Feschuck: Draft lottery last real hope for Raptor turnaround
Old 02-06-2011, 11:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors Feschuck: Draft lottery last real hope for Raptor turnaround

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In the wake of Friday nightís rare occurrence in Raptorland, Reggie Evans, the oft-injured but ever-charming heart of Torontoís weak-pulsed NBA team, was tweeting the good news.

ďWin win win win thank U,Ē Evans thumb-typed.

It was just one win, actually, and it came against the Minnesota Timberwolves, one of four organizations that rank even lower than Toronto in all-time franchise winning percentage. Still, youíd be amazed how much pressure that solitary dubya relieved in the Raptor executive offices.

Bryan Colangelo, the president and general manager, is awaiting word on a new contract, after all, and even the folks who run Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, never accused of harbouring an unhealthy obsession with victory, are savvy enough to understand that handing out multi-year deals during multi-week losing streaks isnít exactly a savvy piece of fan relations.

When the losing streak mercifully ended at 13, the Raptors actually jumped a spot in the league standings, from fourth worst to fifth worst. So while Colangelo and his aides let out a collective sigh, the hard-core obsessives ó those whoíve deduced that the only victory that can possibly matter this season will come on May 17, the night of the NBA draft lottery ó were happy to glimpse the coming schedule and see the likes of San Antonio and Portland and Miami in the next couple of weeks. Itíll be back to losing soon enough, all signs suggest. So long as the business of chronic defeat doesnít grab too much attention ó two seven-game losing skids interrupted by a win, for instance, arenít nearly the PR disaster of 14 straight Ls ó maybe itís just fine with the front office.

Still, the optimism among Hogtownís hoops types isnít exactly Blue Jay-esque. And thatís because, while every dayís a new day, the current run of futility has an awfully familiar feel. It feels, specifically, a lot like 2005-06.

Thatís the season the Raptors finished with the fifth-worst record in the league, won 27 games, got torched by Kobe Bryant for 81 points, kicked two fans out of the Air Canada Centre for waving signs endorsing the firing of GM Rob Babcock, and not long after fired Babcock. Thatís the season Vince Carter, in a spectacular post-exit return to the Air Canada Centre, reeled off 24 fourth-quarter points in a dramatic retort to an arena full of boos.

Thatís also the season the Raptors gave a GM named Colangelo a five-year contract, and struck it lucky by winning the draft lottery with an 8.8 per cent chance at the coveted No. 1.

Certainly it goes to show the role of dumb luck in NBA architecture that, picking from a class that lacked a consensus top pick, the Raptors selected an Italian named Andrea Bargnani and have lived with Bargnaniís unwillingness to be anything but a 7-foot streak shooter ever since.

Why does this season feel similar? The coming weeks will see another highly anticipated return of a not-so-beloved former franchise cornerstone; Chris Bosh and the Heat are here on Feb. 16. Colangelo ó who, for all his mistakes, has never given off the in-over-my-head vibe that Babcock transmitted ó is in line to get another contract. If the lottery was held on Saturday, the Raptors would have been facing those 8.8 per cent odds of getting the first pick in the draft. And, crappily enough, more than four months from selection night, the crop of prospective draftees appears alarmingly short on star quality.

Thatís not to say there wonít be some intriguing talent coming to Torontoís training camp next fall. The guy who is perhaps the best-available possibility, Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, has missed most of the season with a ligament injury to his right big toe, so itís been difficult to get excited about his waterbug magnificence. And this time two years ago few scouts were raving about the canít-miss monstrousness of Blake Griffin, the Clippersí rookie forward. The No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft, who missed all of last season recovering from a broken kneecap, has turned the Clippers, who visit Toronto next Sunday, into a must-watch attraction.

A lot can change in a few months, in other words. The NBA is rigged to help bad teams morph into good ones in short order. Still, some bottom feeders never seem to move up the food chain. And nearly five years removed from seeing the lottery reap a disappointing jackpot, Raptor fans, the ones who are sticking around, can only hope sports history, which repeats itself a lot in these parts, takes an unfamiliar turn for a change.

Feschuk: Draft lottery last real hope for Raptor turnaround - thestar.com
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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thanks feschuck for talking some sense some of u raps fans who are against tanking have big egos that need a reality check i know u want to see this team win but come on what will we get out of it if we are constantly out of the playoffs? mediocrity is for pussies...
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This draft class does not have a player that might change the team instantly.

In my opinion, a lot of the high-ranked prospects can turn into busts (or might drop out of the draft to avoid the possibility of a lockout).
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fresh n' spicy View Post
thanks feschuck for talking some sense some of u raps fans who are against tanking have big egos that need a reality check i know u want to see this team win but come on what will we get out of it if we are constantly out of the playoffs? mediocrity is for pussies...
No, tanking is for pussies. Anyone who likes tanking is a pussy, plain and simple. This will be the worst draft in NBA history, the fact you are so excited about it is beyond me. There will be no difference between drafting a #1 pick or a #20 pick.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No, tanking is for pussies. Anyone who likes tanking is a pussy, plain and simple. This will be the worst draft in NBA history, the fact you are so excited about it is beyond me. There will be no difference between drafting a #1 pick or a #20 pick.
yes there will be a difference and u still want to get the best guy available and with the best potential. its like free agency ur not going to sign a scrub if superstars are available and are interested in ur team.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The draft class is weak.

There is no real consensus #1 pick.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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NBA draft net has us drafting Kyle Irving at the 4th pick
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
No, tanking is for pussies. Anyone who likes tanking is a pussy, plain and simple. This will be the worst draft in NBA history, the fact you are so excited about it is beyond me. There will be no difference between drafting a #1 pick or a #20 pick.
ignoring for a moment that you just called me a pussy, don vito, how would you suggest we rebuild if not through the draft. if you have a plan on changing our terrible free agency history and convincing players to come to a losing team in canada i'd love to hear it.

until i hear another good plan i have my hopes that we can find some talented youth and lock them into a rookie deal and a second contract when they are restricted free agents. to me that's a solid rebuilding scenario. if we have to lose 60 games instead of 55 to do it, i'm sold.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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ignoring for a moment that you just called me a pussy, don vito, how would you suggest we rebuild if not through the draft. if you have a plan on changing our terrible free agency history and convincing players to come to a losing team in canada i'd love to hear it.

until i hear another good plan i have my hopes that we can find some talented youth and lock them into a rookie deal and a second contract when they are restricted free agents. to me that's a solid rebuilding scenario. if we have to lose 60 games instead of 55 to do it, i'm sold.
Spot on, spot on...

Once again the Trane has run over another helpless victim LOL
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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ignoring for a moment that you just called me a pussy, don vito, how would you suggest we rebuild if not through the draft. if you have a plan on changing our terrible free agency history and convincing players to come to a losing team in canada i'd love to hear it.

until i hear another good plan i have my hopes that we can find some talented youth and lock them into a rookie deal and a second contract when they are restricted free agents. to me that's a solid rebuilding scenario. if we have to lose 60 games instead of 55 to do it, i'm sold.
exactly, the only other option is by trades and BC is not going to be able to make magical trades out of his ass... if ur out of the playoffs ur out of the playoffs what difference does it make if ur 12th or 14th in the conference?
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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exactly, the only other option is by trades and BC is not going to be able to make magical trades out of his ass... if ur out of the playoffs ur out of the playoffs what difference does it make if ur 12th or 14th in the conference?
It's gonna have to be through the draft, through trades and through key signings.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It's gonna have to be through the draft, through trades and through key signings.
absolutely, the way i see it is the raps are going to have to rebuild through the draft for a few years i am willing to be patient for a few years if thats what it takes! then when they have great young talent and start winning they will be able to get key signings because winning cures all.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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absolutely, the way i see it is the raps are going to have to rebuild through the draft for a few years i am willing to be patient for a few years if thats what it takes! then when they have great young talent and start winning they will be able to get key signings because winning cures all.
I have a feeling they'll add a top 3-4 pick this summer and the start adding to Derozan, Davis ,2011 pick via trade, signings and hope to start moving up the standings next season.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have a feeling they'll add a top 3-4 pick this summer and the start adding to Derozan, Davis ,2011 pick via trade, signings and hope to start moving up the standings next season.
i for one hope for a full lockout next season. yes it will suck to not have basketball for a full year, BUT if the raps get lets say the third worst record this season, it will translate to possibly the third pick in TWO draft classes, i.e 2011 and 2012 and the 2012 draft class is said to be a strong one. that way when the nba restarts, we will have a team with two possible superstars in the making, plus key players like DD and ed. thats one smoking lineup and so the 2013 rookie game(to be played in the ACC of course :P) will be one featuring Raptors players.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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No, tanking is for pussies. Anyone who likes tanking is a pussy, plain and simple. This will be the worst draft in NBA history, the fact you are so excited about it is beyond me. There will be no difference between drafting a #1 pick or a #20 pick.

You can keep telling yourself that but you still won't believe it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Weak draft, yes. This isn't a team changing draft, it will take a few years for us to become a team over .500
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The draft class is weak.

There is no real consensus #1 pick.
There are weak draft classes but they still produce 4-5 really good players. Just have to find them

Heck look at the 06 draft. Aldrdige(should have been a all-star this year), Roy(all-star before), Rondo(all-star), Rudy Gay, and Milsap.

Then some nice roles players in Shannon Brown, Thabo Sefolosha, Farmer, Ronnie Brewer, Daniel Gibson.

And we all know that Bargnani was in that draft. You can put him where ever you want.

So even a weak draft can produce a lot of players who can contribute to a team.

This year draft is just missing the Durant, Griffin, James, type player coming out.

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Old 02-06-2011, 04:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't think there is such thing as a weak draft class. There is always potential in any draft year and the same with this one coming up.
I mean, if your looking for a Lebron James in a draft class, if that is what you mean by a "strong" draft class, then that does happen very often. It all depends on how and what the team does with their pick to build around him. I do think that if we get a top 3 pick, we need to build around him like we did with bosh.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't think there is such thing as a weak draft class. There is always potential in any draft year and the same with this one coming up.
I mean, if your looking for a Lebron James in a draft class, if that is what you mean by a "strong" draft class, then that does happen very often. It all depends on how and what the team does with their pick to build around him. I do think that if we get a top 3 pick, we need to build around him like we did with bosh.
look where that got us.. and the cavs... and the heat(prior to FA).
you need to build around a core of players. not just one. see Boston, Lakers, OKC, Bulls, etc. we were good when we had a core of good players. (it wasnt just vince). were slowly getting back there but if you go and build around one player then ull be stuck in non contention and/or mediocrity for a VERY long time.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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look where that got us.. and the cavs... and the heat(prior to FA).
you need to build around a core of players. not just one. see Boston, Lakers, OKC, Bulls, etc. we were good when we had a core of good players. (it wasnt just vince). were slowly getting back there but if you go and build around one player then ull be stuck in non contention and/or mediocrity for a VERY long time.
understood, we need a group of good core players but we also need a leader in terms of skills and ability like rose and Durant from the Bulls and OKC respectively that you have named, to lead this team.
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