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Thread: ESPN's Raptors Offseason Report Card - D+

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    Default Chad Ford's Offseason grade for the Raps

    TORONTO RAPTORS | GRADE: D+

    Additions: Tyler Hansbrough (FA), D.J. Augustin (FA), Steve Novak (trade), Dwight Buycks (FA), Quentin Richardson (trade), Masai Ujiri (GM), Knicks' 2016 first-round draft pick

    Subtractions: Andrea Bargnani (Knicks), Linas Kleiza, Alan Anderson (Nets), John Lucas III (Jazz), Bryan Colangelo (GM)

    The Raptors' biggest moves this summer came in the front office. After years at the helm, Bryan Colangelo is out and his former protégé, Masai Ujiri, has come to help turn things around. It was a tough few years for Colangelo. The Raptors really never recovered from losing Chris Bosh and have been perpetually in the "bad, but not bad enough" category the past few years.

    Based on his moves, or lack thereof, this summer, it appears Ujiri isn't in any hurry to make the playoffs. Toronto's two biggest acquisitions, Hansbrough and Augustin, were both part of a much maligned Pacers bench last season, and thrusting them into bigger roles in Toronto doesn't exactly scream "We're going for it!"

    The problem for the Raptors is that they aren't bad enough to grab a lion's share of pingpong balls, nor are they good enough to compete for a playoff spot. And next year, they aren't likely to have much in the way of cap room. So either Ujiri waits this out until the 2015 season, or someone like Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry should keep his bags packed this season.
    Please keep in mind it's a offseason grade and not a outlook grade. I kind of agree with him on the "not good enough to do much and not bad enough to win the lotto" sentiment, tho i'd give us a better grade for the MU/Leweike hiring and getting 3 picks and a decent player for Bargs.
    @jerboat

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    Administrator Dr. James Naismith's Avatar
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    Default ESPN's Raptors Offseason Report Card - D+

    TORONTO Raptors | GRADE: D+

    Additions: Tyler Hansbrough (FA), D.J. Augustin (FA), Steve Novak (trade), Dwight Buycks (FA), Quentin Richardson (trade), Masai Ujiri (GM), Knicks' 2016 first-round draft pick

    Subtractions: Andrea Bargnani (Knicks), Linas Kleiza, Alan Anderson (Nets), John Lucas III (Jazz), Bryan Colangelo (GM)

    The Raptors' biggest moves this summer came in the front office. After years at the helm, Bryan Colangelo is out and his former protégé, Masai Ujiri, has come to help turn things around. It was a tough few years for Colangelo. The Raptors really never recovered from losing Chris Bosh and have been perpetually in the "bad, but not bad enough" category the past few years.

    Based on his moves, or lack thereof, this summer, it appears Ujiri isn't in any hurry to make the playoffs. Toronto's two biggest acquisitions, Hansbrough and Augustin, were both part of a much maligned Pacers bench last season, and thrusting them into bigger roles in Toronto doesn't exactly scream "We're going for it!"

    The problem for the Raptors is that they aren't bad enough to grab a lion's share of pingpong balls, nor are they good enough to compete for a playoff spot. And next year, they aren't likely to have much in the way of cap room. So either Ujiri waits this out until the 2015 season, or someone like Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry should keep his bags packed this season.
    Apparently Chad Ford doesn't think we had a decent offseason so far.

    Source - ESPN Insider

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    Raptors Republic Superstar isaacthompson's Avatar
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    Agree with everything he said, but we should've gotten at least a C for moving Bargs. That seemed like an impossibility 2 months ago.
    Twitter - @thekid_it

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    I think it's a fair assessment, but a more accurate grade would be "Incomplete; re-evaluate after trade deadline".

    MU stated that he would be comfortable starting the season with the same core as last season, but he has never said anything about his comfort level about finishing the season with that same core intact. This season - the first half at least - is all about roster evaluation, before the first domino falls. Which way that domino falls is still anybody's guess!

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    The problem for the Raptors is that they aren't bad enough to grab a lion's share of pingpong balls, nor are they good enough to compete for a playoff spot. And next year, they aren't likely to have much in the way of cap room. So either Ujiri waits this out until the 2015 season, or someone like Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry should keep his bags packed this season.
    I think they are good enough to compete for playoffs. They will be part of that 7-11/12 group. They might not make it but they are definitely competing.

    I think D+ is harsh.

    Getting 3 draft picks out of Bargnani and a useful shooter was a steal.

    Hansbrough and Augustine are all short term low money deals.

    They have back themselves away from the luxury tax and apron.


    The reality is:

    1) the Raptors are a work in progress and if everything clicks they can bring players back and if they don't click they can send them packing,

    2) they are better than they were last year on paper it would appear.

    3) they were operating at the luxury tax/apron and now have about $6M in breathing room for hardcap and $2M for luxury tax.


    I'd be inclined to give them a B- based on flexibility with additions, improvement in depth, and Bargnani gone. Without Bargnani it would be a solid C.
    Last edited by mcHAPPY; Wed Jul 31st, 2013 at 02:09 PM.
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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    American Media everybody. Thier say our players are good but we still wont win.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    It probably isn't possible [at ESPN] to earn anything higher than a 'C' without acquiring some sort of "name" player. Austin Daye probably doesn't fall into that category.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    It probably isn't possible [at ESPN] to earn anything higher than a 'C' without acquiring some sort of "name" player. Austin Daye probably doesn't fall into that category.
    Well how accurate is it for ESPN to assume all 30 teams started the offseason at the same place, with the same offseason goals? If Toronto achieved beyond their expected goal (ie: financial and Bargani based goals), but that was't the goal(s) ESPN chose to evaluate them against, then how could we ever expect the Raptors to get anything but a below-average grade? I don't think ESPN really took the time to consider each team in their own vacuum, weighing into consideration each team's unique roster and CAP related restrictions, let alone their own offseason objectives.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Seems like a harsh grade, but guess it's fair. Outside of internal growth, which every team has undergone, are we any better as a team than we were last season? Still, I would have thought moving Bargs would have been cause for a better grade.

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    Seems like a harsh grade, but guess it's fair. Outside of internal growth, which every team has undergone, are we any better as a team than we were last season? Still, I would have thought moving Bargs would have been cause for a better grade.
    End of 2012-13 season:

    PG: Lowry, JL3, Telfair
    SG: DD, AA, Ross
    SF: Gay, Fields, Kleiza, Pietrus
    PF: Amir, Bargnani, Acy
    C: JV, Gray


    Start 2013-14:

    PG: Lowry, Augustine, Buycks
    SG: DD, Ross, Fields
    SF: Gay, Novak, Daye
    PF: Amir, Hansbrough, Acy
    C: JV, Gray

    *Q-Rich left out


    I see upgrade:

    Augustine/Buycks > JL3/Telfair
    DD/Ross/Fields > DD/AA/Ross
    Gay/Novak/Daye = Gay, Fields, Kleiza, Pietrus
    Amir/T/Q > Amir, Bargnani, Q
    JV/Gray in '14 > JV/Gray in '13

    Factor in they have actually decreased their committed salaries by $3M since the start of the summer and, well, I change that B- to a B.
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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    End of 2012-13 season:

    PG: Lowry, JL3, Telfair
    SG: DD, AA, Ross
    SF: Gay, Fields, Kleiza, Pietrus
    PF: Amir, Bargnani, Acy
    C: JV, Gray


    Start 2013-14:

    PG: Lowry, Augustine, Buycks
    SG: DD, Ross, Fields
    SF: Gay, Novak, Daye
    PF: Amir, Hansbrough, Acy
    C: JV, Gray

    *Q-Rich left out


    I see upgrade:

    Augustine/Buycks > JL3/Telfair
    DD/Ross/Fields > DD/AA/Ross
    Gay/Novak/Daye = Gay, Fields, Kleiza, Pietrus
    Amir/T/Q > Amir, Bargnani, Q
    JV/Gray in '14 > JV/Gray in '13

    Factor in they have actually decreased their committed salaries by $3M since the start of the summer and, well, I change that B- to a B.
    Plus you can add all those positives to:
    - dumping Bargnani (addition by subtraction)
    - actually getting decent return for Bargnani (Novak & 1st round pick & 2 2nd round picks)
    - returning to DC's defense-first approach from 2011-2012 (Raps were a much improved defensive team that year)
    - no long-term financial commitments (most signings were for 1 year, or 1 year with options)

    D+ really does seem at least a little harsh after giving it a little more thought.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    Well how accurate is it for ESPN to assume all 30 teams started the offseason at the same place, with the same offseason goals? If Toronto achieved beyond their expected goal (ie: financial and Bargani based goals), but that was't the goal(s) ESPN chose to evaluate them against, then how could we ever expect the Raptors to get anything but a below-average grade? I don't think ESPN really took the time to consider each team in their own vacuum, weighing into consideration each team's unique roster and CAP related restrictions, let alone their own offseason objectives.
    It's almost guaranteed they didn't put in that kind of research. These subjective grading articles are basically just sports-related tabloids (and are just as meaningless).
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Rapstor4Life's Avatar
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    Quote isaacthompson wrote: View Post
    Agree with everything he said, but we should've gotten at least a C for moving Bargs. That seemed like an impossibility 2 months ago.
    You forget in the eyes of the NBA peers Bargnani is a big talent and dangerous 7 foot jump shooter in the eyes of the Media except Toronto Knicks killed us on that deal.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    Quote Rapstor4Life wrote: View Post
    You forget in the eyes of the NBA peers Bargnani is a big talent and dangerous 7 foot jump shooter in the eyes of the Media except Toronto Knicks killed us on that deal.
    That's not true. AB was not that well respected. No raptor drafted player is that well respected down there. I lived in the states for a while. Unless if your home city is playing the raptors you will never see a raptor game on TV. If you live in a city without a NBA team than you could go a whole season without seeing one raptor game. The only time raptors will get any exposure is if the make the playoffs.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Letter N's Avatar
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    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    That's not true. AB was not that well respected. No raptor drafted player is that well respected down there. I lived in the states for a while. Unless if your home city is playing the raptors you will never see a raptor game on TV. If you live in a city without a NBA team than you could go a whole season without seeing one raptor game. The only time raptors will get any exposure is if the make the playoffs.
    How many random Bobcats games are they showing?

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    More than raptors that's forsure

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Superjudge's Avatar
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    ESPN....funny. One only need read the comments the entire world of Basketball made after Bargnani was successfully traded to see why this grade is completely Bogus.

    I would pay much mind to it.

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    I'll take Lowe's assessment over Ford's any day.. and Lowe thought Toronto's moves were good (he put them in the "Winners, With Caveats section" of his off season breakdown). I agree that D+ is too harsh and overly critical.

    Unless Ford's position is to see if a team's off season will help them contend or overtly tank, and neither happened and that's why he gave them such a bad grade.

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    perfect place for my cover picture

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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    End of 2012-13 season:

    PG: Lowry, JL3, Telfair
    SG: DD, AA, Ross
    SF: Gay, Fields, Kleiza, Pietrus
    PF: Amir, Bargnani, Acy
    C: JV, Gray


    Start 2013-14:

    PG: Lowry, Augustine, Buycks
    SG: DD, Ross, Fields
    SF: Gay, Novak, Daye
    PF: Amir, Hansbrough, Acy
    C: JV, Gray

    *Q-Rich left out


    I see upgrade:

    Augustine/Buycks > JL3/Telfair
    DD/Ross/Fields > DD/AA/Ross
    Gay/Novak/Daye = Gay, Fields, Kleiza, Pietrus
    Amir/T/Q > Amir, Bargnani, Q
    JV/Gray in '14 > JV/Gray in '13

    Factor in they have actually decreased their committed salaries by $3M since the start of the summer and, well, I change that B- to a B.
    - PG I think might be a wash.. DJ can be very bad (as shown last year) and Buycks is unproven.
    - SG could be an upgrade if Fields returns to form and Ross actually shows up, but both are big If's.
    - SF and PF were definitely upgrades but mainly due to addition by subtraction. I don't think either Daye or Psycho-T will create wins. But losing Bargnani, Pietrus, and Kleiza should net wins just by itself.
    - C should be better and that has nothing to do with Toronto's summer though.

    All in all the biggest reason why the Raptors should have a positive grade is because both BC and AB are gone.. Regardless of what ESPN thinks those two moves make this one of the best summer's in a very long time.

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