This week on The Doctor Is In with Phdsteve, I look at the road less traveled and see if staying put and letting this team settle in and take time to gel might be not only the answer moving forward, but really the only option this team has. So slow down on the fire BC, DC, and everybody else talk and stop and breathe Raptors fans. I also say a few words about extending Rudy Gay and why Dwayne Casey needs a clip board.

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (13:58, 13 MB). Or just listen below:

  • voy

     I think I agreed with most of what was said.  however, “settling” I dont think is the right choice of word.  hardly seems like the team is settling when they’re trying to incorporate kl, gay, jv and tr on the team all in the same season.

    I know a lot of fans with 3 second attention span think that if you dont make changes every 2 days you are settling.  truth is, as I see it, sticking with kl, dd, gay, amir, jv and t.ross is not a bad way to roll into the 2013/2014 season.  if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. you got to give it a shot though before you label it a failure and blow it up.  the same fans who say “blow this team up and go with a youth movement” are going to be the same ones who are going to want to blow up the youth movement 30 games into the new season because the rooks aren’t averaging 20/10 a game.

    • sleepz

      Not true for all.

      Some fans that want a youth movement are fans who want to actually see them build around of core of young players that have the potential to be good. Raps draft young players and no matter what their abilities or how good they are, they immediately become ‘the core of the team’ and part of ‘our long-term future’. Right now Raps don’t have 1 young player I would want to build my team around.

      How many contenders are built with the “lets try it out this year and if it doesn’t work we’ll blow it up” model?

      That’s BC’s ‘strategy’ year after year and it leads to where the team is now.

      • voy

        my comment was directed toward the fans with the 3 second attention span.  I’d love to go with a youth movement.  too many fans, though, in my opinion, dont understand this entails sucking large for 3, 4, 5 years. 

        winning 30 games isn’t sucking large.  again, too many fans, in my opinion, are like “we won 30 games for two years in a row. no one in the history of sports have ever sucked as bad as we have. why cant we be good. time to blow up the rebuild. we’ve been going with a youth movement for two whole years. why aren’t solomon alabi and sandiata gaines developing into all stars”.

        drafting someone and immediately tagging them as “core of the team” is just semantics.  it means very little.  a young guy who is supposed to be a core of the team vs a young guy who is not part of the core, what the difference.  if either player performs they will stick around. if they dont, they wont. 

        if you have a bunch of vets on the team and the team is not working, then i have no problemo with bc blowing it up.  going with a youth movement though requires significantly more time and commitment.

        • voy

          a point i forgot to include. this notion of “building around…” is largely nonsense as well.  just because you draft a guy doesn’t mean you automatically build around him.  unless you land a labron, you are not building around anyone.  but by the same token, just becuase you draft a guy who is not good enough to “build around” doesn’t mean the pick is useless.  you assemble as many good  pieces as possible and try to have their skill sets compliment each other and you roll from there.

          you dont think every single nba team would love to have jv on their team? he is not going to win you anything by himself, but with him on your team you can potentially check off the “centre” piece on your team for the next 10 years.  doesn’t mean you entirely give up on improving that position but its no longer a pressing longterm concern. 

          • sleepz

            I agree with this as well.

            My point of referring to not having any young player to build around is I think it’s the ideal way to try and build a contender if you aren’t a NY, LA or Chitown but I also feel like there is not one player on the Raps roster period (rookie or vet) I would build a team around.

        • sleepz

          I hear you.  I’m in agreement with you now.

  • 511

    You articulated where we are (somewhere between a jagged rock and an uncomfortable hard place) clearly. With Colangelo leaving the cupboard bare by obliterating whatever any successor might want or need – draft picks and cap space – to retool, even marginally, he’s made it exceedingly awkward for the board to fire and replace him. If he planned it that way it was deviously brilliant. Which, for me, would be reason enough to send him on his way out the door. If he DIDN’T plan it that way … well, same thing, as far as I’m concerned, only this time, for general incompetence. He should probably be gone, but knowing how these things tend to go, I’m not holding my breath. Also, the bare cupboard issue is a very real conundrum. 

  • Slick_r1

    I agree with this article that you have RR. Finally!!!!! Everyone needs to stop with the fire DC and BC bs. There ain’t any better gems or coaches for that matter who want to be on toronto!!! So let this team gel and move forward.

    • 511

      I really wish some would seriously think about what they’re saying when they suggest that ‘nobody would want to come to Toronto’. We aren’t some ass-backward ghetto of igloos begging for someone, anyone, to come ‘up’ here to show us the way. There are plenty of NBA-ready executive-types who would give their left nut to have a chance to run things for the Raptors. Believe it. 

      • Nilanka15


        There are only 30 such jobs on the planet, and thousands of people hoping to land one of them.

        • sleepz

          It’s a very popular response to the argument of getting rid of Colangelo. Because you don’t have the resumes on file of 3 candidates who would immediately be interested in the job it means that no one else wants this job or there are “few candidates’ available.

          I don’t remember Presti, Wallace or even our good friend Ujiri being hot on the radar before getting their jobs.

          Those in NBA circles know what’s going on and when in doubt, hang outside the Spurs front office.

  • Jamshid

    I agree with PHDSteve that we have no real way of improving this team unless through the development of  our young talents which is Ross and BigVal.  
    Raptor fans need to be realistic. There is no Cap room and we don’t have any player than can get attention in FA given that most of our team is over paid. 

    Now, the question is what do we define success ? What are our goals  and what are our expectations from BC and his crew?

    PHDSteve points out that if the young player develop this summer, than this team can finish next year anywhere from 6-8 spot ??

    Is this considered to be a success ? With a Salary of almost 75 million, a GM which will be at his job for over 7 year by then and 3rd coach and …. Do we consider the 6 spot a success ? Where are we going after ? 

    • SR

      If they keep the team together and actually play together next year (21 different starting line-ups this year!!!!), then next year they’re definitely aiming for a low playoff seed. In spite of all the defense talk, the defense has been much better since the Gay trade (top 10 in Feb.). It’s the offense that needs to be straightened out next year.

      This team’s absolute ceiling is a year like this year’s Pacers. Still lacking a championship-calibre franchise guy. But then again, all but a small handful of teams are lacking championship-calibre talent.

    • mountio

      For a team that hasnt made the playoffs in I dont know how long, yes I would consider a 6 seed a success. Obviously Id like to see better, but if we get the 6 seed on the back of nice play from JV and TR (along with RG, DD, KL, AJ) id be pretty happy with a nice young core. If we could somehow get lucky and get a top 3 pick this year, then were really talking .. 

  • The Rub

    Raps board can’t bring Colangelo back next year, that’s madness.  You’d basically be saying that as an organization you’re ok with failing for 5 years and you’re against stability (ironic I know, but firing one man is better than constantly getting half a new team every year).

  • 511

    PhdSteve: you must be pretty ill; you’re usually all over comments to your podcasts. If you are sick … hope you’re feeling better, getting better. It can be a bitch. 

    As to your suggestion to sit back and take a breath … while it might be about all we can do anyway (even at the worst of times, which these are probably not), there’s something to be said about letting a group sort of bake together. Grow together. Into a team. 

    The Bill Simmons Grantland column that I referred to a few weeks ago about something else, from December, ‘The Kobe Question’, Simmons wrote about Bill Russell — who played 13 years with the Celtics, winning 11 championships — and how, when their point guard retired, Russell basically forced Larry Siegfried to play the pg position. (Siegfried resisted. He thought of himself as a shooting guard and he didn’t want the added responsibility of quarterbacking the team, but Russell persisted and eventually, he persuaded Siegfried to man the point “…and the Celtics won their last two titles of the Russell era with a shooting guard bringing up the ball.”) 

    The point of this being in this next paragraph (in the column, this next bit is just previous to the quote above):

    “The modern solution would be dealing Siegfried away, but the Celtics never traded back then — they believed continuity was their single biggest advantage other than Russell. During Russell’s entire playing career, the Celtics only swung one real trade in 13 years: Mel Counts for Bailey Howell. Amazing and true.” 

    I WAS amazed to read this. Only one trade in 13 years? Holy smokes. Now, I never saw these Celtics teams play but from all accounts, Bill Russell was one of the very best ever. So a lot to build around right there. But still. Only one trade (one ‘real’ trade, whatever that means) over the course of thirteen years? As a Raptors fan, I can’t even get my head around it. Not fully. Or … even close, really. 

    It makes me wonder, among other things, if that even COULD happen in today’s NBA, never mind for just the Raptors. Again, hard to imagine. But … it certainly suggests that stability and continuity and just players playing together for years at a time has many benefits, even tremendous benefits. The only team I can think of today, who might have some of that kind of continuity going for them is the Spurs, a team I’ve long envied (… as do many of us). 

    So that’s all. Get well. 

  • Phil

    Great podcast. I had been really down on the raptors recently. I was one of the fans who felt like the Raptors should blow it all up (keeping Valanciunas) with the obvious target being Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 draft. But the draft is unpredictable, and the only way to get talent in the NBA is the draft or free agency. As you pointed out, the Raptors are never going to sign the best free agents. That is not the only way to cash in on free agency. Great points on the Rudy Gay contract. That can be a valuable asset 2 years from now when Valanciunas (and Ross) are farther along in their development and management have a better idea of where this team is headed.

  • André Börg

    This podcast had some of the most insightful thoughts about the Raptors I have heard in a long time. Kudos to PhDsteve.

    It all suddenly seems like a brilliant plan. Miss the playoffs this year to close the Lowry deal by sending our pick to OKC. Roll through next year with the goal of making the playoffs, hopefully with a higher seed than 8 so we have a chance to make some noise. Then, use Gay’s massive expiring contract in 2014-15 as a trade chip to upgrade talent.

    In this brilliant plan we recognize that Gay is not part of our core, and suddenly it makes much more sense to have him around.

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