Toronto Raptors need to get busy losing in fierce competition for high draft picks | National Post

This team needs to get busy losing, or get busy dying. Yes, it is perverse that sports has incentivized failure in this way, but them’s the breaks. In the NBA the superstars, if given the choice, usually gravitate to the glamour franchises. Raptors management is said to believe that yes, tanking is the way to proceed, breaking a long string of team history in which they accidentally lost games. Failure is success. War is peace. Ignorance is strength.

Break Up The Raptors? No, Really… |

“No matter who’s on the court, we’ve still got to play to win,” DeRozan said earlier in the evening. “That’s our whole mindset, to go out there and play as well as we can. Put our hearts out there and play to win the game. “I think everybody in this locker room is living game-to-game. Nobody looks too far ahead. We just take care of our job and do it every single day.” The “we” is a little different now but then, so are the results. In the three games since Gay’s departure was made official, the Raptors have moved the ball for 23, 25 and 26 assists, uncorked from the forward’s ball-stopping ways. Toronto still ranks last in the league at 18.3 assists per game – but in a mere week’s time, it has boosted that average by a full assist.

Raptors better without Gay | Toronto Sun

This isn’t another slag on Gay, who had been Toronto’s second-best defender and rebounder this season even as his once renowned offensive game had left him. He’s a fine player, just not here, not with this group, not in the role he had been given and that’s what Casey tried to tiptoe around following Saturday’s convincing win by the Raptors over the stumbling Chicago Bulls. Asked whether it was a rather large knock on Rudy that the team looks far more effective without him, Casey declined to play that game. “No. It has nothing to do with Rudy whatsoever. I think just the pieces fit more from that respect. It has nothing to do with Rudy personally,” Casey finessed.

Lewenberg: Sharing breeds success for Raptors post-trade | TSN

Their unselfish play appears to be contagious. DeRozan – who Casey said is playing “like an old man,” on account of his improved court awareness – has taken advantage of his new role in the offence, acting as the team’s quarterback, a role Gay could never or would never accept. Casey is getting 48 minutes of competent point guard play from Vasquez and Kyle Lowry, whose trade value continues to go up as he produces at a high level. Even sophomore Terrence Ross – averaging less than an assist per game as a pro – contributed a career-best four helpers.

Will Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson Be in the Toronto Raptors Future? | Bleacher Report

I should probably make clear that neither Salmons nor Hayes will be sticking around for the long haul. Please don’t act surprised. Both individuals were added to simply make the numbers work from a salary standpoint.

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  • Bo4

    Tankers beware: Wiggins won’t be here for another 4.5 years (Sep 2018)! We just need to concentrate on having a complementary, consistently energetic rotation around him from the get go … I don’t care how many games we win in the meantime. We have to get the right players, and get rid of the wrong players. Masai & Dwane can both do the job, given the chance … My Keepers are DeMar, Patrick, Jonas, Terrance & Tyler. Getting a PG of the future looks like the missing piece: Australian Dante Exum would be the better (& possible) draft pick next summer!

    • So the team that drafts Wiggins isn’t going to match another team’s offer when he’s a restricted free agent? Why wouldn’t they do that? If he’s not good enough for the team that drafts him to match, then maybe they Raptors should go after him.

      • Bo4

        The last I checked, the player has a say in the length of the offers he’s willing to sign, and the destination. If I’m him, and I really want to become a Raptor ASAP, I don’t sign any offers unless they are from the Raptors. Am I dreaming? Yes, if I was a USer. Some Canadians do think differently. Question: What if the Raptors trade Kyle & Amir & John & Greivis & some draft picks for (Kelly Olynyk or Tristan Thompson), Andrew Nicholson & Cory Joseph? Would that be enticing enough for me? I don’t think that it’s absolutely to be dismissed …

        • A player’s rookie contract is set in length and amount (amount is a little negotiable). After four year, Wiggin becomes a restricted free agent. If he’s anything close to an All Star by that time, his team would match any offer and the entire league would know that, so it’s unlikely anyone would tie up money for a payer they knew they wouldn’t get. Wiggins would then have the choice between accepting the offer his team is giving him, or accept their qualifying offer, which would be substantially less than what he would have been offered.

          And then after the fifth year, Wiggins would become an unrestricted free agent and be able to sign with Toronto.

          The problem is that almost never happens. The only time an above average player ever foregoes accepting an offer from their team (either directly or by them matching an offer sheet from another team) is when that player believes they are not being offered what they think they are worth,

          Ben Gordon did that, believing that Chicago wasn’t offering him enough and he was signed to a horrible contract by Detroit. If Gordon was worth more, Chicago would have made him an acceptable offer earlier.

          Besides, if Wiggins’ plan right from the beginning is to play for Toronto, the honourable thing to do would be to tell his team and work out a trade to Toronto, instead of screwing them and leaving for nothing. And any trade for Wiggins would most likely gut the team, putting them in a worse position than if they tanked.

          And I’m not sure why you suspect that all the Canadian players would do anything to play for Toronto. The only Canadian the Raptors have been able to sign so far was Jamaal Magloire and the end of his career. Steve Nash turned down a very good offer to play with the Raptors.

          I’m also not sure the point of going after all those Canadian players. If they are good, fit the team and a trade is feasible, then sure, but otherwise it just seems like a marketing gimmick for a team that doesn’t have a problem getting fans.

          • Bo4

            1) I don’t want us to focus on tanking.
            2) We can instead focus on getting together the team we want around Wiggins.
            3) I’m willing to trade (in order) DeMar, Kyle, Amir, John, Tyler, Steve, Julyan, Austin & our future draft picks for (in order) Tristan Thompson, Andrew Nicholson, Kelly Olynyk, & Cory Joseph.

            My plan doesn’t depend on how the lottery balls fall, and who gets picked before our turn comes up. That’s all I’m ‘saying’ here. IF Wiggins knows he only has to wait one more year, he might take less money to play in his home town & with some of his national team team-mates. And a team that positions itself appropriately can get a huge return for its investment … bigger than can be currently foreseen! Just ask the Heat if it was worth it …