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Thread: Amir Johnson as our starting center?

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    Raptors Republic All-Star charlesnba23's Avatar
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    Default Amir Johnson as our starting center?

    Next year, our draft pick from last June, center from Lithuania Jonas Valanciunas will join the team. As for now, the Raptors really got a hole at the 5 spot. Assuming we need someone else than Andrea to start at the center position and that we want Ed to develop as a 4, and also the fact that signing a center in the market to be our starting one does not really make sense, do you think Amir could be the man to start at 5 this upcoming season? The team could trade Bargnani for another pick and a backup center with a lot of teams (Charlotte with Diop, Phoenix with Lopez, etc...). At the same time, it would free up cap space for next summer. What y'all thinking?

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    Really, I don't have a problem with it. I know some people are going to have a problem because they feel he'll get killed down there because he's not big enough, but really who cares? Is it going to make a whole lot of difference in the long run? The team is not going to compete anyway and he did defend a number of the better centers last year. Theres no real point in going out and signing someone to basically fill the spot for one year.
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    Raptors Republic Starter WhatWhat's Avatar
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    He basically was last season.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote charlesnba23 wrote: View Post
    Next year, our draft pick from last June, center from Lithuania Jonas Valanciunas will join the team. As for now, the Raptors really got a hole at the 5 spot. Assuming we need someone else than Andrea to start at the center position and that we want Ed to develop as a 4, and also the fact that signing a center in the market to be our starting one does not really make sense, do you think Amir could be the man to start at 5 this upcoming season? The team could trade Bargnani for another pick and a backup center with a lot of teams (Charlotte with Diop, Phoenix with Lopez, etc...). At the same time, it would free up cap space for next summer. What y'all thinking?
    I think it's going to be Ed. His main goal this summer was to add 20-30lbs of muscle. His old man was going to be pushing him all summer. He's had a couple extra months of build his body. My money is on him coming to camp bigger than Amir. I think he's going to be the best bigman on defense and on the glass this season.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    Yeah, Ed.
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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    The problem of playing an undersized player at center (whether it's Amir or Davis) is the toll it takes on his body throughout the course of a full season. The last thing we'd wanna see is a significant injury to one of these guys.

    Alabi might be all that's required as a stop-gap until Jonas arrives.

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    Raptors Republic Starter SuperRaptor's Avatar
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    Default Ed Davis

    Quote ceez wrote: View Post
    Yeah, Ed.
    If anyone on the current roster is going to be the C besides Andrea Bargnani I think it will be Ed, he is the one that is closest to having the kind of body to play down low. I dont think it would be a waste either, might as well get him used to playing there. I wonder if he gained any weight in the off season.

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    The problem of playing an undersized player at center (whether it's Amir or Davis) is the toll it takes on his body throughout the course of a full season. The last thing we'd wanna see is a significant injury to one of these guys.

    Alabi might be all that's required as a stop-gap until Jonas arrives.
    Alabi still needs to prove something. I'm not placing any faith in him until I see him go head to head against NBA bigmen this December.

    Quote SuperRaptor wrote: View Post
    If anyone on the current roster is going to be the C besides Andrea Bargnani I think it will be Ed, he is the one that is closest to having the kind of body to play down low. I dont think it would be a waste either, might as well get him used to playing there. I wonder if he gained any weight in the off season.
    If he added 20lbs of muscle this summer then that puts in him at around the same size as Joakim Noah. The two have many parallels to their games.

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    If I were Casey I'd probably give Alabi 20mpg to start, then split the other 28 between Ed and Amir, try to spread it around so that the 4s playing out of position don't get too banged up. Actually if it were up to me, I'd give Alabi 15ish mpg then tell Bargs to suck it up and play the 5 for the rest of them. I'm not personally on board with the idea that he's a 4.

    I think the Raps could also benefit from signing a cheap vet to play 8-10mpg at the 5, someone who will be a good practice body and who the younger guys can learn from but won't expect minutes.

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    Raptors Republic Starter RAPresenting's Avatar
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    Dre starts at the 5 with Ed at the 4. Amir first big off the bench and if one of the three bigs is in trouble Alabi might get some burn. I expect the rotations to be very similar to last year but Ed starting over Amir.

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    sign someone like Aaron Gray to a 1 year deal and let him start with Alabi as a backup. Start Ed at the 4 and trade amir or bargnani for a lottery pick and some role players.

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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    sign someone like Aaron Gray to a 1 year deal and let him start with Alabi as a backup. Start Ed at the 4 and trade amir or bargnani for a lottery pick and some role players.
    That's an interesting idea. Gray's a young player, high energy, doesn't ask for the ball. I think it will take a multi year deal for Gray to sign.

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    Why force Davis or Amir into a position they shouldn't be playing?

    Both are solid defensive 4's with Davis having the upside to being a very good defensive player at the PF spot.

    Let all players come to camp and battle for the position at the 4. If defence is as important as the organization is claiming then Davis or Johnson will be the starting 4.

    For the 5 spot Colangelo needs to go out and find a journeyman to fill that position until Jonas is ready to play it.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote sleepz wrote: View Post
    If defence is as important as the organization is claiming then Davis or Johnson will be the starting 4.
    Then Bargnani would have 66 DNP-CDs beside his name :P

    As much as I hope all players will be treated equal under Casey's regime, as long as Bargnani is on this roster, preferential treatment towards him seems likely.

    All the Bargnani-is-a-power-forward nonsense, combined with Casey's attempt to "hide" him on defense, is evidence of a player who has been given the benefit of the doubt for faaaaaar too long, and there's little reason to think that will change.

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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    sign someone like Aaron Gray to a 1 year deal and let him start with Alabi as a backup. Start Ed at the 4 and trade amir or bargnani for a lottery pick and some role players.
    Why does a starting lineup of Aaron Gray, Ed Davis, James Johnson, Demar DeRozen, and Jose Calderon/Jerryd Blayless makes me think the Raptors would have a hard time averaging 93 points a game? Poor Demar would probably average 25+ points a game but I fear his efficiency would take a nosedive facing so many double-teams.

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    Then Bargnani would have 66 DNP-CDs beside his name :P

    As much as I hope all players will be treated equal under Casey's regime, as long as Bargnani is on this roster, preferential treatment towards him seems likely.
    Can you hate more? Your hate has already spilled over to a new coach by insinuating he will likely play favorites before he even coached one game for the Raptors.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote sleepz wrote: View Post
    Why force Davis or Amir into a position they shouldn't be playing?

    Both are solid defensive 4's with Davis having the upside to being a very good defensive player at the PF spot.

    Let all players come to camp and battle for the position at the 4. If defence is as important as the organization is claiming then Davis or Johnson will be the starting 4.

    For the 5 spot Colangelo needs to go out and find a journeyman to fill that position until Jonas is ready to play it.
    They won't be forcing Ed into anything if he comes to camp having reached his off-season goal. He'll be just fine.

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    Quote Hugmenot wrote: View Post
    Can you hate more? Your hate has already spilled over to a new coach by insinuating he will likely play favorites before he even coached one game for the Raptors.
    how is Nilanka 'hating' on the coach? I don't think its at all unreasonable to believe that after 5 years of bad defense we'll still see another, will still be a bad defender that the team needs to 'hide', and Bargnani won't be held completely accountable (that would destroy his trade value and leave the team with 10 mil dead weight on the bench).

    I don't think its a matter of Casey playing favorites... its a matter of unavoidable limitations on what can be done with this team and Bargnani.

    Casey got credit for what he did with Dallas and Dirk.... unfortunately this team is not Dallas (a team of vets vs young guys), does not yet have Tyson Chandler (top defensive C vs no one... not throwing Alabi's name anywhere yet) and Andrea is not Dirk (a superstar vet vs whatever one feels like calling Bargnani).

    I honestly am not expecting major changes with this team. Slower paced offense and more zone and thats about it. Hope I'm wrong.

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    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    When Kevin O'Neil arrived here it was liv=ke somebody flipped a switch. Their defense greatly improved and their offense when down the crapper. They didn't make many roster moves that year, just a coaching change. Coaches can have a big impact. I think defense will improve but we're talking later in the season, not right away.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Hugmenot wrote: View Post
    Can you hate more? Your hate has already spilled over to a new coach by insinuating he will likely play favorites before he even coached one game for the Raptors.
    My "insinuation" comes from the fact that if Bargnani was given minutes based on defensive effort, he'd never get off the bench. $40 million riding the pine, decreasing in trade value by the minute.

    The realist in me says that Colangelo would never allow that to happen under his watch, regardless of whether he wants Bargnani to shine, or he wants to showcase him for a future trade.

    Bargnani will get minutes as long as he's on this team. Period.

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