Being a Raptors fan I was clearly ecstatic with the Rudy Gay trade. I thought getting him in the first place was going to lead to a disaster.
Raptors are 3-1 without Gay. Lots of people thought they were going to tank but I don't think that's the case. The Raptors are clearly a better basketball team without him. Definately are not bad enough to tank in the terrible Eastern Conference. Especially in a divsion they have a LEGIT shot of winning in the Atlantic.
There have been lots of beneficiaries from the Gay trade. Specifically Terrence Ross and Amir Johnson. Ross gets to start and start to get some confidence in his offense. He's got a lot of talent offensively. And Johnson gets to do more pick and roll offense and what he likes to do.
What do you guys think they do from here? Does Lowry go?
At this rate they are probably a playoff team. First round exit most likely, but are a playoff team.
OKC needs to give their first round pick and collision up for Patterson. You don't need superstars just great role players.
Toronoto has lot of pieces that other teams can benefit from they should do a fire sale for picks and young players Im not sure where kyle goes but hes putting up ok numbers on a defunct raptors team imagine if he had options and better players around him. Ujiri is a very active Gm he will make make the most of it.
They must make sure they don't make the playoffs.
I think they are still wanting to tank. I think it was one of those trades of addition by subtraction. It is just a situation where getting rid of Gay's contract was the biggest concern. Losing Rudy helps with ball movement and free up a lot of playing time for other guys. I would say JV, Johnson and Ross benefitted greatly from the move. Adding Vasquez gave them a good backup point guard and they got some depth with Salmons and Patterson.
The only move I would guarantee is that Lowry gets moved. I wouldn't be surprised if they flipped any of the new guys that they just acquired, but I think they keep Vasquez at least for this year.
As far as tanking goes, it is really hard to do in the East.
I think it's Massi's job to dictate the direction of this team...he has to find a way to make the raps worse in the short term while securing assets in the long term (cap space and draft picks). If the raptors do lock up the 4th seed I think it will be a big mistake, they will end up getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs and it's a very real possibility that the 5th seed ends up with a better record than the 4th seed. They won't get a top 5 draft pick as a result and end up in no mans land (not good enough to contend for a championship and not bad enough to warrant a premium pick in the draft). Massi has already said the raps won't be in no mans land so the sooner he gets rid of Lowry the better, if he's looking to end up in the top 5 of this upcoming draft and have a reason to fire Casey and bring in his own guy...maybe George Karl?
It's ironic out East you have teams like Toronto, Celtics etc trying to tank and teams like the Nets and Knicks trying to be win now but doing worse.
The Gay trade is currently looking like it could be beneficial to both sides with Rudy seemingly looking good for the Kings and the Raptors looking more cohesive without him. The Raptors have moved their two albatross contracts in Bargnani and Gay so are in a good position going forward regardless of what happens the rest of this season.
That Sac team is so disfunctional that Rudy wont be able to be good. Not enough 3pt shooting for him to succeed. Between him, Thompson/Williams and Cousins will clog the lane and start shooting a bunch of long 2s that he became so fond of.
I hope im wrong, because I enojoyed him in Memphis, and perhaps if Cousin atracts enough help he will proove everyone wrong... but i doubt it.
Raptors need to tank... Lowry has to go. I wouldn't be surprised if he is traded to the Lakers. Nash isn't the answer and Steve Blake can't be a PG that Kobe relies on. Raptors lack an identity. Through the draft the Raptors can find that player that will define them for the next decade.
Raptors need to keep JV, Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross
I don't disagree, but I do think the Raps have more of identity now than before the trade. Their defense is significantly better which was supposed to be their identity. And now they are playing some great team ball on offense, pinned down by Demar as the real focal point. And it is actually fun to watch now.
Demar is doing a great job as the leader on the floor. If the tank is on then they probably do have to trade him. And probably Amir as well. Or else they could end up in the playoffs even if they do trade Lowry.
I'm happy to wait and see what Ujiri does. There would be value in making the playoffs for the next few seasons as well. I'm not convinced of the having to draft a superstar theory. Look at Indiana. How many first overall picks did they need to build their team?
They can't tank hard enough to get into the top five picks. After that point, there are no players that project as likely franchise players. So they might as well go for the playoffs and the $10 to $20 million in extra revenue that will bring. (Side note on revenue: The extra revenue isn't just for that first round of the playoffs. Teams that tank are not going to sell tickets during the regular season as well. So it costs a huge amount of money in lost revenue to go through a terrible season.)
Also, if they wanted to tank, they would have just kept Rudy Gay. Admittedly, they are still keeping Dwane Casey as coach. So they are somewhat still in tank mode. Or at least they aren't going all out.
Lowry is a good player, so they will want real assets or good draft picks back. But they also don't have to trade him because he can be part of a winning team.
DeRozan seems like a more likely candidate to be traded. Sure he is having the best season of his career. But that is mainly due to more 3s and hitting them at a much higher percentage. This could just be a hot streak. But considering how well he is playing, I bet they could get some serious picks for him. He would fit in great with the Bulls as they need a creator and they have a defense capable of winning now. Would they trade J. Bulter and a first round pick for DeRozen? I would think yes.
Thibs thinks very high of Butler... I dont thing their managment would give a pick for him (considering that it wont be a very low pick now that they dont have Rose... perhaps they get the 15th pick but I dont think they will be better than the 20th) AND Butler.
The Raps management needs to know what they want to do but I think they are going to make a playoff push. If you look at it all of the players contributing to wins are outside of thier prime. Vaanciunas and Ross haven't even scratched the surface of thier potential and they just acquired three great role players Vasquez, Salmons, and Patterson which match the team needs perfectly. They will at least be a .500 team which does not breed success at a higher level in the future, although even if they tank they won't get a top 3 pick without trading Derozan who isn't even 25 is scoring 22ppg and has a great contract. In the East more teams are trying to lose then win so there is less competition. I doubt they do a major firesale but they will likely trade Lowry which could spark a firesale depending on if they have a losing streak that justifys it.