25 And Under Ceiling
What do you think the ceiling is for all the Raptors' players 25 years of age and younger?
Andrea Bargnani, age 25
Sonny Weems, age 24
Amir Johnson, age 23
Julian Wright, age 23
Jerryd Bayless, age 22
Solomon Alabi, age 22
Alexis Ajinca, age 22
DeMar DeRozan, age 21
Ed Davis, age 21
Not sure how one would quantify 'ceiling' to be honest.
Are we doing it out of 100, where 100 is Lebron-type-Ceiling, and 0 being Hoffa type?
I'd say Demar is the only one with a truly unlimited ceiling.
What I'm thinking
Superstar, perennial all-star, all-star, team star, impact player, solid rotation player, end of bench player.
Solomon Alabi and Alexis Ajinca are...?
Tough one to answer, huh? ;)
I am trying to be realistic. If the Raps ever have a great season and Bargnani is around he could be considered an all-star but he is approaching the top floor I think. Bayless has averaged 14/7 when given the start, he is who I feel least confident about labelling right now. Weems is almost at end of bench for my ranking, he just slipped in to solid rotational player.
I'll preface my picks by stating that I will not be labeling any of the above-mentioned players as "perennial all-stars" based on the system of fan voting and the fact that Toronto is off the radar for many NBA fans/players/coaches/media types. Maybe a couple of these guys will have all-star calibre seasons, but that does not mean that they will make the all star team. Every year very deserving players get left off the team. That being said;
Bargs-impact offensive player
Weems-Bench/not-so-solid rotational player
Wright-solid rotational player
Bayless-solid rotational player
Ajinca-End of bench
DeRozan-all star calibre player
Davis-impact player/all star calibre player
Vince Carter had no trouble getting fan votes but I agree for the most part about being off the radar of most fans. However, the starters are only decided by the fans. The coaches know what's what. They scout and research all season long in preparation for games. The coaches usually make fair selections. If either is worthy the coaches will see that they get there more times than not. The coaches got Bosh there multiple times. They also got Antonio Davis to the game while he was in Toronto.
Apollo, we're splitting hairs here. The only reason I went out of my way to preface my comment was the term "perennial all-stars". I wasn't doubting that these guys could make an AS game or 2, but that is a far cry from "perennial". Now, as to your response, Vince was the darling of the league back then, much as Blake is right now (and that's where the comparison for those 2 stops).
Bosh did get in 3 times, but I think one of those was an injury replacement, and the other 2; he was putting up big #'s on a middle-of-the-pack team with no other star player.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Antonio Davis was an injury replacement as well.
Depends where the team is going in the next few years, but at the moment this is what it looks like:
Bargs- offensive rotational player (not even a starter on a good team due to his non-existing defense)
Weems-Bench/ rotational player
Johnson-solid rotational player
Wright-bench/defensive rotational player
Bayless- bench/rotational player
Alabi-not on any NBA roster
Ajinca-not on any NBA roster
DeRozan-all star calibre player (depends on his effort and work ethics, the ingredients are there)
Davis-all star calibre player (it will be more difficult for him to get to the all-star because he's not as flashy as DeRozan)
Just to mention, I do not measure the quality of the player by the number of his All-star appearances, the only thing that matters in my book are the number of Championships won (or at least playoff series wins).
Bosh replaced KG in the starting lineup on season but I'm not sure if he made his first due to somebody else not being able to play.
Who did Davis replace? I don't remember it going down that way but it was a loooong time ago.
Either way, my point is, if they're good enough they'll get in every year.
If I recall correctly, Antonio Davis was not only an injury replacement but more like an injury replacement replacement. Someone got hurt, and then the replacement also got hurt, and Davis got in.
Here's the breakdown of votes for 2001 centers:
Alonzo Mourning (916,866) - injured
Theo Ratliff (637,585) - injured
Dikembe Mutombo (627,148) - reserve
Jermaine O'Neal (524,506)
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (288,183)
Antonio Davis (220,917) - starter!
Earvin Johnson (220,344)
Elden Campbell (200,996)
Ben Wallace (194,472)
John Amaechi (182,111)
I don't know about all-star because all-star is all about popularity and I couldn't care less about how popular our players become. I think as Raptors fans we should be looking for impact and building towards a team that will contend, not for the playoffs but for a championship. It's a more critical way of looking at things but it also gives you a little perspective.
It's fun to look at where you think DeRozan might be in 2-3 years, and yea he might be great, but if the Raptors are still barely a 0.500 team, who gives a shit if DeRozan or Davis makes the all-star game? I'd rather look at where would he stand on a team that contends for a championship. That is, if you put DeRozan, or Weems, or Bargnani on a team that people talk about as a team that could potentially make a deep run in the playoffs, where would that player rank. Here's my list:
Andrea Bargnani, solid rotation player
Sonny Weems, end of bench player
Amir Johnson, solid rotation player
Julian Wright, end of bench player
Jerryd Bayless, end of bench player
Solomon Alabi, not on team
Alexis Ajinca, not on team
DeMar DeRozan, impact player
Ed Davis, impact player
Wow, people are pretty high on Davis here.
Davis has shown a very, very limited offensive game. Only put-backs or if he gets the ball in immediate range of the basket, which is rare, b/c he struggles to get deep post position. Granted, his number isn't called on offense very much, but there is a reason for that (i.e. he has no offense).
So people saying solid rebounder but very limited offensive player becoming a perennial all-star is very, very (see: ridiculously) optimistic. Ed has to put in a TON of work on his offensive game, and he needs to do some serious strengthening to augment his offense AND defensive game. Yes, he blocks shots, but these come in help/rotational situations. One-on-one he really gets pushed around.
Way to early to be saying he is going to be an all-star, but he definitely will be a solid rotational player.
Have there been any Toronto players that could have been All-Stars that weren't? It doesn't sound like you wanted to get into this conversation, but it seems to me like you're complaining about something that simply doesn't exist.
The weaknesses in Davis' game are very easily rectified. He's naturally going to gain weight and strength as he gets older. This is a common problem for players in their first few years.
As for his offense, he's shown to have soft hands, good instincts and a high IQ. He'll probably never be a 25 ppg scorer, but I could easily see him averaging 15-18 ppg in a few years. Al Horford made his second All-Star game in a row and he's never averaged 17 ppg. Joakim Noah is an offensively limited player who would have been a shoe in for the All-Star team if he weren't injured.
Basically, what I, and many others, have seen is a player who has a very high basketball IQ and simply knows how to play. Those are rarer than you think.
I think what impresses me the most about Ed Davis is that he's got instincts around the ball that others need to work at but comes naturally for him. I'm really not that worried about his offensive game, as like Tim mentioned if he manages to average around 15-18 points in his prime, that is more than I can ask for. The reason for that is because he rebounds very well.
Any Raptor fan who's been a fan for more than 10 years would most likely agree that a 15/10 guy is far more valuable than a 20/5 guy, especially as a big man.
I think people attacking Ed's offense are missing the point. The whole reason the Raptors stink is because all they've been able to do for years is score. I think it's a breath of fresh air that they're finally bringing in guys who have the ability to do the tough work on the glass and fighting in the trenches. Honestly, I could care less if Ed ever becomes of good offensive weapon. As long as he continues to develop on the glass and in the defensive game then I just don't care about the offense. He knows his role on offense. He knows his limitations on offense. He doesn't go past those boundaries and as a result he doesn't hurt the team on offense and he's highly efficient on offense. What more can you ask for? I mean, it's not like there's many shots to go around after Bargnani and DeRozan get theirs anyway.
Davis is the only guy I can see as an All-star. Bargnani if he can score 25 points a game, and if all Italians decide to vote for him everyday from when the ballot starts.