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The Raptors move nowhere, with little chance of getting better, little chance of getting worse.

They are not terrible enough to be assured of a lottery pick in this year's draft.

They are not good enough to make the playoffs.

They are just there, the NBA's version of the existential, not heading in any conceivable direction; trapped on the road to mediocrity.

The trouble is, before the Raptors can even pretend to get better they're going to have to get a whole lot worse. That is the dreadful flaw of this season. Unable to determine whether they were building for the future or shooting for a playoff spot, the Raptors managed neither.

For that, they will pay a rather large price.

If the season ended today and the ping pong balls didn't fall their way, which they never do, they would draft eighth and 15th in the first round, the second pick becoming the first tangible piece of the Vince Carter trade -- which is beginning to make the Native's deal for Manhattan appear equitable.

As of today, it is Carter for nothing.

By the summer, it could end up as Carter for a No. 15 who well could turn out to be nothing.
A rather pessimistic article.
 

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Too pessimistic for my liking.
Steve Simmons says that we are going to get a whole lot worst before we get any better? That doesn't really make any sense to me.
We're going to have two draft picks this season, and if the season ended today it would be 8th and 15th, which isn't too bad. A lot of good players have been picked within that range, so by drafting players at these two positions, why would we get any worst?
We've been through a lot this season with the Vince Carter trade me issue, but next year our team will be focused, they'll know exactly what to expect from one another, and for the first time in a long time, we'll actually have a lot of young players on our team.
I don't know about Simmons, but the Raptors' future is looking pretty bright to me.
 

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Fear The Red
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2 picks help us alot if the phily pick is in the mid teens we could trade it if we really want to, a bunch of teams wouldnt mind getting another 1st rounder
 

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The Raptors are in fine shape as far as being set to improve. The 2 draft picks will be a big factor in the ability to turn things around. We have a few solid pieces to start with.

Bosh is a very good young talent and he will only get better.

Rose will be around next season to give us a veteran presense and some
needed scoring.

Hoffa will be a little bit better and able to stay in the game for longer periods
of time. Doing the little things that matter...setting screens and knocking
people around!

Alston will have a full year of being a starting point guard in the league
under his belt. We already have the fewest turnovers per game in the NBA!

Bonner will be a 10 piont per game guy off of the bench
Peterson will be pushed by a draft pick anh pick it up....I hope

Alvin could be the bonus we need to get over the hump

Rookies...maybe three on the roster, one of them will have to be a factor

The rest...I hope a package of some sort to clear out Murray and the other 2 Williams will happen...Woods may be able to give us some shot blocking....Donyell, well who knows what will happen there.

All in all I don't think it looks to bad..Take a look at the East and we are right in the mix
 

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Simmons is clearly too pessimistic, but at the same time is making a valid point (I can't believe I'm defending him twice in the same day). Picks in the 8-15 range aren't that terribly valuable. 2004: Araujo 3.3 PPG, Iguodala 8.7 PPG, Jackson n/a, Biedrins n/a, Swift n/a, Telfair 5.5 PPG, Humphries 3.0 PPG, Jefferson 6.7 PPG. 2003: Ford n/a, Sweetney 8.2 PPG, Hayes 10.2 PPG, Pietrus 8.5 PPG, Collison 4.9 PPG, Banks 4.7 PPG, Ridnour 10.0 PPG, Gaines 1.9 PPG. Are some of those guys decent players? Sure, absolutely. Are they anything close to the group of James, Anthony, Bosh, Wade, Hinrich, Howard, Okafor, Gordon, ....? Nope. Being just bad enough not to make the players or just good enough to squeak in can leave a franchise in a permanent rut, unable to draft anybody, or attract any free agents, good enough to pull them out of it.
 

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No one ever said we were going to draft a franchise player in this year's upcomming draft. All we're looking for is drafting some guys who will help our team win, some role players.
 

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No one ever said we were going to draft a franchise player in this year's upcomming draft. All we're looking for is drafting some guys who will help our team win, some role players.
And I suspect Simmons' admittedly pessimistic response would be that this team needs more than some role players to turn into a good team, that it needs a franchise player.
 

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GuelphRaptorsFan said:
And I suspect Simmons' admittedly pessimistic response would be that this team needs more than some role players to turn into a good team, that it needs a franchise player.
That's what happens when hockey writers get involved with basketball.
 

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duke of new york, a#1
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Mired in a quicksand of their own creation, the Raptors move nowhere, with little chance of getting better, little chance of getting worse.
Really? How far into the future can you see, Mr. Simmons? When will the NHL resume, in that case?

They are not terrible enough to be assured of a lottery pick in this year's draft.

They are not good enough to make the playoffs.
That's like saying, "the glass is not half full, and it's not half empty, either."

Either we make the playoffs or we get a lottery pick. No other possibility!

They are just there, the NBA's version of the existential, not heading in any conceivable direction; trapped on the road to mediocrity.

The trouble is, before the Raptors can even pretend to get better they're going to have to get a whole lot worse. That is the dreadful flaw of this season. Unable to determine whether they were building for the future or shooting for a playoff spot, the Raptors managed neither.
I think starting Araujo, not Marshall, is a clear indication of our plans. While Babcock might not be able to present his plans clearly, I think they are obviously geared towards the future, with Chris Bosh as the masthead. The summer of 08 seems to be our promised land.

We've found unlimited minutes for Bosh and Bonner, and managed to work Hoffa into the rotation even though he doesn't seem to be ready to log major NBA minutes. We've just recently been getting Sow into the games as well. We've put Rafer in control of the team, given Woods more playing time than he's used to, and let Morris Peterson revert back into his scoring guard role.

For that, they will pay a rather large price.

If the season ended today and the ping pong balls didn't fall their way, which they never do, they would draft eighth and 15th in the first round, the second pick becoming the first tangible piece of the Vince Carter trade -- which is beginning to make the Native's deal for Manhattan appear equitable.

As of today, it is Carter for nothing.

By the summer, it could end up as Carter for a No. 15 who well could turn out to be nothing.
I thought we were too bad to earn a lottery pick? Now we are clearly destined to get one. I guess when you're writing to make an impact, some lines, while less than truthful, are too glamourous to leave out of your article. This is the trouble in dealing with absolutes.

Please let Babcock make the two picks before you call them nothing.

That isn't my opinion but the opinion of Sam Mitchell, who happens to coach this team. Mitchell was talking about the young Chicago Bulls yesterday and how they rebuilt their franchise into playoff form.

All it took was a major collapse. They lost and lost and lost some more until they were picking first and second and third and fourth in the draft -- and they did that over a six-year period.
Their rebuilding process was slowed by their poor trade record, sending young Brand and Artest for players who have yet to elevate the team. Had they kept them the rebuilding process would've taken half the time.

This doesn't happen, hasn't happened, in Toronto. In 10 drafts, the Raptors have never picked first, never picked third, and have only chosen second once. Of the players they have selected after No. 7 in the first round -- the unofficial number Mitchell cut off for finding stars -- they have drafted one gem, Tracy McGrady, who hated curling on television and therefore couldn't live here anymore.

The other players, with Morris Peterson actually being the best, are mostly forgettable.
"They" replaces Rob Babcock and his team, mainly because Simmons can use "they" as if the Raptors franchise was a single thinking entity. As if the decisions of Babcock and Grunwald aren't seperate. Those are two GM's with different plans, different approaches, and different track records. And one of them hasn't had his job for even a single season.

So, this is what faces the Raptors. Unless they get really, really lucky, they won't get an early pick this year or next year. They will get two middle-range picks in a draft that loses its cachet after about four players.
Why not make the draft half a round long, then? Josh Howard, Emanuel Ginobili, Gilbert Arenas, Tony Parker... the picks might not be sexy but were building around Bosh, not trying to add another Bosh.

Next year, they have their own choice, which may have to be relinquished to Charlotte via Cleveland and Denver's pick (from the Carter deal), which isn't a whole lot of reprieve.
Truth, but the mistakes of the former regime. Like Alvin Williams' contract. Babcock has to work with what he's given.

Denver is almost certain to be a playoff team in 2006, which means the end result of the Carter deal is that the Raptors get rid of a meddling mother and a son who quit in exchange for two guys named "If" who may not be ready to contribute -- if they are ever ready -- by the year 2008.
And, of coarse, Aaron and Eric Williams. They still exist, don't they? Even if they never suit-up for the Raptors again, neither of them are worthless. Both of them will provide cap relief, and Eric could yield something via trade.

This isn't, for the record, encouraging.
You're record isn't exactly a chart-topper, Mr. Simmons.

Not when you have an unathletic lineup in an athletic league and you won't be choosing high enough to find a star in the making.
Star in the making=Chris Bosh.

Rebuilding!

Not when your best bench player, Donyell Marshall, is almost certain to being playing somewhere else next season.
Rebuilding!

Not when you don't even have the salary cap room to take advantage of free agency and fill the necessary holes.
Do you want to win now and later? Look at our salary structure and you'll see where the end of the tunnel is. You can't rebuild in one goddamn year.

Not when you have a team that plays the most sporadic defence seen in these parts since Jim Benning and Fred Boimistruck were rookies.
Bad team with Carter, worse team without. Deal with it.

Which leaves what? A team that can win two games and lose three out of every five played. Not enough to believe in them and not enough to completely dismiss them.
Rebuilding!

And you get the impression even management understands. Why else did they send out the cheerleaders last night all dressed up as nurses?

This wasn't the kind of medical attention the Raptors seem desperately in need of.
Then save us, Dr. Simmons. We've heard your diagnosis--now what's your remedy!
 

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i feel sorry for these writers. they seem habitually committed to embracing bad news. i guess we have to pay for it as citizens but they have to pay for it themselves. they have to live with their own contrived negativity.

honestly, i can't get over how the majority of toronto beat writers have forgotten how they portrayed vince carter when he was actually here. it's like they're allowed to cherish his skills now that he's been traded. if vince were doing with us exactly what he's been doing with new jersey (in terms of stats), these same writers would likely be finding another way to bring him/us down. instead, vince is playing elsewhere, so it's become permitted to exaggerate his talents from the other perspective- whatever's necessary to paint it black in toronto.

i've said it before but i'll say it again: it has become habit for them to write like this. i can't blame them, though; i just pity them at times. watching some of them chase sam mitchell out of toronto in the wake of the silas firing is pretty much the same thing. i mean, these guys are looking for headlines even when they don't realize they are. you have to be careful as a fan in response to such immature journalism. that's too bad.

again, these writers were equally negative about the raptors in 2000 or 2001- when times were "good". the habit has been around this city for years and i'm surprised we haven't gotten another writer to change the collectively grim outlook. i'm not looking for peaches and cream, rainbows and lights; i just want someone to take it easy and relax. we're not exactly awaiting the apocalypse here.

fire him, fire him, fire him, terrible, terrible, terrible, blew up in our face, blew up in our face, blew up in our face-

just settle down already.

peace
 

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The writers have Toronto self - hating disease, where you have to think that everyone hates toronto - the players, the coaches, the other NBA types. All the players want to leave, and its our fault, dammit, for living here. In the back of my mind I think the press doesn't like Hoffa partially cause he's white, and they think that black players are simply better. Our Gm must be an idiot for not realizing that.

This guy Simmons is clearly special in the Olympic meaning of the word. He doesn't get the lottery system, he doesn't understand trade values, and his only real point seems to be that teams should never rebuild if it involves any kind of sacrifice.

That last point is important, this is the culture that's dominated the Leafs for years, and thats why they're always a mild success in the playoffs but never go anywhere. Its George W Bush meets professional sports, its only about the short term, long term consequences be damned.

Whats really important is name recognition, especially when you don't know **** about ball.
 
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