Ford: Free Agent Winners & Losers
Old 08-04-2008, 12:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Toronto Raptors -- Here was the great thing about the Raptors-Pacers trade this summer: It really helped both teams. The Raptors had a hole in the middle and a logjam at point guard. In one fell swoop they filled the hole in the middle with Jermaine O'Neal and broke the logjam at the point by finding a taker for T.J. Ford. They also made one of the more underrated moves in free agency, locking up Jose Calderon at a bargain contract for a borderline All-Star point guard. If O'Neal is truly healthy, as his camp and the Raptors claim, he and Chris Bosh will form one of the best frontlines in the East.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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And hopefully that translates into playoff success. To me anything but the third round is going to be a little disappointing.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I wanna see Celts and Raps rumble for the Eastern conference finals spot.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wanna see Celts and Raps rumble for the Eastern conference finals spot.
man that would be awesome, especially if the raps beat the magic to get there, that would be a good series now with oneal
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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And hopefully that translates into playoff success. To me anything but the third round is going to be a little disappointing.
Ya sure. third round would be pretty amazing. I'm a little bit more easily pleased. A simple winning of a playoff round would satisfy me after the last two early exits.

It all depends on how this team gels and comes together. If we end up with a top 3 record, then i'll agree with you and have higher playoff expectations.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with Fancylad. Lets take this one step at a time. The team is improved and it has great potential, lets not crush it with inflated goals and crazy expectations.

It’s not at all unfair to expect the Raps to make the play-offs. I don’t even think it’s too much to ask that they win their first round. Once we get there, then we start pushing the bar higher and higher.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ya sure. third round would be pretty amazing. I'm a little bit more easily pleased. A simple winning of a playoff round would satisfy me after the last two early exits.

It all depends on how this team gels and comes together. If we end up with a top 3 record, then i'll agree with you and have higher playoff expectations.
The Raptors didn't take a big risk like this just so that they could win game six or seven in round one and finally advance. Whats the point in that? I think the goal is much higher. The expectation that they can/should win two rounds isn't unfair or outlandish.
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey man, you do have a point, and i hope you're right. Still, there are some question marks. Roko, Adams, Bargnani, Jawai, etc.

Our depth could be fine, but we won't really know that until we see a few games.

But hey, i've always been one to set a rather easily obtainable goal so that i'll be pleasantly surprised if much better things happen.
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with Fancylad, a first round win is what can be expected....let's not mix that up with what we are hoping for (which would be to at least make the Eastern Conference Finals). But I don't think there will be ANY critic out there that will say we had a dissappointing season this year if we lose in the second round in the this years Eastern Conference. IMO there will be at least 5 or 6 REALLY good teams in the East this year. Not in any order (so please no comments on that), they would be:

1. Raptors - nothing needed on this site
2. Celtics - defending NBA champs
3. Pistons - have been solid for the past 5 years now, don't see that changing
4. Sixers - Were excellent after the All-Star break last year, and have added Brand!!
5. Cavaliers - LBJ, enough said
6. Magic - D12, Lewis, Turkoglu...

Any of these teams could advance to the conference finals, so I don't think its fair to EXPECT that we that far. Its good to know though that if we play well we have a shot at it though.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Agreed!
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Apollo View Post
The Raptors didn't take a big risk like this just so that they could win game six or seven in round one and finally advance. Whats the point in that? I think the goal is much higher. The expectation that they can/should win two rounds isn't unfair or outlandish.
actually, it was already established that the Raptors didn't take a big risk period ... The JO trade is a low-risk, high reward trade where the worse case scenario is to have huge amounts of cap-space during one of the best free agent summers in recent history (2010).
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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And who's established it? When the trade went down I thought most were talking about the risk and the reward and both could be high. I know what they have in 2010 but its 2010 and that doesn't help the Raptors if Jermaine blows his knee out in game one and takes another couple years to rehabilitate. The Raptors could hardly afford to pay 13 players they're so close to the threshold due to Jermaine's contract. Don't tell me theres no risk. Future salary cap doesn't win playoff games. The Raptors had a tonne of cap space two years ago and where did it get them? A first round ass kickin'...An improvement no doubt, however, its not all about having free cash.

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Old 08-06-2008, 02:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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there have been extensive discussions on the topic on this very forum (and other places). Other than a few misguided journalists with private agendas, almost everybody was in agreement that there is very little to lose and very much to win from this trade.

Sure, if Jermaine blows his knee in the first game, we'll have a tough season. But again, it was already established that any team in the NBA faces the same risks. If Bosh, Garnett, Lebron, Kobe, Wade, Duncan and so on blow their knees in the first game, their teams will suffer a similar fate. Not sure what you're advocating here, a team composed of mid level exception salaries, so you can replace them easily when they get injured?

Furthermore, the Raptors didn't have a "tonne" of cap space a few years ago, just around 12 millions if I remember correctly, good enough to sign corey magette for example ... That team had major holes at every position, and Bryan was able to transform a horrible team into a winning one with just 12 millions in cap space ...

So, worse case scenario, JO or Bosh or Calderon have a season ending surgery and we end up in the lottery. We get a nice draft pick and have another chance next season. We would have to be extremely unlucky to have season ending injuries on two superstars in consecutive seasons ... Even if that happens, we get another nice draft pick and in 2010 we'll have a decent core of players (2 all-stars in Bosh and Jose and hopefully another strong player in Bargnani). Take that mix and add 20 millions in cap space - do you think a skilled GM like Bryan can do some real damage with it?
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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there have been extensive discussions on the topic on this very forum (and other places). Other than a few misguided journalists with private agendas, almost everybody was in agreement that there is very little to lose and very much to win from this trade.

Sure, if Jermaine blows his knee in the first game, we'll have a tough season. But again, it was already established that any team in the NBA faces the same risks. If Bosh, Garnett, Lebron, Kobe, Wade, Duncan and so on blow their knees in the first game, their teams will suffer a similar fate. Not sure what you're advocating here, a team composed of mid level exception salaries, so you can replace them easily when they get injured?

Furthermore, the Raptors didn't have a "tonne" of cap space a few years ago, just around 12 millions if I remember correctly, good enough to sign corey magette for example ... That team had major holes at every position, and Bryan was able to transform a horrible team into a winning one with just 12 millions in cap space ...

So, worse case scenario, JO or Bosh or Calderon have a season ending surgery and we end up in the lottery. We get a nice draft pick and have another chance next season. We would have to be extremely unlucky to have season ending injuries on two superstars in consecutive seasons ... Even if that happens, we get another nice draft pick and in 2010 we'll have a decent core of players (2 all-stars in Bosh and Jose and hopefully another strong player in Bargnani). Take that mix and add 20 millions in cap space - do you think a skilled GM like Bryan can do some real damage with it?
Yes, every team is in huge trouble losing their top player or 2nd best player.

No, its not the same, all the players you mentioned have not missed most of the last few years with injuries that can carry longterm effects. So yes, O'Neal is more of a risk then the others. You never know how fully a player is recovered til he gets on the court in a real nba game, doctors can say everything looks fine til he is running up and down that court.

The biggest risk you didnt mention is this. Yes O'Neals contract is up in 2 years and we will have a tonne of space when it is, so we could easily replace him. BUT (yes a big butt, like j-lo), if this experient doesnt work out, Bosh may just head for greener pastures, not wanting to go thru another experiment. So the risk is not just losing O'Neal to injury, but losing our "franchise" player.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The biggest risk you didnt mention is this. Yes O'Neals contract is up in 2 years and we will have a tonne of space when it is, so we could easily replace him. BUT (yes a big butt, like j-lo), if this experient doesnt work out, Bosh may just head for greener pastures, not wanting to go thru another experiment. So the risk is not just losing O'Neal to injury, but losing our "franchise" player.
Fair enough, but in defense of this being not that risky, do you really think keeping TJ and Rasho or making the "safe" trade (Diaw or the Portland deal. Both of which sucked) would be any more appealing to Bosh?

This has a better chance of working out than any other possible scenario. The risk is almost entirely to do with Jermaine's health. Even if he plays poorly, they're going to get more out of him than they could have possibly gotten out of Ford and Nesterovic.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Fair enough, but in defense of this being not that risky, do you really think keeping TJ and Rasho or making the "safe" trade (Diaw or the Portland deal. Both of which sucked) would be any more appealing to Bosh?

This has a better chance of working out than any other possible scenario. The risk is almost entirely to do with Jermaine's health. Even if he plays poorly, they're going to get more out of him than they could have possibly gotten out of Ford and Nesterovic.
Im a Rasho fan!! I dont think he is as good as O'Neal if/when he is healthy, but i think we could have got more out of him then we did.

I do think Bryan had to do something to make Bosh feel better in the next couple years. Im just saying imo the big risk is losing him and we start all over again, and i would QQ

The problem was Fords was undervalued due to his injury history, so all we could get was another good player with an injury history aswell. I dont hate the move, but there is definately a risk factor invovled.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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why would Bosh leave a great situation for a lousy one (since he can only sign as a free agent with a weak team - very rare when good teams have tons of cap space available)?

And O'Neal hasn't missed that many games - certainly not more than Stoudemire or Brand. Tim Duncan has also missed quite a lot of games over the past 3-4 seasons with his fasciitis problem. T-Mac, Yao, Wade, Nash also had/have many health problems. Even Bosh has missed a significant amount of games recently. It's part of the game - many stars have a history of injuries. I don't see O'Neal being at a significant increased risk vs those above. If he was 35, maybe - but he's only 29, really in his prime. And he will be motivated like hell and in a less stressful situation, which will reduce the injury risks.

In my opinion, the biggest risk on our team is Jose, not JO. We could withstand 30 games missed by O'Neal, but I'm not sure if we could do the same without Calderon. But regardless, all Jermaine, Jose and Bosh need to do is to be healthy for the playoffs. Do you have any doubt in your mind that with O'Neal we would have beaten Orlando this spring? We will still be vulnerable vs the Cavs and maybe Miami, but against the rest of the teams in the conference we will match very very well, including Detroit, Boston or Philadelphia.
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