Simmons: Ujiri is a top 5 GM, keep an eye on the Raps
Old 07-31-2013, 11:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors Simmons: Ujiri is a top 5 GM, keep an eye on the Raps

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"There's good and bad everywhere, don't you think?"
"I'd say there's bad everywhere. Good I don't know about."

To the embattled Raptors fans, who endured nearly two decades of organizational hell that included the GM Bermuda Triangle (Isiah Thomas, Rob Babcock and Bryan Colangelo) and Sportsnet.ca recently writing that Glen Grunwald was "popularly viewed as the Raptors' best GM" and "the man who orchestrated the construction of the most beloved Raptors teams," as well as a man "behind a multitude of moves that are still cast in a warm, nostalgic glow."

When you have a "warm, nostalgic glow" about a seven-year span that yielded three winning seasons and one trip to the second round, you need to reevaluate things. Fortunately for the Raptor Truthers, they suddenly have an accomplished CEO (Tim Leiweke) and a top-five GM (Masai Ujiri). Can they turn around a franchise that has lost 60 percent of its games and enjoyed exactly ONE playoff series victory in 18 seasons? Is Canadian professional basketball just plain jinxed? Was it a good sign or a bad sign that Jonas Valanciunas won the Kedrick Brown Trophy as 2013's unofficial summer league MVP?2 And what about this?
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One of my favorite throwaway exchanges goes to one of my favorite throwaway revelations of the summer: Rudy Gay's eyesight was so bad that (a) he could barely pass his driver's license test, and (b) he refused to wear contact lenses, so he finally got an operation last spring to fix his sight. Has anyone ever taken more dramatic measures to rebut their Hoopdata location shooting stats? And can't you see Masai Ujiri shopping Rudy's onerous contract by telling other GMs "You're buying low he just got his eyes fixed, and he's going to average 30 a game this season! Just give me an expiring and your 2014 unprotected no. 1 and we'll call it even." Keep an eye on the Raps. Speaking of shortened nicknames
Bill Simmons on who won and who lost the NBA offseason - Grantland
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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His collumns are getting longer, lol. Soon he'll have a 50 parts evaluation of every NBA player based on Sopranos characters.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i am a simmons fanboy, love him.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm as happy as any Raps fan that we got MU, but it's about time we stop glorifying the guy, I mean come on... He hasn't really proven anything yet as a Raps GM. Sure he was an Executive of the Year in Denver, but that's next to irrelevant. After all BC got two of those awards, one even with the Raps.

MU made a great first impression trading Bargs (huge relief, returns were okay but nothing fancy), signing Hansbrough was nice, but after that there's really nothing to write home about. Yet. The Stone/Augustin/Daye signings were met with complete apathy (even on this board). No one knows what to expect from Buycks. I want to see some on-court results first before putting MU on a pedestal.

I'm also not convinced he'll put the tank in motion, not until I hear it out of his own mouth.

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm also not convinced he'll put the tank in motion, not until I hear it out of his own mouth.
You'll never hear a GM say that his team is tanking.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You'll never hear a GM say that his team is tanking.
Well his moves aren't doing the talking either, they don't suggest a tank..
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well his moves aren't doing the talking either, they don't suggest a tank..
Yeah they don't suggest going all in either. All the signings he's made are short and low risk. He also didn't deal Bargs for a Lee or Boozer. He's probably going to wait and see about 15-20 games where the team is at. Again, if an injury happens to one of the starting 5 then things could go downhill fast. None of the reserves can consistently play 30+mpg. Which means platooning would have to occur and that is not a good thing - usually.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You'll never hear a GM say that his team is tanking.
No but we'd hear words like "take a step back", "regrouping", "different direction", "development".
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No but we'd hear words like "take a step back", "regrouping", "different direction", "development".
Not before the start of the season and most season ticket holders are already locked in. Those words come after the moves that precipitate them.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Not before the start of the season and most season ticket holders are already locked in. Those words come after the moves that precipitate them.
obviously, but we're not tanking right now. imo ujiri will see how we do the first couple months and decide how to proceed. if on January 1st we're 12-24 it'll be tank time and moves will be made I think.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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obviously, but we're not tanking right now. imo ujiri will see how we do the first couple months and decide how to proceed. if on January 1st we're 12-24 it'll be tank time and moves will be made I think.
There's no chance our current roster gets only 12 wins in that timespan, no way.

The Magic however, they'll be lucky if they even win 12 games at all.
12-24 is too late to start a tank, if you want Wiggins that is.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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obviously, but we're not tanking right now. imo ujiri will see how we do the first couple months and decide how to proceed. if on January 1st we're 12-24 it'll be tank time and moves will be made I think.
Agreed. Although I lean more to mid-December as the decision date, as a whole bunch of contracts become trade-eligible then, and better to make moves when there is a ripe market, as it were.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There's no chance our current roster gets only 12 wins in that timespan, no way.

The Magic however, they'll be lucky if they even win 12 games at all.
12-24 is too late to start a tank, if you want Wiggins that is.
+1 agree. If we go 12-22 what do we do then? it's not bad enough to tank or good enough for the 8th seed.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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+1 agree. If we go 12-22 what do we do then? it's not bad enough to tank or good enough for the 8th seed.
12-22 is certainly bad enough to tank
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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12-22 is certainly bad enough to tank
Yeah, based on last year, we'd be sitting 7th in the tank race, and very close to the 8-10 ranks. There would certainly need to be some blow-up trades to get really into the tank race, but we wouldn't be out of the running by any stretch.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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12-22 is certainly bad enough to tank
There are 5 to 10 teams starting the season with Wiggins on their mind, if you want to join them you better be quick about it. You can't pretend to wanna make the playoffs first and in december/january suddenly change your mind.

I don't think that strategy will work this year...
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There are 5 to 10 teams starting the season with Wiggins on their mind, if you want to join them you better be quick about it. You can't pretend to wanna make the playoffs first and in december/january suddenly change your mind.

I don't think that strategy will work this year...
I mean tank in the sense that we start trading our biggest pieces. Not just to get wiggins but to just get a high pick in a deep draft. We're not getting Wiggins, so i'm not even giving that a second thought.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yeah, based on last year, we'd be sitting 7th in the tank race, and very close to the 8-10 ranks. There would certainly need to be some blow-up trades to get really into the tank race, but we wouldn't be out of the running by any stretch.
If we're 12-22 and we trade our bigger pieces (Lowry, DD, Gay, Amir) and we then lose 6 in a row......it's a tank with a possibility at a top 5 pick in a very deep draft. Not that I think we'll be remotely that bad but I've thought that in the past with this team, blue jays etc........never say never.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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12-22 is certainly bad enough to tank
What if were 12-22 on a an 8 game losing streak because JV is injured and has missed those 8 games, but is due back in 2 games?
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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What if this team is .500 or better around the halfway mark? What does do then?

Not sure we have enough space financially to pick up a couple key pieces to attempt a deep run at the playoffs, plus with all the short term contracts it could be costly (or not an option) to resign some of these players next season. But we are also too far out to make a run at a great draft pick.

Another season of mediocrity would be the worst case scenario for this team - stuck in the middle of the middle of the pack, still no assets, no draft picks. I agree with Zan that moves need to be made sooner, than later this season.
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