I’m no longer crying in my beer about the departures of Jose Calderon and Ed Davis. It’s done, so let’s consider the trade’s ramifications on the Toronto Raptors’ lineup for next season. Last season was strike-shortened, and for the Raps something of a throwaway. I railed at the time that the Raps were putting into uniforms some of the worst players ever to besmirch an NBA floor. Patience, Brian, patience: all will be well – but it isn’t. I’m angered by what I see on the court now, largely because we fans have been played for fools one more time.
Since the trade,the Raps boast a roster that’s a mess of monumental proportions. Anybody got any bright ideas about what to do with Pietrus, Bargnani, Kleiza or Fields, or 3 lookalike Smurfs at the point? I defended the acquisition of Sebastian Telfair as necessary for point guard insurance as the Raps geared up for a playoff run. We all know how that turned out, and Sebastian can’t shoot. John Lucas has been consistently inconsistent. NEXT! Coach Dwane Casey has no clue what Rudy Gay will produce on any given night. The nicked-up Amir Johnson is doing his best, but clearly misses his traded running mates. The only player to have emerged from the wreckage is Jonas Valanciunas, who’s going to be an All-Star in 2 more years if he continues his across-the-board improvement. Quincy Acy looks like a useful role player and Terrence Ross is making haste slowly. However, we can’t put the burden of progress entirely on the rookies.
My point is simple: this season is nearly complete, and it’s another throwaway. Bryan Colangelo said, prior to the season, words to the effect that it’s time to build, not rebuild. Wrong again, BC. This off-season will bring another major teardown to the roster, which doesn’t portend well for ’13-’14. Let’s face it – who among the stopgap players BC brought in have actually contributed? Do you feel confident that BC will uncover and sign the 5 or more players of quality we’ll need to replace those who will be moved this summer? Me neither.
If I’m painting too bleak a picture (maybe it’s the crummy Toronto weather – where’s our spring?), please let me know in the Comments.