Looking through the comments of Arse's article on the homepage of RR regarding this weekend's signings has left me baffled.
Three things I guess one needs to keep in mind before I continue:
1) many people will never be happy,
2) many people struggle to see the forest through the trees - especially if they don't follow college ball,
3) many people are experts in the science of hindsight.
So why am I baffled? Because it appears there are only extremists in Raptorland.
"We are going to win at least 33 games (equivalent of 41), be at least a .500 team, and make the 8th seed at minimum."
"We are awful. The Raptors should leave town. No free agent will ever sign here. We are going to be bad but it won't matter, we're not getting a franchise player. BC was an idiot in in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and still is one in 2011 - oh yeah, and will be an idiot next year too. There is no plan moving forward. Why didn't we go after Gasol/Chandler/Nene or anyone who would help us this year?"
To be honest, now I'm being extreme. There are a number of views that are rational and reasonable in my opinion. My opinion is very much appreciating what we are witnessing. In my view the Raptors are finally on the right path. It is not the easy path or the path to instant gratification but it is a path that will lead to more than a first round exit.
This is how I see the 2011-12 Raptors:
1) We are going to be one of the worst teams with one of the brightest futures.
2) We have a coach who excels in what the Raptors have long lacked - defense.
3) We have a roster that, despite being told they will suck, will do everything they can to prove the naysayers wrong - unfortunately they will not have the talent to overcome.
4) We have a lot of young players who are going to learn from professionals who have been around the league a long time - staying power, absent star talent, is a testament to professionalism, hard work, and knowing your role.
5) We have a lot of young players who are going to be taught first and coached second - it has become a cliche but this really is building.
6) We have a team that is committed to change because the alternative is to pick bench splinters from one's ass.
7) We have a team with young players with something to prove in one way or another - either that they belong in the NBA (Bayless, JJ, hopefully Forbes), they are worth their contract (Amir), they possess starter talent (ED), they are a legit NBA star (DD), they can do more than score (guess who).
8) We have one summer to add a free agent or two who matter before worrying about contract extensions to players rolling off rookie deals.
9) Rookie deals are 4 years as are signing free agents or sign and trades - i.e. we can offer a max contract this summer and a near max contract if Calderon is amnestied (about $22-23M in cap space).
10) Any massive contract offered next summer would expire at the same time JV's and 2012 pick rookie deals end.
11) At the trade deadline or draft, the Raptors have assets in Bargnani (like him or not), Barbosa, ED, and expiring contracts.
12) The current roster has a number of great role players and 2nd/3rd options but no franchise player in a year when they will struggle and.......
13) The 2012 draft is loaded.
What are your thoughts on the 2011-12 Raptors? Are you happy with the direction the franchise is headed?