When the Raptors drafted Terrence Ross with the 8th pick right after Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes, the immediate feeling was that of regret.  The Raptors had missed out on two players, who by general consensus, were at the very least going to be serviceable long-term NBA players, and Ross was a wildcard.  Afforded the evidence of the rookie seasons, that has proven to be the case.

The drafting of Ross ahead of Andre Drummond also raised some questions, but the availability of Jonas Valanciunas at the center served to silence those critics.  Let’s leave aside the irony that one of the biggest needs heading into this summer is a center, and Drummond would’ve done just fine.  Essentially for the Raptors, they so far seem to have gotten the worst of four consecutive picks, and if you asked someone if they’d flip Ross for the 8th pick in this year’s draft, they wouldn’t immediately shut you down.

Looking back at the key stats from this year’s campaign for Ross, you find that the one area he was expected to contribute in is where he has struggled the most: shooting.  He shot 33% from three, and 40% overall, including 32% from the mid-range area.  Not great, but it could be attributed to rookie jitters.  For example, one of the greatest three-point shooters of our time, Dell Curry, shot 28% from three and 43% from the floor his rookie season and his career worked out just fine.

[Related: How To: Terrence Ross on Shooting via Raptors Basketball Academy]

Beyond the statistics, he hasn’t provided the spark or impact that you might expect someone with his athleticism and enthusiasm to produce (-2.5 differential – not that this means much).  The most important observation for me was helped not by a statistic, but the eye-test of seeing his knees literally shake every time he got the ball in an open spot, and the airball that followed.  However, as we said, let’s write that off to rookie issues, poor distribution of playing time by Casey, and general mismanagement of the rookie.

Tim Leiweke has repeatedly stated that he wants an honest evaluation of the current roster, and that usually brings Andrea Bargnani to mind.  You have to wonder though, whether Terrence Ross doesn’t fall into that category of player.  Colangelo had labelled Terrence Ross as an untouchable during the Rudy Gay trade negotiations, which was quite surprising at the time, and in complete contradiction to the lack of playing time afforded to him by Casey.

Assuming the evaluation of this roster by the new GM doesn’t coincide with Colangelo’s view, then you have to see what tweaks can be made.  Given his contract and lack of amnesty option, Rudy Gay is a mainstay, the same could be said for Landry Fields.   Linas Kleiza is a great amnesty option.  Beyond that you have players who you actually want on your team given their contract and abilities (Valanciunas, Lowry, Johnson, Acy), and those that fall in the category of tradeable assets, and that group is basically DeRozan and Ross.

I guess the question you should be asking is where the hell I’m going with this piece, and the answer to that is nowhere in particular.  Here’s the loose classification of the pieces into five pieces:

  1. Keep: Valanciunas, Lowry, Johnson, Acy

  2. Forced to Keep: Gay, Fields

  3. Out No Doubt: Bargnani, Kleiza

  4. Assets to improve roster: DeRozan, Ross, Lucas

  5. Expendable: Gray

Free Agents: Anderson, Telfair – Bring back as deep bench, if need be.

There you have it.  If the current roster is to be improved, it’s groups #3 and #4 that’ll have to get the Raptors the return they need, and the player that has transitioned into that group for me is Terrence Ross, because I don’t see the incoming GM giving him a high valuation.

The Masai deal still not being sealed leads one to believe that either he’s holding out for money (unlikely as he’s apparently been offered a massive raise already), or that he views inheriting the Toronto roster as being setup for failure.  An honest appraisal of the roster will tell you that there are some serious challenges ahead in getting this team to become a serious contender in the East.

[Related: ESPN Report: Raptors offer Ujiri $15M/5yr deal]

Anyone who accepts this job will have to either, 1) sell a long-term vision to the fans that is predicated on a slow cleansing of the existing roster, or 2) come out swinging and right the wrongs in a high-risk fashion.  I’m not sure Leiweke has an appetite for the former, which means trades galore coming up, leading me to believe that if you can’t shed Gay, you got to look elsewhere and #4 in that list above looks to be the sweet spot.

Honestly, I can’t help but think that if Colangelo hadn’t done anything this year, i.e., not trade for Gay and not extend DeRozan, that this franchise would have been in an infinitely better position than it is now.  The Raptors would have saved around $24 million in salary (Gay – Davis + DeRozan’s new deal – DeRozan on a reasonable $6M deal).  That would mean the Raptors would currently be around $42M in salary instead of $66M.  That is a GM screwing up.

However, it is what it is and one of the next logical, expedited ways out of this is to reduce the redundancy on the team and ship one of our three similar swings (Gay, DeRozan, Ross) and go from there.

Your thoughts are welcome, let’s start solutioning!

[See Also: Rapcast #157: The Doctor Is In – Summer Targets, Trade Rumors, Rudy Gay, Next GM]

[See Also: Money Ain’t Everything – Ujiri Stalling]

  • Jameson

    You all talking about how bad Gay’s contract is and how it hurts team’s financial status, but the reality is that we couldn’t lure any better player than Rudy to Toronto with all the money we would had… So stop talking that nonsense, all the money would have been spent to extend Demar’s, Ed’s, Valanciunas and maybe Lowry contracts (what Raptors will do anyway, except ED of course)…

    • raptorspoo

      We couldn’t lure any better players because we got a overpaid crappy team. Period.

    • vino

      that’s exactly what is being raised as #1 priority for the new boss. this argument is old and irrelevant in the context of where we are heading. hopefully.

    • smh


    • bigweeze

      It’s not all about luring a name.

      You can use your cap space to resign your own, if you can actually draft well.
      You can take on other team’s bad contracts for assets.
      You can grease the skids on other peoples’ trades for assets.

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

      A couple of problems with your argument. The first is that most teams don’t lure their best players. They either draft or trade for them. So saying the Raptors couldn’t lure any player better than Gay is a moot point. If the Raptors were a better run organization, they wouldn’t have to be making moves like trading for overrated, overpaid players.

      And the point is that you need to pay the players who are worth it and will help you build a contender, and don’t pay the one’s who won’t. Overpaying EVERYONE is a bad strategy, and that’s what Colangelo has been doing. It’s not a way to build a good team.

      • http://www.twitter.com/noles506 Noles

        Have you been watching the past , what? 18 years? They have lost talent left and right, Stoudamire, McGrady, Carter, Camby, Bosh & the list goes on… It hasn’t worked that way, no one wants to sign with them either… so you have to make crude deals to bring players in. The draft at best is pure fluke and luck, you get more flops then super stars…. Didn’t Boston lure Allen & KG to win a championship? Didn’t Miami lure James & Bosh to win a championship? Didn’t the Knicks lure Carmelo? Didn’t Brooklyn lure Williams?

        Want me to keep going?

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

          Newsflash: Good players don’t want to play on bad teams. The only Raptor that left (or demanded to leave) a good team was Tracy McGrady, and there were extenuating circumstances why he did that. If you’ve got bad management and bad coaching, then you’re probably not going to win a whole lot of games.

          If Toronto had good management making good decisions and hiring good coaches, then players don’t leave. That’s the way it works in the NBA.

          And Boston didn’t lure Allen and KG. They traded for them. The Knicks didn’t lure Carmelo, they traded for him. And the Nets didn’t lure Williams. They traded for him.

          And the fact is, if your city is not one of the prime destination cities (Los Angeles, New York, Miami, etc, then chances are you’re not going to be able to lure a great free agent. That’s why most teams don’t try and build a team that way. And the ones that do generally fail.

          • http://www.twitter.com/noles506 Noles

            Vince Carter was on a Raptors team that made the playoffs (47-35)..and as I remember it, a clunker away from a trip to the Conference finals. That was a good team.99-02, three good seasons in a row. If you draft players on talent alone with no heart, or the ability to see through the bad.. then you have no hope. Raptors have great management in place now. Things will get better.

            Players demanding trades, and organizations satisfying the demands…players waiving no move clauses, kind of seems like luring to me. Shaq was lured a few times in his career, led to a few championships. Miami is on the cusp of another finals appearance, that was luring & pre-meditated at it’s finest.

            “Newsflash”, Los Angeles, well the Lakers are not a prime destination any more. Even if they don’t re-sign Dwight Howard, they are over the cap, with an ageing, overpaid hurt roster. New York has no cap space to sign anyone. Miami has no cap space to sign anyone. Good players exist beyond the handful of title contenders & as the talent pool deepens other organizations will get stronger.

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

              When Vince demanded to be traded, the Raptors were a bad team with horrible management.

              There are certain cities that players want to play: Prime destination cities. And Shaq was lured once. To the Lakers. The rest of the time he was traded.

              In 2010, Miami, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, the Clippers, Sacramento and Minnesota all had enough cap room to sign a max free agent. Miami and New Jersey had enough to sign two max free agents, Chicago and New York had enough for one max and one almost max contract. Miami was the only team that had a successful offseason. Chicago and New York got the leftovers and now wish they hadn’t. And the ret of the teams got nothing.

              I would definitely not consider going to the free agent route if I’m Toronto. Colangelo showed why that’s not a good idea.

              • http://www.twitter.com/noles506 Noles

                So according to you, unless a team wins a title or makes it to the finals they have bad management. Why support such a poorly run league then? Why work a website dedicated to a team with poor management as I think you said… According to you we should all only like certain teams like The Lakers or Heat.. What a boring world. I guess you forgot about the poorly managed Indiana Pacers who haven’t much of any success but somehow seem to be winning.. Colangelo didn’t have a clue in Phoenix, and when looking at all his moves as a whole in Toronto he continued to not have a clue. That’s why he lost his job. Vince Carter is a whiney punk kid, that’s why his career flopped. F**k him.

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

                  What on earth are you talking about? Just starting a sentence with “according to you” doesn’t make it something I ever said. Just to be clear, none of the things that you claimed I am saying have I ever said or even alluded to. You seem to be making up arguments to have with yourself.

                  I don’t know whether you completely misread my comment, but there’s nothing in yours that I can even reply to because I have absolutely no idea where it came from.

                • http://www.twitter.com/noles506 Noles

                  I am replying to the statement you made, I actually said, “So, according to you”.

                  Don’t quit the day job, whatever that may be.

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

                  But I never made any of the statements that you claim I made. Really. I have no idea where you are getting these ideas, because they aren’t from me. I’d love for you to point to where you think I said, for example, that unless a team wins a title or makes it to the Finals they have bad management. Or that we should only like the Lakers or Miami.

                  I also have no idea what you’re talking about when you suggest I don’t quit my day job. Are we having a conversation I’m not aware of? Why would I be quitting my day job? Am I supposed to be working nights, now?

                • http://www.twitter.com/noles506 Noles

                  It’s called reading what someone says, and forming an opinion. You inferred many of these things. I really could care less what your opinion is, because it’s clearly an uneducated one.

                  Take care. Happy blogging.

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

                  You’re upset at me and insulting me for an opinion I don’t actually have, and arguing with me that I have it, when there’s literally no evidence that I do, and I’m saying that’s not my opinion. I just want to be clear on what’s going on, here.

                • http://www.twitter.com/noles506 Noles

                  Nothing is “going on”. I commented on an article. We have differing opinions. I really have nothing more to say about it. I’m far from “upset”.

                  Take care. Peace.

  • ItsAboutFun

    Solution #1; an optirectomy

  • raffa

    Don’t agree that the solution is lots of aggressive trades and moves.
    Seems to me that Brian C’s biggest (not only) flaw was impatience. Overpay to get O’neil, overpay to get rid of him, repeat and thrash.
    I don’t dream any new G.M. to suddenly start winning every trade… just put more thought into longer term consequences of each one.
    If you know that you aren’t going to win next year or two then you may as well keep some overpaid guys on it if there is some hope their trade value could improve (the future proving unpredictable) and you can’t exchange them for picks / prospects.
    If you shipped out your category #4 assets .. who could you hope to bring in to improve the roster in exchange and whose minutes of the keepers would that impact ?

    • SR

      Totally agree.

  • robertparrish00

    It is hard to say anything about TRoss because he didn’t get the playing time to make a solid judgement. I remember watching him at the draft combines and preseason and thinking we might have struck gold. But its hard to figure that out in regular season when he is riding the pine.

    Plus we didn’t draft Drummond because we had a log jam at PF with ED, Amir, and Primo. But with just Amir left on the team it would be nice to have Drummond.

    • Copywryter

      It would be nice to have Drummond because he’s got the makings of a beast.

      • raptorspoo

        Don’t remind me. It still hurts like it was yesterday :‘(

  • Snip

    “…he’s holding out for money (unlikely as he’s apparently been offered a massive raise already),”

    I don’t know, man. The only thing better than a lot of money is even more money.

    • CJT

      Could it be that he is holding out to make sure that moving his family and relocating his life is right? Its nice that Arse gave us two options, but the reality is there are many reasons he could be thinking this decisions through.

  • vino

    It has been discussed in several recent topics… there are
    really two options we have:

    Blow it up and trade what you can, minus Jonas,
    for picks and bad short contracts

    Trade a few pieces in a hope of a miracle that
    they gel together right away and with the internal development of our young
    players produce results quickly.

    I wrote somewhere that a Bargs+DD for Gasol trade is a good
    one for Raps, as it sheds significant salary. It is essentially amnesty of #7 a
    year from now. Use our own amnesty on Kleiza this summer… and things are not
    that bad financially. Combine that with a likely squeeze into the playoffs and a
    new GM could be viewed as an instant success. But…

    I do not believe in miracles, especially considering the fact
    that teams like Cleveland, Washington and the rest of the competition in the not-anymore-weak-east
    is getting better… Even the new Hornets may suddenly become legit if they finally
    get that #1 pick next year – MJ gotta get lucky at some point. So, I am more
    inclined towards the first option. Given that MLSE builds a strong office (GM+coaching+scouts!!!)
    and a full commitment to execute a 3-4 year plan. Regardless of a chosen path
    forward we won’t have a contending team sooner than that… people should have
    realistic expectations and patience

    • smh

      I wrote somewhere that a Bargs+DD for Gasol trade is a good
      one for Raps, as it sheds significant salary.

      Good deal for the Lakers.

      • vino

        that’s why it could happen

  • leftovercrack

    I think it is way to early to write of Ross. He wasn’t given enough of a chance and he is relatively cheap. Unless someone offers us something solid for him, keep him and give him more minutes this year to see what he can do. He is long and athletic and they say he has a beautiful shooting stroke. When they drafted him, Casey raved about the stroke and how natural shooting like his couldn’t be taught. Let’s see if he can get his shots to fall in his second season and be taught by Casey how to defend. A wing who can shoot the three and defend is precisely what this team means.

    • leftovercrack

      “this team needs.”

    • arsenalist

      Not writing off Ross, just saying that if the team needs to improve via trade, he’ll very likely become a commodity in negotiations as I don’t think the new GM valuation of Ross will be as high as Colangelo’s. Maybe it would’ve been if he had had a strong season and shown something of value (leaving aside that Casey had something to do with it), but as of right now, don’t see the new GM valuing him close to what Colangelo had.

      • leftovercrack

        True, I guess I’m assuming this team is not good enough to make a playoff run as is, so I’m looking at things from the ‘down the road’ rebuilding perspective rather than the ‘win now’ perspective, and it seems counterintuitive to talk about trading our young players with potential. But I guess other GMs aren’t stupid and we will have to offer something of value if we want any trade to go through. That’s perhaps the most messed up part of the Colangelo legacy: that the only way we will be able to get rid of the ridiculous contracts that are weighing the team down is by packaging them with the valuable young assets we need to rebuild. urgh!

      • Paul Stevens

        So, would an incoming Prez spend any time viewing last season’s games, to try and get a sense of how things went, were going and could have gone differently? You could easily watch four games a day, using fast forward, in six hours. So you could see everything over the course of 30 – 40 days and still have time to do what you do. But then you could be speaking from notes you took during your watching. There would be no BS about how anybody performed, how the coach performed etc.

        Just wondering. If one of my primary needs as to evaluate a sports franchise as to talent, identity and required direction, it seems like a no brainer to go through the seasons game tape.

        • arsenalist

          Any incoming GM would have at least some idea of the players on Toronto’s roster and their strengths/weaknesses. Guys like Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan have been around long enough where scouting reports/tendencies/traits are pretty detailed. I don’t think a GM would have to view games to make personnel decisions. Guys like Ross obviously have a smaller sample size, but even then GMs have player-specific tools available to them to assist making these decisions.

          TL;DR: No need to watch all the games, you can get information other ways.

          • Paul Stevens

            True enough on the scouting reports. I was wondering about the more dynamic or fluid aspects of the game. You could say that he doesn’t need to watch games to tell whether Casey is doing a good job coaching or not, but Casey was working with what he had. Did he use the players well, or did the players just no perform? Just idle thinking on my part. Seems like looking at game tape would be something you need to do beyond just looking at raw numbers.

  • Statement

    I’m of 2 minds.
    Optimal solution: Blow up the team if possible (I don’t know if it is, as I’m not too optimistic about being able to unload Gay). Tank for Wiggins. Normally, I’m not a tank advocate. However, this year is supposed to be a loaded draft with the chance to grab a very good player. Also, a supposed generational CANADIAN talent in Wiggins is available. We gotta go for that, that’s too good to pass up.
    On the other hand, I don’t think this story gets enough talk around these parts, but the Raptors current starting 5-man was amongst the best in the league when they played together. Of course it’s small sample size, but still. Lowry, Amir and Gay are, IMHO, net postive players. The weak links are Derozan and Jonas. I don’t know how much Derozan can improve, but there is good upside with Jonas. Keep this team intact with growth from Jonas and you have 2nd round upside.

  • beamish

    Players dont want to play here because their salaries are massively taxed.

    • cd hall

      where did you get this info on taxes??? Do you think the government handicaps the RAPS—BLUE JAYS —and the LEAFS!!! Please explain.

  • Blackjitsu

    For a while I’ve been wondering why I think moving Demar would be idiotic and it just struck me. The reason he is a trade-able asset is because his value/contract is accurate. Furthermore, adding Demar to a Bargnani for Gasol move is straight silly. You guys think trading a long-term asset like Demar for a short term asset like Gasol makes sense? That’s the type of move BC would make. The same type of move that had the Raps sign an injured player for a ridiculous contract, that signed Bargnani to a silly extension based on potential even though he has no work ethic, Jermain O’Neal, Hedo, etc. It also creates a massive hole at SG.

    To trade Demar (which I personally think is idiotic) without a proper assessment of the roster– the third highest paid player, but also the hardest worker not named Amir– without filling that hole at SG is silly. Great, a geriatric Big for a young SG…what long-term thinking! And enough with saying LF can do the job. He is damaged goods until he proves otherwise. Why are you guys overvaluing a guy who can’t even take a jump shot to keep defenses honest? Stop overvaluing Ross as well. There was a reason for him to be on the bench. Look at the video of Dell Curry’s first year– they may have similar numbers but one player looked ready and the other looks years away.

    What the Raptors need is a culture, a philosophy and that is created by taking time, making deft moves. Want to trade Bargnani? The goal should be finding undervalued players at the end of some team’s bench. That’s where you find the Lance Stephenson’s of the world. The biggest “trade” the Raptors could make is revamping their scouting staff. If the end goal is to win titles how the team scouts has to be completely changed. Every hard-working athletic player needs to be on their radar. No more AA’s (who try to play beyond their skill level), no more flawed players like JL3 (he has one hand, and is not a reliable backup), no more AB’s (mad talent, no effort). More Amir’s, and Demar’s should be the goal, not less. So what if Demar is slightly overpaid, do you think ticket prices would have gone down if he signed for 8 mill instead of 9? Give me a break.

    Look at the last 4 teams in the playoffs. Only one is a big market team.

    Miami — A combination of collusion, warm weather and 3 players paid below market value

    Indiana — A team that has an excellent scouting staff, rebuilt slowly, often mid first round, smart trades took advantage of short term thinkers (like BC) to acquire assets.

    Memphis — The epitome of a long term build. Smart trades for Z-Bo (who was supposed to be a locker room cancer), and the younger Gasol. Solid late first round draft picks, and excellent scouting. All while cutting back on expenditures.

    San Antonio — Yes they have 3 amazing players, but how many teams would have rebuilt after not making the finals for so many years in a row? San Antonio are the definition of a well coached, well scouted team that takes its time. Name a bad move by the Spurs since they started this run by signing David Robinson. Even their losing season(s) have been clinical.

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

      DeRozan will be vastly overpaid this year because he’s an inefficient scorer who does absolutely nothing else at an above average rate. And this is the same argument people used against trading Bargnani. The Raptors are a lottery team. Whether or not the Raptors have someone to replace him is not important. DeRozan is, at best, an average player and his production would be fairly easily replaceable. Even better, you could target someone who better fit what you needed.

      And while I love DeRozan’s work ethic, it simply hasn’t translated to becoming a good player. I don’t think he NEEDS to be traded, but I wouldn’t hesitate for a second moving him. But that would be the case of every Raptor outside of Valanciunas and Amir.

      • SR

        Tim W. – I will completely agree with you on your criticisms of Demar’s weaknesses. I disagree with you and his critics re: his market value. I’m with Blackjitsu on this one. Don’t trade young, hard working, talented players for old, expensive players at the end of their career. Period. The Raptors as a franchise are not at the place to make moves like that.

        The SG position is historically weak in the NBA right now, and this draft is not going to help at all. Dime Magazine just ranked Derozan as the 10th best SG in the league right now, and a few of the guys ahead of him are 2/3 wing players or 1/2 combo guards. I think, given the market, that DD is worth his contract. Sure, move him to improve the team, but as Blackjitsu noted – carefully consider what kind of weaknesses his replacement is going to have at the 2 spot, because there isn’t much talent out there.

        • SR

          To add to that – would any 3rd party observer rank any other Raptor in the top 10 at his position right now? Absolutely not. Think about that one for a minute.

      • ItsAboutFun

        Considering that work ethic, your crystal ball is hardly accurate in suggesting that DeRozan is near peaking at 23. He was far from overpaid this past season, and we’ve yet to see what he can deliver for his new salary next season. I don’t know if it will be this season or the following one, but I’d make a bet that you’ll eat your words, and I can’t wait to see it.

        • Statement

          He may be young, but he’s played a ton of minutes in his career. We know his game. He’s an extremely hard worker, and yet all that hard work hasn’t translated into all-star (or even average), production.
          Hard to see him improving that much beyond where he is now. Of course, I’d love to be wrong. To me, he’s the weak link on the starting unit.

          • ItsAboutFun

            I just don’t get how so many take the stance that DeMar is basically what he is at 23, and 4 years (though i practically discount the lockout year for multiple reasons). Is it youth/inexperience, haven’t been here before? I don’t know.

            For example, most here say he’s proven himself to not be a 3 pt shooter, and will not noticeably improve. I don’t know what you were watching, but I saw a much improved stroke from him past season, from whatever distance. He still wasn’t shooting many 3s, but did improve his %, but the biggest sign that he may very well be finding that 3 point range are his last 3 games: 3/4, 3/5, 3/3.

            Hey, I know that’s a small sample, blah, blah, but his stroke was simply better, and he never had 3 games like that before. As far as a player being what he is after 4 years, as only 1 of many examples to the contrary (hard work always being the key) even a mega talent like LBJ, shot an average of 32% on 3PA for his first 8 years, suddenly in his 9th year he shoots 36%, and then 40% in his 10th year. Man, the kid is only 23, one of the hardest working Raptors’ ever, and almost everyone here wants to write him off as “he is what he is”, despite showing improvement every year he’s been here. I don’t get it.

            • FLUXLAND

              Or right, the always solid blah blah blah argument. True fanboy talk. No one is surprised about you not getting it. That much is obvious. Again, what improvement? His increased minutes?

              • ItsAboutFun

                “Again, what improvement?”

                ALL better last year over previous: FG%, 3p%, FT%, RBs, ASTs, STLs, TOs, eFG% as well as virtually every advanced stat.

                • FLUXLAND

                  No one in their right mind would call those marginal increments as IMPROVEMENT. You keep hanging onto that dream though.

        • FLUXLAND

          What work ethic? Do you have any evidence to back up this claim? Are you projecting what the marketing team is telling you? 4 years in, people are still asking he improves the same areas as 4 years ago. Or are you arguing his marginal statistical increments are indications of his work ethic.

          Your bet is noted. Like many of your other failed predictions.

          • ItsAboutFun

            Good to see you! Did the rain flush you out from under that rock again? Your expertise has been missed. Oh wait, all you’re doing is yet another lame version of trying to poke me. You’re much more fun when you try and put your big boy pants on and go into one of your lengthy hissy fits.

            • FLUXLAND

              No, no. There’s no poking here p00ka. This is just a taste of what you dish out. Seems like you are running away from the discussion – exactly what you accuse others of doing. Interesting and hypocritical as always; at least we can count on you staying true to your form.

              It’s good to see you make arguments that lack any substance whatsoever. Or does saying “I don’t get it” twice, suggesting “he’s a hard worker/hardest working Raptor EVER” three times (Ever? Really? What evidence do you have to make that assertion?) and throwing around LBJ in the discussion, somehow make your crystal ball more accurate than someone else’?

              Speaking of expertise; you know, being the great basketball mind you have professed to be, having basketball employed offspring and all, one would think your comment would have mentioned something about his game, maybe some specifics about what faucet of his game has improved to the point where it’s a concern for opponents, maybe mention what is his most reliable weapon that he’s developed over the years, etc. But, no. All we got was a 12 year old fanboy comment about how he’s 23, he’s a hard worker, his last 3 games and “look at LBJ”. Talk about a hissy fit.

              • ItsAboutFun

                LMAO, now that’s the babbling, feelings still hurt from 9 months ago, Fluxland I’ve come to know and appreciate for a few chuckles!

        • Nilanka15

          “This team will be awesome come January” – p00ka.

          • ItsAboutFun

            I fear for you. An adult that’s so petty and childish is a sad thing.

            • Nilanka15

              As usual, I was simply pointing out your hypocritical behaviour.

              You’re looking forward to Tim “eating his words”, but refuse to acknowledge your own erroneous predictions.

              • ItsAboutFun

                I didn’t refuse to acknowledge anything, but then you have quite the imagination for inventing stuff to support what petty poking kick you’re on. Your yet again renewed obsession with trying to take pokes at me is quite pathetic.

                • Nilanka15

                  You didn’t say “this team will be awesome come January” as a way to suggest the complaining going on around here was unwarranted?

                  Since then, have you admitted that the criticism against this team was appropriate?

                  No? My apologies, then. I must’ve mistook you for p00ka.

                • FLUXLAND

                  LOL! So, now he’s a liar, as well.

                  Wait for him to wiggle around like a worm and say “I didn’t say this team would be awesome come January; what I said was you guys are a bunch of haters and that the bad start, while looking at the favourable Jan schedule could mean this could be like the Titanic Division Title year”. Obviously, night and day from “this team would be awesome come January”.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Your usual jumbled. twisted, childish “logic”. I don’t keep notes on whatever I said 7 months ago (I have you and this other pathetic clown doing that for me), but whether those are the exact words I used or not, I haven’t denied that I said it. I can’t be bothered to be &*^#ed up enough to go searching for my exact words, but I didn’t deny saying something along those lines. The subject has never come up before, so I’m 100% correct in saying you invented this “refusal to acknowledge” BS your petty little ego is inventing. Also, I can’t help but laugh at your childish little “exposing” of my old screen name. Really? Still can’t find your big boy pants? Clever little boy aren’t you, lmfao, sad.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Poking kick ha? Funny. Guess someone can’t take what they dish out. What happened to DumbassKicker and all the kicking he was doing around here?

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Maybe you and Nilanka can go shopping for big boy pants together. Bring a big boy with you to help though.

    • vino

      You are missing the point. It’s not just AB+DD for Gasol, its the situation our club finds itself a year from now with significant $ under the cap. Strict rules under a new CBA come to effect this season… many teams will be under, so being above average (among the 30 teams) is bad. Really bad. Nothing personal on DD, I’d like to see his in the Raps uniform. He has exceeded my expectations this past season… but its the overall picture.

      As for players’ assessment… again, it’s more than that. It has all to do with the club’s commitment to building a winning culture in here. This same JL3 you talk about played well for Thubs in Chicago… and I’d argue that Robinson would suck in our uniform – just look at the way he carried the Bulls this off-season! Same goes for Jimmy Butler. Switch him and DD and suddenly DD is a superstar!

      Step out of the box and be excited we have owners who want to spend and a CEO, who’s willing to build a contender. Not a 2nd round – not good enough anymore!

      • ItsAboutFun

        So you’re saying we don’t need new players near as much as a Thibodeau clone for a coach. That sounds easy! Sign me up if we can find that guy!

        • vino

          Here is your magic formula:

          success = (money+commitment+GM+coaching staff+scouts+patience)*luck – 80% of current roster – Toronto syndrome

      • blackjitsu

        No vino, I finally get the point. It’s short term thinking versus long term thinking. All of the final 4 teams in this year’s playoffs looked long term. Sure P. Gasol comes off the cap, but who fills that space? So in reality, that trade creates two roster gaps, not one!

        JL3 drives right, pulls up left, shoots first, turns the ball over, and is under-sized. If he was just undersized that’s one thing, but he is a flawed basketball player. Not to mention the Raptors are a team with no point guard over six-feet. So…how do you make defensive adjustments at the PG spot if he’s your backup? Also, why didn’t Chicago offer him a contract?

        The fact that my far too long response has gotten so many reactions proves that I’m the one outside the box. You my friend are inside the box. And that’s fine. For the last 7 years we have been taught that rash, overhauling of a flawed roster is the thing to do. But that’s not how champions think. They look 2-4 years down the road.

        The Raptors have 5 players (JV, Gay, Amir, DD, KL). To succeed you need 12, and a coach who properly utilizes talent. We can debate whether those 5 are starters or not, but no one else on the roster has the intelligence, skill, or polish to take seriously. Turning 5 players into 3 players (via trade then letting an expiring contract go) does not add up to an improved roster. In fact, it creates long term hardship, and mediocrity.

        • vino

          I do not feel like continuing this “intelligent” conversation

  • Alex

    Trade Gay for a high pick in the draft (3rd) and get Bennett. Trade bargs for a lower pick 25-30 range and get Kabongo. Starting PF and a solid backup PG.

  • Rob

    I agree with this blog. Rudy ain’t going no where this year and I think he will be a good player playing for the raps. Andrea should be traded and klezia will be amnestied. I say Ross has more of an upside to his game than Derozan. He can shoot better. Good on defense and can dunk just as well. I say Trade Derozan! Here me out. DD is a good player but not a good fit on this team. I have trade: Bargnani and Derozan with Gray trade to Lakers for Gasol, jamison, & meeks. Trade gives us a low post scorer amd opens room for Ross to thrive alongside Gay. Plus bench is upgraded. For Lakers they get a 3 point shooter in Bargs and will be a good fit if Howard comes back and Derozan gets to play in his hometown and start rhe season until Kobe is ready and kobe can teach him how to lead cuz he will be the future shooting guard once kobe hangs it up

    • Rob

      New lineup will be: Lowry, Ross, Gay, Gasol,
      Valencius …bench: Meeks, jamison, fields, lucas, amir. Decent bench. Add acouple more decent players and were heading to the play-offs with this team. Also just to point out Gasol will come off the books after this season giving the raps plenty of options for the following season

  • ppellico

    Keeping Acy so quickly and dropping Gray tells me you are not that interested in a solid bench.
    All theory and full of nothing solid for regular season hard bench big man defense…lket alone any stability off the ebnch come any playoff level.
    I simply think your call is a bit quick and not all that solid.

    • arsenalist

      Fair point. Gray could be better suited in the “assets” category too. I don’t think he’s a bad player, very serviceable in fact.

      • ppellico

        well…not only is ne not a bad player…he is a very solid bench center. Look…I just think that IF the raps really think Gray is so little in value, set him free. Although top posters here say nobody wants him, I have explained they know nothing of what they write and in fact Gray would be needed and wanted on many teams.
        Look..I liked you write up…but once again IF it were your money, if you had to fork over nearly 100 million bucks…you would consider nobody on this team untouchable. Everybody would need to take a hit…including this knucklehead coaching staff.
        And guys like Acy and Jonas still have to prove to me they can take hits and for more than a season. This is a tough league and show me your NBA players card after 3 years.

  • Amigo

    Give T Ross the starting SG position with 28 + min no matter what for 3 years than look back and check how little DD will be.
    Tell me one player one that has improved his game under D Casey coaching. My answer is none. Just to rub it more check out J Bayless role in Memphis or J Jack and even Belinelli in Chicago.

    This Team needs a Coach. Spend the money for a Top Coach who can dictate who stays and who goes. I had enough of ‘Pound the Rock Culture’

    A Coach

  • SR

    You guys are too hard on Derozan. He has flaws, but in 2012/13 he also:
    – played all 82 games
    – was 4th in the league for total minutes played
    – was 7th in the league for FT made
    – was 11th in the league for total points (17th for ppg)

    Hoops World just described him like this:
    “DeMar DeRozan has shown moments of absolute brilliance this season. He’s scored 30 or more points three times this season. At 6’7, he’s also one of the leagues better rebounders at his position. Some thought DeRozan’s game would be affected by the addition of Rudy Gay, but instead Gay has taken the pressure of off the Raptors young guard and allowed his game to really flourish.”

    Dime Magazine has him ranked as the 10th best SG in the league today:
    “Although DeMar DeRozan hasn’t become a household name yet, he’s capable of playing like one. DeRozan is the future of the shooting guard position. He’s one of the most athletic players at the position and that’s always a good foundation to have as a shooting guard. He lives off of his athletic ability every night by attacking the rim and running the floor in transition. The one aspect of his game that’s stunting his growth is his outside shooting. As a career 23 percent three-point shooter, developing an outside game is the only thing holding him back. He shot 28 percent from long range this season, which is his best percentage as a pro so far. If he wants to fulfill his potential, it starts with working on that jump shot and extending his range.”

    I would love to save on the 9.5 million he’ll make next year, just like any other fan of this stupidly capped out team (8th highest payroll in 2013/14!!!!!), but DD will be the 55th highest paid player next season. Honestly, love him or hate him, doesn’t that sound about right?

    • jjdynomite

      “DD will be the 55th highest paid player next season”… for a SG who is a below replacement-level 3PT shooter, no, that does not “sound about right”, sorry. The position is called ***shooting guard*** for a reason, not “get-to-the-free-throw-line” guard. And before someone brings up D-Wade again in comparison (as a poor-outside-shooting SG), I will do your work for you and present the basketball-reference.com player comparison tool: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/h2h_finder.cgi?request=1&p1=wadedw01&p2=derozde01 — check out the differentials in FG%, RBS, AST and BLKs. And Wade is 3 inches shorter and can play point.

      • SR

        Really? That’s a weird rebuttal. DD is below average at range and well above average in getting to the rim, finishing at the rim, and getting to the line. If you decide long-range shooting defines the position while attacking the basket and scoring points don’t count for much, that’s surely up to you.

        You’re going to compare DD to D-Wade without mentioning that Wade gets paid twice as much and is, you know, Dwayne Wade? “And Wade is 3 inches shorter and can play the point.” And DeRozan is 3 inches taller and can play SF. What’s the point of that comparison? Just that they’re both poor outside shooters?

        DD is a FLAWED SG. I don’t think what you’ve said really adds anything to my first post – you seem all geared up to make a rebuttal just for the sake of it. The guy is a top-20 scorer, top-10 in attacking the basket, is a weak outside shooter, not a great defender, and the 55th highest paid player in the league. I’d say he’s slightly overpaid, but is still roughly at market value and is far, far from being this dismal team’s most significant problem (in spite of all the attention his new contract gets).

        • jjdynomite

          SR, when I brought up DD’s flaws as a poor outside shooter in the previous thread — and that Ray Allen at age 97 is still more valuable than DD for this fact alone — some posters replied, what about DWade as a non-shooting SG? So my response was to them, not you in particular.

          But anyway, what is “market value” for a SG who, to use your own words, is “a weak outside shooter, not a great defender”. 9.5 million? Really? Take a look at his similarity score on his profile page: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/derozde01.html — such inefficient luminaries such as Raymond Felton, Tyreke Evans and Charlie Bell, none of whom would ever hope to make 9.5 million for the next 4 years. Tyreke has had great counting stats too, on a crappy team that fed him the ball when he didn’t deserve it, much like DD the past 4 years.

          And yes, scoring points is an overrated stat, see: Anderson, Alan, who, funny enough, is more valuable than DD as at least he has a 3PT shot. I’m not making a rebuttal for “the sake of it”, I am stating unequivocally that for a SG/SF DD is not worth his contract. Neither is Gay, obviously, but since he is ludicrously making twice as much as DD, then DD is the more tradeable asset.

          • SR

            I don’t much care for that “similarity score,” which is based solely on WS. The most comparable player on that list is Tyreke Evans, who made 60% more money than Demar last year and is absolutely within range of being offered $9 mil. from somebody on his next contract. I’d take DD over Evans any day of the week.

            Again, I’m not arguing against any of Demar’s flaws, I just think his contract is within range of his market value. It’s not a great deal, like Tim Duncan’s or Rajon Rondo’s contracts, but it’s also not “unequivocally” a bad contract when you’re talking about paying a young, reliable, top-20 scorer the 55th highest contract in the league.

            Just curious – what would you have offered DD?

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

              Is a shooting guard who can’t hit the three, is a below average defender and not an efficient scorer really worth $9.5 million a year? Take a look at a guy like Wes Matthews. He’s a good three point shooter, a good defender and can fit a role on a team. While he doesn’t have the “dynamic” scoring ability of a DeMar DeRozan, he’s more valuable to a team, especially a good team. And he’s making $6.8 million next season.

              I’ve brought this up before, but what exactly is DeRozan? He’s not a core player on a good team because he doesn’t have enough above average skills and too many below average skills. He’s not a role player because he lacks role player skills. So what is he? And should you really be paying a guy like that $9.5 million a year?

              • SR

                I’d love to swap one of Gay/DeRozan/Ross for a good 3-point shooter and defender. That would absolutely improve the team and get rid of some of their perimeter redundancy.

                But Matthews @ $6.8 is, in my opinion, a good argument for giving DeMar $9.5. Matthews is a better defender and long range shooter, but is worse at nearly everything else including FG%, FTA (half as many), FT%, rebounding, and (of course) scoring.

                If you’re wondering, DD’s player profile is young, athletic, gets-to-the-basket scorer. Did you know that:
                a) He was 17th in FGA this year.
                b) The only guards who took more shots than DD while maintaining a higher FG% were Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry.

                That means DD can carry a relatively heavy offensive load for 82 games (very health guy) and convert his attempts at an above average rate. This is the NBA, and scorers get paid. Basically I think that’s your answer.

                I’m getting the impression that you and jjdynomite are confusing the Raptors needs (defense and 3pt shooting), imbalanced roster (redundancy of Gay/DeMar/Ross) and overall salary problems with DeMar’s market value.

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

                  Fact is, I’d rather have Matthews than DeRozan because Matthews fits a role and DeRozan doesn’t.

                  Comparing the two, to say that DeRozan is better at just about everything other than defense and long range shooting is simply not true. DeRozan grabs more rebounds and gets the the line more, but Mathews has a much higher True Shooting percentage, free throw percentage, has a higher assist percentage (although it’s pretty even), gets more steals and has a higher PER. He’s also miles better in offensive and defensive Win Share, overall Win Share and Win Share per 48 minutes.

                  DeRozan gets more points because he shoots more. Period. Neither one are guys you want being your first or second option (or even your third), but at least with Matthews he can be a complimentary player because he’s a strong defender and three point shooter. If DeRozan doesn’t have the ball in his hands, he isn’t helping his team because he doesn’t space the floor, doesn’t move well without the ball, isn’t a very good passer and is a net negative on the defensive end.

                  Last but not least, Matthews is a high IQ player, whereas DeRozan is not.

                  Matthews certainly has his flaws, but given a choice between the two players at the same price, I take Matthews in today’s NBA without a second thought.

                • jjdynomite

                  Stick to stats, please, Moderator Tim; “high IQ player” is non-quantifiable, and has been abused, especially with some racial undertones (i.e. just Google “Kevin Love” or “David Lee” and “high IQ” — and aren’t both of those guys on your overrated list?) I know you didn’t mean it that way, but it detracts from your argument.

                  But agreed with you on Matthews, because 169 3PT >>>> 34 3PT (DD) = 405 more points just via the 3PTers, and likely a few more game winners, what with the floor-spacing that his 3 PT acumen provides.

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

                  Whether the term “high IQ player” has been abused for racial reasons doesn’t matter. It’s still a valid argument. Some players have a higher basketball IQ than others, and in many cases it’s pretty obvious. Landry Fields is a high IQ basketball player. And so is Wesley Matthews. And they’re both black, so it’s hard to say there are racial undertones to that statement.

                  Often times, the more athletic players tend not to have as high basketball IQs because they have been able to rely on their athleticism, and not focus on improving their basketball smarts. It’s certainly not always the case, and it’s certainly not the case with most of the elite players (which is why they are elite), but it is often the case.

                  DeRozan has always been one of the more athletic players and that is a big reason why he was so raw coming into the NBA.

                • jjdynomite

                  Ok, then, define the statistical outcome of players with “high IQ”? What does Wesley Matthews do over DeRozan that makes him a “high IQ” player? One can easily posit Matthews is *more* athletically talented than DD because he can, y’know, put the ball in the hoop from long distance.

                  Do all of Fields’ backdoor cuts make him “high IQ”, or maybe just overcompensating to stay in the league, considering he, well, can’t shoot (at least, not last year). Of course, BC gave him a $20 million contract.

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

                  Are you denying that some basketball players have higher basketball IQs than others? Because otherwise, I’m not quite sure what the point of this argument is.

                • SR

                  I get the drift of “high IQ,” but I also think it’s lazy analysis. What does constitute high IQ? Do you mean he makes good decisions with the ball? Is he active off the ball? Does he execute his role in the team’s offensive/defensive schemes? Does he pass well out of defensive pressure? Have good court vision? Is he coachable? Adaptable? Does he take charges and draw fouls? Is he well-spoken or insightful during interviews? Is he relatively unathletic or slow?

                  High IQ is often used to describe some combination of these qualities, but it’s most often used as an argument in favour of a good player with below-average “athleticism.” (Side note: I don’t even like how we traditionally talk about athleticism in basketball, usually only to mean quickness and vertical jumping ability. There’s so much more to it than that. Isn’t an old slow guy with bad knees but quick hands still athletic? Isn’t a great shooter with a terrible vertical still athletic? Isn’t a big with great footwork who moves well for his size but can’t jump still athletic?)

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

                  I would say Matthews makes better decisions all around, he has a better feel for the game, which translates to being more effective on offense and defense, he knows where to be without being told. Take a guy like Fields. Fields simply knows where to be better than most of the other Raptors on the floor, both on offense and defense. He anticipates better what the defense is going to do, as well as what the offense is going to do. Basically, he plays like a more experienced player. It’s the same with Matthews.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Mathews is more experienced. He’s 3 years older, with 3 years more college experience when he came into the league.

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

                  As I said, Matthews was a more advanced player at 23 than DeRozan is now. And it doesn’t matter WHY Matthews was more skilled at the same age and why he had a higher basketball IQ at the same age. It just matters that he did.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Perhaps another reason he raw so raw is he was a 19 year old with 1 year of college ball, where as Mathews was a 22 year old with 4 years of college. There’s a 3 year difference between the two, so perhaps it might be fair to compare how DD’s defense and 3 pt shooting is in 3 years, compared to what Mathews does now.

                  In any case, so much of the criticisms of BC have been leveled at his looking for short term gain, and not having the patience for developing young players, yet here you’re suggesting that it would be better to have a 26 year old role player, and save a whopping $2M, over having a 23 year old with much more athletic skill, whose incredibly durable, dedicated to the team, and according to all accounts is a constant gym rat working on developing his skills. Mind boggling.

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

                  Matthews was a better defender, better 3 point shooter and higher IQ player when he was 23 years old, as well. Which is why he did so well in the league despite not even being drafted.

                  And it’s not about saving money. It’s about getting the most out of the money you spend. All salaries being equal, Matthews is simply a better shooting guard for a good team because he does the two things that are so important for a shooting guard to do in this league, play defense and shoot threes. DeRozan is below average at both those things.

                  As for DeRozan’s durability, dedication, etc, that’s great, except do you know ANYTHING about Matthews? He was undrafted, but still not only made the league, but has become a good starting SG in the league. I would say hard work would be a necessity for that to happen.

                  Listen, if DeRozan was an elite scorer, or even close to one, then I could see your point. But he’s not. He’s a good scorer who doesn’t do it very efficiently.

                • SR

                  “DeRozan gets more points because he shoots more. Period.” I totally disagree, which is why I brought up DD’s FGA:FG% ratio – among guards only Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry take more shots and convert them at a higher rate than DD. To assume that any given role player can step up and carry a heavy offensive load while maintaining his percentages is overly simplistic to say the least. Matthews could never score as much as DD at the same rate. He can’t create his own shot and he isn’t nearly as effective inside the 3-pt line as DeMar is.

                  Which brings us back to the fact that DeMar is an above average scorer in a league that loves scoring, he’s playing at a currently weak position which traditionally has been a scoring position, and that all this combines to give him his $8-$10 mil. market value. Comparing him to a role player who actually makes $6.8 mil. doesn’t change any of that, regardless of the fact that you’d like to have that role player on your team.

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

                  Yes, DeRozan is an above average scorer, but he’s not even close to an elite scorer, and I wouldn’t even say he’s a very good scorer. The fact is that if you’re relying on DeRozan to be a primary scorer, you’re not going to be a very good team. He doesn’t create shots for himself well (about the only thing he’s got now is a post-up, everything else relies on teammates), he’s not a good ball handler and he doesn’t finish well in traffic.

                  And the fact is that DeRozan scores two more points a game over Matthews while shooting two more shots a game. Matthews is a more efficient scorer (TS% is a much better value for scoring efficiency than FG%).

                  And while the position is weak, in terms of scorers, that doesn’t mean it’s better to have an inefficient scorer at the position who is a poor defender and three point shooter.

                  The question is which player is more valuable to a good team. Matthews or DeRozan. And I’d say it’s easily Matthews.

                • SR

                  Tim – “Fact is, I’d rather have Matthews than DeRozan because Matthews fits a role and DeRozan doesn’t.” That’s an opinion, not a fact. Just saying.

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

                  It’s a fact that I’d rather have Matthews over DeRozan. The reason for that decision is an opinion.

                • Tee

                  Wes Mathews?


            • jjdynomite

              I would have traded DeMar for a swingman — or a PG so there would have not been a need to spend a pick on Lowry — who could, y’know, shoot, prior to the expiration of his rookie deal either last season or this season. Since you bring up Duncan, well, someone like, say, Kawhi Leonard or Danny Green.

              Of course, this is why the Spurs are in the Finals and the Raptors have the 10th highest payroll in the NBA in 2013-2014 yet were tied for the 20th best record last year and have minimal playoff hope for the upcoming season.

              It’s too bad Jerry Colangelo didn’t go into baseball because his profligate son could have just spent more money to compensate for his fiscal mistakes in a non-capped league (MLB). To be specific, if BC was GM of the Yankees, he’d just buy more players and DFA the retreads to compensate his overpayments for DeRozan, and Gay, and Bargnani, and Fields, and Kleiza, plus in the past Hedo, and Kapono, and….

              As I wrote in the JV/Amir thread, those two plus Lowry (on his current deal, although for the price of a cost-controlled first round draft pick) are the only three players worth their current salaries. That’s a huge indictment of BC’s roster construction.

              • SR

                I agree.

                • jjdynomite

                  I’m glad we agree to agree SR. But as per your reply to Tim below — whom I agree with, for once — I am just not seeing the value in DD’s FGAs and FTAs when coupled with his shooting and defensive deficiencies.

                  I just do not think DD is worth $9.5 million x 4, for poor outside shooting and non-descript defense, which are measurable qualities that BC simply excused or ignored, just like he excused and ignored Bargnani’s utter lack of help D, willingness to score in the paint or any sort of rebounding acumen — yet paid him an escalating 7-figure salary. However, there are a lot of bad GMs out there, which is why Tyreke Evans will likely get a DeMar-like contract, sigh.

                  But hey, even the good ones make mistakes; look at OKC with a replacement-level Perkins being paid 8-9 million/year for the next 2 while Green exploded on the Celtics at the same approximate salary.

                  As per your last point, “confusing the Raptors needs (defense and 3pt shooting)… with DeMar’s market value”, I posit that defense and 3pt shooting are EVERY good NBA teams’ needs in the 21st century, and DeMar not providing that (market) value makes the Raptors, well, less good. Conversely, the fact that Jonas and Amir, in Atique’s article, DO provide defence, makes them better assets, and worth their contracts as currently constructed (Amir via a below-market extension, Jonas via rookie scale).

                  Anyway, back to work…

  • san bas

    Lucas is an asset?

  • san bas

    Also theres nothing worong with rudy gay at least people now know the raptros

  • Simon Thompson

    I think this was written to stir people up because it really doesn’t make any sense if you understand NBA culture and have knowledge of the game.

    • Tee

      I know right?
      I actually thought the article was ok but reading people’s responses on here feels like im living in the Twilight Zone.

  • Simon Thompson

    Its so bad.

  • Simon Thompson

    Drummond is not a center by the way, he’s tall and he can fill the position but doesn’t begin to have the most basic foundations to build into a 5 five other than the fact that he can dunk when he gets one and the fact that the pistons have been rumored to be willing to move him speaks to that. The more I read this the more it makes me cry.

    I believe it was Charles Barkley who said that fans don’t run ball teams for a reason and hes right.

    Everyone who plays a video game version of the NBA thinks he knows what he’s doing. Building a basketball team on any level is far from the stat crazy fantasy basketball fuelled adventures a lot of you think it is. And I think as time goes on and the team is managed properly, which is where the problem is cuz its not with the players who a lot of fans think are overpaid (there’s no such thing as an overpaid player but that’s something for later) and aren’t any good, by the new gm you will see how you don’t need to make the ‘right’ picks, whatever that means, or go after the best players, you have to create a culture of hard work and personal responsibility among the players that will create the ‘team’. A bunch of good players put together isn’t a team a bunch of players good, potentially good to even not the greatest willing to sacrifice and. contribute positively and over abundantly to their respective abilities
    makes a team. Throw in another missing key component to the Raptors on court product over the years ‘stability’ and there’s no reason the new gm shouldn’t be able to take the pieces on this team as is and do something remarkable.

  • ckh26

    Ross didn’t play much last year. He had a run there before Christmas but after that Casey put him on the bench. So the jury is still out on what he can or can’t do during extended minutes with a defined role.

    That’s not a Ross shortcoming but a coaching shortcoming.

    So he is a trade option. He sitll has potential and can get a return. Hope he stays but if he has to be added into a trade mix to help reshape the roster so be it. Sports is cruel. We finished out of the playoffs with him and we can finish out of the playoffs without him. Its not a knock on Ross.. its just the way it is.

  • Billy

    People need to stop taking demar for granted.

  • SaulGood

    Ross needs mins..this team isn’t as bad as a lot of ppl are saying..(Gay, Dd, Lowery, Johnson, jv) are a good 5..Ross could become a good bench spark…if bargs stays he can be the first option off the bench or 3rd as a starter

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