They won’t say it, but the Raptors have entered ‘tank’ mode | National Post

So, let’s say it for Ujiri: The Toronto Raptors are tanking. They have no intention of winning this year. If you are a Raptors fan, you might as well start cheering for losses. The Raptors’ draft lottery odds cannot get high enough. Some fans, of course, have been doing this already. As Ujiri prepares to further dismantle his team, though, there is no doubt that he will eventually be doing the same, even if he cannot say it. “The one thing I can say is we won’t be trapped in the middle,” Ujiri said. “I can honestly say that. We will not be stuck in no man’s land, that’s for sure.”

Great job on the Rudy Gay trade, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri | Toronto Sun

After the haul you got in the Carmelo Anthony deal during your Denver days, we should never have doubted you, but in all honesty, we did. It’s not that either man you dealt didn’t have value. It’s almost comical the way the fanbase dismisses a 20-point a game scorer like Gay as if he’s run-of-the -mill, but that’s a completely different story for another day. It’s just that the warts on Bargnani were so obvious and off-putting and Gay’s contract was such a tough sell we didn’t think you would find a taker for either. But we also have the strong feeling you are only getting started.

Raptors rebuild on with Rudy Gay trade | Toronto Sun

“That option was tough on our part. It’s a tough place to be where you can’t go to Rudy and say: ‘Hey, we need to talk about the future.’ That option really put us in a tough position to plan. I would say flexibility long-term,” Ujiri said. He added that he’d continue to keep a close eye on the new cast of characters and decide what further moves need to be made. He wouldn’t admit to being in teardown mode, but that’s what’s happening here. “I don’t think it’s fair to say that. I think in some way, we can build. We can build for the future. I think we didn’t come here (to) just tear everything down. I think we’re giving everything a fair shot, and we will continue to,” said the reigning NBA executive of the year.

The Seven Stages of Rudy Gay: Shock Treatment | Hickory-High

The initial shock of the Rudy Gay acquisition already hit the Sacramento Kings. Like any other instance of shock, the disease has started but remains local. Gay is now a King, and Hickory-High has taken the proper steps by frantically diagnosing and treating the underlying condition. His presence has started becoming symptomatic and the pulse – not of his heart, but rather of the Kings – will begin to rise.

Raptors waive D.J. Augustin | SBNation.com

Once seen as a starting-caliber floor general, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2008 draft has had a swift decline in production since leaving the Charlotte Bobcats two seasons ago. He shot just 35 percent from the field last year and 29.2 percent for the Raptors, never able to find his rhythm in limited playing time under head coach Dwane Casey.

Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors | Pounding The Rock

Guys like Johnson, Jones Valnciunas, Terrence Ross, and Tyler Hansbrough are all decent defenders and tough players, but they’re not the type of players a coach can run an offense through. That leaves Toronto playing one-on-one, isolation style basketball for large stretches, and against a team like the Spurs, there is no chance for that to work for 48 minutes, especially while trying to break in a new lineup.

NBA Preview – San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors – Dec 10, 2013 | CBSSports.com

With Gay shipped out, DeMar DeRozan – scoring a team-high 21.6 per game – becomes the only Raptor averaging more than 15 points. DeRozan has scored 25.0 per game over his last 10 overall, and put up 29 in each of his last two at home against the Spurs (15-4).

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  • Wilson

    The Toronto Sun article was pretty bad. I could kinda tell from the except, but I had to read it to confirm. Personally, Gay isn’t run of the mill at all. Teams rarely let a 39% shooter put up 18.5fgs a game. I recall Stackhouse and maybe Iverson.

  • Tanks-a-lot

    What if the Raptors start winning convincingly on their annual western road swing?

    What if the Raptors soundly beat the Spurs tonight? I know more trades are coming, but what if the Raptors really are a good playoff team that was weighed down heavily by a loser?

    • ac1011990

      That’s a scary thought, hope it doesn’t happen.

    • robertparrish00

      All the “obvious tanking” articles were written by people that didn’t see a lot of Raptors games this season. That trade give this team ball movement and a back up PG. I personally think they got better.

      • Tanks-a-lot

        and JV has to play more minutes in a larger role due to the absence of a backup at that position. Though Masai has to fill that backup center position post haste.

        win-win

    • Nilanka15

      If the team starts winning, you can bet on Ujiri making more deals. He’s not going to pass up on the greatest draft class in 10 years to aim for 35 wins and an undeserved division title.

  • Rap fan 2

    To repeat what I wrote earlier:

    Even though Masai Ujuri did not say it directly, what he did say in his Q&A press conference after the trade hints that they will be getting into position to get a top lottery position. One thing he is certain of is that the Raptors will not be in no man’s land. He’s very confident about this fact. He gives us a cunning laugh here. So that either means they are going into the top of the lottery or they are going for getting into the playoffs and contending. I think it’s easier to guarantee getting into the lottery than guaranteeing a playoff berth and contending. Besides, making all these trades and bringing in all these new players in the middle of the season may cause more chemistry issues. He doesn’t believe in making moves just to get an extra couple of wins. They are primarily focused on the future. In regards to Coach Casey, he’s not being evaluated on wins or loses. They are both on the same page here. So for all the Coach Casey critics out there: the coach is buying into the plan. Let’s give him a break! It’s all about doing what’s right for the franchise. It’s about the big picture. It’s more about growth of the team, growth or development of the players. It’s about getting better and building up the franchise. Masai is not necessarily about tearing down and getting rid of everyone and building from scratch. He’s open to keeping key current players as well as bringing in new talent that can be part of the type of team they are trying to build here. He’s always evaluating and open to all offers that will make the team better today and for the future.

    Mmmmaaaaaahhhhhh! Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

    • Nilanka15

      I’m willing to bet that Ujiri has already decided Casey’s fate.

  • Louvens Remy

    Anyone else find it weird that there hasn’t been a tweet from any cRaptor wishing Rudy good luck or Rudy saying thanks to cRaptors org or his former teammates?

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

      It might be they’re waiting for the trade to be official. We’ve seen too many aborted trades.