FanPost

Bad start for the RAPS???



Training camp hasn't even began and there are rumblings that 2/5th of our starting five are coming in with some sort of injury.  It was reported some time ago that with all of the basketball Turkoglu had played this year first with the orlando magic and their deep playoff run and then later this summer in the basketball eurocup, there was some signs of wear and tear in his game.  In fact, many reported that  Turkoglu just didn't look the same in the tournament.  He often deferred on a team that doesn't have many  NBA players let alone significant stars.  He in fact is probably the best player to come out of Turkey...ever.  The Raptors are taking the optimistic approach by limiting his playing time during the upcoming training camp and possibly pre-season games...but if whatever is ailing him doesn't get fixed ASAP, his playing time might have to be limited coming into the season.  This will become a major issue especially early on the season as the Raps have a tough schedule to start of their regular season and if this becomes a nagging problem throughout the course of the season, we could have another Calderon situation in front of us.  The bigger concern is not that he misses a few games in the preseason or misses a few back-to-back early on the season, but if this is a start of a chronic problem which could really limit his play over the next 5 years.  Imagine year 2,3,4 and 5 of his contract when he becomes a role player coming in of the bench for 15-20 minutes a game as a spot up shooter.  Didn't he have a player like that not to while ago - Matt Bonner...and all he cost us what something like 1-2 million a year instead of the whooping 11 million+ year that Turkoglu is getting paid.   I know the argument that lot of you will make about his ball handling skills and his ability to make plays in the clutch but the reality is that  we already have a ball handler in Calderon and don't we pay some other guy (Mr. Bosh) a lot of money...like max money...to be a clutch player.  The signing of Turkoglu doesn't really add anything extra to the team and if this mysterious injury becomes serious, the organization will be taking major step backwards.  To give an example of what the Raptors might be facing in latter part of Turkoglu's contract, one only has to look at a similar situation with the New York Mets and Carlos Delgado.  I know many will say you can't compare baseball with basketball...but the reality is there are many similarities between two situation. (1) Both players were coming off monster years for their respective teams (Delgado with the Blue Jays and Turkoglu with Magic). (2) Their ages were similar when the signed their respective mega contracts. (3) Both players had significant support on their respective teams - Shawn Green and Vernon Wells gave fairly good protection around Delgado while Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson provided significant spacing  for Turkoglu to do his magic.  The reason why I'm comparing Delgado with Turkoglu is that Delgado's production significantly dipped in the 3rd, 4th and 5th year of his contract - ultimately leading him to miss most of this season with a variety of nagging injuries.  As a side note, although Toronto fans are correct in chasing JP Riccardi out of town, he was bang on in not signing Delgado.  Toronto is not New York and while the Mets are struggling this year with a 200+ million dollar team and handful of other injuries, the Mets like the other big name franchises in sports can take chances because they have the money to do so.  On the other hand, if Turkoglu's injury become a serious problem, this team will be crippled in more than one way.  First, if the team struggles this year even with the changes made, you can pretty much say goodbye to Bosh as he will be good as gone.  Secondly, there will no wiggle room for Colangelo as he's pretty much rebuild the team from scratch with a lot of long term contracts.   I  know  this is the pessimistic look  and the worse case scenario,  but  something about paying a player this much money who is in his 30s, having played over 14 years of professional basketball and clearly showing signs of slowing down makes me  uneasy.  Here's hoping that  I am  totally wrong because nothing more I would like to see but the Raptors back in the playoffs not only next year but through the life of Turkoglu's contract.  And I haven't even discussed the Bosh injury...but let me just remind you that Calderon came in with a similar injury last year and his hamstring had really impaired his ability on offense and defense.  Calderon is not really an explosive-type player who relies on his quickness but imagine a player like Bosh whose biggest strength is his quickness and explosiveness...now imagine him playing through this injury...all I can say is that this is not the same Bosh.  So this is where my dilemma is - 2 players are already injured coming into training camp (Bosh and Turkoglu), 1 player who is coming of a serious hamstring injury (Calderon), a rookie 2-guard who will have to adjust quickly because guys like Pierce, Carter and Lebron will be challenging him  on defense and then there's an enigma in Bargniani.

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