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If I Ran The Toronto Raptors

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If I Ran The Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors....Canada's team, not Europe's team. The team is reflecting the mentallity of a 10 year old italian girl, not reflecting the culture of those within its city. Toronto is cold, a large city, with hardworking, tough people. Torontonians have alot of pride in their sports teams, and the players should too. Maurizio Gherardini and Bryan Colengelo recruit, scout, and develop European players as a marketing gimic and a method to defeat the small market label upon Toronto because they think Europeans are embraced by a city with a large population of Europeans, when in reality it is the Junk Yard Dogs, Charles Oakley's, Mo Pete's, Alvin Williams, Matt Bonners, Reggie Evans, and now maybe James Johnson's that the city embraces and gives standing ovations everytime they return.

If I ran the Toronto Raptors I would bring grit back to the franchise. I would have to assess the talent on the team and find a way to make up for stupid contracts, if necassary buyouts would be completed so develoment is ensured. I would assess the weakness's on the team position wise, and skills wise. Those weakness's would give me a proper idea as too who I would attempt to draft. Building around the developed talent is essential, which would have to be done throug the draft, free agency and development.

STEP 1- Assess Talent
Toronto is a team with few developed talents and veterans. Everyone on the team besides Klieza, Evans, Barbosa, and Calderon are deveoping talents which is a good thing. Klieza and Calderon have unmovable contracts and Barbosa and Evans have expiring ones soon which make them trade assets. Tading Calderon and Klieza but it is likely Toronto will have to bite the bullet on those 2's contracts. Having Calderon stick around for a couple years is actaully alot better then it seems, he will show any young PG entering the system how to properly run an offense and protect the ball, Jose also helps in developing young frontcourt players by giving them the ball in the right place through properly executed pick and roles. Klieza seems to be a dark cloud on this team, although hopefully he returns healthy and can provide 3-pt shooting for the future. Evans and Barbosa need to be traded for young talent and or picks.

Toronto has many young assets who are looking like experimental players, Bayless, Weems, Aijinca, Alabi, and James Johnson. It is essential to give these players playing time to see where there game is, during the Miami Heat game Aijinca was working on his game 3 hours before the game began on the court running drlls. Johnson, Weems, and Bayless look like they have the skill and minset to stay in the league and possibly on the team.

Demar Derozan, Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson are Toronto's high level players who are still developing.

Demar Derozan needs to be the 1st option, andrea Bargnani needs to be moved. its really that simple. Derozan displays tough intincts repeatedly and proves his doubters wrong time and time again. I remember someone compared his game to Ronnie Brewer on this site before. so much for that. Derozan's upside really depends on the role he is given by the organization, he might just tae that role if its not handed to him. I would like to see him extend his range to 3, defend, rebound, and assist better in his 3rd year. He should also take more of a leadership role. I do not expect him to fal and believe he will improve all those attributes.

Many would argue Bargnani is not still developing but he definitely is. Bargnani as an individual has alot of weakness's that can be improved, for this he will likely need a change of systems and a new organization to thrive in. I dont care if your name is Brook Lopez or Andrea Bargnani 5-rpg at the C position is unacceptable. This will not change in our Toronto Raptors enviroment, therefore Bargnani should be labelled expadable to improve the integrity of this team. Although there should be no rush to trade him, as Center's n tis league can be very elusive. The key is to target C's through he draft the next 2 years, and through free agency and trade Bargnani when possible.

Amir Johnson and Ed Davis are both extremely talented front court players, but can they share minutes at PF? Yes they can, but it will mean Davis wll have to get bigger and take some minutes at C, there are 48 available minutes per position. So if you started Davis at the PF position giving hm 20 PF-mpg, and let him play the C position for 10 C-mpg that would allow Johnsonto play 28-mpg at PF and leave another 38-mpg for Bargnani, (or a true Center). I dont think a true C should play more then 35-mpg and really should be held at around 30 to 32 mpg. Think tight rotations Toronto...

STEP 2- Strengths and Weakness's

Strengths
Toronto has a high octane offense with dynamic scorers in basically every position. They are a young team with a chance for an extremely hih draft pick (unless the lottery punks us). The team has a great talent at SG in Demar Derozanwhich is the second hardest position to fnd great talent at (besides C). At PF they have two very active, shot blocking, rebounding players, who are long, athletic, and killed. Both have soft hands, developing mid range games, and are only 23 and 21 years of age. Although Jose Calderon is locked up for a while in contracts this does not have to be a negative, if GM Colengelo is wise he will understand it is rebuilding time, and the money spent on Calderon will not need to be used on anyone else anyways. If we can establish a capable starting PG within the next 2 drafts, (Kyrie Irving, Kyre Irving, Kyrie Irving!!) then Calderon can become the perfect teacher and positive role model for him, and help develop our PF's and C's. Not only that but when his contract expires we can re-sign him and have the perfect backup PG.

Weakness's
Where do I start. we have too many scorers! It is disgusting. Klieza wouldve been a good signin if Bargnani wasnt on te same team, fact is they play the exact same way. Barbosa needs to benched if they are not going to trade him, Bayless needs to be regulated seriously the guys ego is amazing, and Weems needs to start playing D. Julian Wright, James Johnson, and Reggie evans are the type of ROLE PLAYERS weneed to compliment the players listed. The Raptors reason for being a below .500n team are no starting PG, no defensive stopper on the wing (maybe Johnson can be that), no post presence, lack of communication on D, lack of size, inconsitancy with jumpshots,lack of perimeter defense, closing out on shooters, and the list goes on. The main issues thou that could solve these leads to...The need to acquire a starting PG, starting SF, and starting C.

STEP 3-Correting Weakness's
Although they are essential trading our veterans for draft picks and young players is not going to fix our weakness's. Our defense isnt magicly stop being one of the worst in the league because we make minor deals for draft picks. We have to start at the route of the problem whch is Jose Calderon's perimeter defense, and Andrea Bargnani's paint defense. The PG is the first line of defense and the C is the last line of defense on the floor. Toronto's first defender and last defender are arguably the worst defenders in the league at their positions. We can not just sit around and watch the Raptors organization accept this.

My plan would be to fix the 3 positions PG, SF, and C. The goal over 2 years would be to acquire a Top 5 PG through the draft, a Top 5 C, through the draft, then trade Bargnani for a reliable SF. Although if in the 1st draft if a PG and C are not available then selecting a SF would be acceptable and the next draftspriority list would be C first, and PG second do to the fact that Bargnani can be traded for a capable PG well before he can be traded for a capable C. Amongst all of this it is also important to select the best player available and ot get caught up in positional breakdows if the talent gap is too much.

The course for improvement is not easy but this is the simple plan I would draw up.

2011-Draft
Knowing the SG and PF positions are looking very good and there are issues at PG, SF and C would be very instrumental towards who I pick. Although the Raptors look poised to make a subtle run, and ruin their draft position, and the lottery is never trustworthy so position for the daftis always uncertain at this point. My Top 5 on the "Raptors Radar' currently looks like this.

1)Kyrie Irving- Quite possibly the best player available in the draft, has been compared to Chris Paul and really makes a strong case as too why. Imagine what this team could be with a floor general who is good in all aspects of the game. I doubt he falls out of the top 3 but Minnesota, Washington, and New Jersey will not be selecting a PG, and cleveland looks to be selecting Sullinger if not Williams hopefully. That takes 4 teams out of the Top 6 selecting out of the Irving sweepstakes, and I think Toronto will select him if they choose before Sacramento.

2)Enes Kanter- This guy is the exact type of player Toronto has been waiting for, and despite missing out on playing games for Kentucky he has been NBA ready for quite some time. The issue with grabbing Kanter would be Bargnani, which would probally scare those wussies Colengelo and his staff off of him. Fact is kanter is the type of guy that would probally make Toronto want to move Bargnani and five this team a great oppurtuity to win in the future. He is the closest thing to this years Demarcus Cousins.

3)Perry Jones- After seeing one night of James Johnsons impact it gives yo a nice glimpse of how Perry Jones could effect this team. This superathletic talent could even get Toronto a new representitive for the Slam Dunk Contest! He has all the tools available to be a lockdown defender but it seems like he will be more of a help defending presence, such as Josh Smith for Atlanta. He also has some good ball handling, is quick, and long as heck. And who knows, if the Raps are happy playing Bargnani at C, he could be our C of the future...what a joke.

4)-Jonas Valanciunas- Big V is creeping up draft boards and starting to let his presence be known. Think of how great Andris Biedrins woud be if he had an aggressive mindset, shot 70% from free throws, consitantly displayed decent post moves, and ran the pick and roll more smoothly. Enter Jonas Valanciunas. He has been doing it big in Europe and performing at such a high level that another mock draft site has him being selected second overall. The question is whether or not the level of play in Europe is high enough and if his game can translate to the NBA. I think it mabe worth a gamble.

5)-Terrence Jones- This was definitely a toug decision between Terrence Jones and Kawhi Leonard. I am a supporter of both players although I am just very high on Leonard and project him to come out of college like a young Gerald Wallace. Terrence Jones seems more like Jeff Green to me. His versatility would be excellent for tis team, Jones would be a guy who would be happy being a third option and playing hard tough defense.

During 2011 Free Agency I would also target Jeff Green, DeAndre Jordan, and Marc Gasol.

I dont want to get into details on the 2012 draft beause it is so uncertain how players will perform, although players on my radar would be Drummond, Rivers, and Miller.

Who I would trade Bargnani for would depend on who is available in 2012 offseason, who wnats bargnani and who Ive acquired.


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Sorry ill proofread next

Sorry ill proofread next time...I got lazy...

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Canada you have some good

Canada you have some good points. I think Toronto may want to take a look at Dalembert. I dont see him being the long term answer in Sac. I think he is from Canada or has a Canadian Citizenship. I heard back in the day he wanted to play in Toronto. He would help them on defense and he can score bit down low and Caulderon would get him the ball something only Andre Miller did well over the years because Dalembert has rarely played with a true point.

Amir Johnson is probably more suited to play back up Center minutes unless Davis has shown that his body can take that pounding. Amir is smallish too but he is limited skill wise so if he wears out banging, it is not that big of a deal. Davis is a skilled big that if you can save him from being pounded he can help you more. I am sure you know this seeing as it is your team.

Barbosa should have been traded already. Hopefully Bayless will mature but Bayless and Barbosa are too similiar. James Johnson has a chance to show he is not a bust. he also has the size to defend bigger small forward. I think if he accepts his role as a defensive phyical player like a Ron Artest lite without the head stuff, he could be a starter for year to come. Evans has value but needs to be trade because he does not need to take Davis minutes. A young point guard like Kyrie Irving would be great.

I am seeing a future like this

pg Irving/Caulderon

sg DeRozan/Bayless(could be moved though)

sf Johnson(could be on bench if better free agent see below comes)

pf Davis/Bargnani or Davis/Amir Johnson

C Dalembert/Amir Johnson or Bargnani/Dalembert

You can possibly move any other contract to get your more solid bench players.

Pietrus

Childress

Donte Green

Martel Webster

Corey Brewer

torontoraptors10
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OhCanada

I'm surprised you don't have Jared Sullinger under your draft section. My first choice for a draft pick would be Irving but if we do not get him, my second choice would be Sullinger. This way it allows us:

a.) Trade Bargnani for a PG or

b.) Move to Bargnani to his natural position and keep Ed Davis on the bench ( which will create a log jam for Davis and Johnson ) This will create an inside-outside threat.

Personally, I'd trade Bargnani. I love Ed Davis' hustle and not to mention the energy Amir Johnson brings to the team.

Jerryd Bayless needs more playing time. I remember a couple of games after he got traded, he was putting near triple double numbers against Indiana and another team which I can't remember. Bargnani should NOT be centre for our team and this summer we should look to add Tyson Chandler or Samuel Dalembert ( depending on how the draft goes for Toronto ). Colangelo has a solid trade for acquiring James Johnson. I think he needed a change of scenery and hopefully he can shine in Toronto and as stated above, hopefully he can be a defensive stopper for the Raptors.

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I dont think Sullinger does

I dont think Sullinger does the things Kanter can do as a C. I like Sullinger but he is a true PF in my opinion. Irving is top no matter what. Williams and Sullinger maybe the best prospects in the draft but we have so much depth at PF, and defensve depth at that . Dalembert would be an excellent add for sure, there is no doubting that.

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Can we get a Nets thread

Can we get a Nets thread now???????

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Wait...So your saying you

Wait...So your saying you would fix the Raptors by magically drafting a top 5 PG in the league and a top 5 C in the league? How would you assure this lol !

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Dude your just making this

Dude your just making this &$#%#&@! up while you sit at home bored behind a computer !

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Do you even watch the

Do you even watch the Raptors? You refer to Amir Johnson as an "extremely talented" player...Dude what do you watch for when you watch a Raptors game, and what do you consider 'talent' ? Amir Jonhnson has little skill/talent and all the raw power/ahtletisicm in the entire world ...

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Amir Johnson as zero power,

Amir Johnson as zero power, he is a finesse player on the offesnive end. Talent doesnt necassarily mean post moves...he is quick, fluent, has soft hands, is crafty in the paint, can rebound on both ends, has high energy level, a good jumpshot, he averages 59% on his FG%, and I think he is at about 80% from FT, he blocks shots, gets steals and is a great PF to play a role position. Thats talent in alot of areas.

He is not powerful at all, he is actaully quite soft and gives easy points up in the post. He has trouble in the post due to his slight size and cant back down players like a power frontcourt player would.

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OhCanda ...Oh Wow!

I refuse to debate with somebody who uses the words/phrases 'finese' and 'crafty in the paint' when discussing Amir Jonhnson lol! Sorry buddy.

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I don't understand why Raptor fans

Keep either wanting to move Bargnani to the 4, or trade Bargnani. Bargnani is not a 4, he's a finesse C. Bargnani cannot play the 4 position as effectively as he plays the 5. The Raptors need to hide his defensive issues with a long, physical presence at the 4. Andrea is their best player (really the face of their franchise), and you're not going to get equal value in a deal involving him with his contract. There are definitely problems with the Raptors and with Bargnani but Bargnani is not the main reason why the team struggles to win. Bargnani is a building piece, as much by default as anything else.

If the Raptors are going to improve, they need to determine whether Bayliss is their PG of the future, or their designated 6th man. They'll get a good look at Johnson and determine if he's the SF of the future, and they need to determine if Davis is the guy to man the 4 spot. The Raptors should not be going crazy with trades. There is no point in the Raptors trading off their youth. They are not competitve nor will they be competitive for a while, so instead of putting them in a position of mediocrity, play the kids, and let them grow together and develop, while mixing in veteran leadership.

In the draft, it depends on what they decide is their biggest need. Is it SF or PG. Also, it depends on when they draft. If I were the Raptors I'd pick Irving, if he's unavailable, Williams. I don't think they should draft a PF, they need to get a look at the guys at that position already and see if they can provide anything for the team.

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ucla86

You mad bro?

If you disagree with him then state your points. Don't be like:

"I refuse to debate with somebody who uses the words/phrases 'finese' and 'crafty in the paint' when discussing Amir Jonhnson lol! Sorry buddy."

1.) Learn how to spell correctly and
2.) State your points!
3.) Don't back down when you already have criticized somebody else's point.

It only makes your argument look really weak.

Ucla86 you probably have never watched Amir Johnson or the Raptors play at all. Johnson is shooting a high field goal and he does a lot of things that the Raptors need, example: hustle, rebounding, cleans up the garbage. He does all the little things that stat sheets don't show. He shoots a decent FT% for a big man too. That's what OhCanada means by talented.

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Johnson is not a bruiser, he

Johnson is not a bruiser, he is not powerful, and he is not big. Power frontcourt players are Howard, Aldridge, Griffin, and other players who BACK DOWN there opponents with STRENGTH, and POWERFUL MOVES, towards the hoops. If you disagree I respect your decision, I watch the games, and I go to the games.

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Flyboy I tend to agree.

Flyboy I tend to agree. Bargnani wont just be effective if you switch him to the 4.I also disagree about covering him with long PFs to compensate and hide is defensive cons. They have done that all year and have had no success when doing that with johnson and Davis.

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OhCanada

Johnson and Davis are long, and pretty lean interior players. Johnson has gained quite a bit of strength, but neither are heavyweights on the inside. Davis has shown the potential to be good in that department with his shotblocking and rebounding but he's still developing. Davis was drafted to be the PF of the future for Toronto. He fits what Toronto is looking for and as he gets stronger he will get better at doing what he needs to do defensively for the Raptors.

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Dude..The way you describe Amir Johnson, sounds as if your talking about a top 5 PF in the league..Be honest with yourself, and go back and read what you wrote.. Finesse player, crafty in the paint, soft hands, good jump shot (ARE YOU HIGH?), shoots 59 percent from fg, 80 percent from F/T. Blocks shots, gets steals, quick and fluid down the court.. lol. Aside from the fact you mention in your last sentence that he is a good role player, it honestly sounds like your talking about Blake Griffin man... I am not personally not trying to attack you, but I am being dead serious.. Read again what you wrote.

My take on Amir Jonhson ...

Strengths -

Amir is a pure hustler on both ends of the court. He goes after the ball on every rebound, whether it be on the offensive or defensive end, and is the first guy to dive for a loose ball. Amir is a good shot blocker, and not only can he block his own man's shot, he is a great weak side blocker as well. Amir finishes well in transition, and shoots a high percentage largely off dunks or put backs. Overall he is a good energy guys, provides a spark off the bench and I would love having on my team to play 10 minutes a game. (Still can't believe the money BC threw at this guy...I guess BC was high too, thinking this guy was a legit NBA starter)

Weaknesses -

Amir is still a young player, however has almost been in the league a decade now. With that being said Amir still lacks a feel for the NBA and often looks lost when the game is played in the half court. Amir stands around a lot on offense, and has little to no ability to create his own shot. He has little no ability to score outside of 6-8 feet, and is not really a threat at all on offense. If teams need to, they can double the other big man on the court (Bargnani) and not really need to be worried about Johnson offensively at all. He has little to no ability to put the ball on the court as well. On defense he switches well off the first pick, but often rotates late off multiple picks, and allows other teams to score easily when executing well. This especially happens against well coached teams (San Antonio, Utah, Boston) and more than often against poorer teams as well. Overall Amir has great raw talent (and I still think he does have some power/strength to him - maybe not Aldridge or D12 strength) but he is one of the lowest IQ basketball players in the NBA.

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I agree

Not a big fan of your attitude uclawhatever but i agree with your assesment of amir. I love him as a 15-20 minutes sub at PF/C to give starters a rest, and i think he is very valuable in that role to bring energy to the second unit. unrelated, I dont get this bargnani isnt a PF stuff though. As a PF i see bargs putting up numbers similar to what he has now. Name me some PF's that will cause him to struggle offensively. I cant think of any outside of duncan and garnett, who cause EVERYONE to struggle offensively. You can bury his defensive deficiencies easier as a PF as well, since BY FAR his single weakest defensive deficiency is his help D. His man d, while not excellent, isnt terrible, but he reacts like he has a concussion on help d. Not saying he's the answer in TO at pf, just sayin i think he'd be more effective there. Overall good post OhCanada.

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Maysek22...

Very well said Maysek22, I have actually noticed myself that Andrea has vastly improved his man to man defence over the past season or season and a half. But like you said, once any element of switching off of a screen/pick, or rotating becomes involved, and Andrea looks like he may as well be in a Leafs uniform as much as a Raptors uniform, because he forgets what sport he is playing. With that being said, honestly I don't think it matters whether Bargs plays the "four" or the "five" , rather I think it matters the peices the Raptors brass surround him with, and the way the coaches create their offense to not neccasarily focus and evolve around Andrea, but to incorporate him within an offensive scheme that allows him to play his game. And on the denfsive end, they need to surround him with players and a defensive scheme/ help system, which notices Andrea's weaknesses on defense, and creates a scheme that helps eliminate or at least mimimize Andrea's main and blantant weaknesses! (poor rebounding, poor help defense)

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Strengths - Amir is a pure

Strengths -

Amir is a pure hustler on both ends of the court. He goes after the ball on every rebound, whether it be on the offensive or defensive end, and is the first guy to dive for a loose ball. Amir is a good shot blocker, and not only can he block his own man's shot, he is a great weak side blocker as well. Amir finishes well in transition, and shoots a high percentage largely off dunks or put backs. Overall he is a good energy guys, provides a spark off the bench and I would love having on my team to play 10 minutes a game. (Still can't believe the money BC threw at this guy...I guess BC was high too, thinking this guy was a legit NBA starter)

Weaknesses -

Amir is still a young player, however has almost been in the league a decade now. With that being said Amir still lacks a feel for the NBA and often looks lost when the game is played in the half court. Amir stands around a lot on offense, and has little to no ability to create his own shot. He has little no ability to score outside of 6-8 feet, and is not really a threat at all on offense. If teams need to, they can double the other big man on the court (Bargnani) and not really need to be worried about Johnson offensively at all. He has little to no ability to put the ball on the court as well. On defense he switches well off the first pick, but often rotates late off multiple picks, and allows other teams to score easily when executing well. This especially happens against well coached teams (San Antonio, Utah, Boston) and more than often against poorer teams as well. Overall Amir has great raw talent (and I still think he does have some power/strength to him - maybe not Aldridge or D12 strength) but he is one of the lowest IQ basketball players in the NBA.

I insisted Raptors use him as a bench player for 28-mpg next year how is that saying he is an Allstar. Maybe on the Lakers he would get 10-mpg but this is the Toronto Raptors. If he had Ibaka's role in OKC he would still get regular minutes. Any Raptors fan who watches Johnson play knows he can stick an open jumpshot from 17 feet with comfort. He has a slow release which hurts him, and he cant shoot contested shots well, but when he is open he can stick the jumper. He maybe wiry strong but he often gets pushed around by bigger stronger players, and doesnt o much pushing. I like your assessment of him overall thou.

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OhCanada,

I agree with your last posts, and thank you for complimenting my assesment. Even after I was rude towards you.

The only thing I don't agree with (Obviously no two people have the same opinion, and agree on the exact same things) but I don't think that Amir Jonhson can stick that 17 footer, even if wide open. Other than that I really like the way you describe him as still being "wiry strong", it sounds kind of funny, but it's actually pretty darn accurate.

My question to you now is, have you seen Enes Kanter play? I will be honest, aisde from brief highlight films... I have not seen him play. The reason I ask is because you rank your top 5 draft targets (in order) as Kyrie Irving, Kanter, Perry Jones, Jonas V, and Terrance Jones.. My list is pretty much the same as yours except replace Sullinger with Kanter... My list is 1) Irving 2) Sullinger 3) P. Jones 4) T.Jones 5) Kanter. However, I really only place Kanter as 5th because I don't know much about him, and because my two big drafting NO-NO's are.... 1) No guys from Europe 2) No guys from mid major conferences.. So yeah, I don't really know where to place Kanter, and base my opinion on what I read about him. Also have you not seen Sullinger play? I totally agree with you, drafting him might not be the most logical thing, because it would create a HUGE log jam at the four. However, I would not pass over a talented guy like Sullinger (especially in a weak draft like this), just to draft based solely on need/position! (Remember last time this happened and we drafted Hoffa lol) . I am definitely curious your opinion on him if you have gotten a look at him this year. I have watched two full Ohio State games, and bits and pieces of a few other OSU games, and was very impressed.

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Ive never seen Kanter play,

Ive never seen Kanter play, yet Ive seen Sullinger play and I know he has no chance at beng a Center for Toronto. Whether or not Bargnani being switched to PF will hide his defensive inabillities or not doesnt matter, switching him at the 4 and putting someone who can provide what he lacks in C will give us someone who does those things at C. Sullinger cant block shots and defend the larger post players in the league like Kanter from what Ive heard and read. To be honest Amir Johnson is expendable, but he is a fan favourite, has that fat contract, and is showing improvements quickly. Until this point of the career he couldnt play a full 25 minutes without fouling out.

Valanciunas and Kanter maybe risks but those are risks I would be willing to take. And btw I would obviously pick Williams and Sullinger ahead of T.Jones, and Valanciunas I just doubt they will be on the board so i didnt put them in the target.

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