In the interest of trying to advance the discussion back on the topic of Amir, his place on the Raps and how to solidify the bigs while keeping him...I was wondering if people wanted to throw out suggestions for who they would like to see play in that main 3 big rotation? I know some still want a big trade for a guy like Boozer or Gasol. I'm somewhat ok with Gasol for just a year, and less ok with Boozer for 2. I would prefer another role player, a complimentary piece. So I'll start with a few guys I've seen in rumors (not necessarily just Raptors related) or could be free agents this summer, and ranked loosely (mostly just sure about my first and last option) for who I think fits.
1- Ersan Ilyasova (least likely but I think the best option out there. Would probably depend a bit too much on a) the Bucks expecting a worse season next year, and b) the Raps taking Gooden back.). Adds a high quality shooter at one of the team's holes. This is not about replacing Bargs, it's about actual versatility and best fit with JV/Amir. He's a very good rebounder and defender. Has been playing really well for Milwaukee, so I don't know why they would change their mind about him now, unless as a small market, if they don't expect to have a good shot at the playoffs next season, they decide to shed some salary and tank.
2- Carl Landry...who knows..in a trade? if he opts out? He could be an option either way. Adds similar things to Boozer offensively in that he scores at the rim off post moves, and has a solid mid-range jumper. A good rebounder who generally plays with a high motor, but not the most gifted defender, partly due to his lack of length.
3 - Andray Blatche...A season ago I wouldn't have touched this guy with a 10 foot pole, but being in a demanding situation with the Nets, under at tough coach in Johnson (before he was fired), seemed really good for him. Has the tools to play both F and C, so fits well next to JV and Amir. Nice mix of offensive skills, good rebounder, but with him it has always been about attitude/effort and consistency. Hard to judge the market for him given his past. BKL has a massive payroll, and he's unrestricted. Might be worth a gamble, and might be the most worthwhile option aside from Ersan from a talent perspective.
4 - Big Baby Davis...Saw a rumor that he was probably going to be shopped by Orlando as they will fully commit to a rebuild. Brings size, rebounding and decent scoring at the PF spot, be it starting, or preferably off the bench. I'm not his biggest fan, but he would seem to be a good fit next to both JV and Amir. He actually has deep playoff experience as well, though I have no clue what to make of his character.
5 - JJ Hickson...probably the most limited player in skill set, but an athletic beast. Questionable instincts and ball IQ, but can play with a high motor and do a lot of damage hustling on both ends as a space filler and rebounder. Like Blatche, I think very hard to judge his market given the mix of his skill-set not really having expanded and current production being bonkers. Will teams shop for him like a starter or bench player? I think he's a bench player, but we'll see what happens.
These are some less big names, that might be available in Bargs deals, or more importantly, might be options if the Raptors can find a way to have the full MLE to shop with by shedding some dollars before free agency opens up. I think they all could fit well next to JV and Amir, and that's how I tried to rank them, but of course, that's just my opinion/preference. They would all actually be very good bench players, would allow Amir to start next to JV, and many of them add scoring dimensions that could help this team. Thoughts? Other names?
Last edited by white men can't jump; Mon Mar 18th, 2013 at 08:29 PM.
Thank you Pooka. That is why I prefaced my example with "it's an extreme example". My hope was that people would understand that I wasn't necessarily putting Amir in the same category as those potential hall-of-famers. My point was that despite having limitations, players can be very valuable starters. My examples of Rodman and Mutombo were to illustrate the point of great starters who had huge deficiencies in other areas.
That was used as a segway to show that Amir has fewer deficiencies than most people give him credit for. He has a better all-around game than many successful starters throughout the history of the NBA. To say that he isn't starter material without considering the pieces around him would be to neglect the history of the game.
I'm glad that at least Pooka was able to inference the main idea of my post. It's like someone making a point/theme about the Brooklyn Nets, but they mistakenly called them New Jersey Nets--and White Men comes along and completely discredits and overlooks the main idea because of the mistaken city name.
The problem with finding an equivalent to Amir is that he doesn't have that one feature of his game that sets him apart. Some people in this thread say effort, but I (bracing for the hate!) don't really see it...I mean, sure, he doesn't take plays off, but when I think of effort players, I think JYD, Rodman, Garnett, Faried, Matt Barnes, Avery Bradley - guys who you know are on the floor at all times, because they're always mixing it up and always making something happen. I've always found Amir's actual impact on the game to be kind of meh. Average. And replaceable.
Remember that we've all been watching Bargnani for seven years. This might be why Amir's effort seems much more exceptional than it is.
I don't think it has anything to do with watching Bargs. Right now I would put Amir in a category with guys like Gibson, Collison, Ilyasova, Haslem, etc. Those guys have pretty high levels of effort. Amir does not try less than those guys.
2nd bold: To me, though, those guys you just mentioned display average to somewhat-above-average effort. Their effort does not jump out at me. It's almost as if we'll take offensively challenged big guys (Ilyasova excluded) and give them the label of "effort players" just because we need for them to have a defining feature to their game.
Now, Joakim Noah: that's an effort player. And thankfully for us, Jonas is looking like an effort player. I'd even say that about Quincy Acy before I'd say it about Amir.
But I don't wanna be hating about Amir in his own thread. Seems like a good dude, useful rotation player, good contract.
AS for the whole effort thing, sorry, I should've also added that despite the fact that I think Amir brings good effort, I also wouldn't call him an effort guy. I'd call him a glue or utility player. Such guys usually have a high level of awareness and effort, but the defining feature is usually their ability to fill empty spaces on the floor and stat sheet. To duck in at the right times, to roll hard, to keep the ball moving, to be a competent last option on O (to knock down a J or a baby hook, for example), to talk a lot on D, to always try and make your rotation on D....Basically a player who always tries to make the smart/easy play for the team. Amir is such a guy...Fields could be one (especially if he fixes his shot)...I would say that Gibson, Collison, and Ilyasova are such guys as well. So while they may not be "effort" players in terms of level of effort being at that elite pinnacle, the consistency of effort is there, and they couldn't be good utility/glue bigs without it.
Amir doenst have much talent but you take a guy a guy in his position with a high motor over a guy that is just talented.
@White Men Cant Jump
Carl Landry seems the most likely with the possibility of Dalembert Ilyasova will likely be very valuable to the bucks to hold onto as Jennings and Monta said they are not coming back and hate it there openly the team will probably be rebuilding. looking to either keep Ilyasova or sell him high.
Last edited by Rapstor4Life; Tue Mar 19th, 2013 at 12:16 PM.
-Elton Brand: short, but big/strong enough to guard most Cs and has been a good defender his whole career. Still has a bit of an offensive game, but nothing to depend on. Could be a key vet like when TO first got Willis and Oak (Brand's game does even has some elements of each of theirs').
-Zaza Pachulia: Just an experienced body to back up JV, and a guy who could throw some elbows for us.
-Chris Kaman: possibility especially if things fizzle out on the PF search? Really slow, but sound offensively. Don't really want him, but I can see situations where he ends up on Toronto. Such a liability defensively...like Bargnani, but 10 times worse.
-Ronny Turiaf: if they want to add a physical presence, this is the guy. If they get another athletic/stretch guy at PF, he would be a really good option at backup C, I think. A bruiser with decent intensity. Doesn't bring a lot more talent to the team, but people would really learn to fear the paint if every time they went in they took a hit from either him, JV or Gray.
-Drew Gooden: maybe not the best option, and really more of a F/C, but to match my other post, in the unlikely event they snag Ilyasova, this guy would almost certainly be part of the cost. I always felt kind of "meh" about his game, but at least he produced until this season...I don't know wtf happened to him though, or if it's just from falling off the depth chart with the Bucks' young bigs and trying to unload Dalembert.
fallback options: Nazr Mohammed, Ryan Hollins...I dno't know, lots of big bodies out there. Mozgov...
*Oh yeah, I bolded Jennings and Ellis because there have been so many random reports out there that I find it hard to judge what the outcome will be. I think it's fair to say at least one is gone, maybe both, and if one stays, it's hard to know which one.
Last edited by white men can't jump; Tue Mar 19th, 2013 at 04:21 PM.
hmmm, RaptorReuban had a post directed at me here. I responded, and both have disappeared. What`s up with that
Amir is the man...'nuff said!!
Amir Johnson is the best player on the Raptors. Our off rtg to def rtg differential is +4.2 with him on. It's -9 without him. Considering the fact that he plays a lot of minutes, that stat is ridiculous.
Stop trying to replace Johnson with another PF because he doesn't put up gaudy numbers. Start trying to replace everyone else and build around the one guy who is actually a winner.
"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival."
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