Ujiri interview
Old 07-30-2013, 03:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors Ujiri interview: 2-3yr plan (on the fly)

Edmonton's Sports Radio :: The Jason Gregor Show with Meg Storms

Here's a recap posted by Rhettmatic @ RealGm:

Quote:
Q: You are EOY not very long ago in the NBA. You have a very good resume. You come to Toronto where you know what, for a long time this organization has not been able to become a competitive team. How do you do it, is it a 3 year plan, a 4 year plan, and how do you make sure it's not a knee-jerk decision right away?

A: No, we won't make a knee-jerk reaction. We are going to evaluate the whole thing. Go through teh process. Our contracts, most of them, go onto two years. So you can say it's between a 2-3 year plan. We are going to be very patient and wait for deals to come to us because you don't want, like you said, to have that kneejerk reaction. We do have young players. We have to teach winning. We have to teach the ways to compete. We have to find an identity. We have to do this on the fly. I do see the big picture. I do understand when people say, hey, do you have to break it down to start all over again? We're in a position where we are in the middle and we have to figure it out.

Q: You worked with the Denver Nuggets. Why did you elect to leave to come to Toronto?

A: The organization as a whole. Bryan Colangelo gave me a start here in the front office. And I was very close with Larry Tanenbaum. I had a great run in Denver, and very grateful for the unbelievable opportunity the Kroenkes gave me. It intrigued me when this came up. It's not something I ever thought about like that, but when it came up, I thought maybe I can come here and take the challenge on and make a difference with the team. It was great to me the three years I was here. What better way to come back again?

Q: Do you believe in the NBA -- drafting in other sports, you have to draft well to be victorious. In the NBA, the chance of success after the first 12 picks, drops significantly. Is the NBA a sport you have to build through shrewd moves and free agent signings and not the draft?

A: It's both and it depends on what position you put yourself in. Some teams put themselves in the position they can use the free-agent market and go that route. The real traditional strong way of doing it is through the draft. I always believe you have to scout well. And the challenge, I always give myself and give my staff is, yes, you are right. Outside the top 5, I think 48 per cent of top 5 picks become all-stars. Then it starts slowing down as you get to the number you called, around 12. A lot of them are not successful. But you have to challenge yourself. I come from a scouting background and take pride in it and say, you know what, hey, if I can get the Kenneth Farieds or the Ty Lawsons or the Fourniers, the diamonds in the rough here and there, then you can kind of figure out the big picture. If it happens that we're picking after 12, then we have to figure it out. We have to do a good job scouting.

Q: What's your early thoughts, now that you've had a chance to evaluate, Rudy Gay, is he a guy you build your team around? Do you extend him or possibly move him?

A: He's a fantastic player. He's one of our players. He's continued to work in the summer. He's doing a great job getting stronger. He came to the summer league and he worked out with the guys for a couple days. You generally are trying to create a team atmosphere. There's a lot of changes and a lot of new faces in the front office, and the coaching department. Both Dwane Casey and I are trying to create a strong atmosphere and Rudy Gay has been a good part of it.

Q: How much stock do you put in summer league? Of course Jonas was MVP of summer league, but what do you take? Is it you find out who can't play?

A: For some of the younger guys, like a Jonas for instance, he was here in Toronto and he's worked out for a while. And then you want to go see them play. Terrence Ross, you want to see him play. Dwight Buycks, you want to see these guys play and how much progress they've made while they've worked out as soon as the season was over. So the competition is not that great, and you know what, sometimes it is overrated with performance. But I think Jonas did a fantastic job, like sustaining, playing, and competing out there. He's going to be playing all summer. You want that with big guys. You want that with big guys that love to play the game and not big guys who are pushed to play. We find we're excited that Jonas is one of those big guys that just loves to play the game. Summer league is the summer league but I think you look at little things that make your players progress in the summer.

Q: Masai, Casey has stayed on as coach. A lot of times GMs want a different direction. Will the style of play under you be different?

A: No I think you go by how your coach wants to pay. I think we're intrigued by a couple of the assistants we've hired, because they run a great style offence, shooting and attacking the rim and being aggressive. I think with a mixture of Dwane Casey's fantastic defensive mind and the leader that he is, I think we can find a good mix. So we're excited. We're excited about the direction and seeing what these players can bring in training camp.

Q: What do you see Q-Rich adding?

A: For now I think we're going to like really really look at the options with Quentin. Do we bring him here, do we waive, do we buy out? We're still weighing the different options with Quentin. If he does come here, he's still a capable, experienced player in the NBA that can give you some kind of leadership.

Q: You have Kyle Lowry, you have DeMar DeRozan, you have Rudy Gay, and you've got some big guys inside. Where's Terrence Ross in his development? Is this a guy who's going to push them, is he ready, and what has he improved on?

A: This summer is going to be key I think for him. Starting with the off-season workouts onto the summer league. He made some progress, still up and down a little bit. I think with a wing player like that, he shoots it well, he's very athletic. We've just got to get him accustomed to he way we want to play and doing the things that are going to keep him on the court. That's defending well, making open 3s, attacking the rim. I think Terrence will be fine. There's still a lot of work to be done. They're going to have workouts in LA and he's going to go to Grgurich's camp. We'll see where he is when training camp comes.

Q: In the off-season, would you like to make a few other moves, or would you be comfortable going to camp?

A: We're comfortable going to camp like this. You never say never. Phones are always open. But we're going to be patient. We're happy with the progress and the work these guys are putting in this summer. We'll see where it takes us. So yes we're happy with what we have going into the new season.

Q: What do you hope Hansbrough brings to the club?

A: Toughness, grit, we want to be a hard-nosed tough team. Hard-working team, too. Somebody that's going to affect practices. Create intensity in practice, which always helps translate to games. I think a winner. He won a championship in college and I think he comes from a winning program in Indiana. I think that's what Tyler brings.

Q: And how do you feel your cap situation is? Are you comfortable with that?

A: We've shed a little bit. We did buy out Marcus and we amnesty'd Linas Kleiza. So I think we're right there around the tax, where we shouldn't be. But we feel more comfortable where we are now. And I think as we go along we'll be able to adjust a little better.

Q: You look at the teams that win, it seems that for the most part you need great point guards, and has the game gone away from having a big dominant man? Do you think you can win with a dominant centre if you don't have dominant guards?

A: I think you can. I definitely think you can. It just needs to be a player who makes a difference. I think we can see Roy Hibbert growing into that kind of a player. Maybe Dwight Howard might come back into that picture, as someone who makes a difference on a basketball team. I was in Denver last year a couple years ago when Andrew Bynum made a difference. These guys I feel are just the type of player, I don't think it's defined my position. Yes we've seen great players as points, we've seen great players as wings, we've seen great players as centres. It just depends on how good that player can end up being. We're hoping we have one of those kind of players.

Last edited by jeffb; 07-30-2013 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think this is exactly what we all expected. Masai has said he's taking a wait and see approach. IMO that's the correct way to go.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
No, we won't make a knee-jerk reaction. We are going to evaluate the whole thing. Go through teh process. Our contracts, most of them, go onto two years. So you can say it's between a 2-3 year plan. We are going to be very patient and wait for deals to come to us because you don't want, like you said, to have that kneejerk reaction. We do have young players. We have to teach winning. We have to teach the ways to compete. We have to find an identity. We have to do this on the fly. I do see the big picture. I do understand when people say, hey, do you have to break it down to start all over again? We're in a position where we are in the middle and we have to figure it out.
This is exactly what I've been saying all the time, yet some people find it ridiculous that we could trade for picks or tank. It's still 50/50 imo and I'm fine with that, patience is the key now!
So how about we stop calling each other idiots and pretend that we know what is going to happen, because none of us know jack shit..
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Really hope Q-Rich is waived or bought-out. Just him sitting on that bench with how things went with Casey and AA, and how Casey always elected to play AA, makes me nervous. I swear if he stays and he plays, that will be the ultimate fail.
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOG View Post
This is exactly what I've been saying all the time, yet some people find it ridiculous that we could trade for picks or tank. It's still 50/50 imo and I'm fine with that, patience is the key now!
So how about we stop calling each other idiots and pretend that we know what is going to happen, because none of us know jack shit..
Lolnah u dum we not tanking bro we could maybe get 7/8 seed how could we tank?






















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Old 07-31-2013, 12:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Making playoffs with one of the youngest teams? Why? Let's destroy everything to play the lottery!










































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Old 07-31-2013, 08:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataf View Post
Making playoffs with one of the youngest teams? Why? Let's destroy everything to play the lottery!
11th youngest last year! Woo! So young!

Less than a year younger than OKC, Indiana, Denver. Older than GSW, CLE.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataf View Post
Making playoffs with one of the youngest teams? Why? Let's destroy everything to play the lottery!
So you claim to want to destroy a "young team" to get younger?
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
So you claim to want to destroy a "young team" to get younger?
Sarcasm jeff lol. Point was to make fun of people acting like our young team wont get better (Only reason is it's cause it's BC leftover hate), they don't like the term 'internal growth'. They assume we'll be 7th/8th forever.

And my bad, Dan, didn't know we were soooooooo old. We're young -.- How many of the top 10 are actually in the playoffs? Cause that was part of my point who cares if ORL is young but not making the playoffs? How many (potential) teams who are making the playoffs are younger than us?

EITHER WAY, it was addressing KoolAid's arrogance thinking it's tanking for sure and help making LOG's point that Ujiri can go either way. Stick with this young playoff bound team,which might not make it - which can be a mistake -and build on it. Or destroy the young team and be a losing team for several years to play the luck/lottery game- which also can be a mistake. None of us know what's going on... I'm fine either way, just don't care much talent is in the draft (cause I'm patient and not compulsive).. Only reason we should tank is if we're going to be in the playoffs by default (Bucks last year) or if we suck and don't make it.

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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we are fairly old actually. The average age of a team is meanginless, since players outside top 7 should not be included.

In terms of our core, we have two 2nd year players and everybody else has between 6 and 9 years of experience. Our starting lineup has guys with 7,6,9,8 and 1 years of experience. We are average at best, if not slightly older.

Even last year's playoff teams have more youth than us, teams like indiana and milwaukee still have 2-3 rookie contracts in their core. And most teams outside the playoffs in the east have more youth, pistons, cavs, wizards, charlotte, orlando and philly all have at least 3 and as many as 5 players on rookie contracts in their core.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Valanciunas 21
Acy 22
Ross 22
Derozan 23
Buycks 24
Augustine 25
Amir 26
Gay 26
Lowry 27

That's a pretty young groupe. Age wise I guess though we're somewhere in the middle. Not young, not old.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dunno from all those guys above mentioned the avg age of 24, not many can say that in the playoffs? Some are grown out like gay(?), amir, lowry, aug, rest have growth still. And apparently 11 picks in 4 years coming. I'd say young and growing.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Experience of Raptors' core players:

Lowry 7 years
Demar 4
Rudy 7
Amir 8 ***footnote
Jonas 1
Ross 1
Acy 1

After that, who knows where these guys fit long term

Psycho-T 4
Fields 3
Gray 6 (not a long term player)
Novak 7 (might be worth keeping long term as a specialist)
Augustin 5
Buycks 0


***Amir's "experience" is somewhat special and misleading because he came in straight out of high school and hardly played for the pistons. He's only 26 and has been steadily improving the past 3 years. Basketball development wise, he's like a guy coming off a rookie contract and starting and extension (still room for growth) but with the advantage of some of the character that comes with hanging around the league for 8 years. He's still young, though.

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Overall, our top 8-9 rotation probably is middle of the league experience wise, but our structure is different, since we don't have any 10 year vets, and our starting PF came into the league as a high school kid and is still improving the way a guy in his young 20s would. Lowry and Rudy are really the only "core" guys for whom you can make a strong case that they've peaked.
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