A couple days ago, Bill Simmons said this. Then yesterday, Daily Dime said this. Both saying the same thing, one happens to come out in a more positive light. Such is the nature of our off-season thus far. The unquestionable “win” has been Kyle Lowry, who is the only proven commodity that the Raptors have acquired. The other two acquisitions – Fields and Ross – come with with question marks. For Fields it’s whether the pre ‘Melo numbers reflect his true ability, or whether it’s the post ‘Melo period that is indicative of his NBA trajectory. For Ross, it’s all the questions that accompany rookies. No more, no less.

Put all this together and you have the making of divided opinions on whether the team actually took a step forward or not. That debate is more or less settled once Jonas Valanciunas is factored in, and you have to say that the summer has been positive, despite the whole Nash debacle (which IMO, worked out for us). How much of a progression the team has made remains to be seen. Certainly, Casey is now more equipped to play his style of basketball with a defensive big in the middle, a point who can execute presses, and the team has loaded up (somewhat, at least) on the three-point shooting with Ross and Fields. They can also now claim to have true depth at the point guard position which hasn’t been there since Forderon.

As it stands, the X-Factor for next year isn’t Valanciunas, Ross, or Fields, it’s the players that we’re waiting on, DeRozan and Bargnani in particular. If this team does make a run for the playoffs, it’s not going to be on the backs of Ross, Valanciunas and Fields, it’ll be because Bargnani and DeRozan would carry the scoring load consistently, and elevate their defensive games to a point where their playing time doesn’t come at the cost of defensive compromise. So, as much as we’re dissecting the Raptors’ summer, it’s the players that were already here that will dictate where this team ends up.

For Bargnani, you can endlessly debate whether he has more to offer or not, whereas DeRozan is still relatively early in his NBA career, although popular belief is that by the third year you kind of know what you got. Looking at year three numbers for both players, you find many similarities. Comparable points, PER and WS/48 being the most noticeable. Bargnani made marginal improvements in his fourth year and it wasn’t until his fifth that he got past the 20+ scoring mark (I won’t touch what he did on the glass). Will DeRozan become a 20+ scorer this year and can Bargnani return to being a 20+ scorer while averaging more than 5.2 rebounds? Those are just two of the aspects that will determine whether the Raptors make any noise next year.

The importance of point production from DeRozan has been well-stated, and as a fourth year player he’s fast approaching “vet” status on the team, which usually equates to your teammates counting on you to play with a degree of consistency. His defensive woes have also been well-documented and Casey’s been very clear with him about how he needs to improve by monitoring his playing time in the fourth. This is a year where he’s going to have to answer a lot of the question posed to him by both his coach and the fans. Bargnani is a different story. Playing under the security of a big contract, he doesn’t have the pressure to produce and prove people like DeRozan. His offense was much more efficient in those first 13 games, and defensively he was, at times, one of the best players on the court. Despite meager rebounding numbers he managed for the first time since his rookie year to have a positive on/off!

There are signs that both players are trudging along in the right direction. It’s the pace of that trudge that is of concern. Six full NBA seasons for Bargnani and coming up on a fourth for DeRozan. Expectations are in check for the former and even the visceral feelings that dominated any debate surrounding him have died down to the point where you simply take what you can get from him, and accept the shortcomings. For DeRozan, though, the bar has to be set higher or we’re looking at perennial mediocrity. The Raptors can’t afford to have two players who will always tease and never put out.

  • Ragnarok

    That DeRozan and Bargnani are the core of the team is exactly the problem.  DeRozan was likely the most inefficient player in the league last year.  He is a poor ball handler, shooter, rebounder and defender.  He dunks well against no opposition.  Bargnani is a volume shooter who likes to shoot long twos and he is easy to defend.  His rebounding is abysmal.  One of the reasons we have Fields and Lowry is that “the core” is so weak rebounding: we have to compensate for our “star” players’ glaring weaknesses.  Either Bargnani or DeRozan should be a 6th or 7th man on a decent team.  On the Raptors they are “the core”.  When Bargnani and DeRozan receive less minutes, the Raptors will be a competitive team. 

    • Hsa

      agreed.. they should give ED Davis more minutes because i think he can be an allstar caliber player 

      • NyAlesund

         Who Ed Davis? The same player unable to score a contested shot into the paint? The same player without a decent offensive movements?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/KIAOTEY4P5GOBV7E2KRRKO3RNM Chris

         I like Ed, but allstar…haven’t seen it yet.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

        Just you saying Ed Davis can be all-star caliber made you lose all creditability  

    • Theswirsky

      while I believe the Raps need something much more significant than Bargnani and Derozan to receive less minutes to be competitive (assuming this means a contender), namely a superstar, the rest of the post is bang on.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      I wonder if AB will get more than 2 double doubles this season…..

      39 minutes 1 rebound..

      • FLUXLAND

        DD – 32 minutes, 0 rebounds, 0 assists. Team sports, FTW!

        I wonder if  he will record the 2nd double double of his career this season.

        • Guest

      • Destro

        BUT BUT BUT BUT its team rebounds that matter…HA!

    • Mess

      Bargnani is easy to defend? Anyway…
      So your point is that when the Raptors have better players than Bargs and DD, they will be a better team? 

      Wonderful assessment.

      • Destro

        he IS easy to defend….let him shoot from the perimeter (where hes contrary to popular stan opinion VERY inefficient)

        • Statement

          He’s actually above average in shooting efficiency from 3-9 feet, 10-15 feet and 16-23 feet.  The problem is, those long twos are very inefficient shots, so even though he is above average from those locations, the very nature of those shots make him inefficient.

          http://hoopdata.com/shotstats.aspx

          • Destro

            Stop dancing thru hoola hoops on fire dogg….trying to circumvent the numbers…He shoots low 40s
            For a big man period thats fckn awful
            For a big with alleged amazing skills it looks even more laughable…DONT spin it CONFRONT it…he just isnt that good…

            NO harm in admitting what we watch….

            • CJT

              I don’t think you understand what circumvent means.  You are trying to circumvent the numbers.

        • guest

          This is the NBA not basketball at a park… U cannot honestly be this stupid. Bargs is an NBA player, in the NBA if someone is wide open they usually knock down the shot espicially if your talking about a shooter like bargs taking a long 2. You probably think kyle korver is a good shooter because he is spotting up. But if korver or novac were to take the tuff shots bargs does you wouldn’t call them shooters.

          • guest

            “let him shoot from the perimeter”…..ignore this idiot.

    • NyAlesund

      When Bargnani and DeRozan receive less minutes, the Raptors will be a competitive team.

      Do you really think this? I remember this team without AB in shape not really played well and won. Also I don’t remember ED very effective. You and me probably see the basketball game in a different way.

      The point for me is simply: DD has to improve alot in many different areas like you said, AB has only to focus his game on D, because offensively he isn’t the problem. In addition play along guys with points in their hands is enormous advantage.

      • K.J.P

        For some reason people think if we get rid of AB and DD we will be better, but no one ever says who we will have after that. Everyone just says “we need a superstar” or they say nothing at all. We can’t just make AB and DD disappear and become better. That’s completely untrue!

      • Truthkiller

        Offensively he isn’t a problem, shooting 43% from the field is a problem.

        • guest

          43% isn’t bad, its not great but its not bad. Dirk shoots 45% same with bosh and Paul millsap shoots 50%. Just cause he shoots 43% doesnt mean he sucks, millsap and bargs have 2 completely different styles of play. Bargs only problem is defense and rebounding (horrible rebounding for a 7 footer)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/KIAOTEY4P5GOBV7E2KRRKO3RNM Chris

       “Bargnani is a volume shooter who likes to shoot long twos and he is easy to defend.” !?
      Long two’s…sure, but easy to defend? Really? 
      I think the best aspect to Bargnani’s games is that he’s a tough cover for opposing teams

      • Destro

        HEs not really a tough cover,thats more or less a talking point by his supporters….If he really had all these advantages youd think hed be able to dominate on a nightly basis and take over games…Ive yet to see it happen…

        • Massimo

          a 7 footer that can shoot the jumper and put the ball on the floor isn’t a tough cover? do you average 20+ppg by not being a tough cover? One thing you can never say is that Andrea isn’t a tough cover. Andrea has made people of similar size look foolish trying to guard him all they can do is shake their head. just like what you should be doing, “not a tough cover” ed davis is not a tough cover, alabi is not a tough cover, and you are putting andrea in the same class as them? You are an idiot.

          • Destro

            Nah the idiot is the person with same nationality who can rationally and unbiased look at the numbers and final product and admit it beyond the same lineage that it aint shit….

            GUESS what breh HE Aint shit….5.8 rebounds and 43 % says so..Fck your biased opinion…

            • Thetruth

              nationality? lineage? 

              Destro, you are the only homophobe, foul-mouthed, white person hating individual on this board. You’re the only person who judges players on race. Just like real life, you blame your problems on others.

              • Destro

                Stick ur head back in the sand breh…

                 

                • Sarcasm

                  Piece of trash, get lost. You are bigoted and ignorant of facts that stare you in the face. Apparently you are just too stupid to recognize them. And about your previous comment…”Fck your biased opinion”…? Seriously? That means nothing.  All the judgments that we make on sports is biased. 

          • Destro

            Mike James avg 20 PPG in a raptor uni was he a tough cover you fckn faggot ?

            Talk to me when Bargnani makes an all star game or makes an ALL NBA team or wins any type of accolade UNTIL then STFU..

            • hater

              lmao ur dumb as fk. just stay mad,,,

            • Thetruth

              Massimo owned you. He absolutely owned you on Bargnani. And how many times do we got to tell you destro, stop liking your own comment. Each one of your posts has 1 like next to it. Stop it, it’s embarrassing and you’re fooling no one. 

              • Destro

                No he didnt and you pressed i see to jump into this cuz of my screename…YOu cant own me on this debate taking THAT side because its unwinnable based on the facts,numbers and evidence…it dont support THAT argument so no Mossimo lost as did you for trying to come against the mayor of RR….

                You wasted 2 posts and dedicated to me full of bitchassness and emotion to get my attention like a scorned woman because i shat on ur hero…

                I own your soul….the following posts to me will indicate as much…go cry.

                 

                • Guest

                  I’m just curious (nothing personal or anything), but did you graduate high school? And if so, with what grades? Because your grammar is shit, and the analogies you make are childish. Oh, and the premises of your arguments, and the evidence you provide are equally shit.

                • Grammuel L Jackson

                  Destro can’t curse for shit either. It’s always “drop a vowel there, spell an insult wrong here”, so on so forth. Reminds me of the kids in school who tried (and subsequently failed) to be cool or edgy by letting 3/4 of the f-bomb out and then stopping short. 

                  “Hey guys, it’s like I swore but I really didn’t! Be my friend?”There’s nothing more satisfying than someone on the edge of illiteracy thinking that they’re something special. Destro might’ve graduated high school (in 6 or 7 years as opposed to 4), but apparently a primary education is tough as nails for some people. Gotta finish Grade 8 before they let you continue to 9.

                • GUEST

                  Crying’s only acceptable if you use the tears as lube while I give it to your mother from the back.

                  She doesn’t know basketball but at least the phrase “backdoor play” means something to her.

            • Guestro

              http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/index.php/article/2012/04/study_finds_homophobes_often_have_repressed_homosexual_tendencies 

              How long until we start hearing about how much you love taking it up the coat?
              Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

            • guest

              U dont have to be lebron kobe or jordan to be good in the league….when did you start watching basketball because we all know bargs is not gonna make an all NBA team neither did Zack Randolph or rudy gay or ginobli or james harden, igudala, danny granger, and to be honest none of those guys will ever make it either but they are all great players im not saying bargs is as good as them im saying you dont have to be a hall of famer to be good in the league

            • Vdotdobson

              Destro. You have no clue why you’re talking about !! Do you even watch raps games? BArgs only has to work on his rebounding and defense. Our team was nothing on the offensive end without BArgs in the line up. For the 43%… Consider the injury he battled all season. Coming back rusty and having bad shooting nights because of the injury. A healthy bargs will shoot better. He’s the Italian dirk so stick with him. Don’t shit on deroZen either. He has been improving and he will again this season. Without the two guys are team is nothing. Luckily we have lowery now for a defensive upgrade

        • NyAlesund

           Please shut up! You hate AB, we know this but at the same time you are ridiculous. AB is not tough cover? OMG.

          • Destro

            Hes not breh YOU MAD ?

            GOOD

            • hater

              lmao not a tough cover. id like to see ur dumbass d up on him,,,baskets all day,,,,,u think ur all unbiased and shit ur nothin but a e-thug fakeass lil bitch kid acting all hard behind a computer screen,,,,you’re mad as fk so save urself the shame and kill yoself…

            • Guest

              I heard that you and the women in your family are pretty good at dining on tubesteak, confirm or deny?

        • Vdob

          Your earlier comments about Ed Davis are ridiculous . He’s been garbage from the start. No consistence and sucks at offense. Ed is in the summer league this summer and can’t even put together a solid game. Don’t compare barg to Ed shit show Davis . Everyone here doesn’t agree with what your saying so s

    • Jamshid

      Great Article Arsenalist, once again, a well balanced and deep analysis of the team without trying to sound like a mouth peice of the organization ( Matt52 and the Herd)

      Ragnarok, you are 100% right regarding DD and AB. Neither of the guys are Max players and neither of them are even 3rd option in a championship caliber team.

      Our team is in serious needs of some star power. As far as the summer goes, after all the salvation over the finacial flexibility and TPE and signing star players such as Gay and … by the Herd and Matt52,  the summer looks grime again.

      We are collecting medicore players for this team and paying them like stars. This team with the current players, will be in lottery next year as well. 

      • Kumarbrosyaman

        In light of recent signings paying Bargs 10M and Amir 7M is actually very reasonable. That is two seven footers we are talking here.

        Of the top of my head I say the most overpaid players on the roster are Calderon and Fields. The former is in the last year of his deal and is rather an asset than a liability. The latter is a result of a dumb gamble by Brian Colangelo.

        • Jamshid

          Wrong, recent over paying was mostly done by Nets, both Lopez and Hump. They over paid hump in a 2 YEAR contract because they are still hoping to use him in Jan in Howard trade.

          You can not use this 2 contract to justify a 7 million to Amir !! 

          • kumarbrosyaman

            nba big man salary is actually a very interesting topic and is not as straightforward as you may think.

            here is a scenario,
            team A drafted anthony davis with first overall, team B drafted roy hibbert second, team C drafted andrea bargsnanny third.
            after 3 years davis becomes a superstar, hibbert an allstar and bargs a solid starter. they are all due for extension next year.

            now put your cute little GM hat on, look at the table and tell me what their respective contracts will look like

            mcgee 4 yrs 44M

            lopez 4 yrs 60M

            hibbert 4 yrs 58M

            deandre jordan 10.5M/yr

            garnett 3 yrs 34M

            david west 10M/yr

          • CJT

            What about the Rockets?  Lin and Asik,  Crazy.

    • guest

      I aggree that bargs and derozan arre not core players but the raptors are horrible without the both of them. They need a star but you can’t just rush into something like that. They want to keep a good group of guys and find a star to fit in along with them. I dont know 1 team in the entire nba that would become more competitive if you take away it’s top 2 scorers. Derozan is not a superstar but has star potential and can clearly start at the 2 for many teams in the league. Bargs however will start in almost any team he is traded to.

  • NyAlesund

    There are not excuses for both guys. Now, we have a good team with talented players. Lowry, Val, Ross, Fields are good acquisitions that improve drammatically the quality roster. The “big duo” have to raise up their level on both side of the floor. AB showed how he is potentially efficient if he moves those damn feet. DD has to understand two things: defence and a reliable shot is necessary if he wants to play as starter in the NBA. Otherwise he can stay in this league as a bench player.

    I also think that the Rapts can opt for trade them if they won’t respond adequately to the expectations.

  • Matt52

    Nice article, Arse.

    It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • Raps4lyfe

    make or break seasons for the enigma brothers

  • Puffer

    Great article. 

    I think that both Bargs and DD will greatly benefit from having better shooting on the team. AB has shown that he can get to the basket if he has a little room. Lowry and Fields should help create a little more space for him. Same thing for Derozan, who is most effective on short drives to the hoop against a single defender. The only question I have is how effective Lowry will be at getting them the ball. 

    In addition, JV has shown an ability to scoop up loose balls against competition in Europe. We can hope that translates into put backs and short jumpers in the NBA.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      The problem is that Lowry isn’t as great of a shooter as Jose. He is a good pick and roll player though which is good for JV since thats all he can do.

      • j bean

        Lowry scores more at a higher percentage than Jose so I guess it’s not a problem after all. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

          Jose bailed out the team during late shot clock situations and he creates better driving lanes. Lowry scores better one-on-one but isn’t as good of a playmaker and passer as Jose. Jose was top 5 in assists for a reason

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    As long as Bargnani aka 13 Games is on this team starting at PF the Raptors won’t make the playoffs, heck AB couldn’t even hold up to 2 rebounds per Q that Casey requested now Casey is going to DEMAND that AB rebound- can’t wait to see how that works out for him.lol

    DD needs to step and bring it every nite this season and I think that he will especially with TR pushing him in practice while playing next to a real 2 way pg in Lowry.
     
    Fields pre Melo, post Melo is a BC talking point almost any decent NBA player can put up numbers in a D’Antoni system if given regular consistent minutes- don’t forget that Toronto has Mr 20 shots for 20 points stalling the ball. 

    JJohnson (most likely Sac Kings starting SF) > Fields………
     
    Fields comes off of a piss poor season and BC rewards him royally like a king with a 18.5- 20 million dollar contract then tries to sell it to fans as the future starting SF even though he has played mostly SG in NY- what part of the game is that?
     
    BC’s Toronto where a 10 million dollar back up pg occupies a current roster spot while a starting SF is still needed despite the Fields over payment while trying to block NY from signing Nash even though Nash eventually signed with the Llakers-  a team that he said he would never play for in an interview over the Raptors.smdh lol

    Val won’t be an instant impact player people he will struggle like all rookies do look at Enes Kanters rookie numbers and temper your expectations before BC rolls out his 5 year for big men speech while Val learns the NBA game.

    That being said the Atlantic is rounding up to be arguably the toughest division from top 2 bottom in the NBA with:

    NJ
    Bos
    NY
    Phi
    Tor

    and BC has the Raptors as currently the projected weakest of the bunch despite the signing of KLowry (while giving up a most likely future lottery pick in the process) & drafting of TRoss (who is a very solid player with All Star potential though BC said that he had him ranked higher than ADrummond on Rap’s big board lol)- alot has changed since 2006 in Raptorsland.

    • Mess

      Not sure why playing with Lowry would improve DD’s game at all. I think Jose got him the ball when he needed to. 

      Val will be better than Kanter. Though that isn’t saying much.

    • Mess

      Also, Drummond? I guess Raptors fans are going to miss out on the first free throw to ever hit the side of the backboard. 

    • Lorenzo

      I read “As long as” and just stopped. I just… stopped…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      JJohnson better than Fields? lol thats a joke

    • Jamshid

      Agree with what you said 100%

    • CJT

      This article must have been your wet dream.  Finally a chance to spew your crap and have it almost be relevant to the topic being discussed.  Congratulations.

  • Konanas

    I still believe in DeRozan and Bargnani allready proved that he can be very good player (before injury)

  • guest

    The Raptors have spent the last three years with a pg who focused on getting Bargs and Derozen the ball, the team never made it to the playoffs. I honestly believe that is why they kept Jose around for as long as they have  Now they have signed a pg to start who will more than likely not be as focused on making those two look better.  What in the world makes anyone think that they will have a breakout season?  

    • Sheptor

       Another full off-season for DeRozan to get stronger, another full off-season for Bargs to workout and rest calf from Olympics shows commitment to the Raptors cause, and the biggest reason – Dwane Casey. Bargs 13 games, (and it’s been more than that to be honest. Ppl act like his previous 5 years were all filled with 82 games of filth when we know he’s showed signs before) had more to do with Casey and being focused on working for the coach than any sort of epiphany. People also forget basketball is a team game and we have a very formidable 8 or 9 guys who could all be argued to have breakout seasons including Landry, Ed, & even Kleiza. I mention Kleiza because we talk about the competition at the 2, well I also think having Kleiza on the bench puts pressure on Fields to perform in the same positive way and don’t be surprised if he claims it 15 or so games in (I expect a good olympics as well). Anyway the point is it’s on Casey to get this offense going not just Jose, or Lowry and Casey imo loves bargs offensive game and will make sure he’s involved somehow…besides it’s not as if the touches Bargnani might lose aren’t to someone who can score. It’s not as if Anthony Carter is hogging the ball up. It’s Kyle Lowry, and all those times last year whenever you heard Leo, or Jack talking about Jose getting his own and not just being a facilitator probably won’t happen with Lowry

      • RapthoseLeafs

        [” …. last year whenever you heard Leo, or Jack talking about Jose getting his
        own and not just being a facilitator probably won’t happen with Lowry “]

        Good point.

        [” ….. we have a very formidable 8 or 9 guys who could all be argued to have breakout seasons….”]

        The motivation is there.

        .

  • EaseMyPain

    Bargs and Derozen need to continue to improve in many aspects like anyone. You are crazy to not recognize how gifted Bargnani is. He is the only guy who can score at 47% whike being the focus of the defence. He is not Dirk, but ha can beat you with scoring. Give him some more support and less shot, his % should improve.
    DD is recognized as a developing wing, as evidenced by his selection to the Select team. Most areas of his game improved last year.
    While both need to work on their overall games, the key is for them to be better shooters .

  • Tinman

    One way or another I think it is the last season the team will give them to show that improvement.
    It just shows that last season was a waste, as we were saying the same thing last July.
    I enjoyed those famous 13 games, but 5 years watching AB still has me cautious. And sadly, I think Bargnani has a better chance of succeeding than DeRozan 
    Our success next season does depend a lot on both, and both of their futures with the Raptors as well  

  • Guest

    If you think about it, nobody on the Raptors can improve much because the opposition defenses are too good as well as their offenses. The Raptors are a low performance team because their skills and court iq are low.  I just enjoy watching the visiting good teams playing proper basketball.

    • http://twitter.com/thekid_IT isaac thompson

      that’s what the raptors are trying to accomplish by bringing in players who have thrived in better systems, like Fields and Lowry.

    • RapthoseLeafs

       .
      Yes … that’s why we all come here.
      .

    • RapthoseLeafs

      .
      I know some people say “just ignore the trolls”. But the truth is, if we’re gonna have a civilized debate – when determining things like potential – it’s nice to know what the floor looks like.
      .

    • CJT

      So does that mean that other teams can’t improve because the Raps defense is too good?  9th in the league last year. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KIAOTEY4P5GOBV7E2KRRKO3RNM Chris

    Listen folks, The Raps are still rebuilding. Whether you hate Bargnani and DeRozen’s game matters little. Yanking the offense away from those two doesn’t make the Raps any better. Period.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      I think that you need to listen, buddy, since you’re not running the Raptors..

      Both BC & Casey said that the rebuild/build was over and that this 2012-13 season was all about the playoffs in the Raptors season ending presser…….

      • CJT

        Didn’t they say they were going to try and accelerate the building process?  With the playoffs being the goal for this year.

  • DC

    I still believe in DD. But Bargs I have been lost faith in 13 games or not. Hell JLin had 25 great games were he looked like an all star too. He wasn’t even a 2nd round pick and hasn’t been getting consistent starter mins like king AB has the last 7 years. His rebounding numbers are absolutely pathetic for a starting pf in this league. His defense is at best below average on a good day. So whatever he gives you offensively he gives right back defensively and rebounding wise. 7 years still not good at either. Jesus Christ how long are we suppose to wait?? I think his skill set fits best as a 6th man instant offense off the bench he would be great, hell he’d probably win sixth man of the year. But we all know BC would rather drink his own piss before that happens.  As a starter id take ed d’s probable 10 points 10 boards 2 blocks over AB’s 20 on 16 shots 5 boards and 1 block any day of the week. 

    DD we knew coming in he would be a project. He’s only 22 years old he’s still getting better every year he’s been here. Hell he’s still growing into his body at that age. His ball handling rebounding defence and shooting will all get better because he’s not even close to his prime. His numbers have gotten a lil better every year. I think people were expecting him to be VC right off the bat but DD was only a freshmen when we drafted him. His defence improved last year and as much as people hate to admit his shooting did improve also. If we give up on him too early some team is gonna get a steal. Competition from Tross is gonna force DD to either get better or fall which is good. Which is the difference between AB and him. 

    • Daniel

      It’s exactly the opposite. Bargnani has always had an NBA skillset. It is not clear if he can put it together for 82 games however it is obvious that he has the b-ball abilities to succeed. In NBA elite skills are at a high premium and Andrea has an elite shooting skill from everywhere on the floor. Given his contract of 10 mill/year he is worth keeping around until we get a franchise player. On the other hand DeRozan has been a shot in the dark since the draft work-outs. A guy who has to do 1 on 0 draft workouts is not a good sign for his skillset. His production has been range bound since year 1 to below-average level in almost all categories. His saving grace is that he’s on a rookie contract however in NBA guards are defined by the 3rd year. A break-out 4th season is possible however not probable.
      In summary both players have reasonable contracts for their production with an important difference: Bargnani can be a 2nd-3rd option on a play-off team whereas DD can be no better than 7th or 8th. The following season both have to score much more efficiently to have a chance at play-offs. Historically Andrea has proven he has a higher likelihood of doing it (3 pt % and getting to the line 6 times a game) whereas DD has not (awful 3 pt% and poor finishing at the rim).

      • Truthkiller

        43% shooting that’s a real elite shooting skill -__-

        FYI: Derozan shot 42% what kind of shooting skill does he possess?

      • DC

        So Bargs can be a 2nd-3rd option on a playoff team. Really because when Bargs was the 2nd-3rd option on our team with Bosh here I saw us go nowhere. So I don’t really understand your logic. So what if he can shoot at a good level his career percentages say he’s not an elite shooter, by any means. Its not like this dude has had peja type shooting skills so again I don’t see your logic in saying he is an elite shooter. DD hasn’t broken out yet but by your logic neither has Andrea and he’s been in the league 3 year longer. Like I said DD hasn’t even reached his prime yet at only 22 years old where AB is in his prime with consistent given playing time and still don’t know if he’s a 2nd or 3rd option on a good team. 

        • FLUXLAND

          I never understood the “prime” argument.

          So just because a guy is young it means he will get better? Can you explain that logic?

          On one hand you are saying AB is in his prime and has not gotten better, but on the other DD hasn’t broken out yet and he will. Huuuuh?

          And when can we expect the break out, for that matter, what is taking so long? Dude’s going into his fourth year, he doesn’t have one reliable aspect to his game, at all.

          Elaborate and explain.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Kris Humpries at 27 or Andrea Bargnani at 27?

    • DC

      Humpries easily. 

      • mountio

        Humphries sucks. Of all the bad deals this summer (and there were a lot of bad deals!) .. his was the worst. Marginally better than Reggie Evans .. AB by a wide, wide margin (even before you consider the contract)

    • Mess

      Humphries @ 12Mill or Bargnani @10Mill?

    • Destro

      No question at same money id take Hump….

      inefficient perimeter shooters like Bargnani are a dime a dozen in this league…Hes a 7 foot Kevin Martin….

      • CJT

        7 foot players who can shoot it from outside and get to the rim are not a dime a dozen. 

        • Destro

          I dont value 7 footers who shoot low 40s from the outside and dont rebound/defend…*shrugs*

          • Destro

            What he DOES is a dime a dozen hes just the only one his size doing it lol…

            • CJT

              that makes perfect sense.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Btw the NBA lockout was all about the BRI as the owners knew that ads on uniforms would be upcoming in the very near future and had to get a bigger slice of the pie…..just look at all the ridiculous contracts still being handed out and star players calling for trades.

    Ads on the uniforms is the equivalent to the selling of the soul of the game…str8 up wack- what people will do for money…

    • Sheptor

      It works in european soccer and you’ll never see a lockout there. Every one is to blame for the massive amounts of money we give to professional athletes. The advertisers, owners, politicians, fans, and players themselves. When we give entertainers and athletes more money than doctors, engineers, and scientists we have a serious value system disorder. Somewhere along the line we dun f-ed up.

      • Dc

        True sheptor. Great post

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Unless one is a mindless consumer the proximity of ads on NBA uniforms is akin to game long advertising, I mean, we see all the advertising around the courts, arenas & during tv commercials now we have to be sold as we are watching the players play the game as well?

        The NBA GMs are the ones to blame for the ridiculous salaries/contracts given out- the buck stops with them it’s just that they are playing with Monpoly money.

        We, It’s A Brave New World- shop, shop, shop, shop, shop, buy, buy, buy, buy, spend, spend, spend, spend some more.

        European soccer is one big long Corporate advertisement full of souless Corporate puppets (soccer players) peddling products to fans in order to make said Corporations rich not to mention all of the match corruption.

        Both Euro Soccer & the NBA are scripted reality tv athletic style- selling a money driven Corporate image to the Public at large of said fan base.

        • CJT

          You seem to spend an awful lot of time watching the game, so what does that make you?  A wrestling fan?

    • Mess

      I’m pretty sure if George Mikan had a Dapper Dan logo on his uniform the course of professional basketball would not change all that much.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      The old CBA guaranteed 57 percent of all basketball-related income would go to current players; the new CBA cuts that to total 50 percent — the equivalent of about $300 million every year going to the owners instead of the players. That obviously makes a huge difference.

      • CJT

        A huge difference to what?

      • Guest

         This dude is a troll

  • j bean

    I’m giving Bargnani the benefit of the doubt that the performance we saw before injury is the upgraded version we’ll see to start the season. It is concerning though that the initial injury was re aggravated a couple of times. If it is a chronic problem that they don’t know how to look after that changes everything.  
    DD averaged 16.7 ppg. Only three SG in the league who played at least 55 games had higher numbers. Joe Johnson, Monta Ellis and Kobe. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      I’m sure he will have a good comeback season. Again, I think a lot had to do with the lockout and players not being in training camp early enough and not having team staff. Plus, Demar was playing in those damn pick up games in Drew League last summer and didn’t focus enough on just working out alone in the gym. John Wall mentioned that he didn’t play well last season because he was spending too much time playing in all those pick up games against scrubs where he losed focus on improving his game. 

  • Fry

    I don’t know why ppl keep saying move DD to SF. As a SG, his little too short already. If we move him to SF and face longer ppl, end up will force him become a jumper. Let Ross be the SG and SF back up, or trade DD with Calderon to get a big fish.

    • Jamshid

      Get a big fish ? We are talking about BC here.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

    I see Bargnani being consistant this year with a potential all-star season. The injury bug just bit him last season like everyone else else in the league with the lockout. With a full-training camp, a see improved defensive system with him being among the anchors.

    • Dc

      I didn’t know “power forwards” went to the all star game averaging 5.2 Rebs per game? I bet u landry fields averages more Rebs per game this year then bargs.

      • boshrawr

        If Carmelo the offense killer Anthony can make the all star team, I’m sure there’s a possibility of bargnani making it as well.

        • Dc

          Carmelo is a small forward not a power forward. Carmelo is also way way way more of a consistent and productive scorer. Carmelo is an all nba performer and probable hall of famer. Let’s not compare bargnani to Carmelo cuz that’s just gonna end up embarrassing for ya.

        • Destro

          Explain why Melo is a 5-6 time perennial all star and the other guy isnt then ? If ur so sure its just a fluke….

  • Guttersnipes

    so many morons in here….emar erozan is horrid keeping his man in front of him and so was jose….and so were the rest of our wings….then uncontested layup after layup and the retard bargs haters all puff out their chests and scream “yo guy barfnani dudint playz dee yo!” …..landry and a healthy kleiza and ross and lowry and john lucas will improve our d immensely soley based on not being freakin gawd damn pylons….ed gray amir and all our bigs will benefit if emar doesnt get shook 30 times a game for a free pass into the lane…………bargs is the least of our worries.

    you dummies need to give your heads a shake.

    YOUNG GUNZ YO!…..lol,morons.

    • Spanish_eddie

      what?

      • Tinman

        the hell are you trying to say?

    • Dc

      Congrats on having the stupidest comment oN this board.

    • Destro

      5.6 rebounds and atrocious help D is the MOST of my worries…

    • Thetruth

      Basic grammar and spelling skills go a long way towards anyone taking you serious. Moron.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJKFMCGSMBEQGBRKJVLKUGSEQ john g

      are you on crack or something?

  • Jamshid

    what !!! no one from Raptors ??

    Vegas Summer League All-Stars con’td: Jeremy Lamb, Dominique Jones, Cory Joseph, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Donatas Motiejunas, Jae Crowder

    • Jamshid

      And your Las Vegas Summer League “All-Stars”: Josh Selby, Damian Lillard, Malcolm Thomas, Bradley Beal, Tobias Harris, John Henson (1/2)

    • Massimo

      Yes, and 95% of those names or maybe all of them will never be real all-stars. You take a small league of poor competition less than a month long and you think it counts for something?

      • boshrawr

        Leonard balled out, why wasn’t he mentioned in that list?

      • Destro

        Along with Bargnani will never be real all stars…

        You forgot that part son…

        • CJT

          What are real all stars?  The ones voted in by fans in what amounts to an American Idol style popularity contest?  Those real allstars?

          • Destro

            No the OTHER ones voted by coaches each season…theres about 12-13 of them THOSE ones….to which a certain 7 footer with a vagina has never been…

            • CJT

              right, the reserves.  Great point.

            • CJT

              Wasn’t it infact the talk last year that the coaches were considering him as one of their picks because of his play leading up to the injury?

              • Thetruth

                CJT, I’ve mentioned this point a million times already. Bargnani was getting serious consideration by the coaches as an all-star but it was his injuries and the raptors poor record that ultimately didn’t result in his selection. In a world where Luol Deng is an All-Star forward, yes Bargnani has a real chance at the all-star game next season.

                • Thetruth

                  And what I meant by I’ve mentioned this point a million times is that people like Destro are not worth your time. They don’t want to debate, they want to irritate.

  • Russellalexh

    The Raps will be better this season because Casey will finally be able to coach in practices without the compressed lockout schedule. Regardless of how you feel about DD and AB, everyone seems to be able to agree that Casey is the man for the job. Give him a chance to coach and teach and you will see an improvement. Now our division is hellish, so win/loss won’t be as great but the on court product will be better. Which is the point of improving isn’t it? Look at OKC, they were terrible for a few years in terms of Win/Loss but they kept improving on the court while adding top tier talent.

    • Jamshid

      you cannot use the OKC example here because after 7 years of rebuild under one of the most expensive GM’s in NBA , we don’t have a Durant, Westbrook and even Harden type players.

      Just because we are losing and we are seemingly young, does not automatically makes us OKC. I know the Herd likes to think that but it is far from the truth.

      • CJT

        there is only one OKC.  All the other superpowers got the bulk of their talent from free agency and trades.

  • Thegloveinrapsunifrom

    Seems like the people who comment here are not that active in the forums, if i were you guys, id go into the forums more often because the gist of you comments have been beaten to death in the forums. here’s a summary:

    Bargnani will never ever be a top rebounder. its been fairly accepted by most if not all posters.

    Fields was used to block a potential sign and trade of Steve Nash to the Knicks. BC did not target him as a prized acquisition.

    Demar is riding on potential, and Ross may supplant him as the starting SG one day, or maybe Demar moves to the 3 spot

    • Tinman

      Wow – thanks for clarifying.

      • Thegloveinrapsuniform

         no problem. make sure your comments are a bit more insightful next time.

    • FLUXLAND

      Your comment is lame, but today is The Glove’s 44th birthday, so there’s that and your lameness will be ignored.

      • Thegloveinrapsuniform

         why thank you. i would never say “you morons have no clue what the f**k you are saying, stupid idiots like you should read more before posting”. never. that would have probably been less lame, but im not going to say anything like that.

        • FLUXLAND

          LOL! Sure you said it, being polite and elaborate about it doesn’t make you any better. Nice try though. Thanks for the laugh.

  • kuzzybear

    The game of BB is played attacking the rim and moving the ball wiyh sharp passing. DD attacks the rim constantly. When he starts getting the calls he should, his effectiveness will VERY noticeable. His biggest skill improvement will need to be the ability to pass out to open shooters when help comes. AB and his love for the 1 dribble pull up jump shot are always going to be the biggest disappoitment. Catch and shoot, catch and drive TO THE RIM, catch and pass as close outs come. AB needs to play that way when outside.

  • Destro

    I wonder if some of yall are still as high on Jonas’ immediate impact after watching a few of his games leading up to the olympics…Alot of flaws exposed from what i have seen…

    HIs impact this year will be pretty minimal…

  • Guest

     hea

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

    If we get rid of both of these two garbage “core” players, add someone like Rudy Gay or similarly capable wingman that can drive, and have Ed Davis at the 4, we would be that much better.  Period.  In such a scenario, Ed Davis does not need to score much as the other 4 positions can all score.

  • Myuran08

    They gona have great season …… With the new talent …. In the back up.

  • brandon

    You actually know what you’ve got by the second year, not the third. These two are what they are, and they aren’t a big part of any winning team. They’re interchangeable parts.