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Old 12-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

Josh Lewenberg ‏@JLew1050 1h
"We will not be caught in no man's land," #Raptors GM Masai Ujiri told @MackoAndCauz on @TSN1050Radio this morning

Josh Lewenberg ‏@JLew1050 1h
Masai told @MackoAndCauz one of the areas he's evaluating is whether there's redundancy on the roster: "Do we have the same kind of player?"

Josh Lewenberg ‏@JLew1050 1h
"Chemistry is a huge thing... and I think the assists is an issue". Masai doesn't think his team is selfish, it's style of play/personnel

This guy is anti-Colangelo hopefully.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

I want action. Not words. Once Dec. 15 comes around there better be a semblance of a long-term plan taking form for the Raptors.

I "bought" a lot of Colangelo's words early on as well. Not falling for that again.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

Colangelo made moves out of desperation. He wanted to win so badly that he would trade anybody for what he believed to be talent. At the end of his tenure he made desperation moves to try to win knowing that it was the end.

Ujiri has a 5 year contract to turn this thing around. I have a feeling he'll do the right thing. Patience is what Ujiri has over other Colangelo.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

The only way Toronto ever gets into contention in the short and long term is to buy and trade for lucrative players.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

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Originally Posted by Legends66NBA7
The only way Toronto ever gets into contention in the short and long term is to buy and trade for lucrative players.

Buying is not an option. No players are going to want to go to a talentless team. The only way is through the draft and trades.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

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Originally Posted by kmart
Buying is not an option. No players are going to want to go to a talentless team. The only way is through the draft and trades.

The team should consider all options. Why shouldn't it be option 1 ? You get an ownership that is committed to wins and making a fortune on the franchise. Dump the guys you don't want to make cap space and then get the correct players on really good established players. Sure, trades work too... especially if you get back picks.

Toronto has never established an identity through the draft even when they did have solid picks in Carter and McGrady. They never stuck around to develop in the long-term. I don't see any reason why they would start now. And let's not even forget the flops we had in the the mid-00 drafts.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

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Originally Posted by Legends66NBA7
The team should consider all options. Why shouldn't it be option 1 ? You get an ownership that is committed to wins and making a fortune on the franchise. Dump the guys you don't want to make cap space and then get the correct players on really good established players. Sure, trades work too... especially if you get back picks.

Toronto has never established an identity through the draft even when they did have solid picks in Carter and McGrady. They never stuck around to develop in the long-term. I don't see any reason why they would start now. And let's not even forget the flops we had in the the mid-00 drafts.


With the 8th pick of the 2004 draft....
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

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Originally Posted by Legends66NBA7
The team should consider all options. Why shouldn't it be option 1 ? You get an ownership that is committed to wins and making a fortune on the franchise. Dump the guys you don't want to make cap space and then get the correct players on really good established players. Sure, trades work too... especially if you get back picks.

Toronto has never established an identity through the draft even when they did have solid picks in Carter and McGrady. They never stuck around to develop in the long-term. I don't see any reason why they would start now. And let's not even forget the flops we had in the the mid-00 drafts.

Name a superstar that has gone to a market like Toronto for unrestricted free agency. There are none. While Toronto isn't a small market city, a lot of NBA players probably consider it to be one. It's not that Toronto is a terrible place to live, it's that you're not going to build a contender with a lot of NBA players not wanting to play in Canada. If they do manage to sign one by all means they should, it is just unlikely that they will ever get one.

It doesn't matter if ownership is committed. In a star driven league if none of the stars are willing to come via FA, you aren't going to be successful.

In today's age drafted players are obligated to play for their teams for much longer than back in the day, so whatever T-Mac pulled off isn't happening anymore.

VC was just an a**hole who wanted out, drove his value to the bottom and left Toronto with nothing.

Flip flops do happen, but hardly at the top of the draft. We haven't drafted top 4 since Bargs and Val has been the only top 5 pick since. Thats a lot of 8-13 overall pick. There just isn't enough talent at 8-13 seeds.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

Kmarts comments +1

Changes to the CBA help "a little" but NY, Brooklyn, Lakers are still prepared to pay the tax long term. Plus living inthe big time LA or New York market gives a player all those lucrative "national profile" gigs... movie cameos ala Shaq or local endoresement ala every Knick player. Bottom line being the Canada wide spokesmen for cold FX is just not as sexy as NY or LA.

However if we dont build a solid nucleus through the draft we will never even be in the game for getting a high profile FA. A trade will be one and done.

Take Melo and Lbron. All the talk is IF they might consider Cleveland. Why ?

The Cavs are small market. Its because that team has a core nucleus of talent that might entice a big name player to come to win a chanpionship. They may be close enough. The FA may be the one piece to put them over the top.

Winning championships or always going deep into the playoffs as a franchise offsets some the advantages of NY, LA (Miami, Chicago). Trust me its not taxes cause NY is just as bad. Its not metric...

Managing exclusively through the draft leaves you like the Timberwolves. Nothing. A few good seasons and nothing.

Managing exclusively through trades leaves you like the Bucks over the years. Nothing. A few good seasons and nothing.

Toronto has to build depth through the draft as table stakes.. just to be able to have a shot at a premium player. Then they need depth through the draft to trade away for another veteren piece to compliment the superstar and talented young roster.

Finally MLSE needs to spend over the cap at least once in a while. I dont think they ever have... despite being the 10th richest team by some measures.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

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Originally Posted by kmart
Name a superstar that has gone to a market like Toronto for unrestricted free agency. There are none. While Toronto isn't a small market city, a lot of NBA players probably consider it to be one. It's not that Toronto is a terrible place to live, it's that you're not going to build a contender with a lot of NBA players not wanting to play in Canada. If they do manage to sign one by all means they should, it is just unlikely that they will ever get one.

It doesn't matter if ownership is committed. In a star driven league if none of the stars are willing to come via FA, you aren't going to be successful.

In today's age drafted players are obligated to play for their teams for much longer than back in the day, so whatever T-Mac pulled off isn't happening anymore.

VC was just an a**hole who wanted out, drove his value to the bottom and left Toronto with nothing.

Flip flops do happen, but hardly at the top of the draft. We haven't drafted top 4 since Bargs and Val has been the only top 5 pick since. Thats a lot of 8-13 overall pick. There just isn't enough talent at 8-13 seeds.

That's just ignorance on the players part. I guarantee if we free up cap space, we could lure a top player in the league. The only reason we haven't got a superstar from free agency is because we haven't had the advantage to do so or even attempted anywhere close to it.

Kevin Durant's contract is up 15-16. He's had talks about playing for Toronto like Wiggins has. Rudy Gay's contract is done the year before that. Why not pitch to get Durant and build around him through trades ?


You're right that our seeding in the draft doesn't help, but look at who the Raptors have missed since 1999:

99 12th pick - Aleksandar Radojević over Corey Maggette (13th pick)

01 19th pick - Michael Bradley over Zach Randolph (21st pick), Gerald Wallace (25th pick), Samuel Dalembert (26th pick), Tony Parker (28th pick). Lot of misses here.

04 8th pick - Rafael Ara˙jo over... you know the story.

05 7th pick - Charlie Villanueva over Andrew Bynum (10th pick)

05 15 pick - Joey Graham over Danny Granger (16 pick)

08 17 pick - Roy Hibbert gets traded for Jermaine O'Neal. A rare good pick the Raptors make and he gets shipped off. The Raptors center problems could have been solved twice by now.

10 13th pick - Ed Davis over Larry Sanders (15th pick), Eric Bledsoe (18th pick)

12 8th pick - Terrence Ross over Andre Drummond (9th pick).


Just looking over all of that, we could have 4 legit centers as good or better than Val currently is. So even though we get an 8-13 position, the Raptors haven't drafted smart. Infact, they took the wrong guy on several times a pick early. Even the Chris Bosh pick in hindsight was the wrong pick. What if the Raptors pick Wade and the big 3 ends up forming in Toronto ?

I think a culture change happens when you finally bring that huge superstar to the city. It happened to Miami when they traded for Shaq in 2004. Should they get a more established star right now ? Sure, I think Val and/or DeMar are on that path, if they continue to show strides in their play.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jballer
Kmarts comments +1

Changes to the CBA help "a little" but NY, Brooklyn, Lakers are still prepared to pay the tax long term. Plus living inthe big time LA or New York market gives a player all those lucrative "national profile" gigs... movie cameos ala Shaq or local endoresement ala every Knick player. Bottom line being the Canada wide spokesmen for cold FX is just not as sexy as NY or LA.

However if we dont build a solid nucleus through the draft we will never even be in the game for getting a high profile FA. A trade will be one and done.

Take Melo and Lbron. All the talk is IF they might consider Cleveland. Why ?

The Cavs are small market. Its because that team has a core nucleus of talent that might entice a big name player to come to win a chanpionship. They may be close enough. The FA may be the one piece to put them over the top.

Winning championships or always going deep into the playoffs as a franchise offsets some the advantages of NY, LA (Miami, Chicago). Trust me its not taxes cause NY is just as bad. Its not metric...

Managing exclusively through the draft leaves you like the Timberwolves. Nothing. A few good seasons and nothing.

Managing exclusively through trades leaves you like the Bucks over the years. Nothing. A few good seasons and nothing.

Toronto has to build depth through the draft as table stakes.. just to be able to have a shot at a premium player. Then they need depth through the draft to trade away for another veteren piece to compliment the superstar and talented young roster.

Finally MLSE needs to spend over the cap at least once in a while. I dont think they ever have... despite being the 10th richest team by some measures.

By all means, if Toronto can use all 3 options (draft, trades, and free agency) to get their talent, then they can certainly be a team to be on the rise. They could do the San Antonio model that has worked wonders for well over 2 decades or the Miami model that has been retooling with their superstar core.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends66NBA7
That's just ignorance on the players part. I guarantee if we free up cap space, we could lure a top player in the league. The only reason we haven't got a superstar from free agency is because we haven't had the advantage to do so or even attempted anywhere close to it.

Kevin Durant's contract is up 15-16. He's had talks about playing for Toronto like Wiggins has. Rudy Gay's contract is done the year before that. Why not pitch to get Durant and build around him through trades ?


You're right that our seeding in the draft doesn't help, but look at who the Raptors have missed since 1999:

99 12th pick - Aleksandar Radojević over Corey Maggette (13th pick)

01 19th pick - Michael Bradley over Zach Randolph (21st pick), Gerald Wallace (25th pick), Samuel Dalembert (26th pick), Tony Parker (28th pick). Lot of misses here.

04 8th pick - Rafael Ara˙jo over... you know the story.

05 7th pick - Charlie Villanueva over Andrew Bynum (10th pick)

05 15 pick - Joey Graham over Danny Granger (16 pick)

08 17 pick - Roy Hibbert gets traded for Jermaine O'Neal. A rare good pick the Raptors make and he gets shipped off. The Raptors center problems could have been solved twice by now.

10 13th pick - Ed Davis over Larry Sanders (15th pick), Eric Bledsoe (18th pick)

12 8th pick - Terrence Ross over Andre Drummond (9th pick).


Just looking over all of that, we could have 4 legit centers as good or better than Val currently is. So even though we get an 8-13 position, the Raptors haven't drafted smart. Infact, they took the wrong guy on several times a pick early. Even the Chris Bosh pick in hindsight was the wrong pick. What if the Raptors pick Wade and the big 3 ends up forming in Toronto ?

I think a culture change happens when you finally bring that huge superstar to the city. It happened to Miami when they traded for Shaq in 2004. Should they get a more established star right now ? Sure, I think Val and/or DeMar are on that path, if they continue to show strides in their play.

We didn't draft Hibbert, the Pacers drafted Hibbert . We traded away draft picks for O'Neil.

Being in the market that we are in I think we'll end up paying a guy like Joe Johnson for 20 mill.

We've had money in the past and how did that turn out? Nash refusing to sign taking less money to join LA and Landry Fields was the best thing we could get at 7 million

How about Hedo for five years. Five years for a player that was old, slow, and well past his prime.

Point is that it's not just the draft where this team screwed up, it's through sigings and trades by Colangelo as well. You could argue that the signings and trades have put this team in a worse situation for the future.

Now we haven't put ourselves in a position to get the top draft picks at all. Say what you want about our draft history, but the top talent is at the top of the draft and those are the players you need in this league. The top 5 is where the Raptors should be.

Besides the guys you named none of them are franchise players other than Parker. The franchise players are at the top of the draft.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart
We didn't draft Hibbert, the Pacers drafted Hibbert . We traded away draft picks for O'Neil.

Being in the market that we are in I think we'll end up paying a guy like Joe Johnson for 20 mill.

We've had money in the past and how did that turn out? Nash refusing to sign taking less money to join LA and Landry Fields was the best thing we could get at 7 million

How about Hedo for five years. Five years for a player that was old, slow, and well past his prime.

Point is that it's not just the draft where this team screwed up, it's through sigings and trades by Colangelo as well. You could argue that the signings and trades have put this team in a worse situation for the future.

Now we haven't put ourselves in a position to get the top draft picks at all. Say what you want about our draft history, but the top talent is at the top of the draft and those are the players you need in this league. The top 5 is where the Raptors should be.

Besides the guys you named none of them are franchise players other than Parker. The franchise players are at the top of the draft.

Raptors drafted him and traded his rights for O'Neal is what I meant.

And no, I don't mean the money we wasted on middling players on the wrong end of their career like Nash and Hedo. And I don't mean wasting money on guys like Fields.

Guys like Durant, Melo, Westbrook, etc... those are the guys the Raptors need to make an actual attempt at signing those type of players. perennial All-NBA and all star level players, just like what the Lakers and Heat have done over the years.

Obviously, we've had history where we messed up in free agency too, but that's why I want the ownership and management to dictate that. I would hope we don't sign a guyslike Joe Johnson or Amare Stoudemire of for the max deals they got.

Also, I don't think Parker is a franchise player, that's still Duncan even if he is 38 years old. The Spurs go as far as Duncan holds the frontline. Parker's more of a product of the right system, but maybe he could put up big numbers on a bad team to seem that he's a franchise player ? Andrew Bynum would have been a franchise player IMO if he didn't have those knee injuries.
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Old 12-07-2013, 03:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

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Raptors drafted him and traded his rights for O'Neal is what I meant.

And no, I don't mean the money we wasted on middling players on the wrong end of their career like Nash and Hedo. And I don't mean wasting money on guys like Fields.

Guys like Durant, Melo, Westbrook, etc... those are the guys the Raptors need to make an actual attempt at signing those type of players. perennial All-NBA and all star level players, just like what the Lakers and Heat have done over the years.

Obviously, we've had history where we messed up in free agency too, but that's why I want the ownership and management to dictate that. I would hope we don't sign a guyslike Joe Johnson or Amare Stoudemire of for the max deals they got.

Also, I don't think Parker is a franchise player, that's still Duncan even if he is 38 years old. The Spurs go as far as Duncan holds the frontline. Parker's more of a product of the right system, but maybe he could put up big numbers on a bad team to seem that he's a franchise player ? Andrew Bynum would have been a franchise player IMO if he didn't have those knee injuries.

So our draft history sucks so we shouldn't try to get attempt to get a top 5 pick? And we should try the FA route, which we've sucked as well? Need I remind you we only have had one top 5 draft pick since 2006.

Those are just examples of average players refusing to sign with Toronto or signing for lots of money. Average players, that aren't even allstars or superstars.

I just don't believe that any star free agent will sign with Toronto, regardless of the cap space we have. We have trouble keeping our own stars, how do we expect to land stars. I think stars want the spotlight and with salaries maxing out at 20 million why not go to some place like New York, Brooklyn, Miami, LA (2 teams), heck even Golden State when they move to SF. Those places are nice and warm, and they probably will get a lot endorsements as well.

Guys like Howard (choosing a better roster) and Deron Williams (money and location) wouldn't sign on the Mav's roster with Dirk. You can't expect them to sign on a depleted roster like the Raps. It would be unwise of the Raps to expect to get a Russ or Durant from FA, they would just be left with average players like Fields and Hedo in the end.

Guys don't just want the money, they want the money and wins. They're superstars not overpaid all-stars.
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Old 12-07-2013, 03:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: "We will not be caught in no mans land" - Masai Ujiri

Duncan could be the face and thats fine. I'd argue that TP is their best player right now though.

Bynum was never going to be a franchise player. Not on the Lakers and the Lakers knew that he was never going to be one when he had bad knees and they shipped him to Philly.
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