CBS Sports NBA Offseason Report: Toronto Raptors
Old 08-18-2012, 01:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors CBS Sports NBA Offseason Report: Toronto Raptors

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I. How they finished 2012: The Raptors had one of those quietly not-as-disappointing-as-it-appears seasons. The win total was bad, they had no All-Stars, and arguably their most memorable game was Jeremy Lin's game winner against them.

But very quietly, there were significant elements of improvement, particularly at the defensive end. In his first season as head coach, Dwane Casey instilled both a superior scheme and managed to motivate players into operating within that system, which is always the trickier part.

They wound up in the lottery, but for the first time in several seasons, the Raptors seem to be headed in the right direction as an organization.

II. Needs entering the offseason: Jose Calderon presented a dilemma. He wasn't good enough to build around and they needed an upgrade at point guard, but his contract was just valuable enough to want to keep for best offer and he was too good to drop off in a salary dump.

More pressingly, however, they needed an upgrade at small forward. There was a lot of talk before the draft about the Raptors trading out for a veteran small forward, which never materialized.

They needed help down low, but had a plan for that after the 2011 draft.

III. The Draft: The Raptors decided they couldn't get that veteran small forward upgrade, so instead they opted to draft a wing to augment DeMar DeRozan.

They took Terrence Ross, who was a sleeper candidate for the draft, but at their spot, it was a bit of a reach. Ross brings athleticism and three-point shooting, but doesn't have the ability to create off the dribble. Ross has the potential be an excellent fit, but it may take some time for him to develop into the player they need him to be.

Quincy Acy is a Reggie-Evans mold big who can rebound, but will need time to develop.

IV. Free Agency: And here's where things kind of went nuts.

So the Raptors wanted Steve Nash. And the Knicks wanted Steve Nash. There were reports the Knicks were going to offer the Suns a sign-and-trade package, including Landry Fields.

A few days later, Landry Fields agreed to a four-year, $20 million offer sheet with the Raptors.

Steve Nash did not come to the Raptors. Or the Knicks.

So the Raptors wound up spending that much on a player who had a good start to his rookie season and then severely regressed. Fields is a player the Raptors genuinely wanted, but the poison pill was probably not part of the necessary plan.

It represents a huge mistaeke for the Raptors. Even if they had to overpay for Fields, the amount they did was a pretty serious limitation long-term.

They did manage to pull in their 2011 draft pick Jonas Valanciunas which represents a huge addition to the club. Valanciunas struggled in the Olympics for Lithuania's Olympic team. But he should develop into a solid defensive center who can also fucntion in the pick and roll.

And then, when it looked like they wouldn't be making any big additions, the trade.

With Kyle Lowry deciding he and Kevin McHale just weren't going to work out, and with the Rockets collecting assets for a Dwight Howard trade (or something else), the Raptors swooped in and snagged a near-All-Star point guard for just a draft pick and filler.

It was a coup of a trade for Bryan Colangelo, and the result is a vastly upgraded Raptors squad. Lowry should make the Raptors better on both sides of the ball, pressuring the ball defensively and working in the pick and pop with Bargnani and pick and roll with Valanciunas. It gives them their best player, and any time you can pick up the best player on your team for a first-round pick, that's a win.

V. Overall grade and accomplishments: B-

Without the Fields deal, this is a B+ to an A. But Fields is such a drastic overpay, and even if Nash had nothing to do with it, that makes it worse because they simply overvalued the player on the market. The money's one thing, the years is a whole other bag.

But they did get Kyle Lowry, drafted what should be a good player in time, didn't do anything drastic, and added Valanciunas. The Raptors turned over a lot of their roster, but they also got better. The plan under Dwane Casey is working.
NBA Offseason Report: Toronto Raptors - CBSSports.com
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If fields wakes up and posts 13/6/3 next year, I don't think many reporters are going to claim they drastically over-paid for him going forward.
It's a gamble, that's all.
It's also funny that they don't know how long his contract is
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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just don't get the hate for fields' contract. I understand people in media and on here saying it was an overpay but drastic is a crazy word imo. In his rookie season nobody would've thought this as his 2nd contract would be crazy, so they must think he'll never produce that again!?
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I mean, we overpaid for Fields. But that was kinda the whole point - we couldn't have the Knicks match the offer.

I'm fine with paying him $5 mil/year, but that third ~$9 mil year is going to be tough. We already have roughly $27 mil locked up among Bargs, Amir, and Fields three years from now. Are we able to amnesty a player that came here this off season? As far as I remember, no, right?

But yeah, in the grand scheme of things, it's not such a gross overpay given the circumstances surrounding the signing. It all really depends on how he can produce. I think with a system that caters a little bit more to his strengths and without two black holes on the team, he can put up some good numbers. If he can do that, we'll be able to trade his expiring contract pretty easily if need be.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It was a gross overpay. There's no getting around it or excusing it. If he ends up proving that he's worth it then great, but I don't see the point on taking that risk at this point. It's going to take smart trades to get somewhere, not overpaying for middling players that seemingly played their way into smaller contracts.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I mean, we overpaid for Fields. But that was kinda the whole point - we couldn't have the Knicks match the offer.

I'm fine with paying him $5 mil/year, but that third ~$9 mil year is going to be tough. We already have roughly $27 mil locked up among Bargs, Amir, and Fields three years from now. Are we able to amnesty a player that came here this off season? As far as I remember, no, right?

But yeah, in the grand scheme of things, it's not such a gross overpay given the circumstances surrounding the signing. It all really depends on how he can produce. I think with a system that caters a little bit more to his strengths and without two black holes on the team, he can put up some good numbers. If he can do that, we'll be able to trade his expiring contract pretty easily if need be.
there is no last year. there is no last year. there is no last year. all years the cap hit is the same. there.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It was a gross overpay. There's no getting around it or excusing it. If he ends up proving that he's worth it then great, but I don't see the point on taking that risk at this point. It's going to take smart trades to get somewhere, not overpaying for middling players that seemingly played their way into smaller contracts.

Gross overppay @ 6.3Mil? Meh, it's a little overpayed but imo he's a 5Mil player. I don't find his contract that bad.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Gross overppay @ 6.3Mil? Meh, it's a little overpayed but imo he's a 5Mil player. I don't find his contract that bad.
he's probably making more than anyone in his rookie class at this point besides Jeremy Lin....

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Old 08-18-2012, 06:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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He's a 3-4 million player, but it depends how you quantify the overpay, in dollar values, 2.5 extra is a a lot, but not all that crazy. Baum is overpaid more than that and nobody calls that a huge overpay.

If you look at it in percentages, a 60% overpay is massive and ridiculous, it's like giving turkoglu a 13 million offer instead of the 8 he deserved.

For the club's cap status, percentages are meaningless, it's absolute values that count.

That's why I think some of the criticism is way overblown. It was a bad move to be sure, but let's be honest here, there's no way those two million will come back to cripple us.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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he's probably making more than anyone in his rookie class at this point besides Jeremy Lin....
probably coz most of the players from that draft are still on rookie scale contracts? Would love to bring this back up when all those guys get their first proper contracts coz the situation will be vastly different imo.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Gross overppay @ 6.3Mil? Meh, it's a little overpayed but imo he's a 5Mil player. I don't find his contract that bad.
Not to mention on a team this bad you have to overpay to get anyone to come really.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Not to mention on a team this bad you have to overpay to get anyone to come really.
not if you make moves via trades. And not just trades that look good simply because they fix mistakes like overpaying in the first place. Make trades for players that fit. This team has gotten nowhere by overpaying for average to less than average players. moremilk suggests this deal won't cripple this team, but 6 years of deals like this have in fact left this team in pretty bad shape.

As far as I can see, though they edge closer, there is still no really viable core in place here to build around with great certainty. I would think that given that situation, that amount of cap space would be spent a little more wisely. If Fields turns out to be a solid glue guy, then it works out pretty well. In my mind a vet would have brought more value at this time.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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not making excuses for fields but the truth is his role changed when melo became a knick

when your young, second year player htese are the things that raddles young players

he is high character guy won't be surprised to see him bounce back from it
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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the contract really isn't that ridiculous, the average salary in the nba is like 4-5 million and I'm pretty sure most of the people here will agree he is at least an average player in the league
there are a lot more contracts in the league and even on this team that people should be more worried about
this is professional sports, there's always overpaid players
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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the contract really isn't that ridiculous, the average salary in the nba is like 4-5 million and I'm pretty sure most of the people here will agree he is at least an average player in the league
there are a lot more contracts in the league and even on this team that people should be more worried about
this is professional sports, there's always overpaid players
The average salary is skewed greatly by the cost of premium players, meaning there are more guys making much less than that and average salary is likely not a very good barometer.

If you're going to overpay, it's always better to do it on difference makers.... you can always fill holes for cheap, always. Fields isn't a difference maker despite being a young player that might get better. That said, it only matters if we ever want to be competitive.... who knows if that's likely.

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:41 AM   #16 (permalink)
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If you're going to overpay, it's always better to do it on difference makers.... you can always fill holes for cheap, always. Fields isn't a difference maker despite being a young player that might get better. That said, it only matters if we ever want to be competitive.... who knows if that's likely.
Yep. That's the angle I was trying to express more than anything.
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yep. That's the angle I was trying to express more than anything.
i'm not disagreeing but the 1 big variable here is that we're in Toronto, so in general we can't sign difference makers because they don't want to come
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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i'm not disagreeing but the 1 big variable here is that we're in Toronto, so in general we can't sign difference makers because they don't want to come
I would say the variable concerns sucking, not geography. Build a winning franchise and they will come. I just think BC lost a good deal of the patience he was practicing of late. But hopefully it just means he is more willing to make a good trade or two in the next year, and hopefully Fields helps to bring about enough clarity to make any deal one that defines the core group going forward. I just wish a good vet was signed instead for that purpose.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I would say the variable concerns sucking, not geography. Build a winning franchise and they will come. I just think BC lost a good deal of the patience he was practicing of late. But hopefully it just means he is more willing to make a good trade or two in the next year, and hopefully Fields helps to bring about enough clarity to make any deal one that defines the core group going forward. I just wish a good vet was signed instead for that purpose.
it concerns geography first because of the location nobody wants to come and because of that there are few to no good players which then leads to the sucking
sucking is a large part of it, but its based off of the geography first
even if we winning the players will still have other choices ahead of TO, especially when there are always over winning teams which are more attractive strictly based on geography
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I am never worried about the last year of a contract. As BC has shown they are usually dealt before then if they under perform.
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