Fixing the Raptors

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by rdang, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    The League MVP is a Canadian. Rick Fox is a Canadian. Jamal Magloire is a Canadian. Toronto is less than an hour from the border and we produce ballers. NBA caliber ballers.

    The problems in Toronto have a lot to do with mismanagement and preconceived ideas about the country. Prince (the artist formerly known as the artist formerly know as Prince) makes Toronto his regular hangout because it is a cool city.

    Yeah, it's not Detroit or NY or LA. But neither is Cleveland.
  2. rdang

    rdang First Round Draft Pick

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    You can say the same thing about Detroit. The weather in winter there is almost as bad as it is in Toronto probably. T dot is a great basketball city, actually, and the fan base is insane. Its just the organization that needs the fixing.
  3. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Last Updated: Sep 17th, 2005 - 07:31:43
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calling the Shots: Could Babcock Actually Have A Plan?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    By Alex Labidou
    for HOOPSWORLD.com
    Sep 17, 2005, 15:10

    Over the past two seasons, everyone has had a chance to take a shot at Rob Babcock. It's hard not to make criticisms on the often timid looking Babcock on some of the worst moves ever by a GM. He drafted Rafael Araujo over Andre Iguodala, Andris Biedrins, Sebastian Telfair, Al Jefferson, J.R. Smith, Josh Smith and Trevor Ariza. Even David Harrison would have been a better pick than Araujo and he was picked 30th. He completely ignored his Franchise player Vince Carter's demands to hire a veteran coach and get players who can contribute by signing Loren Woods and hiring Sam Mitchell. This ultimately lead to one of the worst trades in NBA history by Toronto acquiring Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, and Alonzo Mourning's contract along with two first round picks by non lottery teams (Philadelphia and New Jersey's 2006 pick). However could there be a light at the end of a very dark tunnel? This HOOPSWORLD editor thinks so.

    Despite Stephen A. Smith's lambasting of Rob Babcock (some of it is well deserved) on draft night, Charlie Villanueva and Joey Graham have the chance to be good players in the NBA. While there might be chemistry issues if the Raptors decide to develop Villanueva as a power forward (since Chris Bosh plays power forward); there is a possibility that he could also be developed to play small forward (as Lamar Odom did in his earlier years). Villanueva might be undersized as power forward or center but as small forward (if he can ever stay focused on the court) could be dominating at 6'11 and 240. Everyone who comments on Villanueva states that he could be one of the league's most talented players if he can stay focused on the court. Sam Mitchell will have his work cut out for him but in the end should be able to instill that mentality to Villanueva. If that happens watch out.

    Another intriguing pick is Joey Graham. While a lot of people had criticized Babcock for picking Graham over Granger and Green, there were many factors behind that decision. While Green definitely has the potential to be an All-Star, rumor had it that he didn't want to play for Toronto. After dealing with Damon Stoudamire, Vince Carter and Antonio Davis all asking out of Toronto, Babcock didn't want to take a chance on a player who could be a chemistry issue in the locker room. As for Granger, while Granger definitely was amazing player for New Mexico last season; his chronic injury problems scared away a lot of teams. He's had knee problems before and these issues materialized when he was pulled out of summer league competition. When all those factors were placed into consideration, Babcock didn't want to take a risk on a player who might be injury prone (and remind fans of several years of Vince Carter's various injuries). Despite the fact that Graham needs to work on his ball handling skills and playmaking ability; Graham is a powerhouse bull. He finishes in the lane amazingly, rebounds well, has a consistent jump shot ranging up to 18 feet. He can defend up to three positions on the court (Shooting Guard, Small Forward, and Power Forward) and due to his massive size (he's 6'7 and 235) and strength (he can bench over 400 pounds) he has a very good post up game and doesn't get injured playing inside. A lot of people say he can be Richard Jefferson when its all said and done but it might be more fair to compare him to a more athletic Ron Artest. If that is the case, Toronto could have a very solid core of guys in Bosh, Villanueva, and Graham.

    Also by drafting both Villanueva and Graham (as well as Roko Ukic), Babcock has added two intangibles to his roster. In all three draftees, each player can play multiple positions on the floor. That allows for the type of versatility that Toronto hasn't had since when Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter were both on the floor. For too many years Toronto had a multitude of players who all did the same thing on the floor (last season for example it was the 3 point shooters). Also in adding Joey Graham and Charlie Villanueva, Toronto has two guys who actually want to play in Toronto. While Toronto is a very nice city (hey its probably better than living in Utah or Milwaukee), its high tax rates and Canadian culture often turns off a lot NBA players from wanting to play there (their last big free agent acquisition was Rafer Alston). Both Graham and Villanueva before and after the draft expressed their desire to play for the Raptors and that made it a lot easier for Babcock to have confidence in them.

    Lastly what people aren't talking about is Toronto's future cap space. While Toronto will have to deal with two seasons of being over the cap; their payroll in 2007 (without resigning anyone) will be 11 million dollars. Assuming they pick up the options on both Graham and Villanueva (which they will) and Bosh resigns for the maximum contract, their payroll will be roughly 20-25 million dollars. While it will be difficult to sign a big name free agent, Toronto will have the flexibility to sign players who will fit their young core of players. If Toronto fans can stay interested after five years of a lot of growing pains, this team can be a playoff contender by the 2007/2008 season. All Babcock has to do (besides not giving up on his team before the season starts) is keeping on moving disgruntled players (i.e. Rafer Alston) for players who want to be there (i.e. Matt Bonner) and the wins will follow. Sam Mitchell will make sure of that.
  4. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    Scraping the bottom of the barrell

    The Raptors are looking to pick up a third point guard and would like the Japanese guy Yuta Tabuse....but he wants to play for the Clips. So they may end up with Jay Williams...the one from Duke that got hurt on the motorcycle. http://tinyurl.com/bopo2

    I's take Anthony Goldwire any day over either of these two players.
  5. Winless Wonders

    Winless Wonders Starter Forum Donor

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    Fix the Raptors??

    I don't know where to begin. I guess first you need leadership and it starts at the top. Fire everyone in the front office. You also need a new coach. Then once you install solid management and a good head coach then maybe you can win some games. The talent they have in Toronto right now is very weak. If your going to build around Bosh then you have to get guy's that complement him. You need a big Center for starters.
  6. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    Winless Wonder

    I guess I made a wrong turn somewhere. Am I on the Lions forum...I was looking for the Raptors thread.:confused:
  7. Winless Wonders

    Winless Wonders Starter Forum Donor

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    LOL Darth,

    They need new ownership. Not a guy riding around in a Golf cart saying just have fun boys. But anyway back to the Raptors all they need is a good GM, a good coach and a big servicable Center. That is a lot but with what they have now they can't win especially in the East.
  8. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    No. All the Raptors need is new ownership. Basketball ownership, not part of some Toronto sports conglomerate as they currently are via Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (or whatever it is called).

    The problem is, their ownership runs it only as a business interest to keep seats selling in the Air Canada Center. The Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey ownership is clueless about basketball and marketing.

    Babcock is not a star, but his hands are so terribly tied, that if he knew how this job would go, he would never have taken it.

    And I like the coach. He's tough, he's a (recent) former player so he has insight into the game and many of the veteran stars. Sam Mitchell is the right guy for a team trying to build around a young big man.
  9. Winless Wonders

    Winless Wonders Starter Forum Donor

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    I will take you opinion Micro since I don't follow the Raptors that much that Sam Mitchell is the right man for the job. The only thing I have read about him that I did not like was how he handle skip to my lou or what ever the he!! they call that guy Rafer Alston.
  10. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Raptors' once-disgruntled Williams now smiling in Toronto

    By 24 hours news services


    Raptors malcontent Eric Williams reportedly has decided that life in Toronto is not quite so bad.

    After being shipped north from New Jersey in the Vince Carter swap last season, Williams watched his game go south with the the Raptors and continually expressed his unhappiness and his desire to be traded.
    It seems, however, that Williams has had a change of heart. Raptors general manager Rob Babcock said yesterday he had a positive and constructive talk with the hard-nosed forward over the summer and, in a surprising development, added that Williams wouldn't mind remaining with the Raptors.

    More here
  11. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    I don't know much about the inner workings of the club, but I feel like they are behind the eight ball. As rdang pointed out, players don't seem to want to go to Canada.

    I've been to Toronto a few times and the last time I saw it the city and subways were clean and beautiful, although that was over 20 years ago. It didn't seem too slow paced to me, and I in fact I thought it was kind of hopping, but that's just me. Nothing wrong with Canada, IMO. Then again, I love Boise, but I doubt most NBA players would care for it.

    The tax thing must be a major factor in keeping players away. Given their salaries, it must add up to an incredible amount that they lose for playing in Canada. I'm thinking hundreds of thouands or even a million+ in some cases, maybe? Those taxes are high!!!
  12. rdang

    rdang First Round Draft Pick

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    Should the NBA compensate for those players and taxes then if it causes such a problem? I know players choose to go to states like Florida and Texas where the taxes are almost none and I think that's kind of an unfair advantage when attracting free agents.

    Governments should not be a major factor in the development of a sports team. What if the NBA had a set tax rate for players on their salaries and paid out whatever the difference was for the city (in Toronto tax is 15%, not sure if its any more if you make a lot of money) and the NBA set their medium at 12%. The extra 3% could be paid for by the NBA commission and this'll help develop teams in different cities in Canada and states, adding to more profits through attendance. It'd be a win-win situation.

    As for Sam Mitchell. I do like the guy, and Micro is right, the thing that needs to change is the ownership. The Leafs are criticized by their fans for not spending enough money as well. We could've easily bought a cup like Colarado and Detroit did before the lock-out but as an organization they decide rather to just keep their millions of profits and keep the team the same every year (with one or two additions).

    Its smart business of course, if the fans come back then why react hastingly? But the sad fact is, smart business doesn't accumulate the wins. Self-less owners like Mark Cuban in Dallas are what the Raptors need.
  13. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    rdang

    I was also thinking that the NBA should compensate Canadian teams to even things up.

    Unfortunately, Stern probably doesn't care. I don't see it happening.
  14. Winless Wonders

    Winless Wonders Starter Forum Donor

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    Exactly. I am so tired of these hot shot businessmen buying teams just for there personal kicks. They don't want to put money into them they treat them as a toy to play with once or twice a year and then put it back in the garage. A profession franchise needs attention 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. If you don't want to spend money then buying a team should not be on your to do list. Buy a Bentley and a private plane instead.
  15. rdang

    rdang First Round Draft Pick

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    Lamond Murray just went off on Toronto recently, saying the trade for Vince was a bad business move. He said: "They just don't know basketball up there".

    I never liked Lamond Murray. Especially when he came off the bench and started hoisting shots like it was no one's business. He played with no heart and did it just for a paycheck. Now I see that he's got no business sense neither. Guys like him need to be thrown out of the league.

    I wish I had the link but I couldn't find it.
  16. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    The best place in the schedule to practice Flip's zone? The answer might be Toronto, based on these excerpts from today's Toronto Star:

  17. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    WOW!!!

    Did anyone see Rafael Araujo's pass last night?

    I can't even describe it. There is no way to do it justice. Pass of the night, maybe pass of the week.
  18. crastinator

    crastinator First Round Draft Pick

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  19. Tigerfan

    Tigerfan Second Round Draft Pick

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    So Sorry

    What a pity that a talent such as Mo Peterson has to be wasted north of the border. Both he and Bosh are stuck on a team that the owners have no desire to build a winner. The city of Toronto is a great place. The crime rate is one of the lowest in North America. The night life is wonderful and has always reminded me of New York City only on a smaller scale. The city is one of the most deversified in the world with many races all living in their own section of town. Toronto is a great place to visit and to possibly live. So the upshot of all this is that the team needs new owners that will strive to bring a winner to this great city.
  20. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

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