Join HOOPSWORLD’s Stephen Brotherston for his weekly NBA Chat covering the Toronto Raptors and all things NBA every Monday at 3pm ET.
It’s a hot and lazy long weekend in Canada so get your comments and questions in now.
Stephen, should we just declare the Spurs the 2011-2012 NBA Champions already? Because they’re not being challenged and the opponents are just allowing them to blow them out. Thoughts?
It’s the Victoria Day holiday Monday in Canada today and the only thing missing is an afternoon NBA playoff game to watch – that’ll just have to wait until 7pm.
The Spurs are on an amazing run – but let’s try not to forget that they just beat up on the 8th place Jazz who wasn’t supposed to be a playoff team until next year and the totally rebuilt Clippers who really need another season to build chemistry and some luck avoiding injury.
OKC will give the Spurs a much better test, not that I think the Spurs don’t have the depth and talent to win – it just won’t seem so easy. Have to agree – It’s really hard to see an Eastern Conference team challenging the Spurs in the Finals – But championship are won, nobody is going to just roll over in the Conference Finals or the NBA Finals. The games are still worth watching.
What adjustments do the Clippers need to make it order to force a Game 5, Stephen?
Too late for adjustments now – Clippers just need to get a year older to improve significantly. Jordan & Blake are still learning how to use all that natural talent they have.
What improvements will the Raptors make and do you believe they have what it takes to not only have a winning season, but to make the playoffs?
The East will undergo some big changes next season – from a Raptors perspective, the wide open race for playoff spots will be more open than say 2006.
If the Raptors don’t make the playoffs, the season will be considered a failure. Look for Colangelo to go hard after a (near) star player and a shooter or two and that should be more than enough to get a playoff spot.
Any chance the heat can get a guy like Felton or Mo Williams in free agency,
I love the idea of Nash but a longer-term option may be a better idea
The HEAT have no money to go after anybody and will be extremely careful to not increase that $80m in committed salaries in 2013 when the new painfully high luxury tax rules kick in.
Expect Mo to be back with the Clips. Raymond should be able to get more money for a longer term than the HEAT can afford (and that’s not a lot). Nash is a dream – he isn’t playing for a 1-yr min salary deal to get a ring
Okay I want an honest answer no going around the point, if you were Bryan Colangelo, what would YOU do with our pick?
Would you keep it and add another piece(Or three depending on if we use both second round pics)
Or would you trade it for another player.
There are alot of players that I would trade the pick for that I feel are underappreciated on their teams…. I feel that it would be amazing if we were ever able to land Brandon Jennings by trading our Pick(s)and/or a player. what do you think?
If I can close a trade to acquire a guy like Rudy Gay with the pick (unless its a top 3 pick) – I trade the pick.
I have zero interest in Jennings – he is a poor shooter, poor passer – a poor man’s version of Westbrook. I’d much rather keep Jerryd Bayless or draft a PG.
There are some very good seniors who the Raptors should be interested in the 2nd round and might even win the 9th or 10th spot in the rotation – also makes the first 2nd round pick trade-able.
What are your thoughts on Harkless coming out of St.Johns in a raptor uniform. I know he is slated as a lottery/mid-late first rounder but i personally think from my own little scouting report that he has the tools to become a pretty good fit in the raptor organization and become a steal in the draft.
Hard to see the kid going in the lottery but every year somebody shows what they can do in the workouts and surprises us. Moe has tools and at 19 years old – he could become a steal.
Me and my friend who follow nba/college ball we have a little debate. The debate is that i think that kendall marshall will be a better player down the line than austin rivers while his is the other way around. His argument is that austin has the scorers mentality and will make a very good point guard when he learns the position while my argument is that austin will end up being an undersized 2 similar to a jj redick/oj mayo along with the fact that kendall will have the poise and leadership skills to run a team (if he lands on the right one?….whats your opinion?
It is really hard to make that call but – it looks like all Marshall has to develop is a solid mid-range jump shot and he’ll be the guy everyone regrets passing on – Marshall should be a decent backup PG day 1.
It isn’t as easy to see how Rivers will do – if he “gets it”, he’ll be a deadly SG – but it takes most guys like him a few seasons to adjust. Most of us think Rivers will get it – just don’t know when or how long.
Hi Stephen! What would it take to get Eric Gordon? And do you think it’d be a good move for the Raptors?
I’m not a big fan of picking up guys who didn’t play the prior year due to injury. I’d just look elsewhere and let someone else take the risk.
Hey Stephen, now I’m aware this is a long shot but say by some chance the Raptors win the lottery and pick Anthony Davis. What do you see them doing with Bargnani and how does this alter BC’s plan going forward?
Bargnani & Davis skill sets are almost polar opposites – you would not do anything with Bargnani. But you might see if you could land a young star PG for Davis or Valanciunas – say like a John Wall, Rondo…
It’ll be great to have all 3 big men, but that’s not really practical – it’s also not very likely to get the #1.
How much bigger will Paul George’s role in the Indiana offence be next season? I like what he does for us, but he needs more opportunity.
The Pacers are built more on featuring multiple players than any one guy – and it works for them. George’s role on offense will expand – but it’s his role on defense that is going to make the Pacers even tougher next season.
What do you think of this trade – Wilson Chandler to raptors plus our 1st round pick this year – denver can get a good big and gallinari can be the starter for them – we can use trade exception or fillers
I’m not all that enthused about going after Chandler – He is a more experienced and much more expensive version of James Johnson – and I think James can elevate his offensive game to Chandler’s level with some solid coaching over the summer.
Chandler’s a decent enough player – just not a big of enough upgrade to get excited about.
Thank you for taking my question. Based on your recent column: Possible Draft Day Trades: which trade do you see making the most sense? It all but sounds like the Raptors will trade their 1st pick if they don’t get into the top 3. Also who do you see the Raptors going after in free agency if they do make one of those trades?
Biggest impact guy the Raptors could go after on draft day – Rudy Gay. I think he’d fit in well with coach Casey and happily take the number 1 option on offense with everyone else’s blessing.
I expect we’ll see the Raps go after some S&T opportunities more than straight FA signings – possible exception Steve Novak would give Casey the shooter off the bench he needs and shouldn’t cost too much.
Stephen thanks for your time, Do you think the Jazz might try to workout a deal with Toronto to get Jose Calderon? I think he’d be a great fit with the Jazz, maybe do something like trade Milsap or Big Al (though I highly doubt theyd want Big Al) and/or the Trade Exception and/or a fututre pick?
Jose would be a great fit to set up those big men on the Jazz but the Raps don’t really need a big back. A 1st round lottery pick would get Colangelo’s attention – where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Bill thanks for your time,
A lot of people are gettin on the Spurs to win it all, while sweeping 2 teams in the playoffs is very impressive, I dont think sweeping the inexperienced Jazz and VDN coached Clippers is reason to pick’em yet, The Thunder (who I pick to win it all) and Durantula are an entirley different animal. How do you see this series playing out?
100% agree – I think Bill would agree too! I had the Thunder before the playoffs started too
OKC was a fav before the playoffs started, they are still in contention. I do like the Spurs – deep veteran laden team and look like they should win, but anyone who counts OKC out without a fight will be surprised.
I am leaning towards the Spurs winning it all now
Hey Stephen! Just wondering if Toronto would consider a Jose Calderon/Andrea Bargnani for Pau Gasol type deal? Thanks!
Pau Gasol doesn’t fit with team goals – Now make that Marc Gasol and we’ll talk.
in the coming months, im sure there will be a lot of “let’s trade pau gasol” type of questions.SHOULD the lakers trade him? i doubt they can get a better pf.but for a better pg, can they land one? who do think is attainable (pg) with pau as bait?
Once the Lakers realize they don’t have the depth to compete anymore, their only real option is to trade Pau for whatever they can get that doesn’t hamper their ability to add talent.
Pau is not going to land the Lakers a star PG – it is actually going to be hard to trade him – except maybe to Houston. I’d try a Scola and Dragic (s&t) for Pau – and take it as a huge win.
after reading your article about draft day deals all i can think about is rudy gay in raptor colors… if raps offer the lottery pick plus the 2nd round picks and ed davis? could it happen throw in james johnson and the exception….what do you think
I think there is a deal here and Memphis is in tough against the cap – it will be a real test for Colangelo to not overpay as he’s doing Memphis a favor. Ed & James plus a draft pick seems fair.
What is Tyreke Evans value? And could Sacramento get a legit power forward in a trade for him?
Absolutely – not one who was drafted as high as Evans or has the upside but a legit PF should be easily attainable. Kings have been doing their best to ruin his trade value….
I’d call the Raps for Ed Davis or Amir Johnson and a 2nd round pick.
There is way too much talk of Lin and Nash lately in regards to the Raptors. The only good acquisitions out of those two is a vast marketing ploy by MLSE. I already renewed my Season Seats as I am highly aware that this team is in a great position to really make the right changes and be competitors but if they go this route I am boycotting them as I have heard many will follow suit.
Perhaps MLSE and the Raptors need to read your articles more and your last one on the potential pickups they could attain like Mayo, Gay, Harden, Deng, Smith etc. There is so much amazing possibility than those two marketing gimmicks. Wouldn’t you agree?
Nash would be to generate tons of media buzz and sell seats – but Nash is at the end of his career – still has at least 1 good season left but that’s not building towards a future championship.
Lin is a tougher call – he was getting much better as the season went along – turnovers dropped and he was figuring things out – but I’d be very nervous about that knee if the team didn’t have a backup plan to start the year. Lin is a young PG who could be the next star – or not – if the team wants to win, this can’t be the only “big” move.
Substance over Marketing – bang on!
It was Colangelo who was selling that $12m in cap space before July 1 hard when he traded away Barbosa – I hope he wasn’t just blowing smoke because that is the best way to add the talent this team needs to get back to the playoffs. Raps need an Alpha-player to lead this team on court.
That’s all for today – but look for a few additional questions to be answered later – it’s a holiday!
Enes Kanter, Jan Vesley, Bismak Biyombo all struggled this year so what makes you guys think that Jonas Valanciunas will be any different?
Also you wrote a while back that he could be the favorite for ROY if so what kind of stats do you project him to have?
None of those players you list were stars on their European club teams or even played for their National team.
At 19, Jonas was the star player on his club team and one of the top players – not top young player – a top player in Europe who played for his National team last year and will be an important player on his National team this summer.
Last summer, as Jonas was winning the MVP on the championship under 19 team at the World Championships – he twice destroyed the USA team. No Davis wasn’t there – but the USA under 19 team had some lottery picks and wasn’t a bunch of stiffs.
Jonas has the potential to be a double-double center as a rookie in the NBA. Like any rookie though, you don’t really know what you have until he plays – still Raps should be expecting a very quick transition to the NBA game.
How Will Jonas Valanciunas ever make the All Star team playing in the eastern conference with Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez,and Greg Monroe?
Not seeing that list as overwhelming. All of those guys still have lots to prove – and they’d agree with that.
How will you remember nash, dirk, duncan, and kobe on and off the court when they retire?
Those were the elite players of their era – should add a few more names.
If Utah ends up getting the GS pick on the 30th do you think a trade of Milsap, Harris, the 8th pick, and a 2013 Second round pick be enough for Rondo and fillers?
Boston will be very reluctant to give up on Rondo – his contract is just too valuable under the new CBA. No those guys are not enough.
Hey Stephen! I’m a diehard GSW fan, and I think they really need some added depth in their frontline. Do you think drafting Sullinger help them? Or do you think there’s a realistic shot at getting Rudy Gay for their top 7 2012 draft pick + Jefferson + Biedrins?
You’re not helping the Grizz by sending back salary – they’ll want your young cheap talent and draft pick for Gay.
Hi SB! Cavs fan here – so asking this from a completely un-biased position: Who says no? Lakers trade Pau Gasol and Ramon Sessions for Paul Millsap and Devin Harris. Lakers get some youth in Millsap and Jazz get a proven player/vet in Gasol.
Who’s says no: Lakers trade Pau Gasol to Raptors for Bargnani. Raps get proven vet and player to push them into the playoffs and Lakers get younger front court.
Lakers drool, Raptors run away from this deal.
Do you favour going for the 8th seed by trading our pick, or continuing the slow build for a true contender?
A team always has to be willing to do trades that work for both the long term and the short term. A young player – 24-28 year-old who gives the Raps what they need to be a playoff team now is well worth a draft pick who will take 3-5 years to become good enough to lead a playoff team.
Eventually the rebuilding process needs proven talent to work. Raps have 4 years in the lottery already – that’s long enough – or you risk losing the guys you drafted
What things can the bulls do to improve there chances for next yr? Rose may miss all year and deng may miss at least half the season next yr with wrist surgery
Trade for a Veteran PG – a pass first guy who would get the most out of Boozer – like say a Jose Calderon who has just 1-year left on his deal.
I’m just wondering, why some NBA owners love to give contracts to people who clearly don’t deserve it. Amare is not a 100 million 5 year man. New York Knew he had back issues and he’s not really his prime. You could also say Boozer was disappointing, and Gasol hasn’t been himself. I don’t understand why these players get so much money, but don’t play like one. Another question? Why do people want Jeremy Lin so much. I bet if he does resign, hes going to get a huge contract. And to do what turn the ball over every other posession. I think he can get better but he needs time. What do you think about this?
Under the old CBA, teams could buy their way thru bad decisions – that’s changing fast! But until now, the teams that made money, made lots of it so they made some bad decisions – You didn’t hear the the small market teams taking those risks.
Lin can’t sign for more than the MLE under the new CBA – that isn’t considered to be a huge risk by NBA standards so that’s what he’ll get. Plus, I think you’ll see Lin’s turnovers drop significantly – he was thrust into playing because of injuries and had to play thru mistakes no one would have permitted – if they had a choice. I’m more concerned about how he comes back from knee surgery – there is no guarantee you’ll be getting the same guy back you saw last year.
what team is willing to take a combo of taj or asik /brewer for there 1rd pick this yr
I don’t see that move really helping the Bulls that much – but Taj Gibson should get you a pick in the late- lottery, mid 1st round pretty easily – but why?
Who is a pure scorer my bulls can draft at 29 or a sleeper that can conrtibute right away?
I like Doron Lamb at 29 or Draymond Green
What do you think of Deng for the lottery pick this year and maybe an Ed Davis. If Chicago then amnesties Boozer who do you think they should target with the pick 6-9? I’d love Deng for Toronto.
The trade of Deng to Toronto makes sense – but I doubt they amnesty Boozer – just too tough to do – rather they’d just not pick up their 3 non-guaranteed deals.
That move would solve a lot of issues for Chicago and the Bulls should use that pick for the same player Toronto should – Jermey Lamb – the missing shooting guard who can score and defend.
Gerald Wallace on Raps radar?
Expect GW back with the Nets.
8th pick, JJ, ED for Rudy Gay???
Solves Memphis’ cap problems – Toronto will like it.
Jonas Valanciunas: Rookie of the Year 2012-2013, Averages 14-9
Possible – toss in 1.5 blocks
To me, James Johnson has the perfect opportunity to snag the starting SF spot for years to come. Good size, can handle the ball, and best of all, plays above average defense. If he can sharpen his jumper and slash more, He can be a starter, do you agree?
James Johnson has a chance to be a very respectable SF in this league – he just needs to work on his game and his discipline – but that also means he could become trade bait for those same reasons.
Trade jerryd bayless and use Ben Uzoh as a back up, much cheaper and closer to a PG.
Expect Colangelo to make Bayless a RFA and see what he can get for him. But Bayless does make a solid backup PG with upside when healthy. I’d love Uzoh back as the 3rd string PG on the Raps – I like what we saw – he might even win the backup role.
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Golden State Warriors
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San Antonio Spurs
Toronto is expected to announce their decision about Colangelo today, so what's next for the Raptors?
11:00am - Bill Ingram
3:00pm - Stephen Brotherston
3:00pm - Alex Kennedy
8:00pm - Lang Greene
10:30am - Steve Kyler
1:30pm - Joel Brigham
11:00am - Yannis Koutroupis
3:00pm - Larry Coon
11:00am - Susan Bible
5:00pm - Derek Page