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Thread: Crystal Ball

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Jclaw's Avatar
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    Default Crystal Ball

    So let's say this year goes as expected. Some development...many lost games. Fast forward one year with some assumptions. Big V is our centre with a veteran back up. AB or Ed is our PF (call those the 4 bigs). JJ can be a backup 3. Demar establishes himself as a legitimate 2. Bayless is more of a backup PG. Calderon is amnestied so we have 15-20 million to spend. We have a top five pick. We aren't getting the chris pauls or dwight howards of the world and it sounds like plenty of "desirable destinations" are gearing to have plenty of cap space as well. So.....in your crystal ball, who do we draft and who do we sign?

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Mack North's Avatar
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    Way too early to even think about it, but I'll play along. You forgot about Amir in your assumptions as well...

    At this point, I would draft A SF. Harrison Barnes or Michael Kidd Gilchrist to be exact. From what I've seen of both so far, they get after it on both ends of the floor. Barnes hasn't quite lived up to all they hype, but I think he'll be right at the top of the draft class next year. Top 5 for sure.

    As far as a signing, I would throw a boatload of money at Russell Westbrook if he's still available at the time.

    That could potentially be a starting/back up lineup of:

    PG - Westbrook/Bayless
    SG - DeMar/??
    SF - Barnes or KG/JJ
    PF - AB/Ed
    C - JV/Amir

    I wouldn't be mad at that lineup going forward, but I'd prefer AB gone. But he's under contract here so I'm gonna assume he'll still be here...

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    Best players available, not matter what positions they play.
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    Raptors Republic Superstar Mack North's Avatar
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Best players available, not matter what positions they play.
    Way to take the fun out of it...

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    The draft pick is the hardest thing to gauge really. If they land in the top 3, then it'll probably be pretty clear who to draft. Outside of the top 3, things could get a little murkier given how many PFs are likely to be lottery picks. If they end up with the 4th or 5th, it might end up being advantageous to trade down for a Q. Miller or a Kidd-Gilchrist, depending on how things shake out. I think you hope for Anthony Davis (or Andre Drummond, depending on how the season plays out), then plan B is to grab the best SF you can.

    And I fully agree with throwing a max deal at Westbrook and forcing OKC's hand. It's a bit of a tough call because on a team full of developing players he's probably not the guy you want at the one given the way he pounds the ball and thinks scoring first. But realistically, what other chance will you have outside of the draft to snag a player of his calibre at what's almost certainly going to be a position of need? Looking at the rest of that draft class, there really aren't any other young restricted FAs that would be worth targeting unless the Raps don't land a 3 in the draft and want to go after Eric Gordon to play the 2 with DeMar sliding to the 3.

    As for the rest of the roster, there's so much uncertainty. Do they deal Barbosa, and if so what do they get back? Does Alabi step up this year to form a nice C combo with JV going forward? What happens with Bargs? Or with Amir? There's just so much that needs to play out, it's tough to speculate on anything else.

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    Quote Mack North wrote: View Post
    Way to take the fun out of it...
    I know, but unfortunately, that's the best you can do. I think saying who you're going to pick months before the draft is like figuring out the weather 6 months away. Who would I ideally like? Well, I'd love to see Anthony Davis and Kabongo, but if there are better players available, at the time, then you go with them. It just depends on where they draft, etc.
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    Quote Lark Benson wrote: View Post
    The draft pick is the hardest thing to gauge really. If they land in the top 3, then it'll probably be pretty clear who to draft. Outside of the top 3, things could get a little murkier given how many PFs are likely to be lottery picks. If they end up with the 4th or 5th, it might end up being advantageous to trade down for a Q. Miller or a Kidd-Gilchrist, depending on how things shake out. I think you hope for Anthony Davis (or Andre Drummond, depending on how the season plays out), then plan B is to grab the best SF you can.
    I HATE trading down in a draft, especially out of the top five. Rarely does the team that trades down get the better player, and at this point the Raptors need to get the best player they can. Two All-Stars does not equal one franchise player. If the Raptors get, say the 4th and 5th pick, I'd try and trade up, not down.
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    I HATE trading down in a draft, especially out of the top five. Rarely does the team that trades down get the better player, and at this point the Raptors need to get the best player they can. Two All-Stars does not equal one franchise player. If the Raptors get, say the 4th and 5th pick, I'd try and trade up, not down.
    I'd agree on trading up, I just don't see it happening unless the raps manage to land an attractive 2nd pick. The 2nd tier of talent to me starts around 4th in this draft. It could change, but I don't see anyone besides Drummond, Davis and maybe Barnes as being that kind of player. That's just an opinion and obviously it's VERY early in the season, but that's how I see it as of right now. So to me, if the Raps land the 4th pick with the three I mentioned off the board and the next few players likely to be guys like Sullinger, Robinson, Henson, probably Perry Jones, I'd be fine with trading down to take a 3 since I don't see any of those 4s as being franchise guys. In any other draft you'd probably be right about moving down, but in one this deep you might be as likely to find a star at 7-9 as you would be at 4-5.

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    Quote Lark Benson wrote: View Post
    I'd agree on trading up, I just don't see it happening unless the raps manage to land an attractive 2nd pick. The 2nd tier of talent to me starts around 4th in this draft. It could change, but I don't see anyone besides Drummond, Davis and maybe Barnes as being that kind of player. That's just an opinion and obviously it's VERY early in the season, but that's how I see it as of right now. So to me, if the Raps land the 4th pick with the three I mentioned off the board and the next few players likely to be guys like Sullinger, Robinson, Henson, probably Perry Jones, I'd be fine with trading down to take a 3 since I don't see any of those 4s as being franchise guys. In any other draft you'd probably be right about moving down, but in one this deep you might be as likely to find a star at 7-9 as you would be at 4-5.
    I misread your comment and thought you said that if the Raptors get the 4th AND 5th pick.

    I agree somewhat, but it depends a lot on where guys are slated to go. I'd rather trade down if guys like Sullinger and Perry Jones are slated where the Raptors are picking. And then, who knows where they'll actually be drafted. Did anyone predict Tristan Thompson going 4th? Trading down can be dangerous if the guy you want gets picked higher than you expected. If Davis, Drummond and Barnes are gone, Kidd-Gilchrist is probably my next choice. How far will he fall? Who knows. I'd rather simply take him where I know I can get him for sure.
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    If we can draft a good young SF then I don't think JJ is in the long term plans of this team. Mostly because I think everyone would agree that they would rather have a true veteran mentor a rookie than James Johnson.

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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    I misread your comment and thought you said that if the Raptors get the 4th AND 5th pick.

    I agree somewhat, but it depends a lot on where guys are slated to go. I'd rather trade down if guys like Sullinger and Perry Jones are slated where the Raptors are picking. And then, who knows where they'll actually be drafted. Did anyone predict Tristan Thompson going 4th? Trading down can be dangerous if the guy you want gets picked higher than you expected. If Davis, Drummond and Barnes are gone, Kidd-Gilchrist is probably my next choice. How far will he fall? Who knows. I'd rather simply take him where I know I can get him for sure.
    I agree with you, that going with the best talent available is the only way to go.

    I think as we get closer to draft time names like Barnes and Kidd-Gilchrist will be replaced by names like J.Lamb and Q. Miller and P. Jones. No disrespect to Barnes or KG but at the swing position there are plenty of other talented prospects with arguably more upside. Davis and Drummond will both be top 5 picks as they are bigs with plenty of ability that will need time to mature.

    I'm sure BC won't want 3 rookies on the team next year (JV, their high lottery pick and another possible pick via trade scenarios), but if there is anyway to add a low lottery pick, taking Myck would not only be a HUGE marketing move, but you would actually be getting a Canadian player that is good and could be one of the faces of the franchise to truly root for. Only issue with him is he's arguably not a top 10 pick at this time so another draft pick would have to be obtained.

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    I think it's way too early to guess, especially in terms of signings. So I'll only speculate on the draft. If we're not top 3....I don't know if I'd want them to take Sullinger or Perry Jones. I think I'm ok with any pick in the top 10. In the same sense if our record and the lottery balls give us like the 7th pick, this is the kind of draft that could have a star at that spot. I think we draft best player available and hope that's a SF or PG like Kidd-Gilchrist or Kabongo (if they both have strong enough seasons for that). I'd hate to get another PF just for the chaos that will already happen when JV comes over if he's good enough to take that starting C spot and make it his within a couple of seasons.

    So all that said, I think we have a pretty good chance to get a good, possibly great player in the draft if we're anywhere in the top 10. I think Davis might look like a franchise talent right now and I'm not sure I'm convinced anyone else is that, but I don't know if we'll get that #1 pick. So I'm ok with whoever and just hope BC and co. do a good job scouting and don't draft a bust.
    The only thing I will say about signings is that Calderon's contract may be more valuable to trade than amnesty assuming Howard, Paul and Deron don't end up here. We could maybe make a good signing (Gerald Wallace anybody?) with the space we have and pursue trades, or whatever, pursue trades then use whatever we have left to fill out the roster, which might still be enough to get someone like Wallace.

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    agree with tim - it's so hard to gauge where the team will be come draft time. a lot of what they do in terms of trades, FA signings & drafting will depend on how certain players currently on the roster develop. to me, the key areas of focus are PG & SF (at least right now).

    i know it runs counter to conventional wisdom in general (and for poor teams in particular) to draft based on need vs. taking the best player available, but in the case of the raps, i'm thinking that need will play a role. they know they've got a potential starting quality 4s &/or 5s in JV & ed davis (again, how they develop this year will either confirm or rebut this assumption). depending on what happens with bargs & amir, they may (or may not) have sufficient frontcourt depth as well...this year will tell the tale.

    so much depends on bargs - if he shows development as an all-around player, and show he's a piece worth holding onto long-term, that will no-doubt impact how the team approaches free agency & the draft. if he fails to develop as they're hoping, then he could become trade bait (though if he doesn't develop, what will his worth be?). if he's jettisoned, then i assume the raps go with best player available, and considering the depth of frontcourt players, it wouldn't surprise me if they went that direction, and built around a strong frontcourt of ed, JV & '12 drafted player (davis, drummond, sullinger, jones).

    PG is a question mark - again, much will depend on bayless & whether he develops into an actual PG. still not sure what they do with jose...i can see him being amnestied during the summer, but only if the raps need to clear space to make a run at a FA, and only if they're pretty confident they'll be able to get said FA...meaning I doubt they'd risk amnestying jose in order to sign an RFA to an offer sheet (since he'd have value as an expiring contract). the draft is pretty devoid of marquee PG talent, so if they're looking to add one, it'll be via trade/FA. again, if bayless shows he's capable at the point, they may just need to find a back-up.

    and, of course, unless they shore up the SF position via trades during the season (or FA in the next couple days, which is highly doubtful), then barnes becomes an option in the draft (if available, and depending on how things play out in other areas).
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    Raptors Republic All-Star Jclaw's Avatar
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    Interesting replies. Most thoughts lean towards the draft but what really motivated the topic was the fact that our master plan seems to be having cap room next year...but so many other teams seem to have the same plan. What sort of free agent might be left for us? Yeah..I agree it's too early but it's something to think about.

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    I think FA is important as well.

    I don't know if they can make a run at the top free agents. The only way they obtain a top tier player is by overpaying so I think a possible FA signing might be a guy like C.Kaman. Not a top tier player but a solid contributor who is a veteran big that can give you some scoring on the blocks and won't force JV to be some kind of saviour as a rookie. Maybe an under the radar pick up of Ilyasova? And of course Nash is unrestricted next year. The draft is essential to building a team in a smaller NBA market (compared to the NY's and LA's), however you need to add some solid vets and I think the cap situation will allow the Raps to obtain some good pieces.

    I don't think Raps will make a huge splash in FA but the ability is there to add a few pieces that can truly help the team going forward.

    It's really the development of the youngsters and acquisition of elite talent in the draft that will indicate where we will be a few years from now.

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    i say we trade Bargs for a 2nd lottery pick. With ours(assuming its top 5) we choose Q.Miller or barnes to fill the gap a SF. With the second we choose Kabongo or Kendall Marshall. We Amnesty Calderon and resign Anthony Carter, Forbes, Butler and Aaron gray to fill out the roster(and some more FA we got tons of cap space next summer). Starting line up:

    Bayless/Kabongo/Carter
    DeMar/Forbes
    Q.Miller(or Barnes)/JJ/Butler
    Ed Davis/Amir johnson
    JV/Aaron Gray/Magloire(or Alabi)

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    forget Linas, i guess throw him in at extra minutes at SF and PF.

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    Remember that cap space isn't only used in free agency. We can also use it in trades without needing the salaries to match. Lots of possibilities with cap space next season, regardless if other teams have the same tentative plan.

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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    i say we trade Bargs for a 2nd lottery pick. With ours(assuming its top 5) we choose Q.Miller or barnes to fill the gap a SF. With the second we choose Kabongo or Kendall Marshall. We Amnesty Calderon and resign Anthony Carter, Forbes, Butler and Aaron gray to fill out the roster(and some more FA we got tons of cap space next summer). Starting line up:

    Bayless/Kabongo/Carter
    DeMar/Forbes
    Q.Miller(or Barnes)/JJ/Butler
    Ed Davis/Amir johnson
    JV/Aaron Gray/Magloire(or Alabi)
    i applaud your enthusiasm, but i have to be skeptical that bargs will bring in a lottery pick, especially in a deep draft such as this. yes, he's got talent, and i'm sure that there will always be teams who value what he brings - especially lottery teams (because, y'know, they're lottery teams for a reason). but i really can't see him bringing back a lottery pick, given what he is as a player, and the cap hit whatever team acquiring him would be taking.

    if bargs is dealt, i have to think that the raps would have to take back a fairly sizable contract (on a fairly mediocre player) in order to get a lottery pick as part of the deal.
    Last edited by yertu damkule; Tue Dec 13th, 2011 at 12:42 PM.
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    Quote Jclaw wrote: View Post
    Interesting replies. Most thoughts lean towards the draft but what really motivated the topic was the fact that our master plan seems to be having cap room next year...but so many other teams seem to have the same plan. What sort of free agent might be left for us? Yeah..I agree it's too early but it's something to think about.
    Until we know who the Raptors draft, I think it's impossible to guess what the Raptors will do with their cap room.
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