Andrew resurfaces after a night out for an early morning pod which features raspy voices, scattered minds, a poker-faced Ujiri, suppressed feelings, Bill’s banter, and internet shout-outs.

Part 1:

  • Ujiri’s comments about draft being overrated – posturing?
  • Rookie development in the 2010’s compared to 80’s and 90’s
  • Addressing the Bill Simmons-inspired trade rumours – DeMar DeRozan for Gerald Henderson and the 9th pick
  • Chris Bosh parallels to DeMar DeRozan
  • NBA officiating in Game 6 of SAS/OKC
  • Need for players to have big games for their team to win – OKC and Raptors different
  • How the Raptors would have fared in the second round against Miami, Indiana or Washington
  • Comparing Roy Hibbert to Jonas Valanciunas

Part 2:

  • Vince Carter a perfect fit, but not for the Raptors
  • Rob Babcock’s denial
  • If the Spurs offered Kawhi Leonard for…
  • Indiana denial
  • NBA Finals discussion – picking winners
  • Watching a game while tweeting
  • Internet picks

Grab the iTunes feed or check us out on Stitcher on Android. There is also the plain old feed. You can also download the file (41:11, 39 MB). Or just listen below:

  • Stef

    I’m not adverse to trading DeMar but, I gotta admit, I am curious all over again about what he’s gonna work on this summer *and*, considering how much he’s improved his shooting overall (lest we forget), I don’t assume that he’s not gonna become a good and maybe even a very good 3 pt shooter in time. The way he’s done that steady-improvement thing, it won’t surprise me a bit. But again, not adverse. But not for Gerald Henderson and the ninth pick, wouldn’t do that.

    Kawhi for DeMar? Spurs definitely hang up the phone. Besides Kawhi Leonard being very good, both ways, he also works as hard (I think) as DeMar does. Pop said recently he’s the first in the gym and the last out; he said he has to tell him to leave the gym, to go home. No offense to DeMar but it would take more than DD — a lot more, I’d say — to pry Kawhi away from the Spurs. And would the Raps make that trade? In a heartbeat. Faster than that, even. Can’t believe you’re not kidding, Z.

    Maybe a ‘Who Ya Got’ column for the Finals? Might not be huge but it’d be good for (maybe) some of the newer Raptors fans to get to know the game better by sort of encouraging them to watch the Spurs – Heat championship series. I can’t imagine hoops fans not watching it but … there might be a few who check in here (RR) who just wouldn’t bother. (Ya know?) Anyway, not betting the farm but I got the Spurs and fingers crossed. (Hope Tony Parker’s left ankle is good to go.)

    • Grumpy guy

      Most guys who leave San Antonio see a major drop-off in productivity. The culture, system and personnel have a lot to do with productivity. DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal come to mind, they leave and they become “just another guy”

      • unknown

        And we all see Marco Bellineli again…another point for the culture the Spurs have.

      • asifyouknow

        In San Antonio there is a system, even the superstars plays the system. Is Pops way or the highway. The way they do thing have made many of mediocre players shine..

    • asifyouknow

      Look, right now all teams know that he is not a good three guy, so they can lay off a bit and let him take some. Now lets imagine he becomes a very good three point shooter, now the defender will have to come to him, that would give DeMar the option to blow right by them.
      If he becomes a good downtown shooter, now you talking big time player

  • Grumpy guy

    When the evidence shows that stability is the way to create a championship team, why do people want to make wholesale changes to the Raptors? DeRozan has only improved EVERY year since he’s been in the league. Why the hate?

    • 2damkule

      why do you consider it ‘hating’ that people view him as a guy who, by being traded, could put the raptors over the top? y’know, considering that he still doesn’t have much of a handle, doesn’t create opportunities for his teammates, & has an unreliable 3-pt shot (which is being generous). but hey, year over year over year over year improvements (in his counting stats)!

  • ckh26

    No love for Demar ever. All this guy has done is improve himself year over year over year and has the respect of his team.
    From the 9 hole in the 2009 draft a scant 5 years ago he has become an allstar. Only 5 guys in that draft have done the same. Griffin/Harden/Demar/Holiday and Curry. He is one of them. And there is a school of thought that he is worth the “potential of a 9th round pick” (sarcastic laugh here) and a journeyman SG ?
    Bill Simmons like most of his populist NBA “commentators” suffers from an ego bigger than Ecuador and verbal diarehea of the idiotic sort. When you you need to fill air time or paper you have to something outrageous as you compete for credibility with the likes of Stephen A Smith and Chris Broussard. The more outrageous to be noticed the better.
    There is a reason they comment from the stands rather than actually hold NBA jobs. Its because they can’t do it. As writer (charitable here) you can afford to lob shit up and see if its sticks the wall. If not its off to the next story If your an actual NBA exec with team responsibilities you look and laugh at the likes of BIl and Stephen and Chris. This trade makes this point. Trading an actual mature tested NBA player who has worked his way to being an allstar in his 5th year for a 9th pick and a MLE FA signing. Really ? If the Raps did that Billy Bob would ask if they were sane. Bills style is heads I win and tails you lose.

    • 2damkule

      that’s true, to a degree, but crazy trades happen in the NBA all the time…teams give up bona fide players, sometimes even stars, for (apparently) minimal return, for a variety of reasons. OKC likely traded up the opportunity to win multiple chips when they dealt harden to houston. all simmons is really doing is what he always does, which is to see things in a bit of a bigger picture kind of way; he’s actually paying demar a fair compliment, all things considered – trading into this lottery (which, despite masai’s gamesmanship, isn’t nearly as overrated as the naysayers would have you believe) would be no small feat, and would require a substantial offer, which DD for #9 & henderson is. from CHA’s POV, i’m not sure they’d do it.

      • ckh26

        2DK.. Just don’t like Bill Simmons or the Bill Simmons types. Don’t like him because he is smarmy b*st*rd and personifies that in the manner in which he chooses to make his points. No one likes being condescended to and thats all he knows. If he was in the bar and put forward that kind of delivery I think inside of ten minutes there would be two – five – ten and a game scenario. That said.

        Your last statement ” trading into this lottery (which, despite masai’s gamesmanship, isn’t
        nearly as overrated as the naysayers would have you believe) would be no
        small feat, and would require a substantial offer, which DD for #9
        & henderson is. from CHA’s POV, i’m not sure they’d do it.”

        I think this captures how we the fans value or overvalue our assets. We in the Tdot are shaking our heads on the trade as being one sided in our view while Charlotte holds the same view from their side. That DD the allstar is not enough for the 9 pick this year and a rotation player. Its like when you sell your house. You think its a palace, the buyer thinks its an outhouse and the reality lies in between.
        Hoping the current GM is dispassionate and coldly analytical as he makes his first post season moves with the benefit of a year on the job and some tools (a couple of picks and some FA money).

  • Milesboyer

    Here’s how the conversation on the podcast about the Bill Simmons rumour should have gone: “So what do you think of B.S.’s suggestion of the Raps trading Demar for G. Henderson and the 9th pick” – “Well Zarar, I think it’s just Bill Simmons having fun – he loves coming up with trade scenarios, doesn’t mean they’ll ever happen and are even worth discussing. The reality is if you trade Demar for that package, Lowry’s not resigning, the fans will revolt and you would have to make 5 more moves and be targeting an entirely different future. There’s a better chance of Lebron James demanding a trade to the Raps then that scenario playing out.” – “Your right, let’s move on to a more sensible topic….”

    • ItsAboutFun

      haha, “”Your right, let’s move on to a more sensible topic….””

      You mean like “having fun…… coming up with trade scenarios, doesn’t mean they’ll ever happen and are even worth discussing”, as in Kawhi for DD? 😉

      Sorry, just had to say that the Kawhi thing came across as equal to Simmons’ throwing shit at the wall and seeing what reaction comes of it.

  • Minks77

    First off I wanna say I loved this past year and all the guys on it and I’m a big fan of DD.

    That being said I’d trade ANYONE on this team for the right deal. This team tops out, best case, as a 2nd round team. If everything worked out PERFECTLY this team might sneak into the ECFs but this isn’t a legit contender. I wholeheartedly agree with Zach Lowe (who actually watches raps games).

    I prefer DD and 1 or both second rounders for Luke and Bismack and the #9. Then you flip both picks and either of those players (can’t remember what the rule is on flipping players acquired thru offseason trades) or anyone other than Lowry or Jonas to move up to #3. Say #20, #9 Salmons and Ross to Philly for Thad Young and #3? MCW, Nerlens, Ross and 2 picks from the 2014 draft? That’s an interesting young squad. Philly gets to buy Salmons out for a mill and suddenly they have space to sign some much needed depth.

    • ItsAboutFun

      Man, the stuff some people come up with. The most bizarre often coming from someone claiming to be a DD fan.

      “ANYONE on this team for the right deal.” Well, yeah, but this is the “right deal”???? DD for Luke, who expires July 1st, Byumbo, a part-time role player at best, and the #9 is nowhere near the right deal. Not close, but you think that #9,coupled with the #20 is going to get heavy tanking Sixers to give up #3? hahaha. What’s so appealing to them in having 9 &20, when they currently have 3, 10, 32, 39, 47, 52, 54???? They worked really hard on their tank to get a top pick, and aren’t giving it up for 9 & 20.

      • Minks77

        DD for the 9th and a shot blocker is just the start. Philly gets two additional picks PLUS a 3rd year player on the upswing and clearing 6.5 (Salmons) is not the same thing as just 2 more picks. With all those picks maybe then they trade up. Milwaukee needs a lot more than 1 guy. hahaha, nice reading comprehension though. Maybe next time use a few more question marks?????

        • ItsAboutFun

          lol, some Dick & Jane reader spouting reading comprehension, lol. The multiple ?????s are simply to help me avoid appropriately insulting remarks, but thanks for your brilliance in presenting the convoluted trading scenarios that ends up in Philly trading down so they can trade up 1 spot. Makes great sense for the Bucks too, because they need more role players, so screw having the 2nd pick, lol.

          • Minks77

            I’m much more at ease being insulted than feeling like I’m arguing with a 12 year old girl. You still want to view it as just trading back to the 9th? Ross and the 9th and cap AND a later pick in what is supposed to be a deep draft. Diss it all you want, I don’t care just diss what I actually wrote and not some fragment that you’ve latched onto.

            • ItsAboutFun

              I can understand you being at ease with being insulted. Familiar ground is comforting. You should ease up on implied insults toward 12 year old girls though. You may be pissed that they’re further advances than you now, but some day you’ll catch up and find there are benefits to complimenting them now.

              • Minks77

                Your retort is weak as hell but it made me laugh.

                I thought it’s all about fun? I had fun spinning that trade idea up (which works from most angles, including salary) and I have fun dreaming we could work our way up into a top 3 pick. I had fun cheering on a raps team collecting Ws for a change and it only wet my appetite for REAL success. IE 50+ wins and legitimate contention. As loveable as the current squad is it has a very low ceiling. These aren’t the 2004 Detroit Pistons. This IS a talent driven league. Why shouldn’t we all be looking for creative ways to upgrade? You had your lil bit of fun acting all incredulous but you haven’t done shit but insult me and cherry pick parts of what I said and take those quotes out of context.

                Look, Philly is reportedly open anything. Whether that means trading MCW (they apparently love Exum) or a bunch of their picks and players. The only clear signal outta Philly is they are rebuilding around long, athletic young guys. After the season they just had it stands to reason they won’t love trotting out an all rookie/sophmore team next year. Also stands to reason that some of their higher paid vets are very gettable. my proposal is two additional pick for their one, future second rounders galore if they want them, Ross (a 3 and D guy in the making who’d look great next to the range/defense challenged ROY) and Salmons helps them clear a ton of space AND they move TY who is definitely not happy there at this point in his career. So tell me, why is that so far fetched? Philly has enough picks to likely be able to consolidate some and move on up if they want (Exum is looking like a 5-8 pick on a lot of boards anyway), or package and trade for high level veteran help that they desperately need (esp post guys). The proposal may look foolish to you. Personally I think I’ve seen crazier things happen.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Lame perhaps, but fits with your lame 12 year old girl crack. And yes, it looks foolish to me. I’d rather discuss realistic trade possibilities, rather than fantasy basketball type trades.

                • Minks77

                  Again, weak. Any discussion of trades done here is done based entirely off of speculation by peeps like you and I who are at the VERY end of the long line of broken telephone that are trade rumours. Any way you cut it these are all fantasies. Real trade possibilities? As long as it works cap wise ANYTHING is possible. Some are so unlikely as to be foolish, say lebron for Landry and Amir but that’s not what I posited. You wanna jump all over what I wrote and act all incredulous without contributing a damned thing either for or against what I wrote? That’s fine. It’s a punk move and not conducive to any real form of discussion but if that’s what gets you off then so be it.

                  If I’d of proposed Rudy for the 4 kings this time last year you’d if laughed at that too

                • ItsAboutFun

                  lol, “act all incredulous”? No, I’m not skeptical about your fantasies. I find it laughable.

                  “If I’d of proposed Rudy…….”. You could use a little tempering of your perceived accuracy of your views, but any proposed deal for Rudy doesn’t belong in the same discussion as your laughable fantasies.

    • noname

      the people who call themselves raptors fans…hey while we’re at it let’s trade terrence ross for a rack of basketballs!!! That kid is the next andrea bargnani anyway right?? FIRESALE BITCHES: anyone’s available for mediocre players and not so high picks from an overrated draft!!!!! GO CRAPTORS!! Whoops I meant GO RAPTORS!!! Like seriously I need an aspirin…

      • Minks77

        Yeah That’s what I said.

        • 2damkule

          it’s pretty amazing…some ‘fans’ are so scared of making changes and disrupting a team that won 48 games in a watered-down EC. they seem to forget that teams all around them are trying to improve as well. the surest way to mediocrity is to stand pat & hope/assume that your talent will simply grow/develop into a legit contender. right now, with the key pieces of this team back next year, it would pretty much be the same – or close to the same – result. sure, JV & ross could definitely (and likely will) improve, but so will other young players on other teams. you said it above, this is a talent-driven league, and if you don’t have top-tier talent, you are not going to win. the. end. so, if you think that the guys they have now are, or can become, top-tier talents, then sure, stand-pat, fill out the roster, etc.

          • sleepz

            All it will take is a drop in seeding next year and some will start to come to grips with the fact that last year was good, but it was last year.

            If you think they can just stand pat and cruise to the 3 seed again, there might be some wake up calls forthcoming

          • ItsAboutFun

            To some, what’s “pretty amazing” is that some fans keep spewing the same rhetoric over and over and over, even when it’s inapplicable to the conversation. It was about commenting on the proposed multi team trading that:
            – starts with the MU being foolish enough to trade DD for a #9 pick and scraps
            – so that they can then trade that pick and #20 to Philly, Making an assumption that Philly are idiots and wish to forget about their hard tanking job for a HIGH #3 pick, because those #9 and #20 picks are so attractive to them, to go along with their #10, 32, 39 + 3 more 2nd rounders. You can fantasize all you want, but if it makes zero sense for the other team, as it does NOT fit at all with what they obviously planned, some fans may just call it out. Is that all tight?
            – when questioned, the response was then that Philly could use those to trade up to #2, because the Bucks are assumed dumb enough to trade their good fortune.

            That’s what the conversation is, NOTHING to do with “fans so scared of making changes” and wanting to “stand-pat”. That bullshit, further supported by your buddy sleepz, doesn’t even qualify as a straw man argument because it’s not even close to what’s being said. Just oft repeated white noise.

            • Minks77

              In all fairness I only threw out the Philly Milwaukee thing as an off the cuff comment in response to why philly might look to be a little more dynamic with their horde if draft picks than you assume they will be. Philly doesn’t want 7 fucking rookies (5 being second round picks) on the team next year. I’d bet they try and leverage some of those in pre draft trades.

              Also, yes I do believe philly has a shit front office. They have for a long time.

  • jjdynomite

    Bill Simmons The BostonSportsGuyHomer is good for a laugh; end of story.

    Onto REAL news, I’m disappointed that Kyle only got 10 votes (first team 3) for All-NBA Defensive Team. Obviously CP3 should be the first PG taken; he’s incredible (2.5 steals per game). But Kyle had 1.5 SPG, and, as Devlin never hesitated to remind us, he led the league in charges taken. I’m also okay with Iguodala as the second guard considering he helped turn Golden State’s team a 180 defensively.

    I know Beverley (first team 44, second team 24) and Jimmy Butler (first team 29, second team 45) are solid and all, but not THAT much better than Kyle. This reeks to me of American Big Market (Houston, Chicago) players garnering more votes than they deserve at Kyle’s/Toronto’s expense.

    But then again, even Mike Conley (first team 5, 21 total) and Ricky Rubio (first team 5, 19 total) got more votes than Kyle. I think this is another case of Kyle’s bad reputation coming into play, such as when Shaq scoffed at him deserving an All-Star nod.

    Funny enough, DeMar got one lonely vote. Doug Smith?

    • rapierraptor

      Reputation also at play in how guys like Beverly and Butler are perceived. Not just big market but also their backgrounds (circuitous route to the NBA, difficult childhood) heightens perception of them as tough, hard- nosed defenders.

    • rapierraptor
      • jjdynomite

        Thanks rapierraptor, that was interesting. From the Washpost article I clicked through to the PDF of the spreadsheet of the votes. Gotta give it to Matty D to back up his proclamations by giving Lowry a G 1st team vote (along with Butler).
        Weirdly, a Mr. Brian Davis from Fox Sports Oklahoma gave the lone 2nd team vote to DeRozan, which only makes sense in that Stephen Curry (!?) was on his 1st team (along with CP3) and Sefolosha was his other G on the 2nd team (homer alert). Perhaps he made a “mistake” in submitting too.

  • ItsAboutFun

    Speaking of officiating, I can’t believe nobody has called out the refs for not tossing Stephenson for that deliberate hit to the head of Cole. Everybody seems to say he was going for the ball, but replays show there was zero attempt at the ball, which was well below the swipe, and already past him when his swipe began.

    • Grumpy guy

      The officiating was BRUTAL as far as protecting the game’s greatest player. The fact Lebron didn’t punch Stephenson out is a testament to his greatness. Stephenson is a punk. Back in the day Oakley, Lambeer, Mahorn types would have taken care of him the right way.

      • why

        Ah Glory Days – who was more of a gutless punk than Bill Laimbeer – the master of dangerous cheap shots from behind – look up the youtube video of him grabbing larry bird from behind in the ’87 play-offs and twisting him like a pretzel. A better example of an enforcer is Robert Parrish – too bad he didn’t ko Laimbeer later in the series when he punched him – as Red Auerbach said at The Chief’s retirement ceremony ‘the only time I was ever upset with Robert was that he didn’t hit the bad guy from Detroit harder’

  • truth be told

    Shouldn’t really speculate on made up media rumors but anyone thinking Demar is untouchable or shouldn’t be moved for a better player, doesn’t get it.

    You are going NO WHERE with Derozan as the center of your offence. 20ft jumpers, no handles, invisible defender…. yeah, that guy is a keeper.

    You think his game is getting better and while there have been some marginal improvements (offensively) it’s due to increased usage more than anything.

    • ItsAboutFun

      Since you’re riding around on your high horse, spouting nothing but rhetorical generalities, how about you demonstrate what “you get”? Who is this “better player” you think can be had for DD, and what does he bring to the team to make them appreciably better?

      Effing mouths spouting nothing but general concepts that they’ve stated 50 times already, after reading them 100 times.

      • truth be told

        Lol. You’re the biggest rider of high horses around here bro.

        I’m not a GM so I can’t tell you who they should be looking to move him for, but I can tell you if you are looking to improve the team, it would be wise to try and move him for a better player while his stock is as high as it’s ever been (and might well ever be).

        I can name you players that would be immediate improvements, short and long term but I have no idea if other GM’s would be foolish enough to make the deals.

        Do you think because I can’t provide concrete examples of players to trade for that it means you are saying something relevant? lol. I guarantee you that if I did make any suggestions you”d run with “you don’t know if this guys available” or “yeah. there you go making up fake trades like Simmons” We can see through your weak game like saran wrap bro.

        Who spouts more general B.S than Pooka? Noooooo bodddddy.

        • webfeatmm

          What if his stock isn’t high? What if other GMs actually don’t value him as much as the Raptors management does (due to seeing him work hard every day)? Would you be willing to trade DD for a bench player?

        • ItsAboutFun

          lol, Flux!!!! Been wondering which of these yahoos you’ve been hiding as!

          • FLUXLAND

            I don’t hide, sheriff p00ka. Are you “so psyched out that you keep seeing me in any new poster” that remembers/recognizes your MO? lol.

  • jakdripr

    The hell does Bill Simmons know about the Raptors? All that idiot knows is Miami, the rest of the nba doesn’t exist to his dumb ass. Demar has shown no signs that he’s not developing even more, in fact, I heard he’s going to work with Olajuwon as well. I realize this might not result in anything, but it reflects the type of player he is and the work ethic he has.

    In summary, Bill Simmons can eat a dick and he needs to keep that raptors out of his mouth because he doesn’t know shit.

    But nice podcast, keep up the good work guys.

    • 2damkule

      ah, i see…if someone compliments the raptors or a raptor, then he’s obviously a genius, but if he suggests trading a guy to get into a loaded lottery, he’s an idiot. gotcha. he thinks masai is a jedi, is that him being an idiot as well?

      oh, and can you explain why DD’s still such a miserable ball-handler, 3-pt shooter, distributor/passer & defender, if he’s improved every year for the last 5 years?

      • jakdripr

        Way to jump to conclusions, I don’t call BS an idiot because he said something negative about the raptors, in this case he actually didn’t. I call him an idiot because he’s an idiot. This is the man that said the city of Toronto won’t care if the raps started winning, claimed the Spurs overpaid Tiago Splitter, and said Doc Rivers quit on the Celtics. The man is a fool and shouldn’t be getting paid to talk about Basketball.

        In regards to Demar, yes, he is still a miserable defender and his handles still need to improve. But he has in fact improved his passing from last season and his 3pt percentage also improved exponentially so I’m not sure where you’re getting that impression from. He still isn’t Ray Allen and he probably never will be, but the team doesn’t even need him to be. He’s also improved his midrange game, adding the infamous midrange jumper that also opened up his driving game and allowed him to get to the freethrow line more frequently as well. He still has a long way to go, but he’s only 24.

        But if watching him play this season didn’t convince you of his improvement season to season, I don’t expect anything I say will.

  • Doc

    As DanH over in the RR forums mentions, alot of people are misinterpreting what Simmons said or is at least implying:

    • ItsAboutFun

      Simmons’ fantasy of Masai being a miracle making god doesn’t lend a bit of credibility to the trade scenario he chose to dress his MU miracle making fantasies in. If he only wanted to make some general statement about MU’s trading acumen, perhaps he ought to avoid specific examples that are foolish. But then, he knows the surest way of getting hits for his website is to spew something stupid regarding the Raptors. The flies will swarm.

      • 2damkule

        yeah, the success of grantland hinges on what the lunatic fringe of raptors fans does. and you’re suggesting that simmons is out to lunch?

        • ItsAboutFun

          You really ought to change your tag to Strawman.

    • ckh26

      Simmons is the crown prince of smarm and an apex grinf*cker. This bag of pus has and will continue to make things up to garner reaction and play off it for his gain and his targets loss. I would not be alone to cheer loudly to hear that he suffered a personal injury that prevented him from passing on his DNA back into the gene pool..

  • SR

    Simmons tosses teade machine trades all the time just for fun or the sake of discussion. Some of you guys need to ease up a bit.

    I appreciate DeMar as much as the next guy, but go take a look at shooting stats for top 20 playoff scorers – DeMar’s are AWFUL. If this guy is going to be the team’s first or second scoring option, he needs to become much, much more efficient. If you don’t think efficient scoring is all that important, take a look at who made the Finals….

  • asifyouknow

    Just a little feel good quote from Vasquez:

    “When I was young in Venezuela, I used to tell my friends that one day I would reach the NBA. They used to laugh and tell me I was crazy. Nowadays they call me and ask for tickets to my performances, signed clothing or tennis shoes. The message I would like to transmit to everyone is “Do not laugh of somebody’s crazy dream, because there is crazy people like me who achieve them.”

    Here is a tweet:
    al ‏asifyouknow May 30
    @greivisvasquez happy you took the time to enjoy after a year of hard work the work will be harder, folks expect lot more from you

    Greivis Vasquez ‏@greivisvasquez May 30
    @asifyouknow:disqus we all expecting more haha… I love the pressure you know that… Big summer
    This guy is ready to play in Toronto, he loves the community. I not a fan of the coach but men I think if they sign Lowry, Vaz and a few legit bigs, man this will be a hell of a team…..Be awesome if Toronto could get someone like Ibaka…….ulala that would be huge, just dreaming…would they take DeMar? kidding…How about getting Deng?

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  • Ian

    It is hard to be on this site and have to read the constant trade scenarios and disapproval thrown Demar’s way – its essentially just a never ending war of words between thinking-basketball-people (aka. the Demar is overrated camp) and loyal, emotionally invested fans who have seen Demar ascend and grow in the league, even becoming an all-star last season.

    Why should the Raptors get rid of a guy who has done nothing but improve every year, who works exceptionally hard and put up all-star numbers, you ask?

    Well, plainly, he can’t space the floor and he can’t defend – if you are a starting shooting guard in the NBA, you really need to do at least one of those things. Further more, he’s only getting to a point now where he is becoming an average playmaker (I’m actually really enthused about this part of his game expanding), and his handle is below average for a guard. Those are a lot of flaws, flaws that handcuff the team and make it so that a perfect fit with Demar requires a very particular, rare type of player – an elite sized 3 and D specialist, who also can create off the dribble with a nose for finding teammates. Spoiler Alert: There is nobody like that in this years draft, and only a few guys show the potential of developing into that – Wiggins in 3 years, Rodney Hood if he suddenly becomes a lock down defender and expert ball handler, Aaron Gordon if he can shoot NBA 3’s consistently above average from more spots than just the short corner… blah, blah, etc. etc., blah.

    The answers aren’t there because the player being described is an all-star level player, a Kawhi Leonard, Paul George type, AKA someone WAY better than Demar.

    So why shouldn’t we trade him, you ask?

    Well, plainly, he is only a step-below becoming an elite scorer, with burgeoning other aspects of his game. Aside from his 3-point shot, there really isn’t much difference between Demar and James Harden – practically none. Of course, the difference in shooting skills is an important difference, but you can’t sleep on Demar’s SUPER ELITE ability to get to the free throw line. Furthermore, he is a stud in transition, an excellent late shot clock option (even if he is chucking up rhythm pull up 2’s), a good finisher and a tireless competitor. HE WANTS TO GET BETTER.

    So what can he get better at? What is within the realm of possibility?

    He can get better from an IQ standpoint both defensively in understanding team schemes, and in floor spacing/ good shot finding and facilitating on offense. In fact, I’d wager that if Toronto had a better offensive coach that Demar would already be above average for an off-guard in creating for teammates – unfortunately, he doesn’t have someone like Popovich teaching him. That being said, his past season he made some improvements raising his total ASTs and AST% – welcome signs for a player who never wants to stop building.

    Where else can he get better? Incremental improvements in both ball handling and shooting, paired with better basketball IQ – side note, don’t kid yourself – some of Demar’s late shot clock hero ball antics/ dribbling intro trouble situations, are caused by poor coaching asking Demar to do things that aren’t strengths. But lets be honest, in both shooting and ball-handling, he is only likely ever to achieve being near average – given his work ethic, I expect him to get there.

    What can’t he improve on? lateral quickness, scorer’s mentality (he will always want to be THE MAN), bouts with poor decision making, ball handling and shooting (to a certain degree).

    Unexpert analysis: Jesus Christ, this is complicated. But, I think trading Demar would be a step backwards as we often overlook the things he does really well. Not to mention that Lowry is a perfect compliment to his skills, and if we can get smart shooters, defenders and facilitators around Demar at the 3-4 spot, I think we could go places. The only problem is, TRoss is a shooting guard, and Amir doesn’t fit the needs stated (well, defensively he does) – meaning if we REALLY like Demar we have to make a choice, because as it stands, I just don’t see the current core working out – these pieces just don’t fit.

    What do I think we should do? I like the versatility that Aaron Gordon would bring to he 3-4 spots, and I think he could develop into what this team needs (elite defence, ball handling, play making and intangibles – and he should learn to shoot corner 3’s well), plus a guy like Luol Deng a SF would be swell. Unfortunately, I just don’t see us being able to find those perfect fits, meaning it’s going to be hard to build, meaning Jonas NOT Demar is the key to this team’s success (something everyone has been saying for awhile now anyways), which is a whole other story.

    • rapierraptor

      Smart post. This pretty much sums things up. You’d have to package Ross, #20, cap relief and likely more to nab Gordon somewhere in the 5-10 range. A lot of GMs have a serious man crush on Gordon so he’ll be an especially hard get. The other thing happening is that a lot of Raptor’s fans seem to be seriously overestimating what our spare parts will yield in the trade market.

      • Ian

        You think we’d have to give up Ross, #20 and cap relief to get Gordon in the 6-9 range? Damn, thats a lot. I was thinking Ross and #37 or #59 would get it done for either Sacramento or Charlotte. I’d love having Aaron Gordon on this squad, his ball handling and unique skills could really transform for the four spot in this league.

        Commenting on what I alluded to earlier – the solution, withe keeping Demar (as I think we should) is to surround him with what he lacks at the 3-4 spot. We can’t fill those shoes with LBJ, but maybe we can find players that split those qualities between – IE a 3 and D SF and a ball handling, playmaking PF (Please, Aaron Gordon, Please)

    • webfeatmm

      “an elite sized 3 and D specialist, who also can create off the dribble with a nose for finding teammates.”

      Free agent LBJ signing by Toronto confirmed.

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