When three birds of a different feather flock together, it’s a poor omen for the Raptors

An accurate understanding of what exactly is going on these days in Raptorville is not arrived at easily for many of the team’s rabid fans who are active participants in the on-line hoops community. Amidst the general euphoria that has taken hold in the aftermath of last week’s seemingly stunning 4-team trade extravaganza with Dallas, Orlando and Memphis … which netted the Raptors:

* Hedo Turkoglu [F, Orlando, UFA]
* Antoine Wright [G-F, Dallas, expiring contract this coming season]
* Devean George [G-F, Dallas, expiring contract this coming season], and
* Preserved their right to use the Mid Level Exception [MLE], the Low Level Exception [LLE], and exercise their [Larry] Bird Rights towards resigning their own Unrestricted Free Agents [UFA]

at the expense of:

* Shawn Marion [Sign & Trade with Orlando, UFA]
* Kris Humphries [trade with Dallas; injured much of last season]
* Nathan Jawai [trade with Dallas; disabled much of last season]
* 2nd Round Draft Pick/2016 [trade with Dallas]
* Cash Considerations [trade with Dallas] 

The stark reality of this team’s current situation is perhaps best reflected in the bright lights of the following 5 observations:

PART ONE
The post-trade outlook for the Raptors which was first put together by “Dave” [nbaroundtable, Thu July 9], extolling the possible virtues:

Where do the Raptors go from here?

PART TWO
The specific comment which “Dave” then left in a different thread on his blog, later that same afternoon, indicating his actual thoughts on their chances to succeed with their current roster configuration:

———-

Four team trade: Shawn Marion to Dallas
2011/12

This is the Raptors fail safe option. When they fail, and they will fail, they need to have this option open to them and then use this option.

This means no extra contracts that last beyond two years. I will dislike pretty much any contract that goes beyond two seasons. As long as the contract is than two seasons, spending that money doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

Dead End

The Raptors are going nowhere, and they need a miracle to happen for this plan to have any chance of working out. The Raptors are going to run into [sic] dead end.

Now, it’s time just to sit back and let things play out. Things will not improve until Colangelo figures out Bargnani isn’t a cornerstone of this franchise … until that happens, there’s nothing else that can be done to put the Raptors on the right road.

The Raptors can’t get out of the corner that they’ve boxed themselves into, until Bargnani is moved on. Any aspirations for a title are on hold until this happens.

———-  

PART THREE
The specific comment which was made on this blog [July 11, 11:35 AM], by yours truly, that addressed the supposed “Qualitative Improvement” of the Raptors current roster pieces in comparison with last season’s end-of-year squad, pertaining to the question of:

———-

Which team made out best from 4-team trade?
IMO, the Raptors have made upgrades in certain areas thus far but it would be a mistake in judgment to assess this improvement as being “a lot better“, just yet:

No BEFORE ADV AFTER

1 Calderon = Calderon
2 Parker <– Wright … AP is significantly better
3 Marion = Turkoglu … Turkoglu is NOT significantly better
4 Bosh = Bosh
5 Bargnani = Bargnani
—————————-
6 Ukic = Ukic
7 Kapono –> DeRozan * … cyclical due to draft
8 Graham = George … Devean is NOT significantly better
9 Humphries = Evans … Reggie is NOT significantly better
10 O’Bryant –> Nesterovic … Rasho is much better!
—————————-
11 Douby = Delfino … is different but NOT much better
12 Mensah-Bonsu = Mensah-Bonsu
—————————-
13 Banks = Banks
14 Jawai ? Barnes … jury still out on Nathan
15 Voskuhl = O’Bryant

Those who are looking at these changes in an excessively positive light are the ones looking through rose-coloured spectacles.

———-

PART FOUR
The Shifting Player Personnel Chart that was constructed by yours truly yesterday:

 

TORONTO RAPTORS ROSTERS

2007-2008 vs 2008-2009 vs 2009-2010

 

 

No

 

2007-2008

END

2008-2009

 

2009-2010

START

Mitchell

Triano

1

Triano

2

1

2

3

4

5

Ford

Parker

Delfino

Moon

Bosh

Calderon

Parker

Moon

Bosh

O’Neal T

Calderon

Parker

Moon

Bosh

O’Neal

Calderon

Parker U

Marion T, U

Bosh

Bargnani

Calderon

Wright T, E

Turkoglu T

Bosh

Bargnani

6

7

8

9

10

Calderon

Kapono

Graham

Humphries

Bargnani

Solomon U

Kapono

Graham

Humphries
Bargnani

Solomon

Kapono

Graham

Humphries
Bargnani

Ukic

Kapono

Graham U

Humphries X

O’Bryant T

Jack R *

DeRozan Y1

George T, E

Evans T

Nesterovic U *

11

12

Dixon

Nesterovic

Ukic Y1

Adams U

Ukic

Adams

Douby T, U

Voskuhl U

Delfino R *
O’Bryant

13

14

15

Martin

Brezec

Baston

Jawai Y1

Jawai

Banks T

M-Bonsu U

Jawai

Banks

M-Bonsu R *
Ukic

16

Garbajosa @

 

 

Delfino R @

Douby

W/L

41-41/.500

8-9/.471

13-25/.342

12-15/.444

?/?

Legend:

X – Injured; Y1 – Rookie; R – Restricted Free Agent; U – Unrestricted Free Agent; @ – Not on active roster; W/L – Won-Lost record; Mitchell – Up to Dec 3, 2008; Triano1 – Before Shawn Marion trade; Triano2 – After Shawn Marion trade; T – Acquired via trade; E – Expiring contract this coming season; * – Expected to sign soon as Free Agent

 

which shows the drastic player changes that have happened with the Raptors for each of the past two seasons. 

PART FIVE
The glaring RED ALERT that was issued on Sunday by David Berri [i.e. noted economist, NBA "sage & soothsayer", author of The Wages of Wins Journal]:

Dashing Hope in Toronto
Not a Pretty Picture in Toronto

When we put the whole picture together, it appears the Raptors will employ the following starting line-up in 2009-10: Calderon (PG), Wright and/or DeRozan (SG), Turkoglu (SF), Bosh (PF), Bargnani [C].  Last season the NBA veterans in this line-up combined to produce fewer than 30 wins. So unless these players improve dramatically, or the team finds very productive players off the bench, it’s hard to see how this team improves dramatically.  And that’s true even if Delfino returns to Toronto (although if Evans returns to what we saw in the past there might be some hope this team can get past 40 wins).

All of this means that

  1. Turkoglu will be seeing much more money in 2009-10, but probably far fewer wins.
  2. Bargnani will also see much more money, but it seems unlikely he is ever going to produce many wins.
  3. Bosh will see even more money after this next season, but if the Raptors don’t approach 45 or 50 wins (which seems likely) then it seems unlikely that the money Bosh is paid in the future is going to be paid by the Raptors.
  4. So it looks likely the Raptors record performance in 2007-08 will stand for awhile.  In other words, if Bosh departs this team in 2010, then rebuilding will probably continue beyond 2009-10.
  5. And this means — assuming the Raptors don’t make any major change to this team — the fans of the Raptors will keep paying money to see a team that’s not contending for a title.

———-

Experience says that when disparate individuals like:

1. “Dave” [nbaroundtable] … who combines statistics with Basketball Acumen;

2. khandor [that's me :-) ] … who relies primarily on Basketball Acumen;

and,

3. David Berri … who relies heavily on a statistical approach to the analysis of on-court production for players in the NBA;

actually arrive at a similar conclusion … which is essentially opposed to the GENERAL CONSENSUS that exists in Raptorville today … it portends of difficult times ahead for this team in the coming season.

In the best interests of the franchise, let’s hope that all three of these “stray birds” are eventually proven to be wrong in their assessment of the team. 

 

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27 Responses to “When three birds of a different feather flock together, it’s a poor omen for the Raptors”

  1. Threeinthekey.com Says:

    Why you guys will be wrong:

    1. Your “qualitative” comparison of players is so arbitrary and doesn’t at all look at the QUALITATIVE factors involved with player production, fit, chemistry, or role.

    Reggie Evens is SIGNIFICANTLY better than Humpries in all ways: production, fit (tough rebounder), role (actually knows what it is).

    Turkoglu is SIGNIFICANTLY better than Marion. Marions fit on the defensive and rebounding end only masked the fact that he was a HORRIBLE fit offensively. All he offered was someone who the defense could leave wide open to double Bosh with. He couldn’t create his own shot, nor could he create for others. He just created congestion in the paint and if i had to watch him miss one more put back under the rim I think I’d lose my mind. Turkoglu, can create for himself, for others, ensure there is no stagnation on offense, and hit clutch shots down the stretch. On the defensive end, he isn’t a bad defender, and 5 or so rebounds when you’re playing with Howard last year isn’t bad either. Everyone and their mother should be insulted by the fact you think Marion is even remotely comparable to Hedo…

    Qualitatively, what were our weaknesses last year? Rebounding/toughness. Another creator/scorer on the wing. Back up point. Overall bench depth.

    I don’t know about you, but I think Colangelo has done a pretty damn good job of addressing all of those things.

    And finally, Mr. Quantitative. The great thing about numbers is that you can draw conclusions without ever ACTUALLY having seen the team you’re analyzing play… As someone who watched every single game last season (a feat given the blunder that was TSN2), I can attest to the fact that the majority of the Raptor’s woes had little to do with the starting line up. Most games played out the same, a very strong and competitive first quarter with starters. A dismal second with bench. A strong opening third with starters. A horrible end of third/opening of fourth with the bench. And a sad bunch of starters thrown in with 5 or 6 to go in the fourth trying to claw back.

    Looking at 5 players out of a possible 15 and making a conclusion about the team’s prospects is laughable. I would, however, very much welcome and find value in an actual quantitative analysis of the ENTIRE roster…

  2. MC B-Rad Says:

    I personally think trying to put yourself on the same level as those two people is laughable….

    your a joke and so is your blog…

    everyone that comes here (you know, the three of us) come for a chuckle and to see how incredibly ignorant and naive you are

  3. AI Says:

    Brutal, guys.

    Just because you lay claim to something doesn’t make it so. Bargnani is a bust. If you say so. Hump is the man. If you say so. Bosh is gone. If you say so. I’m just glad that you three aren’t the ones making the calls from on high. Brian Colangelo, two time exec of the year, is terrible. If you say so.

    Gutting everything but the core of this team was the best case scenario after the terrible 2008-09 campaign. It has continuity with the stars and fills in the glaring needs around them. The Raps now have four, possibly five (with Jack) capable scorers as starters, and some bench depth. Five! Bargs, Bosh, Turk, Jack, Calderon. They can produce 80 points a game, on a bad night, and we haven’t even talked about the bench.

    It’s okay to actually enjoy life and think of things in a positive light. You don’t need to sh!t on everything else to feel better about your sorry lives.

    Grow up. That was pathetic, and a waste of time.

    AI

  4. Ben Says:

    You seem intelligent Khandor, and you advised that as a Raps fan; there are not many more devout then you.

    My question then is; why so much animosity towards the Toronto Raptors and their fans?

    Please don’t say the animosity stems from your love for the team.

    If they do well next year, will you provide reasons why they won’t sustain the winning and describe how the team will resort back to dismal status the following year?

    I cannot understand your unbridled disdain for anything the raptors do.

    I understand skepticism but you are just too much.

    You use a lexicon that may make you feel superior and you may know more basketball acumen then the average fan, but truthfully; I would rather be fan that loves the team rather then a fan that loves to berate everything the team does.

    I look at every Raps site everyday and never post.

    This time I needed to give my opinion

    Cheers

  5. khandor Says:

    threeinthekey,

    1. The “quantatative analysis of an entire roster” is articulated clearly by a team’s W-L record.

    In lieu of that, David Berri’s “Wins Produced” is as valid a measure as you’re going to find on-line.

    2. Do you think that you’ve watched the Raptors play more than I have over the years? :-)

    3. Do you think that your eyes have been trained to see the details of the game in a way that’s superior to mine? :-)

    4. Evaulating 5 players only? Hmmm …

    Player ADV Player

    Calderon = Calderon [should be improved with better health]
    Parker < -- Wright [back-up player in this league]
    Marion = Turkoglu [17 & 6 ave last season; 12 & 4 in his career]
    Bosh = Bosh
    Bargnani = Bargnani
    ----------------------------------
    Ukic --> Jack [combo guard isn't what's needed for this team]
    Kapono –> DeRozan [19 yr old rookie, mid-range Lottery selection]
    Graham = George [can't play at a high level any more]
    Humphries = Evans [relegated to the bench last year for Philly]
    O’Bryant –> Nesterovic [relegated to the bench last year for Indy]
    ———————————-
    Banks = Banks [deep bench player]
    M-Bonsu = M-Bonsu [can't shoot a lick; couldn't stick with the Spurs]
    Douby = Delfino [an erratic player who was hot & cold 2 yrs ago]
    Jawai = O’Bryant [deep bench player]

    4. re: “Everyone and their mother should be insulted by the fact you think Marion is even remotely comparable to Hedo…”

    Over the course of his NBA career Shawn Marion has been a “better” player than Hedo Turkoglu.

    The Matrix is simply more productive on the court.
    The Turkish Michael Jordan is a better “clutch” performer.

    Last season … which was one of Hedo’s BEST, as an NBA player, he had an Efficiency Rating of +15.46 [NBA.com].

    Last … which was Shawn WORST, as an NBA player, he had an Efficiency Rating of +17.86 [NBA.com].

    You can continue to “think” that Hedo Turkoglu is a better player, overall, if you wish, I will not try to change your mind.

    5. re: generic trends according to per quarter performance & 2nd units

    Substitution patterns do not work like this in the NBA. Therefore, what you’ve identified here has very little relevance in this environment.

    i.e. 1st quarter, team started well. 2nd quarter, team stunk. 2nd half, repeat the cycle. Problem, therefore, must be the 2nd unit.

    * NBA teams function as a 12-15 man unit with multiple sub-groups.
    * Teams do not play in 5-Man units in the NBA.
    * If there’s a problem in the so-called 2nd unit, then, that means there is a problem in the 1st unit, as well, as at least 1 or 2 of those first 5 players are involved with the production of the 2nd unit, also.

    6. re: major weaknesses of last year’s squad

    One of the biggest weaknesses on the squad still remains and, in fact, has been rewarded with a hefty pay increase.

    7. Replacing Kris Humphries with Reggie Evans … which is essentially what’s now been achieved with the extensive roster changes made this summer … will not make the Raptors a tougher rebounding team.

    Nor will replacing Joey Graham with Devean George; and, replacing Anthony Parker with Antoine Wright.

    8. If he signs with the Raptors, adding Jarret Jack will be an upgrade over Roko Ukic. Unfortunately, at a cost of $5.0 M/yr, this is way too much money to pay for a serviceable back-up PG.

    You are drinking the kool-aid if you think that players in the mold of Delfino, Nesterovic, Wright and George are going to make a substantial difference with the production level of this team this season … when the front-line players are Bargnani, Turkoglu, Bosh and Calderon.

  6. FAQ Says:

    This just reinforces my position that Bosh must be traded for several decent athletic ‘team’ players and draft picks … to complete the rebuild of the Raptors into an athletic ‘team’ … not stuck with a lonely all-star franchise player who cannot hope to lead the Raptors to wins. It’s all so obvious …..

  7. khandor Says:

    MC B-Rad,

    Believe it or not … those who have trouble grasping the subtle intricacies of the game when it’s played well, at the highest level of competition, are the sort that actually get laughed at by those who are truly knowledgeable about the NBA game.

    Do YOU think someone like ME “cares” that someone like YOU has little respect for what I say or do on-line?

    :-)

    Son … if so, then, YOU’d best try thinking, again. :-)

    You might get used to it and, with practice, eventually get to like “it”.

  8. khandor Says:

    FAQ,

    Bosh doesn’t have to be traded to achieve that goal.

    There are other assets on the roster who can fetch solid pieces to the pieces … and each year that goes by becomes another opportunity to add talented, young, athletic, smart players to the team who are upstanding citizens to boot.

    The key sticking point for this team, remains unchanged from last season, and he just signed a 5-yr contract extension last week.

  9. khandor Says:

    AI,

    1. Welcome aboard! :-)

    2. re: AI Says: July 14th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    ——————————————————–
    Brutal, guys.

    Just because you lay claim to something doesn’t make it so. Bargnani is a bust. If you say so. Hump is the man. If you say so. Bosh is gone. If you say so. I’m just glad that you three aren’t the ones making the calls from on high. Brian Colangelo, two time exec of the year, is terrible. If you say so.

    Gutting everything but the core of this team was the best case scenario after the terrible 2008-09 campaign. It has continuity with the stars and fills in the glaring needs around them. The Raps now have four, possibly five (with Jack) capable scorers as starters, and some bench depth. Five! Bargs, Bosh, Turk, Jack, Calderon. They can produce 80 points a game, on a bad night, and we haven’t even talked about the bench.

    It’s okay to actually enjoy life and think of things in a positive light. You don’t need to sh!t on everything else to feel better about your sorry lives.

    Grow up. That was pathetic, and a waste of time.

    AI
    ——————————————————–

    First and foremost.

    You need to understand that it was me who placed side-by-each the distinct perspectives provided by “Dave”, David Berri and yours truly.

    Dave and David, respectively, should not be the object your wrath. Only I deserve that fate. :-)

    It constantly amazes that certain individuals in Raptorville think that what I write about the team is “negative”.

    When the Lakers do something bad … then, if time permits, that’s precisely what I have to say about that decision.

    On the flip side, when the Lakers do something good … then, if time permits, that’s precisely what I have to say about that decision.

    It makes no qualitative difference whether the team in question is the reigning World Champs or the 13th place team in the EC, or the 7th place team in the WC, etc.

    It just so happens that the team of which I am an actual fan happens just to be the Toronto Raptors … so, it makes complete sense when time permit that I actually write most frequently about the Toronto Raptors.

    It also just happens to be the case that:

    * The Lakers have made a great many more good moves in the history of their franchise than the Raptors have made in the 14 year history of their franchise; while,

    * The Raptors have made a great many more poor moves in the history of their franchise than the Lakers have made in the long history of their storied franchise.

    Hate, dislike, negativity, etc., have nothing to do with it … and, if YOU happen to be someone who think that it does, then, unfortunately, that reveals a great deal more about the nature of your particular character than it does about the nature of mine.

    3. re: “Just because you lay claim to something doesn’t make it so.”

    What makes what I say either Right or Wrong is the passage of time.

    One of the differences between the observations I make about the NBA game and those of others is that I make my statements in advance, rather than in hindsight, exclusively, after-the-fact. For example:

    I was right prior to the 2006-2007 season when I said that the moves the team was making that off season were not going to elevate the franchise to a top perch in the EC over an extended period of time.

    I was right prior to the 2006-2007 season when I said that Bryan Colangelo was an “average” GM.

    I was right prior to the 2007-2008 season when I said that Jose Calderon was as a better PG than TJ Ford.

    I was right prior to the 2008-2009 season when I said that the Raptors were going to struggle to make the EC Playoffs as there were going to be several teams in a battle for the #7-8 slot.

    I was right last summer when I said that the Jermaine O’Neal trade was NOT going to result in an improved Rebounding Differential with last year’s team.

    I was right last summer when I said that Anthony Parker would be best suited to play in the role of Back-up PG-OG for the team during the 2008-2009 season given the composition of the roster and the lack of Quality Depth at this position.

    I was right last summer when I said that the Lack OF Quality Depth, overall, was going to hurt the team’s opportunity to win enough games last season to qualify for the post-season.

    Although others may never realize it, I was also right last year when I said prior to the season starting that Jamario Moon and Joey Graham should have been used as the starting Wing players beside Jose Calderon, Kris Humphries [PF] and Chris Bosh [C] … even though Moon, Graham and Humphries are but serviceable role-palying back-up quality players and that Parker, Kapono and Bargnani whousld have formed a tight 8-Man rotation with Jermaine O’Neal coming off the bench, as a situational substitute in specific situations, based on individual match-ups on a game-to-game basis. If this 9-Man line-up had been used from the start of the season, Sam Mitchell would still be the coach of this team, the Raptors would have won several more games last season and, quite possibly, even qualified for the EC Playoffs.

    The fact is … the list of things I’ve been Right about, in advance, concerning the moves which have needed to be made by this franchise over the years, goes back a lot further than just the last few seasons and is a lot longer than this, right here … which I’m quite sure will discredit enough, as is, by those who do not have the ability to see and understand what is happening the NBA environment in advance.

    Unfortunately, many of the Raptors fans who I encounter on-line do not exhibit a solid understanding of how the game works at this level of competition … unlike, say, someone with the understanding of Scott G. who can tell by how he writes has first-hand experience that “regular” Raptors fans simply do not have.

    Want a example of what I’m talking about?

    If you ask 30 NBA head coaches who is a better basketball player, either Andrea Bargnani or Chris Bosh?

    All 30 coaches will tell you without hesitation, “Chris Bosh”.

    Conversely, how will Raptors fans answer?

    70-30 split in Bosh’s favour.

    Now, if you then ask 30 NBA head coaches who is the better Center, either Andrea Bargnani or Chris Bosh?

    All 30 coaches will again tell you without hesitation, “Chris Bosh”.

    Conversely, how will Raptors fans answer?

    70-30 split in Bargnani’s favour.

    It’s the NBA coaches who truly understand how the game works at this level of compeition and that 70% of Raptors fans who, unfortunately, still have a long ways to go in their journey.

    All the best to you.

  10. khandor Says:

    Ben,

    1. Welcome aboard! :-)

    2. A good part of what I wrote in my reply to AI applies to you as well.

    IMO, the only “negativity” surrounding what I’ve had to say concerning the Raptors and the team’s over-zealous on-line fanbase stems from THEIR ill-advised and mis-placed criticism of me, as the unfortunate bearer of bad news, concerning the series of relatively poor decisons which have been made by the organization during the last few seasons.

    3. The participation of thoughtful commentators is always welcome in these parts! :-)

  11. MC B-Rad Says:

    Hey Khandor…did you happen to notice the common trend with all your so-called predictions about the Raptors???

    Every single one of them was a negative in the way the raps should, could or did handle their operations. Or, it was just a negative guess on how the Raps were gonna fare.

    Seems to me you are a TRUE fan and oh so knowledgeable :)

  12. khandor Says:

    MC B-Rad,

    What was “negative” about observing that Jose Calderon was a better PG than TJ Ford?

    What was “negative” about observing that Anthony Parker was the best choice for the Raptors as the Back-up PG-OG last season.

    etc., etc., etc.

    The simple fact is … there is nothing “negative” whatsoever concerning anything that I have ever published on-line about the Toronto Raptors.

    The only thing that’s “negative” concerning me in the Raptors’ on-line community are misguided and mis-placed observations like the one you just made right there which have no grounds on which to stand.

  13. MC_Brad Says:

    I was right prior to the 2006-2007 season when I said that the moves the team was making that off season were not going to elevate the franchise to a top perch in the EC over an extended period of time.

    I was right prior to the 2006-2007 season when I said that Bryan Colangelo was an “average” GM.

    I was right prior to the 2008-2009 season when I said that the Raptors were going to struggle to make the EC Playoffs as there were going to be several teams in a battle for the #7-8 slot.

    I was right last summer when I said that the Jermaine O’Neal trade was NOT going to result in an improved Rebounding Differential with last year’s team.

    I was right last summer when I said that the Lack OF Quality Depth, overall, was going to hurt the team’s opportunity to win enough games last season to qualify for the post-season.

    So out of the seven statements you made, 5 of which were for sure negative, you chose the 2 that might not be considered negative…and to further my point, the whole point about AP, is negative, if you look at it in the context of they made the wrong choice in your eyes….

    Your entitled to your opinion, if it makes you look like a donkey so be it. Just dont try and justify yourself as a read Raptors fan, because you are in fact quite the opposite.

    There is always room for opposite points of view, but when it is always the same POV (“the raps did this or that wrong”), you are showing your true colours

  14. Raptorsfreak Says:

    khandor’s sports blog = big waste of time

  15. khandor Says:

    MC B-Rad,

    You just don’t get it, do you?

    “I was right when I said prior to the 2006-2007 season that Bryan Colangelo is an “average” GM.”

    I could point out for each and every one of my observations just how wrong your definition of “negative” actually is.

    In contrast to YOUR negativity and inaccurate observations …

    The simple facts are these:

    1. Bryan Colangelo has been an average GM with the Raptors. All you have to do is check the team’s record for yourself.
    2. What I said, in advance, has turned out to be 100% accurate.
    3. There is absolutely nothing “negative” in that observation which I made, in advance … except, perhaps, in the mind of those who have chosen to look at these three plus years through rose-coloured glasses.

    You’re right about thing, however, in this situation.

    I’m entitled to hold the opinions that I do … especially when they have been as ACCURATE as mine have been over the years.

    Perhaps what really makes individuals like you as upset as you seem to be is the THE FACT that I have been as RIGHT as often as I have been, in the first place, regarding the decisions of this team.

    Unfortunately, that’s too bad for you.

    PS. When the Raptors do something “right”, as a Raptors fan, that’s precisely what I’ll say.

  16. khandor Says:

    Raptorsfreak,

    1. Welcome aboard.

    2. It’s a shame that your perceptions aren’t supported by the facts.

  17. Mike D Says:

    Khandor,

    I have seen the future of the Internet blog, and this post is it.
    Whether people agree with with everything in it or not (Humph as good as Evans? C’mon), is basically beside the point, as this post represents the best counterargument and most cohesively articulated statement on the Turkoglu-Marion trade to date.

    The manner in which it is broken into five parts – 5 pieces of a strange and rare tragic symphony – the kind that could only be born under the media spotlight of Toronto – starting with a rush of tempered optimism in the beginning and then rising and falling under a blistering crescendo of statistics and analysis at the conclusion is utterly brilliant. The image the reader is left with is that of a straw man erected in a field of fire that is destined to fall down like a house of cards.

    Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but basically I think this post is sick. And I’ve hated almost all of your other stuff. This post was different. The only way it could have been any better would have been if you had included a consensus with 4 or 5 people, rather than just three. It would have sounded more damning.

  18. khandor Says:

    Mike D,

    Welcome aboard!

    Thanks for sharing your opinion and for submitting your comment.

  19. _cp_ Says:

    I’d like to respectfully disagree with you on pretty much everything.

    Hedo is a huge improvement over Marion, he can shoot jump shots, handle the ball, work the point and create his own shot and thus create shots for others. Marion is a better defender however his athleticism is fleeting and his offensive role will be filled by Derozan (fast breaking and dunking) and done better. We both know Derozan will shoot better then Marion offering another dimension that he couldn’t, even if he shoots 25% teams will have to respect the fact that he isn’t releasing his shot from his hip.

    Parker’s athleticism was also deteriorating thus hindering his value; you cant discount his effort or the intangibles he brought to the team, however he is no longer a starting guard and doesnt have the foot speed to keep two’s in front of him. AP is better then wright but Wright has far more upside then ap either way both are bench players, parker or wright wont make or break the raptors this year.

    Bargnani is a year older and a year better. The offense was much smoother when he got the first touch as opposed to bosh. He is much more decisive then bosh and like hedo can create his own shot and create for others. Bargnani will be responsible for more then a couple wins this year and over the length of his contract. You never seem to take into consideration player improvement. Even if he doesn’t get any better, he is going to average 18-20 points a game and 6-7 boards a block and 3-4 assists a game. He does have a lot to improve on defensively and he needs to develop more of a low post game just to be more versatile, but he’s well on his way. Hes a little slow to react in team defense situations but one on one he is an average to slightly above average defender.

    Calderon hopefully will be healthy this year and wont be a turnstile on defense forcing our bigs to rotate and play out of position to deal with drives. it makes everybody look bad, its either a driving layup by a guard or a little dump off to a big for a dunk.

    Evans is as good or even better then hump because he has a better grasp on what his game is and plays within himself. Hump on the other hand is still trying to get the game of basketball and realize what kind of player he is and what he should bring to the team.

    If there is anybody that should be moved it is bosh instead of bargnani. bosh has topped his potential. He cannot create his own shot, he cannot post up, he does not deal well with contact and gets pushed around by every other power forward in the league. How can one of the three players this year in the league to average a double double not get named to to an all NBA team if he is so great? He struggles offensively when he is asked to be the primary scoring option. when he thrived at the olympics it was because he was the fourth or fifth option. Under no circumstances should he get a max deal. Superstars get max deals, bosh is far from a superstar, he is a number two option and not even the best in the league, i’d take gasol before bosh in that roll. bosh is a mediocre defender who doesn’t block shots and gets beat up in the post.

    I would try and bring in a player like Chandler and move Bargnani to power forward to shore up the defensive short comings (shot blocking and rebounding) to balance out the team. There is plenty of scoring with the starters and enough scoring with the bench. This team is far more versatile then the raptors of last year and years prior, the players i think will have a better grasp of their roles and play within their abilities better then Kapono (three point shooter who didnt want to shoot threes and couldn’t defend) graham (looked lost whenever he didnt get starter minutes) Voskhul (do i even have to start?) Ukic (who should play in the d-league and develop or flop).

    There should be much more optimism here then the doom and gloom you are writing. This year Triano will be able to install his offense and defense and all the players will all be on the same page. Things are looking up.

  20. FLUXLAND Says:

    A gold mine, I tell ya. Great, great stuff Khandor.

    Thanks, much appreciated.

  21. Scott G Says:

    Khan – thought you’d get a kick out of this from TrueHoop:

    “Dante Cunningham put on a show for the Trail Blazers faithful (who, needless to say, travel well), from Joe Freeman of The Oregonian: “While general manager Kevin Pritchard and coach Nate McMillan scrutinized Bayless from the stands, Cunningham stole a lot of their attention. The second-round pick from Villanova started at power forward and showcased a nice midrange jump shot, a nose for the basketball and sturdy defensive prowess. He finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, making 8 of 17 field goals and 5 of 6 free throws. After the game, he was chosen to man an autograph zone in the lobby of the arena, where he scribbled his name on jerseys, shirts and hats and posed for pictures with fans — many of whom sported Blazers jerseys. ‘If he can knock that (midrange shot) down consistently, he’s going to be a player,’ McMillan said. ‘And I think that’s going to come. His rotation and everything is good. He just needs to keep shooting when he’s open.’”

  22. khandor Says:

    cp,

    Welcome aboard!

    In the best interests of the Raptors let’s sincerely hope that Dave, me and David Berri are each wrong and that you are 100% right. :-)

  23. khandor Says:

    Flux,

    Thanks for the kind words.

  24. khandor Says:

    Scott G.,

    Yes, I did happen to catch that report on Dante Cunningham. :-)

    As I said before the draft, there are teams in this league that are going to be very sorry they chose to pass on this young man. He’s a keeper.

    ———-

    Similarly, keep your eye on a player by the name of Deron Washington [Detroit Pistons]. Mentioned last summer to “Marc” [I believe] that he and Trent Plaisted [PF-C] were two players who I thought might just be in the long range plans of Joe Dumars. Then:

    * Read on Monday [I think] that Mr. Washington was signed to a guaranteed contract for Detroit this season

    * Read on Tuesday that the Pistons had traded Arron Afflalo & Walter Sharpe.

    Just might be that these roster moves were related, in an effort to increase the Pistons’ cap space righ now.

    Washington is an even better NBA athlete than Afflalo.

    ———–

    and, FYI …

    I hadn’t really seen anything of Rodrigue Beaubois until a commentor at RR named “Elliot Ness” mentioned his name, as a possible pick in this year’s draft. There were just too many PG’s to research properly with the limited time I had prior to June 25th.

    Well, lo & behold … when I checked him out on youtube, it immediately became apparent that this young PG has the makings of a special talent in the NBA.

    Then yesterday, I read that he’s already gone off in the early stages of the Vegas Summer League.

    Keep your eyes on Monsieur Beaubois. Dallas has picked themselves a winner when they made that choice in this year’s Draft, as did San Antonio when they selected both DeJaun Blair and Nando De Colo.

  25. Linkage for Jul 14 8am to Jul 16 7am - Raptors Republic - Raptors Blog for the ESPN True Hoop Network Says:

    [...] khandor’s sports blog » When three birds of a different feather flock together, it&rsquo… [...]

  26. CanuckX Says:

    “khandor Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 1:23 pm
    FAQ,

    Bosh doesn’t have to be traded to achieve that goal.

    There are other assets on the roster who can fetch solid pieces to the pieces … and each year that goes by becomes another opportunity to add talented, young, athletic, smart players to the team who are upstanding citizens to boot.”

    Khandor, I would be interested in you naming 2 or 3 potential trades with our “assets” to achieve this goal that are realistic. One thing to say “they’re out there” another to back it up with real examples.

  27. khandor Says:

    CanuckX,

    In my experience any proposed trade that I will offer up will be met with the following response from certain Raptors fans:

    “Are you nuts? That makes no sense. Why would we [the Raptors] give up a like like THAT [i.e. who is THAT good] for a lowly player of that sort. Our guy is worth WAY much more than just THAT.” :-(

    ———————

    Exhibit A – David Lee

    Bargnani was just signed to a 10 yr/$50.0 M contract.

    David Lee is seeking a similar deal from the New York Knicks.

    IMO, the Knicks of Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni might just go for some sort of trade which involved Mr. Lee and Mr. Bargnani … regardless what the additional particulars might be [i.e. fillers to make it work].

    Why would New York go for it?

    Bargnani is the type of Center that just might fit in with D’Antoni’s style of play … despite his defensive and rebounding short-comings [i.e. see what Stoudemire's weaknesses are as a point of comparison].

    They’d also be giving up a No. 30 in exchange for a No. 1. That’s a siginificant upgrade, from their POV. The player they are getting is signed and sealed for the next 5 years … with the perception of a certain amount of “upside” still associated with his game in certain quarters of the League. If he hits it big in the Big Apple, the world will be his [and their] oyster … especially playing beside Gallinari.

    Why the Raptors SHOULD go for it?

    David Lee is a much better fit with Chris Bosh than Mr. Bargnani and will give the team the sort of Defensive & Offensive Rebounding it needs from the Starting #4/PF playing beside Chris Bosh [#5/C]. Bosh is a more than adequate enough Defender and Rebounder and Shot-blocker … here’s the key, however … when you play him at the Center position. If you don’t happen to play him at that spot … he becomes a good but largely unspectacular player in this league, in comparison with his peers.

    Defensively, although Mr. Lee is not a noted shot-blocker, when you plug him in at the #4/PF position, rather than at #5/C, his MOBILITY on the defensive end of the floor, and in Transition, will more than compensate for his relatively lacklustre individual defense [in 1-on-1 match-ups at the Center spot].

    As Kelly Dwyer has noted … i.e. in yesterday afternoon’s BDL Hump Day Live Chat [3:00 PM], see there web site for further details …David Lee is simply “A Stud”, for a coach who knows how to use this semi-automatic “Double-Double Machine”.

    Beside a player like Bosh [C] … all you’d need to do is wind him up and say, “Sick’em.”

    Turkoglu at the #3/PF position … then becomes a real menace, as well, because D-Lee & Bosh, together, will be able to mix and match very well on the boards and defensively, leaving Hedo to do his thing in Pick & Roll/Pop situations with Calderon to his heart’s content … not in a 4 Out/1 In alignment but from a conventional 3 Out/2 In base offense. This would then give the team three [3] relatively mobile 6-10 players on the floor together [please do NOT suggest that Bargnani is a mobile defensive player, right now .. because he simply is not!] who could readily exchange assignments on any given possession in order to cope successfully with an emergency … with what SHOULD have been Jose Calderon and Anthony Parker at the PG & OG positions with a player like DeRozan or Derrick Brown or Marcus Thornton, etc., coming in off the bench along with an experienced Free Agent Back-up PG, e.g. Brevin Knight.

    If the 2-for-1 trade down in the Draft would have happened this team could very easily have been much younger this coming season, way more athletic and just a few more pieces away from becoming a legitimate contender in the EC … with a fairly bright future on the horizan.

    Instead, where we are today is where we are today …

    i.e. Calderon [$8.0 M/yr] + Deronzan [rookie starter?] + Turkoglu [$10.0 M/yr] + Bosh [$16.0 M/yr] + Barganani [$10.0 M/yr]

    … with only 1 reliable REBOUNDER in what’s generally thought to be the BEST 5-MAN UNIT the Raptors can possible put on the floor … and a number of highly questionable players scattered elsewhere throughout the roster, i.e.

    Wright is a back-up
    Evans is a back-up
    George is a back-up
    O’Bryant is back-up
    Douby is a back-up
    Ukic is a back-up
    etc.

    Please let me know when Jarrett Jack, Rasho Nesterovic, Carlos Delfino and Matt Barnes, etc., actually sign up with the Raptors.

    What David Berri actually wrote is a scathing analysis of the current situation and … unless either DeMar DeRozan or Andrea Bargnani becomes a superstar player in this league pretty darn quickly … this team is in all likelihood headed straight for Treadmill Status for a long period of time, i.e. fluctuating somewhere between 35-to-49 wins each and every year, with an occasional trip to the 2nd Round of the Playoffs thrown in for good measure.

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

    Exhibit B – Jeff Green …

    Exhibit C – Rudy Gay …

    etc., etc., etc.

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