You make the call … on the Raptors’ roster

Which one of these two player rosters would you prefer to have, going forward from this point, if you were Jerry West and you were the GM for the Toronto Raptors?

[please read the question carefully]

—————————-

2008-2009

 

 

A) Raptors’ Current Roster

B) khandor’s Raptors’ Roster

 

 

1 PG – Jose Calderon *

1 PG – Jose Calderon *

2 OG – Anthony Parker

2 OG/SF – Jamario Moon *

3 SF – Jamarion Moon

3 SF – Joey Graham *

4 PF – Chris Bosh *

4 PF – Kris Humphries *

5 C – Jermaine O’Neal **

5 C – Chris Bosh *

 

 

6 PG – Will Solomon **

6 PG/OG – Anthony Parker *

7 OG – Jason Kapono

7 OG/SF – Jason Kapono

8 SF – Joey Graham

8 PF – Andrea Bargnani

9 PF – Kris Humphries

9 C – Rasho Nesterovic

10 C – Andrea Bargnani

 

 

 

11 PG/OG – Roko Ukic **

10 OG/SF – Rodney Carney **

12 OG/SF – Hassan Adams **

11 PG – Roko Ukic **

 

12 PF/C – Austin Croshere **

 

 

13 PF/C – Nathan Jawai **

13 SF/OG/PG – Carlos Delfino

14 ? PF – Jamal Sampson **

14 PG/OG/SF – Julius Hodge **

15 ?

15 PF – Joey Dorsey or SF – CDR **

LEGEND:

* New Role this season; ** New Player Added

—————————-

1. Make a choice between A or B.
2. Provide your rationale, if possible.

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25 Responses to “You make the call … on the Raptors’ roster”

  1. Raps Fan Says:

    it’s not even much of a choice. i like the addition of Carney, the kid is solid. austin croshere might be a tad expensive to be the 12th man off the bench. i just don’t see what you see in joey graham. imho, he hasn’t earned the right to start for any nba team from what what i have seen out of him so far.

    otherwise, it is a solid lineup that could fight for eastern conference bragging rights.

  2. TauEpsilonNu Says:

    I want to see what is behind door B mainly because I don’t trust JO to be healthy enough to contribute. Its more than his physical absence from the line up that will hurt the Raps, it will be the disruption caused by the changing expectations the players will have to assume. Come to think of it B starting line up may actually happen.
    I also would liked to have roster B but not sure it fits under the luxury tax. You got rid of LC Ford but retained Delfino, and Rasho and added Carney and I assume L minn. salaried fodder. Where did the $s come from? Plus roster B again distributes the talent from top to bottom more evenly thus PT and role questions pop up and we know Smitch does not handle that well.
    Overall I am optamistic about the Solomon and Ukic aquisitions, less so Adams and am glad to see Ford gone but JO just does not turn my crank. His presence and absence casts too big of a shaddow.
    We will miss Rasho, the Pacers have slotted him to start according to Indy Cornrows.

  3. Dave Says:

    I prefer Roster A …. more top tier talent.

  4. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    If you’d prefer … you can start Jason Kapono & Jamario Moon at the #2 & #3 spots, respectively, with Joey Graham as the 3rd Wing Player in the game off the bench and Rodney Carney as the 5th player at this position. 🙂

    I really can’t fault anyone for not seeing what I see in Joey Graham, to this point in time.

  5. khandor Says:

    Tau,

    re: the Salary Cap

    I believe last year’s team was well under the salary cap.

    When I checked before the 2008 NBA Draft … a straight-up trade of TJ Ford for Rodney Carney was doable for both teams.

    Maceo Baston would be replaced by Croshere, at a slightly elevated cost but not substantially higher if the former Pacer – where I think he was last used properly – had been willing to sign for the vet min.

    Primoz Brezec would not have been brought back in the scenario I outlined.

    The only new player would have been the draft pick of either Dorsey or CDR, which really doesn’t count a whole bunch against a team’s Salary Cap.

  6. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    Please read the question carefully.

    Technically it doesn’t ask which roster YOU prefer; it asks which roster YOU believe Jerry West [a top notch GM in the history of the NBA] would prefer.

    There’s a key difference there. 🙂

  7. Dave Says:

    It’s the same answer Khandor. Jerry West would want the roster with the most top tier talent.

  8. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    What would lead you to believe that Jerry West would view Roster A as having ‘the most top tier talent’ of these two options? 🙂

    ===============================

    IMO … Jerry West’s rosters almost always had a good deal of both high end talent and Quality Depth, and at this stage of the franchise’s development … and given the health of the Raptors’ $21 million dollar per year investment for the next 2 seasons … I think Mr. Logo might actually prefer roster B … especially if Kris Humphries proves himself by the end of this season to be a better NBA big than one Jermaine O’Neal. 🙂

    ===============================

    Would also be willing to bet big bucks that a talent evaluator like Jerry West would be able to see right away the benefits of the Raptors going with a line-up of …

    A) Humphries [PF with an Offensive & Rebounding focus] & Bosh [C with a Rebounding & Team Defensive focus]

    supported by

    Bargnani [PF with an Offensive focus] & Nesterovic [C with a Rebounding & Defensive focus]

    in comparison to

    Bosh & O’Neal

    supported by

    Bargnani & Humphries,

    AND

    B) the PG tandem of Calderon & Parker

    over the combo of Calderon & either Solomon or Ukic.

  9. Dave Says:

    Jerry West’s team in Memphis had better quality in depth than the above Raps squad, and he still was shopping his role players every day of the week trying to land another all-star caliber player. Every team he’s built has been about adding top tier talent.

    Jermaine O Neal is a better player than those role players. He’s an all-star caliber player. Roster A has more top tier talent because he is there.

  10. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    First.

    I disagree with your assessment of the Quality Depth comparison between Jerry West’s Grizzlies and Roster B above … in which case, maybe Jerry West was shopping the role players on that Memphis team because they weren’t quite good enough to get the job done in the first place.

    Second.

    Jermaine O’Neal HAS BEEN an All-Star … in the past.

    Jermaine O’Neal is NOT an all-star today.

    There’s a huge difference there.

    I am almost willing to make you another friendly wager that …

    by the end of this season there will be a tonne of NBA observers who begin to echo my current sentiments concerning the relative value of Jermaine O’Neal vs Kris Humphries for this Raptors team.

    My only hesitation in doing so, right now, is the actual number of minutes Hump is going to get playing for the Raptors this season … with the commitment of this franchise to Andrea Bargnani and Jermaine O’Neal.

    Fact is though … I have no such commitment to either of those two players and, IMO … Hump [PF] is a better NBA Big, today, than both Jermaine O’Neal and Andrea Bargnani, especially as a fit beside Chris Bosh [C].

  11. Dave Says:

    Khandor,

    That surprises me, you don’t think Jermaine is an All-Star caliber player anymore?

    What level do you think he’s at? High level starter? Low level starter? Role player? Or any name you’d like to place on it.

  12. toronto raptors linkage – oct 7 Says:

    […] – Khandor’s Sports Blog […]

  13. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    Think we should first take a wait-and-see approach to assess accurately what Jermaine actually looks like on the floor this season, after a solid stretch of games, coming off his most recent leg injury, before we make a definitive evaluation of where he’s at moving forward for the next two years under his current contract.

    My assessment at-present is based on what I saw from him last season.

    In terms of a comparison to another NBA player, once he returns to full health …

    at the High End, maybe, someone like Antonio McDyess [although Dice was always a superior athlete to Jermaine to begin with before the serious leg injuries set in with him];

    in the Middle, maybe, someone like Antonio Davis [a solid, if unspectacular, two-way player]; and,

    at the Low End, maybe, someone like Mychal Thompson [an average NBA big who, at one time, was thought to be very good but really wasn’t that mobile any more, in the latter half of his career].

    When I read quote like this one from Dave Feschuk,

    “Sure, I could tell you Jermaine O’Neal has looked frighteningly immobile, either out of shape or on the career downslide, to these eyes. But that’s a conclusion reached in a short window of observation of a meaningless end-of-practice back-and-forth, so it’s about as bankable as all the we-are-the-kings-of-the-world positivity that has been going around.”

    it’s enough for me to say that maybe we should wait a bit to see what JO actually has left in the tank, before pronouncing him to be a solid investment for the Raptors’ franchise, at this point in time.

  14. Raps Fan Says:

    re: joey graham:

    the guy has all the athletic ability, is strong, has a decent jumper, but hasn’t looked interested in being a regular contributor from my perspective. you have mentioned him a couple times as someone who is a starter/6th man type of player. i have always contended he has the tools, but not the total package to put it together. i am interested to understand what you base your assertions on.

  15. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    IMO … if you ask most Raptors fans, “What is Graham’s best position in the NBA?”, they will tell you that he’s a small #4 who has shown very little productivity and consistency to this point.

    Likewise, if you ask the same question of someone connected with the Raptors’ basketball braintrust so too do I think that they would give you the same answer.

    Well … in my assessment of Joey G. this is not his best position in the NBA.

    Joey G. is a very limited Wing Player, in the mold of Bruce Bowen … who could become very serviceable if he’s asked to play within a highly specified role for a NBA team that knows how to use its personnel in a way that prioritizes Rebounding, Defense [individual & team] and Highly Structured Team Offense … by maximizing the strengths of its best players/athletes, minimizing their weaknesses, and communicating with them by a means other than simply yelling at them when they make mistakes on the floor repeatedly.

    IMO … a limited player like Bruce Bowen would never have had the terrific NBA career he’s enjoyed without the benefit of playing for an organization like the Spurs and the expert eye of Gregg Popovich who has outstanding communication skills.

    [Note 1: When you hear about a player like Joey G. getting yelled at in an NBA game for making the same mistakes again and again … it tells a truly experienced basketball person that the real problem here doesn’t lie with Joey G. himself but with other individuals in the Raptors’ organization, above him in the line of authority.]

    [Note 2: From a shooting skills standpoint … Joey G. is a solid 3Pt-Shooter when he can ‘Catch & Shoot’ from the Wing/Corner, coming off drive & kick passes from his teammates, ala Bruce Bowen. Joey G. is not a good 3PT-Shooter from the middle of the floor, and should not be permitted to attempt any pull-up jumpshots, which are the same restrictions put on the Karate Kid.]

    [Note 3: From a defensive skills standpoint … Joey G. should be asked to check #3/2’s not #4/3’s, and he should be instructed to ‘bully’ them, ala Bruce Bowen, rather than trying a Michael-Cooper-type approach (which relies on length and quickness).]

    [Note 4: From a Rebounding standpoint … Joey G. is already a solid rebounder if you check his Rebounding Rate per 48 min. He would become a dominant Glass Man, if afforded more PT, at the #3 position.]

    [Note 5: From a character standpoint … Joey G. is a Type B personality who would be an effective role player, as a rebounding defensive specialist who needs to limit his turnovers and keep his own shot attempts to a minimum … knowing that, IF HE DOES THESE 2 THINGS, he will be rewarded with 25+ minutes per game of playing time, while not being yelled at AND generating increased shot opportunities for his more offensive-minded teammates.]

  16. Raps Fan Says:

    so the next question begging to be asked is:

    do you think he can do that in toronto, or is a change of scenery necessary for him to achieve anything other then paycheques?

    as far as 3 pt-shooting, he’s 40-121 for his career. not too bad, but to be really useful from outside, he will need to bring that clip up to over 42%.

    i’m not sure which raptor fan would really consider him an undersized 4, i mean seriously…i know i always considered him a 3/2 (more a 3).

    having him bully undersized 2/3’s is a good plan, interested to see how bryco plan to use him.

  17. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    If you break down Joey’s 3PT-shooting numbers even further, at a site like … http://www.nba.com/hotspots/ … for the last 3 seasons,

    you will see that he is a better than that from certain spots on the floor, which is where he should be stationed more frequently, IMO.

    ==========================

    As well, if you look at Joey’s positional statistics, from a site like … 82games.com … you will see the reason why most basketball fans would make the mistake of thinking that Joey is a #4 in this League:

    ==========================

    In all likelihood Joey Graham will not be able to find his niche in Toronto, playing under Sam Mitchell and Bryan Colangelo.

    What is wrong, IMO, is the belief that Joey G. isn’t good enough to be a starting player in the NBA, just because he hasn’t been able to earn regular minutes so far in his career with the Raptors.

  18. Dave Says:

    I saw enough from Jermaine O Neal last season to believe he can return to All-Star level performances. There’s no question in my mind that he is an All-Star caliber player when healthy, the only question is can he get healthy and stay on the floor? But not his talent.

  19. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    Not that I doubt your assessment of Jermaine from last season, cause I do not.

    As I’ve mentione before, yours is one of the keenest pair of eyes I’ve encountered yet on-line, when it comes to evaluating NBA players properly.

    —————————————————

    Still … what I think is this.

    Each and every year that goes by in the NBA … talented older players get older still, as do talented younger ones.

    And as emerging Young Guns, like Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard and Al Horford and Josh Smith and Leon Powe and Amir Johnson and Thaddeus Young and Kris Humphries, etc., begin to find their equilibrium in the League it becomes harder and harder for a former solid Big like JO to maintain his Once-Upon-A-Time-In-America-place on the totem pole of excellence in the cutthroat world of the NBA.

    Just because Jermaine has been an all-star player in this League doesn’t mean that he can ever reach those heights again, or in fact will ever come close to approaching that status as a vital role player with the Raptors this season … although it would be terrific if he did. 🙂

  20. Dave Says:

    Sorry I got distracted halfway through that last comment, and posted it before I was done.

    Jermaine was excellent defensively last year, throughout the season. That was largely a constant. His rebounding dipped and was disappointing but I believe he can get that back even if has lost some athleticism, with work and a better understanding of his new levels of athleticism. So I’m not worried about the rebounding, that’ll get a bump.

    His offense was the main point of concern, it was up and down like a yo-yo all season and he struggled for most of the year. He had one good month (don’t think it was a full month, but a decent group of games) either November or December (struggled early Nov, had no lift got blocked by Rondo and many others, couldn’t even shoot his go-to turnaround J, maybe late Nov to December sometime), where he was about 80% fit, (his words, I’d agree) and he was able to score at a good clip (19ppg) and with solid efficiency (48% FG%). Then his health took a turn for the worse and his season was all but over on that end of the floor. But I saw enough from him in that period where his health was decent – not good, long way off from where it could get to – that he could still be a good offensive option for his teams.

    I think his days as an All-NBA level talent are behind him …. I’d be astounded if he returned to that level …. but I most definitely do consider him an All-Star caliber player when healthy.

    I question his health, and his ability to stay healthy …. and of course if he can’t be on the floor he’s no use to anybody …. but when healthy I definitely do consider him capable of being an All-Star caliber player. He showed enough last season to believe he can return to that level of performance. Jermaine O Neal is still that level of player.

  21. khandor Says:

    Dave,

    As always, thanks for providing your insight.

  22. Travis Outlaw Says:

    Khandor,

    Just wondering? Do you live in Canada or are you just a RAP fan. You seemed to write a lot about the Raptors. If you do than you seem like one of those home team haters. 🙂

    Jerry West would rather have A) Raptors’ Current Roster
    Why?
    Because B) khandor’s Raptors’ Roster is basically the Indiana Pacers. And you’re roster B team needs to live up to potential in order for them to be better than roster A . There is still a lot of question marks on Joey Graham, Kris Humphries (starting), Rodney Carney, Julius Hodge.

    And CB4 as a center?

  23. khandor Says:

    Travis,

    1. I live in the ethernet.

    2. I make a practice of refusing to hate.

    3. i) If you think a Hall of Fame GM like Jerry West would choose Roster A over Roster B, then, you’re entitled to that opinion.

    Know that I disagree with your perception of Jerry West, in this regard.

    Over the course of his career, Jerry West has almost always managed to think outside-of-the-box.

    3. ii) If you think Roster B is equivalent to the Indiana Pacers roster, then, you’r entitled to that opinion.

    Know that I disagree with your perception of the Pacers’ roster, in this regard.

    IMO … the Pacers’ do not have players like Jose Calderon, Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Kris Humphries, Rodney Carney and Julius Hodge on their roster. 😉

  24. Travis Outlaw Says:

    Khandor,
    1. I live in the ethernet. Do you live in Canada? It was a simple yes or no question.

    2. I make a practice of refusing to hate. I disagree these 🙂 are filled with hate.

    What makes you think CB4 can play center?

  25. khandor Says:

    Travis,

    Because the simple fact is … despite what others might think to the contrary … this has been THE position Chris Bosh has been playing for the Raptors, to this point in his career, when he has played his very best basketball and their team has succeeded on the court.

    It’s when Chris has been shifted to the PF position for this team that he has struggled individually and the Raptors, as a team, have failed to perform like an up-and-coming squad in the EC. 😉

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