Trade Bargnani for hopefully a star PF
Amnesty or trade Kleiza for a backup PG
Acquire role players to fill the bench
To add on the Glove's point, it should be mentioned that Casey said it was an easy unanimous decision among the coaching staff to go with Gray rather than JV. So it wasn't all on Casey
I understand Casey's point of view up until a certain point. But when Jonas is playing 20 minutes a night? Sure, take him out, show him what he did wrong, let him absorb a bit of the game fine. But leaving him on the bench for the rest of the game when he could be getting experience is not something I can understand. It's not like Gray is playing flawless ball either and showing him how it's done. Our season is lost; let the kid out there. Even when he is making mistakes Val is adding more to the team's chances of winning than Gray's most flawless play.
Carry on with:
Telfair (unles we can acquire a better Back-up)
Gray (only because he's signed for next season - Player option)
All else needs a change, including:
Lucas (will have to be traded - Chicago??)
Kleiza (trade - don't waste the Amnesty on him)
Kleiza could be kept, if Raptors wish to use him as Contract "ballast" for any trades at the deadline. As I said in a recent thread State of the Nation Address - The Long Division Version, if things don't work out here for AB (ie. meshing with Rudy & gang), then Bargnani's contract of 11 million is sizeable enough to make a deal for a big talent possible --- [Kleiza + Andrea = 15.6 million.]
And should the Raptors make the play-offs (they better), then you never know what happens in the post season. New York is a good example - they are ripe for defeat (with all their injuries). I think Boston wants them in the 1st set, especially after the Charlotte game.
If we are being realistic, there is no way MLSE lets the Raptos go full blown tank mode next season. There is too much money invested in the likes of Gay,Derozen, Fields, Amir, etc to blow it up. I think the mentality is that there needs to be year over year improvement (however small that improvement may be) and eventually we will be respectable enough to make a free agent splash . That being said the Raptors will never contend for anything other than a second round exit unless they get an infusion of talent through the draft. Barring a major acquisition, the Raps will play about the same caliber ball next season as they have this year, and we are destined for another late lottery pick or best case scenario a quick first round exit. So how do we get a early lottery pick next year? The only solution is to absorb crap contracts from a bottom of the barrel or rebuilding team (Charlotte, new orleans, Sacramento,Orlando, etc) and also pick up their draft pick in the process. This will work out well for the plan of immediate improvement and I am perfectly fine with losing financial flexibility that we will never use in order to get a franchise changing talent. Apparently next seasons draft class (Wiggins and co.) is one of the best since the Lebron year. Any trading partner ideas?
At this point sweeping is completely out of the question. We have invested a lot in players that will continue to grow such demar and JV. Amir (earned the starting role IMO) is relatively young as well as Rudy Gay. Its a cliche but on paper this team is decent, play-off worthy IMO.
I think that a new PG is needed as well as a back up 5 and 4 (assuming Bargs gets the boot). I like the bench of Telfair, Fields and Ross. I dont think Lowry is going to be picked up when his contract is done. He's far too reckless on offence.
But what's with everyone wanting to put Amir back on the bench. Here's the way I see it. If we bring in a low post PF (like a Millsap or Boozer), then thats less touches and development opportunity for JV, because that PF will start and require the ball down low. Personally, I believe JV can be a legitimate low post threat if given the opportunity to develop that part of his game. So, I am not sure if having two low post guys in the starting lineup is the way to go with this team, because it turns your 1, 2 and 3 guys into jump shooters and not really taking advantage of the skill sets of Lowry, Derozan, Gay or Ross. I think an Amir - JV combo up front will work well next season, and only get better.
So, I say get Carl Landry, who's game is very similar to Amir's but he is better in the low block. Thus, if Amir and JV are on the bench, you still have a legitimate scorer down low who can also defend and rebound. Of course, this really only applies if you think JV can be a low post threat. If not, then it's back to the bench for Amir. I like Anderson for his shooting, Fields cause he is a decent defender, and I'd like to see more of Telfair before I say one way or the other. But what do you do with all these guys? I;d like to see the Raps use a shorter bench, inserting players as needed, not just exchanging all 5 or 4 players at the same time.
Add: Carl Landry, another shooter, maybe a PG
Remove: Bargnani, Peitrus, Kleiza, JL III
Start: JV, AJ, RG, DD, KL
Bench: AG, Carl Landry, Fields, Ross, Telfair and Anderson
Alot of people don't seem to like Aaron Gray, and no doubt he can be replaced, but he has done what is expected of him when he has played. He isn;t gonna give you alot, but he isn't gonna make too many mistakes either. I'd rather see him on the floor than Bargnani, thats for sure. At least I know I'm gonna get some effort and rebounding at the least.
I'm not on the dump BC wagon yet. I can't seem to blame him too much for whats going on with the raps. Maybe he is to blame, but I'm not convinced he could have done anything more to keep Bosh, or to get more for him. And Hedo, I doubt anyone would have predicted him turning into such a bum. So those two situations have effectively put him back to square one, and I think he has done a decent job since Bosh left. (If I am way off here, please reply and straighten me out). And I would give Casey a chance next season with this core. I wouldn't let it go to 4-19 tho.
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