RaptorsHQ: To Boldly Go Where No Raptors’ GM Has Gone Before…
Old 07-08-2009, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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In the early hours this morning it was announced that the Toronto Raptors had signed Andrea Bargnani to an extension starting in 2010-2011 for five years at about $10 Million per year.

This, coupled with what should be the official signing of Hedo later today, means that Toronto now has what it views as two major pieces of its puzzle locked-up for the next half a decade alongside Jose Calderon. Should Bosh re-sign next summer, that would mean approximately $50 Million tied up in four players, a number that would remain consistent for at least the next four seasons before Jose Calderon’s salary came off the books.

That’s a lot of loot.

Our colleagues at Raptors Republic noted this morning that “the Spurs have $48 Million tied in 4 players next year, the Lakers have $52 Million tied in 3, the Magic $50 Million in 3 and the Cavaliers $55 million in 4.” This means that Toronto will still have room financially to add other pieces to their core, however as the Arsenalist points out, it’s easy to argue that the aforementioned teams are getting a lot more bang for their buck.

And this is really now what it comes down to.

At the height of potential, should Andrea continue to improve at both ends, then suddenly $10 Million a year for a Dirk-clone seems like a steal.

However should he continue to be an off-and-on contributor who struggles defensively, then suddenly this contract could look a lot worse than that of Marcus Banks, the player apparently that BC is trying to include in the sign-and-trade deal with Dallas regarding Shawn Marion.

Essentially, Bryan Colangelo and his crew must feel that a core group of Bosh, Bargs, Jose and Hedo is good enough to remain very competitive in the East, and a few savvy additions will put them in contention with the Clevelands, Bostons, and Orlandos at the top of the ladder.

I’ve got my doubts.

First of all, I don’t think Toronto’s foursome is anywhere near as talented as those of the aforementioned clubs. I’m not even sure Toronto’s group is on par with a club like Philly, who if they can re-sign Andre Miller and re-acclimatize Elton Brand, could still be a very dangerous bunch.

The other piece of this is the depth issue.

$50 Million spent on four players is a lot of money and considering the salary cap just came in at $57.7 Million and the luxury tax at $69.92 Million (a drop from $58.68M and $71.15M respectively), that doesn’t leave a lot of room for change should this starting four not work out – especially when players like Marcus Banks and Reggie Evans are eating into about $8 Million of that room and are still on the books for a few more years.

Essentially the Legomaster is putting most of his eggs into one basket yet again.

Last year we saw the results of this and unless BC can find a taker for Banks and/or Hump, again this year there won’t be much of an upgrade to the bench group. In fact at present, the bench looks to be in worse shape than last year, a notion that is echoed by glancing at Toronto’s summer league roster, which at present accounts for most of the group.

That’s one reason Howland and I are particularly keen to see Toronto’s Vegas entry in action this weekend.

The Raptors have signed off on allowing us media access so we’ll have coverage of the first three games, games that may very well prove to be a good indication of what to expect this season from Roko, Jawai and co. Again, Summer League is hardly an indication of who is going to shine come the regular season, but it definitely will identify who still isn’t ready for the big time. Should the core of Ukic, Jawai, O’Bryant, Douby and DeRozan struggle, things could be ugly this season, especially if Toronto’s expected starters can’t stay healthy.

In fact remember in the original Star Trek series whenever Captain Kirk put an away team together, there were always those “security” guys in red shirts?

Isn’t that Toronto’s bench right now?

You KNEW those Red Shirt guys were going to get blasted as soon as they got down to the planet and if Roko and co. are expected to play major roles for the Raptors this year, it may be a similar situation when they come into a game.

Even the original Star Trek group had seven key personnel (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scottie, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov) with one or two other minor players thrown into the mix. This team at present has four, which means a lot of “red shirts” trying not to get killed on the court come regular season.

Over the next few days hopefully we’ll see some additions to this lot, be they via the rumoured Shawn Marion sign-and-trade or perhaps even via some sort of other creative maneuvers. There aren’t a lot of free-agent options left in Toronto’s dollar range, especially at the 2 and 3 spots, so it’s going to be interesting to see just what Colangelo can do.

And while I’m not a big fan of cementing this current “core,” there is one big positive about BC’s strategy from my point of view – he’s got this season as a test run.

As opposed to last year when Marion came in as the season was wrapping up, the Raptors this year have training camp and a full-season to see just what this roster can do. If it turns up being a disaster, Toronto can attempt to make some major changes next summer when Bosh’s contract comes off the books.

For those of us who aren’t fans of the direction this team is taking, we can take some solace in that I suppose, but for all intents and purposes this is your Toronto Raptors team for the next few years.

And while some may be applauding Bryan Colangelo’s moves, let’s just say I’m not ready to beam this group into the Eastern Conference Finals any time soon.
Source - To Boldly Go Where No Raptors’ GM Has Gone Before… - RaptorsHQ.com
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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yeah, if Bargs does become a lot better in the near future, which most people think will happen, 10mill/year is a steal.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Contrary to what this article says I think Toronto's core is for the most part as talented overall as the top teams, but lacks the knockout punch of a unstoppable killer SG/SF like Kobe, Lebron, Pierce or Wade. So do about 26 other teams.

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Old 07-08-2009, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Even the original Star Trek group had seven key personnel (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scottie, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov) with one or two other minor players thrown into the mix. This team at present has four, which means a lot of “red shirts” trying not to get killed on the court come regular season.
LOL
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Contrary to what this article says I Toronto's core is for the most pasrt as talented overall as the top teams, but lacks the knockout punch of a unstoppable killer SG/SF like Kobe, Lebron, Pierce or Wade. So do about 26 other teams.
+1


And every team has a hole somwhere. You can't have 5 10-15Mil players in the starting lineup. I like our starting lineup, and i think BC will put a better bench together then the crap we had last season. Evans/Derozan already looks better to me then what we had.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acie View Post
Contrary to what this article says I Toronto's core is for the most pasrt as talented overall as the top teams, but lacks the knockout punch of a unstoppable killer SG/SF like Kobe, Lebron, Pierce or Wade. So do about 26 other teams.
I agree. With the exception of Bosh's possible contract, this team has two players with pretty good value contracts (Bargnani and Calderon), and one player with a slightly overvalued contract (Turkoglu). If we have these four players for the next 5+ years, the franchise can upgrade every year through the draft and by using the MLE. Even if the Raptors can't be a big-time player this season, you have to look at the future positively knowing that a talented core is locked in.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know how the hell you knew what I was saying jeff, but kudos.




*must remember to proof read before posting*
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I also think its a tad ridiculous to jump to conclusions, seeing how we're only into the first real day of the offseason.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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despite the few rumors out there, i have a feeling that nothing but signing cheap free agents is going to happen for the rest of the summer. I understand there are a few possible deals out there right now, but none of them look like they are going to be done anytime soon. I starting to think that BC will try to make deals happen but by the end of the summer, our rooster will look pretty much the same now with just a few more no-name free agents.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If Jameer Nelson goes down next year... and the Magic are starting Johnson and back-up Tyronne Lue (like we started Roko and Solomon)... they're screwed. And the Garnet-less Celtics didn't win the East either.

Injuries play a huge factor as to who will be in the ECF's next year. I think we've put together a team to compete in the East.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acie View Post
Contrary to what this article says I think Toronto's core is for the most part as talented overall as the top teams, but lacks the knockout punch of a unstoppable killer SG/SF like Kobe, Lebron, Pierce or Wade. So do about 26 other teams.
Isn't DeRozan supposed to become just that in a couple of years?

Seriously speaking, this coming season Hedo will be as close as we'd get to having a closer...
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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despite the few rumors out there, i have a feeling that nothing but signing cheap free agents is going to happen for the rest of the summer. I understand there are a few possible deals out there right now, but none of them look like they are going to be done anytime soon. I starting to think that BC will try to make deals happen but by the end of the summer, our rooster will look pretty much the same now with just a few more no-name free agents.


?
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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roster my bad
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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but still i think our roster will look the same at the end of the summer
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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+1 to the rooster.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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but still i think our roster will look the same at the end of the summer
Can't say, remember there are lots of undrafted and cheap FAs out there.

Just like Burke, Colangelo will strike gold when he make small adjustments, it's how he made phoenix, it's how he can rebuild toronto.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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+1


And every team has a hole somwhere. You can't have 5 10-15Mil players in the starting lineup. I like our starting lineup, and i think BC will put a better bench together then the crap we had last season. Evans/Derozan already looks better to me then what we had.
You trade Bosh for Lee, Duhon, and Chandler, and you've got your 5 $10-15M players (Chandler will eventually get his) right there. Plus, a solid bench. In fact, I'm willing to say this:

Lee at $10M >>>>>> Bosh at $20M

Two-fold. Obviously, there's a big savings in salary that can be used to prop up the bench. Secondly, and more importantly, the offense doesn't go through Bosh all the time, and the opposing defense will not know what to do.

Lee in the paint, Bargnani and Calderon shoot threes and drive the odd time. Hedo can do it all. Chandler, well, he's only 22 and can do a little bit of everything.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You trade Bosh for Lee, Duhon, and Chandler, and you've got your 5 $10-15M players (Chandler will eventually get his) right there. Plus, a solid bench. In fact, I'm willing to say this:

Lee at $10M >>>>>> Bosh at $20M

Two-fold. Obviously, there's a big savings in salary that can be used to prop up the bench. Secondly, and more importantly, the offense doesn't go through Bosh all the time, and the opposing defense will not know what to do.

Lee in the paint, Bargnani and Calderon shoot threes and drive the odd time. Hedo can do it all. Chandler, well, he's only 22 and can do a little bit of everything.
I honestly can't see a team that has Lee over Bosh being close to what we have now. Even though Lee would make a lot less, you lose an All-Star and a legitimate go to guy. I think the big four right now are a great base for where we go from here. The little adjustments that need to be made to strengthen the bench and make this team solid all around will be a great indication of how great of a manager Colangelo is. I personally think that Colangelo is the best man to make these types of small adjustments.
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