Grantland: The Raptors make over - Page 3
Old 12-31-2013, 11:10 PM   #41 (permalink)
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"Force fed shots"? He's taking 15-16 per game.... not 25.

Athleticism has little to do with how good a player will be. If it was then guys like Harold Miner and Isiah Rider would have been superstars. You're reaching.
How am I reaching when my main point is that Afflalo is of little value to this team right now? And athleticism doesn't help when you don't have the other skills, but if Ross continues to play how he has played I'd say that's not an issue for him.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:16 PM   #42 (permalink)
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How am I reaching when my main point is that Afflalo is of little value to this team right now?
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:22 PM   #43 (permalink)
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How am I reaching when my main point is that Afflalo is of little value to this team right now? And athleticism doesn't help when you don't have the other skills, but if Ross continues to play how he has played I'd say that's not an issue for him.
Ross has had a miniscule sample of decent games... games where he's been left open and his shot has been falling. He has a LONG way to go to get to DD's level... much less Afflalo's.

Afflalo would have about as much value as Lowry does to this team right now... and that's to say that he'd have A LOT. You can't just tank, tank and run a team of rooks and 2nd year guys out there and expect good things to happen. You need SOME guys who can actually play... and play well. That's actually why a guy like Salmons has been so valuable to us thus far.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:54 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Ross has had a miniscule sample of decent games... games where he's been left open and his shot has been falling. He has a LONG way to go to get to DD's level... much less Afflalo's.

Afflalo would have about as much value as Lowry does to this team right now... and that's to say that he'd have A LOT. You can't just tank, tank and run a team of rooks and 2nd year guys out there and expect good things to happen. You need SOME guys who can actually play... and play well. That's actually why a guy like Salmons has been so valuable to us thus far.
I didn't even say anything about a tank. My personal view has nothing to do with the fact that this team even with Afflalo would be far from contending, so why give a future asset in exchange for him? Nevermind the fact Orlando would probably ask for other assets too.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:52 AM   #45 (permalink)
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I think you are reading the article very selectively, the author opinion is that we're clearly trying to tank, but the market is very soft for unloading assets. We may not be able to tank, despite wanting to. It also makes no optimistic predictions for our future, my clear impression is lowe feels that we should tank, but unfortunately we may not be able to and thus end up stuck in no man's land.

I still think there's plenty of time to make up ground because the other tanking teams are facing the same issues we do. Utah, Orlando and Boston are overachieving and rondo is around the corner ....
I'd be interested to see a quote or two to back up the assertion that Zach holds an opinion that we're clearly trying to tank. I don't even see where this is an opinion piece. I would say that he thinks Masai definitely saw an opportunity to makeover the team with trades. And tanking might have been a part of that, and not inexplicably with how they were playing. But clearly the idea of just trashing assets has not been in the picture, as you seem to suggest is being posited. Instead Lowe points out that the soft market concerns the ability to get assets back. Nor is there anything said about being stuck in no man's land, but rather it is pointed out, very clearly, that in spite of how some fans view the nba as being all about winning a ring or failing, the league does not work that way so much, and in fact there are options beyond simply tanking, with Houston being the most recent example of accumulating assets as a good way of building a team.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:02 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Now you put words in my mouth. All I said was that if he goes past January without a Lowry deal it means he's not tanking this year. Nothing was said about a magical switch, just that that is his ultimatum and that's the latest he can make his choice. If he doesn't make a choice by then, the treadmill (which I use interchangeably with no man's land, if that helps your understanding) will be chosen for this season. Unless you seriously believe he can improve the team enough to be a contender, if we're not tanking by the end of January the team will go into no man's land for this year.

Masai does not have all his options at all times as you seem to think. If he chooses to tank in march and this team is at .500, guess what, its too late. There is such a thing as being too late.
How did i put words in your mouth? What is the idea of a distiinct choice being made if a trade isn't completed with a particular player anything less than portraying such a thing as a switch that needs to be flicked? The treadmill in fact will not be chosen. There will be multiple options continuously open regardless of what happens with Lowry. Will he have decided not to tank? Not at all. That's ridiculous. He is not operating in that fashion. The whole black and white approach to moving forward in path A or path B never seems to have been a set of choices that Masai considers. The idea of no man's land and the treadmill is in your head, not his, thankfully. Yes he spoke of no man's land, and really that could very likely mean that he will not settle for the team plateauing at a certain level with little means to improve, and not finishing as a three or four seed for one year. That would seem pretty logical.

The big picture is very different from that very small perspective that concerns only a single draft and devours all other thought. You see a draft that is hyped and sexy a few months from now. He sees where he wants the team to be a year, two years, five years from now. Very different things no matter how much you want to make it black and white, and don't try to tell me you don't want to do that, because that is pretty much all you do with your arguments, and constantly painting the options not pertaining to your vision as being very negative.

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Old 01-01-2014, 02:03 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:39 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:28 PM   #49 (permalink)
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But clearly the idea of just trashing assets has not been in the picture, as you seem to suggest is being posited.
um, where exactly did I imply that? If there's one thing MU was consistent since the time he got here, he always said selling assets at a discount is not an option. Hence the difficulty of tanking. He will not trade for the sake of getting worse.

Do I agree with that point? Mostly, yes - I do. I've never advocated giving away our players for free just for getting bad. Instead, I suggest that merely giving away our non-assets (everybody on the bench) and getting some value for lowry (who is a high candidate for leaving) would be a nice way to tank without compromising the core. Maybe we'd not be bad enough for a top 5 pick, although I think we will. But even a top 7-8 pick means a pretty good player, much better than what a top 18 pick would bring.

And since none of the lowry/patterson/salmon/vasquez crowd is likely to remain here, getting some playoff experience is not worth sacrificing a possible all star level pick.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:40 PM   #50 (permalink)
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um, where exactly did I imply that? If there's one thing MU was consistent since the time he got here, he always said selling assets at a discount is not an option. Hence the difficulty of tanking. He will not trade for the sake of getting worse.

Do I agree with that point? Mostly, yes - I do. I've never advocated giving away our players for free just for getting bad. Instead, I suggest that merely giving away our non-assets (everybody on the bench) and getting some value for lowry (who is a high candidate for leaving) would be a nice way to tank without compromising the core. Maybe we'd not be bad enough for a top 5 pick, although I think we will. But even a top 7-8 pick means a pretty good player, much better than what a top 18 pick would bring.

And since none of the lowry/patterson/salmon/vasquez crowd is likely to remain here, getting some playoff experience is not worth sacrificing a possible all star level pick.
Sorry - when you stated that the market was soft for unloading assets, that made it seem to me like no value was needed in return.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:42 PM   #51 (permalink)
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How did i put words in your mouth? What is the idea of a distiinct choice being made if a trade isn't completed with a particular player anything less than portraying such a thing as a switch that needs to be flicked? The treadmill in fact will not be chosen. There will be multiple options continuously open regardless of what happens with Lowry. Will he have decided not to tank? Not at all. That's ridiculous. He is not operating in that fashion. The whole black and white approach to moving forward in path A or path B never seems to have been a set of choices that Masai considers. The idea of no man's land and the treadmill is in your head, not his, thankfully. Yes he spoke of no man's land, and really that could very likely mean that he will not settle for the team plateauing at a certain level with little means to improve, and not finishing as a three or four seed for one year. That would seem pretty logical.

The big picture is very different from that very small perspective that concerns only a single draft and devours all other thought. You see a draft that is hyped and sexy a few months from now. He sees where he wants the team to be a year, two years, five years from now. Very different things no matter how much you want to make it black and white, and don't try to tell me you don't want to do that, because that is pretty much all you do with your arguments, and constantly painting the options not pertaining to your vision as being very negative.
Wow, almost like the team we have right now? Not great trade assets, capped out if we resign our players but still mediocre and if we dont, we lose a lot of assets for nothing. Damn right I'm going to paint that negatively, it's a shitty scenario. To some it's worth it for a playoff appearance, to me and many others it's not. The third seed in this years east could very well have a record below .500. Absorb that, then reconsider if you think that it's actually worth a damn thing to finish at that spot.

If Masai was looking ahead, he'd understand that he is infinitely more likely to draft a superstar with a high pick this year than sign one in free agency or trade for one with the limited assets we have, without blowing up the entire core which would defeat the purpose of building from a position of winning. Which is what I'm seeing, not a sexy draft, contrary to what you believe.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:00 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Do you think he will sustain that play for longer than the rest of this season if even that long? Do you think he can score 22 pts if he's not being force-fed shots on a crappy Magic team? Even if you do, its irrelevant because even if you replace Ross on with Afflalo on this team we won't be contending any time soon, so we should keep the youth.

I think Ross could play a role similar to that which Afflalo should play, and he could play it better because of his superior athleticism.
I think this makes it all the more impressive in terms of what he's doing for ORL right now. No one expected Afflalo to play this well, as he's the primary guy on the team and defences key in on him, and he's having a ridiculous shooting season so far.

I do agree that it wouldn't be in our best interest to trade him for Ross and another asset, as I don't think we'd be able to get him for just Ross+salary filler. It doesn't make a lot of sense because we aren't contending with him any time soon, plus as I've said before, I hate the fit with him and DD, as they play way too much alike, but Afflalo is 2x the scorer DD is. It'd take away shots from our bigs, and I dont think the chemistry would be good.

We're not going to be able to unload Fields with Ross as others have speculated for Afflalo because his value is too high and ORL isn't stupid. So there really isn't any other scenario where it'd work unless they're okay with just getting one young player back for him plus cap filler like Salmons, which I dont really see happening. I'm sure ORL is more than ok with the veteran leadership and toughness Afflalo is providing for them, and him and Oladipo play well together anyway. I dont see them giving him up for a package that doesn't blow them away. You don't just give away players like Afflalo who seemingly improve every season to the point where he's one of the best at his position now and playing like an all star.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:34 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Sorry - when you stated that the market was soft for unloading assets, that made it seem to me like no value was needed in return.
no, the opposite unfortunately. I think we obviously tried to tank, but couldn't. Since Masai won't trade at a discount, we'll probably have to abandon tanking, unless NYK panicks (very likely).

It's not a bad idea - especially when you have no choice. If you can't tank, might as well go for it. I think as the deadline gets closer, both NYK and the Nets will become more desperate and they will be making trades, but with so many teams trying to sell - there's no guarantee we'll be able to get in the game.

I don't think Masai is happy about this, but it is what it is. The only upside to the whole thing is that if we actually end up winning a playoff round, which I think it's a possibility, it will definitely increase the profile of our players and thus their trade value.

The real coup would be if some of the prospects in this draft decide to wait another year in college, given the competition. That would give us another opportunity to tank next season, with the added benefit of extra picks, less competition AND a summer to see if maybe there's a way to add a star without having to tank. Because, even though it's very unlikely, on paper it is possible to do it that way.

The only thing that should be clear (but isn't to most fans, especially now), is that this team, as presently constructed, is never going to do much. The talent level is low and the cap flexibility is non-existent. We are playing well and I think we're overachieving now. But in a normal season, this is still a below .500 team in my opinion.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:42 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Wow, almost like the team we have right now? Not great trade assets, capped out if we resign our players but still mediocre and if we dont, we lose a lot of assets for nothing. Damn right I'm going to paint that negatively, it's a shitty scenario. To some it's worth it for a playoff appearance, to me and many others it's not. The third seed in this years east could very well have a record below .500. Absorb that, then reconsider if you think that it's actually worth a damn thing to finish at that spot.

If Masai was looking ahead, he'd understand that he is infinitely more likely to draft a superstar with a high pick this year than sign one in free agency or trade for one with the limited assets we have, without blowing up the entire core which would defeat the purpose of building from a position of winning. Which is what I'm seeing, not a sexy draft, contrary to what you believe.
while I obviously agree with most of your points, I'm not sure you're suggesting how to accomplish this? I don't doubt for a second that masai wants to tank and they're not stupid, they know their best chance to get a star is through the draft. But we are in a market where lots of teams are trying to sell players better than ours and can't, because few teams are buying and the ususal suspects (nyk/nets) were already milked to death by others. With the lakers apparently now in the tank crowd as well, who is really left?

The Nets, Knicks, Wizards, Cavs, Detroit and Charlotte in the east and Houston and maybe Minesotta in the west - can't think of any other team that would be looking to trade up this season. And, if you look at all these teams, only the Knicks are probably upgrading their PG position with lowry, the other ones don't need him unless we give him away for free. Same with Demar, he would't be an upgrade for any of those teams, save maybe the Knicks again.

So, unless we consider trading amir/jv/ross, it's not even a case of selling cheap, it's more of a case of nobody needing what we have period. I'm sure all these teams would be happy to trade for lowry/demar if all we ask is expiring/2nd round picks, but anything more than that and they would hang up on you.

Our only chance is the Knicks
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:03 PM   #55 (permalink)
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no, the opposite unfortunately. I think we obviously tried to tank, but couldn't. Since Masai won't trade at a discount, we'll probably have to abandon tanking, unless NYK panicks (very likely).

It's not a bad idea - especially when you have no choice. If you can't tank, might as well go for it. I think as the deadline gets closer, both NYK and the Nets will become more desperate and they will be making trades, but with so many teams trying to sell - there's no guarantee we'll be able to get in the game.

I don't think Masai is happy about this, but it is what it is. The only upside to the whole thing is that if we actually end up winning a playoff round, which I think it's a possibility, it will definitely increase the profile of our players and thus their trade value.

The real coup would be if some of the prospects in this draft decide to wait another year in college, given the competition. That would give us another opportunity to tank next season, with the added benefit of extra picks, less competition AND a summer to see if maybe there's a way to add a star without having to tank. Because, even though it's very unlikely, on paper it is possible to do it that way.

The only thing that should be clear (but isn't to most fans, especially now), is that this team, as presently constructed, is never going to do much. The talent level is low and the cap flexibility is non-existent. We are playing well and I think we're overachieving now. But in a normal season, this is still a below .500 team in my opinion.
If Masai was trying to get something in return for Lowry, then that can be seen as a move to ensure more control in shaping the team going forward as much as it would be clearly tanking. Again, it's not about black and white choices as much as a fluid set of multiple options. Trading Lowry would allow for him to move past the uncertainty of that contract situation and open up some other options that he could better control. I would suggest that was the case with Rudy Gay as well, along with just recognizing how poisonous he was to good team basketball.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:36 PM   #56 (permalink)
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you can interepret it like this if you like, nobody can know for sure. Maybe he wants to trade lowry just because he's concerned of him leaving for nothing. However, the type of assets rumoured are clearly building assets and the team would have been worse short term. Which is basically what tanking is. So, if those rumours were true - he did want to tank, not to compete.

There are a few things we can be fairly certain about based on his various interviews:
1. he doesn't want to shed assets at huge discounts
2. we are open to the idea of tanking and to the idea of competing
3. we want to be firmly in one boat or the other, so no middle road.

The key point is #3, because the way I read that is that Masai will not go through a gradual rebuild, where we slowly get better every year. Either we are good enough now (in the sense that a few tweaks can put us over the top), or we are not, in which case we will rebuild with mostly lottery picks. Whether we get that directly, or by trading for them, it makes no difference. I doubt we'll get any picks for demar/lowry/amir - but who knows.

Some fans may think that we are actually pretty good now. I don't - we're playing great, but that's different. We are overachieving compared to our talent level, but ultimately, in the nba talent trumps everything.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:48 PM   #57 (permalink)
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you can interepret it like this if you like, nobody can know for sure. Maybe he wants to trade lowry just because he's concerned of him leaving for nothing. However, the type of assets rumoured are clearly building assets and the team would have been worse short term. Which is basically what tanking is. So, if those rumours were true - he did want to tank, not to compete.

There are a few things we can be fairly certain about based on his various interviews:
1. he doesn't want to shed assets at huge discounts
2. we are open to the idea of tanking and to the idea of competing
3. we want to be firmly in one boat or the other, so no middle road.

The key point is #3, because the way I read that is that Masai will not go through a gradual rebuild, where we slowly get better every year. Either we are good enough now (in the sense that a few tweaks can put us over the top), or we are not, in which case we will rebuild with mostly lottery picks. Whether we get that directly, or by trading for them, it makes no difference. I doubt we'll get any picks for demar/lowry/amir - but who knows.

Some fans may think that we are actually pretty good now. I don't - we're playing great, but that's different. We are overachieving compared to our talent level, but ultimately, in the nba talent trumps everything.
Well said.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:58 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Some fans may think that we are actually pretty good now. I don't - we're playing great, but that's different. We are overachieving compared to our talent level, but ultimately, in the nba talent trumps everything.
If you're talking about 1 or 2 isolated wins then I'd certainly agree.... but this team is light years different from the one that started the season with Gay. Superstar talent or no... this team is playing (and winning) like a very good squad. Championship calibre? Of course not. But playoff team capable of winning some games and perhaps even a round? Not out of the question by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:05 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Talent trumps everything? I can't disagree more. Talent is vital, without a doubt, but there is so much more that is needed, even on behalf of the most talented players. Just look at the level that Lebron had to push himself to, look at how much he had to transform himself mentally, to finally have the kind of success everyone expected from him.

We are not talking about a videogame here, with numbers assigned to players and results coming about accordingly. It's a team game, and there are so many factors involved in getting the talent to combine in a way that has the right impact.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:08 AM   #60 (permalink)
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you can interepret it like this if you like, nobody can know for sure. Maybe he wants to trade lowry just because he's concerned of him leaving for nothing. However, the type of assets rumoured are clearly building assets and the team would have been worse short term. Which is basically what tanking is. So, if those rumours were true - he did want to tank, not to compete.
We'd have a pretty weak tank EVEN after trading Lowry. Might even finish with a .425 to .450 record in 8th to 10th place.

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Some fans may think that we are actually pretty good now. I don't - we're playing great, but that's different. We are overachieving compared to our talent level, but ultimately, in the nba talent trumps everything.
Tell that to Brooklyn and Phoenix. Complete contradictions to your statement.
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