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Thread: Looking Down The Road (Players Edition)

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    Raptors Republic Superstar isaacthompson's Avatar
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    Default Looking Down The Road (Players Edition)

    Preface: Writers at SB Nation did a piece this morning on who they thought would be the top 100 players in the league would be when 2017 rolled around. Here are the three current Raptors that made the list:

    93. Terrence Ross

    Age in 2017: 26
    Current Team: Toronto Raptors
    2012-13 PER: 10.4

    I was a big fan of Ross coming out of Washington, enough so that I'm not overly concerned about his underwhelming rookie numbers. He's got great size (6'7 and 200 pounds), he's a good outside shooter and he's a spectacular athlete. That's a solid foundation to build his game over the next few years. In 2017, he'll be 26, just coming into his prime. Getting minutes in Toronto may be tricky over the next few years, but I like him more than DeMar DeRozan, a shooting guard who can't shoot 3's. -TJARKS
    90. Rudy Gay

    Age in 2017: 31
    Current Team: Toronto Raptors
    2012-13 PER: 15.6

    Gay will be 31 in 2017, so right at the edge of his peak. And this is thing I've always said about Rudy Gay: he's not awful. He's not even bad. He's bad for an $18 million contract. The argument has always been about his value to a team at that price point; folks who mark for him tend to make it about the fact that he obviously looks like an elite basketball player. He just doesn't perform like one, and that's where the issues arise.

    That said, the 90th best player in the NBA would be on the 18th team All-NBA, and I'm comfortable with projecting Gay there in 2017. If this eyesight thing was actually a big deal, he'll be way higher. He's primarily discounted now because he's a scorer who can't shoot. -ZILLER
    18. Jonas Valanciunas

    Age in 2017: 25
    Current Team: Toronto Raptors
    2012-13 PER: 15.6

    I'm a little concerned about Valanciunas's rebounding, but he projects as an awesome defender and scorer. That's a rare combination for big men, and he'll be 25 in 2017, hitting his stride ... if all goes according to plan. -ZILLER

    PRADA: This may seem like a reach, but I'd rather have Jonas than the next guy on this list in four years.

    FLANNERY: Thought a lot about taking Jonas higher and I'll probably regret it in 2017 when we're all writing via telepathy.

    O'DONNELL: Underrated factor in this pick: With Masai Ujiri on-board (and maybe even the recent influx of talent out of Canada), Valanciunas should have some awesome teammates around him.
    We always talk about how this team, in general, will progress/regress in the coming years. I wanted to have the forum do something different: predict where the actual players will be in comparison to the rest of the league TALENT-WISE. Doesn't matter if you think they will be part of this organization or not.

    Looking down the roster, what do you see from each player in 4 years?
    Writer for RaptorsWatch.com

    Twitter - @thekid_it

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    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    The only guy I confidently think will be higher than they list is Jonas. I don't know if he'll be top 10 in reality, but I can see him in the top 10 ahead of some of these guys.

    In 4 years, I'm not confident Dwight or Lopez will be better Cs than him.
    -Dwight is so hard to gauge given his dependence on athleticism and strength, so we'll see how his body holds up.
    -I also don't think Griffin's shown enough improvement to warrant a top 10 spot (even in the article they talk about "waiting for him to blow up" after 3 seasons....How many seasons should it take for a guy who was obviously the most impressive specimen at PF even in his rookie year?).
    -I also can't confidently put Drummond ahead of JV, because while he has obvious impact on D and the boards, man does he have A LOT of growth to do in other areas. I do think it's basically a race between him and JV out of young Cs, to show who can be more dominant on both ends first. And I think it's reasonable to think JV, Drummond and Davis could be the only bigs in the top 10, though I struggle to predict where. The homer in me hopes JV ends up the best, but if Davis can hold his own against Cs, he should have the inside track.
    -Love is a guy I have a hard time gauging. I need to see him play a full healthy year on a decent team. He should also be in the top 10 or so (maybe exactly where he is) if he does. But I'd still probably prefer JV as an anchor at C is just so hard to find, and that's why I like Drummond, JV and Davis a lot.

    It's also jsut way too hard to compare JV to other players at other positions, so I'll leave it at that.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star RandomGuy's Avatar
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    Jonas will be average center, top 30 at best, look at his stats in Macedonia game.
    #FREE

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    Quote RandomGuy wrote: View Post
    Jonas will be average center, top 30 at best, look at his stats in Macedonia game.
    This may just be semantics on my part, but I don't know what you mean by average centre. There is no "average" centre in the top 30. If you're a top 30 NBA player, chances are you're in the top tier of your position, even if he ends up on the lower end.

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    Success.
    #FREE

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer Matt52's Avatar
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    Did DeMar not even make the list?

    I did click the link but all the numbers are on the faces and it was too much for me. Stimulus overload.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
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    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    all the numbers are on the faces
    Yeah, they need to find better editors. That was simply stupid.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star slaw's Avatar
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    Quote BobLoblaw wrote: View Post
    Yeah, they need to find better editors. That was simply stupid.
    They really need to fire whoever redesigned/reformatted all the SBNation sites last year. I find their sites almost unusable at this point.

    As for the list, it seems pointless and arbitrary to me.

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    Like everyone else, SB Nation reaching the bottom of the barrel to get clicks. Their list includes a ton of guys who haven't even played a college game yet, never mind the ones who haven't faced NBA competition yet.

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    Anyway, this is such a crap shoot list. Many of these guys will get injured or will fail to develop. And the current prime guys are ranked WAY too low. Melo at no.33, Chris Paul at no.16, Marc Gasol at 35, Noah at 62. If these guys were 35 years old in 4 years, I'd understand, but they'll be basically just a year or two past 30, they will still be around their prime. One or two of them might be derailed by injuries, but...

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    Raptors Republic Superstar isaacthompson's Avatar
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    Quote p00ka wrote: View Post
    Like everyone else, SB Nation reaching the bottom of the barrel to get clicks. Their list includes a ton of guys who haven't even played a college game yet, never mind the ones who haven't faced NBA competition yet.
    To be fair, it is a list that predicts up to 2017, so you have to use something from that age region.

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    Quote isaacthompson wrote: View Post
    To be fair, it is a list that predicts up to 2017, so you have to use something from that age region.
    Just pointing out only one of the things that make this such a frivolous ranking, and an indication of how desperate bball sites are to publish something at this time of year.

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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    This may just be semantics on my part, but I don't know what you mean by average centre. There is no "average" centre in the top 30. If you're a top 30 NBA player, chances are you're in the top tier of your position, even if he ends up on the lower end.
    Agreed. As of right now I'd say there's only one center in the top 30 and that's Dwight. And I think in 4-5 years Jonas will be ahead of Dwight because of his lack of skill and injury history.

    Plus, I'd say Jonas is already an above average center. A lot of PF's are moving to C because 7-footers that can actually play at a decent level are somewhat of a myth right now.

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    Guys you should know sarcasm better than me...
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    Quote Macc wrote: View Post
    Agreed. As of right now I'd say there's only one center in the top 30 and that's Dwight. And I think in 4-5 years Jonas will be ahead of Dwight because of his lack of skill and injury history.

    Plus, I'd say Jonas is already an above average center. A lot of PF's are moving to C because 7-footers that can actually play at a decent level are somewhat of a myth right now.
    Indeed.

    On a random note, I saw a blip on hoopshype about Sheed mentoring Drummond from a skills perspective. I mean, it makes sense since Sheed joined Detroit's staff but....Does anyone else think that's weird? Sheed was a great player, but he was very much a PF with a PF's game. He could finish down low, but even in the post, I feel like his preferred shot was a short jumper/fade away. And he loved to camp out at the 3 pt line. I feel like they should be trying to get him with a true C with high athleticism...David Robinson immediately comes to mind.

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    Quote RandomGuy wrote: View Post
    Guys you should know sarcasm better than me...
    Yeah, I realized you were trying to bait me...but I was already writing my response...so it's all good.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Macc wrote: View Post
    Agreed. As of right now I'd say there's only one center in the top 30 and that's Dwight. And I think in 4-5 years Jonas will be ahead of Dwight because of his lack of skill and injury history.

    Plus, I'd say Jonas is already an above average center. A lot of PF's are moving to C because 7-footers that can actually play at a decent level are somewhat of a myth right now.
    I think there are still plenty of good Cs in the league. (not ranking or comparing to Jonas)

    Marc Gasol
    Hibbert
    Noah
    Pekovic
    Chandler
    Lopez
    Howard
    Asik
    Jefferson
    Gortat

    Then you have the interchangebable guys (ie. possible PFs playing C - or C at times)

    Horford
    Monroe
    Ibaka
    Nene
    Sanders
    Splitter/Duncan
    Bosh

    The 'potential' guys

    Val
    McGee
    Drummond
    Leonard
    Jordan
    Kanter
    Cousins

    'if not injured' guys

    Bogut
    Bynum
    Varejao

    I'm sure there is a name or two I'm missing in there to.

    But I think we underrate the quality of Cs out there.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer Matt52's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    I think there are still plenty of good Cs in the league. (not ranking or comparing to Jonas)

    Marc Gasol
    Hibbert
    Noah
    Pekovic
    Chandler
    Lopez
    Howard
    Asik
    Jefferson
    Gortat

    Then you have the interchangebable guys (ie. possible PFs playing C - or C at times)

    Horford
    Monroe
    Ibaka
    Nene
    Sanders
    Splitter/Duncan
    Bosh

    The 'potential' guys

    Val
    McGee
    Drummond
    Leonard
    Jordan
    Kanter
    Cousins

    'if not injured' guys

    Bogut
    Bynum
    Varejao

    I'm sure there is a name or two I'm missing in there to.

    But I think we underrate the quality of Cs out there.
    I think the issue with bigs today is the evolution of the game. You think back 15-20 years ago and just about every contending team - other than the Bulls - had a dominant C. The way C are used today and their skillset is much different than previous era. Athleticism tends to be more valued than skill. Maybe, "You can't teach athleticism" has replaced the long time saying, "You can't teach height."

    That is a great list though, Craiger. With 27 C's on the list it certainly puts in to perspective 'the lack of quality C' in the league today.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
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    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Axel's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    I think the issue with bigs today is the evolution of the game. You think back 15-20 years ago and just about every contending team - other than the Bulls - had a dominant C. The way C are used today and their skillset is much different than previous era. Athleticism tends to be more valued than skill. Maybe, "You can't teach athleticism" has replaced the long time saying, "You can't teach height."

    That is a great list though, Craiger. With 27 C's on the list it certainly puts in to perspective 'the lack of quality C' in the league today.
    I think that point is why a Kenneth Farried type of player is likely to be the new starting center prototype for most teams. The game is stretching away from the half-court sets that true big men excelled in, as more teams are using the 3 point shot (especially the corner 3) and transition. A defence needs to be faster than in the past, so undersized but athletically gifted, physical rebounders who dunk is becoming the norm. Drummond projects down this path, which is also the Dwight Howard model. I think JV is very much a counter to that movement and one of the last 'old school' centers in the league. Hopefully Raptors management can understand this league wide trend and how it will impact their roster compilation if JV is the 'zig' to the leagues 'zag'.
    Whatever you do, do it the best you can

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    Quote Axel wrote: View Post
    I think that point is why a Kenneth Farried type of player is likely to be the new starting center prototype for most teams. The game is stretching away from the half-court sets that true big men excelled in, as more teams are using the 3 point shot (especially the corner 3) and transition. A defence needs to be faster than in the past, so undersized but athletically gifted, physical rebounders who dunk is becoming the norm. Drummond projects down this path, which is also the Dwight Howard model. I think JV is very much a counter to that movement and one of the last 'old school' centers in the league. Hopefully Raptors management can understand this league wide trend and how it will impact their roster compilation if JV is the 'zig' to the leagues 'zag'.
    The game slows down in the playoffs. You are at tremendous advantage as a team if you have a legit C, who you could throw a ball to at half court play and this is particularly true when it matters the most.

    "O'DONNELL: Underrated factor in this pick: With Masai Ujiri on-board (and maybe even the recent influx of talent out of Canada), Valanciunas should have some awesome teammates around him. "
    music to my ears!

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