Today in Raptorland - 4/30/08
Old 04-30-2008, 09:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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GM makes point of expecting Calderon back

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For what it's worth, Colangelo is going to allow the process to unfold, which in this case involves an opposing team to make an offer sheet for Calderon, who becomes a restricted free agent on July 1.

There will be plenty of suitors, beginning with the point guard-poor Miami Heat, who also could use Calderon's Spanish heritage to spread the basketball gospel throughout south Florida.
It's all up to Bargnani

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Colangelo has talked about sending Bargnani to a couple of camps this summer to improve various aspects of his game. But the kid's biggest problem seems to be between his ears. The Raptors organization has protected Bargnani from the minute they drafted him first overall in 2006, and Colangelo and head coach Sam Mitchell were at it again yesterday. They insist that he is not soft. But his hustle numbers suggest otherwise.

And no Big Man camp in Las Vegas or weeks spent with John Lucas this summer will turn Bargnani into a good rebounder or a tough guy. Only Bargnani can do that.
Raps boss says Sam safe 'at this time'

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"I have absolutely no intention of making a coaching change at this time," Colangelo said yesterday.

Take note of those last three words.

"Nobody should be looking at Sam Mitchell and saying it's entirely his fault, or he's facing a firing or a buyout," Colangelo said. "All of that is absolute speculation and it's also storytelling, more than anything," he added.


Colangelo: Sam's safe 'for now'

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Colangelo conceded yesterday "point guard play is our biggest Achilles' heel" but refused to speculate on what might happen.
Point guard protocol top Raps issue next season

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The knee-jerk reaction is easy, to get rid of the me-first Ford and give the job to the team-first Calderon. But that's easier said than done. Ford could present an economic problem; he has a contract (around $17 million U.S. for two remaining years) and dealing him likely would require Colangelo to absorb a bad contract from someone else. Plus, remember that the Raptors were in four of the five games against Orlando, including Monday's elimination match, and stunk out the finish of three of those games, namely Nos.2, 4 and 5, with Calderon getting most of the crunch minutes.

The strength of the tandem was their difference; Ford remains the quickest Raptor, able to break down defences and penetrate, but too often could lose control. Calderon could turn a corner, too, and is a better shooter from a distance, but can't rival Ford's speed or defence. That's when Ford is in the mood, which wasn't always.
Raptors' Bargnani a symbol of stalled progress

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The answer, aside from the real possibility of a bold trade using summertime assets such as the expiring-in-2009 contracts of Rasho Nesterovic, Jorge Garbajosa and Anthony Parker, is no. That's why internal improvement will be key in carving out an identity. Seven months ago the Raptors were billing themselves as young and on the upswing. Now they might best be described as Bosh and the Talent Drop-Off. It's up to Colangelo and Bargnani et al to bridge the chasm.
Raptors say no way, Jorge

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The Raptors aren't about to let Jorge Garbajosa endanger the 2008-09 season. GM Bryan Colangelo made it clear yesterday the team will go to the wall to ensure the Spaniard does not play for his country this summer.

"I think it's a safe assumption that he will not be playing in the Olympics as long as he's under contract to us," Colangelo said.


Cracks appear in team solidarity

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“I think a lot rests on his shoulders,” Bosh said. “Just him being the No. 1 pick. As soon as he was picked No. 1, his plate was full. There are a lot of expectations when you're the No. 1 pick.

“He just has to get better. That's all he has to do, work on his game. Work on his weaknesses. And he just has to believe he can be a star in this league...

“With his talent level, he can definitely improve his game. It's just on him. The rest is one his shoulder. Personal development with anyone is a big ‘if'. He has to believe in himself. It starts with him. If he puts forth the effort, I think he can do great things. If he's not going to work, it's not going to happen.”
Colangelo, Mitchell have issues to reconcile

Quote:
When Andrea Bargnani, the president's No.1 pick in the 2006 draft, flounders and regresses as the season goes on, was the coach right to adopt a sink-or-swim approach to the 22-year-old's development? Even Mitchell wonders about that. “Maybe I should have pulled back a little bit,” he said.

Which adds weight to the president's doubts that tough love was the right brand of affection for an underachiever he staked his professional reputation on.

“For everyone who is ready to throw him out with the bath water, I beg to differ,” Colangelo said yesterday. “We need to do a better job maybe nurturing what we have.”

It's not that the two men can't agree on anything. It's not that simple.


As Bargnani goes, so goes the Raptors' future

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But it takes a village to raise a star. For Bargnani to develop, he's going to have to stop being a momma's boy - that description comes from several team insiders - and take responsibility for himself. And his coach is going to have to take some of that responsibility, too.
Quote:
It might just be that Bargnani needed the carrot rather than the stick, and the stick is Sam Mitchell's way. In his rookie season, Bargnani would come to the practice facility at night and work out. This season, he stopped.
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One source said Tuesday, "Is Sam safe? Yes. But will things be run differently? Yes. If you buy in, you'll be around. If not ..."
Raptors have to address three areas of concern

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With Bargnani not developing as quickly as many thought he would, the Raptors might very well look outside the organization for a 20 point-per-game scorer, a term Colangelo mentioned specifically.

With no room under the luxury tax threshold to go after free agents, that might entail trading some players with contracts that expire at the end of next season for a player with a longer deal.
Raptors get their final grades

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Jose Calderon
Restricted free agent
Toronto will re-sign him unless some team offers him the max, which won’t happen. He deserved the votes he got for most improved player, and should be the starting point guard next season.
Grade: A


What would it take to make the Hawks a contender?

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So I say sign both Smith and Childress to long-term deals and try to move the less-efficient Marvin Williams for a point guard. Certainly there is some team out there who wants a relatively inexpensive, athletic, 21 year-old forward that regularly puts up 15/6, right? The Hawks should target the Raptors, who have two good point guards in Jose Calderon and T.J. Ford. Toronto is going to keep Calderon, so Ford seems like a logical fit for the Hawks.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ford for Williams = Yes Please!
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by XiaominWu View Post
Ford for Williams = Yes Please!
I know ... I'm with you too Wu.

Let all the fantasy trade proposals begin though because everyone and their grandmother are going start speculating over the next couple months.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
saying too many dudes are Tyson Chandler, trying to lead their teams and went nowhere

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Ford for Marvin Williams? Interesting...Williams doesn't shoot the 3, but is long, athletic, can score, brings a bit of toughness..and only 21.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I like Childress better, but at this point beggers can't be choosers.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
saying too many dudes are Tyson Chandler, trying to lead their teams and went nowhere

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BC is going to have to use his expirings to his advantage (AP, Graham, Garbo, Rasho..)
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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We dont want TJ in our same conference.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
blah!

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Originally Posted by Belsius View Post
We dont want TJ in our same conference.
really? If a trade within the same conference yeilds the best return, then i say trade him within the conference.

It's all about improving the team the best that BC can. Trade talks should involve any team.
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