CNNSI.com: Atlantic Division Offseason Report Card
Old 08-27-2008, 12:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Marty Burns from Sports Illustrated weighs in with his grade report for the Raptors and their offseason so far. Not bad I guess.

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Originally Posted by Marty Burns
Toronto Raptors
What went right:

They got J.O.
In one of the bigger gambles of the offseason, GM Bryan Colangelo acquired six-time All-Star forward/center O'Neal from the Pacers in exchange for point guard T.J. Ford and center Rasho Nesterovic. The 6-11 O'Neal, if fully recovered from the knee problems that kept him out 40 games last year, should join with Chris Bosh to give Toronto one of the NBA's best frontcourt tandems.

They re-signed Jose.
With Ford gone, the Raptors could ill afford to let free agent point guard Jose Calderon get away. Mission accomplished. The Raptors signed the Spanish floor general, who blossomed into a near-All-Star talent last year, to a reported five-year, $45 million contract that will make him the team's clear-cut floor leader for the foreseeable future.

They imported Ukic.
Needing a backup for Calderon, Toronto convinced Croatian point guard Roko Ukic to leave his Italian pro team for a shot at the NBA. The 6-5 Ukic, a second-round draft pick (No. 41 in '05), should provide steady help off the bench while he learns the NBA game.

What went wrong:

They didn't address the depth.
The Raptors have a fine point guard and a potentially dynamite frontcourt, but they still lack depth. Anthony Parker, Andrea Bargnani, Jamario Moon and Jason Kapono form a decent perimeter core, but there isn't much behind them. The free agent signings of Will Solomon and Hassan Adams are not likely to make much difference.

They hit the ceiling.
Like the Sixers, the Raptors don't have a lot of flexibility going forward. Toronto's payroll is now right up against the luxury tax, and its ownership (unlike that of Philadelphia) is apparently unwilling to cross over the threshold. Colangelo can only hope O'Neal stays healthy, and the bench produces, because he might not be able to make any more moves.

Grade: A-

O'Neal's knees are a major question mark, but the Raptors had to make this gamble. Now, if things go right, they could challenge in the East.
Source - Click here
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. J. Naismith View Post
Marty Burns from Sports Illustrated weighs in with his grade report for the Raptors and their offseason so far. Not bad I guess.



Source - Click here
Things will go right, and we will challenge for the east.

Only real depth concernes revolve around JO and Bargs is still behind him. Half a season and playoffs with JO will be much better than a full season of Rasho.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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rasho was great last year, our best player in the last months. It would be awesome if we could get him back.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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rasho was great last year, our best player in the last months. It would be awesome if we could get him back.
If by some strange reason he is released and would be willing to sign a vet minimum than sure, but other than that he isnt needed. JO, Bosh and Bargs will be logging most of the minutes and there is Hump, (Jawai and sometimes Joey or Moon at the 4) to fill in the rest.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's a good grade the raps got, A-. Not bad, the only other team to get a better mark in the Atlantic division was Philly.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One could argue screw depth because we've been 10 deep the last couple of years, but I am still scared that Kapono is our only proven backup at the g/f position and we have a 6'4 guy who cant shoot and is completely unproven as our 2nd wing player off the bench if Joey continues his path out of the NBA. I wish BC would have traded for a solid vet at least especially considering Smitch doenst like playing Kapono big minutes at all due to his defensive incapabilities(which should be masked this year) which may force Moon and Parker to play too many minutes to start the year, and as we all know Parker seems to have a couple month periods where he just doesnt have it, keeping him fresh should be a must. Our backup situation sucks at g/f
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with the thiller.

our 2-3 spots are weak.

serviceable yes, but not championship worthy
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I dont mind Parker/Moon starting this year like I said because IMO both are very solid, very serviceable players who play to their strengths very well, but our backups outside of Kapono are unproven and weak. Next year hopefully Brian does get that starting caliber sg/sf and only one of Moon/parker will start and the other will be a very good 7th man for us off the bench and we'll be title contenders at that point with our big 4.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure we will go over the luxury tax, but only when it makes a LOT of sense. Right now it would be stupid to do that - until we know what kind of team we have. Remember, going over the luxury tax is debilitating in other ways, since it severely compromises your ability to rebound in case something goes wrong (look at NYK - if it doesn't work, it takes forever to rebuild).
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I didn't understand from day 1 what NYK was trying to do by bringing in so many superstars and trying to make them give up there big time roles and play together
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkang View Post
I didn't understand from day 1 what NYK was trying to do by bringing in so many superstars and trying to make them give up there big time roles and play together
They were trying the Yankees' route to the championship. They've failed miserably, of course, but that's what they were shooting for, I am sure.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Superjudge View Post
I agree with the thiller.

our 2-3 spots are weak.

serviceable yes, but not championship worthy
We were never going to challenge for a championship this season.And yes, our depth at 2-3 spots are week for sure.And our depth at the PG position behind Jose is shaky as well.

Any significant injury to Calderon can signify big trouble.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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They were trying the Yankees' route to the championship. They've failed miserably, of course, but that's what they were shooting for, I am sure.
Celtics did it..
We're never going to win until we override the luxury tax limit. MSLE should let us sign Ben Gordon.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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right now we have a solid team and we still have tremendous cap flexibility in 2 years. signing gordon would just erase a huge chunk of that. and for a streaky ball hog... no thanks.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Celtics traded for proven superstars who have never had huge problems like most of the NY players have had. The players NY traded for had known problems and had been malcontents and werent close to superstars. Isiah thought he could bring in a roster of young unproven egomaniac dumbasses and have them gel, and he was dead wrong. Everyone knew NY taking Chicagos malcontents wouldnt work except him it seemed.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thriller92 View Post
Celtics traded for proven superstars who have never had huge problems like most of the NY players have had. The players NY traded for had known problems and had been malcontents and werent close to superstars. Isiah thought he could bring in a roster of young unproven egomaniac dumbasses and have them gel, and he was dead wrong. Everyone knew NY taking Chicagos malcontents wouldnt work except him it seemed.
Exactly.

True, I didn't believe the Celtics would win it all, but their trades for the ultimate good guys of the NBA in Allen and Garnett at least guaranteed that they would have a roster of quality people in addition to great players. That's the difference.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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so then keep what we have, and bust the bank for Lebron.

Problem solved.
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have three letters for you, SJ - CBA.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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good thing about the J.O trade is his contract.
In 2 yeras it expires and in 2 years the finest players will be free agents.
Lebron Wade Melo etc etc
If Bargnani develops into a 20 point man *fingers crossed*, Bosh resigns, and we get a hold of one of those free agents... then we have our selves a big 3 with an above average supporting cast.
Thats where we can bring the hype, the next 2 seasons coming up... are just going to be early exits.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Qualifying Offer ;]
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