So with the rumor that Anthony Randolph will be traded to some team within the next two weeks for a draft pick, I got to wondering: what if he came to Toronto?....
Firstly, let me say that I think he will end up in Indiana since they seem to be having a lot of big-man troble these days, and have a coach who seems not to like most of his players. But! Still what if?
He is a PF/SF with good defensive ability, great shot blocking, and an offensive game that could be fantastic in the raptors up-tempo system. Still raw and needs to get stronger... but if you look at his stats when given time last year, he clearly is going to be good.
Now I know the Raptors need a solid pg to either take over, or back-up Calderon (whom I do like a lot, despite his precieved defensive woes.. but defence is a team thing, and not many on this team are helping etc.. a totally different post!). But if the Raps starting 5 looked like this next year: Davis, Bargs, Randolph, DeRozan, Calderon... with our bench of: Weems, Amir, Dorsey, Barbosa (lets pretend he comes back or isn't traded etc..), Kleiza, Bayless and a late 1'st round pg.. well this team in my mind has the base for something good in the future.
I believe that if the raptors want to play thier newish style of up-tempo they need to surround their high-flyers with some solid defensive players. And since most of the well-known established ones of that calliber are more than likely not going to be let go by their current teams. The Raps will need to develope this from within.
So from that point of view let's break it down.
Davis, in my mind looks like he will round into an above average defender, with some scoring. And that is my conservative guess. I like the kid and how he gets after it on the defensive side. Still Raw (as all raptors are), but he will improve.
Bargs, well he is what he is. And that is a scorer with okay defence, some nights better than others. But he can get his 24ppg.
DeRozan, starting to show flashes of what he can do. Still learning, and seems to have a good enough head on his shoulders to eventually make the transition to both a scorer and be better on the defensive side of things.
Calderon, lets call him the poor mans Nash. For this reason, great at getting the assists and setting up the offence. Not great at defence. While Nash is still a lot better at everything.. I will say that he is also not a great defender. I do agree that at some point the Raps will have to get another pg who can lock-down the opposing pg. But for now I like Calderon as the transition pg on this team. He has the up-beat attitude to keep everyone else loose and their minds in the game.
Amir, Weems and the bench, certainly they are solid players who in the scenerio of getting Randolph on this team I would argue would be best served as the #1 big-man/SF-SG options off the bench. Getting their 20-24 minutes per game, and dominating the opposing teams 2'nd unit along with Bayless (and someone like Barbosa). Dorsey, Alabi and the role-players of course would be there when needed.
As for kleiza, I have to admit that I would like to see this guy traded for a pg. While I like that he is statistically a solid player. Too many times I have watched as he came into a game and completely ruined the flow of the team. Not that he wasn't trying, I think he was/does put it all out on the floor every night. But he seems to miss the flow of the game when he comes in off the bench. And ruins his teamates rhythm in the process. Again, not ta bad player at all. But simply not fitting in 100% with what the rest of his team. Just a perspective is all.
So now to Anthony Randolph...
If the Raptors are re-inventing themselves, and have these grand dreams of being the run and gun offensive team that will totally demolish opponents with their 120ppg. then this guy would fit it perfectly. At 6'11" and 220'lbs he has the size, and is also lightning quick and can defend against smaller 3-type players. Seems to have the ability to be a legit double-double machine, along with a steal and a few blocks per game. He is also a low-post player, with a solid mid-range jumper (we got enough 7' 3pt shooters). He plays well with his back to the basket, but also has the quicks to blaze past defenders and like DD is a highlight reel waiting to happen. For the life of me I cannot understand why he is not getting playing time in NY. Though I suspect it is due to the over-performing of their other bigs (whom are also all 3'pt shooters, Amare excepted).
So for all the reasons above I would argue that Randolph would actually fit quite nicely on the Dino's squad. Especially in a year or so when things will really start to gel for this team. No he would not solve their pg issues. But I think those problems will be solved through a trade of some kind... Kleiza and Barbosa for an Augustine or Collins or someone of that level.