Already Looking to the Off Season


If these past few weeks have proved anything, they've shown that even if the Raps are lucky enough to make the playoffs, any ideas of the Raps being anything close to a contender in the East has been stomped out.  A first round win seems impossible and already fans are starting to wonder they would rather forgo the embarrassment of backing into a playoff beating to have their first round pick in this years deep draft.  Our best line up does not include some of our core pieces, ones that are signed to large contracts for years to come.  This team is a mess and there are no easy options looking ahead. 

One option is to just stay put for a while.  We will always have a good chance to re-sign Bosh since we can offer him the most money.  This late season swoon looks just as bad on Bosh as it has on the Raps, and I am sure that potential suitors have noticed.  Recent headlines in NY point out that Walsh would be reluctant to even offer Bosh the max, preferring to hold onto David Lee for less money.  Who knows, if Bosh were to stay, DeRozan given another year to develop, re-sign Amir, force Turk to back off on the Turkish Jordan act...  I seem to remember this past summer, people thinking that we had a team that would be good for years.  Maybe this late season collapse is all part of this team's growth. 

However, sitting tight when there are so many signs screaming the alarm might be fan cruelty through neglect.  This team has gone from being an bad defensive team, to one of the worst defensive teams in league history.  Not one of our usual starters is even an average defender, the only help are bench players that don't really have the potential to develop into starters.  Once again BC faces an off season where radical changes will probably need to be made.  With this teams current cap and contracts situation it will be more difficult than ever for the Lego master to do his thing.  The pressure will be squarely on BC from an ever more cynical fan base that has watched too many moves blow up in his face.  The Raps have long needed an athletic wing that could rebound and defend, especially to compensate for the drafting of Bargnani. Instead Colangelo has twice spent FA money on acquiring Jason Kapono and now Hedo Turkoglu.  The Hedo signing this summer is quickly looking like the worst move of the year.  If the Raps are going to start making changes, addressing the Hedo situation is going to have to be the top priority. 

Admittedly, this was not my idea, but it made a lot of sense.  How about we trade the worst 09-10 FA signing for the worst 08-09 FA signing.  Philly is needing to dump Elton Brand and his massive contract.  He can't run with their gazelles and hasn't fit since he arrived, suffering through serious injury.  After losing Dre Miller this off season, the 76's are also missing a true point guard and feature PG's that look better finding their own shot that looking for teammates.  Philly may be the only team in the league where acquiring Hedo makes any kind of sense.  If TO offered Hedo and sweetened the pot with the expiring contract of Marcus Banks and possibly even Sonny Weems, Torontoshould be able to get a 1st rounder or a Thad Young to go along with the heavy contract of Elton Brand. Similar to Orlando, Philly has the defensive athletes to better hide a Hedo and he would definitely be a better fit to their offense than Brand.  They would also be paying less for a starter and get nearly 6 million in cap relief after next year.  Toronto could use Thad Young as the athletic starter they have lacked for years OR use a lottery draft pick to continue to address team needs and upgrade talent. The Raps also have players in Jose and Andrea that excel more in the half court,  similar to Brand.  In fact, Brand's post game might fit in better with this core than Bosh's jump shot.  Also, signing the Clippers' former franchise player, would be  insurance when we lose our franchise player. 

Yeah, I wrote 'when' not 'if'.  If we miss the playoffs, there will be no way CB will resign with this team.  He does not want to have the legacy of being the best player on a bad team.  Heck, even if the Raps get their butts handed to them in the first round, that is the message bringing CB4 will be - 'Yes we sucked with him, but at least we won't suck more without him.' There is no way we will get a player of Chris Bosh's caliber back in any sign and trade, so BC has to be looking for ways to improve the team overall in the future.  A team like the Knicks would be looking at signing CB4 mainly to help lure in one of the really big fish.  To do so, they would need do a sign and trade to get Bosh, so they still had cap space  for LeBron, Kabe or Wade.

So the only way BC can make a trade with the Knicks work is to take back salary, and again try to add value with young players or draft picks.  Unfortunately, the Knicks don't have a whole lot of useful high salary players to send back, though they do have a good pick and some interesting prospects.  Rather than losing CB4 for nothing i would offer him to the Knicks in exchange for Eddie Curry and Danillo Gallinari or their 1st round pick. Before i get murdered for uttering Curry's name, his true value is in his expiring contract.  He will be in the last year of his disastrous contract paying him 11 million. If he is healthy maybe he can play 15 minutes as Bargnani's back up, if not takes O'Bryant's place on  the bench behind Rasho.  Maybe he could even be translated into something useful by trading him to a non contender looking to get out of another contract (Biedrins?). The real point of the trade would be to get our hands on another young player with potential such as Danillo or a draft pick.  Without sounding too much like Maurizio, it just might motivate all three of the Team Italia teammates to be playing together in the NBA.  If D'Antoni won't let go of the kid, then once again this year is a good draft and NY has a good pick. 

I know trade ideas are like assh---s, we all have them and they usually stink.  However, I do believe that both these blockbusters are feasable for all teams involved.  The 76's and the Knicks would both get the opportunity to offload expensive contracts and acquire talent.  The Raps would get a chance to radically change their core to a younger and better defensive club, while improving their own cap flexibility over the next few years.  A peek at the depth chart: 


PG:    Jack (for his defence),  Calderon (really sparks the second unit)

SG:    Bellinelli (more ready, team cheesy Italia concept), DeRozan (playing back ups helps confidence)  

SF:     Gallinari (Good prospect, good on boards, Italia), Young (Uber athlete, plays D, Pushes Danillo)

PF:    Brand (vet presence, full seasonpast injuries), Amir (re-sign him and keep upping his minutes), Evans (thug)

 C:     Bargnani (BC's big gamble must pay off), Curry (who knows), Nestoric (problem slover)


Well this is my first ever FanPost, really curious for some feedback.  Thinking about the rest of this season just seems too disappointingly predictable.  End of the day, still a fan!

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