Players – #25
Management – #20
Money – #11
Market – #21
Draft – #12

Raptors fans are hopeful that their team is about to turn the corner. Our formula isn’t nearly as optimistic.

The team added three significant pieces this offseason. Kyle Lowry should add some much needed toughness at the point, Terrence Ross oozes potential at the wing and talented center Jonas Valanciunas is finally coming over after spending what would have been his rookie season abroad. Of the three, only Lowry expects to have an immediate impact on their record, as both Ross and Valanciunas are raw and will need time. Young players such as DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis still have a lot of room for growth, too.

On the downside, the Raptors spectacularly overpaid for Landry Fields in their quixotic attempt to lure Steve Nash to Toronto, and as a result, hampered their ability to have big-time cap space in the summer of 2013. At this point the Raptors won’t have major cap space until 2014, when they may have to use much of it to re-sign Lowry and DeRozan. They also are unlikely to have their draft pick next year — they sent it to the Rockets in the Lowry trade — and by 2014, will probably be solid enough to warrant only a late lottery pick.

While the net result of the summer was baby steps in the right direction, Toronto needs a much more dramatic overhaul to be truly relevant again.

  • Jamshid

    What does ESPN knows !!! Matt52, we are all waiting for you to spin this one in favour of BC :) especially this paragraph :
    On the downside, …

    • Matt52

       Unfortunately, the numbers do not back Hollinger’s perspective on the payroll.  He rips the team on payroll yet they are ranked #11?  Say what?

      He is making assumptions about JV’s and TR’s development which is an opinion.  He is judging Fields contributions based on his contract and not his on-court production (According to NBAGeek dot com it is an average of $1.47M per win; even with a down year Fields should be paid $9.85M – just providing another perspective here, definitely don’t think Fields is worth nearly $10M let alone $6.25M but he is still a good player). 

      His rankings of management, draft, and market are arbitrary.

      He has the team at #23 yet the average of his rankings is #17.8 

      Oh yeah, there is no bias in this evaluation.  None whatsoever.

      • Jamshid

        “He is making assumptions about JV’s and TR’s development which is an opinion”

        What assumption ?? That two Rookies can not be “immediate impact” !!!
        Are you suggesting that Rookies like Ross and JV are IMMEDIATE IMPACT Players ??

      • Jamshid

        “He is judging Fields contributions based on his contract and not his on-court production”

        Because he is looking at it as a hit on the Cap … Over paying average player and wasting your resources … Almost all of NBA and NBA sites are looking at this contract with the same view except the herds in here.

        • Matt52

           I’m sorry.  Are playoff berths obtained by the state of payroll or by what the players with the contracts do on the court?

          I always thought it was about on court production.  Maybe I’m wrong.  It wouldn’t be the first time…. and likely not to be the last.

          I guess overpaying a guy who contributes to winning is a bad thing and underpaying a guy who contributes to a losing team is a good thing afterall.  Who ever would have thunk it?

          • Jamshid

            “I’m sorry.  Are playoff berths obtained by the state of payroll or by what the players with the contracts do on the court?”

            Come on … you are smarter than this :) When your team is in the state of trying to gather assets and get new players and build for future , then their future DOES depend on payroll and Cap space and …

            I tell you brother, going back and forth with you when you want to act dumb to prove your point is hilarious …

            Try Again … 

            • K.J.P

              Can’t you two just get along, LOL. =p

              Good debate guys!

              • ZZ

                He’s a lost case…

                I think he’s just inciting argument because it makes him feel better, ergo, trolling

            • Donfiasko

              Just post without being insulting and this board will be a better place.

      • Ivan Armstrong

        he is ripping payroll cuz we have 11th most money, and we could be spending more based on our revenue, but needs to udnerstand we dont want posion contracts and are rebuilbing, next summer expect some more splash w cash..

      • howlonghowlong

         I agree with you here.  However I disagree on the Fields contract.  Pretend that Fields was actually being auctioned off in front of 30 NBA GMs and the highest bidder got him (which is essentially the NBA format except the bids are slightly more confidential).  Realistically, the bids on Fields would have likely been about half of what he actually got.  If BC really wanted him, he only needed to raise the bidding price by a small margin (but we all know the real intensive for the offer was Nash-blocking the Nicks).  The point here, is that his contract well exceeds his “market value”.  Even if he goes on to have great numbers over the next 3 years, the Raptors could have got these numbers on a “steal of contract” rather than hoping his value matches his price tag.

        To take a bit of a tangent, Fields contract really annoyed me because BC has a horrendous history of dishing out ridiculously over-sized contracts to players who are not worth it for hopes that they are eventually worth it.  Recall the Hedu contract?  The Amir Johnson contract?  The Calderon contract? … Just to name a few.  Why pay for players in hopes their value matches their price tag; as apposed to paying players for their value.

        • Matt52

           I do agree the contract is not good.  Sorry if I wasn’t more clear.

          My only point is the addition of Fields as a player is often forgotten.  He is a good player on any NBA team in my opinion.  I think his shooting percentages are somewhere between last year and rookie season. 

          • howlonghowlong

            No need to apologies.  I usually enjoy your analysis, appropriate research and logic.
            I agree that he’s a decent addition, hopefully he builds on his rookie numbers.

        • Truthkiller

          Marcus Banks – 5 years $21 million courtesy of Bryan Colangelo

          • Andrew Kraljevic

            Bryan traded for Banks but did not re-sign banks to that deal.  That was PHO management while BC was already in Toronto.  But BC did pay Jason Kapono  

      • Truthkiller

        Can there be any realistic perpective from you, jeez you sound like those 2 clowns Doug & Eric Smith.

        • Matt52

          Would you prefer this:

          “Boo-hoo Raptors suck.  Why do I follow?  BC sucks.  Casey is useless.  Bargnani is Italian.  DeRozan can’t shoot.”

          I’m all for intelligent debate and discussion.  I’m very happy to agree to disagree.  But here, and elsewhere, I base my opinion on concrete facts and numbers yet most of the Debbie-Downers reply with vague generalizations that are usually based on biased opinions or limited knowledge.

          Where exactly does my perspective lack realism:  The Raptors don’t have 10 players 27 or under?  They don’t have nearly $11M in cap space next summer?  They don’t have 2 lottery picks joining the team?  They didn’t get younger and deeper this off season?  They don’t have any dead weight long term contracts?  Dwane Casey didn’t take them from dead last defensively to middle of the pack – and top 10 if you go by oppFG% of which the Raptor were the only non playoff team?  The Raptors don’t have flexibility moving forward?  Colangelo is not a well respected GM in the league and winner of 2 EoY awards?  The belief if the Raptors aren’t a bonafide playoff team and threat by the end of 2013-14, then Colangelo should not be resigned?  The reality there is a document called the CBA that limits transactions and no other GM in the league is going to willingly make a trade that makes the other team better without serious benefit to their own team? The belief the Raptors should contend for the 8th spot this upcoming season?

          Seriously, where is my perspective not realistic? 

          • CJT

            Where does the DancePack fit in?

            • Matt52

               Sadly, not even I can sugarcoat the truth regarding the dance pack.  So sad because Toronto has so many beautiful women…. who clearly can’t dance!

          • Brandon

            I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being realistic about the ball club’s talent, or lack thereof.

            What’s the point in raising expectations based on wishful thinking and hope? Reality will still set in.

            This team has far too many unproductive players that people wish would magically turn into great players, such as Derozan and Davis. Nobody really knows anything about JV and Ross. So it’s better to err on the side of caution.

            What I do know is that it’s important for losing teams to clear the books of the unproductive contracts so they can compete for the truly productive star players that really make the difference between winning and losing NBA games.

            • Matt52

              Read your post again.  Your realism is tainted by pre-conceived notions of failure – past or future.

              Read my post again.  There is nothing about future expectations relying on optimism other than the last question: they could/should compete for the last playoff spot.  They do have 10 guys under 27, they do have upwards of $11M in cap space (more if they want to amnesty), etc. etc. from previous post.  What these positives yield is another matter and one which I’m unable to predict.  I guess it comes down to the old glass half empty/full scenario.  Given the roster has never had this much potential and flexibility in a long time, I prefer to be positive….. but to each their own.

              DD and ED are what they are in my eyes.  I’m not expecting anything else from them other than what come with more experience.  I don’t think they are all-stars.  DeRozan already is bumped to 3rd option with a (hopefully) healthy Bargnani and Lowry.  Things might get a little easier for DeRozan and he might become more efficient with less focus from the defense.

              What unproductive contracts should the Raptors clear?  I’m not aware of any unproductive contracts.  Even Fields for his ‘gross’ overpayment by $2M is still a productive player.  Calderon is off the books after this season.  DD,  ED, TR, Acy, JV are all rookie deals.  Bargnani at $10M doesn’t seem excessive given the contracts handed out to big men in the last 2 years.  Clearing the team of role players is hardly a productive way to entice a talented player to join a losing team, in my opinion. 

              • Brandon

                I should have defined what I consider to be a productive player, I suppose. There are hundreds of players in the league who can do what these guys can do.

                Unless you have an elite players capable of singlehandedly putting your team in the upper echelon, you need to make plans to get a player like that.

                The NBA is not about a preponderance of good players, it is about great ones.

                • Matt52

                   Having an awful team is not the way to go about enticing a top talent to join your franchise, in my opinion.

                  Relying on luck in the draft can be a long, never ending disappointment because so many factors beyond front office control can occur before they can have any impact in to the team on the court.

                  It is still an unknown but there are many basketball minds who feel the way to go about building in this new CBA is to continually improve from within and maintain flexibility should an opportunity arises.  To me this sounds like a good plan and one the Raptors are working towards.


                • Brandon

                  Yes, I’m 100% for financial flexibility, that’s why I’d like to see these middling players long gone.

                  One thing though. the CBA rules, whatever they are, will not stop the top franchises from getting and keeping the top players. The reason is that those players are not going to those teams for big salaries alone. It’s good markets, good ownership, and good management. 

                  A CBA cannot be written that turns a bad owner into a good one, and vice versa. In the next few years, a lot of fans, and a lot of owners, are going to find that out.

                • Matt52

                   Unfortunately, the middling players are what often puts the team over the top with a star player.  If not the Bosh situation presents itself with a star player but no talent or flexibility to add talent around him. 

                  The new CBA is going to make a difference.  We’ll have to agree to disagree.  Luxury tax teams are no longer able to execute sign and trades (no Steve Nash to LA).  When free agency roles around, home team can offer an extra year and larger raises making about a $20M raise (there was no way Deron Williams was leaving $20M on the table to go to Dallas at 28 years of age).  Sign and trades can only be done with 4 years and lower annual raises.

                  If player are going to leave money on the table, then yes, you are correct.  But I don’t think they leave THAT much money on the table especially when player are going to be in their late 20’s once through restricted free agency and possibly looking at their last big payday.  If teams have cleared cap space and sign unrestricted free agents for less money, then more power to them and good for the player.  Afterall UFA is their right to choose. 

    • Nilanka15

      ESPN is never wrong.  Their writers own a 1985 silver DeLorean, complete with flux capacitor…

      • Matt52

         Yet another ESPN writer (Chad Ford) says this in yesterday’s thread:

        “Getting Lowry for a future draft pick was a steal. He is a big upgrade
        at the point and gives them some toughness they desperately lacked.”

        Hollinger’s bias (yes, I say bias had anyone watched the draft or followed his tweets) has him writing this:

        “They also are unlikely to have their draft pick next year — they sent it
        to the Rockets in the Lowry trade — and by 2014, will probably be solid
        enough to warrant only a late lottery pick.”

        Key word is unlikely.  The pick is not gone to the Rockets.  The Rockets get it if the Raps miss the playoffs – and if not top 3.  There are numerous other writers (ESPN, SI, etc) who are calling the Raps playoff contenders so if they do make the playoffs (which might be hard to believe from a biased/tainted perspective) they will have a first round pick.

        Unfortunately Hollinger, begrudgingly, admits at the end that they have made improvements but not enough to be relevant again.  Hmmmm.  Personally I consider contending for the playoffs relevant.  I also think the expectation to go from lottery to truly relevant in a single off season is not unrealistic but hardly likely.  It also sets up a situation similar to one the Raps went through in 2007 and 2008. 

        So ranking Hollinger’s ranking with the other approximate 12 reviews I have read, I give him this:

        Insight: 11
        Fact-based rationale: 12
        Creativity: 11
        New perspective: 12
        Likelihood of Raps ending up at projection: 12

        Overall: 10

        (Somehow though he comes out higher than the average of the criteria!)

        • Jamshid

          “Hollinger’s bias (yes, I say bias had anyone watched the draft or followed his tweets)”

          Too bad for you since he has also called the acquisition of Lowery a good move for us just like Chad ford did and just like I do and anyone else who knows little about Basketball.  So as you see, He too, gives compliment to the management of the team when they do the right move and criticize them, rightfully so, when they make a wrong move.

          I know this is different from you and Dough Smith’s style of Blindly supporting BC and being a mouth pice …

          • Matt52

             “Hey, hey, hey!  Keep it clean, PAL!”

            Yes.  Hollinger calls it a good trade and then proceeds to say:

            “They also are unlikely to have their draft pick next year — they sent it
            to the Rockets in the Lowry trade — and by 2014, will probably be solid
            enough to warrant only a late lottery pick.”

            Hardly a ringing endorsement now is it?

            • Jamshid

              It is a statement of facts pal !!! 
              What do you want him to say ?? Hide it like you do so people think the future is brighter than what is …

              • Statement

                The new destro, filled with so much anguish.

              • Milesboyer

                I get why people argue in favour of an optimistic view, I don’t get why anyone would take a stand for a pessimistic/negative view.  You’re fighting for the right to say the Raptors will suck –  as if that’s what you want. I hope you’re not a fan of this team. (I can hear the response now – I’m just a realist, but realism doesn’t make predictions!).

                • Jamshid

                  It is not about being optimistic or pessimistic !! It is about being realistic. It is about getting the real picture of the team and where it stands compare to the rest of the league and where we started !!! Are we making progress ??? What is the rate we are making a progress ??? These are valid questions that we need to have honest answer for !! No Sugar coating, no twisting facts. It is about saying is without bias and being open to the reality. 

                • Nilanka15

                  The only way to answer these questions is by playing the games.  How is that so hard to understand?

                  Nobody can accurately say how good/bad this team actually is until the proof is available.  The only proof is wins and losses.

                • aaaa

                   your way too upset

          • John

            Jamshid although I don’t agree with everything you say you do make much more sense than this Matt52 guy. People are calling you a troll because they are upset that you see things realistically and don’t expect the Raps to make it past the first round any time soon.

            • Jamshid

              Thanks John … 

              It does not bother me at all to be called troll by this crowd and I find it quite hilarious that they lose their cool and their manners with the slightest criticism of their team.As I said many times, I have nothing personal against Matt either. If you look at all our exchanges, it is Matt who turns them into personal attacks.I am simply against his way of looking at the team and against twisting facts and bending the truth and creating a fantasy that does not exsist.That being said Matt has all the right to do what he does and be the mouthpiece for BC and I reserve my rights to criticize him in a civilized manner, point out to his bias and his repeated mistakes and the flaws in the argument.Now, if the kids want to call me troll or … so be it :)  who cares :) :)

        • John

          HAHAHAHA….how can you consider contending for playoffs relevant if more than half the teams in the NBA make the playoffs. Making the playoffs as an 8 seed only to get knocked off in 4 games by Miami is not relevant at all. Stop being such a homer and look at the league more objectively. The Raps are going no where any time soon. Big Val (our saviour lol) is still a big question mark. I would love him to develop into a great player but its still too soon too tell. Colangelo was talking about rebuilding and then went to sign Fields to a ridiculous deal. Thats not how Presti built the Thunder or how Ujiri has been building the Nuggets.  You prob have never played competitive ball in your life so I really don’t expect you to understand this much.

          • Jamshid

            Perfectly Said.  +1000

      • minks77

        Hahaha, just get it to 88

      • CJT

        it’s the 1.21 Gigawatts that’s hard to come by.

    • p00ka

      Of course ESPN ppl know it all in their pre-season rankings, right? For example, two days before last season’s start Stein had:

      – Dallas as #1. They ended up barely making the playoffs with a #7 seed in the west.
      – Clippers at #5, which would have been correct if it only included the west
      – Knicks at #6, though they wound up #7 in the east alone
      – Spurs at #10, though they finished #1 in the west
      – Indiana at #13, while they finished #3 in the east
      – Portland at #14, yet they finish with a 28-38 record and 11th in the west
      – Atlanta at #18, yet finished #5 in the east
      – Phoenix at #22, yet fight for a playoff spot down to the wire
      – Utah at #23, yet they make the playoffs

      Especially at this stage of the game, it’s guesswork by ESPN as much as it is by anyone.

    • privateSectorTaxSlave

       ESPN is once again showing they are the WALMART of non – LA NY or CHI markets when it comes to credible beat reporting.  Most of the posteres here have a better read on RAPS than they do.

      • Copywryter

        I disagree. Most of the posters here take a rosy view of the team – both present and future. There’s very little perspective here, and a disregard for the opinions of neutral parties. For Hollinger to rate a team at 23 when it was near the bottom of the league last year is reasonable. What is not reasonable is that a newly-acquired top-15 pg and a raw, foul prone rookie are going to guide us to the playoffs. 

        • privateSectorTaxSlave

           I won’t act like this board is not full of homers.  But there is never any Meat and Potatoes to most of the crap from ESPN.  They look over the roster read a couple of articles and sew together some flimsy article.  You could do that 5-10 years ago but now there is too much info out there and lazy reports are easy for all but the most passive fans to identify.

  • Matt52

    Is Hollinger on drugs? 

    They have $44.4M tied up in contracts for next summer (including player options and rookie contracts).  http://www.hoopsworld.com/toronto-raptors-team-salary

    They have $13M in cap space for use in a trade or in free agency should they decline DD or he signs an offer sheet they refuse to match.  They also have an amnesty clause at their disposal.

    There is also the possibility the cap is raised for 2013-14 creating another $4-5M based on numbers I’ve seen (which are all speculation, btw). 

    • Jamshid

      Your numbers are not right and I am not surprised since you are always trying to twist facts as a mouth pice for BC:

      Based on your link just for the following players ( 8 Player) :
      Big Val, Lowery, Field, Keliza, AB, Ross, Acy and Grey : 44 M

      Add to that Ed and DD ( Unless you want to let go of these guys who you have invested and used as your little excuse for building through draft) : 51.7 M

      Now, you are at 10 players :) 

      Add to that Lucas which you were so high on an thought it was a great sign and you are at:

      53 M  :) :) and have ONLY 11 players !!!

      Say What !!! 11 Players at 53 M !!!  So where is the money to sign Max Player ?? What are you assuming the cap is 57 or 67 😉

      • Matt52

        First things first.  My math was wrong.  Number is $47.147M for 2013-14 based on all guaranteed contracts, player options, and rookie deals being picked up.  Players included include AB, LF, LK, ED, JV, TR, KL, AG, QA, and AJ.  That is 10 total players under contract and a hair under $11M in cap space.

        Secondly, you are not very good at the abstract thinking picture…. or reading. 

        Thirdly, they still have amnesty at disposal.

        Fourthly, I made it very clear DD was not included in previous post.

        Fifthly, the 10 players is a good thing.  They have the depth and role players so many teams lack which causes great players to want out like previous Raptor players.

        Sixthly, Lucas is a good pick up as a 3rd string PG.  He provides flexibility should an offer arise with Calderon.  He is a team option in 2013-14 – again flexibility.

        Finally, building a team is all about flexibility and opportunities.  In case I did not spell it out clearly enough: the Raptors have the flexibility should the opportunity arise to add a max player.  You really need to think outside the box to maximize your potential. 

        • Jamshid

          “First things first.  My math was wrong.  Number is $47.147M for 2013-14 based on all guaranteed contracts, player options, and rookie deals being picked up.”

          Wrong again !!! Are you really that bad with simple math ??
          Do the calculation again and my numbers are right:

          Big Val, Lowery, Field, Keliza, AB, Ross, Acy and Grey : 44 M
          Ed and DD : 51.7
          Lucas : 53

          And we ONLY have 11 Players. Sign few players to Vet Min or … and you are right at 56-57 !!!

          Do the Math and stop wasting people’s time …

          • cesco

             You are wrong about 53 millions for the 11 players you mentioned . Hoopsworld.com figure of 53,247,646 include DD qualifying offer of 4,531,459 . Subtract DD offer and you get 48,716,187 dollars or 48.7 millions for 11 players not 53 millions .

            • Jamshid

               With all due respect, how are you calculating this number:

              AB           10.750
              Field          6.250
              Amir          6.5
              Lowery      6.210
              Kleiza        4.6
              Val            3.526
              Gray          2.690
              Ross          2.678
              Acy           0.788

              Total : 43.992 for 9 Player

              Ed               3.153
              DD               4.531

              Total : 51.676 for 11 Player

              Lucas        1.567

              Total:        53.24 for 12 Player !!!

              So how are you guys Calculating !!!

              • cesco

                I agree that 53.24 millions is the correct figure for 12 players including DD , it is the figure from Hoopsworld.com , no need to repeat those numbers as you did . Matt 52 original post was about 10 players which excluded DD and Lucas .

                • Disco

                  Even if exclude those two players, his numbers are NOT correct But thanks for standing up for him. Nice Try:)

                • cesco

                   53.247.646 subtract 4.531.459 (DD) and 1.567.500 ( Lucas) and you get 47.148.687 , pretty close to his revised figure of 47.147M for 10 players .

              • Miller Regent

                 Nice basic addition skills, now work on your spelling. You spelled Lowry’s name wrong 3 times. If we were playing baseball you’d be out!

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

                wow you guys are such geeks

          • Eweb021

            Let’s all listen to the guy who lists the players as field, keliza and lowery….smh

            • Disco

              yes, lets ignore the numbers and focus on misspelled names !!!

              • Eweb021

                Who gives a shit about the numbers. The situation isn’t nearly as gloomy as you turds are trying to make it sound. Fields 5 mil for the next 2 years isn’t going to kill their opportunities. You bookworm fucks need to stop googling the salaries and over analyzing everything. The eastern conference is gonna be very weak next year. I think they’ll make the playoffs

              • Eweb021

                And yeah at least one of your numbers is wrong because fields contract is 5, 5.25, then the rest in year 3

                • Jamishid

                  Not according to the link that was provided by Matt52. I was just using that link to prove how he continually lies and manipulates the data trying to prove his points.

                • Thetruth

                  Matt doesn’t lie or manipulate. He provides intelligent discussion. YOU on the other hand are the most irritating pest on RR. And that is quite an accomplishment considering the number of irritants on this site.

              • CJT

                Well this is supposed to be the team he is claiming to be a fan of.  You think he might learn the names of the players on the team.  That is all.

            • Thetruth

              Or who keeps repeatedly spelling mouthpiece as ‘mouth pice’. You know we have free education here in Canada Jamshid, maybe you should try it out.

              • Jamshid

                looool, did I upset the Herd !! LOOOOL, You should ask Matt to take a Math class as well 😉

                • Matt52

                   And you could take a few classes to brush up on your reading, comprehension, and spelling… but tit for tat is certainly pretty childish no?

                  You’ve officially achieved main page troll status…. and on the main page that is a real  accomplishment.

                  You’ve shown some very undesirable personality traits.  I hope you are a better person away from the keyboard.

                • Jamshid

                  LOL, Matt , don’t take it personal. Stop brown nosing BC and stand for what is right and I will stop picking on you. Till then, you are stuck. Now wipe off those tears and keep your head up pal. It is beautiful day here in Ontario ( not sure where you are pal).

                • CJT

                  I don’t care what the other guys say, I still think there is hope for you.  One day you will find a girl, get laid, loosen up and have a whole new world open up for you.  Until then read a book. 

                • aaaa

                   hahaha now THAT was funny..+1+1+1

                • Donfiasko

                  This would be so much more fun in person, it would certainly help separate the men from the boys (and by boys I mean punks that try and act tough but don’t really have anything intelligent to contribute).

          • Matt52

             I have noticed another difference between yourself and me.  I know I come across as opinionated and obnoxious.  However that happens because I have a strong belief in my convictions.  This conviction comes from examining both sides of the argument  Believe it or not I do question BC, I am just not naive enough to think the man is purposely setting the Raptors back and frame my criticisms with more thought than a toddler picking a crayon colour. 

            So when you said my numbers were wrong the first time, I double checked my post, your post, and the number; lo-and-behold I was wrong.  When I added them the second time the new number was $47.147.  So when I post this, what do you do?  You automatically assume you are correct without any reflection or thought of, “Gee, maybe I am wrong or missing something here” and grasp to this one point like a starving baby to its mother’s breast.  It is as if proving this one point somehow makes all the other arguments you have set forth, and I have carefully dissected in some cases and brutally ripped apart in others, magically disappear.

            You see the problem is, in your quest to finally get one over, you have not read my posts or the level of comprehension needed to follow my posts is above your head (but to your credit I don’t think that to be the case).  Desperation does the former to people, so I understand your mistake.  Let me walk you through.

            First things first, make sure you are looking at 2013-14 salaries.  Secondly, make sure you understand that I have stated repeatedly the figure includes only the players with guaranteed contracts, player options picked up, and rookie contracts.  The players (and their salaries) that meet the criteria are:

            Andrea Bargnani (10.75)
            Amir Johnson (6.5)
            Landry Fields (6.25)
            Kyle Lowry (6.21)
            Linas Kleiza (4.6)
            JV (3.526)
            ED (3.153)
            Ross (2.678)
            Aaron Gray (2.691)
            Quincy Acy (.788)

            So what does that add up to?  $47.146M

            DeMar is not included because he is no longer under contract.  He has a qualifying offer/cap hold.  As I have said, this can be withdrawn.  The assumption is if DD was to be let go, it would be because a better player would be coming in with his salary cap space.  You seem to think this is a bad thing due to time and energy spent developing him.  Unfortunately, for someone as biased as I am supposed to be, I look at it that he might not live up to expectations or be worth his qualifying offer – let alone his cap hold.  Every draft pick comes with uncertainty and not all are going to live up to expectations (you see the problem with putting all of ones eggs in the draft basket?).  The other thing you fail to acknowledge is salary cap space can be used for more than free agency.  DeMar could actually be retained and a player could be obtained via a sign and trade…. or he could be traded as part of that sign and trade…. or another.  This would also keep the rights to Calderon and MLE/bi-annual.  Flexibility… options…. uncertainty…. but endless possibilities!

            John Lucas is not included because this is a team option.  As I have said, team options not included.

            The whole point is flexibility.  It appears you like to deal with certainties and constants.  Unfortunately these are not good attributes to have navigating ever changing NBA-landscape with new CBA rules and luxury tax coming in to effect. 

            So as I said, the Raptors could have up to $11M in cap space for free agency…. or trade… or sign and trade.  This does not factor in a likely raised salary cap, the amnesty clause being used, a player not picking up his option (Kleiza), or a trade that sends more salary out than coming in. 

            The whole point, that you struggle to comprehend, is flexibility.  Options and possibilities are there, you just need to raise the level of thinking one notch.  It appears you like to deal with
            certainties and constants.  Unfortunately these are not good attributes
            to have navigating an ever changing NBA-landscape.  A change in course or plan appears to be a bad thing from your perspective.  Unfortunately, if that change in course or plan is better for the organization sticking with the original is actually detrimental to the big picture of on-court success.  Being static in an ever changing world is hazardous to your success.

            The Raptors keep improving from within and maintaining flexibility to be opportunistic.  I fail to understand the problem.  I know you want the certainty of ‘being a top 3 seed in 3 years’ but unfortunately the game doesn’t come with certainties.  Also would you rather build for a top 3 seed and a first round exit or get in at 5 or 6 and make it to conference finals or finals?  The regular season and playoffs are two totally different animals.  You see, this is another example of short-sightedness and limiting the opportunities for oneself you continue to display.

            As much as it pains many wet-blanket Raptors fans around here, the Raptors continue to improve while maintaining flexibility to take advantage of opportunities to get even better.  I know that improving as an organization (including management, coaches, trainers, players, culture, on court play, and reputation) is not as exciting as playing terrible basketball and hoping the lottery gods deliver Anthony Davis instead of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist only to see a whole year of beyond shitty basketball go to waste …… hey wait one second! Maybe that is more exciting!

            If you want the privilege of me continually debunking your flawed reasoning and arguments you had better pick up your game, Jamshid.   

            • Jamshid

              “If you want the privilege of me continually debunking your flawed reasoning and arguments you had better pick up your game, Jamshid.  ”

              LOOOL, man you have no Shame :) You were just proven wrong on each point your tried to make and no go on the offences and pretend something else !!!

              Keep that for the Herd Pal. First you come up with your BS of 44 M then I call you on it and then you take DD’s contract out and say now it is 47 for 11 Player !!! Come on pal, you know he will extend to DD and you know we are no where close to 11 M under the CAP and you know Hollinger is right :)

              The Only difference between you and me is that I state facts and criticize with open mind while you support blindly, twist facts to brown nose BC and be a good mouth pice like Dough Smith :) :) That is the ONLY difference …

              Guess What ?? I will be here and calling out your every little attempt to manipulate numbers and all your little lies and … 

              Then you can come up like above, and write half a page and telling everyone why you are better than me :) :)

              I love getting a reaction out of you Pal. Now, come back and have the last word because I am done with you under this thread. Maybe tell us how we are going to get Gay next summer   like you did last winter and ended up with Anderson 😉

              You are too easy … Come on, Don’t be Shy, Stage is all yours …

              • Matt52

                 A couple of corrections in your smiley faced, !!!, ??, Pal-laced diatribe:

                1) I wasn’t wrong because of a blatant attempt to prove an incorrect fact.  I made a mistake.  Which I quickly admitted to when it was called to my attention.

                2) I fail to see how I was proven wrong.  I continue to talk about opportunities and possibilities.  You continue to want concrete definites and certainties.  I’m sorry but absolutes regarding the future aren’t possible in this discussion.

                3) I don’t know what will happen with DeMar.  Unless he is extended to a really cheap contract it makes no sense to do so before free agency next year.  The Raptors will have right of first refusal, so why bid against themselves unless the contract is a real bargain?  The deadline to extend DeMar will be October 31st, I believe, so we’ll know soon enough.  But even if DeMar is extended, there is still an amnesty provision that could be used.

                4) Feel free to call me out for pointing out the Raptors continue to make improvements from within while maintaining flexibility to take advantage of any opportunity that should arise.

                5) When did I say the Raptors WOULD get Gay?  I offered possibilities of why they COULD get Gay but since he has not been traded to anyone, I fail to see how this is suppose to make me look bad.  Also, I’ve also pointed out that Cleveland and Houston can offer much better packages than what Toronto could offer if Memphis actually wanted to trade Gay.  I’m not static in my opinions because as circumstances change, so do my opinions.  If that makes me a ‘flip-flopper’ or lessens my credibility with you, so be it.

                6) I think the real reason you are done with this thread is because, just like the last thread, I OWN you and you are easily made to look silly in any rational discussion – LOL.  As for getting reactions – do you see smiley faced, punctuation marked tirades coming from my finger tips?


                Just to make sure you are clear on my position with the Raptors:

                a) they are younger and deeper than last season;

                b) they continue to make improvements throughout the organization but most importantly  the on-court product (although we’ll have to wait until the games are played for this to be more than an opinion – just like every other team);

                c) they continue to position themselves to maintain flexibility should an opportunity arise to better the team – which does not exclude acquiring a top talent or max contract.

                • Nilanka15

                  I applaud your self-control in dealing with this troll.

                • Matt52

                   Responding to these types of irrational arguments/complaints/criticisms is easy.  It is like catching fish in a barrel.

                  There is an important element of truth here though.  BC’s time is definitely running out.  I do hope to see his option picked up for next year but if by the end of 2013-14 this ship is obviously not on course (and by that not a bonafide playoff team, not just a playoff contender but a 2nd, conference final threat and hopefully better) then it will indeed be time for BC to go… I’ll be happy to pack his bags.

                  But given 1 more free agency period, 2 more trade deadlines, and 2 more  seasons is an eternity for what could happen on the court or what roster possibilities might present themselves off it, I am very happy with the progression being shown.

                  BC has definitely worn out the flexibility mantra.  However, despite this it does still exist.  I’m sure there were opportunities to make a move but making a move for the sake of it is hardly acting with a plan or vision that so many fans feel is necessary.   Sometimes the best move is no move.  Looking beyond 2013-14 season, there is still flexibility at this time with only $36M in salary and $11M guaranteed.  As I said, BC has definitely over played the flexibility card but it doesn’t make it any less true.  Until the Raptors get that franchise type player this type of flexibility will hopefully continue to exist to take advantage of any opportunities that could (could not will; as in possibly) arise.

                • Thetruth

                  Matt, I think I’ve posted like 10 times so far. First time all my posts were directed at that fool Jamshid. Wow is he irritating. Just want to tell you that I don’t always agree with your viewpoints but glad you bring good discussion to RR.

                • Matt52

                   Thank you.

                • ghost


                • Mark

                  Matt52 is a weird handle for Bryan Colangelo to use.  I like your enthusiasm but come on pal get off the Koolaid.  You talk about “opportunities” and “flexability” just like BC and I think it’s time to admit talking about tomorrow is easy.  Making it happen is the tricky part and the Raptors have done little to improve the team short or long term in a long time.

                • Matt52

                   We’ll have to agree to disagree then.  10 players under the age of 27 for this upcoming season and nearly $10-plus million in cap space next summer and few long term commitments the summer after certainly creates opportunities.

                  You are absolutely correct making it happen is the tricky part.  But having the ability to make something happen versus not having the ability to make something happen certainly increases probabilities and opportunities, no?

                  Read a few more of my posts and you’ll see I’ve made it very clear if the Raps are not a legit playoff team after next season (when the team option on BC is up), I’ll be more than happy to pack his bags.

              • Nilanka15

                My god, you’re a moron.

                • Jamshid

                  LOL, Coming from you, it is a compliment. Keep it clean or stay out when you have nothing intelligent to say.Stop embarrassing yourself.

                • Nilanka15

                  Piss off with your “keep it clean” nonsense with all the back-handed insults you throw around.

                  You’ve been completely owned on countless occasions, yet continue to be obsessed with one fan’s view of his favourite team, desperately grasping at the weakest branches to break your fall.

                  It’s nothing short of pathetic.

                • Thetruth

                  LOL. I swear I get tired of these trolls, it really ruins the discussion for everyone. I really wish there could be a way to kinda form a group discussion and lockout pests like Jamshid. 

                • Matt52

                   It is called the forums. 😀  I believe his disdain started from when I banned him there.

                • Jamshid

                  Being here exposing you, forcing you to write pages of rebuttal is priceless pal 😉 . Say hello to Smith for me  😉

                • Matt52

                  Funny how those rebuttals get lots of those little thumbs.  It would appear there is a quiet majority here who disagree with your views.  I am sure intelligent views and positions are respected and appreciated regardless of opinion.  Sadly you do not appear to be up to the challenge.

                • Jamshid

                  LOL, use the forum if you want to be among the herd who cheer for the team no matter what and listen to the likes of Matt who twist facts to paint a rosy picture of future. In the forum, you will have your pals to cheer for you and all the opposing ways will be lockout.

                • CJT

                  Isn’t that what a fan does?  Cheers for his/her team no matter what.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t be critical of moves made or effort or whatever, but you cheer for you team.

              • Thetruth

                I can’t emphasize this enough Jamshid: You are flagrantly stupid.

                • Jamshid

                  LOOOLL, you are hilarious kid.

                • ghost

                  Jamshid, as an Indian immigrant to Canada, you should really try to learn spelling, comprehension and grammar as Matt52 suggested. Because, I have a hard time following your stupidity…and this comes from an an  Indian immigrant who actually went to school.

      • WJF

        I am no cap guru, but even I know you can go over the cap to sign your own players in certain situations….

        • Jamshid

          That is true but it is beyond the point here. Matt52 is simply ignoring the numbers or pretend to add them wrong trying to prove a point. Numbers are there for anyone with 25 second time in their hand to add … 
          Hollinger is right about what he said in terms of Lowery, Big Val, Ross, Fields and Cap space …

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            Exactly- mofo’ers ‘talking out of the side of their neck’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYl6_bNv7as just like BC does to the fan base.lmfao

            • CJT

              it’s nice to have all of the Pessimisdicks piping up in the same thread. 

  • Camp Escargot

    Have been checking out the forms for years but never posted, noticing alot of very argumentative posters recently? Yes Fields contract is difficult moving forward but having watched alot of NY games over the last 2 years I think he will suprise

    • 2damkule

      it’s gotten worse lately.  don’t worry, summer’s almost over, and i’m guessing some of the more trolly members of the republic will be preoccupied with failing 8th grade (again) soon enough.

  • Raps Loyalist

    I don’t understand how Toronto’s market (along with the fact that they are Canada’s only team so have lots of fans all over the country) can be ranked #21

    Hollinger is an idiot…Toronto’s a top 5 media market in North America and the Raptors always have good attendance numbers even in years when the Raps stink.

    • Eweb021


    • mountio

      “Market” according to his definition is “Appeal to future acquisitions based on team quality, franchise reputation, city’s desirability as a destination, market size, taxes, business and entertainment opportunities, arena quality, fans”.

      When I rank TO, we are good on market size and arena quality and ok on business and entertainment (and maybe fans .. although you cant forget this is a hockey town 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th). We are bad on team quality, franchise rep, city’s desireability (whehter right or wrong, americans dont want to come here) and taxes.
      Using a quick wieghted average of the above factors .. #21 seems about right .. dont you agree?

      • Raps Loyalist

        It’s a 30 team league so 15 would be average.

        Team Quality = below average
        Franchise Rep = below average
        City’s Desirability = average (there’s a lot of destination in the USA where Americans don’t want to play too)
        Market Size = top 5
        Taxes = average
        Business/Ent Opps = top 5
        arena quality = above average (so I hear never been to ACC)
        Fans = above average (when you consider the support this team gets while losing year after year)

        I’d say Toronto is (at the very least according to the criteria) average or better.

        • mountio

          Team Quality = below averageFranchise Rep = below averageCity’s Desirability = average (there’s a lot of destination in the USA where Americans don’t want to play too)Market Size = top 10 (NYK, BN,LAL,LAC, CB, DM all ahead .. so we are technically 7th.. philly, houson, Miami, Dallas all very close to TO in metro area size below (ie all above 5mm, TO is 6mm)Taxes = below average – only teams that are as bad are NY (NYK, BN) and Cali (LAL, LAC, SC, GSW). Canada is worse than all of these – but one way or the other we are somewhere between dead last and bottom 7. Business/Ent Opps = top 15 – see above .. I would argue all the cities with similar size in the US have better opps)arena quality = above average Fans = average at best. We have good fans, no doubt. But most of the iconic / great teams kill us – NYK, CB, BC, LAL, P76, SAS, OKC, DM and there are some sneaky great fan bases from mediocre teams – UJ, GSW,PTB .. Im sure Im missing some. Our fans are good .. but lets not overstate.

          Bottom line .. 21 out of 30 (or slightly below average) seems about right to me ..  

          • Jamshid

            Nicely Said …

          • Raps Loyalist

            Definitively Worse Markets than Toronto

            New Orleans

            That’s 15 teams so I’d say Toronto is average in Market (at the very least)…make a case for any of these cities that doesn’t involve the team’s current talent (b/c that is obviously a ridiculous criteria on which to base an assessment of market potential)

            When I think market I think size, spin-off size (like being the only team in Canada so therefore being the dominant team in a market of 33 million people), fan support, and endorsement opportunities.

            Taxes don’t really matter that much unless you’re talking about states with no income tax (Texas/Florida)

            What makes no sense to me is how “team quality” is an evaluation category in “market”assessment…wtf are the “player” and “management” categories for then?  Seems like counting the same thing in multiple categories to me.


            • CJT

              I do not disagree with you, but your are talking about kids coming out of “college” with a solid 8th grade education for the most part.  they do not have any view of the world outside of what they see on t.v. and video games.  So it does not surprise me at all that the ranking is where it is.  “You from Canada?  Do you know John?”  please read with a southern accent.

            • Mark

              Anyone who has travelled to a lot of major cities woud agree that Toronto is a great city.  But all that matters is what NBA player think and due to many reasons they don’t want to come here.  I would bet 75% of players especially star players would rather play in ANY other NBA city over Toronto.  Whether it’s due to ignorance or not doesn’t change this.  BOSH said himself playing in Canada is like playing in Siberia. 

              • Raps Loyalist

                Bosh had to say things like that to help justify leaving.  He got tons of endorsements and attention and accolades playing in Toronto.

                I think that the “American players don’t want to play in Canada” thing is over-hyped, though definitely true for some of the “ghetto superstar i’m a brand” players.  Talent attracts talent, so if some of our draft picks/young players blossom into all-stars we will be able to attract another all-star to join the squad either through trade or free agency.

                I think the biggest thing holding the raptors back is their shitty team name.  It’s a super lame/dated name associated with suck.  Time to rebrand the franchise with a better name IMO. I say go back to Huskies at the very least.

                • weedman

                  Dude. You call yourself “Raps Loyalist” but you want to change their name? 

                  I like the name ‘Raptors’. I don’t associate it with anything other than the Toronto Raptors, favorite basketball team and sports team in the world, and I don’t care much what anybody says about how they’ve ‘sucked’ in the past or how ‘dated’ the name is. And really, does anyone give a crap about that dinosaur movie way back when and how it doesn’t relate to us? I don’t really think so. 

                  A new season approaches. A new beginning is about to commence. For the RAPTORS. 

                  Also … you say “… go back to Huskies …” like that was their name at one time. 

                  It was not. 

                  Huskies was a name that was used by a failed pro team for about two years, nine hundred or so years ago. 

                  It was never our name. 

                  Personally and fwiw, I never liked the name ‘Huskies’. And anyway, the league already has Timberwolves, so … don’t need any more dogs. 

                  Cheers to you, sir. Bongs at the ready!

                  Go Raps! 

                • “Raps” Loyalist

                  You’re a total F***ing loser…the name “raptors” is a joke and makes the franchise seem like a joke. I’m a devoted fan of the franchise but not the name “raptors”…I’m a firm believer that the name and the colors of a franchise make a difference over the long-term.  If you don’t agree than fine..but i bet a pool of NBA players would rank the name “raptors” as one of the worst in the league.

                • weedman

                  Pardon me, Mister Raps Loyalist. I tend to skip most of your posts so I hadn’t realized you were an internet tough-guy! 

                  And … you’re SO loyal to the Raptors that you make it your name … except that … you HATE the Raptors name! (?!)   

                  I dunno, Jabrone. Considering the obvious ‘issues’ thing I’m sensing, you might want to think about another name for yourself. 

                  How about “husky toughguy”? Or … maybe just plain old “weedman’s bitch”? Ya, we might be onto something there. 

                  Ya think? 

                  Now go get me some matches then lay down in the corner like a good little husky-bitch. 

                • Raps Loyalist

                  more like
                  “limp cock in hand man”
                  try not to e so pathetic.

                • weedman

                  Oh. You’re gay.  

                  Well no worries about that, Mister Raps Loyalist. 

                  What I might be concerned with however, is the particular (and distinctive) forms of excessive hostility displayed, related (usually) to unresolved anger (stemming from trauma), most often seeded by early abuse at the hand of Dad. In your case though (because homosexuality is involved) the abuse is (statistically) more likely to have been from Mom. 

                  The good news is, whatever the specific and larger issues that you or your therapists target for rehabilitation, the majority of the dysfunctional behavior points you clearly display, are, with time and effort, treatable. 

                  Good luck, Jabrone! 

                • weedman

                  Oh and … Jabrone? I’m just making shit up there, I’m sure you know. Just messin’ with ya. Go Raps. 

                • Lorenzo


                • Raps Loyalist


                  that’s why your mom’s so fat. no thanks

      • Matt52

         Should be noted that Ontario tax rate is less than California and New York.  It is still not near the lowest in the league but it is less than many ‘desirable’ markets.

        • mountio

          Ontario tax rate is actually higher than Cali and NY (but you are right that they are very close). Both myself and my wife and worked and lived in NY and Cali (and now TO) over the last decade. I can tell our taxes went up between both US jurisdictions and here. Not a lot, but did go up a little – depending on how it shakes out, the top marginal rate in Ontario is a percent or two higher than those two states. When you factor in our sales tax goods on top of that (a small factor relative to income for these dudes, but none the less) .. and Ontario is not a tax friendly spot ..

          • Matt52

             Do you make over $1,000,000?  Because that is what I am talking about.  NBA players incomes are most definitely at the top of the brackets.  So yes, Ontario is lower for the overwhelming, vast majority of NBA players.

            How much money is an NBA player going to spend in Ontario to make the sales tax relevant especially when considering:

            1) NY state has a 7% sales tax and California has a 7.25% sales tax which can go up to 9.75% based on local sales tax rates;

            2) most players tend to base themselves outside their ‘home’ city during the off season – especially Raptor players.

            • mountio

              top marginal rate in Ontario is 48%
              US federal top rate is 35%
              add 10.55% in Cali – total – 45.55%
              in NY, add 8.97% – total just under 44%

              The threshold varies .. but usually give or take 500k, so NBA players well into these brackets.

              So – Toronto definitely worse ..

              Not really debateable.

              As for sales tax .. agree, its not a huge factor, but still paying 13% vs the numbers you quote on big ticket items like cars, houses doesnt help.

              • Jamshid

                “Not really debatable.”
                Don’t worry, Matt will make it debatable !! 😉 

                • Thetruth

                  That’s because Matt has got a brain. I don’t agree with some of Matt’s viewpoints but at least he makes intelligent points and makes debate enjoyable. You on the other hand are a pest.

              • Matt52

                 Federal tax rate for over $132k: 29%
                Ontario tax rate for over $78k: 11.2%
                Total: 40.2%

                federal rate over $388k: 35%

                New York State:
                $300k-$2M: 6.85%
                over $2M: 8.82%
                Total: 41.85-43.82%

                over $1M: 10.30%
                Total: 45.3%

                • mountio

                  You obviously dont pay much taxes if you think Ontario rates are 40%!

                  You are missing all the surtaxes, including a new one this year for people over $500k.





                • Jamshid

                  “You obviously dont pay much taxes if you think Ontario rates are 40%!”

                  Or more realistically, he belongs to the lower income group. 

                  That being said, I thought almost everyone with college degree knows you pay less taxes in US than Canada on higher incomes !!

                • Matt52

                  Wow.  That is sad.  Troll on.

                • Thetruth

                  Yea you are a troll Jamshid. You clearly don’t know anything about tax differences between the US and Canada. 

                • CJT

                  Hey, it’s “everyone with A college degree” But I suppose your advanced intellect knew that already. 

                • Matt52

                  Thanks for sharing that and enlightening me.  I was not aware of the surtax and certainly stand corrected on the specific rates.  I also don’t live in Ontario, but man, Ontario residents are getting railed.

                  I wonder how much of the surtaxes are applicable to NBA players – and non-residents at that. 

                  I recall something about the Raptors having a provision that other teams do not.  I can’t recall exactly what it was but there is something.  You know what it is?

                  There is also tax agreements between US and Canada but I’m not willing to debate this much further so I’m not interested in looking either.  I’ll concede the point!

                • mountio

                  No problem. I happen to work in finance and have a decent understanding of taxes .. but like I said in the opening .. having lived it in all three jurisidictions at a higher tax rate Ive learned the hard way.
                  I would be surprised if all of the surtaxes dont apply to NBA players – they are essentially across the board.
                  As for treaties / agreements, there are some, but for NBA players my understanding is they are essentially subject to the home jurisdiction of their team (thus all the fuss about taxes and our debate today) ..

                • Jamshid

                  Where do you live Matt ? Because Alberta and BC also have the same surtaxes and pay much higher rate than California, Arizona, Texas and many other states in US. 

                • Jamshid

                  Thinking more about it, almost everywhere in Canada except for NWT and Quebec, people pay higher taxes than US but then Matt might not be making as much so doesn’t know :)

                • Matt52

                   You have shown to be ignorant, petty, and childish.  I no longer feel the urge to debate or discuss with you.  You offer no new insight – just irrational ramblings.  I am happy you have found a place to voice your Raptor-related opinions.  As I said in another post, I do hope you are a better person away from the keyboard than the characteristics you exhibited shown here.

                • CJT

                  hahahahahahaha Thats awesome.  He just can’t help it, he has to troll.  He is driven to troll.  I appreciate that you are able to admit your errors here, it is not a common trait seen on this board.  Thanks for providing interesting reading.

                • Mossnoah

                   ya that was halarious I very much enjoyed it. It was just so important for that guy to be right. Anyway matt, talk to you in the FORUM, where I am allowed to write!

  • Shut up and ball

    Jamshid your posts are so annoying. Matt52 may not have everything bang on but the point he is trying to make is that options are still available and the team has improved. He didn’t say they were going to win the east he said they are playoff contenders and also to go with your guys debate, Hollinger says they will likely only get a late lottery pick in ’14 which tells me he projects them even higher the season after the one upcoming. Nobody knows what they don’t know and you guys arguing like a bunch of losers is so pathetic. 

    Last point, championship teams are usually over the cap anyways! 

    • Luke14

      But a lie is a lie .

    • Matt52

       Definitely agree championship teams are usually over the cap.

      But the foundation of championship teams are often (not always!) created by how the space is used below the cap.  Trades and exceptions are what adds to the salary above the cap.

    • Thetruth

      Jamshid is an ignorant whiner. People like him just make you hate debating sports.

      • Jamshid

        LOL, take it easy Amigo, you might pop a vein or something 😉 Just go the safe place you guys call forum and you will be among the herd … safe and sound and away from reality :)

        • CJT

          Or stay here and laugh at the Pessimisdicks.

  • thatpeterguy

    It’s funny to watch all these “fans” talk about how the Raptors will be this, that, and the other thing next year.  The fact is nobody knows what will happen next year.  That’s the beauty of sports.  And to get so mad that you are swearing and insulting a stranger on the internet because you so fiercely believe your favourite team will suck is an interesting way to kill some time I guess but it’s pretty nonsensical.  

    • ZZ

      That’s the offseason for ya

  • ad

    I agree with ESPN that the raptors have taken baby steps and are a little better than last year. When I say better I mean winning 35 games at most. They certainly are not significantly improved nor do they need a drastic overhaul. What they need is an all star or borderline all star type wing (SF) player that can create his shot. Thats what they are sorely lacking and BC for all his “flexibilty” talk has failed to deliver. Fields is not the answer and was simply a terrible signing at the price. He is the type of role player you add when you already have a good core in place which the raps do not. Simply put, if they get a good wing, which i dont have much faith in BC to accomplish, they are a 45+ win team and in the 4-6 range in the east.

    • Jamshid

      “Thats what they are sorely lacking and BC for all his “flexibilty” talk has failed to deliver.”
      He almost gave that away to Nash. 
      I wonder who will be our next Kapano, Hedo or Fields to take away the little “Cap Space” that is left next summer.

  • Ion66

    @thatpeterguy: Exactly. I go back and look at what we were predicted to do, and compare it to what we did, even minus Bargnani’s gimpy calf and it just goes to show that you just dont know. We can all make educated guesses…go on gut feeling or biases, but the beauty of sport is that you never know till you play the game….Unless you’re the US basketball dream team..then well..you know.

  • Pesterm1

    No mention of Bargnani being back in our lineup full time now. He will be a key piece to getting us wins this year if he can remain injury free.

    People seem to forget we got more wins then expected last eyar and were very competitive with an atrocious team where Derozan was our # 1 option on offense .

    • Jamshid

      A Healthy and motivated  AB can make a big difference for Toronto. Will he stay healthy this year ? This is the big question …

      • Pesterm1

         I don’t see AB having any problems this year with the calf. He had all off season to rest it up. Not to mention his injury history hasn’t been a large concern in the past. The only reason I think he was struggling with the injury last year was due to the lockout shortened season. He wasn’t the only player to develop problems from the shortened season.

        • Jamshid

          Hope you are right. I like AB and his game and think he can easily have a 20/8 average over the year. He is probably the ONLY player on our team that can be a part of starting five in a championship team and be used as a 3rd option on the offence. 

          • Nilanka15

            You accuse others of unrealistic expectations of Jonas, and then claim Bargnani could average 8 rebounds???

            Thanks for the laugh.

            • Matt52

               Jeezus!  Even I’ve given up hope on 8 rebounds per game! 

            • Jamshid

              How many are you expecting ?
              What was your numbers for Big Val again 😉

              • Nilanka15

                Bargnani: 6 rebs

                Jonas: 10 pts, 7-8 rebs, 1.5 blks

          • 2damkule


        • j bean

          Calf muscle injury can be chronic in nature and require specific ongoing treatment. If you aren’t putting strain on it by playing it won’t be a problem but last season Bargnani had three injuries to the same muscle. It appeared as though they never had a handle on it as they let him play as soon as it wasn’t painful. 

  • Brian B

    And that’s why they play the games. And we should be glad that this year we know they will play all the games.

    The Raps are improved. But so are lots of teams. Only Orlando is significantly worse enough to affect play off potential.

    Though Chicago has obvious injury issues, they should be in the playoff mix. Miami, Boston, Phil, Indiana should be locks baring serious injuries. Atlanta, the Knicks and NJ are the next tier. That’s 8 early playoff favourites, IMHO, with Milwaukee knocking at the door of whoever stumbles. After those 9 though, there is such a huge drop-off that any of Toronto, Detroit,  Cleveland or Washington could finish anywhere from 10 to 13, depending  on player development, buying into a system (i.e. the +- 5 games difference coaching makes) and roster moves. It “only” takes two contenders to crumble for #10 to become no 8.

     Is that likely ? No. Too many variables to be probable.  Is it possible? Yes.

    That’s why they play the games.

    • Brian B

       ooops… did I type NJ? The Dodgers are in LA & the Nets are in Brooklyn. Some day I’ll get one of those right!

    • Jamshid

      Now this is a well balance argument that we can stand behind.

      The question that will be answered this year is following:

      Between Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland and Washington and perhaps Milwaukee, which teams will improve on a faster rate than the rest ??

      • Eweb021

        I think Toronto is ahead of all of those teams. Cleveland may improve in the next few years, and Milwaukee is decent but don’t have as many young players to develop.

        • Eweb021

          Actually before anyone corrects me, Milwaukee has a decent group of youngsters. Jennings, ilyasova, udoh and mbah a moute (however its spelled)

        • Nilanka15

          Cleveland will surely regret picking Thompson over Jonas, and picking Waiters over ANYONE else.

          • Thetruth

            Yea the only thing I envy about Cleveland is their amazing cap situation (best in the league). With that being said, they really missed with the Thompson and Waiters pick when there was better talent available. Missing out on Harrison Barnes was foolish IMO. It’s much harder to land a player like barnes in free agency than it is to land a player like waiters.

        • Nilanka15

          As for Milwaukee, they seem like they’re the Rockets of the East.  Not good enough to be considered a playoff threat, and not shitty enough for a top 3 pick.  And with Jennings the only young player worth hanging onto (I find Ellis ridiculously overrated), it’s hard to see the Bucks getting better anytime soon.

  • brother

    I don’t like how Casey wasn’t mentioned at all in the review and nor was his first year, lockout shortened season’s defensive-improvement. Keep in mind, this improvement, particularly given the short amount of practice time, was stunning.

    If you add the defensively active, long and Tyson Chandler-like Jonas V to the mix, plus at least another three above-average defensively-minded guys (Landry, Ross, Lowry), then how can you responsibly ignore the potential for further improvement?

    Casey said that Ross was the highest ranking rookie in the lateral quicks drills at the pre-draft combine.

    Subtract Bargs from the middle, replace him with the prototypical Casey defensive big man in Jonas V and you’ve got to see improvement. Particularly since the paint should be seeing less visitors to start with given the improved wing defense.

    If there’s a list of X factors this year that could change the Raps’ fortunes, it has to include team defense. Hollinger’s article didn’t mention defense or the potential for improvement given Casey’s coaching impact.

    These are not your Raptors of old (including starters such as: Will Solomen, Ukic, Bayless, Uzoh). They’re going to get better which means they’re likely aiming at .500 this year which if past history holds, means playoffs.

    • Nilanka15

      Very good point RE: Casey.  He was our MVP last year, hands down.

    • Matt52

       Nice post.

    • Jamshid

      “If you add the defensively active, long and Tyson Chandler-like Jonas V to the mix”

      What are your expectation for Big Val in his rookie year ? 

      • brother

        Solid defense. i.e. more solid that Bargnani that position. More active than Gray. I think Active feet and the ability to run the floor will make him a better defensive center than anybody to put on a raps uni in a very long time. Foul prone to be sure, but flashes of his future potential and way more contribution defensively than Bargnani ever has had.

        • Thetruth

          Good Post Brother.

        • Jamshid

          “Foul prone to be sure, but flashes of his future potential and way more contribution defensively than Bargnani ever has had.”

          That is true but I think the foul troubles plus the lack of strength is going to really limit him and his impact this season. I think both Ed and Amir will out play Big Val this season. I think we will NOT see Big Val’s full impact at least for 2 more season.

    • ad

       Disagree that they are going to be .500. Not sure where you got that from. They dont have enough offensive talent and need a wing who can create his own shot and for others. 35 win team at most.

  • Jeffrey Thompson

    23 is a rather fair assesment of the Raptors in my opinion.  With four teams in their Division who are a lock for the playoffs, the Raptors will be the whipping boys.  They will not be as bad as the other cellar dwellers; however, they certainly do not have the talent to make it to the next level.  I think that they will need another two or three years for that.  

    • Eweb021

      I don’t think the sixers are a lock for the playoffs. They may be worse than last year

      • Brian B

         Adding Bynum is a huge plus. A front line with Bynum and Hawes ought to be very scary.  They also added Dorrell Wright, a solid wing defender to compliment Turner’s offense. Turner and Holiday both should grow, and their defensive weaknesses can be covered by Bynum, like Howard did for the Magic.

         Thad Young, a tough versatile young vet, will have to fight for rotation minutes with Lavoy Allen and Wright. QRich will show whether he can contribute in a spot role, and they only need one of him or Nick Young to do that.

        • p00ka

          Bynum isn’t in the same ballpark as Howard defensively. Not even close, to say nothing of his continual injury problems. He only misssed 6 games last year, but the previous 4 years he missed 47, 32, 17, 28.

          He’s also going to have far more pressure to defend now, with Hawes as a running mate vs Pau, and no Kobe defending top wings/PGs. IMO, Bynum’s flaws have been clouded his whole career because of the team around him. It’ll be interesting to see how he does this year, but I don’t think he’s going to be quite the beast that many think.

          • Brian B

             Flaws or not he’s a huge and athletic beast. Defensively, easily the best center in the east if you consider KG still a PF. And the question was whether they had improved. He is undeniably a huge improvement on Brand. Igudola can be more or less  replaced by the combination of existing and added wings. To the extent that drops off the perimeter defense, Bynum should cover up, and scoring should improve.

            Looking just at THIS season, 76ers, already a playoff team, have improved more than Raptors, unless JV is the instant impact player his fans hope he will be. I tend to be ‘wait and see” about that.

            • Nilanka15

              I never thought I’d say this, but I agree with p00ka.

              On paper, Bynum is a huge upgrade over Brand.  But I’m not convinced his transition will be a seamless one.  The guy had work ethic problems in LA, and that was with Kobe around, a 5-time champion to look up to for motivation.  Where’s he going to get that drive from in Philly (once the novelty of playing for a new team wears off)?

              Also, if there’s one player that benefited most from playing alongside Kobe and Pau, it was Bynum.  In Philly, Bynum will be the primary focus of opposing defenses (along with Holiday).  Can he handle the added attention?

              As for Turner, he’s due for a breakout year.  But he has yet to break the 10ppg barrier in his young career.  Is he worthy of the #2 pick, and more importantly, can he provide the consistent production that Iggy provided?

              I think this Philly team deserves a “wait and see” approach just as much as anyone.  Hardly a lock for the playoffs, IMO.

        • Matt52

           I’m not sure the loss of (very) arguably their 3 best players (Brand, AI, Williams) is offset by their additions (Bynum, Brown, Richardson, Wright).  Time will tell though.  I don’t think they are a lock but put them ahead of Milwaukee.  Between 76ers and Toronto I give them the edge based on record last year.

          I think Hawes is going to be destroyed on defense by a lot of PF’s in the league.

        • Luca

          I  agree I wouldn’t bag on Philly.  If healthy Bynum is a problem for teh Raps.  Who is going to guard him?  Neither AB nor JV can.

          It’s setting up for another developmental season in my books.

          The Raps can least afford any injuries to almost anyone to have a chance to compete for a playoff spot.   

          • CJT

            Disagree, AB historically has defended Howard well so I think he will be able to do so with Bynum who is equal in my mind offensively.

  • ckh26

    Can the Raps squeak into the playoffs this year ?

    Below is the order of finish in 2012. Would not be unrealistic to say Atlanta is weaker and Orlando is much weaker. Brooklyn got better but behind the hype and new arena address they only got one player better with Joe Johnson.

    On the what if side; Boston is Boston, but there is a chance that injuries and age finally hit the C’s all at once, and, there is always the chance the Knicks implode. So reasonably one could argure that there are one to possibly three spots open. The Raps would need to compete with Milwaukee,Washington,Boston, NY and Cleveland to get a slot.  Yes ? No ? Find my meds ?

    Boston ?
    Atlanta ?
    New York ?
    —– Mendoza Line——–

  • guest

    What would happen if Jamshid ran the raptors? he’s like a treadmill, except your only reward for the exercise is longing for sweet death

    • Matt52

      This is what I think happens:

      I am sure a plan of action would be decided upon years in advance with the assistance of  a Magic 8Ball – or maybe just an one night with an 8ball based on observations in the thread.  That plan would be stuck to come hell or high water whether it was the right thing to do or not. 

      Everyone would be fired because different perspectives are not welcome.  This means for the first time one person will be President, GM, VP, and Coach. 

      No one above a borderline starter would be pursed in free agency or in a trade because, afterall, no one any good would ever willingly play for Toronto. 

      The good thing is there would never be a trade or draft pick that turns out to be a bust because the guy incredibly never succumbs to the uncertainty that plagues us mere mortals and never makes a mistake.

      Surprisingly, despite the above, there would never be any improvement because the lottery is going to solve everything…. next year.

      The CBA would be used to ensure no rings form on the coffee table in the main lobby.

      Flexibility would only be spoken of in yoga.

      Possibilities would only be discussed over the lunch menu.

      Most importantly amazing opportunities would be hand delivered personally by the other 29 GMs on a daily basis because every other GM will put Toronto’s success ahead of their own.

      By no means is this intended to be a definitive list. 

      • CJT

        Sorry, could you be more specific?

  • Camp Escargot

    This forum digressed form opinions to open war against “JAMSHID” why is this person  intent on cutting up other peoples opinions. The need to assert at any cost reminds me of school yard diplomacy. Please ijnore these emotioally immature posters. These forms used to be informative & entertaining. It is obvious all emotionally immature posters will never understand that a forum is for expressing ideas & opinions, score is not being kept. I often wonder if these negative posters have problems asserting themselves in real life so they use forums to practice techniques suggested by their therapists?  

  • Mark

    I think the ranking is fair.  While some of the moves the Raptors made were good what did they really do to improve drastically?  To say that they could make the playoffs is reasonable.  They improved and with great health big steps by DeRozan and Davis along with great seasons from JV and Lowry we should be in the mix.  But that’s a best case senario.  I personally don’t see JV having a huge impact.  Expecting a rookie big man to average a double double like some Raptors writers have predicted is unfair.  The rook was a high volume low efficiency shooter in Vegas and that’s about what I expect this season. 

    Miami, Boston, Indiana, Chicago, NY, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Philly are all clearly better on paper.  The Raptors would need one of these teams to stubble and then beat out the Bucks and Wizards to get in.  I would say they have a 25% of getting in.  (for the sake of a number)

    Moving forward I don’t see anyone on this roster who has star potential.  Sorry my friends, that includes JV.  Lowry is starting quality along with Bargs and DeRozan might get there.  But on a contending team your other 2 starters would need to be your best 2 players or your watching in May.  We can’t sign Big names and traded our draft pick next year.  the rebuild is almost complete in a sense and the results are underwelming.  I like Colangelo and have defended him regularly in the past but it’s time for him to go.  He has accomplished nothing other than building up fan hope to then let them down. 

    I see the raptors fighting for the playoffs for the next 3-4 years and never getting a sniff of the 2nd round if we do get in.  The hopes of Gay or Iggy coming to save the day are pipe dreams. 

    I’ll call 37-45 and a 9th place finish.  SHort of getting lucky and drafting the a superstar with our 8-13 pick over the next few years this team is going no where.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    RealGM ‏@RealGM Jay Triano Likely To End Up As Assistant Coach With Blazers — http://bit.ly/QHInNh 

  • IROR

    Yeah, Hollinger is a Raptors hater…always has been.  Never been a fan of his fancy formulas.  There is a reason he is not a part of an NBA front office.  Instead, he makes his living from sorry fans like us who will pay 4.99 a year for ESPN insider.

    • Mark

      Hollinger is a Canada lover bud!  and he doesn’t work for a NBA team because he’s a writer.  NBA teams don’t employee writers.  You gotta be real.  I know it’s like a teacher telling you your child isn’t very smart but the truth is the Raptors are a team that due to being in Canada will always be behind the 8 ball and it doesn’t help that it is run poorly.

  • Camp Escargot

    My power ranking:
    With the addition of Lowry, Fields, TRoss & JV defence upgraded.
    As for scorring now that Fields is no longer the 5th option (as he was last year in NY) which contributed to a bruttle sophomore dive, hopefully his shooting stats return and potentialy improve from his  rookie season. Adding Lowry’s 16 ppg coupled with Jose running the secound unit and you have a very potent tandem at PG. If Derozen, Ed & Amir show improvment as they should we have added scoring. Potential of TRoss could suprise?
    Bargnani could have a career year and finnally put to rest the question of why he was drafted #1?

    Its all about potential when you have a team as young as the Raptors. If the Rap’s can avoid injuries, the young players develop, Casey continues to inspire the team and it is not that much of a stretch to make the playoffs. All things considered 42-40 should be good for 8th spot.

  • Nick P

    Good article.. Biggest underrated asset people are completely forgetting is Bargnani. With Dwayne Casey finally giving Bargs the tutelage he much NEEDED, he’s going to be an absolute beast! Come reference this quote when it happens

  • Namelynicked

    Admittedly, a casual fan or, “homer” to the rabid – but more optimistic than not because of Dwane Casey.  BC…not so much

  • JJ the MD

    I think some people have waaaaaay too much time on their hands. Only one team wins the title – the rest hope to contend. I think we are three years away from that. Relax and enjoy the team – it could be worse.

  • Nick P

    Competitive league

  • regulating.raptor

    espn, blecher report ect are to dias towards the toronto teams except the leafs . i see raps their overall ranking at 18. they have a very under estemated roster expect them to being making the playoffs this year.