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Raptors so high on Alabi that they may not target a FA center?(OLD THREAD)

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  • #31
    I personally think the longer the lockout goes on, the less likely the Raptors are to sign a veteran Center. If the lockout persists and we only get a 40-50 game schedule (can't see it being less then that, they would just cancel the season I think) the more likely they would be to roll with a frontcourt of Davis, Amir, Bargs, and Alabi while waiting for Valanciunas to arrive the in 2012. At best they would go sign a roll player for the bet minimum in case of injuries.

    Personally, this sounds like a good plan to me. I do not endorse tanking (losing intentionally), but to try and acquire talent to move up to 10th in the East seems counterproductive. I want to see what Alabi can bring, I want to see whether Casey can get through to Bargs, I want to see how Davis can work in the post with his added muscle...and I want the door open for Valanciunas to get playing time when he comes over. That is much harder to do when you have a highly paid player in front of him.

    Casey certainly won't lose intentionally, but if the loses pile up anyways then that is not so bad a thing.


    • #32
      hateslosing wrote: View Post
      This is the third time I've read a report this summer that Alabi may be a decent player next season. I'm actually starting to get a little excited about this. Having a 7'1", 250 lbs center with good length showing some improvment is always nice. My question is, if Solo is actually good enough to start at the end of next season (I'm skepticle) what happens with Jonas?
      exactly what im thinking, I think solo's cieling is no where near as high as jonas
      ya dun noe


      • #33
        updated Alabi sighting

        AJ in Toronto:
        Hey Steve, Does Jonas Valencunas remind you of any current NBA player... and who will he team up with to be the future front court of the Raps, Bargnani or Ed Davis?

        Steve Kyler:

        Actually he reminds me of a more skilled Andris Biedrins .

        Hard to say what the Raptors roster looks like in a year.. a lot can change.

        I can tell you I spent Tuesday with Solomon Alabi... and man does he look good... he was mobile and high flying, he looked like a different player.

        He told me his was really limited last year because of the knee and I joked with him throughout the day calling him Air Solo... not sure he is your starter, but I am really interested in seeing him play this year.
        Read more NBA news and insight:



        • #34
          From a few days ago. These HW guys sure have a man-crush going on Solo this summer. Must be their Florida bias:

          Solomon Alabi, Raptors Starting Center?

          When the Toronto Raptors selected Florida State product Solomon Alabi with the No. 50 overall pick in the 2010 draft most felt the big man was a long term developmental project or at best a career reserve.

          Those thoughts were even more reinforced in Alabi's rookie season when he appeared in just 12 contests totaling 59 minutes and recorded nearly more personal fouls (5) than points (6).

          But since the season ended Alabi hasn't stopped grinding and fine tuning his game.

          More importantly he's finally fully healthy after struggling with a knee injury suffered before the draft took place last year.

          Despite the Raptors' lottery selection of center Jonas Valanciunas in this year's draft, Alabi's goal is simple; to become a major contributor for Toronto this season.

          Alabi looked impressive earlier this summer during Raptors' minicamp and many believe he was easily one of the most impressive players there. From this standout performance it appears the coaching staff will give him an opportunity to see if he can produce at a high level.

          "Honestly, I went out there [during minicamp] and the coaches told me if I'm good enough to play then they'll play me," Alabi told HOOPSWORLD. "For me to start [at center] with the Raptors is my ultimate goal and I'm working hard to make that happen. I have the opportunity now and I'm just going to do whatever it takes."

          Those ready to easily dismiss Alabi's viability as a center prospect likely didn't know about the young player's knee surgery before the draft which sapped most of his mobility.

          The injury and subsequent recovery period robbed his fluidity near the basket, forced him to play below the rim and made his movements robotic and stiff.

          Now that he's fully healthy the 23 year old has a new appreciation for the game thanks to the knee injury he suffered.

          "It was tough," Alabi told HOOPSWORLD on having to sit and watch. "It was really hard. But I just had to stay positive and continue working hard. I was excited that I had opportunity to be drafted. I'm not the first guy to have went through stuff like that. I'm healthy, so I'm trying to go extra hard right now – whatever drill I'm doing. Sitting down watching people play makes you want to play. So when you get healthy you just want to work hard and play to be in the same situation as all the people playing while you were sitting on the bench watching them."

          While most players use the summer to relax and rejuvenate not starting physical preparation for the upcoming season until early September, Alabi has been in the gym daily trying to make up for lost time. The time away from the game has made him hungrier.

          "Right now I'm working so hard," Alabi said. "[I'm] just working hard trying to be able to play next year for the Raptors. Right now I'm just taking the whole summer during this lockout offseason period trying to go hard every day and stay healthy."

          Most are projecting the Raptors to endure another sub .500 record during this current rebuilding stage, but the team's young core has gained some notoriety for their tight knit bond off the floor, which management is hoping will help translate into more wins on the court.

          Togetherness and youth, Alabi believes, will help the young Raptors as they gain experience and learn how to win at the pro level.

          "For us to do great we have to be close," Alabi said to HOOPSWORLD. "I think we have a pretty good connection and team chemistry together. We're young and we're ready to go. We're ready to run. We're ready to play."

          While Valanciunas is undoubtedly the center of the future for the Raptors judging by his top 5 draft selection and stellar international play this summer, he won't arrive to the NBA until the 2013 season which leaves Toronto with a void at center if reports of moving Andrea Bargnani to power forward are true.

          This leaves Alabi with a huge opportunity to establish himself as another key young piece in the Raptors' rebuilding process.

          A chance which may eventually lead to a spot in Toronto's starting lineup at center – for one season at least.

          Read more NBA news and insight:


          • #35
            More man-hugs from HW on Alabi:

            The Raptors Center Problem: The Toronto Raptors spent their 5th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft on international big man Jonas Valanciunas, which initially took some Raptor fans by surprise especially with players like Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker arguably filling a bigger more immediate need.

            The Raptors’ decision to take Jonas was further complicated when Jonas’ international buyout was deferred for a year meaning the Raptors dropped their pick on a player they won’t see in uniform for at least another year.

            The future for the Raptors looks bright, and Jonas has been impressive in international play since the draft. Jonas is currently logging limited minute for Lithuania in the 2011 EuroBasket tournament, so Raptor fans can see first-hand that Jonas isn’t a big stiff. However next season still has questions – questions beyond the biggest of will there be a season.

            The Raptors are sitting on roughly $52.22 million in salary commitments next season meaning the odds that they are substantial free agent players are pretty slim, especially if the new salary system enacted with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement brings a salary cap figure below the current $57.8 million.

            There are some notable free agent big men like Marc Gasol (restricted free agent), Tyson Chandler (unrestricted free agent) and Denver big man Nene (unrestricted free agent) however all of them are coming from situations better than the one in Toronto and all of them would command far more money than the Raptors can offer especially if the cap is coming down.

            There is been a lot of talk that the sign and trade provision in the old labor deal could be a causality of the new labor deal meaning the Raptors will need to find their center for next season in trade, from the value bin or from their own roster.

            The good news is that the Raptors do have a candidate in Solomon Alabi who was drafted last year with the 50th pick. Solomon was drafted coming off of knee surgery which was kept somewhat low key during the draft process; as a result he really did not work out well for NBA teams and took a slide.

            If you recall Alabi was considered by some to be a late first round prospect that just tumbled on draft night.

            Alabi did not get healthy until mid-season last year and by that time he’d already been written out of the game plan by former head coach Jay Triano. Alabi saw garbage time but little else as a rookie.

            When the Raptors’ season ended Alabi hit the gym almost immediately, so when the Raptors put together a mini-camp at the end of June, Alabi was not only one of the best players in the camp he was finally healthy and had some bounce again.

            If you recall Alabi last season, he could barely jump over a phone book and looked like a plodding stiff.

            New Raptors’ head coach Dwane Casey was impressed with Alibi’s performance and told the 23-year old seven-footer that if he came to camp with the same bounce, energy and aggressiveness that he showed in the mini-camp, he’d get a chance to compete for the starters spot at center.

            Now the Raptors won’t be banking on Solo as their only options, but as you start to consider where the Raptors can go with limited money to spend Solo may get his chance out of necessity.

            There is little doubt that Jonas Valanciunas is the Raptors’ center of the future, however for next season Solomon Alabi may get a chance to earn his spot and that’s far more likely than a major free agent being brought in for a number of reasons.

            Alabi starting C on opening night in 2011-12 (if there is a 11-12 of course)? Stranger things have happened.... not many but surely something. It would be a great way to find out if he has a place in the NBA.


            • #36
              Kyler continuing the love for Alabi:

              what are your thoughts of soloman alabi

              Steve Kyler
              Great guy… very humble. Hard worker.

              I spent some time with him early this summer and he looks like a different player. During Summer League play last summer he was slow and plodding and could barely get off the ground.

              This summer, a year removed from knee surgery, he has bounce. He actually is playing above the rim again and is really powerful on the block.

              I expect big thing from Solo this year. Coach Casey raved about him after their mini-camp in late June before the lockout. I talked with DeMar DeRozan about him last month and he mirrored what others were saying, that Solo looks like he can play, so we’ll have to see how it comes together.



              • #37
                i want the stupid league to start already D':
                alabi might never get a chance to show productive work once val comes over...
                The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!


                • #38
                  enlightenment wrote: View Post
                  i want the stupid league to start already D':
                  alabi might never get a chance to show productive work once val comes over...
                  It would be great if JV is a stud right from the start but I think that would be unrealistic expectations. It is not very often I hope I am wrong.


                  • #39
                    JV is gonna be good. its in his demeanour.
                    The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!


                    • #40
                      Looks like were a little over enthusiastic on Alabi in regards to his possible role in Toronto this season:

                      Solomon Alabi has taken some strides since last year, but remains very much a work in progress.

                      Raptors head coach Dwane Casey likes the 7-foot-1 centre’s work ethic and some of the things he brings to the table, but recognizes that what Alabi needs most of all, probably can’t be provided by the club this season.

                      “Really, Solo needs to play more than anything else to learn the NBA game and adjust to the speed,” Casey said after practice on Friday.

                      “A summer league would have been great for him. All the workout drills don’t really help him (as much as game situations).”

                      Casey admitted that the NBA Development League could be an option for Alabi this season, though such a move likely wouldn’t come anytime soon since: “right now, we need all the healthy bodies.”

                      Alabi got into only 12 games as a rookie last season, scoring six points and hauling down 14 rebounds in 59 total minutes. Alabi played 22 games for Erie of the NBDL, averaging 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 18.5 minutes per game.

                      “He has a nose for the ball rebounding-wise, excellent athlete and is an excellent stand-still shooter,” Casey said when asked to appraise Alabi’s strengths.

                      Alabi has an influential backer in his former coach at Florida State, ex-NBA head coach Leonard Hamilton, who recruited Casey to Kentucky.

                      “(Hamilton) raves about him. He’s been calling me all summer promoting him and talking about him,” Casey said.

                      But with Aaron Gray, Jamaal Magloire, Amir Johnson and Andrea Bargnani available to play centre in certain situations, the minutes Alabi needs to develop simply aren’t available.
                      Source: Toronto Sun


                      • #41
                        May 1, 2012

                        I figured it was a good time to revisit this thread. In going through the first two pages, what are your feelings now?


                        • #42
                          Interesting thread revisit... I like it! Could be fun to spend the next month, leading up to the May 30th draft lottery, doing a 2-3 day focus on each player at a time, covering development and future outlook.

                          As for Alabi, I highly doubt that his team option will be picked up. There's no chance that Alabi would ever be the 2nd string backup C playing behind Valanciunas next season. As for 3rd string C, given our starting C will be a rookie, I would rather go with a grizzled veteran like Magloire (could be Magloire or somebobody similar, to be veteran presence in the locker room and in practice). If not a grizzled vet, I would much rather roll the dice with a 2nd round pick, even the #56 pick from Indiana, in the hopes that a new project C will develop into a better C than Alabi has.


                          • #43
                            I agree with you in that he probably won't be back and I could see Denver scooping him up in the off-season.


                            • #44
                              Apollo wrote: View Post
                              I agree with you in that he probably won't be back and I could see Denver scooping him up in the off-season.
                              I'm not digging the prospects in free agency. Many of the top (young) targets are restricted. Many of the unrestricted are going to have lots of competition elsewhere.

                              I hope the Raptors add salary (and talent) via a significant trade. Once this is done, the Raptors can pick up the option on Alabi (and extend qualifying offer to Bayless) without worries of cap space in free agency.

                              If the Raptors do this, they will then have the TPE to use in another trade and a cheap player to send back.

                              If it came down to Magloire vs. Alabi, I'd go Magloire.


                              • #45
                                Matt52 wrote: View Post
                                I hope the Raptors add salary (and talent) via a significant trade. Once this is done, the Raptors can pick up the option on Alabi (and extend qualifying offer to Bayless) without worries of cap space in free agency.
                                If I am not mistaken, (and I very well could be) the new CBA added a clause that made it so teams that are under the cap couldn't acquire salaries which put them over the Cap, and still proceed to sign their own Free Agents (read: Miami signing Lebron and Bosh, which put them over the Cap; and then signing Haslem, Joel Anthony and Chalmers to contracts).

                                I believe they have to sign their own FAs first, and then fill out.
                                Or renounce rights (and thusly the Cap hold).

                                Again, I could be way off on this though, so please correct me if you are privy.