ESPN Offseason Preview
Old 07-31-2013, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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TORONTO Raptors | GRADE: D+

Additions: Tyler Hansbrough (FA), D.J. Augustin (FA), Steve Novak (trade), Dwight Buycks (FA), Quentin Richardson (trade), Masai Ujiri (GM), Knicks' 2016 first-round draft pick

Subtractions: Andrea Bargnani (Knicks), Linas Kleiza, Alan Anderson (Nets), John Lucas III (Jazz), Bryan Colangelo (GM)

The Raptors' biggest moves this summer came in the front office. After years at the helm, Bryan Colangelo is out and his former protégé, Masai Ujiri, has come to help turn things around. It was a tough few years for Colangelo. The Raptors really never recovered from losing Chris Bosh and have been perpetually in the "bad, but not bad enough" category the past few years.

Based on his moves, or lack thereof, this summer, it appears Ujiri isn't in any hurry to make the playoffs. Toronto's two biggest acquisitions, Hansbrough and Augustin, were both part of a much maligned Pacers bench last season, and thrusting them into bigger roles in Toronto doesn't exactly scream "We're going for it!"

The problem for the Raptors is that they aren't bad enough to grab a lion's share of pingpong balls, nor are they good enough to compete for a playoff spot. And next year, they aren't likely to have much in the way of cap room. So either Ujiri waits this out until the 2015 season, or someone like Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry should keep his bags packed this season.
NBA - Offseason grades for the East - ESPN
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First even remotely poor grade I've seen. Had to happen at some point.

Who will be the first to say "that's a fair assessment"?
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"Subtractions: Andrea Bargnani (Knicks), Linas Kleiza, Alan Anderson (Nets), John Lucas III (Jazz), Bryan Colangelo (GM)
"
That's enough for atleast B.
What else is there? non guaranteed contracts and picks, and a 1st rounder? Gotten slightly better, and better financially? I see better short term and long term. D+ my ass.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How is this an off season preview when it's pretty much over?
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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D+ is confusing - I guess the ESPN guys were expecting something specific that didn't happen? Sure, I would have liked more tank moves, but the moves made keep both doors wide open, and put more focus on the starters we already had to prove they should stay, while being as flexible financially as possible, which is refreshing in and of itself.
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think the grade is based on the fact that on paper we didn't improve much, while teams that are at roughly the same level (namely, Detroit and Cleveland) made a splash. Addition by subtraction is not a very compelling argument, and that's basically what we saw with the Bargs move, our most prominent transaction. We weren't able to move into the draft, which probably hurt our grade, too.

If C is roughly staying pat, D+ would suggest that we got worse, which is probably not true. But overall, it's been a quiet summer here. A lot is riding on JV improving, DD being able to make 3s, Gay's shooting getting better, Fields/Ross putting together better seasons than last year... in short, internal growth, not key new additions.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
T. Ross IS The Phantom Menace.

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I think they were basing it on the picture at this instant...... the fact that the team is not necessarily built for playoffs, but rather a 7th if all goes well to 10th place.

What they fail to figure in is that even if the tank will end up being the short-term strategy, it will be shortened by the fact that the best players for a contender will be sorted out before MU pulls the trigger.

Look at the roster. Wouldn't you rather find out after a summer of training and development whether Lowry can be a very effective floor general, Demar can shoot, Ross is taking steps, Gay can have a team get on his back for some games, etc?

If certain players can seriously add to their games, you won't find better with what you can get in a later first round pick you might get in a trade. So you dismiss the mis-fits and only add once you determine who will not ne coming along for the ride.

I think if that's MU's motive it's smart and a lot quicker than a 5 year tank with fingers crossed.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think the main reason for it is that we didn't make a decisive move in either direction. While we assume, probably correctly, that the options were not there, from ford's perspective we are stuck in the middle, neither tanking, nor improving the team. Hence the top grade for Indiana and Philly, two teams making decisive steps in opposite directions.

Myself, I would grade us a c+, mainly on strength of the Bargnani trade. Beyond that, we basically didn't do anything worth talking about.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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ah theres the ESPN im use to
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I actually do this it's fair so far, and even more so if this team ends up being a 8th or 7th seed and Ujiri continues to maintain the mediocrity of this franchise. Good franchises (Philly, Boston, etc.) understood that they had no chance of contending and flipped everything over.

Ujiri looks like a guy who is working on the fly. In theory that will be alright. But my stomach is already sick thinking of November and December. VJ, Lowry, Gay, and Demar could very well keep this team around .500 or slightly above with a piss poor coach and a horrible bench. What then? Ujiri sits on his hands, shrugs his shoulders and lets the team go for a nice first round exit?

Again I fear that this team has no direction. That TL and MU are just more shills that have been plugged in to make sure this team flounders. Like the Leafs since the lockout, not good enough to contend, not bad enough to rebuild through the draft.

I will retain my frustrations until mid season. But I have to say I'm disappointed. Ujiri should have seen enough to know that this team won't cut it even if JV significantly improves. Trading Demar, Lowry, or Gay would have been a great start and set the tone for a new path.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Bargnani trade: B+

Signings: C
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I actually do this it's fair so far, and even more so if this team ends up being a 8th or 7th seed and Ujiri continues to maintain the mediocrity of this franchise. Good franchises (Philly, Boston, etc.) understood that they had no chance of contending and flipped everything over.

Ujiri looks like a guy who is working on the fly. In theory that will be alright. But my stomach is already sick thinking of November and December. VJ, Lowry, Gay, and Demar could very well keep this team around .500 or slightly above with a piss poor coach and a horrible bench. What then? Ujiri sits on his hands, shrugs his shoulders and lets the team go for a nice first round exit?

Again I fear that this team has no direction. That TL and MU are just more shills that have been plugged in to make sure this team flounders. Like the Leafs since the lockout, not good enough to contend, not bad enough to rebuild through the draft.

I will retain my frustrations until mid season. But I have to say I'm disappointed. Ujiri should have seen enough to know that this team won't cut it even if JV significantly improves. Trading Demar, Lowry, or Gay would have been a great start and set the tone for a new path.
Yeah, but I don't think he didn't try, it's just much harder to trade gay
I'm all for tanking hard, but I still approve the course as I perceive it. We are so unlucky that we can even do a firesale ...
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Based on his moves, or lack thereof, this summer, it appears Ujiri isn't in any hurry to make the playoffs.
Yeah, I just feel like if Masai was really committed to these guys he would've gone hard after a SnT for millsap or someone similar. He really has only made moves filling out the bench with low risk low reward guys.


But still D+ is harsh.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ammo View Post
I think they were basing it on the picture at this instant...... the fact that the team is not necessarily built for playoffs, but rather a 7th if all goes well to 10th place.

What they fail to figure in is that even if the tank will end up being the short-term strategy, it will be shortened by the fact that the best players for a contender will be sorted out before MU pulls the trigger.

Look at the roster. Wouldn't you rather find out after a summer of training and development whether Lowry can be a very effective floor general, Demar can shoot, Ross is taking steps, Gay can have a team get on his back for some games, etc?

If certain players can seriously add to their games, you won't find better with what you can get in a later first round pick you might get in a trade. So you dismiss the mis-fits and only add once you determine who will not ne coming along for the ride.

I think if that's MU's motive it's smart and a lot quicker than a 5 year tank with fingers crossed.
Whoops, I was trying to thumb up but I hit the wrong one.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It feels like that ESPN expert is grading the team solely on their chances of going to the playoffs
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gustavochinzy View Post
It feels like that ESPN expert is grading the team solely on their chances of going to the playoffs
Which is also far from a D+. At worst that grade would be a C.

We're not Charlotte.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
Which is also far from a D+. At worst that grade would be a C.

We're not Charlotte.
C for "let's stay in the middle of the pack" for another season, based solely on the offseason moves so far.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kidd View Post
C for "let's stay in the middle of the pack" for another season, based solely on the offseason moves so far.
You said the chances of going to the playoffs which if that were the case we would get a better grade then D+. I'd say we're in the mix for the playoffs
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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You said the chances of going to the playoffs which if that were the case we would get a better grade then D+. I'd say we're in the mix for the playoffs
I agree.

I think C is a fair assessment. Right now we're a middle of the pack team 6th - 10th.

Some people here were probably wishing he did a D+ job, maybe have a better chance at tanking.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:40 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Well, the Heat get C- and the 76ers get an A, so it's not about the playoffs.

The Raptors get a D+ for staying stuck in that playoff bubble land. But they don't get an F- because they made a management change and traded Bargnani.

I guess it could be C, but clearly it's not a bad offseason and it's not a miraculously great offseason. It's somewhere in the middle. D+, C+, C-, whatever.
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