Now that the playoffs have concluded for the Raptors (sadly short, but it is to expected for such a young team), we can state all discussions about the future of the franchise. What needs at which position, coaching changes, draft night picks, trade, FA's, etc...
Feel free to post any ideas and suggestions you would like.
Keep/dump under right prices:
Raps will have $2M extra cap space through Camby's contract to do something with. And, if Raps choose to amnesty Fields, they will have a large space to work on, either re-signing Lowry or signing another big free agent for another playoff push.
Raps can't amnesty Fields. They already used the amnesty with Kleiza.
I'd love it if they could get Lowry for 4 years 44 million. That would leave us room to try to sign PJ Tucker to a two year deal. The glaring weakness the whole series was our inability to guard Joe Johnson. You have to be able to guard one on one to win. We couldn't do that this series.
Then we draft the best player available, wing, post or Point guard. Doesn't matter. Can make some trades or tweaks from there.
Lowry Vazquez de Colo
Derozen Tucker De Colo
Ross Tucker Fields
Val Hayes Free -agent or second round center. Bachynski would be a good second round pick or free-agent back-up center. Canadian to boot.
There are only 6-8 teams in the league that had a crazy size advantage on the wing. Tucker could help eliminate that issue.
Ross and Val have to really keep improving. I kinda like Patterson starting over Amir. Amir is the perfect first post off the bench for a playoff team.
Not sure if Casey will be back. Some good coaches out there. Masai may want to upgrade.
Salmons - dump ($7MM)
Amir johnson - $7MM - pick, maybe negotiate for extension - guy is part of the soul of the Raptors, and I don't think he'd mind if he had to come off the bench again in the future. Doesn't seem to be that kind of guy.
Buycks ' ($800 k) - dump
Patterson, Vasquez - take their qualifying offers, and maybe negotiate extensions. Gotta keep these guys. I hated Vasquez for a little bit but he earned the right to take big shots. Patterson is a workhorse, and i wonder if he can develop into a true power forward.
Demar, Novak, JV, Ross
Final Year of Contract:
Hayes, Landry, Hansborough - can they still amnesty, say Landry Fields ($8.5MM) , if they can't trade him as an expirer?
********* indicates a total of $41MM with all options and qualifying offers taken, but you can subtract about $8MM for Salmons and Buycks. So that would mean $33MM for a cap of probably $58MM(?? - someone needs to confirm whatever it is i am writing) or maybe $25MM in space.
I think Lowry is going to command maybe $70MM over 5 years. I kind of think he has Masai by the balls.
Overall, good cap flexiblity with Bird Rights. I wonder who else Raptors might go after? Was thinking this to myself, but two potential FA's that make sense for the Raptors to get back (in addition to re-signing Lowry) are Carter and Bosh - a legitimate big shot veteran who can come off the bench, and (somewhat) legitimate Power Forward (I say somewhat because he doesn't have all the power in his game that he had as a Raptor anymore). What a hoot that would be - the only other guy missing would be Damon Stoudemire as far as past Raptor 'superstars'. Never gonna happen of course.
Other than the problems at SF, I think the biggest hole we have is at the 4 spot. Amir and PatPat are likeable players, but neither would be considered a starter on a contending team. We need to find someone of around maybe David West's level at PF, that would give us better spacing on O for Val in the post and also give better help D if we keep DD and Ross as our primary wings.
Yeah, I am not sure. I would love Amir and Patterson as our second unit posts. 24 minutes a game each. Val at 32 minutes. Amir can guard back-up centers no problem.
I look at a guy like Draymond Green or a Paul Millsap. That would be an ideal starting 4 man for us. Draymond and Millsap could cover mobile 4's, Pierce, as well as big strong wings like Joe Johnson.
Both of those guys are capable of guarding players at the 3/4 positions.
The tweener forward is a becoming a valuable position in todays NBA.
I say tweener in a positive way, one who can guard two positions one who can post up, and/ or take a slower player out on the perimeter.
Patterson is kind of a tweener, but not at the level as those other guys. Maybe, with lots of work, he can become a more versatile player and fill that roll.
If we had tucker in this series, we win in 5 or 6 games. He is unrestricted, I think we should really take a look at this guy. Give him a three year deal worth 14 million and see if he bites.
I think the only way for this team to contend for a title is to go over the cap. Not yet, but in a year or two when this team is ready to compete. In two years, maybe Val will be an all-star. I know that is a big maybe. He is only 21 years old. If him and Ross can improve as much next year as they did from their first to second years the raps are already on the rise.
We need a big, physical defensive wing. I keep saying Tucker (on a two or three year deal) because I really think he can lock down the top wing leaving ross and derozen to take the second best wing. Ross can guard point guards which will allow Lowry to rest on defence a bit, being more of a helper and charge taker.
Next Summer I think we go after a big name free-agent, either a starting 4 or star three man. I'd love a flex forward type who can play both positions.
Then you can sign your own guys like Amir, Vaz, Patterson to go over the cap.
Off the cap next year will be hayes, fields, patterson, vaz, amir. Then you sign these guys to go over the cap.
You also have four first rounders the next three years. one this year, one next and 2 in 2016. They could be dangled in potential trades to land a star.
Overall, masai has good flexibility, a young roster, and after next year, no bad contracts.
I think after the Rudy Gay trade the size at the 3 became a problem and unless Terrance Ross gains 20-30 pounds I think we need a wing defender. However, the Raptors won't have cap space after they re-sign Lowry, Vasquez, and possibly Patterson. The best way to go is probably to draft a wing defender. Maybe Jerami Grant or K.J. McDaniel.
I know itís a quick turnaround, youíre entering free agency in July, what are your priorities going to be?
GV: Well, I want to be back. I really want to be back. I truly love this city. I love our fans, my family loves Canada, my kids love school, it would be heartbreaking if I donít come back. ĎCause Iím an emotional guy, so I really embrace, Iím really committed to the team, to the city, to this franchise. It was a very special year, and I came a long way, man. I had a surgery a year ago, I couldnít even work out the whole summer. When I came here in December, I wasnít really healthy and I gradually got better and I end up playing well the last couple weeks of the season, really put myself in a good situation. So I want to be back, I feel like Masai is going to get things done. I think heíll get it done, heíll bring everybody back. I think if weíre all back, we can dominate the East. And I know, Iím not saying this in an arrogant way, I think this team is a special team. Look at what we did with just one year together. It wasnít really a full year Ďcause we all came ó the four guys came in December, us coming from Sacramento. So hopefully everything works out. I want to come back. I love Toronto. I love this city. I love this country. I want to be back.