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Thread: 1995 Expansion Draft

  1. #1
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    Default 1995 Expansion Draft

    For those who have been supporting Toronto since day 1, I have decided to open discussion on how it all started - the 1995 expansion draft.

    It is conventional wisdom that expansion draft is created in order to help the expansion teams by allowing them to draft one unprotected player from every NBA team. Even though NBA teams are able to protect 8 players under contract and free agents are not included, it does allow expansion teams to draft couple of decent players. However, this is not the case. Expansion teams do not have the right but in fact the obligation to sign one player from each and every NBA team and this means signing ether 1. Bad players on non-guaranteed contracts or 2. decent overpaid players on long contracts. 1995 expansion draft was best example of that.

    What people do not know is that there were only three players on 1995 expansion draft that teams actually wanted to sign.
    1. Toronto drafted B.J. Armstrong from Chicago who later declined to play for the Raptors.
    2. Vancouver drafted Greg Anthony from New York.
    Both Armstrong and Anthony were on bad contracts which was the reason they were not protected, but were both perceived as good players which was the reason teams wanted to draft them. They were both projected as starting point guards.
    3. Toronto signed Tony Massenburg from the Clippers. He was a decent player on a decent contract which made him attractive. He was projected as starting power forward.
    After this pick, both Toronto and Vancouver drafted bums on non-guaranteed contracts in order to avoid drafting players on bad contracts. But when they ran out of bums on non-guaranteed contracts, they started drafted decent players on bad contracts.

    13. Toronto drafted Jerome Kersey from Portland who was projected as starting small forward. He later declined to play for the Raptors.
    14. Vancouver drafted last bum in the draft - Larry Stewart from Washington. This has taken Rex Chapman, who was the best off guard in the draft, off the draft.
    15. Toronto drafted Zan Tabak from Houston. Even though he was not regular part of Houston rotation, he was projected as starting center.
    16. Vancouver drafted Kenny Gattison from Charlotte. He was projected as starting power forward.
    17. Toronto drafted Willie Anderson from San Antonio. He was projected as starting off guard. At this point, Toronto have drafted their projected starting lineup of Armstrong, Anderson, Kersey, Massenburg and Tabak. From now on, they only drafted centers and power forwards.
    18. Vancouver drafted Byron Scott from Indiana. He was projected as starting off guard.
    19. Toronto drafted Ed Pinckney from Milwaukee.
    20. Vancouver drafted Gerald Wilkins contract from Cleveland. He was injured and was not expected to play.
    21. Toronto drafted Acie Earl from Boston.
    22. Vancouver drafted Benoit Benjamin from New Jersey. He was projected as starting center.
    23. Toronto drafted contract of retired B.J. Tyler.
    24. Vancouver drafted contract of Doug Edwards from Atlanta. He actually played a season before being waived.
    25. Toronto drafted John Salley from Miami.
    26. Vancouver drafted Blue Edwards from Utah. He was projected as starting small forward. Only with its last pick in the draft, Vancouver have compleated its projected starting lineup for next season - Anthony, Scott, Edwards, Gattison and Benjamin.
    27. Toronto was obligated to draft Oliver Miller who was the only Detroit player in the draft. At the time Miller was so fat he could barely walk.

    With everything said and done, Toronto roster looked like this:
    C. Tabak, Earl, Miller
    F. Massenburg, Pinckney, Salley
    F. Kersey
    G. Anderson
    G. B.J. Armstrong
    Armstrong declined to report and he was traded for couple of power forwards (Rogers and Alexander). Kersey also declined to report and was waived. This basically left Toronto with only one wing taken in the expansion draft.

    Vancouver roster looked like this:
    C. Benjamin
    F. Gattison
    F. Edwards, Edwards
    G. Scott
    G. Anthony

    In my opinion, Vancouver did much better than Toronto in the expansion draft. They have spent less money, taken less bad contracts and still created a better team. Tide have changed only after Toronto drafted Damon Stoudamire and that was only made possible after Armstrong declined to report to Toronto.

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    Raptors Republic Starter OzRapFan's Avatar
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    Interesting read, nice work mate 😊

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    I love the idea of the expansion draft. One of the most unique and interesting things in sports. I hope Seattle gets an expansion team soon (it might be the only way we move Landry Fields' contract!!)

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    I dont recall the expansion draft but I do remember being bummed out that BJ wasnt going to play for Toronto cause I liked watching him in Chicago.

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    Brendan Malone was the best Raptor coach to date.

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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    Brendan Malone was the best Raptor coach to date.
    I'm torn between him and Butch Carter.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    Brendan Malone was the best Raptor coach to date.
    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    I'm torn between him and Butch Carter.
    Take away Butch's lust for power, and he was the best coach this team has had. He was equally versed in the X's & O's as he was as a teacher/motivator.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Rookie Lefty's Avatar
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    Reminds me of when Stern didn't allow Toronto or Vancouver to win the lottery, and Iverson ended up going to Philly. The possibilities..

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    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    I love the idea of the expansion draft. One of the most unique and interesting things in sports. I hope Seattle gets an expansion team soon (it might be the only way we move Landry Fields' contract!!)
    You obviously get the idea of expansion draft.
    Back in the days when Miami, Orlando, Charlotte and Minnesota had their expansion drafts, there were less teams which meant: 1. Less contracts had to be taken and 2. NBA talent has been more concentrated because there were less teams, which by a definition meant better expansion draft.
    Bobcats were actually in best shape because they were the only team to pick which enabled them to pick only non-guaranteed contracts.

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    Take away Butch's lust for power, and he was the best coach this team has had. He was equally versed in the X's & O's as he was as a teacher/motivator.
    Its odd that you would think that.
    He had the best team in Raptors history and finished 5th in the East and was swept in the playoffs by New York.
    I clearly remember that at the time we had a better team than they did.

  13. #11
    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Karl Marx. wrote: View Post
    Its odd that you would think that.
    He had the best team in Raptors history and finished 5th in the East and was swept in the playoffs by New York.
    I clearly remember that at the time we had a better team than they did.
    The Knicks had just come off a finals appearance the year before. Ewing and Camby both missed a chunk of the regular season but were there for the playoffs and made it to the conference finals. This versus a Raptors team who was making its first ever playoff appearance and were significantly younger (atleast their core - Vince 2nd year, McGrady 3rd year, Alvin 3rd year).

    I don't think the Raptors had a better team than the Knicks at the time.
    Last edited by Craiger; Wed Jul 10th, 2013 at 07:38 AM.

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    I don't think the Raptors had a better team than the Knicks at the time.
    OK, lets take a look at the numbers

    CENTER
    Davis 14pts 9rbs Vs Ewing 15pys, 10rbs
    Slight advantage NY

    POWER FORWARD
    Oakley 7pts 7rbs Vs Johnson 11pts, 5rbs
    Tie

    SMALL FORWARD
    McGrady 15pts, 6rbs, 3ast Vs Sprewell 19pts, 4rbs, 4ast
    Tie

    OFF GUARD
    Carter 26pts, 6rbs, 5ast Vs Houston 20pts, 3rbs, 3ast
    Advantage Toronto

    POINT GUARD
    Bougues 5pts, 4ast Vs Ward 7pts 4ast
    Slight advantage NY

    BENCH CENTER-PF
    Willis 8pts, 6rbs Vs Camby 10pts, 8rbs
    Slight advantage NY

    BENCH WING
    Christie 12pts, 4rbs, 4ast Vs Wallace 7pts 2rbs
    Advantage Toronto

    So while we were o.k. at PF-C position with Davis, Oakley and Willis Vs Ewing, Johnson and Camby and even at the PG position where we had Bogues and Brown Vs Ward and Childs, we were so much better at F-G position where we had Carter, McGrady and Christie Vs Sprewell, Houston and no one else. Our problem was that we had no system and did not know who our PG is. Is it Bogues (Williams was injured) or is it Christie. We did not solve that problem throwout the series. Also we did not figure out who was our other wing (with Carter). Is it Christie? Is it McGrady? Not solving that problem made us lose both.

  15. #13
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    Experience matters a great deal.

    NY was coming off a finals run with that team. They knew how to get it done in the playoffs.

    Toronto had some vets, but their key contributors had never played in the playoffs. They had no idea how big an adjustment it would be, and they only had a handful of games to figure it out. It's rare that a team has much success the first time a group makes the playoffs together, especially when their best players are young and have no playoff experience.

    And that's a nice breakdown trying to find a way to give Toronto a roster advantage, but that doesn't account for the fact that NY was a 50 win team and Toronto won 45 games. They were a better team that year. They had a stronger frontcourt, more experienced wings (who were better shooting threats), and they were coached by JVG. If you're going to blame Butch for a series, without accounting for his coaching opponent, who just a year before coached the same NY team to a Finals appearance as an 8th seed, well then your analysis is far from complete. It's hard to blame Butch for getting outcoached by JVG. IT would hard to blame most any coach for that.

  16. #14
    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Karl Marx. wrote: View Post
    OK, lets take a look at the numbers

    CENTER
    Davis 14pts 9rbs Vs Ewing 15pys, 10rbs
    Slight advantage NY

    POWER FORWARD
    Oakley 7pts 7rbs Vs Johnson 11pts, 5rbs
    Tie

    SMALL FORWARD
    McGrady 15pts, 6rbs, 3ast Vs Sprewell 19pts, 4rbs, 4ast
    Tie

    OFF GUARD
    Carter 26pts, 6rbs, 5ast Vs Houston 20pts, 3rbs, 3ast
    Advantage Toronto

    POINT GUARD
    Bougues 5pts, 4ast Vs Ward 7pts 4ast
    Slight advantage NY

    BENCH CENTER-PF
    Willis 8pts, 6rbs Vs Camby 10pts, 8rbs
    Slight advantage NY

    BENCH WING
    Christie 12pts, 4rbs, 4ast Vs Wallace 7pts 2rbs
    Advantage Toronto

    So while we were o.k. at PF-C position with Davis, Oakley and Willis Vs Ewing, Johnson and Camby and even at the PG position where we had Bogues and Brown Vs Ward and Childs, we were so much better at F-G position where we had Carter, McGrady and Christie Vs Sprewell, Houston and no one else. Our problem was that we had no system and did not know who our PG is. Is it Bogues (Williams was injured) or is it Christie. We did not solve that problem throwout the series. Also we did not figure out who was our other wing (with Carter). Is it Christie? Is it McGrady? Not solving that problem made us lose both.
    Well I'm not going to get into a huge debate over this. But I will say posting raw numbers, then labelling it with very subjective 'tie/advantage/slight advantage, isn't going to convince me as to which players 'better' and therefore which team was 'better'.

    Knicks just came off a finals appearance, had a better record than Toronto that year while suffering significant injuries , and had alot more experience going into the playoffs while making it the EC finals. I think that should sum up who was the 'better' team. But thas just me.

    Also we did not figure out who was our other wing (with Carter)
    McGrady started all three games, playing 37 minutes a game. (2nd most minutes played other than Vince). I don't think there was a problem there.

    During that series Vince and McGrady shot .300 and .386 respectively. A not so rare first taste of playoffs result.

  17. #15
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    That particular team was the best team in Raptors history. We beat those same NY Knicks next season with much weaker team.

    CENTER
    Davis 14pts 10rbs Vs Camby 12pts 12rbs
    Tie

    POWER FORWARD
    Oakley 10pts 10rbs Vs Thomas 10pts 7rbs
    Tie

    SMALL FORWARD
    Carter 28pts 6rbs 4ast Vs Sprewell 18pts 5rbs 4ast
    Advantage Toronto

    OFF GUARD
    Alvin Williams 10pts 5 ast Vs Houston 19pts 4 rbs
    Advantage NY

    POINT GUARD
    Childs 5pts 5ast Vs Jackson 6pts 6rbs
    Advantage NY (NY traded for Jackson)

    BENCH CENTER-PF
    Clark 9pts 5rbs Vs Harringron 6pts 4rbs
    Slight advantage Toronto

    BENCH WING
    Jerome Williams 5pts 4rbs Vs Rice 12pts 4rbs
    Advantage NY

    Both teams are weaker than they were previous season but its obvious that this time around NY has an advantage. However, Toronto had a better coach and he was the difference.

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    Well I'm not going to get into a huge debate over this. But I will say posting raw numbers, then labelling it with very subjective 'tie/advantage/slight advantage, isn't going to convince me as to which players 'better' and therefore which team was 'better'.

    Knicks just came off a finals appearance, had a better record than Toronto that year while suffering significant injuries , and had alot more experience going into the playoffs while making it the EC finals. I think that should sum up who was the 'better' team. But thas just me.

    McGrady started all three games, playing 37 minutes a game. (2nd most minutes played other than Vince). I don't think there was a problem there.
    I do not think that I am being subjective. I would like to hear your opinion, position by position, who do you think has the advantage. Numbers aside. While I can agree that NY was slightly better at C-PF as well as PG position, there is no question that we were better at F-G position. Especially because they had no back up for Houston and Sprewell. And do not throw numbers in my face because in this series particularity, both Carter and McGrady were not put in a position to succeed by bad coaching.

    Also, I would like you to tell me ONE Toronto team that was better than the one that played NY in 2001 playoff. The team we had next season, which beat those same Knicks did not have potential to be great. It was great coaching that got us into the second round.

    Finally, I am not talking about who started in the playoffs but who started throwout the season. Christie had no place starting at the point in order to open up starting spot for McGrady. Trying to keep them both happy made them both unhappy and both leaving. I know he could have kept one of them, which would have made a huge difference.

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