Just some thoughts of mine on the Toronto Raptors
- Probably the most talked about Toronto Raptor for good or bad. A lot of the hate surrounding Bargnani is that he was a first overall pick in a weak draft and he hasn't lead the Raptors to any success. The main criticism about his game is his lack of rebounding and defense. If we look at the PF position in the NBA there are only 6 players who averaged over 7 rebounds/game and only 3 who averaged over 1blk/game. While Bargnani did not meet those levels of production his 5.6/rpg and .9blk/game isn't far below. However, with the Raptors current roster Bargnani is playing center for the majority of the game which is out of position for him. When Rashard Lewis
got his max contract he got it because he was a stretch 4 to play along side Dwight, instead of having Dwight we have the stretch 4, we now just need a Center to pair with him. Instead of worrying about his short comings we need to maximize his strength as a 7footer who can shoot the three, and put the ball on the floor on offense, and use his lengths to disrupt teams on D but not a lock down defender. Dallas started Stevenson, Marion, Kidd and Chandler to help cover up Dirk's poor defense and getting a real Center to pair with Bargnani is the start.
- I know that many Raptor fans have fallen in love with these two for their heart and hustle but LETS GET REAL! They are 6'9 and 6'10 with limited offensive games.
Neither is strong enough to play the C position and are infective outside the free throw line. Ed Davis appears to have more ptential because of his length and athleticism but these two g uys cannot play on the floor for extended period and against starters. VERY few teams use Jamal Crawford
, and while he isn't at that level he definitely could be and like James Johnson for the right price (if he shows good attitude and growth) the raptors definitely need to keep him around.
Leandro Barbosa-Its probably more important to really see what growth Bayless can give us because Barbosa will be gone after this year. While I love his game its about getting the young guys playing time and maybe we can get something for Barbosa at the deadline with his expiring deal, wouldn't he look good in San Antonio for playoff push?
Jonas Valanciunas-Love this guys energy, hustle, hands and athleticism. Think he has the chance to be a star and at worst case a good NBA player, he has legit size and athleticism and the heart to play in the L! especially with how the game is more about spacing and individual talent, he will be extremely difficult when he is coming down the lane on a PnR without over committing on help.
Overall I think we have some pieces that need to be explored Bayless, JJ, AJ and Davis because they have shown NBA skills and that they could definitely develop into consistent nba players. However, I do think that one of Davis/AJ has to go, as they are similar players who can't play effectively together because they have limited range and size. Barbosa and calderon are both two year players as they will most likely be gone when their contracts are done and hopefully we can get a couple of picks for them especially next year! Bargnani, Derozan and JV are definitely keepers and could be built around.