I'm officially fascinated with this Raptor squad. They can be really hard to guard when all of their wings are contributing. Tonight, Gay went 4-21 (on 41 minutes) but Derozan and Anderson carried the team offensively. If they can solidify Gay as the primary scorer, Derozan as the 2nd option with Anderson and Ross off the bench.... they could be threat in the Atlantic by next season.
It will be a coup if they can make the pieces fit, luckily for them last night looked good.
the nyc game was even better than the denver one. best game of the season! it had a playoff atmosphere with a lot of contact and great defensive pressure from both sides.
pre-rudy era if the raps were in that situation they wouldn't be able to keep up and would buckle.
this was the best defence i've seen the raps play all season too. i was so happy when barg got benched because he couldn't keep his level with the rest of the team.
i think the biggest x-factor of the game was lucas. he handled the ball well, provided energy and hit huge timely shots especially his last one.
The Raptors are 4-18 with Bargnani in the starting lineup and 17-14 either without him or him coming off the bench.
The future looks bright in Toronto, i hope to see them back in the playoffs in the future....
The one thing the Raps are going to be very good at after this season will be playing in close games. All the hertbreaker losses have been tough this year, but I really think they have added a ton of grit going forward.
With a couple more minor trades likely to come Toronto is now a significant pretender to the back end of the playoffs for the foreseeable future. Just what we were hoping for at this point.
The Raptors need to add one more piece to compete in the East. They need an upgrade at the starting PF slot, and need a good back up PG. If they address that this offseason (sign Josh Smith and reacquire Jose) look out East. But they are definitely much more exciting to watch.
I have noticed he is running his mouth to oficials more than ever lately. He needs to keep his trap shut and just play hard nosed basketball. Lucas bailed them out last night.
New energy in T.O and alot of excitment for this team, I think they are one good piece away from being really legit!
Will they have enough cap space to offer a contract to J Smith? They already have Gay, Derozan, Amir makes 8 mill per, Fields contract is quite hefty, and if they dont rid of Bargnani (hopefully they do) there really wont be enough money left to offer smith a contract he would consider.
What about a trade with the Jazz? What could the Raptors offer for Paul Millsap because I feel as though he would fit in nicely at the pf spot and Utah needs to get rid of someone in that loaded frontcourt.
If they move Bargnani then they still have a 3 man frontcourt roster of Johnson, Gray and Valanciunas and moving Johnson might be hard until next season when he could be an expiring contract. Toronto have to trade to take any major move as they are already at $72 million on the cap for next year before you factor in them likely wanting to retain Gray and Anderson plus the draft pick could come back to them if they land in the lottery.
Luckily they have Bargnani as a nice trading chip and Kleiza as an expiring 2013-14 contract so there is a ready made $15.5 million plus trading chip for any team looking to move a major player on a long term deal.
As regards them getting Millsap, they could offer Johnson and Haddadi for Millsap, Utah then don't take up Haddadi's option and either look to trade Johnson on or have him as safety net if Jefferson also moves on or use him in the 4 man big rotation for next season then use his team option in 2014-15 as a trade bait. They could play Johnson from the bench allowing Favours to start and also give Kanter greater minutes
They should definately get something decent for Bargs. Chicago wants him, but TO does not want Boozer so they will likely have to find a third party.
Can't see them holding onto Kleiza for that long with the wings they have right now. I imagine if they can't move him at some point they will amnesty his contract before next year to open up some cap space.
Also, don't count out Acey going foreward in that PF spot. He is tradeable now, but looks like he could develope into something a lot of teams would want. So for right now it would be nice to find him a few minutes here or there.
The Raps don't have the pieces to acquire him imo...Jazz probably don't want a PF back as they have 4 and the reason they want to get rid of one. Ross is the only piece they might want but salary has to match up. TO's draft pick is also gone to OKC this year..
If the Raptors did go all out for Josh Smith I wonder if Atlanta would consider a straight trade for Bargs. I could see Bargs and Al Horford being a good frontcourt due as their games contrast nicely. Would Josh be prepared to resign in Toronto would be an issue and if he wanted a max deal then even with Bargs moved, it could stretch the Raptors cap.