have a motor, if playing for a top spot in the draft and a multimillion dollar contract to play in the NBA can’t motivate a guy to play harder than I dont know what will. dont know why you brought reggie evans up but here it goes, that guy has made a career on having a motor and smh I never said he would lead us to the playoffs dummy. he doesnt measure the greatest, isnt the tallest or most athletic but he has a motor. same with kenneth faried, paul milsap seemed undersized at PF but the guy has turned into a really good player due to his motor. dejuan blair is only 6’7 and plays center but that dude has a motor. you pjones agent or somethin smh…

            • Destro

              One thing your not accounting for is Raps wont necessarily get who they wanted since theyre picking 8th….Theyre picking whatevers best of the leftovers so ddont really matter who they want….

          • Nilanka15

            That switch turned on for Rudy Gay.  People were questioning his motor at UConn too.  Some people do actually improve with a change in environment.

            • Destro

              A guys motor is quickly becoming the m ost overrated talking point in evaluating players….YEP

        • Destro

          Sry my dude BUT he looked anything but a SF in the workouts….truthfully i think hes best suited trying to bulk up and play the 4 i dont think hes going to be fast enough or built for the 3 in the NBA…. 

    • pran

      With lowry a proven point guard, we can try and package calderon,davis etc. for a  proven sf like gay. barnes will never fall to 8th, lillards ceiling is lowry, and PJ3…..dont make me laugh.

      • pran

        and calderon and bargnani on the floor at once is a defensive nightmare, lowry is quick enough to cover his man.

      • TheDowJones

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quxsxSe1YTo    Do your homework Pran. I wont even say anything, I’ll let the link talk for me. Some of you guys have no basketball etitiquette tisk tisk

    • sleepz

      Agreed, however if they were going to do Lowry and 14 or 16 for our 8 and a player I would be fine with that.

      Lowry is expendable with Dragic there. The only issue for the Raps is the player going back most likely wouldn’t be Calderon even though Jose would be the ideal candidate being sent out. Lowry is gritty and would challenge the players on this roster to play better than they have.

      I like what the Rockets are doing. They are going to package those mid-1st picks to get into the top 10, however contrary to the popular notion of them trying to get Howard I feel like they just want to have the chance to draft a potential all-star and probably have their eyes on a few players in this draft.

      • Nilanka15

        Discussions in the forum suggest that Josh Smith is Houston’s “Plan B”….who coincidentally is good friends with Howard….

        • Truthkiller

          Well we already have seen first hand that “friends” hint: Jarett Jack don’t amount to anything at the end.

          • Nilanka15

            The difference is that Jack sucked, lol.

            Being friends AND an all-star might make a difference.

    • Raptorboy

       agreed. 8th for Lowry too rich. Take one of their 1st rounders and throw in one of our 2nd if necessary.

    • Raps Loyalist

      What if Drummond fell to #8?  Would you be happy with that?

      I sure would…that is best case scenario for the Raps…a Drummond and JV frontcourt would really be the beginning of a true rebuild and one with amazing championship caliber defense potential.

      I pray to the basketball gods send us Drummond!!!!

      Otherwise trade anything not named JV to get MKG

      • Nilanka15

        I’m not sold on Drummond.  I see more Thabeet than Howard.  But if he fell to us, I think he’d have some serious value in the trade market (especially with non-lottery teams).

        • Raps Loyalist

          Thabeet got drafted at age 22…Drummond is 18 and should have been in high school this year.  He is far from polished but under Coach Casey I’m sure he would develop into an all-star big that can really crash the boards and protect the rim (the Raps two biggest weaknesses and the two principal traits of most NBA championship teams)

    • Goralawf

      add Davis to this trade and get one of their picks (16) -> use it for Terrence Jones or PJ3 (if he will be avalible)

      TJ could be a draft steal as SF IMO

  • Raptorboy

    Draft Rivers. Can arrange something with a team picking 10-13 and add an upgrade somewhere else for the Raps. Rivers will be a solid pro with a very high ceiling. He might take a few years to reach his potential but he’ll get there. Very safe pick compared to Lilliard or Waiters.

    Nash would be great but is a very short term investment. Would love to see Nash in the red and white but losing Jose to make it happens is a steep price. Jose is just coming into his own and will flourish for the next 4-5 years…hopefully in a Raptors uniform.

    Amnestying any of the aforementioned players would be silly. Jose, Johnson, or Kleiza might be a little overpaid but only marginally. They are all great team players who give the Raps all they have.

    Come on Thursday night…can’t wait!!!

  • http://twitter.com/HarleyK11 Harley Kock

    nice article i like the arguments im completely with you on lowry but hose dosn’t play good in back up role(we saw it with TJ Ford). i do like hose as a person and as a player idk wats gonna happen but a team would like him thats in the hunt to help run the team. i kinda hope they atleast try to move him somewhere thats good for him first before amnestying him(if they even do move him).

    • Nilanka15

      Hoe-zay doesn’t play well in a backup role?  That’s anything but true.

      • guest

        He plays well as long as he gets consistent minutes…lol

  • Truthkiller

    Either keep the pick, or trade down. If Calderon is already a pylon on defense, then to add Nash would be putting up a revolving door.

    • Nilanka15

      Under Casey, Calderon was no longer a defensive “pylon”.  I’m sure we could hide Nash equally well, especially with a better front court next year. 

      • TheDowJones

        Sorry Nilanka. But have to disagree. Jose Calderone has no defense which is why Casey doesnt want/need him. Key example of Jose not knowing how to play a lick of defense was the Knicks game where Lin dropped the winning basket on him. Anybody with defense would have known to play the clock in that situation and could have been able to tell he didnt want to drive it but shoot it so get up in his face and do a better job of contesting. 0 defensive instincts which I’ve been saying for years on this guy. He’s a good guy and is a good player but doesnt fit in the scheme of things anymore with the younger core. Nash has no defense either but he brings more to the table then someone like Jose. Nash; better offensive game, better passing abilities, vision, IQ, overall basketball instincts. Plays the pick and roll waaaaaaaay better then Jose can because you have to gaurd Nash. Jose doesnt demand the attention from the other teams defense like Nash does which opens up the floor for the other 4 players on the team which is why Nash is still dangerous to this day. And he wouldnt even be my first choice at point but I say, sign him! what do we have to lose?

        • Nilanka15

          I was attempting not to sell Jose short, but I agree that he’s a below average defender.

        • Puertorikki

          +1
          However, my dream scenario would be for Toronto to trade #8 pick & Calderon to Portland’s #6 & Batum, then flipping that #6 & Bayless to Houston’s #14 & Lowry: Trailblazers get PG stability & still have #8 & #11 picks; Rockets get Bayless as insurance or backup PG (depending what happens to Dragic) & accomplish their mission of moving up to top 10 draft (they are reportedly high on Drummond); and the Raptors get their SF & PG of the future + #14 pick to draft any of the ff: D Waiters, J LAmb; A Rivers, PJ3, or T Ross.
          If this dream scenario doesn’t materialize, I will be content if BC could work out either:
          A. Trade Bayless + #8 to Houston’s Lowry + #14
          B. Trade Calderon + #8 to Phoenix’ Nash + #13

          • Tesla

            Hold on, why would Portland EVER do that?

  • voy

    the 8th pick + another player for lowry… no thank you.

    i read your disclaimer at then end but, come on, the waiters and dwanye wade comparison is a huge stretch.  you may as well have compared him to micheal jordan.  and since when could waiters guard multiple positions?  I know you are not necessarily putting forth these arguments and you are just repeating what may have been said abuot DW, but such ridiculousness does not belong on your fine website.

    • Destro

      Nah there wasnt another player….Nobody right now will overpay for Lowry.
      Everybody knows he wants out and everybody knows they’re desperate to unload him..doesnt make for a negotiating advantage…

    • http://theondeckcircle.net/ Blake Murphy

      I legitimately read the Waiters D-Wade comparison somewhere, though I can’t remember where. Wasn’t a straight comparison, but a “Wade-light” based on college success and athletic profile. Obviously extreme (and dumb), but that was the point here.

      • Destro

        I read it and its quite a stretch…Clip showed Dion making baskets in traffic,driving and finishing in small spaces BUT he is nothing like Wade.

        He doesnt have the speed or anywhere near athleticism Wade had coming into the NBA…

        • sleepz

          It’s not a stretch, it’s just inaccurate. Whoever made that comparison I would have to ask them if they watched Wade play at Marquette? 

          You can’t even make that comparison let alone the NBA Wade comparison.

          • Destro

            Nobody that makes that comparison saw Wade in college….he was under the radar at MU but not because he didnt have amazing upside….and because alot of people didnt see him they make these silly suggestions AS if cuz he was picked 5th….

      • Rus

         I think Chad Ford was quoting a scout. And the comparison was about scoring in traffic with contact, not Wade’s elite athleticism.

        • Destro

          Khalid El Amin was good at scoring in traffic as well….Scouts are full of shit as much as alot of GMs are,leads to these retarded opinions going public…

  • Tim

    All I can say the NON-Activity that we see from BC,ED and … is astonishing these days. I can not wait till Thursday to see who we are going to get.

    In the mean time, Rockets have turned their 2nd round pick in Chase to a 18 pick in the first round this year and now hold 3 first round picks …

    • sleepz

      Morey imho is trying to build a team through the draft now as his attempts at getting high profle players via trades or free agency hasn’t been succesful. He might make an attempt at getting Howard but it would only be done with some “player-GM agreement” or under the assumption he could get a good return in a sign and trade.

      Colangelo should be taking notes. He could learn a lot.

      • Nilanka15

        I think Morey is attempting the quick fix.  He’ll package his picks for veterans.  Rumours suggest he already offered Lowry plus picks to Sacramento for Evans and the 5th pick.

        • sleepz

          I don’t know about that. How is Evans a veteran? Maybe a young veteran but he’s been in the league only 3 years.

          Not sure of the wisdom in trying to trade for Evans but really from the Rocekts perspective all I’ve heard of them trading is Lowry, Buddinger (done) and their collection of mid first rounders. Are any of those major assets that they are giving up?

          If the GM thinks he can significantly improve the team with what he is offering via trade I say go ahead. He needs to try and acquire a game changer because they have good supporting pieces already on their roster.

      • Destro

        Whoa there young whippa snappa im usually with ya breh BUT
        Morey in this case is a fuckn idiot about to shoot himself in the foot like Elmer Fudd over a player that will be gone after one season….

        BC dont need to be taking lessons from this mess at all….2 mid 1sts + Reke + K-Mart ?

        Morey should be fired the minute Dwight signs with the Nets…

        • sleepz

          That’s the thing though. I don’t think he is trying to get these picks to trade for Dwight. 

          Who leaked that news about the Rockets intentions?

          As a rival GM would you be less suspecting of me if you thought I was being crazy by trying to get 2 lottery picks to trade for Howard? 

          Would you perhaps be less inclined to try and hammer me on the cost if you didn’t think I really wanted those picks to take 2 players in this draft?

          Maybe I’m giving him too much credit but I have a feeling that Morey is playing dumb. Based on his roster and struggling to make a jump in the West, it would be worth the effort to draft a potential game changer via the draft. I would do it.

      • hater

        how is he building through the draft? by acquiring mid to late first-rounders? houston will be building through the draft when the GM no longer accepts mediocrity, starts tanking and trades kevin martin, dalembert, scola etc. for young assets/picks. I can’t remember the last time this team had a real lottery season. I think they are using it as leverage as part of a bigger trade. we heard how in love they were with a 31 year old pau gasol last season.

        • Destro

          If you’re not from planet earth you’d know there doing all of this to make a run at Dwight Howard….smh @ i think they are leveraging for a trade….ol i just noticed the World Trade Center is gone muthafucka…. 

          • hater

            youz a bitch thru and thru.

            • Destro

              internet safe my friend….

              • hater

                u know it.

        • sleepz

          That’s not how I think the GM is looking at it.

          If I can parlay 3 mid first round picks and a disgruntled PG for 2 top 10 lottery picks, and possibly another player why would I not do it?  

          He knows how to build a competitive team without stars. Why not give yourself a chance to draft a potential star knowing you wont be in this position again anytime soon and you have solid veterans already on your roster? 

          • hater

            that does make sense. draft day will be interesting.

    • Tinman

      3 picks that might never amount to anything

      • Tim

        vs our One pick that amount to everything !! At least the man is trying to speed up the process and not just sit on his ass like Mr.BC !!! Plus, looking at Rockets and all they went through all these years with Yao and … They still maintained a better record than us all these years !!

  • Destro

    Really breh a pos and neg on every possible move ? Grow a pair and decide on a neg or pos for each instead of tryna play both sides like a true invertebrae…

    Steve Nash does NOT get this team into the playoffs..would you say the raps roster is more talented than the Suns last season cuz i sure dont….and the other misleading tidbit being passed around here is the Nash/Bargnani PnR scenario would be deadly…i beg to differ…I think it would be a mess and be very awkward looking…possibly the worst PNR combo to ever be assembled….

    • Tesla

      Don’t worry you’ll get a refund, I’m sure you and Blake can work something out.

      • Destro

        Hows my ass taste ?

        • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

          Like your mouth

          • Destro

            7 all star games to 0 all star games is the only reply needed for your screename EVER….

          • FAQ

            CB4 has a ring and AB7 will never ever win one.

            • cesco

               Andrea will never ever be nicknamed “Ru Paul” or something similar by an all-star and future HOF .

              • Truthkiller

                Ernie Johnson: Raptors without Andrea Bargnani

                HOF Barkley: They not really good with him either.

                http://www.nba.com/insidethenba/?c=InsidetheNBA-AllVideo&p=547865&s=5089586&i=1068567

              • Nilanka15

                Why is Shaq’s opinion given any credibility?  Have you ever seen Kazaam???

                • Destro

                  I think 4 titles,3 of which he dominated plus multiple MVPs and finals MVP and pound for pound the greatest center in history probably gives him some credability….

                • Nilanka15

                  lol, so his basketball resume gives him accuracy in nickname picking?

                • Destro

                  Well tell me “nilanka” what makes MORE sense to you ?

                  His basketball pedigree giving his opinions merit on the game and players OR his movie catalogue ?

              • Destro

                Shaq prolly never even heard of Andrea…

        • Dan

          You’re a terrible person dude. Also, he did pick a side for most near the bottom.

    • Nilanka15

      Nash’s inability to get Phoenix into the playoffs doesn’t indicate what he can/cannot do in Toronto.

      That’s like saying Garnett couldn’t win a title in Minny, so he’ll never win in Boston.

      Two totally different circumstances.

      • Destro

        No its NOT like saying that at all  smh

        get off the bath salts breh…Its an indication he cant carry a mediocre team anywhere…..Big 3 was clearly a better team than what he had in Minny…..Suns and Raps talent wise and in terms of mediocrity are on par……again smh… 

        • Nilanka15

          You’re assuming that if Nash comes to Toronto, Colangelo doesn’t make any more moves.

          By the time training camp rolls around, this team could look significantly better than last year’s Suns.

          • Destro

            Well i know they’ll have Valanciunas and IF nash then i’ll assume someone at 8….thats what im rolling with right now…alot of the other stuff i dont see it happening (Gay,Deng,Iggy) 

    • http://theondeckcircle.net/ Blake murphy

      Cmon man, I think the point of the article was pretty clear, to show how easy it is to take an extreme position in either case. I also did state my opinion, albeit briefly, at the end, and have (for picks, not the trades) in previous articles.

      • Destro

        I dont like articles that play down the middle…take up a side and argue for it….too much corny both sides of the fence reporting in sports…

    • Rus

       Nash almost got Phoenix into the playoffs in the WEST with Gortat and what, role players….You’re telling me he couldn’t get Toronto into the East playoffs.

  • Theswirsky

    “can you imagine Bargs running the P&R with STEVE F***NG NASH!!!”

    yeah its called the Frye/Nash PnR.

    Bargnani popped 80% of the time in the PnR – he did that while working with Jose Calderon (one of the best passers in the league)

  • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

    Draft Austin Rivers.

    Sign Captain Canada. Enjoy the show

  • voy

    cant decide what I think about the budinger for the 18th pick trade.  budinger is a nice athlete but I dont know if he’s the answer at the 2 or 3 spot for minny to roll with rubio and love.

    I think if minny could have nabbed terrance ross or jeremy lamb they would have been a really nice fit for their team.

    if I was houston, I would be pretty excited at having 3 picks in the first round.  maybe packaging 2 of the picks together and trying to move up with a higher selection.  if they land howard but give up their draft picks and lowry will the rockets have anything to compete with during the next few years?  Dragic, Martin, Small Forward, Scola Howard?  I dunno. Maybe.  Not enough to contend for the west anyway.

    • sleepz

      Definitely not enough to contend in the West but where they are currently, they have to try and improve their team.

      They prefer Dragic over Lowry, and they still have Martin, Parsons, Patterson, Lee as role players. I like the options they are exploring. The only issue is if they end up having to use those 3 mid 1st rounders which I don’t think will happen.

  • Statement

    This time of year, I like to check out wages of wins. 

    Now they have their draft forecaster which predicts the productivity of the draftees.

    I like their model. 

    For reference, here are their 2011 predictions

    http://wagesofwins.com/2011/06/23/a-note-and-the-goods-ranking-the-2011-draft-prospects/

    As can be seen, their model advocated taking Kenneth Faried, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard as the first 3 picks.  I think we can agree that these were likely the top 3-4 rookies in the class.

    This year, the top three are Anthony Davis, JAE CROWDER and Bradley Beal.

    Beal and Davis are not falling to us, but Jae Crowder should be available in the late first or second round, lets nab him.

  • Tim

    Kyle Lowery to Toronto for #8 ??
    Wow  :)

  • Timo in Waterloo

    I really liked this post, Blake… good job

    • Timo in Waterloo

       PS I trust BC and team to make the right decisions moving forward… he has far more information at his disposal, and more basketball experience than I do.. I will still support the team

      • Raptorboy

         Amen brother.

  • WhiteVegas

    The most likely scenario has Nash signing with Toronto, Portland, or Phoenix. He has stated that money will be an important factor and he’s not just going to chase a ring.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/19426009/steve-nash-says-money-is-a-factor-and-it-would-be-hard-to-put-on-a-lakers-jersey

    Other than that, nice article.

  • Phat AlberG

    Draft Dion Waiters Kris Joseph Tu Holloway 

  • Phat AlberG

    Sign Steve Nash

    • guest

      I think you are going to get your wish…

  • Phat AlberG

    Release Calderon 

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

    What’s with people saying 8th for Lowry is too rich??  What do you think of the Rockets… do you think they are suckers? 
    To me, 8th for Lowry would be awsome.  Nowhere are you going to get his talents from the 8th pick. 
    LOWRY LOWRY LOWRY!!!!

    • guest

      Although I don’t want Lowry, I could not agree with you more.  No draftee will bring the same skills to the team as Lowry right now.