Hoopsworld: 'Immediate Needs - Raptors'
Old 06-15-2009, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Immediate Needs: Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are a team with too many questions. Because they finished the 2008-09 season finished so well for them, the front office seems pretty convinced that the current roster has the capacity to win some games. The only problem is that because the Raps started—and continued on for most of the year—so poorly, it's hard to gauge whether Bryan Colangelo's got himself a Dr. Jekyll or a Mr. Hyde. That's why this summer he's got so many decisions to make. We could see an almost identical team return to the court next season, or there could be half a roster's worth of new guys.

Status of the Current Roster

Publicly and privately, the Raptors insist that Chris Bosh is still the player they'd like to build their team around. It's easy for some to criticize Bosh's potential as a superstar and team leader, but at the end of the day players of his caliber are hard to come by, and that's why his impending free agency is the biggest shadow hanging over the organization right now.

But, the Raptors get at least one more season with him before having to worry about free agency too seriously. Bosh has said he won't sign an extension this summer, so Colangelo will just have to wait and see. More pressing is this offseason's biggest free agents, Shawn Marion and Anthony Parker. Could the Raptors lose three starters in the next two offseasons? That's the million-dollar question for Toronto, and their immediate needs stem directly from those three players.

Beyond them, however, there are some very promising long-term pieces in place. Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon both have shown flashes of brilliance the last couple of seasons and should continue to improve next season. Beyond point guard and center though, not a lot seems too certain right now.

Immediate Needs

Outside of the starting five, Toronto's roster is a potpourri of veteran retreads and NBDL All-Stars—meaning that the most pressing need for this team is depth. What the team needs more than anything is talented size to come off the bench behind Bargnani and Bosh, which likely will be the first thing the team addresses this offseason. But it's overall depth at just about every position this team needs; if they can upgrade over Marcus Banks and Patrick O'Bryant, they absolutely should. That's just about the farthest thing possible from a championship-caliber bench.

The other needs will have everything to do with what happens around Parker and Marion. If both guys come back there's really no problem. Both guys are quality NBA starters. But if one or the other (or both) bolt for greener pastures, there will be some work to be done in replacing those guys. Perhaps one of those positions can be filled with the #9 pick in the upcoming draft, but one would think they'd want a more seasoned veteran to rely on considering this season could determine whether or not Bosh thinks he can win in Canada.

Likely Draft Choices

Considering the potential Parker/Marion departures it seems most likely that Toronto will sniff out a combination swingman that can play both the small forward and shooting guard positions. Someone like DeMar DeRozan would be absolutely ideal, especially considering he's probably one of the most exciting and athletic players in this draft, but it's highly probable that he won't be available by pick #9.

They may also look at adding some size, not only because they need depth behind Bosh but because there's no guarantee Bosh will be with the team long-term. That's why guys like Austin Daye, Earl Clark, DaJuan Blair, and Terrance Williams could be options there as well. Look for versatility and look for size. Point guard isn't likely they're top concern in the lottery, but look for them to select someone who can play multiple positions, and it might not even need to be someone who can step in and play right away.

Free Agency Possibilities

Marion's expiring deal will free up a bunch of cap space, even if they re-sign him (because let's face it, his $17-million-per-year days are over). But if they can't manage to re-sign him, Colangelo will have some work to do on the open market.

Assume first and foremost that the Raptors would like to bring back Parker and Marion. This is what they've said they want to do, and this is what seems most likely that they will do. But if they can't get that done, there aren't a lot of other big-name options for them when it comes to replacing them. Someone like L.A.'s Trevor Ariza could be an interesting replacement for Marion, but all indications thus far are that he'd prefer to stay with the Lakers.

The bottom line is that Toronto's best bet is to keep what they've got. Realistically, they won't find better players at more reasonable prices than Marion and Parker. Those are the right guys to hold onto, especially if you want Bosh to stick around.

The next two summers will be huge for the future of this franchise, and it all starts with how they handle their free agents this July. Of course the draft will help them add to their arsenal, too, but no matter how you shake this, this franchise has some work to do.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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if not D.R. at # 9 wait before i go on if demar is still available by #9 how good of a chance is there that the raps will sign him in percentage, please?
continuing my first 5 words is it just a giant cluster of even steven players or does one or some have a slight edge over others?
Most likely parker will return and Marion a bit less of a chance but, i think it's still very high cause he ain't getting any better money anywhere else i think it's safe to say players in toronto get a bigger roll on the court and off(money in the bank). So, then we could start marion at sf(at different times during the game he could switch) and then we could have Bosh at the 4 and Bargs start at the 5. then jose will be starting pg unless we by some cra-z trade get stevie boy canada. but, ap has back up sg who will start at sg the # 9 or a summer pick up? and if it's not 5 bargs,4 bosh, 3 marion,2 #9/off season tradie or sfa(signed free agent,and jose/steve(im just gonna put /steve nash there cause it gets me excited) then, we need a starting sf,... which once again possibility of #9/tradie/sfa. while at least we know we are gonna have to sign someone or trade someone to get someone to fill either sf or sg. im not leanin towards eiher it's 50/50 for me. but i think we should make a trade for either ben gordon or kevin durant. or sign ben gordon as a free agent. although, i imagine that will be a large chunk of salary cap right there.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBF View Post
if not D.R. at # 9 wait before i go on if demar is still available by #9 how good of a chance is there that the raps will sign him in percentage, please?
continuing my first 5 words is it just a giant cluster of even steven players or does one or some have a slight edge over others?
Most likely parker will return and Marion a bit less of a chance but, i think it's still very high cause he ain't getting any better money anywhere else i think it's safe to say players in toronto get a bigger roll on the court and off(money in the bank). So, then we could start marion at sf(at different times during the game he could switch) and then we could have Bosh at the 4 and Bargs start at the 5. then jose will be starting pg unless we by some cra-z trade get stevie boy canada. but, ap has back up sg who will start at sg the # 9 or a summer pick up? and if it's not 5 bargs,4 bosh, 3 marion,2 #9/off season tradie or sfa(signed free agent,and jose/steve(im just gonna put /steve nash there cause it gets me excited) then, we need a starting sf,... which once again possibility of #9/tradie/sfa. while at least we know we are gonna have to sign someone or trade someone to get someone to fill either sf or sg. im not leanin towards eiher it's 50/50 for me. but i think we should make a trade for either ben gordon or kevin durant. or sign ben gordon as a free agent. although, i imagine that will be a large chunk of salary cap right there.
What?
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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just read it in portions don't try to take in all that info at once
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Benjamin Whorf would cringe at the sight of that paragraph.

But yeah, basically all I got from it was that we need a shooting guard pretty fucking badly.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ya, it was just a bunch of crap that i've been wanting to put somewhere for a while. let me narrow it down, we need a shooting guard indefinitely and we could definitely use an upgrade at sf, If marion is not the starting sf(he might be starting pf). which im trying to figure out whether we go for a sg or sf in the draft? or a guy who can apparently play both in D.R.!? question: who thinks joey graham is a good starting sf for next season?
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you read that cra-z stuff out loud really fast it works quite well. But it leaves me too exhausted to actually respond.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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LBF, your writing style makes my brain hurt. You're on a completely different plane of reality... like a brane floating around in a higher dimensional universe.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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alright, i just read my paragraph it's fucked up.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by macs View Post
LBF, your writing style makes my brain hurt. You're on a completely different plane of reality... like a brane floating around in a higher dimensional universe.
and no i was not stoned during that paragraph.actually, i had a fruitopia so, prolly was a sugar rush.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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sugar. man I gotta get me some of that.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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percentage on Dero at #9... um if he's there it's probably likely but depends who else is so nobody can say.

Marion likely back, if not then s&t for same sg or sf position prior to draft or sf after draft.

i'm guessing delfino will be promissed a chance to start if he signs.

hopefully put delfino in at sg and move parker to bench as 6th man and backup pg/sg. that makes 6-9 parker, evans, #9, ukic which is much better bench then last season.

graham? probably gone. no room for him. the move may do him good.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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With Derozan probably not wanting to play here, makes no sense to select him. Makes no sense for him either - he's giving up money. The latest mock at nbadraft.net has us taking Gerald Henderson. Draft express still has us taking Derozan. I think the guy we're taking is JRue Holiday.
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