Thursday, February 26, 2009
Richie Rebuilds Raptors
Let’s focus on what is within the realm of CONCEIVABILITY about what could happen this summer. In other words, let’s speculate on how Brian Colangelo (BC) might be able to dig out from under the heap of shit team he has buried himself beneath.
Here is a chart of NBA team salaries and their free agents (stars indicate which free agents are restricted and a double star indicates player termination options) If you look at Atlanta, it means they will be 10.4 million under the salary cap and 22.9 million under the luxury tax. Meanwhile the Knicks are 16million over the salary cap and 3.6 million over the luxury tax.
According to this table the Raps are already committed to about 50million. I have read from a slightly more reliable source that it is only about 46million. Lets take the fact that the Raps are already committed to 46 million as a starting point and that they will still be about 22million under the luxury tax as gospel just for the purpose of this exercise.
Part One – Who to re-sign?
A couple weeks ago, BC almost made me drop a steaming turd in my pants when he suggested he wanted to re-sign: A) Marion, B) Parker, C) Delfino, D) Graham and E) Nesterovic. If he actually signs all five of these fuckers he should officially just quit with dignity before he gets fired by the wankers that make up the MLSE board.
Of these five aforementioned names, who should BC get back?
Marion – Yes, he is essential for reputation purposes. I fully expect him back in Toronto and I will explain why. If Marion walks away it means BC gave up Ford, O’Neal, Nesterovic, Baston and 2 first rounders for sweet fuck all in one year! Also, the Raps will likely be the only team able to give him something fair. What is fair? I personally believe anything over 10 million is too much. 7 million is a steal. I think it is REASONABLE to assume he could be had for 8 or 9 million per year in the current climate.
The next three (Parker, Graham and Delfino) I lump into a group of which I only think two of them (at the most) should be re-signed and I do not think any of them are worth more than 3.5 million.
Parker – Maybe he should return, on the condition that: A) he will come off the bench, B) not demand too much money and C) will be willing to tutor whoever the Raptors draft in the first round to replace him. Will he play for 3 million or could he get more in Israel? He wanted to go back there before this year. He might walk. Yet, BC is madly in love with him. So I don’t really know where he stands. My guess at this moment is that AP goes back to the Holy Land of Israel.
Delfino – Maybe he should return. Of these three, he is the one I like most since he is “kind of athletic” and can handle the rock. They say they want to push the tempo? Delfino is the best of the three to help do this since he has better handles and passing than Joey. Remember when he was the only guy who’d drive at Dwight Howard in the playoffs? I haven’t forgotten. I respected his guts in last year’s playoff series. (Delfino, Bosh and Kapono were the only three who played well in fact)
Graham – Maybe he should return. Good Joey is also solid in a fast break style and can play power forward in a small ball lineup. He is a good finisher on the break and has seemed to turn a corner lately. Could the Raps sign him to a contract of less than 3million per year? If yes, keep him. He’s a good backup to Marion.
Nesterovic – Maybe he should return. Is he better than Jawai, O’Bryant, Voskuhl and Humphries? Yes. The Raps need some toughness, rebounding and cannot afford to waste a top 10 pick on these skills when there is already such a glaring hole at shooting guard. Is Nesterovic a viable possibility to fill this hole? Sadly, yes. If not him then who? Maybe Brandon Bass or Channing Frye? They look to fall around the 3-5million salary mark. Nesterovic and Frye closer to 3million while Bass is closer to 5million.
Tally it up : Marion (9million) plus 2 wings (7million) plus Nesterovic /another goon (4million) = 20million. Fuck me! That’s a lot of money to spend on essentially keeping the same team! More changes need to be made in my view.
While I agree with Bunting that rebuilding is a great idea, I simply don’t think Colangelo is going to rebuild due to his homosexual tendencies towards Bosh, Calderon and Bargnani. So I am forced to consider a more conservative, realistic approach.
PART TWO - Other Free Agents
I have already mentioned the fact that I think Brandon Bass would be a good candidate to bring grit and toughness. Let’s be serious - other than a shooting guard - grit and toughness is what the Raps need more than anything. It needs to be number two on the team’s wishlist.
Shooting guard who can slash
Someone with grit and balls who can intimidate
Backup point guard (unless you love Roko Ono)
Scenario 1 – Marion Bolts for Greener Pastures
This would absolutely kill Colangelo’s credibility. I doubt it will happen because there aren’t any teams I can see that need him that also have the space to pay him.
However, for the purpose of argument, let’s say he bolts town on the first GO Train out. The only way to salvage him leaving would be to make a splashy free agent signing.
Oscar and I agree that a good candidate is Marvin Williams. However, when you see how far below the cap that Atlanta is, you gotta think they should be able to re-sign both Bibby and Marvin Williams.
If that doesn’t work, I advocate chucking money at Ben Gordon to solve the shooting guard conundrum.
If that doesn’t work, then overspend on D-League superstar, Ben Ford’s lovechild, known only as Mr Von Wafer. Hell, he is a great option no matter what. I want this guy to be the starting 2 guard next year. He’s better than Parker or Delfino. Does Houston have the flexibility to pay him?
Scenario 2 – The Raps re-sign Matrix but let the others walk
I think this is a good option. Why hang on to guys like Parker, Graham and Delfino when they are average benchplayers at best and borderline douchebags at worst? Lets try to spend money on another starter. If Matrix cost 9million there could still be enough to try to lure someone else to the Raps.
Paul Millsap would be money but he won’t be allowed to leave Utah since he is restricted.
You all know Colangelo has a raging hard-on for Linas Kleiza. If overpaid by Toronto, Denver may not be able to match. This really frightens me.
Hedu Turkoglu could be had if he opts out. Much like Kleiza, this possibility also terrifies me.
Best case: The Raps re-sign Marion, steal Wafer and also add a solid SG/SF through the draft. I realize that in this dream scenario the Raps have not fixed the problem of being a big bunch of pussies. Here comes my masterstroke…
PART THREE – The Trade Market
I’m not going to throw around Bosh or Bargnani trade scenarios because I don’t think they are likely.
However, it is abundantly obvious that the Raps need to get rid of at least one of these two shit bombs:
My dream scenario is trading either one of them to Philadelphia for Reggie Evans. He addresses the toughness problem and is buried on Philly’s bench behind a host of other forwards. He has NO skills, but he is gritty as fuck. Good enough! I’d prefer to get Bass, but I doubt it will happen.
Other than this, I am not really sure what trades could be swung to improve the team. But I gotta say, I’m open to ANYONE on the Raps roster being traded.
PART FOUR – The Draft
I cannot pretend to know a damn thing about the draft. However, at this juncture it is absolutely imperative the Raptors hit a homerun on their pick. This much I am sure of.
Ideally this would be a shooting guard or small forward. The current crop looks like one of: James Harden, Brandon Jennings, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jeff Teague, Earl Clark, Gerald Henderson, etc.
However, I am also open to the idea of selecting a tough power forward or center who can disguise the femininity of Bosh and Bargnani.
2009-2010 Starting Lineup
PG – Calderon, Ukic, Banks
SG – Wafer, Rookie 1st Rounder, Delfino
SF – Marion, Graham
PF – Bosh, Evans/Bass
C – Bargnani, O’Bryant, Jawai (Nesterovic)
What do you think? Personally, I’d prefer even more changes, but this seems more likely.