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Thread: The Amir Johnson Conundrum - Gold or Fallacy? Part 2 begins in post 90

  1. #21
    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote tbihis wrote: View Post
    I did check that on Yahoo Sports, but what they failed to mention was that he played quite a lot of games with the D-League, plus not playing any competitive games doesnt mean he is not going full-force on practice or pre-season games. Right now, i dont think its a concern, but it could (not saying it will) become one in the immediate future.
    I forgot about D-League.

  2. #22
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    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    The last part of your statement is the reason why I think Ed will be moved. When it comes to trades, players like Andrea & Amir might have value, but it's the potential value (and rookie contract), that makes Davis a valuable trading commodity. A greater number of teams (poor & rich), will see the value in this type of guy.

    The contrasting opinion will say - then why not keep him. The answer is simple. Raptors have needs in other positions. Any GM will tell you - you need to give something up, to get something good back. With Jonas, Andrea & Amir rounding out the Big situation (in this scenario), moving Ed becomes more palatable. A team with multiple 1st picks, or a duplicity of Small Forwards, might find Davis an interesting possibility. Raptors chances are better with draft picks & trades (for a PG, SF etc. pick-up). Free Agency is affected by the Canadian border roadblock - and fresh air that smells funny ... eh?

    Trading Andrea may return something of value, but his contract will deter a number of teams. Johnson - while a valuable player - is a role player (IMO). An up and coming team would probably wish to find their own, and a Contender is probably sporting a AJ version already.

    Ed is cheap and with great upside. That's worth more than you think, on the open market.

    .
    You nailed it.


    The only way Andrea is moved is if he is a total flop next year with Casey. I'm actually rooting for his success because if Casey can get through to him in the other well known areas (effort, rebounding, help) and solid (or at least average) team defense can be achieved with him on the court, Bargnani is a definite asset and piece moving forward. Keep in mind while I am rooting for success that doesn't necessarily mean I believe it will happen - but I really would like to be proven wrong.



    One other player that has been forgotten is Alabi. He is a true C - something Amir and ED are not. Casey told him before the lockout he could end up being the starting C for the Raps this year.

  3. #23
    Raptors Republic Starter RapthoseLeafs's Avatar
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    One other player that has been forgotten is Alabi. He is a true C - something Amir and ED are not. Casey told him before the lockout he could end up being the starting C for the Raps this year.
    Yes ... I completely forgot about Alabi. At worst, he's our 4th Big. As we found out last year, 4 Bigs is an absolute minimum. A guy like JJ or Kleiza could provide additional support (in a limited capacity), if we ever experience what we did last year.
    .
    If Alabi should leap to the Starting role - in a reasonably effective way - Davis will end up being moved faster than we think. Or at least I had thought.

    .
    Last edited by RapthoseLeafs; Wed Nov 2nd, 2011 at 05:47 PM.

  4. #24
    Raptors Republic Starter albertan_10's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    I'm torn on Amir. I like his hustle, his attitude, and his willingness to play through injuries. But I don't see him in our starting front court over Davis. Yes, he's still relatively young, but I don't see him getting much better than he currently is.

    Having said that, if he can turn into the type of glue/chemistry guy that Haslem is for the Heat, then perhaps Amir is more valuable than his numbers (seen at face value) suggest.

    And the fact that some see Amir as our best player last year, is really an indication of how poor our roster is, rather than how good Amir is.
    I think it's hard to doubt the guy that suddenly developed a jump shot over last summer. he's still improving and if it keeps going that way, then he's worth it. too bad the season hasn't started so we can see other things these young guys have developed

  5. #25
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    Quote er1csh3n wrote: View Post
    A starter in a good playoff team has a balanced skill set of offense and defense (usually), while many label Amir as a good defender, is offensive while not completely dead needs a lot of work. His jumper is improving, but I have yet to see him at least try a couple post moves. He is not a starter in a good playoff team, but that doesn't mean he won't get starter minutes.
    Have you looked around the league at the contenders over the years? Most teams aren't the Lakers. Tyson Chandler, Kendrick Perkins, Francisco Elson, Udonis Haslem, Horace Grant, Bill Laimbeer, AC Green were all starters with rings. And those were just the Championship teams. Just look at the last playoffs. Do Ibaka or Perkins have a more balanced skillset than Amir? Or whoever happened to be starting beside Bosh for Miami?

    Besides, I think you vastly underestimate Amir's impact on the offensive end. While he will never be a great scorer, and isn't very good at creating his own shot, he doesn't have to. What he does well is play off others. And he scores efficiently and he moves very well without the ball and that makes him very dangerous. Now, I'm not saying he's an All-Star, and I think he's best suited to a bench role, but I can definitely see him being a starter on a contender.
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    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    I agree (in our case). I'm not sure other teams don't have such a player. At least Contending teams.
    I'd love someone to try and name ten other players that bring what Amir does at his price or better (and who aren't rookies)

    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    It's possible, but unlikely - IMO - and I'd venture to guess, a lot more opinions. Amir is best suited as the 3rd Big. Why? Because if Jonas is the Starting Centre (whenever that would happen), or someone else fills the spot (a Chandler/Noah type), there won't be enough scoring up front. Unless you do what the Italian team coach did - bring Andrea off the Bench after 5 minutes. That might work. Notwithstanding this option, the starting unit of Jonas & Amir would feature a great defense, but would put too much pressure on the other positions to supply the offense.
    You're talking about the Raptors specifically. I'm talking about ANY team. A team with another big man who can score could easily have Amir as the other starter.

    Besides, there's no reason, from what I've seen, to believe that Valanciunas WON'T be a good scorer in the NBA. He's showed much better offensive skills when given the chance than previously thought.

    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    See below for my opinion on this. As to your predilection for being part of a fractured and directionless group (some with good intentions), why do we keep discussing a Bargnani trade option as a fait accompli. Or at least infer such an option. It just seems like such a waste of time and breath. Besides venting, it serves no useful purpose.
    Does ANY of this discussion serve any useful purpose? Isn't this all simply entertainment for us Raptor fans?

    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    The last part of your statement is the reason why I think Ed will be moved. When it comes to trades, players like Andrea & Amir might have value, but it's the potential value (and rookie contract), that makes Davis a valuable trading commodity. A greater number of teams (poor & rich), will see the value in this type of guy.

    The contrasting opinion will say - then why not keep him. The answer is simple. Raptors have needs in other positions. Any GM will tell you - you need to give something up, to get something good back. With Jonas, Andrea & Amir rounding out the Big situation (in this scenario), moving Ed becomes more palatable. A team with multiple 1st picks, or a duplicity of Small Forwards, might find Davis an interesting possibility. Raptors chances are better with draft picks & trades (for a PG, SF etc. pick-up). Free Agency is affected by the Canadian border roadblock - and fresh air that smells funny ... eh?

    Trading Andrea may return something of value, but his contract will deter a number of teams. Johnson - while a valuable player - is a role player (IMO). An up and coming team would probably wish to find their own, and a Contender is probably sporting a AJ version already.

    Ed is cheap and with great upside. That's worth more than you think, on the open market.

    .
    I don't think anyone doubts the value of Davis on the open market. He's a young, athletic, hardworking big man with a lot of potential. Of course that's also a very good reason NOT to trade him. Besides, the idea is not to trade the player with the most value. The idea is to trade players you don't want for players you want. And to try and keep the players who will help you win. Trading Davis will net you a better player than Bargnani will, but that doesn't mean it makes your team better. And that's the whole goal, here.
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Have you looked around the league at the contenders over the years? Most teams aren't the Lakers. Tyson Chandler, Kendrick Perkins, Francisco Elson, Udonis Haslem, Horace Grant, Bill Laimbeer, AC Green were all starters with rings. And those were just the Championship teams. Just look at the last playoffs. Do Ibaka or Perkins have a more balanced skillset than Amir? Or whoever happened to be starting beside Bosh for Miami?

    Besides, I think you vastly underestimate Amir's impact on the offensive end. While he will never be a great scorer, and isn't very good at creating his own shot, he doesn't have to. What he does well is play off others. And he scores efficiently and he moves very well without the ball and that makes him very dangerous. Now, I'm not saying he's an All-Star, and I think he's best suited to a bench role, but I can definitely see him being a starter on a contender.
    I said usually starters are adept at offense and defense, Kendrick provides lockdown D, and the team already has 3 players who are capable of creating their own shot, so his offense is not missed. Again, Chandler may not have a number of offensive skills, but he is a 7 foot giant who provides intimidation in the paint as well, if Amir Johnson was 7 foot and had that type of lockdown D, we wouldn't even have needed to draft JV, and when did Francisco Elson start on a good playoff team?

  8. #28
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    Quote er1csh3n wrote: View Post
    I said usually starters are adept at offense and defense, Kendrick provides lockdown D, and the team already has 3 players who are capable of creating their own shot, so his offense is not missed. Again, Chandler may not have a number of offensive skills, but he is a 7 foot giant who provides intimidation in the paint as well, if Amir Johnson was 7 foot and had that type of lockdown D, we wouldn't even have needed to draft JV, and when did Francisco Elson start on a good playoff team?
    Elson started for about half the season one of the years San Antonio won. And obviously it all depends on the circumstances. Most contenders are already going to have, at least, two or three players who can create their own shot, so can afford to have role players at other positions. All players need other players to compliment them. Just as Chandler and Noah need to play beside scorers, Dirk needs to play beside a defensive center. And Howard needs to play beside a PF who can step out and shoot. Amir needs to play beside a center who can score.

    Amir's biggest strength is that he helps you win. While he's not a lockdown defender or much of a scorer, when he's on the floor, he is incredibly productive and simply helps your team win. And, in the end, it's not how multi-faceted or how much a player can score that's important. It's the effect he has when he's on the court.
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    Raptors Republic Starter RapthoseLeafs's Avatar
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Besides, there's no reason, from what I've seen, to believe that Valanciunas WON'T be a good scorer in the NBA. He's showed much better offensive skills when given the chance than previously thought.
    I agree that Jonas might be a good scorer - I just feel his role on the team should be more of what we're missing - a definitive Centre who's focus is to protect our End. If he pumps in 12 - 14 points a game, that'd be great. Anything more - and for which affects his defense - doesn't seem to be a good idea. Demar, Andrea & hopefully a decent SF should be able to provide the bulk of the offense - with complimentary help from the PG and Bench positions.

    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Does ANY of this discussion serve any useful purpose? Isn't this all simply entertainment for us Raptor fans?
    You have a point. lol

    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    I don't think anyone doubts the value of Davis on the open market. He's a young, athletic, hardworking big man with a lot of potential. Of course that's also a very good reason NOT to trade him. Besides, the idea is not to trade the player with the most value. The idea is to trade players you don't want for players you want. And to try and keep the players who will help you win. Trading Davis will net you a better player than Bargnani will, but that doesn't mean it makes your team better. And that's the whole goal, here.
    Every team prefers to keep their talent and find more - some way, somehow. That can involve risks, and doesn't work as well. The important factor when making trades, is not to be hell bent on getting better value (because value can be subjective). It's so one can take an area of strength, and trade it for another needed area - hoping at the same time to get equivalent value. In Raptor case, a Power Forward like Davis, may bring a similar type player, but one who plays the SF position (for example).

    Not every GM can swing a KG steal. If you can, all the better I guess.
    .

  10. #30
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    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    I agree that Jonas might be a good scorer - I just feel his role on the team should be more of what we're missing - a definitive Centre who's focus is to protect our End. If he pumps in 12 - 14 points a game, that'd be great. Anything more - and for which affects his defense - doesn't seem to be a good idea. Demar, Andrea & hopefully a decent SF should be able to provide the bulk of the offense - with complimentary help from the PG and Bench positions.
    First of all, the only reason you'd NEED Valanciunas to be a dominant defensive center is if you keep Bargnani, since he basically has to make up for Bargnani's defensive liabilities. With a trio of Valanciunas, Davis and Amir, Valanciunas wouldn't have to become Dikembe.

    Besides, last time I checked, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan (if you count him as a center), David Robinson, Hakeem, Ewing, Abdul-Jabar, among others, were all All-Defensive centers who also scored 20+ ppg.

    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    Every team prefers to keep their talent and find more - some way, somehow. That can involve risks, and doesn't work as well. The important factor when making trades, is not to be hell bent on getting better value (because value can be subjective). It's so one can take an area of strength, and trade it for another needed area - hoping at the same time to get equivalent value. In Raptor case, a Power Forward like Davis, may bring a similar type player, but one who plays the SF position (for example).

    Not every GM can swing a KG steal. If you can, all the better I guess.
    .
    The point is to figure out the players worth keeping, and keep those, and then trade the others. If you HAVE to, then you can trade a keeper if it gets you to the next level, but that's certainly not the case with the Raptors. To me, Davis is an absolute keeper. Bargnani is obviously not. While you won't get more for Bargnani than for Davis, you'll improve your team more by trading away Bargnani and replacing him with a player that will help you win more.

    Bargnani, for all his offensive skills, has never shown he actually helps your team win. Not in five years. Davis is the type of player that usually ends up winning a Championship. It's not a difficult choice to me.
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Besides, last time I checked, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan (if you count him as a center), David Robinson, Hakeem, Ewing, Abdul-Jabar, among others, were all All-Defensive centers who also scored 20+ ppg.
    That company of Stars is some pretty serious talent. If Jonas becomes a Ewing or Duncan, then all bets are off.

    However to me, that's putting some serious hope onto a player, that really hasn't played an NBA level of competition. I'd hate to see fans expect far more from him, than what I'd hope he can be. Otherwise he'll get run out of town.

    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    The point is to figure out the players worth keeping, and keep those, and then trade the others. If you HAVE to, then you can trade a keeper if it gets you to the next level, but that's certainly not the case with the Raptors. To me, Davis is an absolute keeper. Bargnani is obviously not. While you won't get more for Bargnani than for Davis, you'll improve your team more by trading away Bargnani and replacing him with a player that will help you win more.
    Bargnani aside - and you know we disagree on this one (so no point beating ourselves over about him) - my definition of success is not waiting for Barbara Streisand to show up and sing A Star is Born, and build around him.

    My preference is to develop a core and hope we snag that elusive player from amongst the existing picks, coming picks, lucky picks, a trade (long shot), free agency (even longer shot), or wherever else we can find him.

    Waiting for that Star is what we did with Bosh - although I'd argue he isn't the kind of Star I want. If we have a competitive team (with some good players - even inflated players), other teams will notice, and our odds of snagging someone (or a potential draft pick) will increase. I completely disagree with Star first, team second. How's that got us, or Cleveland.

    In some ways, I'd ask why we can't attempt another Detroit style team. People argue it was a rare occurrence, but if one reviews the past Championship teams, winning is a rarity for most of the league.

    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Bargnani, for all his offensive skills, has never shown he actually helps your team win. Not in five years. Davis is the type of player that usually ends up winning a Championship. It's not a difficult choice to me.
    Davis has talent, but he's very much a newbie. He may turn out to be great, or a great addition to the team, but he's still potential going forward. He's not a Centre (at this point), and he's not a firecracker at PF (despite how some trumpet his efficiency - as he's had little opponent focus). People point out Andrea's lower numbers, but as Demar experienced, higher usage brings lower efficiency. Especially when you're the #1 or #2 option. Adapting is what makes a good / great player. For all the knocks you put on AB, last year was his first year in that alpha male role.

    But I digress - plus I don't want this to be about Andrea. Haven't we talked ad nausea about him.

    What I believe, is that talent begets talent. It's how you arrange it, that makes one successful. You can't argue that Raptors have most of their talent in Bigs. So it stands to reason that one has to be moved (when Jonas gets here), and the most productive means (in getting good return), is the guy who you'd probably wish could stay. That's how sports work - even though it sucks. I've always felt we move our draft picks out (too soon), but sometimes you have to bite the bullet, if you're hoping to continue that build.

    To me, teams would salivate over Ed Davis. If BC can jump on some drooling GM, and make the team more balanced .... I say - why not?

    I'm tired of building .... and building ... and building. Last I heard, building meant you were moving up - not lateral. You think that doesn't include Andrea. I don't agree.

    But I do agree I like debating with you. lol
    .

  12. #32
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    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    That company of Stars is some pretty serious talent. If Jonas becomes a Ewing or Duncan, then all bets are off.

    However to me, that's putting some serious hope onto a player, that really hasn't played an NBA level of competition. I'd hate to see fans expect far more from him, than what I'd hope he can be. Otherwise he'll get run out of town.
    .
    I'm not suggesting that Valanciunas is going to become a Hall of Fame player, but simply pointing to the fact that he can be both a good offensive AND defensive player. He certainly has displayed the tools to do so. Why prevent him from fulfilling his potential?

    A lesser center who was a great defensive player but also scored 20+ ppg was Alonzo Mourning.

    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    Bargnani aside - and you know we disagree on this one (so no point beating ourselves over about him) - my definition of success is not waiting for Barbara Streisand to show up and sing A Star is Born, and build around him.

    My preference is to develop a core and hope we snag that elusive player from amongst the existing picks, coming picks, lucky picks, a trade (long shot), free agency (even longer shot), or wherever else we can find him.

    Waiting for that Star is what we did with Bosh - although I'd argue he isn't the kind of Star I want. If we have a competitive team (with some good players - even inflated players), other teams will notice, and our odds of snagging someone (or a potential draft pick) will increase. I completely disagree with Star first, team second. How's that got us, or Cleveland.

    In some ways, I'd ask why we can't attempt another Detroit style team. People argue it was a rare occurrence, but if one reviews the past Championship teams, winning is a rarity for most of the league.
    .
    Winning a Championship is a rarity in this league, but winning a Championship without an elite player is like planning for your retirement by buying lottery tickets. In many ways, Detroit winning a Championship was a fluke that probably won't be repeated. It was an off year, Rasheed Wallace fell into their laps, injuries to some contenders and Shaq and Kobe feuding basically crippling the Lakers. Winning a Championship is hard enough in the NBA. Why make it harder by following a blueprint that has almost no chance of succeeding.

    And what the Detroit-style backers never seem to realize is that you've got a better chance of drafting an elite player than you do of winning a Championship without one.

    You also have to realize that Detroit got to where they did by having a great defensive core. They didn't have any weak links on the defensive end. So if you're going to pick players on the Raptors who should become core players on a Detroit-style team, Bargnani certainly cannot be included. In fact the only two teams in the last 30 years (or probably more) that didn't have a First Team All-NBA player on it were the last two Champions from Detroit. And they both won by having great defensive players.

    To me, there are 4 players that I would try to hold onto if I could. In order, Valanciunas, Davis, Amir and DeRozan (who must show improvement on the defensive end this year to remain on the list). Now if a better option at their position comes along (like if the Raptors drafted Anthony Davis or Andre Drummond, for example) then they become expendable.

    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    Davis has talent, but he's very much a newbie. He may turn out to be great, or a great addition to the team, but he's still potential going forward. He's not a Centre (at this point), and he's not a firecracker at PF (despite how some trumpet his efficiency - as he's had little opponent focus). People point out Andrea's lower numbers, but as Demar experienced, higher usage brings lower efficiency. Especially when you're the #1 or #2 option. Adapting is what makes a good / great player. For all the knocks you put on AB, last year was his first year in that alpha male role.

    But I digress - plus I don't want this to be about Andrea. Haven't we talked ad nausea about him.

    What I believe, is that talent begets talent. It's how you arrange it, that makes one successful. You can't argue that Raptors have most of their talent in Bigs. So it stands to reason that one has to be moved (when Jonas gets here), and the most productive means (in getting good return), is the guy who you'd probably wish could stay. That's how sports work - even though it sucks. I've always felt we move our draft picks out (too soon), but sometimes you have to bite the bullet, if you're hoping to continue that build.

    To me, teams would salivate over Ed Davis. If BC can jump on some drooling GM, and make the team more balanced .... I say - why not?

    I'm tired of building .... and building ... and building. Last I heard, building meant you were moving up - not lateral. You think that doesn't include Andrea. I don't agree.

    But I do agree I like debating with you. lol
    As we both agree, building a Championship team is an incredibly difficult thing. You need the right kind of players, not just the most talented players. To me, while Davis may not ever live up to his potential, his game is one that makes me think he'll probably end up winning a ring someday. I want players like that one my team. They're pretty rare in the NBA. The last thing you want to do is trade one of those guys away.

    Bargnani is certainly not going to fetch as much as Davis will, but with a trio of Davis, Valanciunas and Amir, you're not going to have any big questions about your front line. Teams aren't going to be able to take advantage of a weakness in that lineup. While neither Davis nor Amir will probably end up being big scorers, they're not going to hurt you on that end. Teams daring them to score (a la Ben Wallace) are going to pay for it.

    With Bargnani in your lineup, you're always going to be at a disadvantage on the defensive end. Always. And you're always going to have to try and figure out how to cover him up. And there's always going to be a good chance that teams will take advantage of that weakness in the playoffs, making you less likely to have playoff success.

    And Bargnani's contract only gets bigger, making him harder and harder to try and move. The smart thing is to move him now, while you can still (presumably) get a decent return for him, and feel secure that your front line is set for (hopefully) the next 10 years.
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    Quote er1csh3n wrote: View Post
    A starter in a good playoff team has a balanced skill set of offense and defense (usually), while many label Amir as a good defender, is offensive while not completely dead needs a lot of work. His jumper is improving, but I have yet to see him at least try a couple post moves. He is not a starter in a good playoff team, but that doesn't mean he won't get starter minutes.
    There are plenty of starters on "good" playoff teams (and even Championship calibre clubs) that do not meet your criteria, both historically and in the short term. You don't need five stars for starters to be successful, and I'd even argue that you're better off having a few "glue guys" sprinkled in the starting line up to help with on court chemistry. Building a winning team isn't like throwing a fantasy basketball team together. There's more to it then assembling the five guys with the best statistics - the pieces need to fit.

    Keith Bogans started in Chicago last season for number one seed in the playoffs. DeShawn Stevenson in Dallas. Zaza Pachulia in Atlanta. Tony Allen in Memphis. And those are just off the top of my head from last season. I'd lump Amir in with a group like that because he's shown a willingness to do the dirty work, doesn't need plays run for him on O, crashes the boards, sets screens, etc. He's even showing his ability to knock down the elbow jumper. Personally I think he'd be most valuable on a contending team because he'd be able to stick to his strengths and not asked to do too much on the offensive end.

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    Quote Fully wrote: View Post
    There are plenty of starters on "good" playoff teams (and even Championship calibre clubs) that do not meet your criteria, both historically and in the short term. You don't need five stars for starters to be successful, and I'd even argue that you're better off having a few "glue guys" sprinkled in the starting line up to help with on court chemistry. Building a winning team isn't like throwing a fantasy basketball team together. There's more to it then assembling the five guys with the best statistics - the pieces need to fit.

    Keith Bogans started in Chicago last season for number one seed in the playoffs. DeShawn Stevenson in Dallas. Zaza Pachulia in Atlanta. Tony Allen in Memphis. And those are just off the top of my head from last season. I'd lump Amir in with a group like that because he's shown a willingness to do the dirty work, doesn't need plays run for him on O, crashes the boards, sets screens, etc. He's even showing his ability to knock down the elbow jumper. Personally I think he'd be most valuable on a contending team because he'd be able to stick to his strengths and not asked to do too much on the offensive end.
    Bang on. There is no reason that Amir couldn't start on a playoff team. As Tim said earlier he isn't going to be a 2nd or even 3rd option, but there is no reason he couldn't play a significant role.

    I'm gonna add a few names to the list and include Thabo Sefalosha and Joel Anthony.

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    winning a Championship without an elite player is like planning for your retirement by buying lottery tickets. In many ways, Detroit winning a Championship was a fluke that probably won't be repeated.
    I'd actually argue that Detroit did have a superstar... Ben Wallace (while in his prime ofcourse). Ofcourse he probably doesn't fit the typical definition of a superstar as he isn't a great scorer.

    He was one of the best, if not the best, defensive players in NBA history during his years in Detroit.
    Last edited by GarbageTime; Thu Nov 3rd, 2011 at 09:28 AM.

  16. #36
    Raptors Republic Starter
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    First of all, the only reason you'd NEED Valanciunas to be a dominant defensive center is if you keep Bargnani, since he basically has to make up for Bargnani's defensive liabilities. With a trio of Valanciunas, Davis and Amir, Valanciunas wouldn't have to become Dikembe.

    Besides, last time I checked, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan (if you count him as a center), David Robinson, Hakeem, Ewing, Abdul-Jabar, among others, were all All-Defensive centers who also scored 20+ ppg.
    Let's play guess the intruder.

    Hakeem Olajuwon, drafted 1st overall.
    Dwight Howard, drafted 1st overall immediately out of high school.
    Tim Duncan, drafted 1st overall.
    David Robinson, drafted 1st overall.
    Patrick Ewing, drafted first overall.
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, drafted 1st overall.
    Jonas Valanciunas, drafted 5th overall.

    With the exception of the intruder, all the other centers were certain to go 1st overall with another exception: Hakeem. To Hakeem's defense, 3 other Hall of Famers were drafted in his class, including one which many consider to be the best player to ever play the game.

    Was the intruder drafted lower because it was very doubtful he could play in the NBA in th eimmediate future? I doubt it as San Antonio has already proven that if a player is good enough, they can draft 1st overall knowing he has first honor a two year commitment to the Navy.

    Will be intruder be a Hall of Famer? I don't think even his strongest supporters suggest it.

    A better question would be: will the intruder be a quality starting center? The intruder has show glimpses of being of very useful player but as he has not dominated his competition in Europe, the jury is still out as to how good he will be in the NBA.

    This craziness about stating he will be a very good starting centers for the Raptors as a fait accompli is just setting yourselves up for further disappointment if he does not measure up to your high expectations.

  17. #37
    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Hugmenot wrote: View Post
    This craziness about stating he will be a very good starting centers for the Raptors as a fait accompli is just setting yourselves up for further disappointment if he does not measure up to your high expectations.
    I think the comparison was simply to show that it's possible for Valanciunas to be effective on both ends of the court, rather than a prediction of how good he will be.

  18. #38
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    I'm not suggesting that Valanciunas is going to become a Hall of Fame player, but simply pointing to the fact that he can be both a good offensive AND defensive player. He certainly has displayed the tools to do so. Why prevent him from fulfilling his potential?

    A lesser center who was a great defensive player but also scored 20+ ppg was Alonzo Mourning.
    Alonzo Mourning, drafted 2nd overall, immediately behind another center who gets some consideration when discussing the best player ever.

    Alonzo Mourining played at all star level until injuries and a very serious medical problem took thier tolls.

    A great player who would rank no lower than 2 if we were to compare him against today's centers.

    Giving how high you were on Kanter, another unproven center, are you saying that you envision him and JV to be the 2nd and 3rd best centers in the NBA for years to come? And that includes Drummond, another unproven center who is generally accepted as much better center prospect as either of them?
    Last edited by Hugmenot; Thu Nov 3rd, 2011 at 11:09 AM.

  19. #39
    Raptors Republic Starter c_bcm's Avatar
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    To be honest I agree with arguements on both sides of this debate. However, we are in a full-out rebuild now. So that means that we keep the most promising players at each position and trade for either draft picks or young developing players. That means that Amir is the odd man out at PF. He is not as good as Bargs, and ED likely will surpass him in 1-2 years.

    As a fan, I love the way Amir plays. I love watching his hustle, his slow-mo J, and his 2-man game with Jose. But if we have to trade a PF to continue the re-build, than its got to be Amir.

  20. #40
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    IMO, Amir is the most expendable from the group of Valanciunas, Davis, Barganani and Amir, from the Raptors' long-term perspective.

    I have lots of rationale behind this, which I've gone into great detail about it several other threads. Basically, I prefer the individual strengths and overall balance a Val/Ed/Bargnani three-headed monster brings to the table the most, long-term. This is not a knock against Amir.

    Val - rookie with very high ceiling, could be a stud at both ends of the court (#1 of 4 - potential for great offense & defense)

    Ed - young/cheap player with higher ceiling than Amir, could become defensive anchor and effective garbage man on offense, with as much hustle (intangibles) as Amir (#2a of 4 - great defense, improving offense)

    Bargnani - best pure offensive big, can play both positions more effectively than Amir/Ed at this point and just needs a kick in the ass to improve help-defense & rebounding (#2b of 4 - great offense, should improve defense under Casey)

    Amir - although I think he has good value, I think Val/Ed provide everything he does (both tangible & intangible), at a fraction of the cost; although he is young, his body has taken a beating and he looks like a man much older (in body, not effort); his offensive game is not close to Bargnani's and should be eclipsed by Ed/Val quite soon; fouling is still an issue; basically I think he is the easiest of the four to replace (essentially Val/Ed will replace him internally, without needing to pickup another big)... I would look to trade him now, while his value is at its highest, to help address weaknesses at other positions by acquiring a player and/or draft pick(s) (#4 of 4 - good at offense & defense, but not great at either, with least potential for long-term improvement)
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Thu Nov 3rd, 2011 at 11:24 AM.

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