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Article: Ujiri Resting Heavily On Maintaining The Status Quo

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  • Article: Ujiri Resting Heavily On Maintaining The Status Quo

    Tim Chisholm's article in the front page received very harsh reviews from the fans in the site. I am curious to see what some of you think about his article.

  • #2
    Masai's Wait & See strategy has been magnificent in its execution and


    • #3
      Not a particularly well thought out article.

      I think the overarching concept of the article, that the Raptors had similar win totals in back to back seasons and Masai didn't take a battle axe to the entire roster so therefore he must be satisfied with the results, is a flawed line of thinking to begin with... And from there Tim Chisholm says a bunch of other things that I either disagree with, or find nonsensical as well.

      I'm not sure if it's the current transaction-obsessed climate of professional sports or the overall need for instant gratification that seems to rule our society right now, but I find it a little silly that you can go from perennial NBA doormats to the two best regular seasons in the franchise's 20 year history seemingly out of nowhere, and yet it's not enough because it wasn't accompanied with enough splashy trades or you feel like the Raptors should have been even better this season because teams go from 5 year playoff droughts to championship contenders in two seasons all the time.

      The team is in such better shape now than when Masai took over, it's staggering. They've relevant on the court, have repaired some of the laughingstock reputation that plagued them for so long, no cap clogging contracts, have extra first rounders over the next few seasons (including the much discussed Knicks pick that could end up being a difference maker), D league team, all star game, etc. etc. Not all of these positive jumps fall at the feet of Masai mind you but it still feels like a strange time to be dissatisfied as a Raptors fan… unless you literally were expecting them to go from 34 wins to 60 wins in a season.

      Along the same line, I think we also overestimate the amount of our half-baked trade ideas that have even a small remote chance of happening. It's easy/fun to say that we should have traded player X for player Y and the like but in reality, the trade was probably never on the table with the actual executives who make the real decisions. I read posts that have "5 trades that Masai should make" where we rattle off blockbuster move after blockbuster move and end up with 3 all stars in our starting line up and a bunch of other young players that everyone is high on… and some people believe that pulling it all off is actually a reasonable expectation if Masai would just cut ties with the current core or some other silly narrative.
      Last edited by Fully; Sun Aug 30, 2015, 07:32 AM.


      • #4
        I think Masai has done a fine job so far. With that being said, what the article is getting at is that "playing it safe" hasn't gotten Masai out of the first round. Ever.

        The question then becomes, "Does playing it safe mean we are less likely to progress in/win the playoffs?"

        My answer is no. The reason we haven't made it past the first two rounds is not because Ujiri has been collecting picks, signing reasonable contracts, and not swinging for the fences with some outlandish trade.

        Is Ujiri infallible? From the article comments you'd certainly think so, but he makes mistakes too. But his mistakes are far less impactful than the shit Rob Babcock concocted in two seasons, or whatever the hell Khan was thinking in Minnesota when he drafted Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio within a few picks of each other, or whatever the hell Danny Ainge was smoking for the seasons before he swung for the fences and landed Ray Allen+Kevin Garnett+Rajon Rondo**

        **The point here is you usually swing for the fences and miss, but when you hit, you win a championship. Something Colangelo wasn't lucky enough to do, but other GMs have managed.


        • #5
          He he is just whining about not tanking, which is all he has wanted this team to do for years, without using the term tanking. Rather he uses maintaining the status quo. He is showing a lack of patience with MU's team building strategy. But the reality is, MU has been hard at work doing other things other than turning over the core, which has been proven good enough to at least get us in the playoffs, which is more success than we are used to around here. He is building the brand, he has gotten Drake on board, and now he has a D-league team. These types of things can sometimes be lost in a fans analysis of the team as we are, rightfully, concerned primarily with the on court product. We want wins, and we want playoff success, but these things don't happen overnight when you inherit a sub par capped out roster. Tearing it down would have been the easy route IMO. And likely this season we would have no chance of making the playoffs, have no "We the North" campaign, not have fans taking over opponents arenas etc. There is a certain excitement that now surrounds this team that hasn't existed since the VC days, and that alone suggests he is doing something right.

          Now if this article came out next offseason, following a playoff bust and a resigned Demar and Casey, than I would agree with him. But lets see how the team makes out this season and how MU makes out with the ballooning cap over the next two offseasons before claiming treadmill and maintaining the status quo.


          • #6
            JawsGT wrote: View Post
            He he is just whining about not tanking, which is all he has wanted this team to do for years, without using the term tanking.
            The article is written by Tim C. Tim W is the blogger who advocates for tanking.


            • #7
              Marz wrote: View Post
              The article is written by Tim C. Tim W is the blogger who advocates for tanking.
              Oh dear, well aren't I the idiot. I guess an apology is in order, sorry Tim C, my attempt to read between the lines utterly failed.


              • #8
                Ujiri knows well that at some point he needs to swing for the fences. He was outspoken in Denver about his team not being a finished product even when they had ungodly win totals. He knows you need a star to win in the playoffs.

                What he's done here is pretty simple - he's put together/maintained a core that will win you 50 ish games while leaving flexibility in either (and potentially both) of the next two summers to add a max level free agent. And failing that, has compiled oodles of young pieces/picks that could be used in a trade if such an avenue were to open up.


                • #9
                  That article sucked pretty hard, and I usually like Chisolm's stuff. We did quite a bit this offseason, more than most teams, yet he tries very hard to marginalize every move to the point they were meaningless.

                  He lists all of our additions this summer, conveniently leaving out the Carroll addition, then says "On the whole there isn’t a lot of improvement there, just a redistribution of skills." After this brief hit job on the new guys other than Carroll, he says Carroll "will sort of replace Terrence Ross", essentially the ultimate undersell in what Carroll brings to the table.

                  He follows that up by equating Ujiri upgrading our defensive players to plugging in holes, which is what got BC fired (according to TC).

                  I could go on, I find every paragraph offensive to some extent. Negative stuff must get more clicks, it's the only reason to write glass nearly empty crap like this. He didn't even mention Aldridge meeting with the team, probably because it is totally counter to his Ujiri maintaining the status quo argument.


                  • #10
                    I had replied to that piece and thought the writeup was most premature in it's assessment of Masai's moves this past off season. And this without a single game being played. No one thought what the impact of the return in the Gay trade would have been at the time. I now have a better understanding of Masai's mo...very careful, incremental, patient for the one big move knowing he wont get a do-over.

                    I'm in on this process.


                    • #11
                      The funny thing is that Ujiri is now being measured against a new standard of "championship contender" that Ujiri himself has set for the Raps franchise. Our previous gold standard was perennial laughingstock. How is that not progress?


                      • #12
                        Its a poor excuse for an article.

                        I already replied to the article in the comment section and don't really want to reiterate it again but the author fails to detail all the other changes that Masai has done for the organization and as well as culture of the raptors.

                        I think the author is just angry that Masai hasn't traded the 3-4 guys-- JV, Lowry, Ross, DD. He doesn't acknowledge all the assets he's accumulated and youth and depth of our players on the roster.

                        I think the article shows more of the author's own personal bias towards the players he wants gone: primarily, Lowry, Ross and Derozan. You get a sense of the authors own distaste for these players from his questioning them as players.

                        I suppose all RR' articles can't be great, some have to be below standards.


                        • #13
                          I'm shocked people want Lowry gone. I think the injuries/fatigue last season and how badly he played in the playoffs have really made people go crazy. Some people really don't remember how amazing of a player Lowry is when he's healthy. And this offseason it seems like he's dropped 15-20 pounds so he's going to be even better. He was getting MVP talks when he was healthy and playing like he usually does. Y'all need to chill on the trade Kyle talk.
                          I relish negativity and disappointment. It is not healthy. Somebody buy me a pony.


                          • #14
                            And any of you who watched Fiba should be able to see that Cory Joseph is NOT a starting calibre point guard in this league yet. So all that noise about getting rid of Kyle to start Cory is just foolish.
                            I relish negativity and disappointment. It is not healthy. Somebody buy me a pony.


                            • #15
                              While I agree with some of you that the timing of the article is little pre-mature, I still can see the point that the author was trying to make. Tim C looked at 5 years in MU's resume and pointed to the obvious facts: He has not been able to build a team that went past first round or sign a FA star. These are facts and no one can deny it.

                              I pointed out to this a few month ago that MU is an excellent GM is building a mediocre team. He did that really well in Denver and he has done this very well here. He is also excellent in moving stars ( Carmelo) or guys like Gay and AB for smaller caliber players.

                              East has been very weak in the recent years but we still did not get passed the first round. He made some great moves this summer but still I don't think we are able to get passed the first round.

                              So while I think this would have been an excellent article in case of us failing this year as well for next summer, I think it is still a bold prediction of what we might expect to see this year.