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Raptors Frontcourt Changing

OhCanada-
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Raptors Frontcourt Changing

Toronto is blessed to have many options up front. Valanciunas, Ibaka, Poeltl, Siakam, Anunoby and Nogueira are all capable frontcourt players. The fact remains that the NBA is a perimeter oriented league nowadays and Toronto doesnt need all these bigs.

Ujiri has been trying to trade Jonas Valanciunas for a while now but has nobody interested. Poeltl and Siakam are playing outstanding in limited minutes and the Raptors win when they are on the floor. Ibaka is better off playing the Center position.

Jakab Poeltl has been showing signs of improvement. In his last 4 games hes averaged 80% FG shooting, 13-points, 4.5-rebounds and 1-block. He seems so much more comfortable. He makes the right play and does everything hard like setting screens and rolling after picks with a purpose and hands ready for a pass. He got dropped tonight by Jackson which will likely be on every highlight pack in the world but despite that he has become one of the best mobile 7'0 foot defenders in the league and does a great job moving his feet.

Pascal Siakam has become the Raptors main x-factor with all due respect to rookie OG Anunoby. His range is developing slower than Toronto would like but his passing has really flourished and in 5 of his last 8 games he had more than 3 assists. Despite the Raptors depth he recorded 30 minutes or more in 3 of those 8 games as it seems there are times Casey cant keep him on the bench.


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I don't watch Toronto that

I don't watch Toronto that much , but I like what I see in OG.

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Poeltl was a top 10 pick

Poeltl was a top 10 pick don't forget and came with a decent reputation, he has been brought along slowly but this season he is looking a legit NBA player and is getting solid minutes.

Jonas is still only 25 and he has until 2019 on his guaranteed deal. What his trade value is would be interesting if the Raptors wanted to refine their roster and give Poeltl the starting gig.

Toronto are maxed out on salary until end of 2019-20 season so making moves isn't straightforward and they have already given up their 2018 draft pick to move Carroll to the Nets.

But they did sign both Lowry and Ibaka to 3 year deals and not possible 5 year ones last summer so the cap isn't locked in totally long term.

Whilst they may not be seen as genuine title contenders they are still a top 3 or 4 team out East and for a team that had only ever won one play off series before 2015-16 season, I'd say the current success should just be enjoyed.

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agree

I am also a Raptors fan and have noticed the same things. Our "backup bigs" play better with our main guys than our starting bigs do. Poeltl/Siakam/Nogueria are all energy bigs who crash the boards and play tough D. They don't need the ball in their hands to make them productive. This works well with Lowry and DeRozan. Like you said, Ibaka also fits much better as a center. The big issue is JV. I'm a big fan of his, but he just does not fit what this team wants to do. I almost want to see him get traded so he can be utilized properly, but I don't think Toronto will get fair value for him back. He'll also be useful once playoff time comes and the game slows down.

FYI, I don't consider OG a big as he's mainly a 3. He's still really good though!

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OG

Og was my sleeper pick, and I still think he has a ton of Kawaii Leonard in him. At 6'8" with a 7'4" wingspan he can bridge that all-important 3-4 gap and be a missmatch either way with the right matchups. If Lowry can keep from fading for two more years, I think they have a real shot if OG hits his ceiling, which is in the conversation for best SF in the class. He allows them to match up favorably against anybody it he develops.

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OG

Yup. Didn't know much about him before the season but I like his skillset and demeanor. The guy will just go at anybody and usually ends up making the correct play (pass/shoot/drive) while playing great defense. Huge steal in the draft there.

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I had to google sullinger -

I had to google sullinger - he is putting up 40ppg in china atm

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Lowry rather like Billups or

Lowry rather like Billups or a lesser version of Steve Nash is one of those PGs who had to work at their game and has played his best ball in late 20's and after 30. So his current 3 year deal should have limited downside, it will take him up to 34 and was a good deal for both sides. Lowry got his mega pay day and the Raps guarded against having a guy of 35/36 on massive money who might be past his best by then and would take up cap space and be hard to move.

OG also has a lot of potential IMO, he comes from a good family and has a brother who played in the NFL so would have natural sporting pedigree and big a high character guy. He has great size for an SF being over 235lbs and with a large wingspan so has great fefensive potential if nothing else.

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Yeah OG plays a much

Yeah OG plays a much different pro game then he did in college. Offensively hes like Trevor Ariza. Plays within the system, corner threes, transistion baskets, shot fakes/drives nothing too complicated but if his shots are there and people find him he consistently converts. An underrated part of his game is his unselfishness which is not forced and completely natural which allows him to still be aggressive without sacraficing one or the other. Usually when agressive players are told to be less selfish they lose the aggressiveness. His entry passes to bigs is also really good and over time I see him being a good playmaker.

I dont know if I can really find a player comparison for what he does defensively. Despite what people say about Dwayne Casey he really is a great defensive coach. Hes had Anunoby play PG, SG, SF and PF. Hes a matchup nightmare and 60% of the time will gaurd the opposing teams best player. He gives the Raptors someone who can finally make the bulky uber-athletic forwards of the East work but hes also gaurded Bradley Beal a prototypical NBA SG and James Harden the strong combo gaurd of todays NBA.

The big thing is he is shooting 50% FG and 41% 3pt as a rookie coming off of a major knee injury on one of the best teams in the league. Im sure if there was a redraft today a couple teams in the lottery or just outside of it would go with OG.

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