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Thread: SI responds to an email question about the Raps

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Default SI responds to an email question about the Raps

    Sport Illustrated's Ian Thomsen responds to a reader's question about the Raptors below - and includes them in his list of 12 teams to watch at the deadline, synopsis here:

    Raptors: Ownership threatened to make changes in Toronto, and Raptors president Bryan Colangelo responded by changing the franchise outlook with a trade for Rudy Gay. Colangelo is now talking about another deal for Andrea Bargnani -- not to dump his salary but to improve his own team.

    "According to reports, the Raptors are still open for business. What's the end game here? Are they building something that can last or is Bryan Colangelo just rolling the dice in hopes of saving his job this summer?
    -- Fallon, Toronto

    I like what they're building, Fallon. I know Colangelo has mentioned the possibility of moving Bargnani, but if they were to keep him and Lowry then consider this core:

    C Jonas Valanciunas, 20 years old
    F Bargnani 27, Amir Johnson 25
    F Rudy Gay 26, Landry Fields 24, Linas Kleiza 28
    G DeMar DeRozan 23, Terrence Ross 22
    G Kyle Lowry 26

    This could be a highly promising team so long as they stick with it. I understand the frustrations ownership and fans might experience with Colangelo, but do they really want to start over again with a new team president, who hires a new coach, who then wants to replace the players? In my opinion this franchise should not let go of Casey. After a hard start he has this young team playing respectably, in spite of the latest injury to Bargnani. Casey emphasizes defense and he has been with a championship program in Dallas. Instead of starting anew yet again, the Raptors should maintain their investment in a coach who represents the right values for a young team with so much balance and promise across its roster."

    Nice to see some Raptors coverage in the mainstream media that isn't 100% driven by a headline trade. (even if he lists Kleiza as a part of the core).

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba...#ixzz2K2zbZ42O

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    Raptors Republic Superstar isaacthompson's Avatar
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    I still don't like having Andrea as part of our core...his attitude could be devastating towards the other younger players.
    Twitter - @thekid_it

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Not a bad write-up, but he obviously is an outsider looking at the Bargnani (and Kleiza) situation.

    I would suggest the roster breakdown is more like this:
    Inner Core - Valanciunas, Ross, Gay, Lowry
    Outer Core - DeRozan, Johnson, Fields

    Bargnani is absolutely trade bait, very likely not included in the team's long-term plans anymore. I'm surprised how anybody who saw/heard BC's interview in the wake of the Gay deal going through, could possibly believe otherwise. I just wish there were some rumors or even just some chatter floating around regarding Bargnani... soooo much more entertaining to discuss/debate tangible rumors!

    Kleiza is definitely not in the team's plans beyond this season. I expect that if he isn't traded, he'll be amnestied. No way he starts next season on the Raptors' roster.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    Meh, his answer makes me think he barely watches the Raptors play. And yes, I'm using his inclusion of Kleiza as part of our core as my rationale. He clearly hasn't seen Kleiza play a game in uniform this year, or has only happened to catch one of his handful of great games....

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    Meh, his answer makes me think he barely watches the Raptors play. And yes, I'm using his inclusion of Kleiza as part of our core as my rationale. He clearly hasn't seen Kleiza play a game in uniform this year, or has only happened to catch one of his handful of great games....
    I wouldn't be surprised if he simply looked at the roster and took note of which young players were signed beyond this year. I'm surprised he didn't mention Gray (27) or Acy (22)!

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    I'm sure we can count the number of US-based media members who watch the Raptors on one-hand. The fact that they are even mentioned as a mailbag entry was quite shocking.

    It does hilight that we are still a very young team and the Gay deal strengthened that.

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    Quote white men can't jump wrote: View Post
    Meh, his answer makes me think he barely watches the Raptors play. And yes, I'm using his inclusion of Kleiza as part of our core as my rationale. He clearly hasn't seen Kleiza play a game in uniform this year, or has only happened to catch one of his handful of great games....
    DItto.
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    I know I'm in the minority here, but the more I think about it, the less dumping Bargs for spare parts makes sense. We all know that his value is probably limited right now, and aside from waiting to see if he improves in order to maximize his value (which is an upside-only proposition since it probably can't get much, if any, lower), I think there are some reasons to think that Bargs could actually contribute to the team.

    First off, he's not the team's primary scorer any longer. With DeRozan's increasing ability on the wing and Gay's arrival, Bargs is looking at a drastic reduction in shots compared to the last couple of years. And I really think that's the best thing for him. Being an alpha dog on offense is not his game, but like so many Raptors before him the organization placed that burden on his shoulders due to lack of choice. We all know the results: a lot of long 2s and a lot of ball stopping.

    But what Bargs is great at is spacing the floor and being the trigger guy who finishes swing or drive and kick sequences with jumpers that are often open because the opposing big has been sucked into the paint or doesn't want to stray from the rim to guard him. Looking at a Lowry-Gay-DeRozan trio on the wings, you can see why that particular skill set would be extremely useful, not only for opening driving lanes but also for receiving passes and doing what he does best. The key would be Casey getting into his head about shot selection and the need to swing the ball if he doesn't have an open jumper instead of forcing shots up. But on a team with so many scorers, hopefully he can unlearn that bad habit.

    Now of course this all comes with a huge caveat: his defense. We all know it's bad, we all get angry watching him loaf around. I don't know if lessening the scoring load would free up energy for the defensive end, but I do think that his rebounding can be made up for with the Lowry/DeMar/Gay combo crashing the boards and one of Val and Amir with him at all times. That's a strong rebounding lineup at 4/5 positions. You would hope Casey would distribute playing time to Andrea only if he commits to playing harder on D, and in general I think Bargs would benefit from a reduction in minutes with the emphasis on playing as hard as possible during those shorter stretches. Realistically though, it's probably a lost cause.

    But to me, a Bargnani with a decreased but more specialized offensive role and more playing time against opposing benches could really be an asset going forward. He's not going to be worth his 10 mil/yr contract or his draft position, but that doesn't mean he can't help the team. Gonna be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar BasketballCrush's Avatar
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    I don't see the rush to trade Andrea, unless it really benefits us, in other words, a deal we can't refuse.


    Otherwise, his value is at its lowest with the poor start to the season and subsequent injury. We all know he can play great in spurts/when motivated, let’s wait for one of those spurts and pull the trigger then.


    (His value has been going up and down, through out his career, why not just wait for another peak)
    Last edited by BasketballCrush; Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 01:30 PM.

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    It bothers me whenever people get excited or make a fuss that the Raptors or Toronto are mentioned by a major US media outlet.

    It kind of reminds me of the old teeny bopper movies/shows when a young girl says "Hi" to the highschool quarterback and he says "Hi !", and then they zoom in on the girl as she clasps her hands tightly together and gazes into the sky and says "It must be true love! He knows my name!"
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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Lark Benson wrote: View Post
    I know I'm in the minority here, but the more I think about it, the less dumping Bargs for spare parts makes sense. We all know that his value is probably limited right now, and aside from waiting to see if he improves in order to maximize his value (which is an upside-only proposition since it probably can't get much, if any, lower), I think there are some reasons to think that Bargs could actually contribute to the team.

    First off, he's not the team's primary scorer any longer. With DeRozan's increasing ability on the wing and Gay's arrival, Bargs is looking at a drastic reduction in shots compared to the last couple of years. And I really think that's the best thing for him. Being an alpha dog on offense is not his game, but like so many Raptors before him the organization placed that burden on his shoulders due to lack of choice. We all know the results: a lot of long 2s and a lot of ball stopping.

    But what Bargs is great at is spacing the floor and being the trigger guy who finishes swing or drive and kick sequences with jumpers that are often open because the opposing big has been sucked into the paint or doesn't want to stray from the rim to guard him. Looking at a Lowry-Gay-DeRozan trio on the wings, you can see why that particular skill set would be extremely useful, not only for opening driving lanes but also for receiving passes and doing what he does best. The key would be Casey getting into his head about shot selection and the need to swing the ball if he doesn't have an open jumper instead of forcing shots up. But on a team with so many scorers, hopefully he can unlearn that bad habit.

    Now of course this all comes with a huge caveat: his defense. We all know it's bad, we all get angry watching him loaf around. I don't know if lessening the scoring load would free up energy for the defensive end, but I do think that his rebounding can be made up for with the Lowry/DeMar/Gay combo crashing the boards and one of Val and Amir with him at all times. That's a strong rebounding lineup at 4/5 positions. You would hope Casey would distribute playing time to Andrea only if he commits to playing harder on D, and in general I think Bargs would benefit from a reduction in minutes with the emphasis on playing as hard as possible during those shorter stretches. Realistically though, it's probably a lost cause.

    But to me, a Bargnani with a decreased but more specialized offensive role and more playing time against opposing benches could really be an asset going forward. He's not going to be worth his 10 mil/yr contract or his draft position, but that doesn't mean he can't help the team. Gonna be interesting to see how it all plays out.
    Agreed. Even the strongest Bargnani supporters (myself among them) always argued that he never should have been considered as a #1 scoring option. He has the skillset to be a great #2-3 option, without the added responsibility/pressure that comes with being the #1 option. Even when he stirred the pot with his controversial quote earlier in the season about being the best player on the team, I thought it was more a reflection of him being the team's go-to guy, which simply got lost in translation.

    Back in the Bosh days, I thought Bargnani was at his best. He had the 2nd best big defender guarding him (best big defender guarded Bosh) and he wasn't relied upon so heavily to carry the team's offensive load, nor were defensive strategies drawn up to contain him. I also thought his natural passing ability came out much more often and effectively, before he became the #1 scoring option.

    I do think there's potential for him to thrive in a lineup with Gay/DeRozan/Lowry, but at this point I wouldn't be overly upset if he was traded, either. I've never been onboard with a trade to just dump him, but if a decent deal comes along, I'd [probably] support it.
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Tue Feb 5th, 2013 at 01:36 PM.

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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    Agreed. Even the strongest Bargnani supporters (myself among them) always argued that he never should have been considered as a #1 scoring option. He has the skillset to be a great #2-3 option, without the added responsibility/pressure that comes with being the #1 option. Even when he stirred the pot with his controversial quote earlier in the season about being the best player on the team, I thought it was more a reflection of him being the team's go-to guy, which simply got lost in translation.

    Back in the Bosh days, I thought Bargnani was at his best. He had the 2nd best big defender guarding him (best big defender guarded Bosh) and he wasn't relied upon so heavily to carry the team's offensive load, nor were defensive strategies drawn up to contain him. I also thought his natural passing ability came out much more often and effectively, before he became the #1 scoring option.

    I do think there's potential for him to thrive in a lineup with Gay/DeRozan/Lowry, but at this point I wouldn't be overly upset if he was traded, either. I've never been onboard with a trade to just dump him, but if a decent deal comes along, I'd [probably] support it.


    But he is a pretty good one on one defender. The key would seem to be to have others help on defense and lesave him to his man. He has proven time and again to do well thusly, IMHO.

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    Sorry..."leave"

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    Raptors Republic Starter matt's Avatar
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    The only reason Bargnani should ever put on a Raptors jersey again is to up his trade value. That's all it should be. I just don't see him changing his habits and playing off Gay's game.

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    Quote matt wrote: View Post
    The only reason Bargnani should ever put on a Raptors jersey again is to up his trade value. That's all it should be. I just don't see him changing his habits and playing off Gay's game.

    Although I have been a Bargs supporter, and I want him to do well, it is hard for me to argue this point...he's had seven years after all...

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote matt wrote: View Post
    The only reason Bargnani should ever put on a Raptors jersey again is to up his trade value. That's all it should be. I just don't see him changing his habits and playing off Gay's game.
    I'm not convinced. He had no issue playing second-fiddle to Bosh. He isn't a #1 option and he was exposed when forced into being the default #1 option. Plus, nobody is saying to keep him 100% forever.

    I think a lot of people are just realizing that with his skillset, he has the potential to be a great addition to a lineup featuring Gay, DeRozan, Lowry and Valanciunas/Amir. If he is told in no uncertain terms that he's now option #3 and that he has to make a better defensive/rebounding effort to EARN his playing time, he could deliver. If he doesn't, then no harm done - trade him - it's not like his value could decline further than it likely already has.

    At the very least, he would be a huge improvement over Gray (no offense) or Valanciunas (rookie) right now. A healthy Bargnani would have made that Miami game very different, simply because teams actually have to respect (and cover) Bargnani on the offensive end. Whether it was him scoring or just minimizing the double-teams thrown at Gay/DeRozan/Lowry, his presence would have drastically changed the team's offensive execution. With the improved defense, especially on the perimeter (more Lowry, addition of Gay, improving DeRozan), I even think his defense shortcomings wouldn't be as destructive.

    Just try it out... playoffs are a longshot and his value is already at rock bottom, so why not? He can still be traded at the deadline or in the offseason if it doesn't work out.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    I'm not convinced. He had no issue playing second-fiddle to Bosh. He isn't a #1 option and he was exposed when forced into being the default #1 option. Plus, nobody is saying to keep him 100% forever.

    I think a lot of people are just realizing that with his skillset, he has the potential to be a great addition to a lineup featuring Gay, DeRozan, Lowry and Valanciunas/Amir. If he is told in no uncertain terms that he's now option #3 and that he has to make a better defensive/rebounding effort to EARN his playing time, he could deliver. If he doesn't, then no harm done - trade him - it's not like his value could decline further than it likely already has.

    At the very least, he would be a huge improvement over Gray (no offense) or Valanciunas (rookie) right now. A healthy Bargnani would have made that Miami game very different, simply because teams actually have to respect (and cover) Bargnani on the offensive end. Whether it was him scoring or just minimizing the double-teams thrown at Gay/DeRozan/Lowry, his presence would have drastically changed the team's offensive execution. With the improved defense, especially on the perimeter (more Lowry, addition of Gay, improving DeRozan), I even think his defense shortcomings wouldn't be as destructive.

    Just try it out... playoffs are a longshot and his value is already at rock bottom, so why not? He can still be traded at the deadline or in the offseason if it doesn't work out.
    Very well point. My sentiments exactly. Raps fans might have to accept the fact that Bargnani's shooting from the 4 spot, might be the necessary evil to help space the floor for our 3 slashers (Lowry, Demar, Gay). Plus don't forget the talk about being a top 10 (some even said 5) defence this year, with Bargnani starting at the PF spot. Hopefully the development of JV at the center position and more athleticism on the wings helps cover Barg's limitations on defence and he could actually work out very well as the team's 2nd/3rd option.

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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    I'm not convinced. He had no issue playing second-fiddle to Bosh. He isn't a #1 option and he was exposed when forced into being the default #1 option. Plus, nobody is saying to keep him 100% forever.

    I think a lot of people are just realizing that with his skillset, he has the potential to be a great addition to a lineup featuring Gay, DeRozan, Lowry and Valanciunas/Amir. If he is told in no uncertain terms that he's now option #3 and that he has to make a better defensive/rebounding effort to EARN his playing time, he could deliver. If he doesn't, then no harm done - trade him - it's not like his value could decline further than it likely already has.

    Just try it out... playoffs are a longshot and his value is already at rock bottom, so why not? He can still be traded at the deadline or in the offseason if it doesn't work out.
    Exactly. If someone calls at the deadline and offers you something of value that helps the team, then sure, jump on it. But there's no reason Casey can't sit him down and make it very clear that he's going to have to earn his minutes on one end of the floor. Even 15-20 minutes a night from him could really help given the current big rotation, especially when foul trouble comes into play.

    As an aside, it's hard not to think that all of BC's talk about trading Andrea might just be one big motivational ploy. I mean have you ever heard any GM, especially one that likes to deal as much as BC, lay his cards on the table in the media like that? I have a hunch that it was a not-so-subtle hint that he needs to fit within what the team is doing when he gets back or else. But that's just a theory.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    I don't know about Bargnani having to up his trade value. Whether his trade value is considered high or low, he is a known quantity and it's not going any higher because he comes back and plays. He's been around the league long enough where everyone knows he's a scorer and weak at most everything else. It's not like he's going to come back and every time there is a rebound to be had, Amir is going to take a step back and let Bargs grab it to up his rebound numbers.

    If there is an worthy offer for Bargs they should take it. Whether it's now or later is irrelevant. His trade stock is what it is, and unless GM's are as dumb as fans it's not going to change because he comes back and plays well, decently or poorly. Certainly what they are going to offer us isn't going to change because of how he plays once he gets back.

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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    Not a bad write-up, but he obviously is an outsider looking at the Bargnani (and Kleiza) situation.

    I would suggest the roster breakdown is more like this:
    Inner Core - Valanciunas, Ross, Gay, Lowry
    Outer Core - DeRozan, Johnson, Fields

    Bargnani is absolutely trade bait, very likely not included in the team's long-term plans anymore. I'm surprised how anybody who saw/heard BC's interview in the wake of the Gay deal going through, could possibly believe otherwise. I just wish there were some rumors or even just some chatter floating around regarding Bargnani... soooo much more entertaining to discuss/debate tangible rumors!

    Kleiza is definitely not in the team's plans beyond this season. I expect that if he isn't traded, he'll be amnestied. No way he starts next season on the Raptors' roster.
    I dont know what to think of BC anymore. The way he called out Bargnani during the post season presscon last year, i thought he was gone. But he improved, got injured then came back as the old Bargnani and got injured again. Now BC is calling him out again, will he come back as the new Bargnani? Who knows.

    specualations i gathered from that BC interview:

    Bargnani is as good as gone.
    He's trying to make it known that Bargnani is really, really available.
    Offers are on the table, but waiting to see if Bargnani can come back on the court 100% healthy

    OR

    doing another scare tactic to nudge Bargnani and make him realize that if he doesnt smarten up AGAIN, he will be traded for real.

    IMO, i think BC is still going to keep him. Im still not convinced that BC has accepted within himself that Bargnani is as high as he can go, and is still hanging on to the illusion that he will be an all-star someday.

    IMO, see how he does with the 2nd unit, if it doesnt work out, trade him.

    Like i said,

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