Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Zach Lowe, Si.com: Off season evaluations (Raptors)

  1. #1
    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    20,700
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Zach Lowe, Si.com: Off season evaluations (Raptors)

    • Toronto Raptors

    If there’s a team from this group that belongs on the “intriguing” list, it’s probably Toronto, which landed its franchise point guard in a fascinating trade with the Rockets after improving from cover-your-eyes awful to league average on defense in coach Dwane Casey’s first year. Kyle Lowry will serve as the team’s major free-agent prize because the Raptors reserved their rather significant cap space for a two-pronged pursuit of Steve Nash, a strategy that included both a sizable offer to the two-time MVP and a crazy offer sheet to Landry Fields designed to block the Knicks from a sign-and-trade deal for Nash.

    Fields will make just shy of $6.5 million annually over the next three seasons, a drastic overpay for a wing who shot 25.6 percent from three-point range last season and struggles to defend quick shooting guards. Fields will likely begin the season as the starting small forward for a team that had one of the NBA’s worst wing rotations in 2011-12, when the likes of Rasual Butler and a slightly out-of-position James Johnson mostly started there. The 24-year-old Fields will represent an upgrade if he can shoot a league-average mark from deep, and his cutting game generally functioned much better before the Knicks dealt for Carmelo Anthony, the sort of dominant, ball-stopping scorer not present in Toronto. And it’s not as if Toronto missed an obvious gem in free agency; the small-forward market was top-heavy, with the prime options being either restricted (Nicolas Batum) or aging/potentially overpriced (Gerald Wallace, Andrei Kirilenko), and the Raptors used the draft to find a potential replacement (Terrence Ross) for DeMar DeRozan at shooting guard.

    The Fields deal will hurt the Raptors’ flexibility, but not fatally. Toronto is set to have about $11.5 million in cap space next summer before factoring in DeRozan’s $8.4 million cap hold. DeRozan’s future is one of the interesting questions that Toronto faces. Ditto for the frontcourt, where the anticipated debut of Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas will make for a crowd of players who all want minutes. Andrea Bargnani is obviously a heavy-minutes starter, and he played the best ball of his career early last season before suffering a series of nagging leg injuries. The Raptors, who had the second-worst offense last season, actually scored at a league-average rate when Bargnani was around to spread the floor.

    After that? Nothing but questions, with Amir Johnson, Ed Davis, Valanciunas and fellow Lithuanian Linas Kleiza, who can swing between both forward positions but probably works best in the NBA as a small-ball power forward. (The Raptors’ salary dump of Johnson to Sacramento cleared that precise role for Kleiza). And we haven’t mentioned Aaron Gray, a burly center for whom Casey has an affection.

    Bottom line: With some internal growth and Lowry on board to upgrade the defense at the top of the arc, the Raptors have a chance to make some noise in the race for the No. 8 spot — especially if the Sixers slip after their own offseason makeover. Toronto also will be a team to watch on the trade and free-agency markets because of its glut of big men, decent cap flexibility, still-available amnesty provision and point guard Jose Calderon’s expiring deal.

    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012...bcats-pistons/

    I think this is the best off season evaluation I've seen on the Raptors. There is no question they are better but how much better remains to be seen.

  2. #2
    Raptors Republic Superstar ReubenJRD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, BC.
    Posts
    4,071
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    I think this is the best off season evaluation I've seen on the Raptors. There is no question they are better but how much better remains to be seen.
    Very accurate. I agree also that this is the best off-season evaluation on the Raptors.

    I think one place where they have upgraded/improved for sure, is the overused word of, potential. They can potentially be a very, very good team down the road.

  3. #3
    Raptors Republic All-Star Primer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1,216
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Finally, an off season evaluation from someone who knows that they're talking about. I think this is about as fair as it gets. Can't wait for the season to start!

  4. #4
    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    4,316
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Looks like Philly might get Bynum tomorrow -_-. I think that would make them automatically a playoff team.

  5. #5
    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    8,902
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Definitely the best overview so far. Glad that he stressed that there were also no real options in FA for the SF position. We may have overpaid for Fields but it's certainly much less than other guys would have cost, but it comes with quite a question mark. Could be an interesting season.

  6. #6
    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    8,902
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    Looks like Philly might get Bynum tomorrow -_-. I think that would make them automatically a playoff team.
    Yeah, still a bit hard to buy though with all the constant rumours. Also, I'm skeptical of the rumours the way the deal is structured because what does Denver get out of it? Iggy? And they give up Harrington (fine, that's no problem at all) and Afflalo (pretty big deal)...They have Afflalo, Chandler and Gallinari who can play the wing spot quite well, so it's odd that they'd give up Afflalo for Iggy to me. There must be something to sweeten the deal or something

  7. #7
    Raptors Republic Rookie
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    96
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    Yeah, still a bit hard to buy though with all the constant rumours. Also, I'm skeptical of the rumours the way the deal is structured because what does Denver get out of it? Iggy? And they give up Harrington (fine, that's no problem at all) and Afflalo (pretty big deal)...They have Afflalo, Chandler and Gallinari who can play the wing spot quite well, so it's odd that they'd give up Afflalo for Iggy to me. There must be something to sweeten the deal or something
    Word is that Denver is very high on Afflalo and that's holding up the deal. If this deal does go down I'd expect BC to be on the phone with Ujiri asking about the availability of his SF's.

    On the article it's the most spot on analysis I've seen so far. This is going to be an interesting season, our division is probably the toughest in the East by far. We have 5 teams that could or are playoff worthy.

  8. #8
    Raptors Republic Superstar ReubenJRD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, BC.
    Posts
    4,071
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    Looks like Philly might get Bynum tomorrow -_-. I think that would make them automatically a playoff team.
    Really? IMO, I don't one second believe this team automatically is a playoff team. Philly doesn't have a complete single outside threat on that team. Everything will have to come from the inside. Teams will just clog the lanes. Looks decent on paper, but this team lacks serious experience.

    Holiday/Ivey
    Turner/Young
    Young/Harkless/Wright
    Hawes/Moultrie/Allen
    Bynum/Brown/Vucevic

  9. #9
    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    4,316
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote RaptorReuben wrote: View Post
    Really? IMO, I don't one second believe this team automatically is a playoff team. Philly doesn't have a complete single outside threat on that team. Everything will have to come from the inside. Teams will just clog the lanes. Looks decent on paper, but this team lacks serious experience.

    Holiday/Ivey
    Turner/Young
    Young/Harkless/Wright
    Hawes/Moultrie/Allen
    Bynum/Brown/Vucevic
    Wright lead the league in 3 point FGs made 2 year ago. They also got Jason Richardson in the trade.

  10. #10
    Raptors Republic Starter
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    240
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    First good offseason evaluation of the Raps I've read, and not because it seems optimistic. Mostly because it's a fair assessment and seems like Zach Lowe's actually watched a game or two.

  11. #11
    Raptors Republic Superstar ReubenJRD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, BC.
    Posts
    4,071
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    Wright lead the league in 3 point FGs made 2 year ago. They also got Jason Richardson in the trade.
    I still don't see the team being an automatic playoff team... The Raptors are in the same mold. Both teams have very good potential to make the playoffs, but also can be placed right in the low lottery.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    4,639
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote RaptorReuben wrote: View Post
    Really? IMO, I don't one second believe this team automatically is a playoff team. Philly doesn't have a complete single outside threat on that team. Everything will have to come from the inside. Teams will just clog the lanes. Looks decent on paper, but this team lacks serious experience.

    Holiday/Ivey
    Turner/Young
    Young/Harkless/Wright
    Hawes/Moultrie/Allen
    Bynum/Brown/Vucevic
    - traded away Harkless (per rumor, but I didn't think signed draft picks could be traded until 30 days after signing, which would be September 23rd for Harkless)
    - traded away Vucevic
    - traded for Richardson
    - Hawes is a C, not really a PF

    Holiday/Ivey
    Turner/Richardson
    Wright/N.Young
    T.Young/Allen/Moultrie
    Bynum/Hawes/Brown


    Denver is the team that is really looking much improved, after adding Iggy and dumping two good but overpaid long contracts.

    Lawson/A.Miller
    Iggy/Fournier
    Gallinari/Chandler/Brewer/Q.Miller
    Faried/Randollph
    McGee/Mozgov/Koufos

    Afflalo (4 yrs @ $7.75M) gets replaced by Iggy. Harrington (3 yrs @ $6.69M) was made expendable by the development of Faried and acquisition of Randolph. Iggy is essentially even money next year and potentially the following season, if he uses his player option, then he's $15M off the books at least 1 year earlier than Afflalo/Harrington would start coming off the books.

  13. #13
    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    20,700
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    - traded away Harkless (per rumor, but I didn't think signed draft picks could be traded until 30 days after signing, which would be September 23rd for Harkless)
    - traded away Vucevic
    - traded for Richardson
    - Hawes is a C, not really a PF

    Holiday/Ivey
    Turner/Richardson
    Wright/N.Young
    T.Young/Allen/Moultrie
    Bynum/Hawes/Brown


    Denver is the team that is really looking much improved, after adding Iggy and dumping two good but overpaid long contracts.

    Lawson/A.Miller
    Iggy/Fournier
    Gallinari/Chandler/Brewer/Q.Miller
    Faried/Randollph
    McGee/Mozgov/Koufos

    Afflalo (4 yrs @ $7.75M) gets replaced by Iggy. Harrington (3 yrs @ $6.69M) was made expendable by the development of Faried and acquisition of Randolph. Iggy is essentially even money next year and potentially the following season, if he uses his player option, then he's $15M off the books at least 1 year earlier than Afflalo/Harrington would start coming off the books.
    The Nuggets are still looking at Lawson's extension. There could be one year of a big tax payment and more depending on if and what AI is resigned for.

  14. #14
    Raptors Republic Superstar ReubenJRD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, BC.
    Posts
    4,071
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    - traded away Harkless (per rumor, but I didn't think signed draft picks could be traded until 30 days after signing, which would be September 23rd for Harkless)
    - traded away Vucevic
    - traded for Richardson
    - Hawes is a C, not really a PF

    Holiday/Ivey
    Turner/Richardson
    Wright/N.Young
    T.Young/Allen/Moultrie
    Bynum/Hawes/Brown


    Denver is the team that is really looking much improved, after adding Iggy and dumping two good but overpaid long contracts.

    Lawson/A.Miller
    Iggy/Fournier
    Gallinari/Chandler/Brewer/Q.Miller
    Faried/Randollph
    McGee/Mozgov/Koufos

    Afflalo (4 yrs @ $7.75M) gets replaced by Iggy. Harrington (3 yrs @ $6.69M) was made expendable by the development of Faried and acquisition of Randolph. Iggy is essentially even money next year and potentially the following season, if he uses his player option, then he's $15M off the books at least 1 year earlier than Afflalo/Harrington would start coming off the books.
    Denver automatically looks really nice on the perimeter, and also significantly young after losing Harrington who was their locker room leader, and BPA off the bench.
    Experience will be this team's downfall, but George Karl is a great coach, and will prepare his players for whatever has to come.

    For Philadelphia, I don't know what to expect from that team. They do look quite nice on paper, but this team has the potential to be anything at this point.

  15. #15
    Raptors Republic Starter Mess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hamilton, ON
    Posts
    648
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It's a nice write up...which I was surprised by because I had read this tweet before I read the article:

    @ZachLowe_SI

    Toronto fan on my Raps offseason evaluation: "Not bad for someone who probably didn't watch any Raptors games." Sigh.
    I'm all for bashing any media member when it's deserving, but giving out backhanded compliments just because he's American is a waste of time and not cool.

  16. #16
    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    20,700
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Mess wrote: View Post
    It's a nice write up...which I was surprised by because I had read this tweet before I read the article:

    @ZachLowe_SI



    I'm all for bashing any media member when it's deserving, but giving out backhanded compliments just because he's American is a waste of time and not cool.
    Not just Rap fans though. He also made a tweet about Utah.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •