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Thread: Tim Chisholm: 5 reasons the Raptors need an NBA season

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default Tim Chisholm: 5 reasons the Raptors need an NBA season

    1. Extending DeMar

    Whether the 2011-2012 season happens or not, DeMar DeRozan is going to be up for an extension next summer. Financially, the Raptors are in a position to offer him anything they want, up to the maximum allowable salary. However, DeRozan finished last season at something of a crossroads. He had a tremendous finish to the year - averaging 19.9 ppg and 4.1 rpg after the All-Star break - but he still needed a lot of work on defence, passing, three-point shooting, and absorbing contact on drives. Another season of growth like last year's would thrust DeRozan into near stardom in the NBA, but he needs to demonstrate and prove that growth in order to be paid like a star.

    The issue is this: If there is no season, how do the Raptors assess his value? Low-ball him and he may sour on the team, something a squad that loses stars with regularity cannot afford. Overpay him and not only would they screw up their cap flexibility, but the fans could turn on him for not living up to his contract (and they'd turn on Bryan Colangelo for giving it to him). They need this season to see if DeRozan is the real deal or not, because his development is as essential to the team's rebuilding plans as any player on the roster. Just about everything - from roster composition to cap space - will stem from this decision, so they need to be able to make it as informed as possible, and to do that they need to see him play this season.

    2. The Bargnani Debacle

    One of the reasons that the Raptors hired Dwane Casey as their head coach was so that he could try to hide Andrea Bargnani on defence the same way that he hid Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas. If Bargnani can be so hidden, then his place in Toronto's future may be cemented. If he cannot be, then the Raptors need to divest themselves of his services. They have to see him play under Casey, though, to know one way or another.

    So why the urgency? Because no player on the roster requires as much compensating for as Bargnani; and if Colangelo is to make roster alterations to continue this rebuilding process, he needs to know if Bargnani is a piece worth compensating for anymore or not. This season was meant to be a freebie of sorts for Casey and Colangelo; a year where everyone knew losing was inevitable but they could tinker with their roster makeup before getting a windfall of cap space, a potentially dynamite draft pick in a loaded draft, and the arrival of the centre of the future, Jonas Valanciunas. After next summer, the expectations are going to heat up, and they can't afford to continue assessing Bargnani in that environment. By next summer they need to know - one way or another - what they are doing with him, and they need this season to figure out what the answer to that question is.

    3. The Power Forward Glut versus The Draft

    There is one thing that is pretty clear about this upcoming mega-draft: it is power forward heavy. Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Quincy Miller, Thomas Robinson, John Henson, James Michael McAdoo, Terrence Jones - all of these guys are potential lottery picks next spring, and each and every one is a power forward. In fact, on Chad Ford's ESPN Big Board, only two of his top ten are NOT power forwards (Harrison Barnes and Bradley Beal). The Raptors, of course, are already loaded at the position with Bargnani, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson, with James Johnson and Linas Kleiza both naturally more comfortable at the position as well. That's a situation that needs a little clarification ahead of the 2012 NBA draft.

    Let's assume a few things first off. If Anthony Davis is on the board when they pick, they take him and figure out the logjam later. He's better than anyone they have. If Davis is gone but Barnes is available, they take Barnes to shore up their small forward spot. After that, things get tricky. The team doesn't really know what they have in Ed Davis yet, nor how they'd rank him against guys like Drummond, Sullinger or Henson. He had a strong first season, but hardly an earth-shattering one. Are they ready to marginalize him for one of the aforementioned guys? Maybe, but they'd really prefer to have another season of watching Davis to know if that's a good idea or not. If they play out the season and Davis (or Bargnani) really impresses, then perhaps the team focuses its attention more on guys like Beal, Jeremy Lamb or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. It's incredibly hard to say at this point in the NCAA season, obviously, but making an informed decision about a lottery loaded with stud power forwards when you've got (somewhat) incomplete information about your own power forwards is a situation that is far from ideal for Toronto. They need a season to bring clarity to this issue before June.

    4. The Amnesty Clause

    Almost certain to be included in the new CBA is a clause that will allow a team to sever ties with one of their players without having their salary count against the cap (though the player still gets paid). The amnesty does not need to happen immediately, but heading into next summer - where lots of cap space promises to be available regardless - adding to their flexibility by cutting Jose Calderon, Kleiza, Bargnani, or no one is a decision that could use a season to sort out. If, for instance, Bargnani shows zero improvement under Casey, shouldn't he be at least considered for amnesty? Of course, the team needs to see him play under Casey to figure that out. Using the amnesty rule to open up more cap space next summer could have franchise-altering effects on this roster, given the talent that could be available. But so could making the wrong decision about the amnesty use because the team had only a fraction of the information that they needed to make a good one. A season would help sort out that issue tremendously.

    5. The Short Deals

    At the heart of all of this decision making is the fact that the men making the decisions - Colangleo and Casey - are on short two-year guaranteed deals right now. Lose this season, and both have only one year to prove that they are worth keeping around for another kick at the can. That's a perilously short period of time, especially for Casey, who'd basically have to coach for his life with a new team that is unused to playing defence the way he wants it played (which is playing it at all). If he can't bring hope back to the ACC then both he and Colangelo are likely goners. They need this season to happen so that they have a bit more breathing room to do their jobs before their jobs are put into jeopardy by expiring contracts.
    Source: TSN.ca

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    1. Agree on DeMar.

    2. I'd prefer to cut the cord on Bargnani at this point but there is the always, "what if he puts it all together....". Ugh.

    3. Tim sums it up nicely on ED in my opinion. However there is no doubt Quincy Miller is a SF and Terrence Jones and Perry Jones are questionable leaning more towards tweeners (which the Raps have a couple already).

    4. No need to use amnesty now - on anyone - including Bargnani and Calderon. But if it is permitted to be carried over in to next summer as reported, the Raptors could be major free agent players next summer assuming no trades are made involving mentioned players between now and then.

    5. Don't forget both BC and Casey have third year team options.

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    Can't disagree with much there, although the part about seeing whether they can hide Bargnani makes me a little ill. I think playing the season is definitely best for the Raptors.
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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    1.Well the only thing with Demar is that we don't actually need to Extent him if we don't want.

    Isn't Demar a Restricted Free Agent once his Rookie deal runs out? Could be mistaken on this though.
    And there will likely be Bird Rights to persuade him further.
    So no completely urgent need to extent him. Would be nice though.

    2. I really don't know how I feel about Bargs ... I was big fan his first few years, and really wanted great things for him ... but it just got to the point where if I defended him any further, I'd just be lying. And I couldn't that for him. haha
    I'm completely on the fence as to whether or not we give him a shot under Casey.

    3. Indeed. I'm fine with this assessment.
    I'd like to think Ed would show enough to at least make them think twice before having to trade him away.
    He's already shown a knack for blocking NBA shots. And his confidence was sky high by seasons end.

    Too bad he couldn't keep that momentum going with Summer League and Training Camp ...

    4. I'd rather see what Bargs/Calderons Market value is for trade before paying them to leave the team.

    5. Bryan Colangelo (Chuck Norris) doesn't get nervous, because BC (CN) doesn't have a nervous system!!
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    One thing Chisholm left out (and probably with good reason since nothing is set in stone) is that there's every indication that if a season IS played, the new deal will almost certainly increase the minimum age for players entering the draft by another year. Again, nothing's set in stone, but everything I've read has had the owners pushing hard for this. And if that's the case, then the number of players that could really help the Raps in the next draft shrinks dramatically and the draft becomes a bit like last year's instead of the talent-rich crop everyone is projecting.

    Under that scenario Barnes would almost certainly go first, with a second tier of Perry Jones, Sullinger and Lamb being the only other prospects that could help the Raps (and I stress could, as none of the 3 are ideal fits by any means). So you have to wonder whether the Raps might end up trading down or out of the draft for a pick in the '13 draft or more immediate help, especially if Davis plays well and their pick lands outside the top 3.

    Just something to keep an eye on.

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    i realize this has be said before - and maybe chisholm just doesn't want to stir the "woe is me, the raptors fan" pot - but more important than sussing out our 4 spot through the draft is going to be securing a decent draft position at all. if the nba manages the draft the way the nhl did, and the way arse predicted, then the raptors would get absolutely hosed. honestly. especially for a lock-out that is supposed to be about increasing parity for small-market teams, how could the nba justify giving great draft position to the larger-market teams that just poached a half-dozen stars (i'm including the knicks and nets here).

    with jv on board, i can't see our '12-'13 campaign being anywhere near as bad as our '11-'12 was shaping up to be, making this our best chance to secure some sort of westbrook proxy to jv's durant (derozan's james harden, just so we're clear). even if this draft is heavy on redundant talent, we could always use a strong pick as a trade chip...or field some kinda reverse nellie-ball team with 4 PFs on the floor.

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    Quote deebee wrote: View Post
    if the nba manages the draft the way the nhl did, and the way arse predicted, then the raptors would get absolutely hosed.
    I personally, don't envision it going down this way.
    I posted an article a while back that listed a few of the ways that were being discussed in the CBA meetings, and I'm not sure that NHL route was considered seriously.
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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    I always look forward to Chisolm's articles. He's one of the few writers (aside from the Republic) who aren't afraid to tell it like it is.

    That being said, I agree on a lot of his points. It'll be especially interesting to see how the Ed Davis situation plays out. As fans, we rave about his great rookie season, and his "upside". But as far as rookie seasons go, he didn't exactly blow anyone's socks off. He played well considering his preseason injury, and cautious expectations. But the jury is still out (like much of our roster).

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    1. I think he's overstating the urgency with Derozan. He's a decent piece, maybe, but does anyone see him as someone the Raps can't live without? You offer him something reasonable and let the chips fall where they may - he isn't an "at any costs" kinda guy.

    2. Really? Really? Bargnani is not Dirk. On either end of the floor. Period. Casey is never going to turn him into Dirk. He isn't going to be able to "hide" him defensively. He's a coach not a sorceror. If management really needs another season to figure out Bargnani isn't worth the effort then they are even more inept than I thought.

    3. Way too soon to worry about this. We don't even know who will be draft eligible under a new CBA or whether there is even going to be a draft. Even in the worst case scenario you have surplus assets to move for value.

    4. Again, premature speculation. Let's worry about the amnesty clause if it becomes an issue. Whether or not to use it and who to use it on will depend on the facts on the ground at the time. Having capspace for the sake of capspace doesn't mean anything in and of itself. MLSE doesn't need the cost-savings so this seems silly to even consider at this point.

    5. Wouldn't a lost season alter the decision-making process on BC? It's like Chisholm simply ignores common sense and all sense of reasonableness. As someone who would have preferred to see BC gone this past year, it strikes me as completely ridiculous to judge him on the basis of one random year, in particular given the youth of the lineup in that year.

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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    1. I think he's overstating the urgency with Derozan. He's a decent piece, maybe, but does anyone see him as someone the Raps can't live without? You offer him something reasonable and let the chips fall where they may - he isn't an "at any costs" kinda guy.

    2. Really? Really? Bargnani is not Dirk. On either end of the floor. Period. Casey is never going to turn him into Dirk. He isn't going to be able to "hide" him defensively. He's a coach not a sorceror. If management really needs another season to figure out Bargnani isn't worth the effort then they are even more inept than I thought.

    3. Way too soon to worry about this. We don't even know who will be draft eligible under a new CBA or whether there is even going to be a draft. Even in the worst case scenario you have surplus assets to move for value.

    4. Again, premature speculation. Let's worry about the amnesty clause if it becomes an issue. Whether or not to use it and who to use it on will depend on the facts on the ground at the time. Having capspace for the sake of capspace doesn't mean anything in and of itself. MLSE doesn't need the cost-savings so this seems silly to even consider at this point.

    5. Wouldn't a lost season alter the decision-making process on BC? It's like Chisholm simply ignores common sense and all sense of reasonableness. As someone who would have preferred to see BC gone this past year, it strikes me as completely ridiculous to judge him on the basis of one random year, in particular given the youth of the lineup in that year.

    1. While I agree with you in theory... the reality is its important to get an idea of what you 'have' (or what you might miss out on). Derozan has not shown to be a 'must have' player by any stretch, but he has the potential to be anything from a 8th man to a 2nd option. Getting a better idea of his 'value' and therefore, roughly, what he should be offered is important. I can easily see a 'fair deal' of, say, 8 mil being signed, only to find out that deal was never that 'fair' and there is a fresh 4-5 year albatross-ish contract sitting being forced into a starters position.

    2. completely agree. As soon as Casey was hired I was worried about this.... 'well lets see if he can do for Bargnani what he did for Dirk'....except Bargnani is not Dirk. Why not use that same philosophy and see if there is a Scottie Pippen out there for Demar....

    Heres hoping BC is on the phone right now finding out whats available for Bargnani.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote GarbageTime wrote: View Post
    1. While I agree with you in theory... the reality is its important to get an idea of what you 'have' (or what you might miss out on). Derozan has not shown to be a 'must have' player by any stretch, but he has the potential to be anything from a 8th man to a 2nd option. Getting a better idea of his 'value' and therefore, roughly, what he should be offered is important. I can easily see a 'fair deal' of, say, 8 mil being signed, only to find out that deal was never that 'fair' and there is a fresh 4-5 year albatross-ish contract sitting being forced into a starters position.

    2. completely agree. As soon as Casey was hired I was worried about this.... 'well lets see if he can do for Bargnani what he did for Dirk'....except Bargnani is not Dirk. Why not use that same philosophy and see if there is a Scottie Pippen out there for Demar....

    Heres hoping BC is on the phone right now finding out whats available for Bargnani.

    Huge +1.

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    Quote GarbageTime wrote: View Post
    Heres hoping BC is on the phone right now finding out whats available for Bargnani.
    Here's hoping that BC has been on the phone throughout the lockout to find out what's available for Bargnani.

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    BC will never trade his love child. Sometimes I think BC cares more about Bargnani than he does the Raptors.

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    Quote why_you_mad_tho wrote: View Post
    BC will never trade his love child. Sometimes I think BC cares more about Bargnani than he does the Raptors.
    Welcome to the board!

    However, I disagree with this statement, if only because BC has never really given any indication that this is the case.
    He openly criticized Bargs at the end of the season. (And really, no GM would have traded their #1 pick yet.)
    I can assure you he is at least exploring the options.
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    I think Bargs is going to need more than 68 (or whatever) games to learn and get good at Caseys system. If you're going to pull the plug on him then you can pull it now, if not you should wait at least 2 more seasons...

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    We should move Bargnani ASAP, he's likely a depreciating asset at this point.

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    You guys are just haters.
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    Trade him and bring in some lottery picks and let Ed start and tear it up.

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