Knowing who the Raptors’ FOUNDATION player is

At what point are the Toronto Raptors going to wake up, smell the coffee and return CHRIS BOSH, their best player [by far], to his “natural” position for their team?

What is Chris Bosh’s “natural” position? 

Chris Bosh is a stalwart Center … and, one of the very best in the NBA, today.

Two seasons ago, the Raptors won 47 games [.573], finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference, and captured their only Atlantic Division crown.

For that team, Chris Bosh [in his 4th season] played the Center position, almost exclusively … in terms of Offense, Defense and Rebounding responsibilities … alongside an under-sized but physically strong, and smart, and highly skilful veteran player like Jorge Garbajosa [PF], as his principal side-kick, in conjunction with a solid Point Guard tandem of TJ Ford [who SHOULD have properly been the Back-up] and Jose Calderon [who SHOULD have properly been the Starter].

Unfortunately for the Raptors, and their loyal fanbase, beginning with the 2007-2008 season, the team then made the decision to shift Chris Bosh from the Center position to the Power Forward spot … primarily, to better accommodate Andrea Bargnani, 7-0, 250 [2006, No. 1, overall, Draft Pick].

What’s followed, since then, have been two seasons of precipitous descent:

2007-2008
41-41/.500, 6th place in the Eastern Conference

2008-2009
33-49/.402, Missed the Playoffs in the Eastern Conference

which have seen the Raptors give increased playing time to Andrea Bargnani, first, at the Power Forward position [i.e. 2007-2008] and then, principally, at the Center position [i.e. 2008-2009], while decreasing Chris Bosh’s actual playing time at that specific spot, in the process.

Yr

W-L

Win%

Conf.

Result

ABMP
ABGP

CBMP
CBGP

Main 5-Man Unit

03/04

33-49
.402

No Playoffs

 

2510

75

Williams

Carter

Rose

Marshall

Bosh

04/05

33-49

.402

No Playoffs

 

3017

81

Alston

Peterson

Rose

Marshall

Bosh

05/06

27-55

.329

No Playoffs

 

2751

70

James

Peterson

Villanueva

Bonner

Bosh

06/07

47-35

.573

3rd

1629

65

2658

69

Ford

Parker

Peterson

Garbajosa

Bosh

07/08

41-41

.500

6th

1861

78

2425

67

Ford

Parker

Moon

Bargnani

Bosh

08/09

33-49

.402

No Playoffs

2453

78

2928

77

Calderon

Parker

Marion

Bosh

Bargnani


Legend:
W-L – Won-Lost Record; Win % – Winning Percentage; Conf. Result – Final Place in the Eastern Conference Standings; AB – MP – Andrea Bargnani’s Minutes Played; AB – GP – Andrea Bargnani’s Games Played; CB – MP – Chris Bosh’s Minutes Played; CB – GP – Chris Bosh’s Games Played.

What do the Raptors need most to re-ignite the engine at the heart of their seemingly sinking ship?

Improve the Leadership on their team?
Improve their Defense & Rebounding?
Increase their Toughness Quotient?
Improve their Quality Depth?

Use Chris Bosh as THE Center for their team …

and, then, build the rest of their squad, accordingly, upon:

I. THAT foundation;

in conjunction with,

II. A solid PG tandem [i.e. Calderon + a solid, pass-first, defensive oriented, veteran Back-up];

and,

III. An under-sized, physically strong, and smart, and highly skilful veteran Power Forward [i.e. similar to Jorge Garbajosa];

at which point they will then be ready to add two dynamic Wing Players, who can:

IV. ONE – Knock down open shots & score the ball by creating his own individual offense off the dribble;

and,

V. TWO – Check the opponent’s best Wing Player, on a game-to-game basis.

———-

How can the Raptors use their available resources to accomplish this feat?

Step 1. Trade out of the #9 spot in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Acquiring a Lower 1st Round Draft Pick, plus either a 2nd Round Selection, or an additional highly serviceable player can add at least TWO solid pieces to the current roster … which is sorely lacking Quality Depth.  

Step 2. Trade Andrea Bargnani.

When a team already has a player like Chris Bosh [C] and it drafts a player like Andrea Bargnani [C], with the No. 1 [overall] Selection … it SHOULD NOT be with the intent of holding onto this 2nd center for an extended period of time BUT with the intent of TRADING that player in exchange for other assets which are a better fit to go with the Franchise Player already in the fold. The reason the Raptors have plummeted in the EC standings is NOT because of Chris Bosh; it’s because the team has refused to part with Andrea Bargnani, at least, up to this point.

Step 3. Trade Jason Kapono.

When a team signs a high-priced Unrestricted Free Agent and that player then fails to deliver the goods … the team needs to cut its losses, ASAP, not hold onto this player for an extended period of time. Albatrosses will not help you to win a championship in this league.

Step 4. Sign & Trade Shawn Marion.

When a middle-of-the-pack team acquires a high-priced veteran player in a trade-deadline deal and this player wants to sign a big-money contract extension, but is no longer perceived to be a cost-effective player, at this stage of his career, at his Expected Salary Level, then he needs to be flipped in exchange for younger more cost-effective assets and NOT re-signed. 

Executing a series of co-ordinated personnel moves like this can add a number of high calibre players to the Raptors’ roster and extricate the team from the “treadmill” situation it finds itself in today.

Yes, it’s far from being Rocket Science but … in order to succeed in this League, in a MAJOR Way … the people responsible for the operation of a club actually DO NEED TO KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING, when it comes to assembling a championship calibre squad with the resources at-hand.

If they fail to assess the specific Strengths & Weaknesses of their own players accurately, they will simply be spinning their wheels, as an organization, in terms of ever being able TO WIN the NBA Championship.  

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11 Responses to “Knowing who the Raptors’ FOUNDATION player is”

  1. Twitted by raptorsrepublic Says:

    [...] This post was Twitted by raptorsrepublic – Real-url.org [...]

  2. The AltRaps Blog » Blog Archive » Toronto Raptors Linkage for June 4th from 10:37 to 13:26 Says:

    [...] khandor’s sports blog » Knowing who the Raptors’ FOUNDATION player is – What do the Raptors need most to re-ignite the engine at the heart of their seemingly sinking ship? [...]

  3. Scott G Says:

    Please tell me you sent this to BC.

    One question — in your view, what could be expected in return for Kapono? You know I’ve hated him for quite some time, but I’m sure that scouts across the league have come to the same conclusion… what could we get for him, other than another albatross?

    Re trading Bargs, I completely agree… the second half of the past season may have been enough to show the talent that he does indeed have (just not a talent that matches well with bosh), and should be able to net a substantial asset (or more) in return. But will BC do this? Doubtful…

  4. FLUXLAND Says:

    Not only do the people responsible need to know what they are doing, they also need to be willing to do it. Sadly, neither seems to be the case.

  5. khandor Says:

    Scott G.,

    re: a trade for Kapono

    How do you think Larry Bird would feel about a deal like THIS?

  6. Scott G Says:

    Honestly, I think Larry would laugh. I love it for the Raps, though, as Foster is just the kind of player we need (albeit a little less skilled than I’d ideally like) as either a backup 5 or a starting 4. But who knows, maybe Legend has a soft spot for shooters…

    We have to hope that BC is shopping the heck out of JK this summer, and listening to ALL offers.

  7. spirow Says:

    Hey, I don’t think you trade Bargs now, that’ll be committing suacide. . . The european players don’t have a problem with canadian teams! because they don’t care about the lack of exposure. . . I think this draft will solve a lot of problems and we’ll get a solid rookie who can help our concerns . . . Just look at orlando, their rookie played a crucial role in their system and was an x factor in the series

  8. khandor Says:

    spirow,

    Welcome aboard!

    Trading a player like Bargnani would be far from committing suicide for the Raptors.

    Keeping Bargnani, however, with his one-dimensional game and his individiaul deficiencies … alongside other key players like Bosh & Calderon … will be detrimental to the Raptors’ overall cause, if their goal is actually to try and win a championship down-the-road, which I am not convinced yet is, in fact, one of their long term objectives.

    It doesn’t matter where your players come from.
    It does matter how good they are … and how well they fit together.

    Bargnani has been a major problem for the Raptors for the last 2 seasons, not Chris Bosh … and, it’s Bargnani who needs to be traded before his mega-salary years kick in, as a former No. 1 [Overall] Draft Pick, who IS NOT WORTH THE PRICE-TAG associated with that specific slot in this league.

    Deal him to another team and let them wait for him to blossom into a “multi-dimensional” star plar who competes effectively in all 3 phases of the game.

    ———–

    Courtney Lee is an effective piece to the puzzle in Orlando.

    The situation the Raptors find themselves in today is NOT similar to the Magic’s.

  9. khandor Says:

    Scott G.,

    I agree with your sentiments.

    IMO, a Top Notch NBA GM would have already been able to “cut bait” with a disappointing UFA signee like J-Killa.

    Each day that goes by seems to confirm the impressions I’ve had about Bryan Colangelo’s ability as a GM in this league since his days with the Phoenix Suns.

    Winning the championship is NOT his priority.

  10. khandor Says:

    Flux,

    Have you been following the “Game by game prognostications for the NBA Playoffs”?

    Anyone who chose to put these calls to use would be well ahead financially, at this point. :-)

    Hopefully they’ve been able to help your friend.

  11. Linkage for Jun 4 7am to Jun 5 3pm - Raptors Republic Says:

    [...] khandor’s sports blog » Knowing who the Raptors’ FOUNDATION player is What do the Raptors need most to re-ignite the engine at the heart of their seemingly sinking ship? [...]

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