The Raptors' depth chart, but with a twist

So I’m mulling Masai Ujiri’s lengthy to-do list now that he’s got the big job, and it occurs to me that he’s going to need to build a depth chart immediately. I’m going to help him out here, but in what I think is a more useful fashion that the norm.

An ordinary chart simply lists all your players by position, then by order of skill, from quality starter (A) to backup (B) to cross-your-fingers (C). What I propose is to imagine a 50-win team’s chart, then map all current Raps onto it – or not.

Apr 12, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey talks to his team during a break in the action against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Chicago 97-88. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll illustrate with the position of small forward. Our normal depth chart looks like this:

  • (A) Rudy Gay

  • (B) Landry Fields

  • (C) Linas Kleiza

but our 50-win team looks like this:

  • (A) Rudy Gay

  • (B) [open]

  • (C) [open]

In other words, Fields, Pietrus and Kleiza shouldn’t even dress for a playoff-bound team (we’ll call players like them “On the outs”), and Ujiri must plug those holes.

Let’s quickly walk through the other positions:

Point Guard

  • (A) Kyle Lowry (barely; I thought about bumping him down a rung, but he ended the season well)

  • (B) [open]

  • (C) [open]

  • On the outs: S. Telfair, J. Lucas

Shooting Guard

  • (A) DeMar DeRozan

  • (B) [open]

  • (C) Terrence Ross (I hope I’m wrong about him; I’d be very happy to see him pushing DD by Game 60 next year)

  • On the outs: A. Anderson (quality guy, but when his shot disappears, his value plummets)

Power Forward

  • (A) [open]

  • (B) Amir Johnson (I love Amir, but he’s better suited as all-purpose First Big Off The Bench)

  • (C) Quincy Acy

  • On the outs: A. Bargnani


  • (A) Jonas Valanciunas

  • (B) [open]

  • (C) Aaron Gray (borderline; he’s lost a step, and didn’t have it to lose)

There you have it – the starters for our imaginary 50-win squad are respectable enough, but team depth is a huge issue. Flipping the telescope around, we’ve got way too many overpaid players on the current roster who can’t make our playoff team, and tough decisions will need to be made, quickly.

What do you think of this slightly off the wall method of building a depth chart? Have I devalued someone you like? Let us know in the Comments.

Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.





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