Lee or Varejao good fits with Raptors’ Bosh

Earlier this spring, yours truly was asked to provide an example of the type of player who SHOULD be obtained by the Raptors in a trade which involved Andrea Bargnani, as a possible #4/PF to play beside Chris Bosh [as the Dino's main-frame Center]. The two names that came to mind straight away were Anderson Varejao [unrestricted] and David Lee [restricted], both of whom are designated as Free Agents at the moment.

Two years ago, as a restricted free agent, the Cavaliers took a long time bringing Varejao into the fold, only doing so after a protracted hold-out. This past season he played as a Starting #4/PF for Cleveland, riding shot-gun for LeBron James, to the tune of 66 W’s in the regular season campaign. As a 27 year old player, going into his 6th season in the NBA, Varejao [6-10, 260] is the sort of effective, role-playing, garbage man who could excel beside Bosh, in a number of different ways [e.g. Offensively, Defensively and in terms of Rebounding].

Right now … in the aftermath of trading for the Big Diesel … the Cavs are in the market for a wing player with solid defensive skills, big game experience and a lively pair of legs with the ability to re-energize their offense without needing the ball in his his hands a great deal of the time.

Do the Raptors have a player on their roster, at the moment, who fits the bill, in this regard … that could possibly be used in a sign and trade to secure the services of Mr. Varejao in return?

By chance … Yes, they do.

His name happens to be Shawn Dwayne Marion … and he’s a perfect fit for Cleveland to complete their roster, hunting for their 1st NBA Title next spring. He is an under-sized, highly energetic #4/PF, who would thrive playing beside [and between] King James and Shaq Daddy


A second good option for the Raptors is David Lee.

Raps setting their sights on Knicks’ big man Lee
The Raptors are widening their NBA free-agent search that now includes one of the more intriguing players on the market.

Capping a whirlwind 24 hours to open the negotiating period, league sources say Toronto is trying to obtain David Lee, an energetic rebounder who is a New York Knicks restricted free agent.

The sources couldn’t say whether the move on Lee would be a straight offer or whether it would be a sign-and-trade transaction with any of Toronto’s current free agents …

Lee, 26, had a breakout year with the Knicks last season, averaging 16 points and 11.7 rebounds a game. He had a salary of just about $1.8 million (all figures U.S.) and is seen as one of the top young free agents out there; he’s a restricted free agent so if Toronto were to simply make an offer and not try to engineer some sign-and-trade transactions, the Knicks could match it.


Instead of chasing after a good but older player with their available money this summer … e.g. Hedo Turkoglu [age 30] … the Raptors would be much further ahead if they pursued either Anderson Varejao or David Lee AND then used him as their Starting Power Forward beside Chris Bosh [C] this season.

If the Raptors would have just drafted Derrick Brown last Thursday night …

1 Jose Calderon
2 Anthony Parker
3 DeMar DeRozan
4 Carlos Delfino
5 Derrick Brown
6 Reggie Evans
7 Anderson Varejao or David Lee
8 Chris Bosh [Center]
9 Andrea Bargnani

that’s the sort of 9-Man CORE GROUP which could:

* Win their fair share of regular season games this coming season
* Convince CB4 to re-sign with the Raptors next summer 
* Be the foundation of a solid contending team in the EC for the next decade.

By initiating legitimate discussions with Danny Ferry and Donnie Walsh there are all sorts of possibilities which exist for Bryan Colangelo to improve the Raptors this off season … including possible trades involving other talented young players – e.g. Andrea Bargnani, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, JJ Hickson and Danny Green – on each of their respective rosters.

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8 Responses to “Lee or Varejao good fits with Raptors’ Bosh”

  1. Gally Carps Says:

    I cannot undestand why you kep insisting that Chris Bosh to play the middle, he will be no match to Magic’s Dwight Howard, Cav’s Shaq O’Neil, Celtic’s Kevin Garnett and will have a hard time containing Bull’s Noah and Buck’s Bogut. I will say Bosh is just a good perimeter jumpshooter with little post up move.

  2. khandor Says:


    The answer to that question is …

    because Center is the position which Chris Bosh plays best, at this level of competition.

    Contrary to the opinion which you hold … Bosh is more than capable of holding his own, physically, versus Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Joakim Noah and Andrew Bogut.

    He will struggle with Shaq … because there is no human being on the entire planet with the capacity to contain a force like Shaq in a 1-v-1 battle in the Low Post. The good thing for Bosh, however, is that Shaq has no hope of containing CB4 on the other end of the floor, as long as the Big Diesel has no other options but to check Bosh, given who Chris’ 4 teammates are.

    If Bosh is playing beside: Marion, Parker, Delfino/DeRozan and Calderon the only player who he can even try to check is CB4 … in a battle which he will lose, most assuredly, given Chris’ level of quickness and agility.

    With help from his teammates Chris can check Shaq effectively.

    Even with help from his teammates Shaq has no hope of ever being able to effectively check Chris.

    Period. End of story.

    With all due respect …

    IMO, those who think that Bosh is a “good perimeter jumpshooter” do not see the NBA game with a high degree of accuracy.

    Chris is a mediocre perimeter jumpshooter … but a terrific player off the bounce for a Big with a huge quickness and agility advantage vs the vast majority of centers in the NBA, if he is afforded the opportunity to Post Up his check, after receiving a cross or diagonal screen from a little to get into the Low Block position, or when he sets up shop in the Mid-High Post location, or when he is used in a P & R/P scenario with Jose Calderon.

    Likewise … when he gets hte opportunity to defend and rebound at the Center position with his quickness advantage versus opponent Bigs … he is simply one of the very best players in the League, with terrific leadership qualities.


    In fact … a key to Bosh’s best performances as a pro player to this point in his career has been whether he gets the chance to play as a Center or not.

    i.e. If the Great Bill Russell had been made to play the Power Forward position for the bulk of his career … he would not have developed into what he eventually become, i.e. The Greatest Basketball Player of All-Time. When you have a “limited” player like Mr. Russell or Mr. Bosh, it is absolutely imperative that he has the opportunity to perform at the position which is best suited for his skill set. If not … it can be a giant waste of time.

  3. Dave Says:

    I’d like the Raptors to have an interior defensive presence alongside Chris Bosh, so I’d prefer Varejao over Lee.

  4. Donald Says:

    This article is a good try, but pretty bad assessment.
    Raptors do not need Varejao … he’s only good in a system where he’ is the garbage man works off the occasional pick and role and is an offensive liability.. sure he can get put backs and the occasional offensive rebound but he doesn’t have that toughness especially with a team that needs toughness… Truth be said, he is a role player at best and shouldn’t start… Marion for Varejao? are you kidding?

    Lee … undersized .. hustle player … better than varejao …. but not a cornerstone off a basketball team he might grow into a good enough 2 or 3rd option … but for now he’s just a good player on a bad team.. thats what he’s going to be on the raptors … he aint going to put them over the top…
    decent upside, but raps need toughness and to start over again, i rather see the raps blow it up … start new… trade bosh while we can

    What I do agree with you is turk..we are rebuilding we dont need a 30+ overrated forward… pecae

  5. khandor Says:


    1. Welcome aboard!

    2. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion about these players.

    3. Toughness on its own is a waste of time in basketball. Varejao is plenty tough to go with a decent level of skill for a highly mobile rebounding/defending big at the #4/PF spot beside a finesse player like Chris Bosh.

    4. There have been plenty of very effective role-playing PF’s start for high calibre teams in the NBA over the years. Your perception of who and what qualifies as a legit “starter” in this league does not conform with the composition of many of the teams on this list.

    5. You are describing what the stats say David Lee has been to this point in his NBA career. What I’ve done, by contrast, is said that David would be a good fit beside a player like Chris Bosh if he was given the opportunity to play that role heading into the future.

    Hopefully you can see the difference between looking backwards to a player’s past performance vs projecting forward to what that player’s performance is likely to be NEXT season and beyond.

    6. You’re correct … David Lee. by himself won’t put the Raptors “over the top”. I never suggested that it would or could.

    What I’ve suggested is that acquiring David Lee would move the Raptors ahead of where they are at present with Andrea Bargnani as the prime running mate beside Chris Bosh.

    7. I would rather the Raptors just keep building their team … PROPERLY for a change, adding valuable pieces at every new step along the way.

    There is no need to “blow it up” if you really understand what the resources this team has at its disposal at present.

    Swinging for the fences, at the WRONG times, is precisely what’s gotten this franchise into this current mess, in the first place.

    8. “Blowing it up” … is the opposite side of the same as “swining for the fences” by making a silly trade like the one last summer for Jermaine O’Neal.

    Peace to you, as well. :-)

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  7. pligg.com Says:

    Lee or Varejao good fits with Raptors’ Bosh…

    Earlier this spring, yours truly was asked to provide an example of the type of player who SHOULD be obtained by the Raptors in a trade which involved Andrea Bargnani, as a possible #4/PF to play beside Chris Bosh [as the Dino's main-frame Center]. Th…

  8. Linkage for Jul 2 10am to Jul 3 10pm - Raptors Republic Says:

    [...] khandor’s sports blog » Lee or Varejao good fits with Raptors’ Bosh [...]

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