Toronto Raptors Quandry
The Raptors are a young, athletic team with Derozan solidified at the 2, and Ed Davis at the 4. They have James Johnson at the 3, and a decent, young, athletic bench.
Everyone knows the Raptors 2 main areas of concern are the PG and the C. With Colangelo open to trading Bargnani and Calderon, these are the 2 positions susceptible to major change.
Now my question is only really relevant assuming Toronto drafts a PG (Irving, Knight, or Walker.) As drafting Kanter would make this thought irrelevant.
Would it make sense for the Raptors to take a shot at Greg Oden? If he slims down closer to his college weight and becomes the athletic machine he was before. Personally I would love to see him play C for the Raps, he would be the Dominant anchor in the middle, pairing with Davis and assumebly James Johnson to make a nightmarish 3-4-5 shot blocking tandem. He would certainly be a better rebounder than Bargnani both offensively and defensively (not saying much but still) , and his athleticism and youth fits him in perfectly with the Raptors gameplan for the future.
All that being said, he is a SERIOUS injury concern. But if he slims down to a more healthy overall body weight, and commits 110% to staying healthy he might have a shot at a good career. I think of the Injury troubles Emeka Okafor had early in the league, and he has played 82 for 3 or 4 seasons now I think.
So to re state the main question. Should the Raptors take a risk signing Greg Oden to play the 5. This isnt if you think it will actually happen or not, just if you think it would would work if it happend.
A lot of teams would be interested in Oden but I doubt Portland doesnt keep him to give his knees one more chance before cutting him loose. They want to get some sort of production out of him after using a #1 on him. If he stays healthy he can be a very good anchor for that team. If gets hurt again well you cant say they didnt try.
I think Nene might be a stronger possibility for Toronto.
he has to be able to leave his blood, sweat and tears on the court:
Oden is a restricted free agent, so I don't see any chance that the Blazers would not match any "reasonable" contract. It's not worth the risk to overpay Oden to force the Blazers not to match, so why bother to even go after him?
As I said many times, most of the good free agents in the upcoming offseason are restricted free agents and the Raptors have no chance of getting any of them without significantly overpaying. I am against overpaying, so why bother to even check them out. Let other teams to bid for those guys.
For the unrestricted free agents, most of them are quite a few years older than the Raptors' young core, so I don't really see any of them as fit because by the time the young core is ready, those guys would be too old. A lot of people mentioned about the like of Tyson Chandler, Sammy Dalembert, Nene, etc, these guys are all going to sign somewhere else. The Raptors is in a rebuilding situation and they should not waste their cap space on these guys.
I think it would be best to keep most of the players on the team in a similar age group so that they can develop and play together for a few years to develop chemistry (obviously, you need young players that have good character). Currently, the young core of Bayless, DeRozan, Ed Davis, James Johnson, Amir Johnson are 20~24 years old. Bargnani is only 25 at the moment.
The Raptors should try to trade Calderon, Kleiza, Barbosa. I would also include Bargnani and Amir Johnson on the available list. With the CBA still uncertain, it's tough to see any trade getting done until the CBA is finalized.
If I run the Raptors, I would only focus on the draft this offseason. I would listen to offer but would not expect anything to materialize. I would try to buy a few late 1st / early 2nd to pick up some potential guys at low cost.
Agree with the above comments. Oden is a big risk. We are not likely to get him without overpaying. let's say we did sign him to a contract... would insurance cover him? probably not.
There really is no quandary. Nobody on the current roster is good enough to build around as a franchise player.
The only sensible strategy for the raptors is to draft the "Best Player Available" and stockpile young talent until they get a superstar (either from that talent or via trade).
As a raptors fan, I'm hoping that we play the young guys and end up with a good draft pick for the 2012 draft as well.
The players I'd keep on the Raptors would be,
I wouldn't suggest trading Amir because he is that hustle player that many teams need. He blocks shots, takes high percentage shots and plays solid D and not to mention he is a fan favourite. He does a lot for Toronto too. For example, raising awareness and donating to help troubled youth in Toronto.
The Raptors should focus on the draft and FA and keep the core they have.
Draft Kyrie ( I hope ) and try to get a C in the off season (Dalembert, Nene, Chandler)
I really feel that if the raptors signed Oden for a reasonable amount, it would be a great acquisition. I have a strong belief that if he really works hard at getting into shape he can have a very important role on this team, while staying healthy. If we got the first pick, draft Irving and then pick up Oden in the off season I would be extremely excited.
I felt that the Raps played pretty well late in the season with Bayless at PG and he's still only 22 years old. Give him a chance at the point and draft a C like Kanter.
If they want to make a splash in FA going after a young and versatile SF like Wilson Chandler, Thaddeus Young or Jeff Green would make sense as well.
That would be a signing that would either lose Colangelo his job or make him look like a genius
Sure there is a lot of nice young talent there in Toronto. However I think as a lifelong raptor fan, I've seen this team piss away talent and opportunities over and over. I want a NBA chamionship here one day, and while JJ, Derozan, Davis, Bayless are nice young players, none of them are going to be one of the main pieces that get us there. They are complimentary like Bosh, and that will get us....where did that get us again?
It would be nice to land the first pick and Irving, but seeing as it is a longshot, I hope that in lieu that Raps get creative maybe make an offer of whatever talent they need to give up to bring in Steph Curry who is getting some very manic appreciation from the Warriors.
Pair Curry with Kanter and a couple of the guys left over and then next year's draft we'll set us up nice for what we need to get back to the playoffs.
Oden would be nice for sure, but I doubt he would choose TO over other potential suitors. Meanwhile Curry has a positive history with the Raps.
Just to be clear I would def give up Derozan, JJ and Bargnani for a Curry/Udoh package/ It would look nice for both teams really.
*And for goodness sakes get a real coach for once! A big name professional NBA type. Please, or any talent we ever aquire will always be wasted.