Hardwood Paroxysm rates the Raptors summer
Old 08-26-2013, 11:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi! How was your summer? Toronto Raptors

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It was an exciting offseason for the Toronto Raptors, as they rid themselves of two of their biggest hindrances to success and saw great progress from a player they hope will serve as a foundational piece for their franchise moving forward.

The Raptors’ biggest acquisition will never see a minute of action during a game. Toronto wooed reigning Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri back to his original stomping grounds with a five-year, ($12 million?) contract. Ujiri was handed a team with bloated contracts and little financial flexibility. To correct these issues, Ujiri did the unthinkable: he traded Andrea Bargnani. The trade wasn’t unthinkable because Bargnani was a franchise cornerstone, or a beloved figure in Toronto — he was none of those things, probably even the exact opposite of those things — but because Bargnani’s contract was widely considered untradeable, given how bad he’d been. It seems we forgot to consider two important factors: one, Masai Ujiri is a wizard, or at the very least a powerful telepath, and two, the New York Knicks. The Knicks love bloated contracts more than James Dolan loves his Fender stratocaster, and they hate first round picks/developing talent more than Lala and Carmelo Anthony hate snitches.

The trade sent Bargnani to the Knicks in exchange for Steve Novak,, Marcus Camby (later released), Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first round draft pick and a 2014 and 2017 second round pick. That Ujiri was able to trade Bargnani at all should be enough to seal a second Executive of the Year award. That he was able to get a solid role player and a FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK merits the creation of Masai Ujiri day, maybe Masai Ujiri month, as a holiday for all of Canada.

Jonas Valanciunas won summer league MVP. Yes, it’s summer league, so production should be taken with a mountainous grain of salt, but that doesn’t change the fact that Valanciunas flat-out looked better. From a purely physical standpoint, Valanciunas looked to be in the best shape of his life, sporting a much more refined and chiseled frame. No longer tepid, Valaciunas moved with authority on the court, noticeably more physical with his opponents than last season. Valanciunas has always been deceptively graceful, but now that grace is augmented by muscle and an improved basketball IQ.

Toronto also signed summer league stand-out Dwight Buycks, who burst onto the scene while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s summer league team in Orlando, then proceeded to lead Las Vegas in points and assists while playing with the Raptors. Buycks will battle D.J. Augustin, another offseason addition, for the back-up point guard spot behind Kyle Lowry.
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For Toronto, this season was all about preparing for the future. With Bargnani’s departure, they gained some financial freedom, and with Ujiri’s arrival, they have a proven architect to build their team. They stand a slight chance of making the playoffs this season, if only because the bottom of the East is as weak as ever, but if they don’t, they’ll have a shot at native son Andrew Wiggins. Either way, the future is promising for the Raptors.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am excited to see what MU can do, but let's not forget that just because he did well in Denver he will be able to do the same thing here. Over there he was able to trade a couple of allstars for some good pieces, but here it's a different story... Let's see how it goes.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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strange article, on one hand they praise everything we did, on the other they claim we have a "slight" chance if making the playoffs. I'd say as currently constructed, we have a much better change (10x -20x higher) of making the playoffs than getting wiggins ...
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the point was that the future looks good either way.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LX View Post
I think the point was that the future looks good either way.
yeah, that's the claim, but the arguments are bizarre
what if we don't make the playoffs and we land a late lottery pick? Would the future still look bright?

I guess the premise is the future looks good because we have MU, which is an ok argument, but also one that was made 7 years ago when we got BC.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by moremilk View Post
strange article, on one hand they praise everything we did, on the other they claim we have a "slight" chance if making the playoffs. I'd say as currently constructed, we have a much better change (10x -20x higher) of making the playoffs than getting wiggins ...
It actually makes sense.We did some good moves but we are clearly not a legit contender. 7th-8th at best, if healthy and lucky. The moves we made were mostly 1-2 year deals and we shipped Bargs for some value. We were not going after a superstar via trade or FA, so the moves are generally positive, but let's not fool ourselves, we are still not that good.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't like how people (ie.writers) always just refer to Wiggins. This is an apparent DEEP draft. A top 5 or even top 10 pick in this draft will be valuable.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LET'S GO RAPTORS!!!!! View Post
I don't like how people (ie.writers) always just refer to Wiggins. This is an apparent DEEP draft. A top 5 or even top 10 pick in this draft will be valuable.
True. I have not followed Wiggins but if somehow he is gonna have a bad season his value will drop. If he is going to have a LBJ kind of campaign he will no doubt will go 1st. Nonetheless this draft should be very deep.
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