Tracy McGrady was the first Raptor who dared to walk away from the rarified air of the Air Canada Centre, deciding against re-signing with Toronto, where he was afraid he’d stay in the shadow of his cousin, Vince Carter, and signed with the Orlando Magic. He went on to appear in seven All Star games and All NBA teams, including making the first team twice. He also lead the league in scoring twice, including when he averaged 32.1 ppg in 2003 and became only the 10th player to average at least that over an entire season.

McGrady was the first former Raptor to really hear the ire of the fans when he returned to Toronto, and did every time he returned until he left the NBA.

Vince Carter as the second player to feel the wrath of rejected Raptor fans after he sulked his way out of town, in 2004. Carter had already been a five time All Star and went on to appear in three more after he was traded to the Nets. Carter is now a bench player in Dallas, but is still booed relentlessly by Raptor fans whenever he comes back to Toronto.

Chris Bosh also was a target of Raptor fans’ hate after he left Toronto to sign with the Miami Heat, where he won two Championships and made the All Star team three times (after making the All Star five times in Toronto).

These three player are the three best players to ever wear a Raptor uniform and also the most reviled.

And then there’s Andrea Bargnani.


When Bryan Colangelo signed on with much fanfare as the GM of the Raptors, one of his first moves was taking Andrea Bargnani with the Raptors first ever pick in the 2006 draft. Seven years later, it was Colangelo’s former understudy, Masai Ujiri, newly hired with much fanfare, whose first personnel move was trading away Bargnani.

And last night he returned to the city that drafted him for his first regular season game.

Bargnani has never been the player that McGrady, Carter or Bosh were. While he was drafted higher than any of those players, he never had their talent. Even before he played in the NBA, Bargnani a jumpshooting big man who rarely rebounded, ventured into the paint or played defense. And he wasn’t nearly the hard worker that Dirk Nowitzki, the man he was often compared to, was.


Now, I’ve been one of Bargnani’s biggest critics since he was drafted, but I really didn’t see the point of booing him last night. His biggest fault is that he simply has never been that good a basketball player. And that’s still the case in New York. To me, this insistence Raptor fans have for booing former players is starting to look like the oft jilted boyfriend who can’t get over his past relationships and move on. Bargnani didn’t leave the Raptors and he didn’t give up on the team. He simply played how he so often has in the past and continues to. It’s not Bargnani’s fault he was drafted first, thrust into a role he shouldn’t have been and given an outrageous extension.

Unfortunately for Bargnani, he didn’t exact his revenge in either game against his former team. He only played 17 minutes, last night, and spent most of the second half on the bench with an icepack on his neck in what was an ironic scene for a player who was a pain in the neck for fans and coaches for most of his time in Toronto.

While the injury-depleted Knicks team put up a bit of a fight early, the Raptors took the lead for good with just 5:11 to go in the first after Lowry hit his first of four three pointers on the night. The Knicks did make a couple of runs, getting it as close as two points in the fourth, but they simply didn’t have the defense to follow through on their run.

Let’s clarify here, the Knicks defense was REALLY bad. Sure, any time you have Bargnani and J.R. Smith (as well as Amare Stoudemire) on your team, defense is not going to be a strong suit (and when you have three of the worst players at their positions starting on your team, you probably shouldn’t expect to be a playoff team) but this is a larger problem for the Knicks. And the Raptors took advantage time and time again, last night.

Take a look at these couple of sequences:

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.29.33 AM

In the above screenshot, Patrick Patterson sets a pick for John Salmons. Shumpert and Amare double team Salmons, a common tact.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.30.16 AM

Salmons passes it to Patterson who Kenyon Martin has moved to cover. Toure Murry has dropped down off Vasquez to cover Hansbrough, leaving Tim Hardaway Jr in no-man’s land.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.30.42 AM

Patterson makes the right pass to Vasquez, who is so wide open both Murry and Hardaway run hard at, leaving Ross, who hasn’t moved, open up top. Stoudemire is jogging down to cover Hansbrough, who will be wide open, and Shumpert seems to be just watching the action unfold, guarding no one in particular.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.31.01 AM

Vasquez quickly moves the ball to a wide open Ross who has already hit a three pointer just a few minutes before and Murry has to run from the basket to the three point line as Shumpert is left standing defending no one in particular. There are so many breakdowns in this sequence, it’s scary. And the Raptors, who learned to share the rock after the Gay trade, made the Knicks pay.

And just a little while later, this sequence happened:

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.31.39 AM

In what’s basically a semi-break, Lowry beats Beno Udrih and drives to the basket, where Bargnani is waiting completely alone (Valanciunas hadn’t made it up the court, yet). Instead of trusting his big man to defend the basket, Hardaway Jr leaves Ross, who has already hit two three pointers in the game, to help on Lowry.

Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 12.31.55 AM

Lowry has essentially drawn three defenders and passed to a completely wide open Ross who nails the three.

This underlines the problem when you have poor defenders on the floor. Teammates don’t trust one another and they overhelp, which allows teams that pass the ball to punish them. Tyson Chandler is a stellar defender, but in the above sequence, the Knicks have three poor defenders, in Bargnani, Udrih and Smith, as well as rookie Hardaway Jr, playing with him.

While I am certainly not a fan of watching a mediocre Raptors team strive for a playoff appearance in a horrible Eastern Conference in what will likely be a first round beat-down, at least I’m not a fan of the Knicks. The Knicks are the anti-moneyball team. They might have the worst value for their money, in Carmelo Anthony, who is the perfect example of an empty stats player, Stoudemire, Bargnani and Smith. That’s $61.5 million tied up in four extremely flawed players who don’t play a lick of defense or make their teammates better. And three of them start.

In some ways, the Knicks aborted trade for Lowry would have made a lot of sense for them. He’s good value, would give them a PG who can actually defend, and, while not the best decision maker on the court, would bring an attitude the team sorely needs.


On the other hand, parting with Hardaway Jr AND a first rounder is a steep price to pay for a player who might be half a season rental.

Speaking of Hardaway Jr, I’m amazed every year how players like him drop in the draft. While he’s never going to be an All Star, he was a very solid player at Michigan who could shoot, play defense and had good size for the shooting guard position. The reason the Spurs always seem to find good role players near the bottom of the first round is because teams drafting above them often end up gambling on flawed projects who they are convinced will play better in the NBA than they did in college (or Europe).


– For some reason, every time Udrih had his back turned to the camera, I kept being reminded of Cavs former star, Mark Price. Too bad Udrih doesn’t have Price’s skills.

– When Toure Murry is your backup point guard and has to play nearly ten minutes, you’re in trouble. I had no idea who Murry was, but he’s listed as a 6’5 small forward who, for some reason, is now the Knicks backup point guard. Keep in mind, they’re pick belongs to Denver, no matter where they finish. So the Knicks will receive no reward in a high lottery pick in a great draft year, at the end of the year if they happen to miss the playoffs.

Again, I am so thankful I’m not a Knicks fan.

– Is Terrence Ross’ recent play making DeRozan expendable? If the Raptors are thinking of trading DeRozan, which has been reported, if Ross continues to play well you have to think that it might make trading DeRozan easier knowing Ross is on the roster.

– The Raptors are now a full game ahead of Boston for the Atlantic Division lead. I’m not really sure this is something to be celebrated, though. They’re currently on pace for 38 wins and might end up finishing the season around .500, if the roster stays put. This is the exact middle ground so many general managers don’t want to be in. Good enough to make the playoffs, but not good enough to actually contend there. Making the playoffs isn’t going to get them the elite player they so desperately need, and no free agent is going to mistake a .500 team in the East for a contender.

The idea that the Raptors can “Webber” Wiggins ignores the fact that Golden State had the third pick in the same draft and the only reason Golden State wasn’t hurt trading all those draft picks for Webber was because they swapped him to Washington a year later for Tom Gugliotta and three draft picks. Orlando, who traded away Webber, was the team that most benefitted from the trade.

And if the Raptors do end up trading all their assets for Wiggins (or someone else in the top five), which is incredibly unlikely, then how is that better than trading them for draft picks and/or prospects earlier in the season and getting a top five pick yourself? At least the draft picks and prospects you can keep along with whoever they draft with their own pick.

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89 Responses to “The Return of the Bargs”

  1. Ds

    If the Raps end up with a .500 record, it means that they’ve played .547 ball since the Rudy trade. That’s equivalent to a 45-46 win season normally. Most probably, the current team doesn’t play 6-12 ball either to start the year. Not world beaters, but not bad either. With cap room, resigning Lowry and a couple of other good bench players, we’re rolling in the East next year.

    Just saying.

        • DDon

          Am I the only one who has noticed how Casey looks better since Gay is gone and the Raptors have a better bench?

          • mountio

            Well .. ya, the ball movement, energy and defense have looked a little bit better. But, a lot of that is despite Casey. He was FORCED to play TR, which has worked out great (what a concept, a wing player that can actually shoot threes! .. but of course, hes not a vet, so casey wouldnt think he can actually help you win). Also, new players or not, if you dont understand when to foul down the stretch (has cost us at least two games this year alone) – you are in trouble. Also, candidly, I didnt see great crunch time offense last night .. DD long twos. Luckily, KL bailed us out with some threes.
            So, ya, he looks a little bit better, but lets not get fooled into anything. This is the guy who is still ending games with Salmons over TR (and just FINALLY changed his mind on ending games with JV like three games ago) …

    • ac1011990

      Boston gets Rondo back, Sixers get 2 first round picks this year plus Nerlens. Chicago gets Rose back, Atlanta gets Horford, New York and Brooklyn most likely get better. Bucks had alot of injuries and Giannis is looking really good, plus another high draft pick and Larry Sanders they could be on the rise soon. Lowry and bench players doesn’t do anything, wel end up in the same position we always are.

      • DDD

        knicks and nets get better? how? they are pinned down by salary commitments and are older than hell!

      • ckh26

        Just how in the name of all thats holy do the Knicks and Nets get better ? They are capped up to their armpits and have no draft picks. None. Niente. Nada. Zappo.
        Philly gets draft choices. 19-20 year old kids. To play against the men. Yep they’ll be better.. but not for a couple three years,
        Boston may get better but really how much better can they get with what they have right now. Surely not 10 wins better than we will get. We are better than they are now and they have what.. one extra draft pick than we do? We have free agent money as well.
        Larry Sanders may be in jail by the time he heals from whatever is ailing him. He is a head case. See how much better the Sacto guys play being out from under that moron Cousins ? Its like being paroled.Milwaukee pulling ahead of Tdot is a stretch at best and foolish at worst. They are 6 and 23. Thats a hell of a mountain to climb.
        Atlanta was two games over 500 when Horfod went down. .They’ll be better with Brooklyns dratt pick sure. The others.. your reaching.

        • ac1011990

          Lolz if you can only see the negatives in every team then ok. Rose was a former MVP, Rondo is arguably a top 3 PG in the league and they have more assets from the trade. Nets have a Billionaire who’s sole purpose is winning, Knicks fine i dont have anything.

          Thats a dumb thing to say about Sanders, hes probably like 50 other players in the league, but hes a force on defensive that’s for sure. Giannis is coming into his own and if you add a top 3 pick theyl be on the rise. Bucks had major injuries this year but remember they were in the playoffs 2 years ago. I hate when people call Cousins a moron, hes a legitimate offensive talent who puts up 20 and 10 every night. We wish Valanciunas would turn out like him. The league has gotten soft, just because a guy is emotional on the court why does that make him a moron or nutcase. He’s never been in trouble off the court so what if he gets technical, all i see is a guy who wants to win. SAC has other issues, Cousins isn’t one of them. Hawks are always mediocre that’s what we are hoping for, you can bet they will win their 45 or whatever games and never been relevant.

          This has been fun for us going from bad to decent. Were bound to turn out like the Hawks if we dont add some major talent. If your thinking the eastern confernce will be exactly the same in terms of talent wise next year your mistaken.

          • 7-11

            Oh you didn’t know? Our players are all 4th q minutes away from being perennial All Stars, unstoppable forces shackled by their idiotic coach, preventing them from developing properly.

            The rest of the NBA fields teams that are forever doomed due to their headcase moron scrub players, while the Raptors have been one piece away from the title for the last 10 years; you would know all this if you were a REAL fan.. and then you would also know we just locked up the 3rd seed and Conference Final, DUUH!! Sorry, ac… but this team is now ELITE and can win 4 out of 7 against anyone. .700 over the last 10.. do you understand that??!!! A TRUE fan, Sir, you are not.

            • ac1011990

              Ya i dont really understand how common sense goes out the window when it comes to your own team. I love the raptors and their the only sports team i watch, but come on, the rest of the world can see we are a decent team at best but our own fans. We go on these mini runs every year and we lose out on picks and then the GM keep instilling hope based on these streaks saying that were 1 piece away. Its actually funny because people on here are saying we can push the Heat or Pacers to 7. These wins against Dallas and thunder have completely blown the minds of fans, i really hope Masai isnt Colangelo and does things right for once.

              • 7-11

                History is repeating itself in front of everyone’s eyes, but most are convinced this is the dawn of a new era. You know why? Because MU said so. And how can he say that? Because he can! That’s why.

                Common sense is a superpower, amigo. No such thing with TRUE fans.

          • ckh26

            Rose has suffered two ACL injuries in two years on both his knees. Those are facts not being negative. Coming back from two ACL’s is a pretyy daunting task.
            The Nets and Knicks are going to live disasters of their own making.
            The Nets have no 1sts till 2019 and while Prokhorov is a billionaire he is not foolish enough to increase his cap tax to even more absurd levels than where they are today.

            Should we appoint Larry Sanders as citizen of the year then ? A fight in a nightclub with an r assualt charge. What if it was you or your friends this dunce clocked with a bottle ? Playing on a team with a nut on it isn’t fun. Which is my segue to Boogie Cousins.

            I call Cousins a moron because he is. Got his coach fired in his first year. Demanded a trade then recanted as quickly as he could. Pouts like a sullen child when he doesn’t get his way. Catch this video on Cousins view of sportsmanship. Redick with his eyes conveys what the rest of the public thinks of this juvenile delinquent.

            It may not be out of line to say he can do anything with a basketball except sign it or tell you the brand name on the ball.

            • ac1011990

              Rose’s second injury is a meniscus tear, its not as bad as an ACL injury. Its going to take time for him to get back in shape but hes an elite talent there is no denying that. The bulls are a elite defensive team and when he does come back they wont be this bad. Deng i’m pretty sure will be back, they dont want to trade him and he loves it there. Personally i doubt Nets will remain this bad, Knicks i dont know.

              Im not saying Sanders is a great citizen but i could care less what he does off the court. When hes playing hes a defensive force, end of story.

              How can you call a guy a moron because he plays with passion and actually cares about winning. Is he the most mature individual? no, but that doesn’t warrant people calling him a moron or delinquent. I like the mean streak Cousins brings, the NBA has kind of become soft. Its pretty sad that Danny Green went with the Heat to celebrate their 2013 Championship victory over his own team the Spurs. In the old days players actually hated each other, not this hugging and cuddling shit they do these days. Cousins has an old school mentality, if people are offended by it, sucks for them. When people dont play with a passion they get called lazy when they actually show they care about winning or losing they get called delinquents. I dont get whats so bad about him not wanting to shake everyone’s hand, your there to play ball not have a tea party.

              Point is the east will not stay this bad, this is ridiculous level of bad. If people think we have a chance then whatever im tired of sitting here talking about this to people who cant see this is a yearly occurrence. In the end its up to Masai, hopefully he knows what hes doing and hopefully this everlasting Raptors mediocrity ends.

    • Will

      Couldn’t agree with this more. Everyone points to their below .500 record but what about their .700 record since the trade. Will they keep it up? Of course not. But their schedule is getting easier to end the season.

    • truth be told

      Rolling to 7-11 for a long time no doubt.

      Resigning Lowry means no flexibility to improve your team. What you see is what you will get and if that isn’t “no mans land” I don’t know what is.

  2. raptorspoo

    I don’t blame bargs considering Stern screwed us that year.

    I think people fail to remember that that draft was the year that they changed the rules to not allow high schoolers into the draft – basically screwing us from the cream of the crop of that years draft… which I might add was KD!

  3. Stephen Brotherston

    You don’t go from crap to 55 wins in a single season and the draft certainly isn’t going to accomplish it. Being a .500 club is a positive step any way you look at it and its up to Ujiri to build on this season – that’s his job and his failure if he can’t do it.

    Raptors are more likely to turn into the Cavs or the Kings than the Thunder by ripping this team apart for draft picks (even if it was possible) – I haven’t seen any LBJs or CP3s in college this year yet

    • ac1011990

      You dont go from crap to Elite either way unless you add alot of talent. They may get to decent but without adding significant talent they are going to stay at decent just like the Hawks. Nobody said rip the foundation of the team apart, the foundation of this team is Derozan, Ross, Amir and Valanciunus. I love Lowry but hes an injury prone PG who can leave at the end of the year. This team as is, is held together by Lowry if he gets hurt or traded this is not the team your seeing these days.

    • sleepz

      How do you get to 55 wins consistently without a star or 2?

      You don’t.

      You might not have seen any Lebron’s or Paul’s this year in the NCAA’S but it doesn’t mean they are not there, especially when NBA scouts beg to differ with you.

      • FREEJV

        lol this guy thinks Nba scouts are gods gift or something lmao. Check: Andrea Bargnani, Darko, Marvin Williams and etc…..

  4. Feather Ruffler

    I’m going to give Tim W. the benefit of the doubt since it’s early on a Sunday morning but…this is one of the most irrelevant columns I’ve ever read on this site. I compare this to that really lazy/boring guy at work that wastes your time with a PowerPoint presentation about absolutely nothing on a Monday morning.

    • ItsAboutFun

      NO KIDDING!!!! Though benefit of the doubt has no place in the conversation, as there is never any doubt in Tim’s mind that he’s RIGHT, and there was never any doubt what kind of piece this was going to be.

      A wrap up of the Raptors’ game?!!!!
      – blah, blah, blah Bargnani, which deserved a line or two at most
      – blah, blah, blah the Knicks are bad. I thought this was a Raptors fan site, yet there’s far more evaluation of what the Knicks did bad, nothing what the Raps did good. Typical Tim, but nothing about the Raps at all, except:

      – blah, blah, blah, we should unload DeMar
      – blah, blah, blah, we should be tanking.

      WTF? 95% of this could have, and was likely, written before the game was played. “Irrelevant” is being kind.

  5. robertparrish00

    The reason people booed Bargs was for his years of garbage work ethic. Instead of developing his talents and maximizing his potential, he used those talents to be lazy and float by. That is why people booed…wasted potential.

    • why

      sadly true – in these last two games he missed tons of makeable open shots that are automatic for Dirk who he was always compared to.

    • cdub

      he isn’t even worth the boos. also not sure what anyone thinks they are accomplishing, do you think Bargnani goes back to the locker room to shed a tear because of a few boo birds? I have to agree with Tim on that point. we’re booing guys on wasted potential now? he played in TO for 7 years never complained gave a lot to charities etc….just paints TO fans as a bit classless. he didn’t draft himself or give himself that contract. we all wanted him gone and we finally got our wish so you should be happy he’s continuing his losing ways on the knicks now and move on.

      • Bryan Colangelo

        Booing Bargs is like booing you ex-boyfriend’s fat sister. Sure, you can’t stand her fat fucking face but she’s not the one that got shit-faced drunk at your family Thanksgiving.

    • TheR3dMenace

      So the real reason is Raps fans got personally invested in this guy’s talent level and now want to vocalize it. “Boo” – cry the entitled douchebags of the ACC. “Boo you could have been so much more….boo”


      • Minks77

        Maybe it’s more like “BOO! You represent everything that is wrong with the Colangelo era that wasted the past 7 years of our lives”

        Some of the boo birds may indeed be douchebags but some are also hard working bball fans who cough up large money for season tix that pay the players salaries and they are fully entitled to boo.

        • ItsAboutFun

          Entitlement is not a clear excuse. Everyone is entitled to demonstrate their moron status, as long as it doesn’t screw with the enjoyment of the paying customer beside them, which is what they’re entitled to.

  6. Bryan Colangelo

    Tim — let it go. There is just too many teams actively tanking and the trade market just sucks. This might be the only year where teams are actively trying to avoid helping other teams lose. Draft picks (even future ones) are over-valued right now.

    Unless we can get a future first rounder for Lowry — without taking back a shitty contract like Felton’s or other BS — we are better off just keeping him, making the playoffs, and continue inflating the value of all our players by association.

    Think about it. On draft night, there are going to be 5-8 teams that just put their fans through a nightmare of a season and will be hungry to improve quickly. That’s when we’ll get the most value for our players.

    Letting our assets go for pennies on the dollar just so we can have ‘the opportunity’ to suck as much as other teams (and it will take more than giving up Demar and Lowry to truly stink) just isn’t a sound strategy. It’s actually extremely risky considering how bad some of the other teams are.

    • sleepz

      Who are the active teams tanking?

      Being a bad team doesn’t mean you are tanking. I like how all bad teams now get lumped into “they are trying to be bad to get a good pick” when that is not the case.

      • Bryan Colangelo

        I’ll be fair and agree that yes, some teams just plain suck. but even if they are trying eventually these sucky teams are are in a much stronger position to ‘gear down’ into tank mode than the Raptors.

        They’re are eight teams with 10 or less wins in the league right now. Let’s say a team with Amir, Jonas and Ross is at least good enough to fluke into 6 or 7 more wins? Is a 20-win team shitty enough to get a top five pick in this league this season? I’m actually not too sure.

      • ItsAboutFun

        Whether bad by nature, or bad by purposeful tanking, the point isn’t about the definition of tanking (hasn’t that been beaten to death? though you tankers keep re-defining it, ugh), but the point being how difficult it would be to be worse than a BUNCH of teams, unless your choice is to give everyone away for pennies on the dollar, which is not what MU was hired for.

  7. leftovercrack

    Just a thought. Everyone says the Raps can´t get much for Lowry because the receiving team would only have him for half a season. Any chance they could extend him now then trade him for some real assets? (He is playing some great ball and there are contenders out there begging for PGs) Is this allowed under NBA rules? Not saying we should do this because I would love to see Lowry stay a Raptor, just thinking of options

    • mountio

      Im not sure of the CBA timing around extending then trading .. but I think you have a more practical problem in that if we extend him, it will most likely be viewed as an “overpay” by most trading partners. Same would be said for Jennings, DD, even Curry at the time given injury issues. So, all of a sudden, you trying to trade a guy with somewhere between a “properly valued” and “overvalued” contract depending on who you talk to. The real value of course would be if you can sign someone, have them outplay their contract and then try to trade them (I guess you could argue thats Amir now) – but thats not possible in the time frame we have with KL

      • ItsAboutFun

        People who keep talking about extending him, and making judgements about what “not extending” means (a la Tim making such a judgement about Monroe), seem to not understand, or refuse to grasp, that it’s against the player’s best interests to extend early, as the team that has his Bird rights can extend him an extra year,,,,,,,, but only if his existing contract has expired.

  8. jjdynomite

    Thanks Tim W… because you linked to Zarar’s well-written “The Flagrancy” piece on Anthony and Kidd. As opposed to this recap, which was as dull and one-note as the rest of your increasingly redundant articles. Either offer something new to your readers beyond screenshots or don’t offer anything at all.

    As for Bustnani and why he’s booed, it’s right under your nose; in fact, you even just wrote why. No, not that he’s just not that good. And it’s not that he’s wasted potential. It’s that Bargs is the ANTITHESIS of being a “hard worker”, which all fans, let alone Torontonians, want to see, and loathe to see lack of effort. That’s why more limited players like Alvin and JYD come back to cheers, and Wince and Bustnani get jeers. It’s pretty simple. Not sure why you fail to see it.

    • TheR3dMenace

      I hope Andrew Wiggins never plays for this team. We’d boo that kid out of town so fast…

      • ac1011990

        Ya your right its kind of getting embarrassing. The crowd cheers like crazy for pizza even when the raptors are getting beat (even though its changed), they boo their own players and now booing a guy who actually did nothing wrong. Bargnani was just not as talented as Colangelo told us, he never said anything bad about the team, city or players, he also never said he wanted to leave.

  9. ad

    Yep, with every win the raps are fucking themselves more and more long term. So say they finish 4th in a dreadful eastern conference and mayyybbee win a round. Then the best player (Lowry) bolts in the offseason and what are they left with? The rebuild will be delayed. Also, the idea that ross can replace derozan is asinine (If we are tanking, fuck yeah!!). Ross is just not good when his 3 pt shot isnt falling. All he does is dunk and shoot 3’s. I see no variety to his game. He is a role player and should be dealt while his value is high.

    • ckh26

      What is the lock solid guarantee that the hype is true ? Wiggins is not lighting it up in Kansas. Even the blind can see he is not going to be the next Lebron. Lebron came out of high school and made an impression in the N f*ing BA. Wiggins looks to be a solid freshman in the NCAA right now. Long way up the curve to owning the NBA on a nightly basis….
      In the last dream draft class of 2012. Remember the hype on how deep it was.. and three guys in the top 10 pooch out.. .Thomas Robinson, Austin Rivers and Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist. The other guys are good. Davis and Lilliard especially . The other guys are good but not allstar good
      Wiggins and Randle and Parker…. They are unbelieveable prospects.. but prospects they are and they are playing against teenagers in the NCAA…

      • ad

        Bottom line is raps need elite talent and the draft is the only way this franchise is getting any. This is the best draft since 03 in terms of high end talent. No guarantees of course but I trust MU as a scout.

        • ckh26

          If it turns out like this…then there will lots of splaining to do lucy.
          4 out of 10 … and even then a whiff at number 2…
          There is talent in the draft .. always is…. but its a crapshoot after number 1 and 2… not in this draft.. but in most…

          A rundown of the players picked in the 2003
          1 CLE LeBron James

          2 DET Darko Milicic

          3 DEN Carmelo Anthony

          4 TOR Chris Bosh

          5 MIA Dwyane Wade

          6 LAC Chris Kaman

          7 CHI Kirk Hinrich

          8 MIL T.J. Ford

          9 NYK Mike Sweetney

          10 WAS Jarvis Hayes

          • ad

            Yep and those 4 out of 10 players are pretty damn good. All all stars. The draft is risky absolutely but chances are if you are picking in the top 5, the likelihood of landing a star is greater than picking 15th-20th where the raps are likely headed.

            • d_1212

              there is still very good picks available this year at 15th-20th to help this team without blowing everything up for a top 5 picks. Tyler Ennis, Semaj Christon, Chris Walker for examples.

      • sleepz

        No guarantee, but how do you add talent to a below .500 team in the offseason when you’re capped out?

        No draft is guaranteed yet no one can explain how they can get elite talent or increase their talent level without the draft. Free agency? Good luck. Trades? Our players don’t have that much value to net a star player.

        I’ll take my chances on a rook I can develop to be that guy. 2012 draft wasn’t hyped up that much either. Outside of Davis, no one was guaranteed to be a star and of course Lillard has now established himself as well.

    • blackjitsu

      This is sooooo false. Where will Lowry go? What teams will be enough under the cap, who need a starting point guard can outbid the Raptors? The reality, is that if the Raptors want to keep Lowry it will be easy to retain him. Also, like ckh26 said no one is particularly lighting up the NCAA right now. All 4 of these guys look like solid prospects, but nothing more. Wiggins isn’t even the best Canadian in the NCAA this year. That honor goes to the PG for Syracuse.

      The reality? This is how teams actually improve. They create a nucleus that can win games — like the Raps current starting 5, and then, they add pieces via draft, or free agency. Players come because they see a well run team, with a solid FO. Finally, they draft well from wherever they select picks. The Knicks, and Nets will be bad for years unless something dramatic changes. The Celtics are in the first year of what looks like a 3 year rebuild. The Sixers will definitely improve, but have a lot of inexperienced pieces moving forward. The Raps could potentially rule the Atlantic Division for the next 2-3 years.

      IF they can find that blue chip player who wants to be a Raptor, they could potentially become a contender. I know that’s fantasy talk, but Masai has me believing beyond winning a division due to coincidental timing and mediocrity.

      • ad

        Always teams willing to overpay and make a splash. Lowry will have suitors for sure. The league has 30 teams dont forget.

        • ItsAboutFun

          30 teams, yup, and vast majority already locked in to a starting PG. Name the ones that aren’t and we have an interesting discussion about who might be competition. Those pickings are very slim.

    • ac1011990

      Totally agree with the pointless wins and useless playoff experience but i don’t think Ross is useless at all. He plays pretty good perimeter d and has a really really nice shot. If he improves his handles and picks up a mid range game hes going to be pretty good. Derozan in his first few years could only dunk, hes still not that good of a shooter but he developed a decent mid range game. Ross already has a good shot and hes just as athletic as Demar, i dont see why he cant become a better version of Demar in a few years.

  10. TheR3dMenace

    Raptors fans don’t know what an improving team looks like. We’re so confused with winning our immediate reaction is to try make the team worse so we can be bad again…. Where this time, this time as opposed to every other time where we didn’t tank “properly”….no this time we fate is on our side and the next GOAT will be drafted to the team? Nice and proper

    What a joke this sect of raps fans are, Tim W leads the way. Actually surprised he’s against booing Bargs after devoting so much of his life to trashing him.

  11. Tinman

    The quick recap was last night – what’s this garbage? Pointless dribble!
    Unable to find any positives from the sweep of the mighty Knicks.
    Tim the team is playing some exciting ball for the first time in years. The rebuild might well be without the tank, you just gotta move on. This is a continuance of your rather boring tank manifesto. With a final dig at the Bargs added in. Gotta find something else to say.

  12. Bassman

    Sorry Raptor fans but from what I see the Raptors are now a GOOD TEAM now and only going to get better as the players mature and get more experience. Open your eyes and watch the games since the Rudy Gay trade. They play good defense with Amir and Jonas blocking up the paint making it hard for other teams to score. The perimeter players Terrance, Demar and Kyle (as well as Jonas) are still developing and haven’t reached their full potential yet. The last 10 games they’ve only lost to San Antonio twice and in overtime to Charlotte who is also an improved team. They are better than a 500 team and actually a 700 team in the last 10. If you are a true fan you should be watching and ENJOYING the basketball the Raptors are playing because it really doesn’t get much better than how they are playing now. Indiana stayed their course and let their core players develop and look at them now. True fans want the Raptors to WIN and not loose. I’m sure they will find a helpful young player in the draft no matter where they finish. e.g. Paul George was the 10th pick in the draft, Danny Granger the 17th pick, David Weest was 18th and Roy Hibbert was 17th. You don’t need to tank to develop a championship caliber team with good players.

    If the Raptors continue as they are now they are going to have home court advantage in the playoffs and a good chance at winning a round or two so I say sit back, relax and ENJOY! the future looks good.

  13. DDayLewis

    The vitriol towards Tim is getting way out of hand. This was a great fucking recap. Nice tidy game summary, a requiem for a former Raptor and a nice picture breakdown of New York’s horrible defense.

    • mountio

      Im with ya. I generally judge the recaps by the comments they get (no offense meant to the authors, who do good work), .. and in this case, activity seems to be strong

    • ItsAboutFun

      “great fucking recap”????? Of what? Not the game, which is what it was supposed to be, no?

      – 1st 4 paragraphs have absolutely nothing to do with any current Raptors, never mind about the game.
      – those were simply a lead-in to the next 6 lengthier paragraphs about Bargs, you know the guys that used to play here, and only played 18 minutes in the game.
      – At this point, the majority of the text of this “recap” has been read and the only thing game related is that Bargs was booed.
      – A good chunk of the rest is all about analyzing, with lots of pictures, how bad the Knicks are. That might be a great piece of a recap for a Knicks site, but ummmmmm, this is a Raps’ site, and a “recap” of a WIN by them is approx. 75% through at this point, and the only mention of anything Raps related so so far is how they fit around the Knicks bad defense narrative.

      So far, how is this the least bit relevant as “great fucking recap” of the game? The Raps win their 7th in 10 games since the trade, and the game story is “the Knicks suck”?

      Oh wait, Tim does have something to say about the Raps,,,,,,,,,,, ummmmm, but not about this game being recapped great!! let’s see:
      – he not a fan of a mediocre team making the playoffs in a bad conference. Not game related, but at least he’s talking about the Raps, hey!!!
      – damn, wrong again. That was just a lead-in to chatter about the Knicks payroll, assets, rumoured Lowry trade talks, which was a lead-in to Hardaway Jr,,,,,,,,,, nothing to do with the game,,,, but random thoughts about how some good players get picked later in the draft.

      Shit, we’re now about to delve into “Final Thoughts”, much has been written, but the only game related so far is “Bargs was booed” and “Knicks are bad”. The only mention of anything Raptors is a few names mentioned as part of the detailed illustrations of the Knicks bad defense. What exactly do you see as “great fucking recap” in this?

      But wait, we have some Final Thoughts!!! Surely there’s going to be some meaty stuff about the team the site is formed around, as related to the game that’s being recapped, right? Maybe even a little about this being the 7th win in 10 games, and how they continue to be a different team, at both ends, how they not only fight to the bitter end, but are actually closing out game after game, playing their best in the final quarter, rather than the previous consistent 4th gtr folding. Whatever, at least something about the team we’re here for, and their game, in this “game recap”, surely.

      The Final thoughts:
      – Udrih, from the back, reminds Tim of Mark Price.
      – Toure Murry is a SF, playing backup PG badly, Knicks owe denver their pick, Tim’s glad he’s not a Knicks fan
      – Ross’s recent play perhaps makes DeMar expendable
      – The Raps are headed for middle ground

      Huh? Is it ever going to get to a game recap related to the team this site is about? Nope, it ends with a brief recap of what Tim thinks of the “Webber” Wiggins suggestion. In the entire “game recap”, on a Raptors’ site, not a single line about the Raptors play in the game, nor even a word about their exemplary play of late. But yeah, bad on us for not liking a “great fucking recap”,,,,,,,,,,,,,, of what we’re not sure,,,,,, but if you say so,,,, our bad.

  14. j bean

    We don’t know if this is a “mediocre” team. You don’t know, I don’t know and they don’t know.
    Since the trade they are up there with the best of them playing .700 ball against some good teams.
    Their starting five are individually each playing the best ball of their career. How many other teams can say that?
    Lowry looks like he is seeing the floor so much better not because his IQ went up but because everyone is a legitimate option to score. Now with the extra ball movement they are so much harder to defend and not give up open looks. One other thing this Raptors team has is a powerful winning attitude coming from the top in the form of TL and MU. That is quite an upgrade over their predecessors.
    How good is this team? Time will tell.

  15. Louvens Remy

    You should have stopped the article after breaking down the Knicks shitty defence. But instead after that all I read was “Man…winning sucks Middle ground drivel. Trade everyone for assets and lets get back to losing.” Get the Eff outta here with this Jorge garbajosa. Tim, u gotta maybe talk about how to build on this existing team and pieces instead if blowing it up for a change. U scream for positivity while repeatedly biatch slapping us with negatives. Step up man! Let me know how u would actually build this team instead of constantly falling into this dull groupthink of trading anyone pkaying half decent and WINNING! for assets. #boring U need to write for the Knicks, they actually suck.

  16. Michel G

    “While I am certainly not a fan of watching a mediocre Raptors team…” Tim W.

    Mediocre teams do not have winning road records, nor do they beat Dallas and OKC consecutively on the road. I wish people running RR would forbid their writers from using the word.

  17. Ragnarok

    Excellent break down of the NY defense. Great use of pictures. New York spent five years getting out from under Isaiah Thomas’ contracts only to bury themselves in more bad contracts. The curse of too much money?

    • GoingBig

      NY should be run like a small-market team. Accumulate assets, make positive-net trades, and stop believing in instant messiahs. Team chemistry and having some players who can defend are two other factors that can make a good team.

  18. GetLicks

    Getting a lil tired of the same old narrative from Tim W. Isn’t this the same Knicks team (along with Chicago & Brooklyn) that he picked as a guaranteed top 5 seed in the East? And the argument for tanking was that we don’t wanna be in the 7-11 range? Now that we have a legitimate shot at the 3 seed, the tank talk should be put to rest, at least for RR contributors. I come on here as a die-hard fan of this team and want to see a proper breakdown of the games, not read about how we shouldn’t boo Bargs (really?) for his 7 years of pathetic effort, or why we should tank for the millionth time (as if we don’t know who’s in the upcoming draft). I cannot fathom how any fan of this team would be upset at the 3 seed & a shot at maybe the 2nd round (a feat we’ve accomplished one measly time in almost 20 years)

    • GetLicks

      Not to mention a team that finally has character and heart, those Bosh & Bargnani days were brutal..we would either win or get blown out for a pathetic effort. This year win or lose, we’re in every single game and have road wins in Chicago, Dallas & OKC. If it weren’t for a Kemba buzzer beater, the only team we’d have lost to since the trade is the spurs. How can you still cheer for losses when the guys representing out city are busting their asses every night and finally shedding the soft label that has followed us around for 10+ years now?

    • SR

      Tim should just post links to previous tanking posts. The regurgitation of tank talking points is a pain for reguy readers.

      This post game would have been better if it just stuck to the game.

  19. Bryan Colangelo

    Here’s what I think Masai is going to do:

    1) Continue entertaining offers up until the trade deadline, and pull the trigger on anything that improves the flexibility and long-term prospects of the club. He is not going to trade for the sake of trading, take on bad contracts for a lack-lustre pick, purposely sabotage a team that’s showing signs of life, or trade any asset that would net a greater return in the summer. For example, he’s not going to trade Demar and take on a shitty contract just so he can get a late first-round 2014 draft pick, when he knows he can probably pick up a couple of future first rounders and an expiring contract for Demar on draft night from a team that’s spent the past year losing.

    2) If no offers are clear winners, stay the course and let this team play out the season, improving the perceived value of all the players as they coast into the playoffs.

    3) If the team makes it deep into the playoffs, he will take it as a sign that the core of the team is worth building around. He will try to resign Lowry, trade picks and players to upgrade the bench, or try to poach a blue-chipper from a team that needs to hit the reset button worse than us.

    4) If the team is knocked out the first round or swept in the second, Masai will blow up the core, leveraging the increased value of the players, and taking advantage of tankers and other bubble teams in a more optimal trading climate. There will be a least a dozen desperate willing to overpay for our players just so they don’t suffer another brutal season of failure.

  20. Zig Biv DeVoe

    This whole #tanknation movement doesn’t make any sense to me. Say we tank. Say we trade away Lowry, derozan etc etc. we make it in the draft lottery. How are we so sure well get a top 3 pick? If we do get a top 3 pick, and we choose Parker, wiggins whoevever. who will be their teammates?

    The best philosophy is to win, regardless of imposing drafts, regardless of playoff position. Most people here have no confidence that our new GM can attract free agents, instead, let’s lose this season, the next season etc so we can slowly build up talent.

    There are plenty of teams out there that did the opposite of that and have been successful, Houston, Indiana, Chicago the list goes on. And there are teams that tanked and have received high draft picks but years later aren’t any better than when they started, Cleveland, Charloette, Sacramento.

    My philosophy is that if your losing to win, this is going to be another long 6 years and again none of this tank business guarantees anything. We should continue to develop key players, resign Lowry and make a playoff push, if we get high enough well have home court advantage and hopefully make it to the second round and add free agents and build on that success.

  21. Mexiballer

    The fans that boo past Raptor players makes me feel embarrassed to be a Raptor fan. It unfortunately paints Raptor fans as classless and immature to the rest of the league, and it is classless and immature. And it does nothing to enhance the idea that Toronto is a great place to play for any prospective free agents. What must our current players think when our fans are booing someone who was on the team just last year and is potentially still a friend of theirs. Grow up, move on and and get over it. The fans that boo are giving all of us a bad name.

    • robertparrish00

      I think the current knicks are secretly booing Bargs in their heads for what its worth.

      • Mexiballer

        Probably. Booing Raptor fans should learn how to boo in their heads. I cursed out loud at a players like Bargnani and Gay when Im at home watching the games. But booing out loud at the arena again and again, for ex Raptors like Carter (after all these years) Bosh (a guy who played his heart out for this team) and Bargnani, is embarrassing for fans like myself, the organization and the city. It says a lot more about the fans who boo then it does about the player theyre booing. Lacking class is not how the Toronto Raptor fans should be represented to the rest of the NBA

  22. silvio

    been a raptor fan since inception, even rode the bleeders at sky dome/rogers when they had the huskies v. knicks on tnt in ’96. like the blogger said, barge wasn’t that great of a player, but he was never the hard worker like dirk digger, people can see the lack of effort, hence, the boo’ing. jyd, oak, reggie evans, all didn’t have much talent but they played with effort and they were loved.

  23. oliver

    I really hate it when people tell me not to show my displeasure with players or ex-players. I’m the fan, I pay the hefty price tag, let me boo whoever I like. Fans in my opinion want to see effort and a desire to win and AB never showed either!!

    • disqus REALLY sucks

      ya but .. why do you think it’s ok to show up the rest of us raptors fans who’d rather not boo, as like-minded overly-entitled, bitter, mean-spirited, thick-skulled-and-dull-as-a-cue-ball, ugly-and-angry-about-it, “my life isn’t perfect so I wanna blame HIM and I buy tickets so YOU CAN’T STOP ME!”, sadistically-cruel, pathetically-disillusioned, dim, feeble, disheartened, dispirited, hopeless, lowbrowed, slack-jawed, uncultured, self-righteous, shit-headed, self-entitled, aggrieved, spiteful, tragically-nasty, vicious, rancorous, hate-filled, poisonous, ill-natured, “the Leafs never won-so-there-is-no-God”, resentful, embittered douche-bags? When you think about it, it’s really not all that fair to everybody else.

  24. rob hcirua

    Lets be honest… if the raptors ever win a title, it will be because the red sea has parted.

    I just hope they can win the next game, and improve, not with the hail mary, but by making good decisions in the office and THEN, on the court.

    That said, casey isn’t the greatest, we don’t have a #1 (but none are interested in Toronto it seems). and like much of the East, the climate sucks! Who would want to play in Toronto during ice storms and dreariness. It’s a great city. but come on people.

    For me, this year is all about having gotten rid of Bargnani, and watching Ross, JV, Derozen, Lowery and Amir play as a team. And I do think we should get behind them for a playoff berth no matter if we get killed by the Pacers. They are playing well, and although, as with most of my raptor favs (Mo Pete. JYD, Alvin W) this set of current players play hard, but will likely come up short… of a title lol!

  25. Rapsfan22

    lol this is getting to be ridiculous Tim. If they beat a below 500 team it’s you showing us how bad the other team is and giving us no credit then calling us mediocre. If they beat a good team (OKC, Dallas on the road) you say the other team didn’t show up and gave us the win. Not to mention you talking about tanking in every single article even if its a post-game article. So if winning 7 out of 10 since the trade doesn’t impress you what does? What sheds the mediocre title? Why don’t you say you will wait and see if they can keep this up instead of including the pre-Rudy record in your season ending win total prediction? Not to mention 2 out of the Raptors 3 post-Rudy losses were to the West champs. And the bobcats game was very winnable if Casey wasn’t our coach, (should have put the man covering the inbounder on kemba since everyone knew the bobcats drew a play out of the timeout for kemba and there would be no time to pass it back to the inbounder for a shot). Also, you talk about the most unimportant and non-relevant things in every article. Get it together man.


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