Step 1: Raptors make a pick.

Step 2: Experts on TV react with incredulity or snide remarks.

Step 3: Fan base is aghast that their team took an international player or lesser known underclassman.

Step 4: Local media comes to the defence of the team (often with the ‘I think the GM knows more than you’ argument).

Step 5: A few dissenting Raptors fans begin to loudly defend a player that they’ve barely — if ever — seen play.

Step 6: Fans increasingly talk themselves into the player over the course of the summer, sometimes going so far as to talk about how the newcomer will displace his positional incumbent upon arrival.

Step 7: Fans and the local media begin to walk in lockstep in deriding the head coach for not giving the player more minutes.

Step 8: Things begin to normalize once the draftee has played a year for the club and becomes just another NBA player, one that has to live and die based on his actual skills and performance like every other player in the NBA.

Step 9: Experts, local media and fans begin eyeing the next NBA draft.

Step 10: Raptors make a pick.

This is a cycle that has been tacitly nurtured over years by an organization that rarely does what is expected of them on draft night — a tradition that dates back to Toronto’s first-ever draft pick of Damon Stoudamire in 1995 and extends to last night’s selection of Bruno Caboclo with the club’s 20th-overall first round pick. The Raptors are traditionally one of the hardest organizations to pin down on draft night, and while that generally works in the team’s favour as it pertains to getting the guy that they want, it also creates a lot of angst amongst fans (and some members of the media) that are haunted by the perception that their team is seen as some sort of ‘outsider’ and wish that the organization would just do what was expected of them for once instead of drawing all sorts of attention to itself by being such an unapologetic weirdo.

The truth is, though, I’ve grown to love how weird Toronto is on draft night. I love that the organization has begun to make it’s outsider status it’s calling card, with campaigns like We The North and “Fuck Brooklyn” being perhaps the most declarative statements in that regard. I love how they make draft picks that visibly piss off the vaguely xenophobic draft night panel on ESPN. I love that the club went so far into left field last night that Adrian Wojnarowski couldn’t find them. The only part I don’t love is how reluctant Toronto’s fans are to jump on the weirdo train with them.

The last three drafts that Toronto has participated in have largely solidified my adoration for Toronto’s bonkers draft nights. I had zero idea that the Raptors were seriously targeting Jonas Valanciunas back in 2011, and while I’d seen him play I was nowhere near as familiar with him as I was with Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight, both players that were unexpectedly available when Toronto picked fifth that year. Ditto Terrence Ross, who I’d seen play a little but was far more comfortable with Austin Rivers and Jeremy Lamb. With each passing year of totally unexpected picks, though, I became more and more enraptured with the idea that the Raptors looked like they were trolling the NBA, and then I grew even more impressed with the fact that these players kept proving that they were, in fact, better than group of guys that the Raptors were supposed to have missed on.

And Caboclo is like the acme of Weirdo Mountain. The Raptors actually managed to fall in love with a player that is a ghost on the internet and YouTube, a near-impossibility in the year 2014. This is a player that most people who are paid to follow the NBA didn’t even know existed. The narrative that emerged almost immediately was that the Raptors went hunting through the Brazilian rainforest, came upon a ludicrous physical specimen and decided to secretly smuggle him back to Canada. It’s such an odd-ball situation that the most common post-draft grade that the Raptors have been receiving has been an ‘incomplete’ — that’s how little the NBA cognoscenti know about this guy. Will he ever be able to make a notable impact at the NBA level? I don’t know, but I also don’t know if Tyler Ennis, Jordan Adams or Rodney Hood will either. Seriously, we’re talking about the bottom-third of the NBA draft, here. We’re talking about hunting for a 9th or 10th guy in the rotation. I’m not trying to devalue the importance of the NBA draft, it’s vitally important to team-building, but of late the Raptors have had success marching to the beat of their own drum and I’m learning to love that funky oddball rhythm.

I wish the Raptors fan base would love the chaos as much as I do. Toronto fans have always fought against their outsider status, constantly begging for more American attention, coverage and praise. The fact is, though, that the Raptors are the only team in the NBA to play outside of America, so no matter how badly some want to fight against it, they are outsiders. Toronto will never be indistinguishable from Chicago, Phoenix or Milwaukee. No matter how different those markets may be, they are all united by a single nationality. Toronto’s organization has taken steps to embrace their distinction, but the fans still seem unable to shake the need to normalize. Well here’s the truth: normal teams don’t win in the NBA. Team’s have to be willing to be bold, to be daring and to be weird. Begging to play in the same sandbox with everyone else just gets you stuck in the same sandbox with everyone else. The Raptors wanna get weird? Get weird with them. Get excited when the Raptors zig on draft night when everyone expected them to zag. Break the cycle, embrace the weird picks and boo the expected picks. It’s not like anyone has any certainty about which players will pan out anyway (sorry if that goes against absurd notion that there is some sort of infallible science behind the NBA draft). The Raptors have been making strong headway of late by being weird and it’s time to celebrate that draft night tradition rather than continuing to bristle at it. Sure, not every weird pick will pan out, but not every safe pick will either, and at the end of the day if you’re gonna strike out wouldn’t you rather strike out swinging for the fences?

Plus, I don’t know if anyone has pointed this out to you fans yet, but you’re weird. Raptors fans are just a weird collection of people, and it’s wonderful. Thousands of you stood outside, in the rain, to watching your team play on a big TV hanging from the side of an arena instead of watching warm, and dry, on your own TV. That’s wonderfully weird. Draft night should be the perfect marriage between weird picks and weird fans, but the connection isn’t manifesting. I’ll tell you want, though: on June 25th, 2015, I’ll be loudly cheering for the Raptors to make everyone else shake their heads in confusion, and I hope one or two of you will join in and cheer alongside me.

  • http://skritch.blogspot.com/ Nathan Ng

    Typo. Twice.

  • Andre Julian Ward

    I’d love to see this Cabocio you speak of play.

  • slightly less angry raps fan

    Thanks for writing this it makes me feel slightly less let down about not selecting a proven player… Also I’ve been loudly arguing on message boards with people who are in step 5 (vehemently defending a player they don’t know anything about) and this made me realize how pointless it is to argue about this until after we’ve all seen him play

  • c_bcm

    Well said!

  • jjdynomite

    “Seriously, we’re talking about the bottom-third of the NBA draft, here. We’re talking about hunting for a 9th or 10th guy in the rotation.” Seriously, Chisholm? Lowry was drafted 24th overall; Amir was drafted in the 2nd round, 56th overall.

    You can defend Bruno Mars all you want, and I for one am reserving judgment — either positive or negative — until I see the kid play in Summer League; but don’t spew this sort of simplistic Doug Smith-like defense. It’s hugely patronizing to your readership.

    It would have been just as “oddball” if the Raptors drafted the Swiss Clint Capela, whose ancestry is from the Congo — like Serge Ibaka (who was drafted 24th overall, by the way). Difference is, we could turn on Raptors NBATV and watch Capela be interviewed as he ***actually tried out for the team***. So why should Raptors fans be anything but skeptical for someone who has received absolutely ZERO publicity, let alone upside buzz? Jonas had tons of buzz; true, Ross did not, but playing for Washington he could easily be evaluated post-draft.

    I’d tell you to keep your TSN day job, but, well, you know….

    • ac1011990

      Ya I don’t understand why we didn’t draft a guy like Capela along with Bruno. We could have had him at 22, Memphis seemed willing to part with the pick and there were rumours Masai liked Capela. This draft was weird and confusing and even though I don’t mind the 20th pick I’m still pretty disappointed overall.

      • StrikerAI

        Memphis decided not to trade last minute, or else it would have gone through. The original I think was picking Ennis at 20 and Bruno at 22. Ennis was already gone, and Bruno apparently was on OKC’s, the Spurs’ and maybe a few others’ radars, so Masai decided to take him instead of missing out on 2 prospects he wanted to draft.

    • moderate_observer

      Interestingly neither Kyle nor Amir plays for the team that drafted them. Kyle is on his third team and had his breakout year this year. Safe to say both those picks did not have a major impact on the team that picked them. Thats the typical result of late first round and second round picks. Nobody, knows which of these picks will be a big deal.

  • IROR

    Haha well done, Tim

  • NumbRaptorsFan

    Great article but it’s tough to embrace a 20 year strategy that has resulted in 1 playoff series win and more losing seasons than winning. I’m never going to stop cheering for the Raptors but I will not celebrate a losing strategy and tradition. The Raptors scouts and Masai Ujiri are 100% smarter than fans, but they are not smarter than every executive and scout in the NBA. If Bruno pans out, it is straight luck and nothing more, just like every athletic freak that isn’t in NCAA Division 1.

    • jjdynomite

      … Or every athletic freak that is in NCAA Division 1. No time to research, but I am sure that for every Andre Drummond athletic freak (1 year at UConn, drafted 9th overall) there is an Anthony Randolph athletic freak who bombs (1 year at LSU, drafted14th overall). It’s all luck. But it’s silly for some posters to compare to Araujo — other than country of origin — whose upside was non-existent. Bruno Mars has non-non-existent upside, if you can call it that.

    • Bru-yes

      It’s not straight luck, it’s more like a card game. Luck plays a huge part but there is some knowledge/skill involved. If this guy pans out even mildly that’s a huge notch in Ujiri’s belt. The fact that he was on NOBODY’S (at least 1st rnd.) radar means Ujiri has qualities that set him apart from the rest of the league. If he doesn’t work out – oh well – we lost the next coming of Joey Graham had we taken someone like Daniels or Early.

      • Bru-yes

        I meant KJ McDaniels.

  • truth be told

    I would love to embrace the Raps drafting an elite player.

    I don’t need anything other than that as a fan. Always respect your insight Tim but if Raps can draft a star whether it is popular opinion (Wiggins for instance) or unpopular, that’s all I care about.

    I’ll embrace the ‘weirdness’ when they show me they can draft the talent.

  • CJT

    People are confused and angered by things they don’t understand. I for one agree with you Tim, it is time to stop craving the American spotlight like some attention starved little brother. I love that we stand out from the rest of the league and that we have a management team who isn’t afraid to make the unpopular choice despite what Chad Ford says. I would much rather take a flier on someone with great potential than a safer pick with decent bench player as their upper potential limit at this spot in the draft.

  • GoingBig

    This Caboclo pick reminds me of the pre-draft Raptors Republic discussion of Clint Capela
    http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2014/06/24/raptors-take/

    “Considering how much talent the Raptors still need, their best strategy in the draft would be to go for a home run rather than a single, and Capela has the potential that could lead to a home run. At least for the 20th pick.”

    Caboclo is that type of home-run risk – we’ll hear less noise if he’s able to compete in summer league and then spend time on the bench.

    We did take a hit in the NBA culture respect department – it’s a conservative consensus(too conservative) about who people talk about. The Raptors could have been more mainstream & more “inside” with a regular pick.
    And I cannot deny a regret that Ujiri didn’t risk (that’s the word) waiting until the 37th pick for Caboclo.

    We will see.

  • raptorstand

    Nice read, This GM got rid of Bargs and Gay. To me this man walks on water. I was sitting on the couch with the popcorn and the drink and all ready for the normal kid from Duke or U Conn, but the man from Africa picks some kid from Brazil. My mouth dropped and I listened to the commentators laughing and making snide remarks and I thought to myself , the man that walks on water has to know something I don’t. F’em we have a project that could turn out to be something really cool. Onto signing Lowry. Lets go Raps.

  • mcHAPPY

    Nice!

  • ac1011990

    I don’t have a problem with the pick, if Masai liked the guy he did the right thing by grabbing him as soon as he could. I felt like probably most fans did when they called his name but he seems to be interesting and hopefully will pan out.

    My problem is that the results of the draft give a confusing vibe about the team. Masai kept the core together because he thought they were good enough, for what I’m not sure though. If we’re going forward with this team, and it certainly seems that way for now, we could have filled some holes at PF, SF and C with the guys in the draft but it really seemed like a half assed effort on Masai’s part. After a deep draft we still have holes at PF, C and possibly SF so the direction of the team is really confusing. To top it off we might have no PG and basically the exact same team as last year with the same problems.

    • Johnson

      Free Agency hasn’t even started yet……….

      You can get players of similar impact in FA to what you could have gotten at pick 20 by taking a safe/popular pick. In fact, those type of players are usually a dime a dozen in FA. Not one team with a pick outside the lottery significantly improved/altered the complexion of their team as of today. After the lottery it’s a toss up just look at the past 15 drafts.

      Why don’t you wait until the first few waves of FA until you start complaining about holes on the team? Even before the draft, Masai was saying how the 20th pick would most likely not be able to make a significant impact right away considering the talent/competitiveness of the current Raptors roster (unless a really talented player dropped that far, which did not happen btw). Anyone who thinks you can EXPECT to fill holes on a roster with a pick in the 2nd round has no knowledge of how the NBA works. At best the Raptors with their picks could fill ONE hole and they think they did that with the selection of Bruno (SF). That leaves 2 holes left which you indicated that include PF and C. If Patterson re-signs then there is no hole there (and NO a PF at the 37th pick would NOT be filling a hole… you can’t rely on 2nd round picks). This basically leaves 1 hole left on the roster at backup C going into FA. You are seriously worried about the holes on this team when all they really need to do is sign a quality backup C? …… Isn’t that kind of stupid?

      They won’t have the exact same team as last year with the same problems by virtue of the very young core becoming more mature basketball minds and improving their individual games and team chemistry (and there are still FA’s to acquire and the possibility of trades). No intelligent individual can argue that JV, Ross, Patterson, and Derozan have peaked and will not continue to improve. JV and Ross especially have significant room for improvement which can drastically alter the effectiveness of the unit.

      Patience is key. C’mon guys… at least wait until the major part of the off-season is over before we start bitching about the roster heading into the 14/15 season. It’s premature and just plain silly at this point

      • ac1011990

        Free agency isn’t a strong suit for the Raptors, thats just how it is, we have a hard time attracting guys of value and if they do come here we have to over pay. We arnt getting guys like Lebron, Love or Carmelo so our best bet is the draft. I’m not against the 20th pick, Masai thinks he has potential and wanted him, that’s great, we need to try and pick guys like this.

        Lets go over realistic free agents in our price range. I’m not going to go over SF because Masai drafted Daniels, id rather him over any of the realistic possibilities in our price range. Bruno at this point does not count because he might not ever be good enough to play in the league, hes all potential at this point. At PF some possibilities are Ed Davis, Jordan Hill, Kris Humphries, Blatche, Mcroberts. I like Patterson and think if we can resign him we should but hes nothing that i would lose sleep over if he left. Id rather draft a guy like Capela who could potentially become our starting PF, he was available at 22nd if Masai wanted the Grizzles pick. At center the backup free agents arnt so bad, Kaman, Okafor, Hawes and maybe Gortat. This draft wasn’t to great for C so il give you that. Point is why are we wasting chances at drafting guys, we arnt in any position to let assets go, in order to wait for free agency. Masai didn’t even seem to try, rumors were he liked Capela so why didn’t he go after him? I would take a guy, even a lesser hyped prospect at 30th then the options we usually have in free agency.

        Raptor fans have had enough waiting, we dont need to give it a few more months or days or years. Most of us arnt asking for much, draft players and dont over pay or chase unspectacular free agents, like our history shows. The young guys are developing and thats great, that doesn’t mean we should stop drafting players, this is not a championship or even a legitimate threat of a team, so why are we passing up players. You can find gems in the draft even at the 59th pick so why wouldn’t you try atleast.

        • Johnson

          That is my point though… the Raptors have trouble luring big time players and that is a level that Masai believes Bruno has the ability to reach over all other players that were left on the board. The Raptors, however, do not have trouble getting role players as free agents and that is the level of player that is almost always attained after pick 20. Look at the past decade of drafts.. it is very rare that players in this draft range ever become more than rotation players that are always available in free agency. So what are they losing out on exactly?

          “I would take a guy, even a lesser hyped prospect at 30th then the options we usually have in free agency”

          ….. ok this is what I don’t understand about your thinking process. What I am saying (and what Masai has also explained in his post-draft interviews) is that players at this point in the draft almost always turn into average role/rotation players and that is also what they are projected to be. And many of these players do not even reach that level, fading out of the league quite quickly. My impression is that you seem to think that the players selected in this draft range some how have an equal impact to coveted FA’s. I am saying that this is incorrect for the vast majority of cases and that you can easily get a player who is just as talented with more experience and polish through FA because they are equally NOT coveted and very average to mediocre. Toronto does NOT have an issue getting average and mediocre role players to sign in FA. Those players almost always just go for the money/playing opportunity.

          The Raptors chose the player that they believed had the most upside and was the best prospect with potentially the best return. A prospect that could turn into a player that would otherwise be unattainable through FA. They passed on players that deemed very average with like players attainable through FA. Simple as that.

          “You can find gems in the draft even at the 59th pick so why wouldn’t you try atleast”

          …. just because a team does not use their very late pick but instead trades it away does not mean they didn’t try. they gave the players a chance through scouting them and no player was deemed worthy of the selection. and at pick 59 you can easily invite similar prospects to your summer league team. the success rate for the last 5 picks is like 1% c’mon man for real?

          • ac1011990

            When is the last time we got an impact free agent signing? We can get plenty of DJ Augustine’s or Tyler Hansbrough’s so why are we bypassing draft picks for guys like that. We are not the Spurs, we can’t take average guys and turn them into useful pieces, they end up rotting on the bench like Tyler even though I’ve always liked him and his energy. You seem to think that just because they are projected to be role players that’s what they become. Many teams have found very good players in the later parts of the draft.

            I don’t know what your even arguing about, all of our important pieces are either drafted or we got them through trading, other then Hansbrough and I think Fields I don’t even think any of the raptors have been obtained from free agency. The whole point of the draft is to even the playing field for teams like ours, teams who have a harder time attracting impact free agents. You draft as much as you can and if they turn out great, that’s awesome if they turn out as role players that’s fine.

            I’m not saying that I feel that draft picks are equal to impact free agents I’m saying that I’d rather take a chance on guys like Capela then a Hansbrough. Obviously if you give me a choice between Love and Capela I’d take Love but when is the last time the Raps have attracted a guy like that? I don’t understand how you think that draft picks are less valuable then guys like Tyler or Augustine, what we lose out on when we decide that we can role players through free agency is the potential of the pick to turn into something special.

  • DerekHologram

    I’m so weird I’d like to see a new GM. Using the logic in this piece one could justify drafting a wino. We are not allowed to be critical of this team because they are always selling the future and one cannot judge the future for years to come. It is a great scam they have going and people keep falling for it. I only have Toronto’s best interests at heart and only I can judge what is best, not stupid fans.

    • dchoubak

      Not making much sense here dude.

      • DerekHologram

        Your brevity makes it diffuclt to know exactly which part is nonsensical. However, the point is very simple. If the argument is I as a fan should adore the fact that Toronto’s draft picks are weird and come out of left field then why not draft a wino? One can justify the drafting of the wino with the same logic. What could be weirder than that? Besides, you would have to wait for 5 or 6 years before you could legitimately criticize the pick because it could be a drunk Michael Jordan that was selected, but only time will tell.

        • CJT

          Only if the wino is 6’9″and has a 7’6″ wingspan. Then absolutely
          I;m sure there are many winos that have played some pretty good basketball like Allan Iverson for instance.

  • Nilanka15

    Nice read.

  • AJBecker

    These guys seem to have embraced the off the wall draft nights too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUAkpXawa6o

  • Noah

    Tim….Leiweke????

  • FLUXLAND

    Et tu, Tim C?

    #WeTheFarmTeam #EmbraceIt.

    • ckh26

      #Fluxland the D-Bag .. you emote it.

  • moderate_observer

    Looking at the history of the majority of draft picks. Most of the guys, especially the first rounders have not met expectations. ‘Analysts’ at ESPN and other media are just hot air sales men, they talk for entertainment purposes, if they knew who would be a hit or a miss they would be working for one of the teams. So if the Raps want to roll the dice and pick some kid from Brazil. More power to them.

    Here is something to consider, the best draft class in recent history, that is 2003, the year of Lebron, Wade , Bosh and Carmelo, only produced 8 all stars. One of them is Mo Williams, who only made the all star team because he was the 2nd best player on Lebron’s Cavs team. Almost everyone else drafted that year became journeymen players who you could easily trade for if you really wanted them. Needless to say the teams that drafted them hardly saw any huge benefits. The draft is mostly a crapshoot.

    • Mexiballer

      Only produced 8 all stars?

      • moderate_observer

        only 8 all stars from the 2003 draft class. Thats considered a the best draft class since the 90s, 4 of which is the Miami Big 3 and Carmelo, who were obvious future stars when they joined the league.

  • Chuck Johnson

    I don’t know about embracing being “weird” for it’s own sake. I want a winner. Those aren’t mutually exclusive. The Spur’s roster is weird compared to most other NBA teams.

    I get excited when it feel like the Raptors are taking steps towards become a winner and upset when it seems like they are moving in the other direction. With this pick, I have literally no idea which way they are moving and so I’m going to sit back and wait and see.

  • rob hcirua

    is it weird to want to win? what are you going on about? we should have taken napier.

  • Jonathan Lealand

    Great article Tim, has put a different perspective on the draft

  • BramptonCanadianProspects

    when does he play? i know hes playing in the summer league but what about next season or the one after?

  • Saskatoon Raps Fan

    Not sure if I’m stealing someone’s idea here, haven’t had much time to read the comments on these new posts, but doesn’t cabocolo sound like the kind of player the spurs find from nowhere who turns into a major piece down the road? I bet the raps didnt wait for the 2nd round to pick this guy up cuz they saw the spurs lurking at #30. Ujiri was first and foremost a scout and has international connections everywhere. I fully trust him in this. I bet the raptors plan A was take ennis at 20 then do the mem trade for cabocolo at 22. When ennis was picked they just decided to go ahead with cabocolo

  • Tim Day

    I have followed the Raptors from day one. They have not had a consistent draft strategy (numerous GMs). I would say they have had poor management and have not been able to establish a winning culture. Drafting, developing, trading for and retraining talent all go together. They have a very spotty record on all four fronts. Their focus on international players has come from their inability to retain highly talented American players when they peak. Lowry’s decision this summer, not the 20th pick in the draft, will reveal the capabilities of this GM and coach. They decided not to trade Lowry when he didn’t want to sign a new contract. As a result, they won a lot of games in a very weak division as he played his heart out for his next contract, and then lost in the first round and received a virtually meaningless pick in one of the best draft classes in years. If Lowry signs and the Raptors can secure another high impact 3 or 4 this summer, no one will care about this pick. If Lowry walks and they simply find themselves as basically the same team next year minus Lowry, I guarantee no one will care about this pick and they won’t be raising a banner. A new GM, Drake and a new slogan won’t have changed the culture. What will Lowry do? For me that is all I need to see to gauge how far the Raptors have truly come.

  • Microaggressive

    Drafting the freaks of nature that Americans can’t possibly know exist is a good thing.

    That San Antonio was rumored to want him is a good sign. Also, the fact that he is untouched by American ego-centrism means that he is mold-able as a basic human being so that there will be far less of a problem with acting out in ways detrimental to teammates and the organization.

  • Tim

    That’s a nice piece of writing, Tim Chisholm. Well done.

  • Mexiballer

    What a weird justification for making a poor draft decision.

    • dchoubak

      Except you have noooooooooooo idea if it was a poor decision or not.

    • CJT

      what a weird opinion considering that none of us yet know if this was a poor drafting decision.

      • Mexiballer

        Ha ha…good one. The draft decision was already made. I believe it was a poor draft decision whether he becomes a flop or a superstar. I hope he becomes a star. But that wont change my opinion of the decision that was made on draft night. The decision that moved him from 37 to 20. That decision is done and over with. The rest is yet to be seen.

  • http://www.razmatazmag.com kayell

    Here, here! Well put.

  • IceManLikeGervin

    Masai says he targeted Ennis at 20 but that was an unlikely scenario as Ennis was projected by many to go before 20 so he would have had to move up to make sure that he selected him which he didn’t. If true what about Shabazz Napier as a back up plan? From Ennis to Coboclo is a stretch especially since it’s not a stash pick but a roster pick expected to be on the roster in 2014-15- to do exactly what play D League? Using the chasing a Canadian to pr spin in order to pacify fans upset with the Coboclo selection? Still no Canadians on the Raptors roster but the GM will draft international players with unknown variables while Canadians play for other NBA teams except the one in Canada- can’t be Canada’s team with no Canadian roster talent. In the 2nd round Birch, Ejim, Bachynski or Bhullar anyone? I mean the Raptors traded away pick #59 for cash……to ‘F*ck Brooklyn’ of all teams…….Masai & Casey were spreading on the bs in their post draft presser looking like they had f#cked up the draft…We don’t need projects we need players that are ready to contribute if the Raptors are to build upon last season or watch other teams get better and pass them by ala BC when he won the Atlantic Division in his 1st season as TDot GM but slacked while other teams attacked and fell way back…..want a project draft Sim Bhullar….NBA summer league can’t get here fast enough to expose this pick for what it is………this pick gets The Gas Face!!!!

  • IceManLikeGervin

    With less teams expected to be in tank mode in the East plus with Lowry seemingly having with 1 foot out of the door this upcoming season seeing a repeat of being Atlantic champs seems far off as of now. The NBA Draft is to bring excitement to the fan base not a feeling of being BC’d again full of pr spins in the wind…. .in 4 years Masai could be on his way out…just like Bruno…potential gets people fired…sell dreams to dreamers sell schemes to schemers but I stand in reality where the truth is the only casualty. Everything Masai touches doesn’t turn to gold http://www.denverpost.com/ci_23385867/masai-ujiris-track-record-not-impressive-offer-flee . Casey: I asked Bruno who his favorite player is and he said KD. I asked him can you guard him and he said yes- that was good enough for me. Really? Casey just regurgitates the memo’d talking points like he did under BC ie Bargnani is Dirk like. My message to Masai & Casey- we don’t believe you, you need more people….GMs are just like politicians professional liars…pants on fire…this is why the Raptors will never be Canada’s team…..do the full math not the half…..

    • dchoubak

      Correction, YOU don’t believe them. The majority of Raptor nation actually has full faith and trust in the current regime (cause they’ve actually proven to know what they’re doing).

      • dunkmycat7

        I don’t believe them either. As per my post yesterday I think this was the most ridiculous thing the Raps could have done. I was pounding the table for Masai before he came here but he has not proven anything yet. and this SO smacks of BC stupid…seen this movie before it doesn’t end well.
        Remember Masai made his bones and rep on a once in a lifetime fleece job on NYK for Melo. When is the next time he gets a chance like that ? probably NEVER.
        And for all of you who just want us to TRUST him well you probably trusted BC too – and tell me how THAT worked out for you ? I think we are obligated to be eternally sceptical until Masai actually DELIVERS something significant to help this team win – and I don’t mean trying to tank(Bargs RG and trying to trade KL) and finding out you have a horseshoe up your ass. He couldn’t trade up a FEW PLACES to get Tyler, couldn’t trade down to get this nobody he drafted .And really if he thought it was SUCH major crapshoot @ 20 then draft someone you can actually TRADE or that MAYBE can help your team by 2015. He had a shot at the 20th best player in the WORLD and he picks this guy ? REALLY ?
        I wonder if Masai is reading his own clippings and starting to believe them. This moves reeks of” i’m smarter than all the rest of you and I’m gonna show you just why”. Mean while several Teams in the East improved themselves and others set themselves up for a REAL BUILD job to try to be GREAT in 1 or 2 years. Masai thinks this team is good enough to waste this pick on a 2025 VANITY project ?
        I listened to all the rationalizing yesterday in the Toronto media, when Jeff Blair and Doug smith and Paul jones and all the other know nothing bought and paid for “analyst”s defend this pick you have to know that the opposite is correct. These were the same suckers who loved everything BC did too.
        Isn’t it about time they actually had the guts to criticize SOMETHING?
        I just hope there is some bizarre end game here I don’t see…but if this is a legit pick, I think it’s a mess.

        • Benjamin

          You just spew arrogance. You seem to think that you know everything there is to know about drafting don’t you? This is a guy that has the resources to see players that you have no way of seeing. You think it’s easy to trade up or down in a draft? And in what way is he drafting the “20th best player in the world”? Late first rounders usually turn out no better than role players for their careers, and Masai decided to go with a guy that has a high enough ceiling to possibly be a really good player. You just want a GM that does things that you want, and honestly if anyone reads what you’re writing we’re all glad that you’re not even involved in the process. You’re just a regular joe who thinks he has it all figured out in a business you have no involvement in. It’s like you think we drafted some 3rd world slumdog or something. This is a guy that San Antonio was scouting because he has potential, something you clearly don’t understand. Be sceptical all you want because that’s your right, but don’t go talking shit about people just because they don’t do what you want them to do. Your attitude is ridiculous.

  • Amigo

    GM FOR DUMMIES

    You could have tanked for Wiggins or Jabari Parker and S&T Lowry for some value to fit into your team. So no playoff but a strong long term strategy.

    Much better watching Paul Pierce block, Lowry walk, Patterson walk and so on. But Cabloco ! Bingo !

  • Stef

    Good take, Tim C. I’m with ya. Bring on the weird. What a bonus it’ll be if Bruno turns out to be near-as-good as Masai must be thinking. Gotta figure he didn’t travel to Brazil three different times to scout eighteen yr old Bruno hoping he really *would* be good enough to (only) be a solid bench player one day. And .. didn’t Masai famously make his bones as a scout?

    I wonder at times if we’re actually sure about what we want. We didn’t tank to get the earlier pick we would’ve wanted .. and now that our respected GM (who’s shown more than once that he can size up talent and be decisive about it) has unflinchingly gone out on a limb for a kid that only a few in the league had heard about — and even then, one of the talking heads was said he was told that this kid would probably be picked somewhere that would surprise a few (so somebody else knew something about him) — and we’re moaning about not going the traditional, follow-the-herd route. As I see it, we probably gotta shoot for the moon somewhere along the line if we’re serious about getting to that last playoff round one day. So ya .. bring on the weird. Go Raps.

  • raptorsdd10

    quit fooling yourself…Terrence Ross over Drummond was a HORRIBLE pick…Drummond was the clear choice

    • Benjamin

      That’s hindsight. Drummond is turning out to be the 2nd or 3rd best player in the draft, so a total of 5 teams passed on him for lesser talent. Drummond had a questionable motor when he was drafted, and he was the worst free throw shooter in the league in his rookie year. Also, his offensive rebounding number are probably padded by the brick shooters on his team like Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings.

  • Rap fan 2

    Nice writing. I’m going to frame this masterpiece and put it on the mantle.

  • IceManLikeGervin

    TimW is part of the pr spin crew…you get the Gas Face tooooo!!

    Brampton Guardian http://www.bramptonguardian.com/sports-story/4603726-ennis-headed-to-sunny-phoenix/

    The Raptors also toyed early in the day on a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies which would have given Toronto a second first-round pick.

    The deal, according to league and team sources, would have been contingent on the Raptors being able to acquire two of their most sought-after draft picks.

    They wanted to explore the possibility of getting both Ennis and Switzerland big man Clint Capela, both of whom might have been available when Toronto made its pick.

    — with files from Doug Smith/Torstar Network

  • Kmob

    It would be easier to get on board if the picks weren’t always the wrong picks. Why would you give the benefit of the doubt to a team that’s never made the conference finals? Teams like the spurs have earned it. The raps have earned the ridicule they get.