Last time the Raptors made it to the playoffs was 2007-2008 season with Chris Bosh. Chris Bosh left in 2010. Last two years for the Raptors have been just apocalyptical. The Raptors won 22 games in 2010, and 23 wins in a shortened 2011 season.
So what has gone wrong?
Rudy Gay trade: Good or Bad?
What grade would I give this trade? Probably a C- at best. The Raptors owe Rudy Gay 54million dollars for the next 3 seasons. More money than Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, etc. Are you kidding me? Rudy Gay? Rudy Gay is a good player paid like a franchise player.
With this deal, I think the Raptors basically signed up for 7th to 10th seed for the next 3 years. I also believe that 7th to 10th seeds are the worst position a team can ever be in, because you're not getting high draft picks nor are you contending for the championship. There is no room for improvement for the Raptors after the acquisition of Rudy Gay. The team is at the luxury tax level, featuring the core of Gay, DeRozan and Lowry, all of them who have not really won anything in the this league. The idea of banking on three players, who have not been very successful, for the next three years is absurd; recall that the only time the Grizzlies made it to the second round of the playoffs was without Rudy Gay in 2010. Just because it's better than banking on Hedo Turkoglu, Jermaine O'Neal, Shawn Marion, it doesn't mean this trade will make you an elite team.
DeRozan and Rudy Gay both have similar redundant skill sets. Why did Colangelo have to pay DeRozan at the beginning of the year when he could've waited and dealt with him after this season?
If they had Rudy Gay at the beginning of the season, would they have signed DeRozan to a 4-year, $40 million long-term deal? I think not. These are players who cannot shoot very well from outside and have to drive. They have similar skills.
The Raptors traded away Calderon who was going to walk away as a free agent after this season and Ed Davis who was playing really well this season. Last 4 draft picks for Raptors were DeRozan, Ed Davis, Valanciunas and Ross. These players are decent and somewhat promising. I think the Raptors can roll with these players along with Kyle Lowry and Bargnani, and keep rebuilding. I don't understand why Colangelo had to make a panic trade, but it's probably because his contract expires at the end of this year.
NBA's worst contracts
Amir Johnson: $34 million over five years
Linas Kleiza: $20 million over four years
Landry Fields: $20 million over three years.
I really think $5 to $8million per year contract is the worst contract in this league. Because these players rarely make you an elite, championship contenting team while earning a significant amount of money. These small contracts are the ones that cause cancer to the teams financially.
What to do with Bargnani: Most frustrating and unfortunate number one pick
You may ask, "How is Bargnani the most frustrating and unfortunate number one pick? How about Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, Michael Olowokandi?" My defense is that these guys were just flat-out busts or very injury-prone. Teams who drafted them basically gave up on them after their 1st and 2nd year. But Andrea Bargnani has played well enough that he got a nice little contract extension from his team. I'm not saying that picking Bargnani 1st overall was a right choice, but the Raptors organization and fans definitely thought or hoped that he could be an above average player.
Being drafted number one was the worst thing that has ever happened to him. He's had all these expectations but he's not a leader and clearly he shouldn't have deserved to a number one draftee. Bargnani has shown some flashes (or signs?) that he can be a good player last year before the All-Star break, averaging 24.1 points on 46.3 percent shooting for 13 games, but he's never been consistent for a whole season. He's a 7-footer that can score and shoot from out side, but he lacks physicality and his rebound rate is flat-out embarrassing for a 7-footer. Grabbing 5 rebounds per 40minutes is just absolutely asinine for a guy that's big like him.
Colangelo said Bargnani is up for sales before the trade-deadline, how unprofessional is that? You can't go on National TV and say you're going to trade a guy. Was Colangelo even thinking? By telling the world that you're getting rid of a guy, what are you going to get for him? He wasn't even sure if he was going to be able to trade him for sure. What happens if you can't trade the guy you said you were going to trade on National TV? The player checks out. I don't blame Bargnani for not performing well. I actually applaud him for trying his best to help the team. I mean, how could he be excited to play and give his best when he knows that everyone associated with the Raptors doesn't want him?
We all know that Raptors fans don't like watching him. Fans want him gone. But is he tradable? Probably not. Because no one wants him. The Raptors should just keep him and see what he can do. He's not that terrible. Bargnani will provide outside shooting, something that the Raptors lack. Even if you can trade him for a bag of balls, Colangelo should not trade him, because getting ten cents on the dollar for him is not going to make the team any better. Even if you get rid of him for nothing, the Raptors will still be over the salary cap. Like I said before, the Raptors are financially locked up until Gay and DeRozan's contracts expire.