Raptors Gamble For The Short Term

I think no one can make the case that the Hedo signing, that is now said to be 53 million dollars in the latest reports, can be good in the long term. However it seems the Raptors are taking a gamble on the short term and with good reason. That reason is to of course keep Chris Bosh in the fold. But can this work in the short term. The Raptors have constructed what would be an exciting and competitive starting 5.

Pg- Jose Calderon
Sg- Demar DeRozan
Sf- Hedo Turkoglu
Pf- Chris Bosh
C- Andrea Bargnani

The issue becomes the bench or lack of one. First concern on that list is one we had last year. Back up point guard. What the Raptors should have learned is that Jose Calderon can be a starter but not for extended minutes. There over use of Calderon at least did not help his injury issues. Roko Ukic did not make anyone feel confident enough that he is ready to be a back up. So you would think that B.C still needs to be hunting for a legit option to back up Jose. Not just be hopeful that Ukic improves to a level he can handle the back up roll on a consistent basis. The Raptors do have Marcus Banks but no one expects anything from him and if the Raps can't pawn him off on a team you have to figure they will buy him out.

Shooting guard you have your under 20 year old draft pick in Demar DeRozan and he as of now looks to be your starter at shooting guard. Now Bryan Colangelo did say the Quincy Douby had been doing very well in workouts in Vegas since the season ended. We will get to see how he does in Vegas Summer League and get our first look at DeRozan as well. In what I have got to know of Demar DeRozan he is a confident young man and he may just surprise us and be able to handle all of this. But to have a rookie be responsible for the majority of minutes at any position is a high risk scenario. It could also be high reward. But point being in Quincy Douby enough to back him up? likely not. Brent Petway, Carl English and Smush Parker could all be guys on the Raptors summer league roster that could see this lack of depth at shooting guard as opportunity. English and Parker more a pg/sg option and Petway more a sg/sf.

By the way case you were wondering here is the Raptors Summer League Schedule:

Friday, July 10 L.A. Lakers 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 11 Detroit 4:00 p.m.
Monday, July 13 Portland 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 15 Milwaukee 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 16 Phoenix 4:00 p.m.

Where the Raptors have the most depth is in big people. Not that many are proven talents beyond the first 3 in Evans, Bargnani and Bosh. Humphries has had many chances and really never taken them and run with them. O'Bryant is loved more about his measurables than his actual production. Nathan Jawai had a disappointing rookie season. There is some hope in regards to him with some of the performances he has had with the Aussie National team. However as a group they all have a ton to prove.

I keep hearing how Bryan Colangelo is not done in this make over process. However I think at the end of the day he has shuffled the deck but may have some of the same problems in terms of lack of depth. He will be counting on a lot of people to come through for him. At the top of that list is Demar DeRozan followed by Roko Ukic if he can not find a legit option as a back up point guard.

The Raptor feel that a number of players could fall through the cracks and they can sign them to cheap contracts to address the depth questions. It is risky to play that game. But Bryan Colangelo is a risk taker and that will never change. I have always liked that about him but maybe as I get older I don't have the stomach for it as much as I use too.

It is hard to judge a picture that is only half painted as to if you like it or not. The one thing I can say is the Raptors have clearly lost sight of the long term picture in order to save this team in the short term. It is a big change from the Rob Babcock days. You could argue, he had no clue in the short or long term. But the point is Babcock always seemed to hesitate to make a move and be aggressive. Bryan Colangelo is the exact opposite. If this was a poker game Colangelo would be going all in and he does it with no hesitation at all. The question I have is he going in with a good enough hand to win? It is clear that some teams in the East fell they have added some Aces to their deck. Shaq, V.C and others all making the top teams better according to most.

I want to make it clear, in the short term I am not saying this was a bad move at all. In fact it is likely enough to get this team to the playoffs again. But when Bryan Colangelo came, I believe the goal was to win Championships? On that front when you look at the long term, have the Raptors taken steps in the right direction for that? I am very skeptical on that front. If the Raptors stick to the party line of staying under the tax threshold over the next several years it seems very hard to figure how it all would work money wise.

The way things have been lately it is not just sports teams that will need a capologist people writing and talking about the team might need one as well. That is my thoughts for the weekend. See you Monday.


  1. There is no "long term" in professional sports. Regardless, the Raps are fine long-term even if Bosh decides to leave. Turk will be good for 3/4 years of his contract. Then it will be an expiring contract with value. If Bosh stays they will have this starting five for years...if they want it.

    Regarding the backup PG, they just solved that. Turk is the back-up PG. Between him and Roko they can spell Jose at the point. No need to address the position further.

  2. I totally disagree on the first point. Teams that have ultimate success are always having one eye on the short term and one on the long. Patriots in football are likely the pest example of that in sports right now.

    Just assuming you will be able to dump bad contracts is also bad thinking. I mean at least basketball is not to the point of hockey with contract lengths that are insane and stupid.

    As for your last point Hedo does help in terms of being a "point forward" of sorts. However you still need someone to play the minutes at Jose's position regardless of his role in the offense.

  3. LOL that should read BEST not PEST.

  4. I don't think you're considering the benefit of all the salary we had to dump to make this move. I mean, I would say if anything we are weaker in the short term, as we may need one or two peices for the bench with very little tools.
    But now we are back to near the "cap" as oposed to being near the "tax" , so we have money to add to Jose Bargs Turk and Bosh in subsquent years,and decent money too. And plus we can max Bosh and re up Bargs without pushing into the tax.

    Even if Bosh deceides to leave, we will now have close to the full value of his contract to spend on FA's, whereas before we would have only had a small portion of his salary.

    I'd say, if you look more deeply into it, i think you should see that long term, it is not as dire as you think. Only this year, are we in a bit it of a pickle about how to bolster the Bench. If Bosh really does want to stay, we can be decent this year, and have a great shot at a complete team that is fiscally very healthy and in a position to add whateever it needs, or to even take that next step if the opportunity arises.


  5. At the end of last season we got to watch POB play some real minutes, probably for the first time since he was drafted. While he didn't look like a star, he had a very good mid-range jump shot and was composed and competent (abiet at a time of year when its hard to tell). POB is still very young, best described as project/prospect but after seeing him play, he does have a chance to be a decent back-up centre/ 4th big - a better prospect than say Humphries.


  6. Re: Patrick O'Bryant. I had done an interview with his coach in the D-League. I found his comments about him disturbing in regards to his future. You can use the search engine on the site to look up the interview.

  7. If we get Smush Parker on this team all I have to say is YULLCKO. That guy is complete Crap.

    I would maybe sign Juan Dixon to a 1-year vet-minimum deal. He was a solid backup in 06/07 and in 07/08 he was playing out-of-position so it wasn't his fault he didn't look as great.

    You said Nathan Jawai had a bad season, yes he did, but it wasn't his fault though, he didn't even have a training camp.

  8. Dinoblogger,

    I found your interview with Scott Roth of the Bakersfield Jam about Patrick O'Bryant on 2/23/09. It was a good interview and gave some nice insights into POB career to-date. (Actually that's best interview concerning POB I can remember hearing )

    Scott said "POB was easy to coach, had an unlimited amount of talent, an offensive game well ahead of most people's expectations, and knew his rotations. POB success will depend on his own motivation and he had to keep his foot on the gas to get the most out of POB. Things didn't work out for Patrick in GS and he just couldn't get any minutes in Boston."

    I could see potential there in the last month of the season while watching games at the ACC when POB started getting some burn, he looked like he had some talent and smarts (not just athleticism).

    Seems like a prospect worth taking a gamble on. POB is a little older, hopefully a little wiser since GS and has to know this will likely be his last shot at sticking in the NBA. If he's not motivated now, he never will be.

    (Its too bad you had that interview at about the time just about everyone had totally given up on the team for the season)


  9. Yeah I also have a great interview with Darren Rovell of CNBC that got posted just 5 minutes before the J.O trade happened sometimes you just have bad luck. But I have had other times where interviews timing could not have been better. You take the good with the bad and it evens out in the end. Glad you enjoyed it.