I'm all over tear it down for this season.
What I mean is if the Raptors can't pick up young players or draft picks and other expirings to make trades work for cap purposes then they should let the contracts expire. The TPE will still be good at the draft so picking up a player like Gerald Wallace would be a smart move at that time. Picking up a player like that is only going to hurt draft positioning this year and possibily keep them in the dreaded 'fringe playoff team zone' for years to come. IMO this is worse than suffering through a couple of lottery/bottom feeder seasons. My understanding is the salary cap is calculated based on salary as of June 30 (if anyone knows different please correct me) so come draft time there could be financially strapped teams literally giving players away.
The core of Bargnani, DD, Johnson, Davis, Bayless, Kleiza, and Alabi should be kept.
Bring back Wright and Dorsey on minimum contracts if possible to round out the roster.
I firmly believe Jose should be moved if it returns expirings, a young player, or a draft pick(s). Same with Barbosa. Same with Peja. Same with Evans. Barbosa and Calderon are obviously not expirings. Trading their contracts would save the Raptors around $17.3M off the payroll next season. That would take their payroll to around $27M plus whatever they get back in trades (if not expirings).
The focus of the draft should be on getting a 2-way future star wing, first and foremost, and a PG, second.
The TPE should only be used around the draft to get a player like Gerlad Wallace or Chris Kaman or whoever i.e. an established NBA who is borderline all-star or better - obviously the trading partner of the Raps would be cash strapped. Another way to use it would be to take back a short, bad contract to move up in the draft (much like OKC did this past draft). If Barbosa and Calderon are traded this scenario would not negatively impact financial flexibility at all which brings us to free agency.
If Calderon and Barbosa are shipped out and little contract is brought back and/or the TPE is not used, the Raptors could be serious players in FA. Here is a list of potential free agents for 2011:
If I am allowed to dream for a moment, this is what I would like to see happen:
PG: Irving, Bayless, (3rd string)
SG: DD, Corey Brewer, Justin Holiday
SF: Gerald Wallace, Kleiza, Chris Singleton
PF: Davis, Johnson, Dorsey
C: Bargnani, Hasheem Thabeet, Alabi
Evans traded for Thabeet.
Wallace obtained with TPE at/around draft.
Calderon and Weems shipped to Minnesota in return for Brewer and Flynn (Brewer re-signed as RFA, Flynn traded for a mid 1st round draft pick, 16-22 range).
Barbosa shipped to Golden State for Radmanovic and 2011 second round pick from Chicago (less favourable of PHX and UTA picks).
If Calderon and Barbosa were traded, Kyrie Irving would be a legitimate draft possibility as we are currently set to draft 6th. Take those 2 guys away and things could really be ugly over a 20-25 game stretch.
Kylie Irving is on everyone's list and we are not getting him.
Perhaps picking sixth but our aim should be Terrence jones if anyone. I like fifth as it gives us enough balls to potentially get into the top three picks.
Also, trading Calderon would mean we won't have any PG. And trading Barbosa would really limit us, and we'll probably struggle to win 20 games, which does favor us in the draft. But I'd be pretty unhappy to be losing night in night out.
I think we should try and do a trade for Dragic, as he's unhappy at the moment and can become a pretty good PG.
Any Calderon trade would need to return a PG. It would definitely cause the rest of the season to become extremely difficult to endure. The way I look at it though, the inevitable Jose injury would make it torturous and beyond unbearable.
Dragic might get what he wants and more if or when Nash is traded. Where there is smoke there is fire.
2-11 to start the season
4 game winning streak (PHI, HOU, BOS, PHI)
Half the season is over and reality is starting to set in. The Raptors are currently slated to pick sixth overall. Of the teams below them:
No doubt CLE is worse - 2-0 vs Cavs..
SAC has beat us twice and have a much tougher schedule playing in the West so overall record may not be a fair comparison.
NJ is certainly questionable and the fact the Raps are 1-0 against them eventhough they played bad means you probably are correct.
WSH is 2-1 against the Raps.
MIN is about on par, IMO.
When a team's winning percentage is 32%, 3.5 games back with 40 games left to play is a big deal and without a major trade, playoffs are highly unlikely. I disagree with the health of Weems, Evans, and Bayless making a factor. Bayless is the only one I see back next year of those three.
While CLE, SAC, and NJ may be worse, that still leaves 26 teams who are better - and only 16 playoff spots. And even that leaves the Raptors picking 4th overall. If Calderon or Barbosa are traded, especially Calderon, and a guy like Flynn is returned, the Raps are easily vying for the second worst record in the league - CLE are just so bad.
ugh stop saying we should draft terrence williams
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