From the sounds of it, the future is now for Bargnani and the Raptors.
Bryan Colangelo and Dwane Casey recently spoke to the Toronto media at the conclusion of the Toronto Raptors' season. There was lots of talk of action, and for that reason, the HQ has some concerns...
If you're a long-time fan of the Toronto Raptors and you watched and listened to Bryan Colangelo and Dwane Casey talk to the Toronto media on Friday, I wonder how you now feel.
Actually, we're going to attempt to find out via our poll question later this afternoon, but it's a question that entered my own head as I sat there and watched. Again, Colangelo talked about the upside of this club, upside that he's frankly talked about for five seasons; the players have changed, but the message hasn't - next year is our year to shine!
So maybe not shine, but wow there was a lot of "playoff talk" thrown around by the coach and Pres/GM for a team that won 23 games. The lower portion of the Eastern Conference isn't great, but it's going to take more than this same club plus Valanciunas and a top draft pick to displace a club like the Knicks or 76ers. I still see ways to go.
Unless that is, Colangelo goes all out this off-season, spending on veterans who can help this club win now.
Which, fortunately or unfortuantely, depending on your view, is exactly what it sounds like he's going to do.
Perhaps the biggest point that both Casey and Colangelo seemed to emphasize was that the time for "rebuilding" had come to an end, and the team was ready to start winning games. Veterans and experience were needed, as well as some other tangible skills like better shooting, but the time for patience had come and gone, and now the team was ready to see some production.
And while all that's great, you have to wonder if that's actually going to happen, because from this year, it's hard to see just how this club is going to the proverbial next level.
Even with 82 games of the 13 game Bargnani, players like DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis, Jerryd Bayless and James Johnson need to be a lot more productive, not to mention consistent, and that's if they're even around come training camp. Colangelo again spoke about the youth of this team but it's important to note the difference between youth and talent. Sure Toronto has a lot of young guys. But those young guys haven't been very good. If they had, we'd be looking at this club like the next Oklahoma City Thunder or at least Memphis Grizzlies.
And I don't think anyone's putting the Raps in close to that class at present.
So maybe it's these additions that will provide the boost, not the current roster.
That too's all fine and dandy but was anyone else besides me a little nervous about Colangelo's "I can't wait to start playing with Lego again!!!" speech? I mean, we've seen the results of this in the past and for the most part, they haven't been pretty. The Raps do have money to spend, but I'm not sure going out to add over-priced veterans to this flawed core is what fans are hoping for. Many of us were fully willing to accept a few years of pain if it meant collecting blue chip talent and increasing future financial flexibility. but acting impulsively next year in order to build a team that again tops out at 40 wins kind of defeats that whole patience piece eh?
It's a bit like a guy breaking up with a girl, but instead of cutting it off for good, proposing they "take a break."
All that does is drag things out without solving the core issues, and after the completion of Friday's presser, I'm afraid that's the vision of this club that I was left with.
I'm hoping I'm wrong of course.
I'm hoping BC indeed rediscovers his Legomaster ways and turns under-appreciated castoffs into solid role players, and mines a stud or two from desperate opposition along the way. (Oh, and lucking out in the NBA draft lottery too wouldn't hurt.)
Colangelo and co. may indeed want to see results now, but let's hope that doesn't mean sacrificicing the club's future along the way.