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Thread: Will this be a make-or-break season for our "core"?

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    Default Will this be a make-or-break season for our "core"?

    Given that this core (of KL, DD, JV, TR) have been together for 3 years now and are going into their 4th year, and seeing first hand their basketball limitations as a group against the more elite teams in the NBA, as well as the impending free agency of 3 out of 4 players could possibly be gone, do you think this core will see another season together after this 2015-16 one? Is this season more significant than the previous ones based on the time and knowledge of our team having played so long together?

    What happens if they under perform once more in the playoffs? Will someone/everyone be dropped? Will that person(s) be departed before the deadline or at a later time-- like in the next off-season?

    Or is this season not really that important to Masai at all, and a throw away season to continue collecting assets and maintaining flexibility? Will Masai continue to make adjustments and work around this core figuring out ways to marginally improve the roster?

    I'm personally not sure about any of this but I wanted to hear what ya'll had to say.
    Last edited by BS10; Tue Jul 28th, 2015 at 08:12 PM.

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    I think in sports in general, every season is more important than the last. Work continues and while I don't think it'll be a throwaway year, I think Masai continues to collect assets and build a nice core. Perhaps he lets some of these guys go, but I don't think he's given himself or them an ultimatum. It's more like constant evaluation.

    Example: he didn't panic trade Lou at the deadline, but was cool enough to let him walk and continue on with his work.
    A key that opens many locks is a master key, but a lock that gets open by many keys is just a shitty lock

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    Yeah, I think it is a make or break season for those four. However, I think Lowry and Ross are the ones who get moved if things go south.

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    Well now our core consists of Carroll, while Ross is regulated to the bench as an after thought. If it's another first round exit, Masai will need to evaluate again what's wrong. Maybe all we need is a starting caliber PF to make some noise and if it's not that then in all likelihood DD will not be resigned, KL will be traded and Casey will be fired. Unless you are getting a better value at the centre then JV, he isn't going anywhere.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Snooch's Avatar
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    Last season should have been make or break.

    3rd year together, given all opportunity and 2 straight first round exits, with the second of the 2 being very humiliating.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Masai is about asset accumulation more than anything. He'll retain DeMar not because he wants to keep his core, but because he'll better as an asset on the roster to trade later than a piece that gets away for nothing.

    So even if the Raptors come out of the gate luke warm or they lose in the first round again, the 'core' will be here until Masai can find a good package to deal them. If he doesn't find anything he likes than they will continue to be Raptors.

    If anything Casey will be on thin ice as he's in his contract year.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Demographic Shift's Avatar
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    Quote BS10 wrote: View Post
    Given that this core (of KL, DD, JV, TR) have been together for 3 years now and are going into their 4th year, and seeing first hand their basketball limitations as a group against the more elite teams in the NBA, as well as the impending free agency of 3 out of 4 players could possibly be gone, do you think this core will see another season together after this 2015-16 one? Is this season more significant than the previous ones based on the time and knowledge of our team having played so long together?

    What happens if they under perform once more in the playoffs? Will someone/everyone be dropped? Will that person(s) be departed before the deadline or at a later time-- like in the next off-season?

    Or is this season not really that important to Masai at all, and a throw away season to continue collecting assets and maintaining flexibility? Will Masai continue to make adjustments and work around this core figuring out ways to marginally improve the roster?

    I'm personally not sure about any of this but I wanted to hear what ya'll had to say.
    I think this year is a pivotal year for the "old" core of Demar / Lowry / Ross / JV. Carroll who we just paid 60M over 4 years isn't going anywhere. We have the ability to makeover the team in the next two years if Ujiri chooses to. With 4 first rounders (only 1 might be top 10) and an expanding cap for all including us we have the ability to retool on the fly if Ujiri sees the ceiling has been reached. We have very desirable players on good contracts that can be used in the retool. We have the next wave of players getting a year under their belts ( Bebe / Wright / Bruno and perhaps Powell and Daniels). So this year becomes important for the core to show they can move to the next level. If not we have the flexibility to adjust.

    Whats the tipping point ? I believe a third consecutive first round exit in the playoffs will trigger a changing of the guard.

    Who goes ?

    I think Ross goes to RFA regardless of what he does this year and the choice will be to match or let him walk depending on what he does this year off the bench. Its up to him to commit to being a pro and engage on a level he has yet to show anyone so far. If he has another year like the last two I can't see us matching a deal if its more than 4 years for 30M total. Maybe not even that if the King of Instagram doesn't mature mightily this year.

    I don't see us moving away from or trading JV. He stays.

    Kyle had an uneven year last year (great start lousy finish) and has something to prove which is he is not a one year wonder and can replicate the all star start he had last year for an entire campaign. If we retool he is the most likely to go as he has a great deal at 12M / yr and Ujiri has put in place succession planning with Joseph and Wright.

    Demar.. this is the great unknown and toughest call. The pluses on DD still outweigh the minuses right now. He always amazes with something and if we are going to retain him at 80 to 90M per year for 4 years he will have to show a consistent 3 point shot this year. He needs to shoot it at a high 30's percentage and take at least 6 to 8 per game and maintain that percentage. If he can get that 3 pt shot down he stays. If he can't then with the heaviest of hearts we wish him well and let him go.

    So yes its a very pivotal year for the core. Lose in the first found of the playoffs for the 3rd time in 3 years would make changes inevitable.
    Last edited by Demographic Shift; Yesterday at 02:24 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Raptors Republic All-Star KeonClark's Avatar
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    Quote BS10 wrote: View Post
    Given that this core (of KL, DD, JV, TR) have been together for 3 years now and are going into their 4th year, and seeing first hand their basketball limitations as a group against the more elite teams in the NBA, as well as the impending free agency of 3 out of 4 players could possibly be gone, do you think this core will see another season together after this 2015-16 one? Is this season more significant than the previous ones based on the time and knowledge of our team having played so long together?

    What happens if they under perform once more in the playoffs? Will someone/everyone be dropped? Will that person(s) be departed before the deadline or at a later time-- like in the next off-season?

    Or is this season not really that important to Masai at all, and a throw away season to continue collecting assets and maintaining flexibility? Will Masai continue to make adjustments and work around this core figuring out ways to marginally improve the roster?

    I'm personally not sure about any of this but I wanted to hear what ya'll had to say.
    I don't think the team has any set rules, they're happy with the guys on the roster but always looking to improve. If the right deal comes along, best believe they'll pull the trigger.

    And I really don't get this term "throwaway season". Every year matters, nobody throws away a year of their life(if they're sane). Maybe somebody takes a huge leap, you never know when somebody becomes a huge star in this league (DeAndre Jordan, James Harden, Steph Curry, etc etc, all not expected to be anywhere near this good). Maybe the right deal comes mid season to launch you into contender status. Or maybe just maybe the players try as hard as they can, and you just enjoy the basketball.

    If you're asking if he will tear it all down, well, barring a complete disaster, I don't see that happening in Masais tenure. We're closer to the top than we are to the bottom, he's too far into it now, even if we're out in the first round and barely over .500, he'll roll up his sleeves, make some major changes, and try to improve again. That's sports as it is life. If you didn't get the raise you expected at work, do you quit everything, go back to school, and start all over again, or do you try to find a job thats better than the one you have while maintaining that healthy paycheck every couple of weeks?
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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    Masai is about asset accumulation more than anything. He'll retain DeMar not because he wants to keep his core, but because he'll better as an asset on the roster to trade later than a piece that gets away for nothing.

    So even if the Raptors come out of the gate luke warm or they lose in the first round again, the 'core' will be here until Masai can find a good package to deal them. If he doesn't find anything he likes than they will continue to be Raptors.

    If anything Casey will be on thin ice as he's in his contract year.
    Quote Demographic Shift wrote: View Post
    I think this year is a pivotal year for the "old" core of Demar / Lowry / Ross / JV. Carroll who we just paid 60M over 4 years isn't going anywhere. We have the ability to makeover the team in the next two years if Ujiri chooses to. With 4 first rounders (only 1 might be top 10) and an expanding cap for all including us we have the ability to retool on the fly if Ujiri sees the ceiling has been reached. We have very desirable players on good contracts that can be used in the retool. We have the next wave of players getting a year under their belts ( Bebe / Wright / Bruno and perhaps Powell and Daniels). So this year becomes important for the core to show they can move to the next level. If not we have the flexibility to adjust.

    Whats the tipping point ? I believe a third consecutive first round exit in the playoffs will trigger a changing of the guard.

    Who goes ?

    I think Ross goes to RFA regardless of what he does this year and the choice will be to match or let him walk depending on what he does this year off the bench. Its up to him to commit to being a pro and engage on a level he has yet to show anyone so far. If he has another year like the last two I can't see us matching a deal if its more than 4 years for 30M total. Maybe not even that if the King of Instagram doesn't mature mightily this year.

    I don't see us moving away from or trading JV. He stays.

    Kyle had an uneven year last year (great start lousy finish) and has something to prove which is he is not a one year wonder and can replicate the all star start he had last year for an entire campaign. If we retool he is the most likely to go as he has a great deal at 12M / yr and Ujiri has put in place succession planning with Joseph and Wright.

    Demar.. this is the great unknown and toughest call. The pluses on DD still outweigh the minuses right now. He always amazes with something and if we are going to retain him at 80 to 90M per year for 4 years he will have to show a consistent 3 point shot this year. He needs to shoot it at a high 30's percentage and take at least 6 to 8 per game and maintain that percentage. If he can get that 3 pt shot down he stays. If he can't then with the heaviest of hearts we wish him well and let him go.

    So yes its a very pivotal year for the core. Lose in the first found of the playoffs for the 3rd time in 3 years would make changes inevitable.
    Nice pieces. I like DS's take on each of the players, but agree with PM that this year shouldn't be about the playoffs, per se (tho' it might work out nicely!) If it took LeBron, Kevin and Kyrie months to "figure it out", then I think JV, coaches* and Co. get another year+. Which might mean a lower seed for playoffs and a tough opponent. So our evaluation might have to be more nuanced and patient.

    DD stays as a big asset, regardless. But he works.

    And Kyle? In spite of his "chippiness" (?) I really think he wants to stay ... to be "pushed" (and by Cojo, etc.). He has significant value here or in a trade ... but he's been shuffled around before. I think he stays, this season, if he plays (unless other guards take a leap, not a "step"). I sure hope he does

    But as of the next draft/moratorium - ALL bets are off, I think. All HELL could break loose.

    Cool

    *(Whichever coaches are retained).
    Last edited by Wild-ling#1; Yesterday at 03:48 PM.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    Quote Demographic Shift wrote: View Post

    Demar.. this is the great unknown and toughest call. The pluses on DD still outweigh the minuses right now. He always amazes with something and if we are going to retain him at 80 to 90M per year for 4 years he will have to show a consistent 3 point shot this year. He needs to shoot it at a high 30's percentage and take at least 6 to 8 per game and maintain that percentage. If he can get that 3 pt shot down he stays. If he can't then with the heaviest of hearts we wish him well and let him go.
    You're suggesting Demar add 10 percentage points (or thereabouts) to his 3pt shot after a single offseason as justification to retaining him. May as well move him now then, cause that is incredibly lofty expectations. See, if Demar hits ~ 38% of his 3's on 6-8 shots per game he will, if used properly of course, likely be the best SG in basketball and certainly all NBA. He would probably be better than Harden. He would be worth that 25M+ contract most of us fear we will get. And that's fine, cause if he can become a great 3pt shooter than I would be fine with paying him top dollar. But I just don't see it as a necessary prerequisite for retaining him because I think it's completely unrealistic.

    As far as 3pt shooting goes, I feel Demar should limit his takes to catch and shoots (no off the dribble 3's please) from the corners. Get consistent at that and then maybe try and expand the range around the arc. More importantly, I feel Derozan should prioritize ball handling, vision, play making, and decision making/court awareness before 3pt shooting. IF he is going to continue to have the ball in his hands and be expected to make plays. IF the team is going to move away from Demar being a ball handler, then I can understand the desire for a much improved 3pt shot. But, we don't have many ball handlers on the team, and only one in the starting unit, so I expect Demar will get the ball often. Be a better dribbler, keep his head up, and make better plays. Fewer bad shots, more distribution...if he's gonna handle the ball this is what should be expected from him. I fear his practicing may just result in more off the dribble 3's if he prioritizes distance shooting. And I really think this team, as a whole, would be much better if Demar limited his 3pt shots to catch and shoots. That would mean others (like JV) are getting more touches and that the offence is being spread out more (not in terms of who takes the shot, but how the shot is generated...i.e. more players more often need to touch the ball and be involved in the play action).

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    Lol if DeMar starts shooting high 30s from 3 and takes 6-8 a game (meaning he'd be at 200-250 3PT made in the season) he's a keeper? Well I'll be.... the requirement to keep DD is for him to become a superstar? Looks like he's gone then lmfao

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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    You're suggesting Demar add 10 percentage points (or thereabouts) to his 3pt shot after a single offseason as justification to retaining him. May as well move him now then, cause that is incredibly lofty expectations. See, if Demar hits ~ 38% of his 3's on 6-8 shots per game he will, if used properly of course, likely be the best SG in basketball and certainly all NBA. He would probably be better than Harden. He would be worth that 25M+ contract most of us fear we will get. And that's fine, cause if he can become a great 3pt shooter than I would be fine with paying him top dollar. But I just don't see it as a necessary prerequisite for retaining him because I think it's completely unrealistic.

    As far as 3pt shooting goes, I feel Demar should limit his takes to catch and shoots (no off the dribble 3's please) from the corners. Get consistent at that and then maybe try and expand the range around the arc. More importantly, I feel Derozan should prioritize ball handling, vision, play making, and decision making/court awareness before 3pt shooting. IF he is going to continue to have the ball in his hands and be expected to make plays. IF the team is going to move away from Demar being a ball handler, then I can understand the desire for a much improved 3pt shot. But, we don't have many ball handlers on the team, and only one in the starting unit, so I expect Demar will get the ball often. Be a better dribbler, keep his head up, and make better plays. Fewer bad shots, more distribution...if he's gonna handle the ball this is what should be expected from him. I fear his practicing may just result in more off the dribble 3's if he prioritizes distance shooting. And I really think this team, as a whole, would be much better if Demar limited his 3pt shots to catch and shoots. That would mean others (like JV) are getting more touches and that the offence is being spread out more (not in terms of who takes the shot, but how the shot is generated...i.e. more players more often need to touch the ball and be involved in the play action).
    Not sure if serious....JH is better than DD in every facet of the (offensive) game. Bruh.
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    The answer to the title question is no. Some of these guys are conceivably already on the block, you just don't know about it.

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    Quote Demographic Shift wrote: View Post
    ...If he has another year like the last two I can't see us matching a deal if its more than 4 years for 30M total...
    I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that you would consider giving him over $7 million a year to repeat his performance of the last two years...but then I guess I haven't integrated the reality of the new cap. Still and all, I bet you can find guys to do what he does for $5 million. Maybe I'm too old school and am just having trouble dealing with reality.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Demographic Shift's Avatar
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    Quote Puffer wrote: View Post
    I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that you would consider giving him over $7 million a year to repeat his performance of the last two years...but then I guess I haven't integrated the reality of the new cap. Still and all, I bet you can find guys to do what he does for $5 million. Maybe I'm too old school and am just having trouble dealing with reality.
    Yeah its hard to fathom..but a stiff like farouk aminu got that kind of a deal....so this becomes the new norm in a 90M $ cap world.Ross for all his troubles is on par with or better than that benchmark...

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    Raptors Republic Starter Demographic Shift's Avatar
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    Quote JWash wrote: View Post
    Lol if DeMar starts shooting high 30s from 3 and takes 6-8 a game (meaning he'd be at 200-250 3PT made in the season) he's a keeper? Well I'll be.... the requirement to keep DD is for him to become a superstar? Looks like he's gone then lmfao
    Math says he would be making 2 or possibly 3 shots per game off of 6 to 8 attempts which is about 195 made 3's off of 525 to 535 shots for a full year.. If he can do that and keep getting to the FT line then he warrants the 20M plus he will ask for.
    This doesnt make him a Superstar and not in Hardens class but it does justify the term and valuation of the deal he wants.

    If the decision is to move on without him it will be hard to replace him in the short term.

    Why are u laughing your ass off ? Its a player valuation call and its a tough one not as simple as u make it out to be....

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    Quote KeonClark wrote: View Post
    Not sure if serious....JH is better than DD in every facet of the (offensive) game. Bruh.
    A 3pt shot like that would be a very potent weapon for Demar, would open things up for him and the team much much more. He barely shoots 38% from the floor, imagine what his game could be like if he were to do that behind the arc. I agree Harden is the better player, but hard to say how good Demar would be with a shot like that. He'd be in the conversation without a doubt.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Demographic Shift's Avatar
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    Quote JawsGT wrote: View Post
    You're suggesting Demar add 10 percentage points (or thereabouts) to his 3pt shot after a single offseason as justification to retaining him. May as well move him now then, cause that is incredibly lofty expectations. See, if Demar hits ~ 38% of his 3's on 6-8 shots per game he will, if used properly of course, likely be the best SG in basketball and certainly all NBA. He would probably be better than Harden. He would be worth that 25M+ contract most of us fear we will get. And that's fine, cause if he can become a great 3pt shooter than I would be fine with paying him top dollar. But I just don't see it as a necessary prerequisite for retaining him because I think it's completely unrealistic.

    As far as 3pt shooting goes, I feel Demar should limit his takes to catch and shoots (no off the dribble 3's please) from the corners. Get consistent at that and then maybe try and expand the range around the arc. More importantly, I feel Derozan should prioritize ball handling, vision, play making, and decision making/court awareness before 3pt shooting. IF he is going to continue to have the ball in his hands and be expected to make plays. IF the team is going to move away from Demar being a ball handler, then I can understand the desire for a much improved 3pt shot. But, we don't have many ball handlers on the team, and only one in the starting unit, so I expect Demar will get the ball often. Be a better dribbler, keep his head up, and make better plays. Fewer bad shots, more distribution...if he's gonna handle the ball this is what should be expected from him. I fear his practicing may just result in more off the dribble 3's if he prioritizes distance shooting. And I really think this team, as a whole, would be much better if Demar limited his 3pt shots to catch and shoots. That would mean others (like JV) are getting more touches and that the offence is being spread out more (not in terms of who takes the shot, but how the shot is generated...i.e. more players more often need to touch the ball and be involved in the play action).
    If he could improve by 7 to 10 % pts on his 3 point shooting it would make him that much better a player. DD is a gym rat and has the perseverance to stick with it to become a better long ball shooter. IF he can add this to his game both he and the team as a whole become a lot tougher to handle.

    I think improving his 3pt shooting through endless reps is something that is more easily done than improving his ball handling and dribbling skills (though he gave it a try last summer.)
    He certainly has incentive to do it.. .to the tune of about 10 to 12 million dollars more a year and he has the mental make up to do it as well. Practice Practice Practice is not new to DeRozan. If he can turn this corner and raise his shooting perecentage to mid 30's or better on corner 3's or from a favourite spot on the arc I don't think its material if he does it via catch and shoot or off the dribble. He will have earned his extension at pretty serious money. If he can't get there its a tough call for the GM either at the trade deadline or in FA on his valuation within the salary scale.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star charlesnba23's Avatar
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    What is make in make or break?

    If this team wins 50, keep everybody. Draft well.

    2017, big players in FA with Lowry and Patterson off the books. We sign the superstar. Blake Griffin, Westbrook, Ibaka, etc.

    2018, championship.

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    Quote charlesnba23 wrote: View Post
    What is make in make or break?

    If this team wins 50, keep everybody. Draft well.

    2017, big players in FA with Lowry and Patterson off the books. We sign the superstar. Blake Griffin, Westbrook, Ibaka, etc.

    2018, championship.
    so you are content with just 50 wins?

    That is a low bar.

    Give me playoff success, this team has failed twice, and humiliated last season. That was the end of this "core" they shouldnt get a third try to possibly advance past the first round.

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