Raptors might be Lottery bound, once again, after the 2009-2010 season

Now that the order for the 2009 NBA Draft Lottery has been determined, and no teams from the Eastern Conference dramatically improved their selection slot, it becomes a lot more interesting to project which teams might become legitimate contenders for the 8 playoff positions next year.

If the season was to start tomorrow, each of the following teams might well be expected to become a more serious threat than the Toronto Raptors, given the current state of their personnel:

1. Cleveland [66-16, 1st]
STARTERS: Williams-M, West, James [No. 1 Draft Pick, 2003], Varejao, Ilgauskas
BENCH: Gibson, Szczerbiak, Pavlovic, Smith, Wallace, Kinsey, Hickson, Jackson, Wright & Williams-J
COACH: Mike Brown
2009 Draft Picks: #30

2. Orlando [59-23, 3rd]
STARTERS: Nelson, Lee, Turkoglu, Lewis & Howard [No. 1 Draft Pick, 2004]
BENCH: Alston, Redick, Pietrus, Richardson, Battie, Gortat, Johnson & Foyle
COACH: Stan Van Gundy
2009 Draft Picks: N/A

3. Boston [62-20, 2nd]
STARTERS: Rondo, Allen-R, Pierce, Garnett & Perkins
BENCH: Marbury, Pruitt, House, Allen-T, Walker, Giddens, Scalabrine, Davis, Powe & Moore
COACH: Doc Rivers
2009 Draft Picks: #58

4. Atlanta [47-35, 4th]
STARTERS: Bibby, Johnson, Williams, Smith & Horford
BENCH: Claxton, Law, Murray, Gardner, Evans, West, Hunter, Pachulia, Jones & Morris
COACH: Mike Woodson
2009 Draft Picks: #19 & #49

5. Philadelphia [6th, 41-41]
STARTERS: Miller, Iguodala, Young, Brand [No. 1 Draft Pick, 1999] & Dalembert
BENCH: Williams, Ivey, Green, Rush, Evans, Smith, Marshall, Ratliff & Speights
COACH: ?
2009 Draft Picks: #17

6. Miami [43-39, 5th]
STARTERS: Chalmers, Wade, Moon, Haslem, O’Neal
BENCH: Quinn, Cook, Head, Jones, Diawara, Wright, Beasley, Anthony, Magloire & Blount
COACH: Spoelstra
2009 Draft Picks: #43 & #60

7. Chicago [41-41, 7th]
STARTERS: Rose [No. 1 Draft Pick, 2008], Gordon, Salmons, Thomas-Ty & Noah
BENCH: Hunter, Nelson, Roberson, Hinrich, Deng, Johnson, Thomas-Ti, Miller, Gray & James 
COACH: Vinnie Del Negro
2009 Draft Picks: #16 & #26

8. Detroit [39-43, 8th]
STARTERS: Stuckey, Hamilton, Prince, McDyess & Wallace
BENCH: Bynum, Iverson, Afflalo, Herrmann, Sharpe, Johnson, Maxiell & Brown
COACH: Michael Curry
2009 Draft Picks: #15, #35/36, #39 & #44

———-

9. Indiana [36-46, 9th]
STARTERS: Jack, Granger, Dunleavy, Murphy & Hibbert
BENCH: Ford, Tinsley, Diener, Daniels, Rush, Graham, Baston, McRoberts, Foster & Nesterovic
COACH: Jim O’Brien
2009 Draft Picks: #13 & #52 

10. Charlotte [35-47, 10th]
STARTERS: Felton, Bell, Wallace, Diaw & Okafor
BENCH: Augustin, Singletary, Carter, Jefferson, Radmanovic, Howard, Muhammed, Ajinca & Diop
COACH: Larry Brown
2009 Draft Picks: #12 & #40/41

11. Milwaukee [34-48, 12th]
STARTERS: Sessions, Redd, Jefferson, Luc Richard Mbah Amoute & Bogut [No. 1 Draft Pick, 2005]
BENCH: Ridnour, Bell, Jones, Stoudamire, Bogans, Alexander, Allen, Villanueva, Gadzuric & Elson
COACH: Scott Skiles
2009 Draft Picks: #10 & #40/41

12. New Jersey [34-48, 11th]
STARTERS: Harris, Carter, Simmons, Anderson & Lopez
BENCH: Dooling, Ager, Douglas-Roberts, Hayes, Hassell, Najera, Jianlian, Williams & Boone
COACH: Lawrence Frank
2009 Draft Picks: #11

13. New York [32-50, 14th]
STARTERS: Duhon, Richardson, Chandler, Harrington & Lee
BENCH: Robinson, Mobley, Crawford, Hunter, Hughes, Gallinari, Jeffries, Wilcox, Mouhamed & Curry
COACH: Mike D’Antoni
2009 Draft Picks: #8

14. Washington [19-63, 15th]
STARTERS: Arenas, Young, Butler, Jamison & Haywood
BENCH: Crittenton, James, Dixon, Stevenson, McGuire, Blatche, Pecherov, Songaila, McGee & Thomas
COACH: Flip Saunders
2009 Draft Picks: #5, #32/33

==========

Toronto Raptors [33-49, 13th]
STARTERS: Calderon, Parker, Marion, Bosh & Bargnani [No. 1 Draft Pick, 2006]
BENCH: Ukic, Douby, Banks, Kapono, Graham, Mensah-Bonsu, Humphries, Voskuhl, O’Bryant
COACH: Jay Triano
2009 Draft Picks: #9 [plus $3.0 M to buy a draft pick]

While each organization has its own strengths and waknesses, those who think that the Raptors have improved in the seasons since Feb 2006:

2005-2006, 27-55/.329
2006-2007, 47-35/.573
2007-2008, 41-41/.500; and,
2008-2009, 33-49/.402,

… relative to the other top teams in the conference, are wearing rose-coloured glasses.

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13 Responses to “Raptors might be Lottery bound, once again, after the 2009-2010 season”

  1. Dave Says:

    I’d place 10 teams clearly ahead of Toronto … with the Raps in either 11th or 12th spot.

    I’d have NY, NJ and Indy below them. I’d probably place Indiana ahead of Toronto if Dunleavy was going to be healthy.

  2. Morning Coffee – May 21 - Raptors Republic Says:

    [...] Khandor’s Sports Blog Now that the order for the 2009 NBA Draft Lottery has been determined, and no teams from the Eastern Conference dramatically improved their selection slot, it becomes a lot more interesting to project which teams might become legitimate contenders for the 8 playoff positions next year. [...]

  3. FAQ Says:

    Ratpors are in a rebuilding mode no matter what people fantacize about Bosh staying or leaving. Hopefully they can peak in 3 to 4 seasons hence, because there is just too much talent in all the other teams. Another rookie player from college will not be the magic bullet that transforms the Ratpors into a playoff contender, nor will any projected trade unless BC can hornswoggle some other team with Bosh … plain and simple.

  4. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    re: Indiana

    From what I’ve heard, thus far, Dunleavy is expected to be back for the 2nd half of next season.

    re: NY & NJ

    Depending on what players they add/subtract this off-season, I can see either one finishing ahead or behind Toronto.

  5. khandor Says:

    FAQ,

    Whether it is properly classified as, either:

    A. “re-building” mode, or

    B. “building” mode

    is irrelevant to me.

    What is relevant, however, is whether or not several of the major pieces are in place for a continued climb up the ladder in the EC, when you look at the current collection of assets which the team has, in comparison with the other squads in the upper part of the conference.

    The part in bold is what WAY TOO MANY Raptors fans/observers simply choose to ignore in their analysis of the team.

    e.g. Raptors fan: If the team makes this specific move [pick one, as it really doesn't matter very much] … it will become a top team in the EC,

    but without providing any comprehensive consideration of:

    i. What simultaneous moves might the other legit contenders be making to improve, as well;

    ii. Where the team will actually stand once all the moves are complete, in comparison with the other 14 teams in the conference.

    Pro Sports do not work that way.

    ===============================

    IMO,

    “Hornswoggling” an unsuspecting competitor might actually be easier to accomplish if the bait being dangled by the Raptors is in fact Andrea Bargnani rather than Chris Bosh.

    Trading Bosh would be another futile attempt to go for a “home run”.

    Trading Bargnani, on the other hand, would realize “less back” in return … but, with a brighter future, overall, since that “less back” would be put beside Bosh, Calderon an what should be obtainable in a Sign & Trade for Shawn Marion, plus the No. 9 Selection in this coming Draft.

    “Swinging for the fences” with Bosh … is a recipe for long term disaster, IMO, at least, as far as becoming a legitimate contender for a NBA Title sometime in the next 10 years.

    [i.e. getting "more back" from a Bosh trade is really another step backwards, since that "more back" will then need to be put beside Bargnani, Calderon and Marion, himself ... which is akin to achieving short-term gain at the expense of long term pain]

  6. MC B-Rad Says:

    Why no longer on the republic website…i miss the khandorisms

  7. khandor Says:

    ————————————————
    Why no longer on the republic website…i miss the khandorisms – by MC B-Rad
    ————————————————

    Au contraire … I’m still “on” the RR web site.

    Maybe you just haven’t taken the time to read back a ways recently. :-)

    Unless I’m mistaken, yours is a moniker that first appeared there last month in a way that I found to be most interesting and, thus, took the time to include it on a list of names which I’ve put together of specific individuals who seem to take a “special interest” in what I have to say about things related to the Raptors on that web site and others around the blogosphere.

    Welcome to my domain. ;)

  8. Dave Says:

    Khandor, just on the three teams

    The Dunleavy situation — Yes, I know Dunleavy is due back around the start of 2010, but I have no faith in his ability to play at a high level next season after his return. I think the loss of a season and a half, no training camp, being out of shape, and his history of under-performing relative to his talent … I just have no faith in him performing at a high level next season after he returns from injury.

    I think the Knicks are going to be hard pressed to improve on next season. I rate David Lee and Nate Robinson as their two best players from last season, and they’re very likely to lose at least one of them if not both. A large loss like that will be difficult to overcome. Gallinari will hopefully add to the team, but I struggle to see them doing any better than last season. They are also very unlikely to make any significant free agent signings, and have limited trade assets.

    I’d rate the Nets as having the best chance at surpassing the Raptors … but their continued shopping of Vince Carter leaves them behind Toronto (in my rankings) until they show more positive steps.

  9. Dave Says:

    Oops — final line — that’s why I’d rank those three teams behind Toronto for the time being.

  10. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    * Your concern re: Dunleavy is well-founded.

    * You know already that I do not like small Point Guards; hence, losing Robinson is not a major blow, in my eyes. Gallinari’s impact, on the other hand, holds th possibility of being very important to NY next season, if he can return fully recovered from his back injury. If not, I agree with your concern re: the Knicks.

    * The Nets should show some improvement again next season after dropping off significantly two years ago. If they can find a place for CDR to play on a regular basis and can unearth another solid player in the upcoming draft … they should be able to remain in the hunt for the 8th playoff spot for a long time next season. Devin Harris and Brook Lopez are going to be very good NBA players for the next 10 years and Lawrence Frank is a solid head coach.

    ———-

    In the end, however, it would not be a stretch to find the Raptors in the mix with these 3 teams, plus a swack of others, as well, next season in a race for the 8th playoff spot in the EC.

  11. Mauro Says:

    wake up call: Season don’t start tomorrow.
    Moreover Draft will happen, FA will not 100 % resigned , CAP will go down and cheaper team will have have to “clean” the house so…
    Nice job,but useless.
    ciao

  12. khandor Says:

    Mauro, Mauro, Mauro …

    * The Draft will happen for each of the 30 teams, not just the Raptors.

    * Certain FA will not be re-signed for each of the 30 teams, including the Raptors.

    * The CAP will go down and the “cheaper” teams will cut ties with certain players … who will then become available for each of the “non-cheap” teams in the NBA. Do you think the Raptors fall into the [i] “cheap” or the [ii] “non-cheap” category?

    Unfortunately, the comment which you’ve left here serves as a prime example of exactly what’s wrong with a large number of Raptors fans who are active on-line today and do not grasp how the NBA game works just yet. It’s a closed environment and everything your franchise does needs to be evaluated against not just itself but also the other 29 teams in that environment.

    In the 3.5 seasons since Bryan Colangelo first assumed full control of the Raptors [i.e. Feb/2006] their team has failed to substantially improve its position relative to its competitors.

    2005-2006
    27-55/.329 [7-21/.250]
    8th worst record in NBA
    Failed to make the Playoffs
    NBA Draft – No. 1 [i.e. Ping Pong ball luck] & No. 35 [overall] Picks

    2006-2007
    47-35/.573
    22nd worst record in NBA
    1st Round Playoff loss
    NBA Draft – traded for rights to No. 58 [overall] Pick

    2007-2008
    41-41/.500
    15th worst record in NBA
    1st Round Playoff loss
    NBA Draft – traded No. 17 [overall] Pick + TJ Ford + Rasho Nesterovic + Maceo Baston in exchange for Jermaine O’Neal + No. 41 [overall] Pick

    2008-2009
    33-49/.402
    9th worst record in NBA
    Failed to make the Playoffs
    NBA Draft – No. 9 [overall] Pick

    The persons responsible for that record of achievement are:

    1. Richard Peddie & Larry Tanenbaum [not the OTPF]; and,
    2. Bryan Colangelo.

    Since MLSE hired Bryan Colangelo to run their basketball team, the Raptors have a W-L record of 128-139/.479 with ZERO ["0"] Playoff Series victories.

    Dems the cold, hard facts.

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