Late on Thursday night I caught up with Sam, the man who faithfully brings you Morning Coffee amongst other things to talk about some of the uproar from yesterday regarding the post-game recap and the podcast. We try to calm things down, see things for what they are, try to enjoy life and not freeze to death.

Whether the winning ways are here to stay or not, it’s high time we chat about what to do with Kyle Lowry and his looming extension, and whether the outlook on him has changed to the point where pre-emptive contracts can be handed out. It’s all basketball talk and I’ll venture to outline the topics in bullet form for the reader who wants a peek before hitting play:

  • The nature of yesterday’s post-game report and the reader reaction – justified or not?
  • Quality of the possession-by-possession grind out against Indiana
  • We pull out a Shareef Abdur-Rahim reference
  • Where Masai Ujiri has to make his money and what separates a great/good/bad GM
  • A little known theory about asset accumulation which goes against the grain of everything this draft is touted as
  • Duds in the draft, the gamble aspect and whether it influences Ujiri’s job security
  • Standings check and a look at the NYK and BKN results – banner hanging
  • Player benefiting the most from the Rudy Gay trade
  • Are we downplaying winning the Atlantic a bit much?
  • Parallels to 2006-07 team
  • Trying to explain the transformation Casey has undergone since the Gay trade
  • Kyle Lowry extension debate – Sam and I disagree on what to do
  • Dwane Casey extension talk – we agree on what to do
  • The Flagrancy

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (25:23, 30 MB). Or just listen below:

  • Connor

    im so tired of hearing the work tank….

    • Sam

      +1

    • arsenalist

      Amen. Pretty sure usage of that was minimal on this one.

    • Pickles1731

      Refreshing to see a fan base that actually wants to win this year and not blow up their team for a shot at a “surefire” all-star. (coming from a Nuggets fan)

  • raptorstand

    These guys are awful young, they have never seen Toronto fans win anything. When the Blue Jays won from the mid-eighties up to the championships this town was crazy. Sold out every game , myousin hated baseball and she could care less about it , but she knew all the players and the stats . It was crazy. Toronto is so over due for a winner. Now it looks like this team has turned a corner and a lot of people are starting to watch and listen and like basketball again. Then you have the ass clowns who keep talking about tank. I just finished a book called outliers recommend highly, and it talks about tipping points, the city of Toronto is just about ready to go absolutely ga ga over this club and these guys arnt ready for it and don’t understand it. I just want to warn them the fans are getting ready to speak , and negativity needs to hit the door.

  • magpie

    That theory is warped enough that it might have a chance. I considered and dismissed it because it sounded too BCish – trading away a FRP as “sell high” is riskier than just picking where you’re slotted (mid-teens as Sam said).

    The point made about GMs making money is sound. Anyone can go in there and make a top five selection. It’s how he does with a weaker hand that’s going to earn him his money.

  • Bryan Colangelo

    Highlights:

    “On the one hand, way to stick to your guns, but … Recap the game!”

    Yup. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you can’t recap a game without going off on some editorial tangent, maybe you need to take a mental health break.

    “Are you comfortable paying Lowry 7 to 9 million a year —”
    “$7 million? Yes!”

    Kyle Lowry, based on his performance, deserves at least 7m a year. I would go as high as 9m if he takes us deep into the playoffs. 10m would probably be a big mistake (although I think some team will go for broke and overpay him).

    People complain about how “He’s in a contract year” — well, duh. Doesn’t mean that he hasn’t proven that he has a higher ceiling than most teams (including the Raptors) gave him credit for. He’s a hard-nosed two-way player at his position that has at least four more years of playoff-calibre play in him.

    All players perform better when properly motivated, and Kyle definitely strikes me as the type of player that would maintain this level of play for another 2-3 years on a COMPETITIVE team. Unless something miraculous falls from the sky I would resign him and try to upgrade the backup PG with a prospect.

    • DDayLewis

      Not defending his actions per se, but the writers deviate from “recapping” the game all the time. It might be a slap in the face to do so after the biggest win of the season, but hijacking the recap happens quite regularly.

      • mountio

        Agree with this. If all you guys did was blindly recap the game, this site wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. I rarely agree with Tim W (especially when it comes to loving low usage guys who appear “efficient” due to their limited role … ala Danny Green) – but I appreciate his points of view and the discussion they spark

        • raptorstand

          Spark? Insult is more the right word. We just win the biggest game in ten years and have a 4 game win streak and the timbo man wants to talk about how bad this is? Yea ok mountio, spark, ……… its an insult.

          • mountio

            Take it as you like, I guess, but I certainly wasnt insulted. I thought it was an awesome game and agree that it was one of the best wins around here in a long, long time.
            However, you cant ignore the fact that we are only a .500 team, even after this win streak, and I think its legitimate to ask some of the questions that he was asking. Do I agree with him? Mostly no, in some cases yes. Do I think hes totally out of line to ask the questions? I do not

          • FLUXLAND

            Insulted? Are you a child?

            How can you possibly take a recap of a sports team as a personal insult? You care THAT much of what someone wrote about a game and you CHOSE to read?!!

            The entire comments section has completely lost their minds or it’s infested with eleveyearolds. Have you not seen streaks like this from this team… even say last year? This team does this every year and it doesn’t mean a thing. Every single “win” during this streak can be scrutinized and there’s very little to nothing to take from them worth any salt; but because someone doesn’t share your “we are the champions” view, because someone doesn’t want to live in your game by game world where this team does no wrong, ever, you get to feel insulted?

            Seriously, the level of entitlement is disgusting. I can’t wait to see how many of you will be back with this gusto when this team falls back down the Earth and doesn’t get all the calls like it did vs Indy and teams bring the smackdown again.

            • ItsAboutFun

              Speaking of taking it personal, lol. Keep on being disgusted though. It suits you,,,,, and fits rather nicely with someone who “can’t wait” for teams to “bring the smackdown” on the team you’re supposedly a fan of. But we know that’s not the case, hey. You’re just here to troll,,,, with a very loud mouth. Need some attention after the holidays? Awwwwwww.

              • FLUXLAND

                a. Your homer mentality is blinding your vision and hindering your ability to read aka readingwhat youlike
                b. this is one of your typical shill baiting personal attack comments.
                c. in any case, your entire MO 90 percent of the time.

            • onemanweave

              Uh, Flux ol’ buddy, I hate to say this but Tim does this sort of thing better than you. Thanks for coming out. I know it’s cold BUT ….. go back under the bridge.

              • ItsAboutFun

                Flux just gets so aroused when Tim does his stuff. Hmmmmmm, both on the west coast, both have the same incessant view of the team. hmmmm, bosom buddies?

                • FLUXLAND

                  That’s…mature. Say, hit us up with you’re “they are winning, who cares if they are getting outrebounded” bball wisdom instead; this personal attack stuff you’re not really good at.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  lol, even using Tim’s “personal attack:” whine,,,, but happy to see you’re still keeping ancient notes on me. lol, warms the heart over the holidays.

              • raptorstand

                lol nice try fluxman those days are long gone buddy , we have a starting five average age of 24 they have a great coach and a great supporting coaching system a gm that is a proven commodity, this team is not the Raptors of old my fluxman friend. Are there going to be pumps in the road , damn straight, but once they learn the d and play it together, you cant unlearn it, Good things fluxman for our future, but if you wanna get all outraged and take a dump on here , hey man your prerogative. People are laughing at you.

                • FLUXLAND

                  People have been laughing at me for a long time and the only one that ends up
                  taking a dump is this team. Trust me, the “you will eat crow” thing is yet to happen and it’s been a looong time coming. I’m not worried.

                  A young starting five without a legit 20-10 guy results in what you see as playing together… I don’t know how long you think that’s sustainable. You’re still ignoring how these wins came about…and feel “insulted” when someone writes something along the homer lines of “biggest win in 10 years and a 4 game wins streak”. That’s not even funny, it’s sad.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Not near as sad as you coming back over and over and over with the same old broken record, slightly modified with an updated line here and there. Rinse, lather, insert today’s date, repeat.

                • raptorstand

                  I just cant remember a time when we have watched something from the beginning of success. This team is legitimately good, 9 guys that can fit a rotation. Young guys that are going to get better just gonna a blast to watch and all we get is negative from you flux , you hate Jonas , you hate demar, you think the coach sucks, The cheerleaders are ugly , I mean Flux man its a different time look at it for what it is not what it has been

                • FLUXLAND

                  I am looking at it for what it is… you are looking at it for what it could be under a highly improbable “the stars will line up like this every night”, because… the team is young? Young doesn’t mean anything.

                  I “hate”: the Jonas is the future crap.
                  I “hate” a team built around DD.
                  I think DC sucks at HC.

                  So, I don’t hate the people/players.. only their roles and how they are sold

                • raptorstand

                  Jonas has taken on some of the best and beat them , 21 yrs old , great personality , hustle guy, loves the game , yea we don’t want him as our future. Demar Derozan improving every year , learning about he fourth quarter , tough as nails , great personality loves the city yea we don’t want to build with him. DC has finally got a rotation , looks like he has the gm on his side, Proven championship defensive scheme, players improving , yea he sucks. Their roles are just fine , winning doesn’t need much selling.

                • ckh26

                  I think you and Tim W are the same guy. Similar writing style, the need to respond to almost every post that has a contrary position to yours.

      • Bryan Colangelo

        I mean, I know this is just fan site, and as a writer you might want to let off some steam. But damn, take care of business while you do it. Pretend you actually give a shit about your responsibilities. I’m not sure he even wrote 200 words about the actual game — a game that was actually interesting, in terms of style and substance.

        What a wasted opportunity. It’s like a critic going to watch Django Unchained and spending 95% of his review talking about how Dusk Til Dawn sucked.

        • DDayLewis

          I’m not big on critiquing a fellow writer, and I agree that the recap could have focused more on the details of the game, rather than the big picture as Tim sees it, but that’s his prerogative. I wouldn’t want some newbie writer (referring to myself) limiting my editorial freedom. Like most others, I disagree with him quite a bit but I respect him as a writer. I’d be far more upset had he “mailed in a post”, which Tim never does (conversely, I do it all the time :/ )

          • raptorstand

            The thing is dd is he showed no class. I mean you can write the exact same article , after the exact same win , but put asides in , point to the other side of an issue give respect where its due. He disrespected the fans on a day when Raptors fans had a big ol smile on their faces. I will never read the guy again , no class.

            • Nilanka15

              Why do you feel so entitled? Tim doesn’t owe you anything. RR doesn’t owe you anything.

              We’re talking about volunteers here, not paid journalists. We all visit, comment, write because we’re fans of the team. Who are you to say how one should/shouldn’t speak? I appreciate the work these guys put in regardless of whether I agree or not. I love this site. There’s no need for change.

              People need to stop feeling sorry for themselves.

              • afrocarter

                It’s not necessarily that Tim didn’t show enough respect to us fans — it was that he didn’t (doesn’t) show enough respect to the team & their inspired play of late. The title of his post, with it’s facetious and troll-like tone, in & of itself displays how completely he has taken the team’s recent success for granted.

                Of course he is allowed to say/type whatever he chooses. However, as a journalist (volunteer or not) it’s his responsibility to do his job properly. Whatever his position, he was commissioned to do a recap of the game; he failed to do so, and instead complained about how recent developments will not bode well for the team.

                • Nilanka15

                  I don’t disagree with anything you said. But my response is, “so what?”

                  It’s a free internet sports blog.

                • afrocarter

                  This is very true. Ultimately, one gets what one pays for, I suppose. Still love the site; still love the discourse.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  And people are free to express their opinions of what’s written. In your own words, “Who are you to say how one should/shouldn’t speak” And who are you to judge people as “feeling sorry for themselves.”?

                • Nilanka15

                  Fine, continue to feel sorry for yourself.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Typical. You don’t have an answer to a challenge of your bs, so respond with a snotty and cheap snide remark, and run.

                • Nilanka15

                  What BS? If you want to feel sorry for yourself, by all means, go ahead.

                • FLUXLAND

                  So, it’s not that he didn’t recap the game. He didn’t do it with a tone and light that caters to you? Why do you think you are entitled to a certain type of recap?

                  This team had the bar set so low, that now that they’ve started playing something resembling coherent ball, they need to be shown respect? What are you talking about? He has a “troll like tone” because he (perhaps) chooses not to ignore under what circumstances these “wins” transpired? While you blindly ignore the same and claim he’s failed to do his job by not catering to you?

                  Far too many homers and people that haven’t been following ball for long, who think they are owned something, are crying around here and forgetting that some of us have seen this movie before.

                • afrocarter

                  Nope. You completely misunderstood my point. Try again if you like! Next time you can leave your indignation at the door, as well.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  “Why do you think you are entitled” to judge how people respond to an article on here? And speaking of crying,,,, shit you come here and cry all the time that people don’t see thing syour way, while pounding your chest about having Who the f… are you to pound your chest about having “seen this movie before.”. Who cares? Not anybody here.

                • FLUXLAND

                  By the same logic they judge said article? You know… opinion and ability to type.

                  LOL.. that only happens in your mind. I at least, can keep it about the team, you on the other hand have a memoir on Tim’s writing and you spend a lot of time judging his person, while typing about ball 10 percent of time and typically about the CBA.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  LOL, precious you are little one. You come in here “disgusted” and blasting away with post after post about judging EVERYBODY on how they feel about your pal Timmy, but then whine that I’m not talking basketball. Once you’re wound up (so easy),,, lol,,,, you’re good for chuckles, anyway.

                • ckh26

                  I think you and Tim W are the same guy. You write the same and make the same arguments.

          • Bryan Colangelo

            You see, that’s where I disagree. I think he is completely mailing it, and this is revealed in his stubborn and active ignorance of the current realities surrounding the team — improved cap flexibility, improved benched, improved coaching and development of young players, and worsening competition. His insistence that his ‘development strategy’ of tanking is still relevant is intellectual laziness.

            He has become the Bryan Colangelo of RR writers. And that’s coming from a guy who’s username is Bryan Colangelo.

            • DDayLewis

              You’re free to disagree with his approach but he puts out clean, 1500-word copy on the regular and he meets deadlines. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but pimpin (blogging) ain’t easy.

              • ItsAboutFun

                Of course it’s not easy, but if you’re going to do it, and continually put stuff out that you absolutely know is going to inflame some people (some call that trolling), you gotta take your hits. If he can’t handle the heat,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, you know.

                • DDayLewis

                  And up until very recently, he was more than willing to engage with the commentors in his articles.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  And the character behind the engagement added fuel to the fire. Seriously, is he still putting the blame for what people feel about him on us? If so, perhaps he needs to grow up and take responsibility of his actions/words. Sorry, but it sounds like somebody is enabling him to be the character that’s been on display here. It’s not just his opinions, but how offensive the delivery is more often than not. Need I give my rendition of what has been so offensive? I know many that have shared those same views on here, so it’s not just me.

                • Nilanka15

                  Do you have a problem with Doug Smith’s “I’m smarter than you” tone? Honest question.

                • DDayLewis

                  Nobody’s enabling anyone and he’s a man in his fourties. I know you two have squared off on multiple occasions and the last thing I want is to get in the middle of your quarrel.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  I don’t know what his age has to do with it, but if he’s only in his forties, then perhaps he should extend a little more respect for his elders, instead of talking down all the time.

                  Hey, would not ask you to get in the middle of our quarrel. As I said, just look at past comments from other people than me, and you’ll learn of the vast majority of the gripes that pertain to character/attitude, not just opinions.

  • Saskatoon Raps Fan

    At 7 million per, Lowry would be one of the better contracts in the NBA. I don’t think there is any way he’s accepting that. I’d be comfortable somewhere between 9-10 million. I think Lowry is going to look at demar’s contract (it’s 9.5 right?) and want at least that. He probably feels (and rightfully so) that he’s the best player on the team right now so I don’t think he’ll accept less than demar, at least initially, although the abundance of good point guards in the league may force his price down

    • mountio

      Bang on. If he keeps his play up anywhere near where hes been the last 10 games, he will get paid $10 mm / year minimum. Personally .. I had been thinking that was too much. I probably still feel that way .. but hes doing his best sway me!

      • Bryan Colangelo

        If the Raptors are serious about staying competitive, what other options are there on the market, seriously? Are there any other point guards available that could match Lowry’s current production? He’ll get 10 m, somewhere.

        • Steve Lam

          the difference is he can get 10m/year somewhere for 4 years guaranteed versus staying in toronto where CBA rules restrict him to only a 3 year max extension. I’m sure Lowry doesn’t mind Toronto but I doubt he loves it that much to lose potential 10mil.

          • Bryan Colangelo

            Ugh. Really? That means we would really have to overpay to keep him.

            It sucks because I have serious doubts we would get anything close to fair value if we tried to trade him before the deadline, either.

          • mountio

            Is this true? That is the first I have heard of this, and in fact, I thought it was the opposite, that we can sign him for longer..

          • ItsAboutFun

            Wrong, just wrong.

          • Nilanka15

            I think you’re confusing an extension this season, with signing with Toronto as a free agent this summer.

      • ItsAboutFun

        Thing is, I’m not sure there’s that much competition this summer for KL. Look around the league. Most teams have a starting PG locked in already. Those that don’t are few and far between, and some of them are over the cap. If KL over prices himself for the Raps, the best and easiest route to get real value for him,,,, and satisfy his $$$ demands, is a S&T.

      • raptorspoo

        ya, i was thinking the same. Everyone likes to squeeze us in Toronto.

    • ckh26

      Heres what the comparables are… If we re-sign him.. This is Ujuri’s biggest decision IMO and the timing of it will have to be deft. This is what he will be looking at in terms of salary an the term will be as mportant….Long term commitments come at a cap space price. FMV for Kyle is between 8 and 9M per year.. .He is in the Jrue Holiday / Mike Connley class of player.

      2013 PGs NBA Salary Grid

      Top Tier $$$- Some are worth it some are nott
      Joe Johnson $21,466,718
      Dwyane Wade $18,673,000
      Deron Williams$18,466,130
      Derrick Rose $17,632,688
      Russell Westbrook $14,693,906
      Tony Parker $12,500,000
      Rajon Rondo $11,954,545

      Mid Tier – Kyle thinks he fits here…

      Monta Ellis $11,000,000
      Ty Lawson $10,786,517
      Steve Nash $9,300,500 – Just a bad deal here…
      Jrue Holiday $9,213,484

      Jameer Nelson $8,600,000
      Rodney Stuckey $8,500,000

      Jeremy Lin $8,374,646
      Mike Conley Jr$8,000,001
      George Hill $8,000,000
      Goran Dragic $7,500,000
      Kyrie Irving $5,607,240 – Expect him to sign for Top Tier $$$$

      Lower Tier…
      Jason Terry $5,225,000
      Louis Williams $5,225,000
      Ramon Sessions $5,000,000
      Andre Miller $5,000,000
      Jose Juan Barea $4,687,000Luke Ridnour $4,320,000
      O.J. Mayo $4,200,900
      Kirk Hinrich $4,059,000
      Steve Blake $4,000,000
      Raymond Felton $3,637,073
      Aaron Brooks $3,396,250
      Damian Lillard $3,202,920 – Expect him to sign for Top Tier $$$
      Jerryd Bayless $3,135,000

      • raptorstand

        nice post ck

      • arsenalist

        ROTD indeed.

  • Age

    Question – When have the Raptors had a complete starting 5? A staring 5 with a true centre, a true PF and wing’s and PG?

    I can’t remember the last time we had that, until now. Even in the Vince days, we used Antonio Davis as a Centre. The starting 5 always had a hole or a player out of position or a fill in to just get by while the other 3 or 4 players filled in the gaps.
    Bosh was a true PF – but we needed a centre
    Vince was a true wing player – but we needed a centre (why we signed Hakeem)

    With JV (and Ross) progressing this well, I honestly can say we have or have the near term potential to have a complete stating 5. This makes a Casey’s job so much easier and gives him options, just as he has experienced in the last 12 games.

    This is what makes the current roster very encouraging and I hope we can gel these guys together for +1 years to see what they can do….. never mind this constant rebuilding roster and developing players. fans are tired of it and Im tired of it.
    Lets go Raps

    • raptorstand

      I cannot agree with you more, nice post. Psycho T coming off the bench has got to give the other teams pause, Patterson has done a real nice job filling in, Salmons hasn’t hurt us and plays some incredible d. Vas is a nice change of pace to Lowry bringing the ball up. I cant remember a time when we had a legit starting 5, but I also cant remember a time when 9 legit guys where coming in a helping out.

    • DDayLewis

      The 06-07 team had a complete starting five, no? Rasho manned the center spot, CB4 held it down at the PF, Anthony Parker/Mo Pete/Porno split wing duties and TJ Calderford ran the point like nobody’s business.

      Man I miss that team. That team + western conference team + 1 PM Sunday game + Chuck Swirsky = a joyous Sunday afternoon

      • raptorstand

        Rasho ? I mean I loved the guy , but Rasho?

        • DDayLewis

          I…might have an irrational attachment to that team.

          Rasho is nobody’s Jonas, but he did what he needed to. He stood tall in the paint, hit that jumper and had entertaining quotes for the press.

      • Sam

        LMFAO @ Porno … I’m dying

  • AnthonyF

    Listening and early on the comment was that the Raptors 15-15 built on beating bad teams and not winning vs. better teams (outside the recent run). Interesting and made me think isn’t that what you are supposed to do? Raptors have lost only three games against worse teams (by a total of 6 points) against Charlotte twice (blowing a 16 pt lead in the third quarter at home) and Brooklyn (and can also add one vs. Chicago the worst loss of the season when Chicago was playing well). Thus they beat the teams they should have including bad match-ups when teams were hot, have played well on the road and have a lousy OT record in addition to blowing big leads. Could they really be worse then 15-15 at this point?

    Right now they are actually projected to win 48 games according to advance metrics!!!!

    Could be interesting/fun times.

  • nyStef

    I agree with Sam. I think Lowry should be traded. It’d be nice if *this* is who he’s always gonna be but .. I don’t trust that what we’re seeing now is what we’re always gonna see. A guy who gets in shape and plays his butt off in his contract year is so often just doing it for his contract (as it sure has seemed, to me, too often to ignore). Tough call, for sure, but that’s the one I’d be making.

    On the other hand, I think firing Casey would be the wrong move. Before this year, he was coaching against Colangelo’s wish to tank (my opinion) and this year, I think he might’ve been going along w the tank until Rudy was gone and the team responded so strongly. I think it might be that only now, that we’re seeing Casey truly unleashed. I’ll be real interested to see what Masai does.

    (And re podcasts, I prefer this kind, myself. fwiw.)

    • Bryan Colangelo

      I honestly believe that Lowry is the type of player that would continue to play at a high level on a PLAYOFF team. Motivation has never been an issue with him — if anything, when the team was struggling he had the tendency to try and do too much.

      I think if you put him on a contender, he has value, if your team is rebuilding, he’ll regress.

    • nyStef

      listening to Jeff Blair on the fan .. I think he’s reading what’s being said right here. A few of his comments were pretty near exact what’s been said on this very page. (for whatever that’s worth, just interesting is all.)

  • afrocarter

    “His tit is in two pieces.” LMAO

  • Tinmann

    An intelligent conversation. Kudo’s. Nice way to start a Friday morning with the day off.
    Lowry isn’t going anywhere unless this team takes a nosedive.
    Right now he is the straw that stirs the drink on a young, talented team.
    No rush to make a decision on Casey.

  • Tinmann

    As you finished you make a quip about project Flagrancy.
    Don’t give Tim W.too much do. If you are trying to use him as an antagonist, or notoriety in RaptorWorld you are reading the comments all wrong. Everyone is just sick of his repetitiveness. He hasn’t added an original thought in ages. And that’s a shame, I used to enjoy his writings. Here’s hoping he gets back on track. He know’s the game.
    Final thought on the previous podcast. Two words come to mind
    DRUNKEN STUPOR

  • raptorspoo

    Can’t believe how many people jumped off the tank bandwagon because of a ‘streak’. I’m sorry but too many Raptors fans are so fickle and too short sighted.
    I really don’t think many Raptors fans look past this year.

    • afrocarter

      Sure. Let’s ignore the math of how difficult it would be to successfully tank in the East at this point in time. Let’s dismantle the team that’s finally found its identity and break the spirit of every remaining player in the locker room. No doubt they’ll still want to play hard for the organization next season.

    • Nilanka15

      Don’t think it’s “jumping off the tankwagon” as opposed to coming to terms with reality. The tank window is all but closed.

      • raptorspoo

        I agree with you that it is all but closed but I’m just talking about the fans/organization in general. It’s this lack of commitment. For example, BC going through a “rebuilding/tanking” period while he’s obviously trying to squeak into the playoffs.
        Makes absolute no friggin sense to me and this is the same mindset of many Raptors fans. They want their cake and they want to eat it too.

    • some random guy

      Look how well tanking does for Cav’s. We have solid talent that has low contracts overall, just need to free up room and make wise trades.

      • Nilanka15

        Had the Cavs picked Jonas (instead of Thompson), or Barnes/Lillard (instead of Waitors), they’d be an example of how tanking works. Let’s not use poor management as a reason to avoid tanking.

        I’m a pro-tanker, but I’ve come to terms with reality. The Raptors as currently constructed, are too good to finish in the bottom 5.

        Had we traded Lowry 2 weeks ago, the outlook would be quite favourable for the lottery. But with the team unexpectedly winning now, I don’t think Ujiri has any choice but to keep this group together to see what happens.

        • ckh26

          You don’t get the benefit of 20/20 hindsight to make your point. Cleveland made choices with their incredibly high picks over the last 3 years and now are responsible for the outcome of those picks. Which is 11- 21 win loss so far this year and a talented but injury prone PG.

          Woulda/Coulda/Shoulda.

          Thats the entire thrust of the anti tank brigade. That the draft while the best way to add talent to your team requires good scouting and a big dollop of shit house luck.

          You can whiff in the draft too.

          • Nilanka15

            Of course you can whiff on the draft. Why would you think otherwise?

            There’s a plethora of risks associated with ANY team-building strategy. Pointing out risks associated with tanking, while ignoring risks associated with alternate strategies is disingenuous.

            • Minks77

              well said and often overlooked point.

            • sleepz

              Yeah Nilanka, you didn’t know that trying to draft high in a pool of talented college players is the worst strategy to use in building a team.

              Trades and free agency is how its done and how a good GM earns his money. Just look at the Raptors over the years and how well those strategies have been employed. And none of those GM’s are near as good as Masai. He will be able to turn Fields expiring, Novak and a future 2nd rounder into star next year, just wait and see. Just trust him.

              • Nilanka15

                The Raptors have been doing the exact opposite of tanking since Bosh left, and have accumulated years of evidence that directly supports how building teams on the fly without elite talent gets a franchise precisely nowhere.

                Yet inexplicably, tanking is the problem O_o

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Tell us what wasn’t tanking the year JV stayed in Europe? Provision being that you said AB was worth shit and hurting the team. They certainly did nothing to get better, having filled the roster with a pile of 1 year scrubs. They didn’t exactly go for broke the year before either, landing with 3rd worst record,,,,,,,,,,,, and losing the lottery yet again to drop to 5th.

                  That aside, I continually get a kick out of this “well they had bad management” causing them to draft poorly. Interesting that the majority of teams that tank as a “solution” are thge poorly managed teams, but pro-tankers seem to always overlook that when excusing their picks on bad management.

                  There’s much to criticize about BC’s moves, but to say he never tried to build through the draft is ignoring what actually happened for 3 years. But players (even scrubs) and coaches don’t buy into tank mode, and the lottery doesn’t seem to ever work in the Raps’ favour.

                • Nilanka15

                  Ok, I’ll give you that the Raptors might’ve tanked leading up to the 2011 draft. Knowing Colangelo’s tendencies, I highly doubt he intended to do so, but I digress. Isn’t Jonas evidence of what good a high lotto pick can yield?

                  Would you consider Boston a poorly managed team? Seattle/OKC? Didn’t both teams reach their pinnacle while acquiring picks from years of being terrible?

                  Lastly, I completely agree than coaches/players don’t buy into the tank. Nor should they (you know this already).

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Nobody argues against how much good a high lotto pick COULD DO. The problem lies in the concept that’s attached to a push to tank, given the Raps situation even coming into the year. Let’s face it, most were pushing to unload EVERYBODY with talent, except JV. It’s one thing if you’re bad, and decide to stay bad for a year. An entirely different thing to gut the team of already young lottery picks (DD, TR) and great value warriors (Amir), and sell off other talent for pennies on the dollar (KL, RG). Reality: that’s what was being pushed by many, if not most pro-tankers; Gut the team, because they;’re useless anyway (how are people feeling about Ross now? Yet tankers wanted him GONE), and tank for a few years, a la Seattle/OKC. It’s the gutting part that people can’t swallow. We all sat through a couple of years of roster filling with cheap scrubs already, without any screaming for heads. It’s the gutting part.

                  The only team that truly gutted their team, tanked for years, and reached any kind of modest success is OKC, but how are things going for them now? They wasted one of their lottery pieces (Green) to attempt to accelerate their rise, by trading him for effing Perkins! That foolishness aside, before they could win a thing, they had to give up one of their young studs, because they could not afford him. They paid Ibaka instead, and got scraps for Harden. Great management? Harden/Ibaka, you choose. They screwed up, especially making that trade LONG before they had to.

                  They now have a team that is very mediocre if either Westbrook or KD are down. Why? Maybe something to do with having gutted the team so bad, that it’s taking them a long time to put enough complimentry pieces around those they managed to keep. Soon, KD will be looking around at him, Westbrook (and there has been issues between them), Ibaka (meh, not doing much for them), and scraps, with a few participation ribbons for their efforts,,, and he’ll be a UFA, looking for an opportunity to win with a team that isn’t gutted, a la LBJ.

                  Boston? Please. Can’t be bothered to debunk as a successful tanking org., yet again. They’re a perfect example of failed tanking attempts for Duncan, then KD/Oden, losing the lottery both decades. Their recent success wasn’t built through drafting lottery picks. They traded their future away to get a couple of old guys who gave them a couple of years of great run. Now they’re back at square 1 again, and their success had nothing to do with young lottery picks bringing them to the promised land. They traded away many years of future to get the couple of years of run,,,,,,, and can only thank a crazy Russian billionaire for bailing them out and giving them back a step up on their future,,,,,, maybe.

                • ac1011990

                  Lolz that was probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard on this site “The only team that truly gutted their team, tanked for years, and reached any kind of modest success is OKC, but how are things going for them now?” Hmm let’s see they reached the westerns finals and they are actual legitimate forces in the league. Raptor fans here are blowing their loads thinking about entering the playoffs, who are we to mock a team who has has legitimate real success.

                  “They now have a team that is very mediocre if either Westbrook or KD are down” wow I don’t even know what to say to that. If you take out lebron and wade what do you have left on a 2 time championship team… Yep you guessed it a mediocre or probably a very bad team. OKC HAVE both of those players, no aliens are going to zap them up into the mothership and leave the thunder with a KD and Westbrook less team. Stop worrying about the future or free agency, right now both of them wear a thunder jersey. The whole point is to add elite talent to mediocre teams so they take that next step.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  whoooooooooooooooooosh,,,, what was that whizzzzing over your head? Sorry, out of time to argue with someone calling something ridiculous, when he doesn’t quite grasp the big picture. Congrats on honing in on that little insert in the corner though, even if you did misinterpret that too. Keep up the good work though, and you’ll eventually find fewer things to be ridiculous.

                • ac1011990

                  Lolz to be honest your point doesn’t matter you lose credibility when your examples are possibly the most ridiculous things I’ve read on here. There were other teams you could have used to prove your point and you sit there and question the Thunder? I got the point, that gutting your team isn’t the way to go, and to be honest I agree with it. Your examples had absolutely NO relevance to the point. The thunder are a great example of what the draft is supposed to do. If you have good management and scouting you turn out like the thunder, ya they had some luck but they picked great players, that’s exactly what the draft is meant to do. What exactly were you trying to prove with a hypothetical question of if you take out KD and Westbrook.

                • ckh26

                  Its one strategy boys. Its one strategy. There are others.
                  If you trade or sell your better players to get into position to draft “the next one” who is going to mentor or play with The Prodigy ? After 3 years of getting his ass handed to him on nightly basis as there is no one to play with The Prodigy might have enough and do the full mcgrady and leave town. See Cleveland and K.Irving. This is a high risk strategy. Not only do you have to get the right guy you have to have enough talent left over to be competitive. The Prodigy won’t have enough to do it on his own. There is no Lebron in this draft.

                  The other model is the Indiana model. You make trades that incrementally increase your talent base .( We just did that with the Sacto 4. We got better at 3 spots.) You make a judicious FA signing (We have the money. who will be our David West ?). You add talent through the draft to fill in the gaps (Indy got Lance Stevenson and Paul George without selling everything). They look pretty good right now too. We have our firsts in 2014 and 2015 and 2016 plus either fo NYK or Denvers in 2016. Both the nuggets and knicks appear to be heading south and this pick could be high as well.

                  Tanking is a scorched earth policy. It looks good until you look back and see you just destroyed everything . The Indiana model says you get incrementally better each year and field a competitive team that builds into a championship contender. Its lower risk faster return policy. The likelihood of seeing another stroke of luck like the Durant / Westbrooke / Harden draft is mirrored againt the Cleveland draft of Thompson / Bennet and Waiters.

                  Draft cuts both ways and it cuts deep.

                • sleepz

                  In Indiana’s case their ascent is in direct correlation to George. They drafted a star.

                • ckh26

                  With the 10th overall pick. He added to a pretty solid lineup featuring Hibbert , West, Stevenson and Granger. None of whom had to be sold off to get him.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Soooo, tell us how neither JV or TR can be stars. Both looking like good picks, both very young in only their 2nd year. Nobody was even suggesting that George was a star in his second year. he looked promising, but so do JV and TR, and they were drafted at higher positions than him.. Is it possible we already have two stars in the making?

                • ac1011990

                  Lolz for small market teams or places with not as much star interest you add talent through the draft then you fill in the holes with free agency or trades. It’s not that hard of a concept, if you can’t get elite players by free agency or trades you go to the drafts. It’s not the opposite way for small markets.

                • ckh26

                  Your all over the place.. what are you trying to say ?

                • ac1011990

                  Lolz I don’t know how much simpler I can get it. If your not a city that’s a star destination you have to get elite talent through the draft. You then fill in the holes through free agency and trades. Toronto has never gotten a star player from free agency or trades. You use trades and free agency to get role players, players who fill specific roles that are lacking on the team after you acquired your elite talent.

              • ItsAboutFun

                Or you can bitch, and whine, and cry all year about stuff you have zero control over, and still not get your way. Then again, maybe continuing with cheap snarky remarks can make you feel all fuzzy, despite all the reasons for whining, bitching, and crying

          • sleepz

            Of course you can whiff in the draft but its the only time they have ever added any elite talent to the Raptors team (Carter, McGrady, Bosh) in the history of their existence.

            You can whiff on free agents and trades as well and we’ve seen it happen often under Bryan Colangelo and Grunwalds regimes.

            Anxious to see how this team will add that type of talent without going the draft route. And I’m certain that without it (elite talent), this is the same type of team that most fans have been watching the past decade.

      • raptorspoo

        That Cavs team is all on their rookie contracts with enough cap room to take on two more superstars. They are in a much better position than us and much more attractive than us to a superstar free agent. Even Lebron said it himself that they have some very good pieces. This is even after their horrible drafting need I add.

        • some random guy

          You mean like Bynum?

          • raptorspoo

            After this year they have about $36 in salary committed – minus Andy’s team option. Enough for two max contracts. Make sense?

      • raptorspoo

        Here is the team if they drafted the way that any sensible GM would have drafted:
        – Irving
        – Jonas
        – Barnes
        – Oladipo/Noel/Mclemore
        This “should” have been their team.
        The Cavs GM just wanted to pull a BC

    • raptorstand

      Pooman everybody understands about the future, but this organization to a man , needs to win and win now period. Once we have instilled a winning mindset this whole city organization and team becomes a lot more viable for players to come here. This team is not Bargs, this team is not Gay ,this team is a legitimate team of young guys having a blast together. This is such a different time. I just wish the unpaid writers on this blog would figure that out and write about possible positives instead of for sure negatives.

      • raptorspoo

        You seem to forget, this same mentality is what has made ALL Toronto franchises LOSERs for the longest time. This “win now period” thinking.

    • GetLicks

      I don’t think it’s simply because they’ve gone on a winning streak. It’s been the quality of opponents, and more importantly, the style of basketball they’ve been playing. Remember all those years where we played no Defence, and if our offence wasn’t firing we’d basically get blown out of the gym? Our whole gameplan was to out score the other team.

      Now we’re seeing a hard-nosed, grind it out team that’s stepping up in the 4th quarter. Those are the traits of good, winning teams. It’s just fun to watch these guys battle and play for each other and the fans. It’s refreshing to watch guys that are sick of losing and doing everything in their power to give hope to this franchise. We haven’t seen this much in the 20 years we’ve been around. A much different change of pace to all the spoiled & entitled players that have put on a raptors jersey.

      I was never on the tank bandwagon but don’t mind giving a hand to those who wanna jump on the playoff wagon. At least it shows they appreciate what’s been going on with this team.

    • ac1011990

      Don’t think it’s so much jumped off the bandwagon just kind of hard to tank now. Personally I would still want to acquire someone high in the draft, but I just don’t see it happening. Raptors are not really in a great place now if they want to acquire elite talent, unless Masai is ready to give up Derozan, Ross or Valanciunas and picks. Elite talent isn’t traded around often and when it is the player has the control. I guess our best bet is trying to acquire young unproven guys with potential and hope either they or someone from this team turns out elite. I like the idea of a really deep team with no star player but when times get hard you don’t have that one guy to get you through it. But whatever lets see where Masai takes this team.

  • raptorspoo

    I hear a lot of comments about being able to draft good picks low and are given examples of Kobe, Ginobli, Parker, etc.
    I hate when these examples are given because:
    1. You’re talking about a period where drafting highschoolers were not the norm and a high risk
    2. You’re also talking about a time where scouting internationally was not very good.
    Let’s stop using these examples please.

    • DDayLewis

      Jan Vesley was drafted 6th overall a mere two season ago. International scouting is better, but far from perfect.

    • afrocarter

      I think Zarar made a great point when he said that successful GMs don’t rely on top 5 draft picks to acquire talent (e.g. San Antonio vs Cleveland). What I’m seeing right now with our team is the beginnings of a winning culture being established, and honestly I feel that takes precedence over high draft picks. Ultimately, talent will be attracted to successful teams; the best thing for the Raptors to do IMO is to continue to garner league-wide respect and play to win.

      • sleepz

        They don’t when they have already had the benefit of it? San Antonio took Duncan remember.

        No team can rely on a high pick because it’s not assured.

        The ‘winning culture’ thing is a sham. Did the Raptors establish a winning culture when they won the division in 06? Did they continue adding to that culture when they went to the playoffs again as a low seed the next year? Where did that culture go in the subsequent 5 years afterwards they were a lottery team.

        Talent wins in this league. I know most fans love supporting the underdog hard workers that we have always come to embrace in this city but I’m hoping for something more this time around.

        • GetLicks

          I’m not buying the comparisons to that 06-07 team. They were a soft group of ball players without any real leaders. I cheered for them cause I’m a fan, but I can honestly I had no confidence in them to make any noise in the playoffs.

          • GetLicks

            Had to clarify this cause it wouldn’t be fair to the guy, but Mo Pete def wasn’t soft and the only one with any real heart on that roster.

    • pablo

      agreed, toss in the fact that I think that yes they were projected to be productive and rotation players but were not picked because they had ALL-STAR written all over them.. Those outcomes were just honey on top

  • Taya

    Sam said the Raps had a relatively easy schedule up to now….??? shows how much he knows. The Raps have had one of the hardest schedules in the Eastern conference and are about to venture on a relatively lighter schedule this month.

    • DDayLewis

      Relative to Western conference teams

    • weird al tankovic

      He said they’ve beaten teams they’re supposed to be beating, which is right. They will also not win at a .750 clip, also right.

  • some random guy

    I wouldn’t mind resigning Lowry for 8-9m for 3-4 years the way he is playing, but we need to look at getting rid of Fields, Novak, and Hayes contract which for players that don’t even play take a huge chunk out of the payroll. Albeit, in 2015 when we will have a lot of cap room to make a big acquisition on free agency when a lot of talent comes unrestricted.

  • brother

    Two things
    1. GREAT point by Sam about the new ownership very potentially wanting to get a competitive team out there to boost tv ratings/sell sports packages. Absolutely a new way of looking at things.
    2. Re-sign Lowry. Why not? Who else would you rather have that’s attainable?? The importance of a quality point guard in the NBA can’t be overstated. You have to pay a Class “A” NBA point guard 7-10mill a season at current market rates. So? Why not Lowry? He’s the right age, plays defense, hits 3s, drives to the hoop, passes well, and knows Toronto and the system. He’s your best bet. And I agree, he’s going to retain value – he’s no Linas Kleiza or Landry Fields.

  • B-rocula

    Wow people are pretty damn sensitive

    • ItsAboutFun

      Welcome to Earth. Where ya been?

      • Nilanka15

        Hahahahaha! Coming from someone so sensitive, he had to change his name several times so people might like him.

        • ItsAboutFun

          Someone’s a little butt hurt and stalking me now. Been here, done this before. Have a nice day

          • ItsAboutFun

            Awww, c’mon Nilanka. Don’t change the name to “Guest”. If you say something, be a man and own it.

  • m

    Good cast guys. And to be clear, I think a lot of us had issues not only with the pro-tank perspective espoused by the guys on the previous cast, but just a lack of intelligent analysis, and a rambling lack of professionalism / talent.

    Cheers!

  • sean

    you guys are morons don and ron with a lttle ernie and bert

  • sean

    do you guys listen to your own voices when you talk, man you guys are slow but use big words like manifest…. come on use it when its needed not firing out words you don’t understand… I may try it one more listen another time but you guys need to get better that was lame

  • Louvens Remy

    What you don’t do in the case of Toronto is trade away your actual young talent before putting in the time to develop them. If Toronto, were to trade away DD, KL or TR for draft picks and expirings, then they would be doing the same thing they are doing now, except they would be going backwards. By doing the same thing, I mean, having a roster full of young players and trying to develop them into a functional winning team. The reality is that JV, DD, KL, TR, Amir are an average of 24 years old or so and are showing that they are just starting to realize their potential . What people aren’t happy with is that DD, JV and TR aren’t “stars”, right away, like Kyrie, Blake, John Wall or Kevin Love

    The case for Toronto to stay the course now is that at the beginning of the season we were thought of to be in the same boat as Phila, Phoenix, Bos, Was, Cle in terms of having a super young roster and players who haven’t fully developed or reached their potential and weren’t expected to be good. But what we are seeing now, as the Toronto Raptors have cleared their roster of pieces that don’t fit their system or philosophy, is that their young players are actually better as a unit than those teams mentioned. Isn’t that what we want ? Aren’t we clamoring for a young talented team of players that can be groomed into winners?

    What I see with our fan base is that the grass is always greener. We want that Kyrie, the John Wall, Demarcus, Kevin Love etc… but we may actually have players that are better as a unit than those guys are individually. Kyrie and Kevin Love, are great individual talents but they alone haven’t been able to translate that into wins. We have a young core of DD, TR, Amir and JV that on any given night can match up or surpass CLE (kyrie, waiters, TT), WAS (Wall, Beal, Porter?), PHO (Bledsoe, Dragic, Morris twin), UTA (Burke, Hayward, Favors), PHI (MCW, Turner, Hawes, Young) and so on. All teams that basically have the exact makeup and young players as the Raptors.

    Toronto is basically doing what everyone wanted them to do (develop young talent), which they are, and that young talent is slowly starting to realize its potential…

    I know everyone wants the next LeBron, MJ, Bird, Durant etc… but the reality is those players are very rare. For the most part each draft since 2000 averages out around 3-4 allstars and the rest of the draft is a mix of above average pieces, specialists and benchwarmers. The goal now for the Raps is to get another young player in year 1 or 2 of their contracts for some of the assets accumulated to continue staying young and always having new talent waiting in the wings and learning their system. What we are hoping is that DD continues to develop into a star and that Jonas and TR join him in there in a couple years. But why “tank” when we may actually have really good talent that is on the rise?

    The funny thing is that before the season we projected that a host of teams would be bad, including the Raps. Some of them are bad, but what you are seeing is that some of the “bad” teams are maybe ahead of the curve and better than we thought (PHO, ATL, TOR, PHI) and others that were suppose to have taken the leap fwd are even worse or not as good (CLE, WAS, ORL). So then, I ask myself, if you are in the position of PHO, ATL, TOR, what good does it do to actually trade away that talent that is playing well, is very young, when what you are trying to do in the first place is have young talent and have them play well? Isn’t that the point of building a young team? To develop them. If they get good then you build on it. If they aren’t, you start over. Simple as that. No need to lose on purpose to accomplish that. The Raps are just proving that their young talent is on par or better than their peers.