Talk about being a debbie downer.
Talk about being a debbie downer.
i agree with Matt, not sure where "mediocrity" is coming from when in fact this team sucks. the raptors, on reputation and ranking as "The Raptors" sucks. But the guys that they have right now, has a chance, a very big chance to turn that label around. Even if the team does not make the playoffs, they have something really good that can be built around on. I think we're past the draft here. i think it's fairly obvious that the next step is try to win as many games and possibly attract a superstar free agent. And unless they do that, then you can say they probably will be stuck in mediocrity.
First year of trying to be competitive can't be stuck....ask the question again in the middle of NEXT season.
This thread may have lost it's way but reading it through, has nobody mentioned Indiana? No discernible superstar. Small market (basketball crazy small market but still small). I'm not a fan of picking one team and saying let's do that because so many things have to randomly fall into place for any situation to succeed but this one looks plausible. The tanking idea is great when it works. So is buying a lottery ticket. OKC (Seattle) didn't tank for years. They got multiple picks by helping create the first big 3 (modern era). They could just have easily wound up with Oden's leg. The Penguins (sorry, switched sports) were kind of bad but it took the fact that two of the best players in a generation came along in successive years separated by a lockout. Don't get me started on the Spurs. Miami? LA? Just going to have to concede that method.
But Indiana works. Solid D. We can do that. They lucked into a game changing big man (thanks Bryan)...we lucked into a game changing big man (thanks Bryan!). They evolved from TJ Ford to a solid if unspectacular point guard. We might even be one up there. They have a PF who averages about 19 and 7 (not there yet). Wings? They have us there but it's not like we're talking about wade or pierce. We can get there. But they seem to have a culture. I think we can do that too. Besides,
we both survived Jermaine O'Neal.
I'm sure all of this has been mentioned in other threads....just thought it also belonged here.
Soooo something is wrong with me if I can't see improvement in the Raps, yet judging the team's defensive performance after 4 preseason games makes one a shmuck? Touch of contradiction there, no?Quote:
Oh and one more thing.... its still preseason. how can you judge players defense after 4 preseason games ya shmuck.
Raps may not be on the mediocrity treadmill quite yet (simply because they haven't been good enough to be mediocre), but they're headed there, you can book it. The problem is their salary structure.
DeRozan represents the main problem: the only way Toronto is going to keep him is to match some other team's insane offer for him. Because as much as I hate to say it, someone will pay him way more than he's worth. So going forward he's either going to be overpaid and underperforming or will walk. I doubt very much BC will trade him at the deadline this year, and even if they do, his market is wildly overvalued on this forum because nobody considers that said market is restricted to teams willing to pony up and match other teams' offers for him once he's qualified. And if a trade partner has the cap space and lack of roster talent to consider taking deRozan on at a price above market value, they probably don't have anything to offer the raps in return.
Lowry presents a similar problem. If the raps aren't competitive at the end of his contract, he'll walk. Guaranteed. All we hear about is how competitive he is, how strong-willed, so why would he stick around if the team doesn't show signs of competing? He'll be in a similar position to deRozan: someone will overpay him if the Raps won't. He might even command a max contract. Obvisouly there's no point in speculating whether he'll be worth it, but it's a looming pitfall; overpay or watch an asset walk.
That means that on two years, should the raps keep this group together, the bulk of their payroll would be taken up by Bargs, DeRozan, Lowry, Fields' poison pill, and Amir Johnson. Unless there's a massive surge of internal growth or either Val or Ross turn out to be elite, that's got mediocrity treadmill written all over it. And if deRozan and/or lowry walk, the result would obviously be even worse. The other option is to leverage some youth into...what exactly? Unless the raps get extremely lucky and have a franchise dump a top-15 talent in their lap, they're looking at guys like Granger/Deng/Gay as the best case trade gains, and none of them are going to take the raps over the top.
For the general sanity of the rapstors fanbase, I suggest everyone temper their collective expectations and realize this team's ceiling isn't as high as most like to think.
And you are certain that, despite the opportunity to finally play as a starting PG, Lowry will walk, or the Raps will wildly overpay. I assume they do that because there are no alternatives.
You then assume that there will be no roster changes so all that will be available are wildly overpaid DeRozan, Lowry, Fields, Bargs and Johnson. You then casually toss aside JV and Ross, ignore any potential growth in the first 5 players and assume there is no significant growth in other players and apparently, no draft picks or trades or free agent hirings in the next two years.
Unstated, but obvioulsy assumed by you is that if there is any significant improvement, then a meteor will strike the team bus, killing any good low paid players and leaving behind the aging overpaid dregs. So what's the point of discussing anything with you?
Look, of course there's an infinite amount of possible variation in what COULD happen. But all you've said is that the raps could replace DD and Lowry with other players. Of course they can, but are they going to get equal value in trades? Nope. Are they going to be able to replace them with top tier free agents? Doubt it very much. Sooo how is that not going sideways?
Of course they could rely on player development, but given that none of their players project to be elite even as a best-case scenario (with the exception MAYBE being JV), I fail to see how the team is suddenly going to acquire the talent necessary to compete at the highest levels unless, as I said, someone dumps a top-15 players in their lap.
So let's sum up:
Very little chance of developing top tier talent internally. Much higher chance of overpaying for the devil you know.
Very little chance of acquiring top-tier talent through free agency.
Very little chance of acquiring talent through trades (though admittedly this is the most likely option).
Sooooo what's the likely outcome? A roster full of good-but-not-great players. That's called mediocrity.
Just as you can assume that magic can happen, I can assume it won't. Which of us is more likely to be right?
The way I've seen it, toronto has always been a team held down by poor management, and ecision making from the Front Office. Bad draft choices (Rafael Araujo, anyone?), poor coaches and terrible trades have really hurt a team that has shown potential at times, especially the early 2000's squad, which was struck down before it had a chance to shine. The coaches have been offensively-oriented, and allowed players (mainly the large European base) to show softness and a lack of effort defensively. However, I've really seen a big change in the past year or two. There's a new coach hell-bent on curbing a culture of softness, that's grown since the team's inception. We're drafting well, and getting value from our dealings (Lowry for Forbes and a pick, on his current contract?). We still need a true star player, not just to help win games, but to give the team some weight on a worldwide level. But once the team starts winning consistantly and building a reputation, this will be much easier, and players will want to come to Canada. Honestly, I'm very optimistic, and see good things in the future.
IN DWANE WE TRUST
NEXT STEP: SMALL FORWARD
I believe the fans are concerned about value. Yes, it's not our money being spent, but if our favourite team handcuffs itself with bad contracts, that's when overspending becomes an issue.
For example, I not a fan of the Fields contract. Not because it's costing me money, but because I feel the Raptors could've better used that EDIT: $18.725 million (happy Matt? :p) to improve the roster.
1. You're 100% correct that the teams that aren't big free agent destinations rely on luck to compete. This is one of those things in pro sports that nobody ever talks about because it doesn't make for a great story, but is completely accurate. From injuries to chemistry to lottery positions, chance plays an enormous part in success. For a perfect example, see how the raps won the lottery with low odds one year and got Bargs, while the Bulls won with low odds another year and got Rose. So much of what happens to a franchise is out of it's control.
But that doesn't mean that things like scouting, good cap management and good coaching and development don't play roles. Luck can land you a player to build around but the GM and the coach then have to bring in the right players, implement the right system and motivate the team to play the right way. See: Carter, Vince.
So yes, luck plays a huge role, but it only gets you so far. And it certainly doesn't mean that you stop trying or simply tank until you land a franchise guy, because the team is still a business and seats still need to be filled. Plus, you never know when a team is going to dump a disgruntled franchise player in your lap because you happen to have the right combination of contracts they're looking for in return. The Raps are doing the best with what they've got, all I'm saying is that unless something breaks right for them, they'll be stuck on that first round playoff exit treadmill.
2. Salary structure matters. A LOT. A perfect example is the Joe Johnson era Hawks, who had most of their money tied up in a core that lacked the talent to take the team deep into the playoffs. They were never able to add those veterans and extra pieces that might have allowed them to make a deep run, and in the end they had to blow it all up. This is exactly where I see the Raps heading; too much money invested in players with too little of an impact. It's not the end of the world though; fielding a competitive team that challenges for the second or even third round of the playoffs for the next 5 years would be a great step in the team's long-term evolution.