State of the Cap: Toronto Raptors
2011/12 Payroll: $46.9 million
2011/12 (Projected) NBA Salary Cap: $54 million
Roughly: $7.1 million under cap
Highlights: Since there’s not a lot to be positive about, it’s best to focus on some old news that occurred since last year’s State of the Cap…
Hey Raptor fans - Hedo Turkoglu’s contract is gone! $34 million of pain over the next three years avoided. Holy crap, how did Toronto get out of that mess? If they hadn’t pawned him off on those hapless Suns (who then somehow pawned him off on the Magic) this team might be looking at an F grade.
Other than no longer bearing that burden, the biggest plus for the Raptors is that DeMar DeRozan, Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, and James Johnson are all still on their (always favorable) rookie contracts. So that’s a small bindle of talent with upside that’s cost effective for the next few seasons. Oh and nobody on the roster is making over $10 million next year. So that’s nice.
Lowlights: Jose Calderon is on the books for $20 million the next two seasons, making him the Raptors highest paid player. That’s just way, way too high a price tag for a point guard who no one in their right mind would rank among the ten best in the league (and I’m being kind putting that number at ten). High assist totals can’t make up for porous defense and a declining 3-point shot (36.5% last season).
At $7.6 million next season, Leandro Barbosa joins Calderon among the ranks of the overpaid. His contract is no longer on the ledger after next season, making it a bearable inconvenience for a team that isn’t going anywhere when (if) the lockout ends, but it’s still a pretty penny to pay for a guy contributing absolutely nothing besides some hollow point scoring.
While he has upside, Amir Johnson still hasn’t proven he’s worth the contract the Raptors gave him last year. $5.5 million this year isn’t much of a burden, but he only posting 9.6 ppg and 6.4 rpg last year (those are Landry Fields numbers – except Fields costs less than one-fifth as much.) If Johnson can make the jump to an All-Star level player it will be worth it (don’t hold your breath on that), but his salary escalates $500 k each of the next four seasons, which could potentially create a cap problem.
The Future: GM Bryan Colangelo’s pursuit to build an international basketball team continues to look like an abject failure devoid of much hope going forward. This team simply lacks talent. There’s no one on this roster that looks on the verge of making a leap to a star level and the roster has some bad contracts to deal with. The team may be under the cap, but that hardly means anything since Toronto is not a destination city for marquee NBA free agents (especially when the team is this putrid). It’s going to take a high lottery pick gem and a lot of luck in the next few years to turn the Raptors into a meaningful franchise.
"There’s no one on this roster that looks on the verge of making a leap to a star level" Really? You don't think DeRozan qualifies?
As a Raps fan ... I could say I am biased, but this assessment seems pretty off the mark as well. I would say that the Raps have some developmental and emerging talent that still needs to get the experience needed to develop.
Most of these players are pretty cheap, but the team has some skill and some potential coming to them next year with Valancunias, and another probable high pick.
They do have some players that could make a big jump next year. DeRozan could get close to a 20 ppg player, and chip in some more well rounded stats/contributions.
Bargniani is about 2-3 points and 3 rebounds a game away from being in consideration for an all-star spot. People complain about the rebounds, as they should, but he does have a lot to offer.
Bayless and Davis still have to make the jump to consistent/solid contributors, but they can and should be able to reach good levels of contribution at their positions. J. Johnson has some work to do, but he is still pretty inexperienced, and definately brings the attitude they need. A. Johnson does not have huge numbers, and is still not worth his contract, but he is very efficient.
This team definately does not get an A, or a B, but a C/C+/B- is probably where they should be at.
Amir has been fine. He's really not getting paid much, and he's the raptors most effective player right now. (the only one who really plays defense). Also, Amir had his minutes cut when Reggie Evans became active again. I think that was stupid, because Amir was playing well. If you look at Amir on a per possession basis, he's a very good player.
Why not point out Kleiza instead? That was a truly useless signing.
Calderon and Bargnani are both overpaid. However, a lot of it has to do with the makeup of this team. Calderon, in particular, is a horrible fit for the raptors. I think he'd be a top 20 PG on a team with good defenders surrounding him.
Anyway, not sure how this gets a "D" for state of the cap. It's not a great situation, but most of the salary is expiring within 2 years.
Surpise at how short this state of the cap is. Overall grade should been an F. DeRozan is the only bright spot on the team. they need help. cocah casey has his hands full. they win 20 games at best
Actually the Toronto Raptors have a lot to be excited about. If the Raptors draft an elite talent from this years lottery, then the they will be a playoff team in three years for a long time. After the way Jonas Valunciunas played this summer, the Cavaliers look like they made the most interesting pick in the draft by selecting Tristan Thompson over Jonas. If Jonas is special, DeRozan/ Ed Davis become complete NBA players, and they acquire a star from this years draft lottery, then the the Raptors have a bright future. I can guarantee you the Raptors will be in the lottery again. Just imagine this team with Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes, or even MacAdoo, that is just scary. Great job Brian Colangelo!!
I saw DeRozan yesterday, him and his entourage were waiting for me and my buddies to finish our pick up game. They were waiting a while. Just wanted to throw that out there haha.
i don´t understand how raps fans can defend their roster...
i get it your a fan of the team but reality is that you have one of the two worst rosters in the nba (other one are the cavs)
bargnani is overpaid! he rebounds poorly on a team where nobody takes boards away from him other than reggie evans who does not play huge minutes. and he plays zero defense!
i like derozan but in my opinion he will most likely never be more than a good second or third player on a playoff team!
A. Johnson is not overpaid by far but his contract is really long and that is a bad thing!
Valancunias won´t be immediate help! in 3-5 years people will either say the raptors were idiots to draft him or geniuses! but he wont make you any better till then.
the best thing i could say about them is that they will loose many games this year and get a high draft pick! that is better than being middle of the pack all the time but you can hardly give good grades to a team that stinks because they get high picks!
I think almost everyone will agree that the Raps will not be good this coming year. They might supprise people and be OK, but it would be a shock to all if they are good. On projections for next year, they would deserve a D, based on their roster's potential for improvement (otherwise it could easily be an F).
As far as the state of the cap, this article is supposed to be looking at the comparson between their roster potential, financial obligations, and current (projected 2011-2012) performance. This is much better than their 2011-12 outlook. Most of their old high contracts are coming off the books soon, and their other contracts are either really low, or with players with good potential. They already have a lot of cap room.
They do not have any "terrible" contracts other than Calderon. Yes, Barniani is paid a lot, but he is not paid max money, and is a contributor.his pay/performance ratio could be a lot worse. He does not do what is usually expected from a center (rebound and block shots/help defence), but his offense is very good, he has shown the ability to play man defence in the past, and has shown consistent improvement.
No Derozan is not a star in the making. He is very exciting, has a great first step for a wing, and can jump out of the gym but star, not likely. I like the kid but he looks like a 3rd option on a mid level team. He has a lot of work to put in and I just don't see the tools to step up to the next level.
I am a Raptors fan and it is time to get realistic here. What is with the international roster we have going on. I am fine with throwing an international guy on a roster especially those who are suited for the North American game, but the guys the Raps have just don't fit. Bargnani and Calderon may perhaps be the worst defenders in the league at their respective position. On top of that Bargnani averages less rebounds as a seven footer then some guards. Most nights you watch and think, the best ball the Raps play are when those two are not on the court. The team with Ed Davis or Reggie Evans down low and with Bayless playing the point serve as a much more cohesive unit. Get rid of the Spainish duo from hell and pray to hit the jackpot in the lottery.
If the grade is being rated on how talented the team is now an F is fair...but its rated on now, the salary position, the future, staff, the players so the F is not fair. Was Coach Casey mentioned once in that whole article, because that is a huge culture change and positive in my eyes. We have no extremely bad contracts other then maybe Klieza, I say that because Calderons is expiring soon, and Barbosas next year. Amir Johnson is a young productive player who gets rebounds, blocks, and plays hard...is he over paid, yes he is a bit although sometimes you are going to have to overpay to keep team chemistry, and team relationships going. Keep Derozan happy by keeping his people there. Derozan has star potential period...IF there is no season we have the 3rd overall lottery spot (most likely) in one of the deepest NBA drafts ever. Also in such difficult times as far as the cap goes we have good cap position. As a fan of this team I can say I am very happy with this rebuilding process.
will be an All-Star this year, if not, the next!
The only thing holding him back is his non-existant 3-point shot :/
i'm quite excited for a DeRozan, Davis, Valanciunas lineup, not so keen on bayless
People seem to be in pretty good agreement that:
a) The grade of a D is probably off, as the Raps do not have a lot of long and bad contracts.
b) The team will not be getting a good grade for next year.
c) Bargniani needs to get more rebounds
There is some disagreement on the star potential of some of the players. Maybe so, but in salary cap terms J. Johnson, DeRozan, Bayless, and Davis are good value, and have good growth potential.
On a related note, it was great to see Oh Canada include Coach Casey into the discussion. Great point! I remember when you came on a few years back giving the Raps love. Now you are blowing up ...
We could all be supprised with the team's play next season if things click, and they get the culture and defensive mindset right. I have seen Bargniani play some great defence, plock shots and even rebound like a madman (not frequently, but he has done it). What if (and here's a big what if) Casey can light a fire and bring the Dirk out of Bargniani? Just a question.
While we talk about the lack of talent on the team, many people who watch the Raps play, and have followed the prospects and players over the years will know that with the right kind of Kool Aid being cooked up by coach Casey the team could really supprise.
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Comparing Amir's contract to Landry (not Laundry) Fields' contract is ridiculous. Fields is a guard on a rookie contract and is considered the steal of the draft, averaged 20% more minutes per game, and didn't play through injury for a big part of the season.
Why don't you take the time to research the average salary of players with the same contract type and compare with per minute averages or PER36? For example, Tyrus Thomas, Drew Gooden, Hakim Warrick, Anderson Varejao, Shawn Marion?
DeRozan is a star in the making if you ask me.
At the end of the day the only two players on the Raptors' roster with any true talent and upside are Ed and DeMar. I'm tired of hearing people talk about the upside of players like James Johnson, Jarred Bayless and now Valanciunas. James Johnson is a third option at the small forward position on any playoff team and Jarred Bayless is playing for his 3rd team in 3 seasons which says a lot about what his former coaches and GMs thought of his so-called potential. As great as Jonas looked playing against 18 year olds this summer, I still saw a player that lacks a high basketball I.Q. which is something you need to have when you're a skinny, white European playing against some of the athletic freaks of the NBA (Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire, Nene, for example). I've watched every clip I could find on YouTube and not once did I see Valanciunas as a player that could be great at the next level, which is something you expect from a top 5 pick (Bargnani). I hope he proves me wrong, but I highly doubt it. As far as cap space goes, who really gives a f**k. Let's just hope DeMar keeps improving and Ed doesn't tear up his other knee prior to next season.
SF Amir - Sonny Weems
PF Barganani - J Johnson
C Valancunias - Ed Davis
Add a top draft pick in next year's loaded draft and I don't see why this team has anything to complain about. Barganani and Derozan will make sure they are scoring. Amir and Bayless bring athleticism. Solid young contributors in Weems, Johnson and Davis. Hopefully, between Valancunias and their pick next year they will have a star to take them to a high level.
So, at 5.5 M $, a player should have All Star numbers ? Come on, there's 64 players (not including 2011 rookies) who will earn 5.5M$ or more this year, just in the East Conference... and there's only 12 players invited at the All Star Game.
Amir Johnson is not a bad contract at all, he should progress on the offensive end but he's not overpaid... he's the best Raptor at the PER (player efficiency rating)... ahead of Bargnanni & Calderon.
the states. Unless they get rid of their GM and get lucky in next year's draft.
There is no reason for him to stay.
A smart GM would have tried to steal him a year ago.
Oh the raps are gonna be terrible next year. But they have the tools as an organization to turn the corner if even half of the young core can develop into solid rotation players. they remind of a young atlanta team, pre-joe johnson. alot more raw still tho but with the same ceiling
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I think at best, hes gonna be a notch below kobe/lebron but i hope he gets to their level...as a raptors fan, hes my new fav player no question
Huge Raps fan, but I have to say that I'm in complete agreement with this article. The Raptors seriously lack talent.
Sure Valancuinas looks like a prospect, but the learning curve is going to be huge. Davis has good potential to become a solid contributor, but really, what is his ceiling? I can't see hime ever being a star. Same goes for Derozan. Sure, he could be a 18-20 ppg player in his prime - but what good is that if the guy he guards scores 30 (reminds me of Jalen Rose...)? As for Bargnani, he's surely one of the 10 worst defenders in the league, and I don't see that getting a lot better even with a move to the four. Bayless and James Johnson are role players at best.
Seriously, I can't see any of our players able to start for a real contender, not at this point anyway. We're a few HUGE picks and some big FA's from getting to where we want to be. Sad to say, but I'll still be watching...