picketfence

First of all, I want to thank Blake and the rest of the Raptors Republic crew for bringing me in from the blogsphere hinterland and into the bosom of the TrueHoop Network. I look forward to sucking on the teat of…okay, enough with that analogy.

For those who don’t know me, I started the blog, The Picket Fence, back in 2009, where I infrequently wrote about the Raptors and the NBA in general.

I started playing and following the game back in the mid-80’s, but instead of jumping on the Celtics’ or Lakers’ bandwagons (which was the norm at the time), I looked to nearby (at the time- I moved to Vancouver after university) Detroit to hitch my wagon to. My fandom culminated in them winning back-to-back titles in 1990 and 1991. The very next year, I watched in person (well, I watched Game 5 in person) as the Blue Jays won their first of back-to-back World Series titles (and then a year later, moved to Vancouver in the wake of their FIRST Stanley Cup riots, but that’s beside the point).

So unlike many long-suffering Leafs fans (I never, ever followed hockey), I never had a cynical outlook when it came to professional sports teams. To me, the ultimate, and achievable, goal of any professional sports franchise should be to compete for, if not win, a Championship.

Which brings us to the subject of my first column for Raptors Republic. (Note: For readers of my own blog, this article will be recycling material from some past posts, but it’s necessary for part two.)

In PHDSteve’s podcast from last week, he talked about two possible futures for the Raptors. He said the Raptors could either blow up the team, firing the GM, coach and trading all the players, or grow internally and moving ahead with the pieces you have. He felt the best course of action was to continue along the path they’re on and develop the talent they have.

I wonder what talent he’s actually looking at, because I don’t see it. Or perhaps his goal for the team is different from mine.

Believe me, I understand the desire not to go through any more losing. In their 17 years, the Raptors have only had 4 winning seasons. Four. Raptor fans have not had a lot to cheer for, over the years. But that doesn’t mean you settle for mediocrity. And that’s exactly what you’ll get if the Raptors stay the course.

Speaking of mediocrity…

Bryan Colangelo, in his 7 years on the job, has given the team 6 losing seasons, just 2 playoff appearances, none of which resulted in the team getting past the first round. He lost the only All Star the team had, gambled for 7 years and lost by stubbornly hitching the team to Andrea Bargnani, and now has a borderline playoff team with a ceiling of a 2nd round team (best case scenario) that’s close to the luxury tax. Plus, he’s given out some of the worst contracts in the league, proving time and time again to be a poor judge of talent.

I find it mind boggling that ANYONE would consider picking up his option, let alone extending his contract. If he was any other GM, for any other NBA team, he would have been fired two or three years ago. There is simply no good excuse to keep Colangelo on.

On his podcast on Tuesday, PHDSteve expanded on why the Raptors need to stay the course, talking about the need for consistency, but I’m not sure I see the point when your general manager has proven over the course of his tenure that he’s simply not a very good one.

Coincidentally, I happened to be rereading Bill Simmons’ famous Atrocious GM Conference he wrote back in 2006. I’ve lifted a few selected passages from the article, and I want you to see if you can see how they relate to Colangelo.

 “It’s always better to make good picks in the draft — this way, your fans can become attached to them, then you can trade them for inferior guys with bad contracts. Plus, it throws the media off your scent a little bit. I would much rather draft a decent guy, then trade him down the road, or overpay him with a crazy contract that makes no sense or kills my cap space. If you’re openly tanking draft picks, it’s too obvious.”

“You gave Allan Houston $100 million when he couldn’t have gotten more than $71 million anywhere else. You gave Charlie Ward $28 million. You traded Marcus Camby and a lottery pick that could have been Amare Stoudamire for Antonio McDyess and his bum knee. By the time you got canned, they were a lottery team.”

“To me, that’s the beauty of what Isiah has been able to pull off. Casual hoops fans can look at the Knicks’ roster and say, “Wow, we have Marbury, Eddy Curry and Jalen Rose?!” Diehard fans can look at the roster and say, “This is just crazy enough that it might work,” or “Maybe we can package some of these guys for a superstar.” So there’s a little bit of hope there, even if it’s misguided, ridiculous and inane.”

Change a few names here and there and they could be talking about Colangelo. Probably NOT a good sign.

Obviously, Colangelo is ultimately responsible for the entire team, including the coaching staff. And the current version of the team is not a compelling argument for Colangelo to keep his job.

Last season, Dwane Casey helped a team with little talent overachieve but has struggled to help a more talented team take the next step. It’s not that Casey is a bad coach, it’s just he’s not a particularly good head coach. And like all coaches, he has his strengths and his weaknesses. He’s a good motivator, and good defensive coach, but he’s not good at rotations, offense or, apparently, developing young players.

More troubling, however, are the mixed signals he sends to players (and fans). He claims he holds players accountable and players have to earn their playing time, but that was obviously not the case with Bargnani. And Ed Davis only played when there were no other options available despite playing hard and well at the beginning of the season. And then when Bargnani came back from injury, he was again inserted into the starting lineup without deserving it. Whether this was a directive from Colangelo is beside the point. It’s ultimately the coaches responsibility who plays and who doesn’t.

And Jonas Valanciunas’ absence during the fourth quarters of games even when he plays well would make more sense if the team didn’t consistently play poorly at the end of games. His insistence on playing small ball at that time too often leaves the team vulnerable on the inside and on the boards, and far too dependant on outside shooting, which they are not very good at. Not only is Casey’s insistence on sitting Valanciunas late in games hurting Valanciunas’ development (he has to learn to play then by actually playing), it has hurt the team.

I have no problem with being selective with minutes for young players and making them earn playing time, but when he’s played well against an opponent all game long, I’m not sure of the logic of sitting him when you need him most, and when he’ll learn the most.

Casey is obviously not the coach most Raptor fans hoped he’d be after last season. The best organizations stick with their coaches and create a system that inhabits the entire organization. But first you need the right coach. And however much I appreciate the good things Casey does, he’s not it.

Of course, without the right talent, even the best coach isn’t going to succeed. And while the Raptors certainly have some talent, it’s rather flawed talent.

Now, honestly, I was going to go into some detail about each player, talking about their strengths and weaknesses, but then I watched the game against Miami and realized it was a microcosm of what is what is wrong with this team.

First Rudy Gay.

Through the first three quarters, we saw exactly why Colangelo has been enamoured of Gay and why the Raptors are so desperately trying to sell him as an elite player. He scored inside and out, rebounded the ball in traffic and made one absolutely spectacular pass to (I think) Terrence Ross on the fast break. He shot 11-16 from the field and was a big reason why the Raptors had tied it up at 77.

Then the other Rudy Gay took over.

In the fourth quarter, he went 0-4 , without one shot attempt closer than 14 feet. At least in the Charlotte game he went inside more in the fourth quarter, but still shot 1-5. For a guy that is billed as a closer for the Raptors, he’s actually a poor shooter in clutch situations. It’s great that he has hit some big last second shots, but if he shoots poorly until then, it doesn’t actually help the team win.

And while he actually shot fairly decent (for him) from behind the three point line in the games against Miami and Charlotte, he continues to launch 3 pointers at a high rate (3.3 per game, 4.1 since the trade) while shooting 28.6% for the season, well below the league average. That’s simply not good judgement.

In a lot of ways, he reminds me of a post-injury Vince Carter (Raptors version) where he falls in love with his jumpshot, coasts way too much and doesn’t seem to want to use the physical and basketball skills he’s blessed with. Do we really want to go through THAT again?

Like with Andrea Bargnani, Colangelo is enamoured with what Gay CAN do, rather than what he ACTUALLY does do on a consistent basis. Gay is a very good player, but if he’s your best player, or even your second best player, your team is going to be mediocre, at best. And unfortunately with him making more than $37 million over the next two seasons, Gay will remain the team’s “best” player for the near future because his contract (as well as those of DeRozan, Bargnani and Fields) will limit what the Raptors can do to upgrade the roster.

DeMar DeRozan is the team’s second leading scorer, and, like Gay, he’s inefficient offensively, takes WAY too many long twos and has major problems on the defensive end. While I like DeRozan’s work ethic, a lot of his statistical improvement is simply due to more minutes than actually doing things at a more efficient rate. For example, his 4.1 rebounds a game mark a career high, but his rebounding percentage of 6.5%, a much better indication of rebounding, is actually slightly below his career average of 6.6%.

And while he’s gotten to the line more as the season has gone on, his field goal percentage has actually declined every single month and he is shooting just 40% for March. In other words, despite what everyone seems to be saying, DeRozan has NOT played better since the Rudy Gay trade. He’s gotten to the line more, but his scoring is about the same and his field goal percentage has gone down.

Any team dependant on Gay and DeRozan as their leading scorers are simply not going to be efficient enough or score consistently enough to be anything more than a mediocre team.

Kyle Lowry hasn’t exactly been the player Raptor fans had hoped for, either. Like Gay, he’s inconsistent and gambles too much on defense, and while he’s a willing passer, he simply doesn’t have the same ability to deliver the right pass at the right time that Jose Calderon did. And, again, the game against Miami was the perfect example of Lowry’s flaws.

He’s be the perfect example of the difference between an instinctual point guard and a reactive point guard. An instinctual point guard makes those around him better and understands where and when to move the ball without even thinking about it. Watch Lowry over the course of a game and you’ll see how guys have to reach for his passes, rather than have them delivered where they can shoot it in motion. The offense will grind to a halt far too often with him on the floor, and he doesn’t always see the open man.

And the thing that makes Lowry such a fan favourite, the way he plays with a chip on his shoulder, can also be one of his biggest weaknesses. Like Gay, he takes a lot of bad shots early in the shot clock, especially in crunch time.

With the Raptors current roster, you’ve got the top 2 scorers (three, including Bargnani) as very inefficient, the top two ball handlers as bad decision makers, and your three perimeter defenders as inconsistent, at best.

The team is not without it’s bright spots, thankfully.

Amir Johnson has probably been the team’s MVP over the course of the season, has averaged a double-double as a starter, is in the top ten in the league in field goal percentage, has become a viable, although moderate, scoring threat and has, for the most part, kept his fouls in check. Best of all, he’s equally as good coming off the bench or starting. Basically, he’s every coaches dream. You can plug him into any team, he’ll do whatever is asked and will play hard no matter what his role. I thought it ridiculous, a while back, when people were talking about possibly amnestying Amir, and I’m thankful those times are gone.

In Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors have found a two-way center who has a chance to be an All Star down the road. He’s an incredibly hard worker, has a good feel both offensively and defensively, and should develop into a better player than any of the current Raptors.

I really don’t think he’s got the talent to be a franchise center, but I do think he’s the most important Raptor on the roster. In a league devoid of legit two-way centers, Valanciunas holds the key to the future success of the team. But he’s surrounded by players that don’t compliment him. And Colangelo is overpaying his players so much, just to build a .500 team that by the time the Raptors will need to give Valanciunas a new contract, they won’t be able to afford him.

Next year, the Raptors are on pace to have the 6th highest payroll in the league, and the year after that the 5th highest, and that doesn’t include whatever they offer Kyle Lowry. Colangelo’s pay structure isn’t sustainable and if he continues to run the team, it will kill any flexibility the team will need to be anything more than a borderline playoff team.

Speaking of which, this notion that being a .500 team, which the Raptors have been since trading for Rudy Gay, as being such a good thing is a complete fail to me.

The first problem with that argument is that from the time Bargnani was injured (on December 10th) to the time Rudy Gay was traded for (January 31st), the Raptors went 12-12. And since then, the team has gone 10-12. I’m not suggesting the team is not better with Gay, because they are, but the improvement is fairly marginal. Again, this is not a good sign if you’re arguing he’s an elite player.

Secondly, the goal of this team should be more than simply being .500 and making the playoffs. That would be fine if there was an indication that there was plenty of room for growth beyond that, but with this team there’s not. At this point, the team’s best case scenario looks more like the Joe Johnson-led Hawks teams that couldn’t get past the second round, than anything else. And I’d say even that’s a reach, because at least Johnson was a perennial All Star.

As I said at the beginning, the goal of any team should be to, at least, contend for a Championship, and this team is not built for that. You need an elite player for that, at the very least, and the Raptors simply don’t have one. And you can’t even say they have several All Stars, because that’s not even true. If Valanciunas becomes a perennial All Star, and Gay becomes an All Star (in the weak East), then what you’ve got is a 45-50 win team that will compete but won’t be in anyone’s conversation for contenders. And, again, this is a best case scenario. And far too many of Colangelo’s decisions have been based on best case scenario, rather than the likely scenario (see Bargnani, Andrea).

More likely, the team will flatline at 45 wins, spend way too much money on mediocre players, and have to start cutting costs, which means losing talent. This is the likely road the team will take if they stay the course. And I’m not fine with that.

Next up, what the Raptors SHOULD do

AROUND THE LEAGUE

– Related to my article, I’m really getting sick of Leo Rautins talking up how great being a .500 team in the East is because it means the possibility of being a middle seed in the playoffs. Great, the East is so bad that even a mediocre team will make the playoffs. And that’s supposed to be a good thing.

– Why is it that Charlotte was able to acquire their backup point guard (Jannero Pargo) with just a 10-day contract, whereas Bryan Colangelo had to use a 2nd round pick to get the Raptors one?

– Depending on how long Kobe is out, this might actually help the Lakers because Nash will actually have something to do other than stand around at the three point line and passing to Kobe whenever he’s open. Yes, the Lakers have miraculously gotten back into the top 8 in the West, but their offense looks AWFUL. Asking Steve Nash to play off the ball and defer to Kobe EVERY TIME is like casting Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Oakland A’s coach in Moneyball and then giving him absolutely nothing to do. It’s a waste.

On a side note, I did love Moneyball, but please give Hoffman more to do than to look vexed.

– Three years ago, Washington decided to give the 23 year old Andray Blatche a 5 year, $35 million extension based mostly on potential, and Blatche rewarded them by showing up out of shape and playing horribly when he wasn’t suspended for being out of shape. Eventually they decided to amnesty him, which allowed him to pick where he wanted to play without worrying about money. Then he goes out and says this:

“If I get a lot (in my next contract), yeah, it’s going to take pressure off the Wizards, but that’s why I’m not going to do that.”

Bitter much?

– Did you hear about Indiana Pacer, George Hill going off over most of their home crowd cheering for the Lakers in the recent tilt against them?  George Hill is an Indianapolis native who played three season in San Antonio, where I’m guessing fans never cheer for anyone EXCEPT the Spurs.

As a resident of Vancouver, for more than a decade and a half, I find it a little sickening that Indianapolis has the second best team in the East, one of the best young players in the league, and they’re near the bottom of the league in attendance. And apparently those that attend don’t always cheer for the hometown team.

I’d say George Hill has a legitimate gripe.

And if Pacers fans don’t want their team, Vancouver will take it.

  • lightninghank

    Spectacular piece. You’ve made me think I should hold off on renewing my season tickets until MLSE makes a call on Colangelo.

  • thead

    I don`t even know where to start with this article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dupont.koo Dupont Koo

    Tim, first of all welcome to the RR! I went to college at Indiana for 4 full years and can tell you that there is a reason why the state is being called the Mecca of Basketball: the people there live and breathe basketball 24 & 7, regardless it’s high school, NCAA or Pro. The reason behind the George Hill episode is that the economy in the state is really suffering and in fact the Pacers have lost big money 5 years in a row. Unlike TO, where you have all those fancy suits-wearing Colangelo corporate lookalike from Bay, Yonge, King & Queen paying top dollar consistently on suites and cout-side seats, the Pacers rely more on walk-ons and the lower prices season ticket holders. When the local economy’s crumbling, it’s a dead-nail on to the coffin for a small market team like the Pacers…I was there for the team’s last glory years (Uncle Reggie vs His Airness in 98; Rik Smits & Jalen playing Shaq & Kobe in the 2000 finals) and no one would have thought the Hill Episode would ever happen! Of course, there was a lunatic later on called Ron Artest ruining Uncle Reggie’s last years and the franchise altogether….Dupont

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      It seems the more grassroots the love of basketball is, the less attached the fans are to the pro sports franchise. It’s like that in Charlotte and Memphis, as well. I do find it hard to believe that fans in Indiana would be embracing the Lakers, though. Next they’ll be cheering for the Knicks!

      • onemanweave

        Love what Casey accomplished last season. Like the effort he’s been able to obtain this season. Remember some of the non-games of the past few seasons?
        However, this team needs a top veteran coach almost as much as it needs a new GM — Stan Van Gundy is one who comes to mind. You need someone on a long-term contract who can demand effort and sit players for as long as they need to be sat. You need an offensive plan that isn’t dictated by the players themselves and someone with the chops to enforce it. Sorry DC, I really like what you’ve done but you don’t have the heft to buck multi-million-dollar players. The Raps need someone who does, or all the good moves a GM could make, won’t count for much. Strong, assertive coaching on its own, with no changes in personnel, would make this team significantly better.

  • Shee

    Yeah great article…

  • blackjitsu

    Great piece Tim. Sadly, as strong as the argument is to bounce Colangelo MLSE will likely keep him around. Corporate Toronto has become accepting of mediocrity in sports, and until corporate boxes are at risk, or they have to reverse ticket prices there’s no motivation to fire B Co…. I hope I’m wrong.

  • pran

    I remember the days when Tim used to get ridiculed (by the likes of cesco and co.) for expressing his views on bargnani in the comments sections of articles. Now he is the one writing the articles. “started from the bottom now we here” indeed. Congrats tim.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Thanks. I heard ESPN wanted me and I jumped at the chance. This IS ESPN, isn’t it? I’m here to replace Hollinger, right?

    • cesco

      At the time , Tim criticism of the team started and ended with Andrea . Andrea had to go first according to him , not offering an argument similar to what he is presenting now where he wants 3/4 of the team replaced starting , I am sure , with BC instead of Andrea ( expecting Andrea to be traded or amnestied , God forbid that Andrea stays and plays a major role , it will be war again ) .

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        Actually, my main focus of criticism was Bargnani, but I certainly stated that there were major problems beyond him. I never once claimed he was the reason the team was where it was in the standings.

      • pran

        Everything you ever talk about starts and ends with andrea. Funny, where were you these last couple of months when andrea was showing how awesome he truly is? Hiding under a rock from the shame no doubt.

      • truth be told

        You showed your face again? Wow.

  • http://twitter.com/MarshalVic Ron R

    WOW. Fantastic read. I had also applied for the spot and wanted to wish you a warm congrats!

    I absolutely agree with everything you said. I’ve been reading articles here for a long time and this is my first post. I’ve been saying everything you said to my buddies all season. I didn’t like the trade when it happened and I like it less now. I actually tweeted a couple of days ago that Gay reminded me of Vince in the tail end of his time here. It’s eery. All the talent in the world, and completely nonchalant with it.

    It’s so frustrating watching him take 25+ shots a night to come up with 21 points. YES he’s hit a couple game winners, and has managed to string some nice scoring nights together recently, but look at his turnovers??! How many times does he attract double and triple teams driving into the paint, well almost in, and instead of passing it to an open man he fumbles the ball out of bounds. Over. And Over.

    I can’t say I blame him for fading in the fourth quarters. The reason the Raps have been failing in the fourth ALL SEASON LONG rests solely on one mans’ shoulders. Coach Dwayne Casey. He has the most deficient rotations I have ever seen and I’ve been following the Raps since day one against New Jersey back in 1995. He routinely runs Gay, DeRozan, and Johnson 40+ minutes a night! Gay doesn’t usually get a break until 3 minutes into the second quarter. There is no way they can sustain a high level of play for 48 minutes when they are going up against RESTED starters in the fourth.

    And I won’t even get into his lack of offensive sets. What this team lacks is a veteran warrior like Charles Oakley to get these kids to start playing correctly. ENOUGH jump shots from 6 feet behind the 3 Pt line (Gay, I’m looking at you) when you can easily take a couple of dribbles in and shoot from the actual, yanno, line? OR, even better, take it to the hoop and prove you can play at an elite level.
    If the coach can’t reign in his players from taking all of these ridiculous long contested shots whenever they aren’t isoing DD or Gay, then we need a player on the floor who will.

    We will regret losing Eddie one day (I for one already do). JV is the future of this franchise (assuming we don’t lose him as you mentioned due to our insanely mishandled salary cap) which is sad because we actually would have a chance to keep him here since he isn’t from the States and isn’t in a rush to flee south of the border, like Gay will unless the Raptors throw another mountain of money at him. Ugh, makes your head hurt doesnt it?

    Jonas needs to continue to get 30+ mins a night until the end of the season, win, lose or draw. And so does Ross. We have no choice BUT to develop these two if we hope to get any better. I have a feeling DD is close to his ceiling, unless his suddenly realizes he should ALWAYS be geting inside…Oh Charles, where are you when we need you?

    Anyways, I figured I’d finally jump in and say something after reading your article. Looking forward to the next one 😉

    • ezz_bee

      I’m sure you’ve written some insightful points, but to the reader (or at least this reader) it’s a wall of text that makes it very difficult to read.

      Trying breaking up your thoughts a little by throwing the occasional paragraph break.

      You certainly don’t have to, but it makes it more accessible to your reader. It is certainly a lot friendlier for me personally. Not trying to be critical, just trying to provide friendly advice to help you get your ideas across.

      • http://twitter.com/MarshalVic Ron R

        You are absolutely right. Lol it started as a short reply then it just sorta steamrolled. I wasn’t really paying attention to formatting 😉

        Hope this helps!

  • Steve

    Great article I seriously think that raptors need a MUCH better gm, because what colangelo is best at is drafting (besides Andrea) and the fact that raps won’t be there in a while, makes me wonder if mlse will fire him. The problem with the raptors is bad coaching, streaky bench that you just can’t trust, inconsistent players, and the person who put it all together Bryan Colangelo. Most things you touched upon and I’ll be waiting for the next article of what they SHOULD do. My guess is trade everyone away except Rudy and Jonas, just build around them. Maybe keep lowry to convince Rudy to stay because rudys position is hard to find and the fact that he hits big shots to win the game, is something raps have searched for a long long time.

  • Bill

    I think you’ve written a very insightful piece full of legitimate arguments. It’s a damn shame that people are going to start acting immaturely and throwing out insults either because they dislike you or disagree, but choose not to make counter-arguments.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      If I’m not being insulted, then I’m doing something wrong.

  • RapChap

    Great article!!

    Ouch. What a mess. 6th highest payroll, and not making the playoffs. Best hope is a .500 team. Is BC related to Harold Ballard?

    On the other hand, I cannot imagine MLSE will get rid of BC in the off-season, but pick up his extension, and see how Gay and Lowry play next year. I am not hopeful that they anything great will come of it. If that is the case, mid-next-season will be time to clean house. Trade Lowry, Derozen and Bargs, if he is still around for draft picks and expiring contracts. It will be tough trading Gay because he has a player option, and start over with a real rebuild.

    Then, bring in a GM that actually has a plan and make trades like the Grizzly’s. Traded Gay (overpaid, whiny underachiever) and Hadadi (who?) for steady shooting forward Tayshaun Prince, and prospects Ed Davis, Austin Daye AND a second round pick (from Toronto). That is a team that is making deals from strength. Then we need to get rid of another pick to get rid of Hadadi. Oh, and get Telfair.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I agree it’s likely that Colangelo will be retained, but firing him halfway through next season would be too late. I’ll get into that in part two.

  • raptors phdsteve

    welcome to the team Tim W. – as usual- an excellent piece: well thought out and well written.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Thanks. And thanks for the inspiration!

  • j bean

    That’s just what RR needs. Someone to moan and groan and make snide remarks about the players and management. If that’s what I wanted to hear I could have gone to the picket fence. BC doesn’t deserve his job but the future of the team is the 1st rounder he recently drafted. Next we are going to be treated to what the Raptors should do. Spare me.

    • Copywryter

      So what do you want, someone to shake the pom poms and find the silver lining in dark clouds? Sorry, but there’s no silver lining, just a dark, wet, 7-year-old streak in the purple underwear. Tim is pointing out that it smells.

      If you want to win – to build a competitive anything – you’ve got to be willing to take your heart and ego out of the equation and accept a dispassionate look at things. For the Raptors, that’s pointing out flawed, overpaid players, a coach who’s limitations are hiding in plain sight, and a GM who has missed far, far more often than he’s hit. That’s not ‘moaning and groaning’, it’s the truth.

      It isn’t snide, either, this is delivered head-on. When you’ve got a history and culture of failure and no meaningful statistical improvement you’ve got to call a spade a spade.

      Mindless, jingoistic support of whatever is rolled down from on high, attacking those who criticize, and faith that things will work out in the end is not being a fan. It’s fundamentalism.

      Oh and seven years ago the future of the team was another 1st rounder, one with more raw talent than JV.

      Jonas looks to be a nice young player, but no one around the NBA is saying he’s a franchise guy, because he’s not. We have to be careful not to confuse building a championship calibre team with one that merely has clean underwear.

      • zeanich

        your nice not bluster apparent as it usual. maybe you might miss the point. Tim W says lots about little, as known to do. nothing new here that doesn’t been said many times in ways more interesting. many here avoid his website for big reasons. the comment before to yours was probably meaning that seeing that now Tim W’s ideas on things will be a part of raptor republic, it is less than some would have hope. this season no surprise. not many good things.

        • Copywryter

          But Tim isn’t talking about this season. He’s talking about several seasons into the future, where our current crop of expensive, inefficient players will strand us in mediocrity. I like having critical opinions shared on this site, it balances out RRs insane optimism. The AB years were terrible for that – it was obvious (visually and statistically) that he was what he was but so many just refused to see it or hoped for change.

          Maybe you prefer not to see Tim criticize the same things repeatedly, but if they are endlessly broken, how can he not?

    • Guy

      If Tim W is going to be contributing more articles, be prepared for a few things. First, the term ‘mediocrity’ will be mentioned over & over & over & over & over. Second, if you ever disagree with Mr Picket Fence, you’ll be told, quite matter-of-factly, you endorse mediocrity. Third, Tanking, putting faith in the lottery, is the way to go.

      Enjoy his sermons.

  • raptorspoo

    Thank you Tim! You’re a breath of fresh air.

    Can’t stand how people are wishy-washy – one day wanting BC fired, next day wanting to extend him cause he got Gay?…and screwed our cap situation. It’s like people are in a fantasy world, thinking that some how these’s seriously-flawed, no stars, Raptors team will become the next dark horse Memphis team contending for a championship.

    I’m all in for trading “almost” every piece to do a proper rebuild for the future – keeping future pieces ala Val and trading for picks and good coaching players (which Jose would have been perfect for). Heck, we can even overpay good vets to come here as we’d be developing rookies on rookie contracts.

    If management plays their cards right (first by firing BC) then we’ve got a great opportunity. To elaborate: OKC not only tanked but tanked when there was serious players to be had. Tank is such a negative word so let’s say “don’t give them the tools to win”, eg get rid of Gay, Bargs, Lowry, maybe even DD. This years draft is a crap-shoot so we can lose our pick no problem. Next years draft is a gem and would be a great start to do ‘seriously’ rebuilding – instead of the “we are in the rebuilding stages BUT let’s win as many games as we can” type mentality.

    In any case, Forget ESPN. Let’s hire Tim for management!

  • Tee

    Tim interesting article.

    I agree with you about the Raptor’s ceiling 45-50 wins but I disagree that its a bad thing: You have to make your way up from the bottom(which toronto has been during the last 3 years-Fact), then you make a crazy move that puts you over the top. If colangelo can get them close to that i think MLSE will let him go over the tax.

    Are the Raps going to win a Championship in the next 5 years? no way
    But you could say that about 85% of the league man.

    They probably wont win a championship in the next 25 years Tim. Even with your new GM that your hoping for.

    I agree with most of what you say regarding Casey but i think we have to hope that he evolves. (fingers crossed by yeah, he seems stubborn)

    Tim I dont know how old you are but you fail to mention the age of the current roster with your assessment.
    They are really young man. If it we me I would let this team play together for 24 months before making any judgements(most people in Toronto cant fathom this i know)

    But I really think you dont reach you NBA prime unitl 26-33 years of age(unless your a superstar-Griffin Durant LBJ).

    Regards.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      If you’re banking on Colangelo being able to pull off a “crazy move” to put you over the top, I think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. And what kind of crazy move would you expect a GM to make? Trading for LeBron? I don’t see that happening.

      And the fact that the chances aren’t high the Raptors will win a Championship in the near future isn’t a reason to not, at least, try to build a team that can contend for one. Otherwise you’re just giving into a loser mentality, which is what Colangelo would probably love. If Raptor fans are happy with mediocrity, then his job is safe.

      Fans that don’t demand excellence won’t ever get it.

      As for the age of the roster, they’re pretty much in the middle of the pack, in the NBA. They have some young talent, but too many people mistake youth for potential. You have to remember the idea that NBA players don’t reach their prime until 27 came about when players stayed longer in college. More important than age is the amount of experience a player has. Gay is 26, yes, but he’s also played nearly 7 full seasons, averaging more than 36 mpg. He is who he is.

      DeRozan is in a similar boat. He’s played nearly 4 seasons, averaging more than 30 mpg. And his per 36 and advanced stats really haven’t improved since his rookie season. We’ve seen improvements in his game, yes, but I don’t think there’s any reason to expect he’s going to be anything more than a decent scorer who really won’t help your team much in other areas. Certainly not a guy worth $10 million a season and be the core of a team you have high hopes for.

      • Tee

        Yeah, Gay is in his prime & and hes one of the oldest people on the team. Thats a good thing Tim.

        Lowry and Bargnani are close but thats it.

        I think Demar is 23. To even suggest that he is in his prime is false.

        Tim look at the top 25 NBA player rankings on ANY site, unless you’re a superstar they are not 23.

        Tim, you want to start over and hopefully draft young core pieces? (im guessing)
        Well that is my point: We have young pieces that are about 3 years away from really performing.
        If you start over you will need to get young pieces and then wait another 5 -7yrs to HOPE that they perform.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Youth is great, but too many people assume that also means the team has loads of potential. And that’s not always right. Players don’t always continue to get better until their prime. Some peak early and then flatline. Some peak early and then decline and some simply never achieve what was expected of them.

          I never said DeRozan was in his prime, but he also has shown very little statistical improvement since his rookie season. That’s not to say he hasn’t gotten better, and won’t continue to get better, but he’s shown absolutely nothing to suggest he’s going to be much more than he is right now. And keep in mind, I was a fan of Colangelo picking him and have been a supporter of his from the beginning. Unfortunately, he simply hasn’t made the strides I hoped for, especially on the defensive end.

          As for what I would do, you’ll have to wait for that.

  • arsenalist

    Nice piece, Tim.

    With regards to the second-round pick, I’m thinking it may have been a money-saving move. It was probably cheaper to pick up Telfair than someone off waivers, and you also don’t have to deal with potentially paying a second-rounder to play overseas or something.

    To me, expecting any significant improvement from Gay is the same as expecting improvement from Andrea Bargnani. Of course, Gay CAN be a greater scorer and consistently positively influence the game on both ends, but whether he’s going to is another matter. Both are of the same draft class, approximately the same age, and both have had effort issues. Gay is more suited to the team because he can more consistently bring the threat of a double team, can be a clutch perfomer, and is more likely to create mismatches and exploit them. The problem is that the rate at which he does those things is much lower than it should be.

    Valanciunas is a bright spot, but whether he holds the key to the future is debatable. If he pans out to an All-Star level player, of course he could do that. But the same could be said for Terrence Ross. To me, Valanciunas is on course to become a solid, maybe unspectacular, rotation player, with an outside chance at being an All-Star and that’s only because the guy is bloody relentless. All my eggs aren’t in the Valanciunas bag, because the key to this team being successful is two of Gay, DeRozan, Valanciunas, Lowry, and Ross becoming All-Star caliber players, and one of them being a very good player.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I don’t have a problem with Gay being on the team like I did/do with Bargnani, because I do think he can help a team. But not with the contract he’s got, and not as the first or second option on the team. That’s asking for problems.

      As for Valanciunas, I think he’s the most important player on the Raptors, but that’s not to say that you should hook your cart to him. I think he’ll be better than a rotation player, but not a franchise guy. I can see him being a 20-10 guy with very good defense. I think you stick him beside a REAL elite player, and you’ve got a chance to be a special team.

      I’m not putting all my eggs into the Valanciunas basket. I just don’t see the current roster going anywhere and think that Valanciunas on the roster with potential that I don’t think has a flawed game.

      • raptorspoo

        Although I am not happy with BC’s infatuation with AB, I personally don’t have an issue with him being on the team…

        …if he’s coming off the bench making $5 mil that is.

  • Fire Bryan Colangelo!
  • FAQ

    Rudolph deteriorates in the 4th quarter because he is exhausted by then and his effectiveness diminishes drastically.

    Kyle is an incompetent PG and you know it.

    Demar has a short attention span and poor anticipation skills, unless he’s holding the ball.

    Amir is a blue-collar workhorse … nothing more.

    Jonas is a surprise, and a somewhat pleasant surprise.

    Bargs has gone stale playing on this sad excuse for an NBA team.

    Toronto tribal honking fans are gluttons for punishment!

    …. and this is about as good as it will get for the foreseeable future….. believe it.

    • wes mantooth

      i believe most of it..

      kyle is awful.that guy is not capable of running a team, there are screws loose! so obvious! theres a reason teams just let him go.

      demar is above average at best! terrible instincts. him and lowry have run some of the worst fast breaks ive ever seen in the nba and actually i was looking at his draft class and got pretty depressed ! BC passed on jennings. holiday and ty lawson. all all-stars and all better then demar. i know we needed a wing but to overlook such talent for a good athlete is telling. to pass on those guys cause we had jose, then to just give up on jose to get another wing is telling as well. this man doesnt know what hes doing.

      also the pargo point is something that needs to be looked at.

      JV was a good move. nothing genius about it. we had the 5th pick and he was a great prospect

      the only out of the box positive value move hes made was AMIR. hes a beast that is getting better and could start on other nba teams. dont know if bc got lucky cause we needed a pf with cb4 leaving or if he had vision.

      so yeah..i kind of agree with faq

  • guest

    I’m looking forward to next season because this team won’t have anymore excuses, it’ll be put up or shut up for everyone, from the players all the way up to the GM. Personally, I’m not expecting much, but I also don’t expect MLSE to change direction right now. A year from now Colangelo will either be heralded or run out of town.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      With Colangelo, there will always be excuses. Always. Every year, I heard that the next year there would be no more excuses for Bargnani, but there always were.

  • RobertArchibald

    It’s a sad state this franchise is in and you laid all their terrible cards on the table Tim. Glad to see the fellas here at RR brought you aboard. Proof they can evaluate talent better than BC. This whole article made me think about why I continue to follow this franchise. They’re one of the only sources of frustration in my life yet I still watch every game. They continually disappoint yet I hold out hope that one day it will change. People criticize me for being a fan of this team and it doesn’t stop me. All that being said, I truly believe that all this asking for change is just to change our mood about the team for a small amount of time. Is that really a reason to invest so much energy into a franchise? Simply in hopes of change? The sadder part is that management seems to feel the same way. Asking for a new shiny toy once they’re sick of the last one. It’s a vicious cycle and doesn’t appear to be breaking anytime soon.

  • JHP

    Great read! I can not imagine the team being any better next year. If you’re smart enough to have the money for season tickets, you’re smart enough not to buy them. If they don’t start making changes then it’s another 5 years of no playoffs and if you want to see the elite teams then just buy the individual tickets.

  • ezz_bee

    Great to have you back Tim! There were a bunch of us being nostalgic about your “back and forth’s with multipaul”, in one of the forum threads a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully, this signal’s a return to the forum’s as well?

    I’m looking forward to your next article but there are some points I feel I should raise. I started writing them and realized that it was too huge a response for the comments section. I’ll wait to read your follow up article and if their are still points I want to raise I’ll do so at that time.

    Welcome back!

  • Nilanka15

    Nice to have you back, Tim.

    This article seems to be a mashup of all your basketball-related thoughts since your last RR appearance 😉

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Yes, I was hesitant to do this one, but felt it necessary for the next one.

  • Statement

    Hi Tim,

    Although I appreciate your view that the ultimate goal of the franchise should be a champsionship and they should work towards becoming a contender, I don’t think that a championship is realistic for a couple of reasons.

    1) Firstly, barring any changes the Heat and the Thunder have it locked down for AT LEAST the next 4 seasons

    2) Also, the NBA game, in general, is not condusive to parity or a wide array of teams winning. In this league, 50% of the championships have been won by either the Celtics or the Lakers since 1946-1947 and only 19 different teams have won championships in 66 YEARS! Therefore, if you are in the NBA, chances are you will NOT win a championship. Therefore, If you are a fan of the NBA, you might as well be a fan of the WWE.
    Given that I know this, I feel that a 2nd round playoff birth by the Raptors is great. I agree with you that the primary way to win is to get elite talent. However, tanking year-after-year in the hopes of securing a star talent is an untenable, unrealistic strategy, IMHO.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      1) Two things about this comment. First, I don’t agree that those teams have the Championship “locked down”. Miami certainly has an advantage, but I don’t think they’re unbeatable. As for the Thunder, I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t make it to the Finals. They are vulnerable for various reasons, despite having one of the two or three best players on the planet.

      And four to five years is about how long it would take to turn a team into a contender, so that actually works out well.

      2) Then contract the league in half. Otherwise, what’s the point of having all those useless teams.

      I think this is a horribly defeatist attitude. And with fans and management that think like that, you will never, ever win anything. Just because so few teams have won doesn’t mean it’s not possible for anyone to win. Neither Miami, nor Dallas won before they did in the last ten years. It’s a good thing their management didn’t have that defeatist attitude.

      You reap what you sow. And too many Raptor fans seem to be too happy with mediocrity, so that’s what they will get. If you don’t demand excellence, you will never get it. Instead, you get Colangelo.

      • Statement

        “Then contract the league in half. Otherwise, what’s the point of having all those useless teams.”

        That’s obviously not going to happen. As such, the original point stands. The nature of the beast is such that the majority of teams have never won. This is true, defeatist attitude of the fans or not.

        Regarding the fans being happy with mediocrity, you could argue that given that the Raptors have good attendance, their fans are happy with mediocrity. However, I would counter with the example of the Pacers, who despite having a good team, are 25th in attendance this year. Their fans are obviously sending the signal that more winning is required. However, neither of these teams have won a championship in their history, so in these two examples, winning is uncorrelated with fan passion or apathy.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Just because the majority of teams have not won a Championship doesn’t mean the majority of teams shouldn’t, at least, try. That’s what I’m suggesting. Trying.

          And since the Raptor fans have been so loyal to the team, with so little reason, shouldn’t you reward them with trying to build a team that might actually contend rather than taking advantage of their loyalty by not trying? That seems like a big FU to the fans.

      • Statement

        Re: building a contender.

        People indicate that in order to build a contender you need to tank to get a shot at that top-level talent. I am inclined to agree with this myself. However, nobody ever backs this statement up with any type of study.

        I found one myself which I’ll post.

        http://wagesofwins.com/2012/03/26/why-teams-should-try-and-get-on-the-treadmill-of-mediocrity/

        The money quotes, IMHO are:

        Regarding evolving into a great team:

        “By the time we get four years out we see being on an OK team is about as good for a team’s fortunes as being a 50-54 win team. However, all of these options are much better than being on bad (20-29 win) teams to terrible (< 20 win) teams."

        and

        "A team that tanks to get a good draft prospect is simply not in good shape. There’s many reasons for this. The odds a rookie will be great are low. Bad teams often have multiple problems to fix."

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Wages of Wins did a similar article against tanking last year, I believe, and their argument is flawed. You can’t point to a bad team who has a losing record over a period of a number of years as proof of anything except that bad management leads to bad teams.

          And I don’t think all teams need to tank. No team in any prime NBA destination needs to tank because they can attract free agents or players demanding trades.

          Keep in mind, it’s not that I LIKE the idea of tanking. I don’t. But the way the league is constructed, and how necessary it is to have an elite player to contend, I don’t see a better option.

          • Statement

            Tim,

            Regarding tanking, I believe that we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I’m with you in that tanking can give a lottery shot to a team like the Raptors to obtain elite talent. However, doing it year-after-year is no guarantee (look at Charlotte, with Kemba, Biyombo, Kidd-Gilchrist and a horrible record). Realistically, unless there is a complete change in organizational philosophy from ownership down, this path is untenable and will not happen. IMHO, you are arguing for something that is a pipe-dream.

            As to your statement that it would take 4-5 years to build a contender, Cleveland lost Lebron in roughly 3 years ago. Do you see them as a contender next year or the year after?

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Let me just clarify. I meant that it would take at least 4-5 years to build a team that can win a Championship once you have the franchise player WITH good management.

              One issue I have is that people too often confuse tanking with bad management. You can be bad forever, even if you get lucky, if you’ve got bad management.

              Cleveland lucked into Kyrie Irving, butI think they’ll regret passing up Valanciunas because they couldn’t wait a year to get him, I think they’l end up regretting drafting Dion Waiters, and I think they’ll regret not trading Anderson Varejao when his stock was highest for a younger player or draft pick.

              Simply landing a franchise player isn’t enough to make you a contender. Minnesota only got past the second round once with Garnett. That’s a huge waste of an opportunity due to bad management.

          • Statement

            OH BTW,
            Thanks for responding to all of my comments

        • theswirsky

          I usually think WoW is a great read, whether you like their metric or not, but I find ‘tanking’ is one area they have dropped the ball. The tend to look at small (and often convient) windows of time and don’t factor in team’s market places. (as Tim mentions aswell they don’t differentiate between teams that tanked and teams that weren’t trying to but just sucked)

          WoW has shown that talent does matter. A team needs a superstar, a big 3 (or so) and a rotation of 8 for the playoffs. Rather common knowledge.

          What WoW doesn’t bother to ask is how or why teams go about getting those players, which ofcourse is the reason teams tank. To get that superstar and/or big 3 you need to either draft them (and WoW has shown in the past where you draft does matter) or be a superstar market. Even then alot of those superstar markets have needed to tank (or atleast suck) to build up the assets necessary to trade for their superstar or big 3. Boston is a great example of this, using their picks from years of losing to trade for Allen and Garnett to add to Pierce (who they ofcourse drafted). Even Houston this year may be an example, as they gave up nearly everyone, collected picks and then traded for Harden (again though, bother superstar markets.)

          When we look at almost every star that has changed teams within the last decade or so, they are almost always going to a market with no state tax, friendly climate and/or large historic market, that could spend a ton of dough.

  • Roarque

    Glen Grunwald will be available soon.

  • vino

    Mentioned that before, 0.500 club isn’t my goal – yeah, I’d like a contender! But hey, you gotta start somewhere… and I do not buy this argument that “what you see if what you have. forever.” Not a huge fan of BC,but we all know he’s never been shy to trade. And in less than 2 years, guess what?! Gay’s contract is one of the best expiring in the league; and if it expires – sign him up for a reasonable deal. You notion that BC has always overpaid – yeah, its legit. Hope to have some one (even if it’s BC) who doesn’t overpay to leave Gay in town. Point here is that if Rapts do make it to the playoffs next year, then fight their way into the second round a year after that…. and JV becomes this 20-10 player you’ve mentioned (by the way, 20-10 with solid D center – is amazing! “franchise” guy or whatever names you call him at that point is irrelevant. By the way, 20-10 center with solid D is an All-Star. East or West. Always! Especially in today’s NBA) – there is significant progress. Whether is helps sell more jerseys and what impact it has on management’s personal wealth, isn’t my business. I sure hope tickets won’t go up 10%, but that is the extent. Here is a short plan forward:

    1. Trade #7 for a high second rounder – my assessment of his value today

    2. Amnesty Kleiza

    3. Sign a guy like Millsap. 1 and 2 above should bring in $15.6 mil. More than enough to give our a reasonable deal, sign a back up PG and extend Lowry (reasonably!!)
    Yeah, this is not Miami, but I think it enough to compete with Indiana. Oh, and where is Derrick Rose? How well will he respond from a long break? I still think Prokhorov will buy everything possible just not to get married…
    With this short plan in mind I see this team challenging for a home court advantage. Yeah, maybe still a second round exit but hey, alot more exciting that it is now.
    It’s easy to judge and blame but the reality that I see this team improving beyond 0.500. A lot depends on giving out REASONABLE contracts in the future; whether BC can hold his desire to overpay (and new management stepping in) is a good question; but everything isn’t that bad in Raptorland these days!

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Being .500 doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll stay there, but my point is that the Raptors simply don’t have the talent, financial flexibility or management to get much beyond that.

      As for your short plan, unfortunately the NBA doesn’t work like that. In order to trade Bargnani for a 2nd rounder and not take a similar contract back, you’d have to trade him to a team with at least $11 million in cap room, and I don’t see any teams with that much cap room wanting to spend that on Bargnani. Not without getting something else in return, like a 1st round pick.

      And even IF you do, miraculously, cut $15 million in salary, that doesn’t mean you get to use it on another player. You have to have the salary cap room. And clearing $15 million in salary will only give them approximately $8 million. Probably not enough to sign Millsap or any other player good enough to get the Raptors over the hump.

      Besides, Millsap I’m not really sure of the attraction to a guy like Millsap. He’s a good player, yes, but he’s not good defensively, which would exacerbate Gay, DeRozan and Lowry’s defensive problems, and he’s really more of a faceup big man, giving the Raptors yet another perimeter scorer.

      And if anything depends on Colangelo giving out reasonable contracts, you’re pretty much screwed.

      • vino

        Fair enough, it is not that easy… otherwise half of the people on this board would be applying for a GM position. Bargnani value is low, but I certainly hope there is a team willing to take on his salary. In the worst case, if not, amnesty his ass and let Kleiza expire in a year (or use his expiring contract as a trading chip with or without another asset). All in all – different road, same situation.
        As for Millsap – I threw his name out there. If he could be signed for a reasonable deal he’s a good addition. Not enough for contention, but good enough to fight for that home court seed. I just do not see any other FA we should go after this summer. Maybe that’s why I am not a professional scout…
        I only wanted to shine some light to the negative tone of this post. Yeah, I do not fully trust BC, simply because he has not laid down his plan to build a contender here. And I am not satisfied with just getting to the playoffs either. Ultimately, a lot depends on the growth of our team and I think to be perfectly fair we need to separate two things: internal growth of the team (chemistry/coaching) and individual growth of our young players. The first one is casual – most teams go through this every year. Just for the record, yeah I’d like to hire an offensive specialist as DC top assistant. Hell, maybe even fire DC… The second is intriguing; to me at least. I am very excited to see the development of JV and to a slightly lesser extent Ross. If these two develop fast into something special and Lowry magically turns around – this team is good, as-is. Maybe “ifs” but that’s what being a fan of the Raps is these days. We have not had that for a while…Then a GM job is primarily to keep it together (with REASONABLE contracts). Yes, at the end of the day we are dependent of a GM to give out reasonable contract. If you do not think BC is the guy I’d like to see your proposal.

  • FAQ

    All you t.h.f.’s are soooo delusional and f.o.sh. too now that your fantasies for playoffs have been utterly destroyed..!!!!!

    Every season, you go through the 5 stages of grief …. denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. You are now in the final stage of “acceptance” that the Ratpors are a crappy team… but next season, your hope will spring eternal and a new batch of t.h.f. suckers are born.

    Me? I’m immune because I’m not emotionally chained to the Ratpors; I enjoy watching good teams play interesting b’ball…. even NCAA games.

    • pdjjw

      You know, when I’d read your sentence with the 5 stages of grief, I thought you’d written denial, anger, bargnani, depression, acceptance.

  • bouncepass

    Let’s save some time waiting for the next post with bated breath – Tim’s solution will be to “tank” to get a franchise player. I agree that the Raptors should have tanked last year to acquire a very good player (a top 5 pick would have been fine). But this is a very uncertain prospect, especially since there are plenty of other crappy teams that are following that same strategy. Obviously, not every team will be able to get a “franchise player” and become a top team. There is a lot of luck involved. So, if Tim thinks that the Raptors should be historically bad and then hope to get lucky, that’s fine for a blogger. But can you imagine Colangelo telling his bosses that his plan is to put a really crappy team on the floor and then hope that they get lucky in the lottery, and then the draft?

    • DumbassKicker

      Tim and all the other fantasy basketball GM “tank nation” people act like 14 year olds that don’t really relate to the real world yet. Yup, manage the team as if you don’t have owners/shareholders to answer to, or fans that buy tickets to answer to, but have other teams in the league that co-operate with the “plan”, all in the hopes of luck in the lottery, and luck in the draft. They actually rant over and over and over as if they’re better qualified for one of those 30 jobs in the world, while they demonstrate their NBA management brilliance on blogs, over and over and over. There must be a conspiracy within the NBA to keep great fantasy managers out of the NBA.

  • golden

    Hey Timmy,

    Great to see you back. Pretty much agree with most of you wrote, except that I’m starting to re-think my position a little bit on Rudy Gay’s offensive efficiency. On the one hand, Gay is a vastly overpaid volume shooter, yes, but he can handle 30% usage rate with a dip in ORTG to only 95. While that’s definitely not Lebron, Melo or even Harden class, it is better than most players and might work well for the Raps roster when he’s paired with 2 high efficiency/low usage bigs like Amir
    & JV. The fact that Gay can manage 30% usage would allow JV and Amir to be at ~ 15% usage rate. Assuming JV evolves offensively to an Amir, Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah or even Quincy Acy type player, you could have both PF & C at ~120 ORTG. So the net ORTG for the Gay-JV-Amr frontcourt could be ~ 111. That’s pretty good offense. Then you could have Lowry and Demar at ~ 20% usage each at average to above average ORTG for a decent starting 5 – although I also agree that Demar is overpaid and would like to see an upgrade there if possible.

    Anyways, this type of group net ORTG/USG analysis comes from the Dean Oliver BoP player skill curves.
    http://books.google.ca/books?id=Xh2iSGCqJJYC&pg=PA240&lpg#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Hope to see you posting on the RR site and also would be great to get your pre-draft analysis. You were spot on regarding JV, Ed Davis and Drummond.

    Cheers

  • p00ka

    damn this tim nigga is generating more buzz than rudy gay when he joined the team. Look at all the comments,

  • Kujo

    Tim W. speaks the truth. I couldn’t agree more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Van-Grungy/100000069253213 Van Grungy

    Can Rudy Gay be amnestied?

  • D

    shit.