Posts Tagged ‘Jonny Flynn’

Key to winning big begins with proper thinking

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

According to an old saying, “There are many [different] ways to skin a cat.”

However truthful this may be … doubtless … each distinct method actually starts with thinking of that cat in the proper way, in the first place, i.e. “skin-less”.

Four plus years into the tenure of current President/GM, Bryan Colangelo, and there is still a significant segment of the team’s fanbase which is thinking about the continued development of the franchise in a way which is not going to result in major on-court success.

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The key to Raptor’s success still lies overseas

How can we ever win?

Star US players leaving in a hurry. Big name free agents looking elsewhere. It’s a never-ending cycle of American players disliking something different. Like different is a bad thing.

Four years ago, when Bryan Colangelo came to town, he went European. Today as we collectively lament over the loss of Chris Bosh, I understand why.

Going European may in fact be this team’s only chance to win.

Take the Blue Jays. Throughout the late 80s they cornered the Dominican and Puerto Rican markets. Built a roster full of international talent and then filled holes with key American players.

On the streets of the Dominican you wouldn’t see a Yankees hat or a Boston Red Sox hat. You’d see a Blue Jays hat. Or Tony Fernandez uniform.

Maybe the same can be done for the Raptors.

If the Raptors can continue to build relationships internationally it could reap rewards. Scout heavily overseas. Hold basketball camps in Europe. Promote Bargnani in Italy. Bring in a coach like Ettore Messina.

Bring in non-American players who are more akin to different cultures. Players who don’t care what anthem is played before every game. Who don’t scoff at seeing kilometers written on speed signs. Who are more cultured than your average American athlete.

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This is the specific comment which was left by yours truly, just a few minutes ago, at this otherwise first-rate Raptors blog:

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The fact that Toronto is the only NBA franchise located outside of the continental USA is irrelevant to the organization’s ability to succeed in a major way, e.g. by winning the League Championship, one day in the not-too-distant future. What it will take, however, is the supplanting of parochial thinking which mistakenly believes that any one region, or nation, or continent, etc., is the source of where their [best] players “should/must” come from, in order to make this into a reality. Three specific things need to happen: i. Implement a new organizational paradigmn which actually prioritizes the winning of the League Championship; ii. Get the best players possible, regardless where they happen to be from; and, iii. Get a President/GM and a Head Coach who actually qualify [properly] as legitimate Transformational Leaders and authentic Basketball Experts.

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When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
1 Corinthians 13:11

David Kahn rolls a 7, thanks to Ricky Rubio

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

What you see here …

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Kahn: Rubio not ready to jump to NBA 
“This morning I met with Ricky and his parents and told them that I understood Ricky’s decision,” Kahn said in a statement issued by the Wolves. “It was clear to me yesterday and in this morning’s meeting that the pressure surrounding Ricky and his family to remain in Spain for at least two more years had only intensified as the summer wore on and was weighing heavily on them.

“The NBA is the best basketball league in the world, by far. As an 18-year-old man, Ricky would have been challenged on a nightly basis to a degree he has never experienced. In order for Ricky to meet this challenge fully, I believe it is important that his family and other people important to him were comfortable with the move to the NBA and fully supportive.

“I also agreed with Ricky’s position that two more years of competition in Spain and the Euroleague will only aid his development and that he will be much more ready for the NBA when he joins us” at age 20.

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is the best possible outcome for the T-wolves, in a sticky situation.

At-present, Minnesota is entrenched at the bottom of the NBA.

Ricky Rubio … given his age [18], the state of his physique [skinny], and his present skill-set [can't really shoot it consistently] … simply isn’t ready to make a significant contribution to an NBA team, over the course of an 82 game season.

Minnesota:

- Just hired an entirely new coaching staff
- Has its star Big Man in the process of recovery from ACL surgery
- Has its best SF in the process of recovery from ACL surgery
- Has a current roster which looks like this … and,
- As of right now, has a fairly high probability of landing the No. 1 [overall] Selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, and at least one other high 1st Round Draftee from the 2011 NBA Lottery, given their prospects for success in the Western Conference these next 2 seasons.

If Rubio arrives in the NBA, from Europe, in time for the 2011-2012 season, the T-wolves franchise will be in a much better position to take full advantage of his unique package of skills, at the PG spot, when:

Kevin Love [PG] will be 22 years of age,
Jonny Flynn [PG] will be 22 years of age,
Wayne Ellington [OG] will be 23 years of age,
Corey Brewer [SF] will be 25 years of age,
Aleksiy Pecherov [C] will be 25 years of age,
Ryan Hollins [C] will be 26 years of age,
Al Jeferson [PF] will be 26 years of age,
Ryan Gomes [SF] will be 29 years of age, and,

Kurt Rambis [and Co.] will be in his 3rd season as their head coach.

If David Kahn is truly serious about building a championship basketball operation in Minnesota that’s the type of roster – with an eye towards the future - which can get the job done in the long run … provided the plan includes adding a high calibre 1st Round draft pick next summer, a 2nd high calibre 1st Round draft pick the summer after that, and a dominant, pass-first PG, with good size, and skill, and charisma, like Rubio, for the 2011-2012 season.

After rolling “craps” for quite some time, the T-Wolves may have finally been able to “make their point”.

A most interesting start for David Kahn

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

First and foremost.

David Kahn will not find a better coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves than Kevin McHale … regardless how long his actual search takes.

There’s a good reason certain NBA teams fail to make headway

Secondly.

When it comes to assessing accurately the skills and abilities and career of one Kenny Smith

The Jet was 100%, on the money … in his observation that, had he [1987/No. 6, overall, Draft Pick] been in the same backcourt as, both, Ricky Rubio [18 years of age] and Jonny Flynn [20 years of age], at the beginning stage of all three of their NBA careers, he would, in fact, have been the best Point Guard on that team’s roster.

Only those who do not know the game nearly as well as they think do would the mistake of under-estimating just how good Kenny Smith actually was as a 1st rate Point Guard, in the NBA, with solid credentials.

With the 9th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors …

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

will most likely select one of the following 6 players:

1. DeMar DeRozan [OG-SF]
2. Gerald Henderson [OG-SF]
3. Jrue Holiday [PG-OG]
4. Jonny Flynn [PG]
5. Jordan Hill [PF]
6. James Johnson [SF-PF] 

according to Bryan Colangelo [GM].

[PLEASE NOTE: This is a link to a radio interview from Jun 17, 2009 which every Raptors fan should listen to, as it deals with Thursday's NBA Draft, the acquisition of Reggie Evans and the team's POV re: Chris Bosh.]

From the perspective of this corner, however, by doing so … they will, once again, be throwing away another golden opportunity to build their team into a legitimate long term contender for a Top 4 spot in the Eastern Conference, by not trading down to a Middle or Lower Spot in the 1st Round, while acquiring an additional pick in the 2nd Round, in a classic two-for-one scenario.

Q1. Why does this year’s Draft qualify as such an occasion?

A1. Because the players who fit best with what Toronto needs right now, as well as looking down-the-road a piece … possibly, to a life without Chris Bosh … are not perceived by others to be worthy of selection in the No. 9 position but will most likely be available in the Middle or the Lower section of the 1st Round, and/or in the 2nd Round.

Draft preview: Closer look at the small forwards

SMALL FORWARDS ::::::

Rank

Name

School/Team

Height

Weight

Wingspan

Vertical

1

Earl
Clark

Louisville

6-10 3/4

228

7-2 1/2

33

2

Omri
Casspi

Maccabi Tel Aviv

6-9 1/4

211

6-9 1/2

32.5

3

Sam
Young

Pittsburgh

6-6 3/4

223

6-10 3/4

33

4

Austin
Daye

Gonzaga

6-10 3/4

192

7-2 3/4

28

5

DaJuan Summers

Georgetown

6-8 1/2

243

7-0 3/4

34.5

6

Jonas
Jurebko

Angelico Biella (Italy)

6-8 #

220 #

N/A

N/A

7

Derrick
Brown

Xavier

6-8 1/2

225

7-2 1/2

35.5

8

Danny
Green

North Carolina

6-6 1/2

208

6-10

33

9

Lorrenzo
Wade

San Diego State

6-6 #

225 #

N/A

N/A

10

Victor
Claver

Pamesa Valencia (Spain)

6-9 #

225 #

N/A

N/A

 

Derrick Brown is a player with a tonne of NBA ability, at the Wing position, who should be there for the Raptors in the Middle of the 1st Round.

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Xavier’s Brown has been coming on the last few weeks, benefitting from long arms (a 7-2 1/2 wingspan) good workouts up and down the first round, and the pedigree of bigs that Xavier has produced for NBA teams, including Brian Grant, Aaron Williams, Tyrone Hill, James Posey and David West. He’s active — “bouncy,” one personnel man says.

“Sometimes, kids get better and I think he’s one of the kids that’s grown with the process,” said a Northwest Division executive. “He’s been able to expand his game a little bit and show some of the things he couldn’t show at Xavier.”

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Derrick Brown would fill their need for an immediate ”starter” who can score the ball, rebound his position and defend with solid athleticism and considerable length.

Derrick Brown

SEASON

MIN

PTS

REB

AST

TO

A/T

STL

BLK

PF

FG%

FT%

3P%

PPS

2005-2006

Did not play.

2006-2007

16.9

6.3

4.1

.8

1.1

.69

.5

.6

2.5

.706

.700

.500

1.96

2007-2008

28.1

10.9

6.5

1.7

1.9

.90

.9

.8

2.5

.609

.706

.344

1.66

2008-2009

29.5

13.7

6.1

1.9

1.7

1.11

.7

.9

2.5

.504

.741

.433

1.42

For the number crunchers …

Q2. When you look at these simple game stats, what do you see?

A2. A player who shot 43.3% from behind the arc last season … shooting three times as many treys than the year before [in which he shot three times as many as he did his first year in college] … scored at a solid rate of 1.42 PPS [i.e. higher than DeMar DeRozan and Tyreke Evans], and improved his Ast:TO each of his 3 seasons at Xavier University.

[PLEASE NOTE: Players who are capable of doing THIS, and reach the point where their ratio is above 1.00 have a HIGH Basketball IQ.]

In conjunction with his outstanding Wingspan, his solid vertical & lateral agility scores, his ability to do THIS:

on a regular basis, and the fact that he conducts himself like THIS:

when dealing with the media in a first-class way … say that this young man, Derrick Brown, “Is ready” to play in the NBA, right away.

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

When you couple a player like Derrick Brown with a:

Taj Gibson [late 1st Rounder, early 2nd Round, Horace Grant type]
Dante Cunningham [late 1st Rounder, early 2nd Round, James Worthy type]
Danny Green [2nd Round, Bruce Bowen type]
Marcus Thornton [2nd Round, Mitch Richmond type], or
Nando De Colo [2nd Round, Manu Ginobili type]

you are talking about a serious increase in FIRST-CLASS athletic ability and NBA skill level that can immediately elevate the Quality Depth on the Raptors’ roster to the point where they could contend with the likes of Boston and Cleveland and Orlando, etc., in the not-too-distant future, either:

A. If Chris Bosh re-signs with their team; 

OR,

B. If Chris Bosh is traded [for comparable parts] and Andrea Bargnani continues to improve, as their Center, moving forward from that point.

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The ball’s been placed in Bryan’s Colangelo’s hands … for the sake of loyal Raptors fans everywhere … let’s hope that he doesn’t drop it, again.

 

Related:

Perception vs Reality – Who should Raptors draft?

Two possible draft picks for the Raptors

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Travailing around the blogosphere there are some individuals with a genuine interest in hearing which specific NBA draft-eligible players yours truly believes SHOULD be on the radar for Toronto come June 25.

As it happens, yesterday on RaptorsRepublic.com, visitors were provided with the name of Danny Green [OG/SF], as someone who fits into this category … available to the Raptors SHOULD they decide to follow the advice of this corner and trade down from the No. 9 slot into one of the lower positions of the 1st Round, or even into the upper part of the 2nd … in an effort to add at least 2 quality [i.e. athletic & skilled, with good upside and solid character traits] players in place of just 1 [perceived to be of a higher calibre among the first 10 picks].

Now, this afternoon, after reading Doug Smith’s Raptors Blog, the good news is that earlier today Toronto worked out at least one other player who this corner also thinks fits into this same category.

The 6 workout participants were Jonny Flynn [PG], Jrue Holiday [PG/OG], Chase Budinger [F}, Damion James [F], Al-Farouq Alade Aminu [F] and Goran Suton [F].

With a 16.6% chance of being right, can you guess which one fills the bill?

Clue #1.
Must be a solid athlete at the position he projects to play in the NBA. 

Clue #2.
Must have adequate length at his position.

Clue #3.
Must have the ability to compete effectively in all three phases of the game.

Clue #4.
Must have sound character with a self-starting motor.

Clue #5.
Must have room to grow as a player [and a person].

If you guessed Jonny Flynn … you’d be incorrect.
If you guessed Chase Budinger … you’d be incorrect.
If you guessed Goran Suton … you’d be getting closer, but still be incorrect.
If you guessed Damion James … you’d be incorrect.
If you guessed Jrue Holiday … you’d be incorrect.

If you said Alade Al Farouq Aminu … you’d be right on the money, but, alas, at least 12 months in advance, as pointed out adroitly by WOW, in the comments section. :-)

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Still, there are several other very good players who would also be a good fit for the Raptors if they decide to trade down in this year’s draft … a few more of whom will be revealed here as the big day approaches. ;)

PS. Just to be clear about this … If he had actually remained in this year’s draft, Al-Farouq Aminu [SF/PF] is precisely the type of player who yours truly believes the Raptors should be trying to add to their current team, to go with Chris Bosh [C] & Jose Calderon [PG], rather than any of the 6 players who the team actually worked out on Friday.

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Related: 

Who should be on the radar for the Raptors in the 2009 NBA Draft