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  • 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
    Heir, Prince of Cambridge

    If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

  • #2
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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....

        Comment


        • #5
          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)!

          Comment


          • #6
            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.
            Heir, Prince of Cambridge

            If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

            Comment


            • #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  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, 01:30 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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!"
                    your pal,
                    ebrian

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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, 01:36 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sorry..."leave"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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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