The only untouchable for me is JV.
Reinholt: regardless of whether I agree with you or not, welcome to RR! I thoroughly enjoy reading posts such as these.
I think one of the biggest priorities for the remainder of the season should be really trying to understand what sort of asset they have in Davis. I love how he's grown as a player over the last year and especially the last couple months. But a lot of his chances are coming off of assists for easy looks, an improved jumper, second-chance points, and transition. The player that the Raptors need going forward (assuming the plan is to move forward with Lowry and not Calderon) is a post player to can be a primary option in the offense and create his own shot, demand a double-team, and pass out of it when it comes. This is, of course, assuming that Valanciunas is, as he's shown so far, at his best as a pick-and-roll player, setting a lot of high screens and then crashing the paint. Davis has shown a couple post moves that he can use effectively, but he's hardly at the level where he demands a double-team yet. His post game will improve over time simply by him putting on added mass so he can back guys down, but he needs more moves (or perhaps just more practice and confidence with the moves he has).
There's some very good bigs hitting free agency this year (Millsap, Smith, Jefferson, West, Hickson) and the Raptors need to make a decision about whether they can go forward with Davis, or whether they need to upgrade that position, because they might not get a better opportunity than this offseason.
I'd make him the first option in the offense for a while (after we get a couple of our injured bigs back), not because I think that's the Raptors' best strategy to win games, but because it'll will, at best, make him a better player and improve his confidence in the post, or at worst show that he's not going to be a key part of the Raptors core.
Perfect example is last night vs the bucks. Clearly, Lowry's role has not been fully established after coming back from injury. He's not the starter, but seems to play heavy minutes and close games, unless, he was as bad as yesterday. But he wasnt bad because his game stunk, he was bad because he's not playing his game. When he came in after Jose got injured, it was way too obvious that he was trying to feed Ed and Amir, i mean i want him to pass, but not at the expense of him losing his own style of play. And the the problem was he couldnt find Ed and Amir in their spots, because again he does not play like that. He was passing off shots trying to look to pass most of the time. Sure Jose comes in and gets Ed and Amir buckets. But if they play against bigs and Ed and Amir have trouble scoring, whats Jose going to do? What im saying is you need your PG to be able to get defenses guessing, if he's going to pass, penetrate, shoot the three, and Lowry is that type of PG.
Lowry, Ross, Gay, Ed, JV. Thats the ticket right there!!
1) Keep Lowry and hope we can get better players by trading Calderon, Bargnani, Fields, DeRozan
2) Pray Calderon sticks around and trade Lowry, Bargnani, Fields, DeRozan
Btw, to answer the thread's question -- yes, for Pete's sake -- blow it up.
I don't think the "Houston didn't win" example holds water either (though realistically, Lowry was the best player there the entire time he was starting). I mean, same thing could have been said about Shaq until he paired up with Kobe...
Circumstances are the issue. I think the point I am making is this: Lowry is the most valuable asset the Raptors have. If you are so low on Lowry that you don't think he can even be a second banana on a good team, then the Raptors have literally nothing, and should go full nuclear and descend to Bobcats like levels of suckitude in order to tank for high draft picks, as that's the last option left open to them.
I personally think the picture is not that bleak (developing KL, JV, and Ross while letting the bad contracts roll to open up cap space, and filling in with cheaper, better roleplayers should create an entertaining team that is semi-competitive for a few years), but if you think that about Lowry, your only answer is scorched earth.
I do agree it does seem like Lowry's career has been full of hard luck or really bad timing. He's drafted, gets hurt, they draft someone else and he's replaced. He gets traded to Houston. Backup for a year, then he starts and leads his team to 4 games above .500. Here we go, right? Nope, he gets hurt and gets replaced again. Traded again (to Toronto), gets hurt, gets replaced.
The worst, honestly, is his time with the Raptors. Nevermind what's been said about his potential, which is not just restricted to these forums. We traded for this guy to replace Jose Calderon. Think about that. Do nothing and keep the first round pick, and we have Jose Calderon as our starter.
Let's just say I expected more. Blow it up!!
I admit i was a little apprehensive about the Rudy Gay trade talks. I like Rudy Gay.... I just didnt want to give up a known hard working - improving young player in Derozan or ED to get Rudy. My question is..... How many of you Rudy Gay fans (Matt52 and Nilanka - would love to hear your answers) would give up T Ross??...... lets be honest. If you were Memphis would you want Ross or Demar?? Ross still has tons of potential and is on a rookie contract for years to come.
It is of my belief that we are one stud SF and/or C away from really being able to compete with the best of them. I like both Jose and Lowry but would include either one in a trade to net said stud SF or C. Two players that i wouldnt mind giving up young players and vets for would be Demarcus Cousins and now (convinced by a few posters - Rudy Gay).
I think DD gets game planned for night in and night out (A LOT of posters refuse to accept this reality). How much better would DD be if teams had to worry about someone else?
I would like to keep DD, ED and JV ---- tempted to say Jose and Amir. Everyone else is in play for me though.
Would you be willing to include T Ross in a trade for Rudy Gay??
I don't understand why Memphis would want Ross or DeRozan for Gay.
The main need Memphis has is a wing who can space the floor. You have a great inside game with Gasol / Randolph, but neither Gay nor Tony Allen are great three point threats, so it really cramps that offense at times. DeRozan, in particular, would make this problem even worse than it is with Gay.
Looking at this from the Memphis side, I feel like there are better deals away from Toronto (a package around Dudley from Phoenix is a better fit, in particular, as a 3 and D guy in a salary dump trade).
Including TRoss in a trade when he showed so many flashes of huge potential would be stupid, in my opinion. You have to give him a try, at least for full year. I wouldn't be happy obtaining an all star and giving up 6 years younger, few times cheaper future all star. I'm not saying he's going to be one, but he's showing those signs.
I don't hate DeMar at all. In fact, I wish every Raptor was blessed with DeMar's work ethic. I just think he's limited physically (lacking explosiveness, quicks, agility, and handles). It's relatively easy to defend him....that is, slag off him and dare him to shoot or force shots in traffic against 5 set defenders. The last sentence is especially true since DeMar has inexplicably forgot about his low-post prowess from earlier this year.
I think the biggest issue with him replacing Calderon comes back to an indictment on Colangelo. I've said this a number of times in the last 2 days (and here goes again) but there is only one guy on Toronto who can get his own shot - and that is Lowry. A big problem with him fitting in with Toronto is the other guys need to be spoon fed to be involved. Even Calderon is rarely going to get his own without a defensive breakdown or a solid screen. The team is a mish-mash of pieces that don't work well together.
To be honest I also expected more. His conditioning is a major concern for me and I think it has led to a lot of the injuries this year.
With all that said, I still think he is the best player on this team.
DeRozan? Yes I would give him up.
What exactly is a pure PG? That term gets bandied about, the implication being it's a pass first PG. To me, a pure PG is not just a good passer, but a player who QB's the team. Someone who leads - someone who develops the flow and speed to a game.
And what does "better player" mean? Should MVP be the best player, or the most valuable player to his team. Lowry might be the best player, but he's not the most valuable player.
Kyle is a SG in a PG body - albeit, a shorter body (I have doubts he's 6.0 feet tall). Even then, he's still not that great relative to a Shooting Guard. The simple fact is, Kyle's undersized at any position. When he gets into the paint area, his size affects his court vision and passing abilities. To me, Jose has him there.
Then there's his defensive capabilities. Personally, I think people's opinions are over-inflated when it comes to Lowry's defensive capabilities. To me, Kyle gambles too much. And his size really affects him when a mismatch occurs.
Some Kyle Lowry Stats (relative to top PG's)
The GOOD stats:
1) eff. - 3rd for Point Guards
2) F/Ta - 3rd
3) Rebounds - 3rd overall, but down to 37th in January - albeit with reduced playing time.
The NOT-SO-GOOD stats:
1) fg% - 22nd amongst PG (with 25+ minutes)
3) 3pt % - 16th (w/25+ min)
4) Assists - 20th @ 6.0 apg.
Fact is, Lowry's better off the Bench (or maybe it's the "Calderon is winning" effect). His Assists off the Bench - 6.4 apg (23.5 min) ... As a Starter - 5.7 apg (31.1 min).
Jose Stats as a Starter (vs Lowry as a Starter)
1) Minutes - Jose 32.9 mpg (Kyle 31.1 mpg)
2) fg% - .489 (.410)
3) 3pt % - .440 (.362)
4) Assists - 10.2 apg (5.7 apg)
5) Turnovers - 1.8 (2.6)
6) Rebounds - 3.3 (5.7)
Stats aside, Kyle Lowry in no way compares to Jose when it comes to Quarter Backing the team. Kyle may get it some day, but for this Raptor team - now - he's not helping. Except when he comes off the Bench - more Assists (and in less minutes), better fg%, and better 3pt%. If I didn't know better, I'd say KL is more effective in a back-up role. Question is ... can his EGO accept this?
Bargnani is out ... thanks to angry fans (and media needing a good story), as well as your #tradeBargnani extravanganza. I have a question, and this is a analogy-type question, relative to buying a home. When you're touring the home, and the Owner is there, do you shout out .... I LOVE THIS F##KING HOUSE - IT'S EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR. And then wonder why you have a poor bargaining position.
Continuing on with tradeable assets, I think we can agree that Jonas is out. Probably Ross as well - too soon to guage - he could be a Star (or close equivalent). Demar is an obligation that pushes the limits. Amir is too banged up.
That leaves Kyle Lowry - who I believe is still a good player, just not right for the Raptors. That's assuming he has no interest in being a Back-up PG. Of course you could always promote him with #KyleLowryistheBest. I'd help.
Then there is Ed Davis. Would you be willing to move Ed for an equivalent talent in the SF mold? Personally, I think Ed returns us the most - albeit, even with Andrea gone, Raps will still need a Starting PF. Ed is just not big enough, or strong enough.
Add Lowry into that (Ed) trade mix, and we should be able to get some serious talent back. Possibly a good SF (or upcoming one), to go along with a PG that Jose can mentor. Someone who JC can take a Bench role to ... DOWN THE ROAD ... for when our talent improves - new and existing.
On another note, I still agree with your previous position about Bargnani, that someone will (or may) get that Star quality out of him, or at least close to this level. I know you and others keep harping about 7 years, but to me, it was 5 years, as Andrea was still our best player last year.
This year ... Andrea ... along with everyone else - played like shit. I'm curious to know how he'd do when he gets back - for whatever role that should be. Lowry has adapted - for the most part. If KL can - and he never did before - why can't AB. The big Italian is playing for the Coach who pulled it out of him last season. Raptors just have to stop calling him a Franchise type, and take away the bizarre focus we've had on him.
The reason why I like him as a player - albeit I get frustrated too - is because he has the most talent on this team. Key word is "talent". For me, talent isn't jumping at the opportunity to come to Toronto Canada, no matter how much we talk about "sucking" being the reason. It never was with the earlier Vince, nor with Bosh (in the good years).
The bottom line is ... we're not going anywhere right now. This season should be about developing Jonas & Ross, taking certain players to another level, and integrating everyone into a system that can be built onto. I know this is probably point-less, but if AB can find his groove (under Casey) and become a PART (and not the focus) to this team, why jettison him for what will probably be a similar contract that has no upside ... because with all this vitrol being shared out there, what team would do such a thing - Give us more then what you and others think he's worth.
The irony to all this, is that those who hate Andrea, and want to see him go - SO BADLY ... ... they are the same ones contributing to his staying here - for reasons explained above.
I like Ross and dont want to shit on him, but did you see what Marquis Daniels did to Ross in like 2 minutes of the Milwaukee game?? DD started his career off (as a starter) and likely went through this daily vs starters ..... And some wonder why his work ethic is always talked about as being ridiculous (in a good way). This is because DD couldnt even shoot when he first came into the league. He works HARD and has improved for anyone with a reasonable mind to see.
Ross also needs to work on his handles and also needs to improve his shot as well. I have NO DOUBT that he may be a VERY good player in this league. BUT I would be fine having Rudy, Demar with JV, ED and Jose/Lowry. Demar is already a 18ppg 5 rpg player and he's only 23.
I guess my point is why not include Ross?? Ross will need at least 2-4 more years to turn into the player that MAY be all-star? I'm hearing that there's no way we get Rudy, but I think it would be the same scenario for any elite SF (They would want Ross and maybe we need to seriously think about it)
You will not get that stud SF or C through a trade without giving up one of TR or JV. Lets be real. *we already know the changes of getting said player through free agency....