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2012 NBA Offseason: Toronto Raptors

Draft Grades, Offseason Needs, Free Agents

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Toronto Raptors (Last Year: 23-43)

Live 2012 NBA Draft Grades:

8. Terrence Ross, G, Washington: C+ Grade
This is definitely a reach for Terrence Ross, but he and DeMar DeRozan provide the Raptors with a ton of athleticism on the wing. He may not be as sexy a name as Austin Rivers, but Ross should be a solid pro due to his ability to get to the basket and smooth outside shot.

37. Quincy Acy, F, Baylor: Grade D+
Acy is a strong, hard-working, though undersized, power forward. That could maybe allow him to stick on a NBA roster, but I can't see him cracking the Raptors' rotation anytime soon.

56. Tomislav Zubcic, F, Croatia: C Grade
The Raptors had three picks in this draft, so it makes sense to take one foreign guy who might contribute down the line.

*** 2012 NBA Offseason Needs and Free Agents listed below this comment box. ***

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Sondi 01-04-2014 01:00 am (total posts: 1)
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Th'tas the best answer of all time! JMHO
Dashing 01-02-2014 01:28 am (total posts: 1)
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I've seen lots of gorgeous women with bald guys. How about Demi Moore and Bruce Willis? That's just one exlpame, but there are lots more. Seal (not only has a shaved head, but not fantastic looking at all) and Heidi Klum, to name another couple.Just don't do the comb-over. Yuck. That beyond doubt wouldn't do well!
Pelicans fan 06-17-2013 11:27 pm (total posts: 1)
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I think the raptors should go for trading Bargiana and their pick and put Bargiani on a certain contender while getting back a 4 who can play or a 5 who forces Val to the 4 since Aaron Gray and Amir Johnson/Quincy Acy won't cut it if they want to contend.
Geiger 10-18-2012 11:43 am (total posts: 1)
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I think the Raptors will be one of the biggest improvements throughout the NBA..they upgraded in all the positions they needed to and Derozan will have another year of experience behind him. Toronto wont compete in the playoffs, but getting there shouldnt be a problem.
haha 05-27-2012 09:54 pm (total posts: 1)
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get rid of aron gray keep bayless use calderon n draft pik to get higher pik, draft bradley beals pray to god jonas is as good as everyone says n AB will have a 26 point 7 rebound season get my asia boi linsanity in a raps jersey n yes nick name jonas the valanciraptor!!!! :D
Janine 11-02-2011 04:15 pm (total posts: 1)
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A mtinue saved is a minute earned, and this saved hours!
Dave 06-26-2011 11:32 am (total posts: 1)
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An excellent selection.

With Bayless and still having Calderon we need a PG like a hole in the head. Hopefully after Calderon is traded for a pick we can target Torontonian MYCK KABONGO PG in 2012 and have another 1st rounder to go after a SF (John Henson?)

Alongside Kanter, he is the best Center this year and next and was a very intelligent choice. Forget nationality and skin colour, Center has been a need for the last decade
Big Val 06-24-2011 09:11 pm (total posts: 1)
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Of the high upside, unknown foreign bigs-- Jan Vesely has quickly become popular because of his Birdman-like highlight reels and smoking hot girlfriend and Bismack Biyombo may be the most fun because of his name, but Lithuania is a basketball factory and the kids that come up there know how to play the game. The only issue is developing physically and adjusting to the more rugged NBA style of play. I like Big V's chances better than any foreign big man down the road but it will take some time to happen.
mpr 06-24-2011 10:28 am (total posts: 1)
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IMO, unless there's a stud PG like Rose, Wall, Paul, etc., available, it's always a good idea to go big. Skilled bigs are a rare commodity and Valanciunas offers the skill set to complement Bargnani, or even make Bargnani potential trade bait in a deal for a PG. I like Kemba Walker, but I don't think he'll find it as easy to get his shot off on the NBA level. I'm not saying he's the next Mateen Cleaves, but he and Knight were overrated going into this draft due to teams' desperation for quality PGs, IMO. The Raptors didn't reach and made the correct (albeit BORING) pick.
John From Toronto 06-24-2011 01:05 am (total posts: 1)
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Suprise! Draft time again and the Raptors draft a European big man. Thought this was a nice opportunity to draft a potential point guard of the future like Brandon Knight.

Although Valanciunas sounds like he has a lot of upside this is certainly not a pick that the Toronto fan base can fall in love with nor will it pay immediate dividends in the win-loss column. More empty seats at the Air Canada Centre. Yawn...when is the Leafs season starting...
Raptorized Dan 06-23-2011 10:21 pm (total posts: 1)
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New nickname: The Valanciraptor.
Northern Charge 06-23-2011 10:14 pm (total posts: 1)
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Oh man. Another white, European player. Surprise! I'm starting to think it's because they have been scared off by all the American studs they have had that didn't want to play there. Europeans aren't as picky.

It'll be a year or two before he is even able to come to Canada to play, and by then DeRozan will have demanded a trade out of town.

Book it.
huja wang 06-23-2011 09:02 pm (total posts: 1)
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this is an awful pick it should have been kemba walker or brandon knight
Walter 06-21-2011 05:19 pm (total posts: 1)
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First comment... we're going to have comment boards like this all over the site soon. We're still working out the kinks, so this is not the finished product.

2011-12 Season Summary:
The Raptors weren't expected to do much this year, and they were as bad as advertised. Their struggles were magnified as Andrea Bargnani struggled to stay on the court due to injury. Prior to going down, the former No. 1 overall pick was playing at an All-Star level and actually gave some effort on the defensive end. That left Toronto with a very thin, underwhelming collection of frontcourt players, forcing head coach Dwayne Casey to start Aaron Gray for 40 games. (Yuck.)

The backcourt took a hit as well as Jerryd Bayless missed half of the season due to injury and bench scorer Leandro Barbosa was sent to Indiana at the trade deadline. That put a lot of pressure on DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon. DeRozan took a step back after a breakout sophomore campaign while Calderon was effective though continues to play below the lofty salary he is receiving.

There is a mixed-bag reaction regarding the rest of the Raptor roster. James Johnson's athleticism and versatility make him a valuable contributor and somebody who should continue to develop. On the other hand, Ed Davis suffered though a bit of a sophomore slump when the team needed him to emerge with Bargnani out of the lineup. The overpaid Amir Johnson and Linas Kleiza serve their respective roles, but really shouldn't be relied upon as valuable pieces for the future.

With last year's first-round pick, Jonas Valanciunas, another lottery selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, and a good amount of cap space to be active in free agency; the Raptors are in a position to add some talented pieces to become a more competitive team next season.

C: Jonas Valanciunas/*Solomon Alabi

PF: Andrea Bargnani/Amir Johnson/Ed Davis

SF: James Johnson/Linas Kleiza/Gary Forbes/*Alan Anderson

SG:DeMar DeRozan

PG: Jose Calderon/*Jerryd Bayless

NBA Free Agents:

*PG-Jarryd Bayless (RFA)

*C-Solomon Alabi (RFA)

*SF-Alan Anderson (RFA)

*G-Ben Uzoh (RFA)

C-Aaron Gray (UFA)

C-Jamaal Magloire (UFA)

2012-13 Team Salary: Approximately $41 million

NBA Offseason Needs:

1. Perimeter Complement for DeRozan: DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson bring plenty of length and athleticism to Toronto's wing, but neither guy shoots it well from downtown. The other options are OK, but I certainly think finding an upgrade at small forward is a necessity. They should target a couple players with their lottery pick (Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Jeremy Lamb) who would fill this need.

2. Valanciunas Time: The arrival of Jonas Valanciunas is already incredibly hyped among the Raptor fan base. The entire basketball world will get a chance to see what the buzz is all about this summer when he plays for Lithuania in the Olympics. Due to his size, agility and experience playing at a high level overseas, Valanciunas is expected to make an immediate impact providing Toronto with a true banger to complement the more skilled, perimeter-oriented Andrea Bargnani. There will likely be a transition period for Valanciunas as he acclimates himself to the NBA game, but his addition will be highly anticipated.

3. Point Guard: If the team re-signs Jerryd Bayless, this does not become a pressing need. However, if Bayless is not brought back, the Raptors will be searching for a point guard especially since Jose Calderon will be entering the final year of his contract.

4. Be Frugal: Despite what GM Bryan Colangelo might think, Toronto is not a hot spot destination for marquee NBA free agents. Depending on what happens with Bayless, the Raptors could have around $10 million in cap space to spend in free agency. Colangelo has overpaid to be bring in mediocre talent in the past, and I think it's crucial for him to spend wisely this summer as to not jeopardize the team's future cap space. Toronto also has a valuable $7.6 million trade exception from the Leandro Barbosa deal that it can use if its cap number exceeds the league limit.

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