I am willing to admit that we screwed up with the Lowry trade. I haven't seen anything in him that makes me feel this is a starting caliber point guard. Don't even think he is the best player on the team. Think he has a lot of talent, but so many players with talent out there.
Maybe I should say he is a poor point guard. He is not that good at his position. It looks disjointed, I don't know what to expect, when I want him to shoot he passes, when I want him to pass he shoots. Don't even understand how he got the reputation for being a good defender. I thought I would see a serious contrast between him and Jose, due to Jose's deficiencies at D, but Lowry has done little to impress me. It was his job to win, Jose is old and so far Lowry has been meh...
Kind of reminds me of Marcus Banks situation and Miami. He played well when he first got into the league, was known for his defense, got his contract, and then poof... was never the same player.
How much better can Lowry be? I think he is what he is. Also if he is the best player on our team, where is the lineup of GM's willing to take him off our hands?
Don't get me wrong, think he is a good player, and obviously in our top 5, but considering all the Hype from you guys about this guy, I am still scratching my head and trying to match the fascination with the results.
I also don't think its a good time to trade him, unless someone is willing to pay at least what we gave up. He is a very good rotation player. I just don't always feel comfortable giving him the keys to the Ferrrari.
EDIT: hope the chemistry stuff is unfounded rumour
MLSE to do list:
1) Trade Lowry for picks and rookie scale contracts
2) Trade Calderon for picks and rookie scale contracts.
If Calderon can't return anything of substance, allow his contract to expire and see if he will resign for something reasonable.
3) Trade Bargnani for picks and rookie scale contracts.
If Bargnani can't return anything of substance, amnesty him in the offseason.
If Bargnani can be traded without bringing back trash, amnesty Kleiza.
4) Fire Colangelo and bring in a GM willing to do a proper rebuild.
5) Pray for the top pick in 2014.
Lowry's D has been brutal - especially in the pick and roll and staying with his man off ball movement.
Disagree with any comparison to Banks. Lowry is over half way through his contract and had played at near All-Star levels in Houston.
Lowry has been asked to change his game and who he is. I disagree 100% with he is what he is. As for Lowry's trade value and the lineup of GMs willing to take him off Raps hands, who says there is not? Internet rumours are nothing more than conversation pieces. Raps have become one of the best (or worst) at not leaking stories.
When he was himself, Lowry played well, and the rest of the team sucked balls. We were all saying how we wish we had 5 Lowry's on court. Then Jose comes in, and suddenly our other 4 guys do not look so bad and you see that in order for Lowry to have his game, every player takes a minus. That is not good basketball IMO.
Personally I think a facilitating point guard is more important to this team, than a PG that dominates the ball. I cringe what our assets would be worth had Lowry started the whole year. It wasn't Lowry that found Ross, it was Jose , part of me feels that the Drummond debate would still be raging if Lowry was the starting PG. ...and the nice passes to Amir and Ross, were a result of Lowry playing out of his comfort zone (to an extent of course. I know he always had the ability to pass, but if he was as ball dominant as he was before, not sure he would be greasing the rookie, think he would save his few passes to keep Amir and DD happy. Ross looked completely out of place early on in the season.)
The fact the other players need someone else to spoon fed them is not a slight against Lowry but management and the roster. When Lowry was in Houston they had 2 other guys who could get their own shot starting: Martin and Scola. The Raps have NO ONE who can consistently create their own shot starting. Again that is an issue with the roster and management.
A few things we aren't considering about Calderon:
1) He's on a contract year and playing like he is. He's always been a professional but there is definitely a marked improvement in his effort and the stats show this. (He's tied for 3rd most triple doubles this season -- his value will never be higher) We've know his weaknesses and we haven't won with him.
2) He's not re-signing with us. As much as I would love to have Calderon back at on a lesser contract he won't be. I think like every other player he wants to be on a winner and probably in a warmer climate. Not to mention we have been trying to trade him for the past 3 seasons -- he doesn't show it but that has to weigh on a player.
3) Calderon is on the wrong side of 30 and even if he does resign I don't think he will give us a hometown discount. He isn't our future at the PG spot.
The other factor, that weighs on me.
Jose is supposedly a really really nice guy. Doing his utmost to make rookies and new players feel better and wanted. That is what leadership is about.
I never got that from Lowry. Remember seeing an interaction between Fields and Kyle early on in training camp, and Lowry came off (to me) as pretentious dick that did not seem to realize he was dealing with a new teammate, who too was trying to carve out a home. Now hearing this, I kind of am connecting the dots, and thinking that maybe Kyle is still very immature. Maybe he will grow up, maybe he wont. AI never did.
I often wonder, how much longer AI could of played if someone taught him how to make his teammates better. He was one of the most dominant players in the league, but once his skills faded, it was like the switch went to the OFF position. Not a single team would touch him as a PG. He just never learned how to be one, yet here was this player with experience and ability that was unrivaled. He just never learnt to play the game right, and as a result his career did not last as long as many less dominant point guards like, Kidd, Stockton, Nash.
I don't think Kyle's style is good basketball. I think his talent bails him out more often then not. I don't think taking 3pt'ers 5 feet from the 3pt line is wise. Who cares if they go in, just not very smart and not something the best point guards in history have ever done. It's great when they go in, but horribly deflating for your teammates when you have not set up yet and the ball is already coming back down the court. It's a self serving attempt any way you look at it.
Frankly I don't think the problem with Lowry has been his level of passing and getting others involved in general. It comes down to his poor shot selection and his constant gambling on D. Those are things that really piss off your teammates. It's not even necessarily because they don't get the ball, but if you bust your ass on D and the PG wastes a FG attempt without running a very good possession, that'll piss you off if it happens repeatedly. On top of that if the PG gambles not only in the halfcourt, but even trying to steal rebounds or outlet passes, you're always left hanging with your D scrambling. Basically a PG who can ruin a possession on either side of the floor suddenly and unexpectedly. Wouldn't that piss you off if you played with him? Lowry needs to smarten up.
Keep Lowry. Jose is likely walking at the end of the season, where as we can keep Lowry just until next year (if he decides to walk), where we likely have our pick back to draft a point guard. I'm tired of trying to trade or sign one. Let's just draft one from scratch and finally close the conversation of need to find 'our point guard.' Develop a point guard properly with our core group, and stop trying to fit different peg shapes into the holes
If Lowry is on the trade block it's actually not so bad. He is most likely the best trade asset the Raptors have (other than JV). He is on a very good contract that has another year and has a current PER of 21.5 which is not so shabby for a backup.
Detroit was looking for a PG.. perhaps they would be willing to trade Knight for Lowry? Knight is still developing but needs a lot more time. Could be good to have him in a team with a pass first guard that could potentially teach him a thing or two. I was high on Knight prior to the '11 draft. Lowry>Knight but if we include Kleiza or Bargnani and take back an expiring like Maggette it might be worth it.
Would the #8 pick in the 2011 draft be more valuable then the pick that OKC gets this year? It will be close but I could see Toronto having a better record than 8th worse (although they are tied for 8th worse right now).
We're best using our cap and trade assets trying to find better players to strengthen our 3 spot, surrounding role/future pieces, and a back-up for Jonas down the road. The point guard position is the bread and butter of the NBA nowadays, it's not going to be extremely hard finding one from the draft, looking at the past drafts, if you scouted right, Sacramento, Portland have done a really nice job.
The wing position is now almost the hardest to find 'that guy', and we have to start building our team with role players who will stay and build, not to sign for trying to get sudden success, where in the next couple years we would have to sign/draft/trade for 9 new faces again, and again.
Core: Lowry (if extends, if not, draft a point guard), Derozan, Ross, Fields, Davis, Valanciunas, Acy, Johnson. From this point, drafting and trading for prospects/picks/bad-expiring contracts are the goal.
Funny how all of Colangelo's move this past offseason was a dud.
- Trading for Lowry for a lottery 1st round pick
- Signing Fields to a ridiculous contract
- DeMar's 5 year contract extension
I mean, i think we all agree that the Fields signing was nothing more than blocking the Knicks from getting Nash.
Lowry on the other hand hasn't shown me that he's a legit starting PG in this league. He lost his starting job in Houston to Dragic now he lost his starting job to Jose.
As for DeMar's contract, 40mill for 5 years. Wow. If he can play like the way he did against Orlando the other night on a consistent basis then yeah i guess he's worth it. Not keeping my hopes up though.
I wouldnt give up on Lowry near yet.
I think he is capable of being a strong leader, with lots of energy and hustle! I think he can wake up Demar when needs be. I think he is very good at drawing charges, very good at stripping steals, very good at rebounding. I think his penetration is good as well, though we have seen him go away from that. His 3pt shot is solid, he has good court vision, and he excels in the fast break. Recently we simply haven't seen the energy or the decisiveness and penetration we would hope.
My belief is that Lowry has been given a new 'role' from Casey. I think Lowry is relearning his position in order to better jell with the team. I think that he is younger than Bargnani, and I think that Lowry is going to round out as a very good player very soon. I fully believe that Lowry is our answer at PG for this core.
Been thinking about the Lowry 'situation' today.
A big part of this falls on Casey. Last year and this year he has been all about shooters and "I need shooters" and "Get me shooters." His offense is based around a PG who delivers the ball to stationary or curling shooters. Think about all the games this year when the jump shots fail to fall. The first 30 games of the year all featured a significant stretch of time within games where the Raptors couldn't score because the jump shot wouldn't fall.... and that was all they had - sets for jump shots.
It is great Casey has his system and what he thinks best. But the job of a coach is to maximize his talent. I think he has failed at integrating Lowry in to his game plan. The desire was for more talent last season, well, Lowry is definitely a talent upgrade.
And then yet again this all comes back to Colangelo and his inability to set course on a plan. Sure he went out and got talent in Lowry but it seems clear he didn't consider what Casey is trying to do on the offensive side of the ball. I think the defensive side factored in to the thinking but unfortunately Lowry has left his D-bag in Houston. *yes, I realize the can of jokes I have just opened up*