This week on The Doctor is In with Phdsteve, no soundbytes, no music, no nonsense. Just anger. That’s right, I cant help but wonder where did it all go wrong? How did we go from orgasmic optimism as Raptors fans 10 days ago after beating the Knicks to being in danger of falling into the despair of seasons past?

It’s hard to believe that Raptors are closer to the bottom 5 than they are to the playoffs. With no draft pick in the spring (unless we win the lottery!) and with the team already at the cap for next season- I run down the options (or lack of options) for this team. Trade DeRozan, Jonas, Ross, Amir? Amnesty Bargnani or Kleiza? Find somebody desperate enough to want Landry Fields? Other than Gay and Lowry all options must be explored. Finally, can someone please tell Dwayne Casey that Allan Anderson is not the future of this franchise.

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (24:40, 22 MB). Or just listen below:

  • c_bcm

    It all went wrong when we were 4-19. Remember that? How is it that Raptors fans forgot that this season was largely ceded in the early goings? That there has been any exciting basketball to watch is a testament to the resilience of this team, and credit goes exclusively to DC. Let’s call these last few games regression to the mean.

    Now that I got this off my chest, I will listen to the podcast.

    • Kujo

      Yes, no doubt the season was lost in the first 24 games.  However, It doesn’t change the fact this teams roster is still very flawed, and that we have little cap flexibility to improve the team over the next 2 years. How BC (hopefully it’s somebody else) deals with Andrea in the off-season will be telling.

      • c_bcm

        There are flaws. But I think that those flaws are certainly address’able. The first flaw is that our starting center is a rookie, and his anchoring of the defence leaves a lot to be desired. That will change as he develops. The other flaw is 3-pt shooting. There are plenty of specialists around for us to grab up this summer. So I am not concerned.

  • Nilanka15

    How stupidly funny will it be seeing us win a top-3 pick this summer….

    • unknown guest

      Which goes to OKC? You make it sound like David Stern the Jordan Builder is the commish… oh. Yeah.

      • Nilanka15

        If it’s top-3, the pick stays with us.

    • monocled_gentleman_scholar

      I think the joke will still be on us, since there isn’t a blue-chip all-star in this year’s draft, just more above average starters. 

      • DumbassKicker

        Which would fit perfectly with the Raps draft lottery luck. The one year that we “win” the lottery, with only the 5th best (9%) shot at it, is the year of a very weak draft, aided by it being a transition year between high school players being drafted and not. Without the sudden new eligibility rules, Durant would likely have been the winning prize instead of Bargnani. How’s that for relying upon lottery luck?

        The next time the Raps land in the bottom 5, it’s actually 3rd best chance (15.6%) at winning the lottery, and Irving, but don’t even retain the 3rd pick, dropping to 5th, where we picked up Jonas, while the 8th best chance (2.8%) wins the lottery and Irving. Damn, we get the 8th best chance a year late, didn’t win and got Ross instead of Davis

        What we need to do is follow the OKC model and have the 5th best shot at winning the lottery, but only move up to the second pick slot while the 7th best chance wins it to take the consensus #1, leaving us the next Durant to pick.

        That might be a tough model to follow, so maybe we should strive to be like the Bulls and land the 9th best chance (1.7%), yet win the lottery and get Rose. Oh wait, we tried that 9th best chance to get Griffin, but got stuck in the 9th slot.

        We might have to figure out a sure fire way to avoid the 4th best chance though, as that spot has never won the lottery, while the 5th best spot has won it 5 times (twice more than the #1 shot). All we gotta do is figure out what position is going to win the lottery, in which year, because luck isn’t happening for us.

      • Nilanka15

        Yup, my point exactly.  That’ll be twice we’re blessed with “lottery luck” when we don’t necessarily want it.

  • Arsenalist

    Nice one.  The Alan Anderson bit was pretty funny.

    I realize nobody on this team is “untouchable”, and if your strategy is to build around Gay and Lowry, then everything else is fair game.   The disagreement I have here is that we can’t be looking to package Valanciunas out, not saying he’s untouchable, but in any type of team you’re trying to build you’re going to need a player like him so you may as well stick with him.  I think he’s far away from being a reliable rotation player.

  • Harleen4

    NO team has ever been successful with a stretch 4, without a dominant center. Aka Orlando with Dwight, an mavericks with Tyson chandler. Someone has to be grabbing the rebounds. Even when Reggie Evans played alongside AB, they won games.

    2. Dwayne Casey is a great assustant coach, but a mediocre head coach. This mostly has to die with him being a players coach. He can’t hold people accountable. Even before the AB injury, Ed David was getting very little minutes, after the injury he flourishes. I believe this is the same for JV and TR & QA. Also he has no idea of ball movement and left his own philosophy. He was supposed to be a defensive minded coach, but th defense seems like the last thing thy care about. Any coach other than Jay Triano would’ve upgraded the defense of this team last year, so I doubt how much of an impact he actually had.

    I saw we being back butch carter or Sam Mitchell. People forget how they held people accountable. And the we also made the playoffs under Sam Mitchell. You can argue that it was a better team, but I promise you if jay Triano or Dwayne Casey was coaching we wouldn’t have made it. Chris bosh was just a soft jump shooter before SM forced him to develop an inside game and take the ball to the basket. One of the reasons bosh left was due to the firing of SM, since he had developed a stong trust with him. Also, it wasnt SM Fault that BC basically traded Roy Hibbert & TJ ford for JO, who was a shell of his former self. It was the right idea of having a center beside bosh, but the wrong player. I SAY BRING HIM BACK!!!

  • Mjmredleaf

    I am confused. Please forgive me for I am not completely sure how the luxury tax works in the NBA but can’t the Raptors do what other teams like Dallas, LA and others do and just sign a major free agent
    (eg – Josh Smith or say Paul Milsap) and then just pay the taxes on what they have gone over? Rogers/Bell 
    have seem to have opened the vault for spending and seem genuinely interested in spending the cash that is needed to bring this city up to the level that it should be (aka – top 5 major market).  Am I wrong. Can anyone explain? If I am correct, then really are the Raps like just a Milsap and JJ Reddick away from really being a competitive team? 

    • The Truth

      They certainly could do that, but despite the fact that BC did allude to that at some point around the Gay trade I think most fans of this franchise err on the side of we will believe it when we see it given how allergic the Raptors have historically being to going over.

      • Mjmredleaf

        Thanks ” Truth” for clearing that up. To be honest man, after what the Blue Jays have done in the off season and bringing in Rudy Gays contract, I have a feeling that that is exactly the direction this team is going. I think the “board” a MLSE and Rogers/Bell (If they are not the same in one) got together and said ” lets bring back competitive sports to this city. It would only aide in helping us profit also with more playoff games and more meaningful games in general. When BC got Gay, he must of realized this. I think there will be a major signing this summer. We are not as far away as many think. 

      • Paul

        No they can’t do this. When a team is over the salary cap (approximately 60M), they can only use the mid-level exception (approx. 5M, or 3M for tax teams), the bi-annual exception (approx. 2M, is this still in the new CBA?) or sign veteran minimum contracts. The only reason teams are able to greatly exceed the cap is because of “Bird rights”, which allow a team to resign their own players even if it takes them above the salary cap.

        • The Truth

          Right, but given the various rulings that allow players to keep their bird rights that is still significant enough wiggle room that teams like Brooklyn were able to go from being under the cap to about 30 million over it in one off season (in no small part of course thanks to trading for Joe Johnson).

          So no it’s not quite as simple as spend spend spend, but it’s really not as far off as you make it sound and if they opened the cheque book and were willing to make those deals (incl. sign and trades) the arguments people (including myself) have been making about the flexibility limiting nature of the Gay trade would be moot.

          • Paul

            Not to belabor the point, but  Brooklyn resigned Williams (17M), Lopez (13.5M), Humphries (12M) and Wallace (9.5M).  All these players were already under contract with Brooklyn in 2012. These massive extensions – especially Lopez, who was formerly on a rookie scale contract – explain most of the increase in their cap hit from one season to the next. Joe Johnson was acquired by trade and the only way Brooklyn could take back more salary than they gave away is if they were under the cap at the time (otherwise salaries in a trade must match (within reason), +/- 25% I believe).  Also, most contracts are backloaded, so virtually every player on the roster received an incremental salary increase in 2013, which accounts for the rest of the increase in team salary.
            There is no magical way to simply add a max player when you are over the cap (except perhaps a trade exception, which we do not have). In a sign and trade, the Raptors would have to give away approximately as much salary as we take on.

    • DumbassKicker

      Yes, you are wrong about it being simply spend, and wrong in thinking the Lakers and Dallas haven’t been restricted in doing as you suggest. It’s not about luxury tax, but where you stand in terms of the cap. To understand why, look up the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement and clauses for Free Agent signings.

      • Mjmredleaf

        Thanks Dumbass, I will take a look. Although I am truly afraid to do so for it may spell doom and gloom for the next few seasons. Cheers 

  • Kujo

    JoVal should be untouchable.  His upside is too great.  I can him potentially being another Noah.  I was highly skeptical going into this season of what he would be, but he has won me over.

    • FAQ

      Amir is not too shabby either given his performance in the last game.

      • FLUXLAND

        Amir conveniently checked himself out the the Indiana game and did the same in the Bucks game near the end.

        And RG conveniently hadback spasm to avoid the “RG couldn’t get us in the playoffs” tag.

         Useless, both of them, when it counts.

  • JHP

    Well this year and next are pretty well shot.  Play the games and let BC move on.

  • RNsteve

    Jonas is untouchable.

  • Guest

    As much as it is hard to keep the faith in Colangelo, the one thing I’ll give him is that he seems to really want to win.  Maybe this is also his weakness, wanting to win so bad that you throw patience and caution out the window.  

  • K.J.P

    Good Podcast.