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Starting center next year? Options are limited...

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Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#1 » by Los Soles » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:47 pm

Let's assume the starting lineup will look pretty much like this next year: FVV-Trent-OG-Siakam-______

Fundamental minimums for the starting center:

  1. Doesn't suck at defense
  2. Doesn't suck at offense
  3. Doesn't suck at shooting threes
I think we all agree about #1. Baynes helped illustrate #2 and #3 for us this year. I'd argue that it's possible to get away with a non-shooter at the five with some personnel combos, but it requires either elite offensive talent (e.g., Brooklyn) or excellent shooting at every other position (e.g., Utah). With $68 million in FVV, OG, and Siakam next year, I think the Raptors only choice is to have shooting at the five. (I previously made this case specifically because of Siakam here.)

In an attempt to give this some quantitative framing, I'm gonna use these basic definitions:

  1. Defense: at least +0.1 according to 538's defensive RAPTOR rating
  2. Offense: at least +0.1 according to 538's offensive RAPTOR rating
  3. 3-point shooting: at least 30 made threes on at least 35% shooting
^ I don't think that's a particularly high bar. But these are the only "centers" who hit it (ranked by Overall RAPTOR):

Player . . . . . . Off RAPTOR . . Def RAPTOR . . Overall RAPTOR . . 3PM . . . 3P%
Nikola Jokic . . . . . +9.1 . . . . . . . . +0.7 . . . . . . . . +9.8 . . . . . . 75 . . . 42.9
Joel Embiid . . . . . +4.0 . . . . . . . . +4.9 . . . . . . . . +8.9 . . . . . . 39 . . . 38.2
Christian Wood . . . +0.1 . . . . . . . . +3.9 . . . . . . . . +4.0 . . . . . . 51 . . . 36.7
Chris Boucher . . . . +2.7 . . . . . . . . +0.5 . . . . . . . . +3.2 . . . . . . 78 . . . 39.2
John Collins . . . . . +2.0 . . . . . . . . +1.1 . . . . . . . . +3.1 . . . . . . 60 . . . 38
Bobby Portis . . . . . +0.9 . . . . . . . . +2.0 . . . . . . . . +2.9 . . . . . . 52 . . . 46
Mike Muscala . . . . . +0.1 . . . . . . . . +2.1 . . . . . . . . +2.2 . . . . . . 68 . . . 37
Kristaps Porzingis . . +1.3 . . . . . . . . +0.2 . . . . . . . . +1.5 . . . . . . 76 . . . 36.9
Nikola Vucevic . . . . +0.6 . . . . . . . . +0.3 . . . . . . . . +0.9 . . . . . . 133 . . 40.7

That's it.

Now, maybe there are players I'm missing who are barely under in just one category, or developing players who are almost there (and might be next year). But still...not a high bar. And quite a few of these guys are impossible to obtain and/or really expensive for what they bring. E.g., Jokic and Embiid are untouchable, and are Porzingis and Vucevic worth their hefty contracts?

I believe quality, obtainable options are extremely limited. There's a big pool of centers out there, but there's a very small group of them that would fit logically in the Raptors starting lineup next year. So what are the options?

1) Offer John Collins the max

Young, talented, defends, shoots: complete player. Restricted free agent. May not love his current situation. Turned down $90 million deal. Will require a BIG contract -- probably max. Credit to Johnny Bball for suggesting this plan.

2) Roll with Boucher

In terms of quality for the price, I think this is a significantly better option than most people on these boards think it is. There are definitely better defensive centers out there, but when it comes to overall offense + defense + shooting, Boucher is on the short list. By overall RAPTOR, he's 4th on that list up there. And then factoring in availability and price...Boucher is hard to compete with. Spend the money elsewhere.

3) Target one of the less splashy names like Muscala or Portis
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#2 » by Raps in 4 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:51 pm

Evan Mobley
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#3 » by tdotrep2 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:52 pm

holmes fit perfectly
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#4 » by NBJ13 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:52 pm

We got Kawhi for a season and won a chip... nothing is impossible now
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#5 » by Psubs » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:58 pm

Collins if not then Olynyk.

Nurse is looking forward to coaching Birch from the national team so don't see why he wouldn't want Olynyk since he's starting at C for Team Canada.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#6 » by TheBoi10 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:03 pm

Chicago is probably not keeping Lauri
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#7 » by Kreamy » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:05 pm

Trade for Myles Turner. Shouldn't take a whole lot, especially if Indiana decides to cut cost.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#8 » by Indeed » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:06 pm

1) John Collins is not a C, does he even plays defense?
2) Boucher is not a C, cannot defend against big C
3) Worse option.

I don't think we will target a stretch 5, since teams have been mixed with a stretch 5 with their defense. You are more likely looking at a PF/C who is strong to push legit C off and secure rebound, while agile enough against PnR.

Holmes is an option, but he is undersize (smaller than Siakam), and performing well in a losing team.

The goal will have Siakam improves his shooting (reason we pay him the max), and have a PnR rim protector who can shoot the mid-range. A role player would be enough, but it really depends on how Siakam can progress and spacing the floor.

I prefer to focus on a SG/SF who can replace the scoring of Lowry (money wise).
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#9 » by Rapsfan07 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:07 pm

I'd keep my eye on Myles Turner.

Indiana might be looking to cut costs and there's no team that needs him more than we do.

If our pick this year doesn't end up in the top 5, I wouldn't mind dealing it for Turner.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#10 » by Indeed » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:08 pm

Kreamy wrote:Trade for Myles Turner. Shouldn't take a whole lot, especially if Indiana decides to cut cost.


Rapsfan07 wrote:I'd keep my eye on Myles Turner.

Indiana might be looking to cut costs and there's no team that needs him more than we do.

If our pick this year doesn't end up in the top 5, I wouldn't mind dealing it for Turner.


I doubt Indiana would trade Turner for cost saving reason. You are not going to get a cheaper C who can perform (look at ourselves). There is simply not many replacement.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#11 » by will » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:09 pm

Myles Turner or Allen from the Cavs.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#12 » by TorontoRapsFan » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:11 pm

Olynyk for Baynes money would be a great get. Raps can try to trade for Capella, Hawks will look to get rid of his contract having decided on Collins. Raps can try to sign Mitchel Robinson. NYK is likely to not pick up his option and let him become a RFA so that they can match a low offer. They might decide they don't want to spend the money on him at the end of the day. That's a long shot. Picking up Muscala on a small salary as competition for back up would be great. And hopefully they stay as far away from non defensive bigs like Holmes as possible.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#13 » by Indeed » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:11 pm

will wrote:Myles Turner or Allen from the Cavs.


I only got sources saying they are not trading Turner, so what is the evidence that Indiana wants to trade Turner?

Here is an article:
https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/2021/03/23/nba-trade-deadline-indiana-pacers-arent-shopping-myles-turner/4708035001/
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#14 » by howlin mad axer » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:14 pm

I have no problem with Boucher starting now, so why not next season?
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#15 » by will » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:15 pm

Indeed wrote:
will wrote:Myles Turner or Allen from the Cavs.


I only got sources saying they are not trading Turner, so what is the evidence that Indiana wants to trade Turner?

Here is an article:
https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/2021/03/23/nba-trade-deadline-indiana-pacers-arent-shopping-myles-turner/4708035001/


I have absolutely ZERO sources.

Just decided to be a real gm Raptors poster and just start tossing out names without any research :lol:
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#16 » by TorontoRapsFan » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:16 pm

Indeed wrote:
Kreamy wrote:Trade for Myles Turner. Shouldn't take a whole lot, especially if Indiana decides to cut cost.


Rapsfan07 wrote:I'd keep my eye on Myles Turner.

Indiana might be looking to cut costs and there's no team that needs him more than we do.

If our pick this year doesn't end up in the top 5, I wouldn't mind dealing it for Turner.


I doubt Indiana would trade Turner for cost saving reason. You are not going to get a cheaper C who can perform (look at ourselves). There is simply not many replacement.


Myles Turner is not looking as good as he did at the beginning of the season and before season started there was a lot of talk of wanting to get rid of his contract.

Honestly I look at Turner now and can't understand how this guy can't average 6rbs a game as a starter. I mean I'd still take him as long as he's available for little return and because alternatives are low. But his contribution doesn't really make his 18 or 15 mil deal a bargain anymore.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#17 » by Psubs » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:20 pm

TheBoi10 wrote:Chicago is probably not keeping Lauri


It's weird, because then not pawn him off on Orlando and save some 1st picks. I guess Orlando didn't want him?

Would rather just sign Olynyk for less and not send assets.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#18 » by ThemCrookedRefs » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:21 pm

We don't need to spend a ton on a centre. We just need a competent player that has some size, can play solid defence, rebound, contest shots, and hit open layups; typical big man things. Let's see how the guys we just signed perform in their rest of season tryouts. Either way, just say no to Baynes...
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#19 » by mtcan » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:23 pm

ThemCrookedRefs wrote:We don't need to spend a ton on a centre. We just need a competent player that has some size, can play solid defence, rebound, contest shots, and hit open layups; typical big man things. Let's see how the guys we just signed perform in their rest of season tryouts. Either way, just say no to Baynes...

We all thought Baynes and Len did those things...
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#20 » by ThemCrookedRefs » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:24 pm

mtcan wrote:
ThemCrookedRefs wrote:We don't need to spend a ton on a centre. We just need a competent player that has some size, can play solid defence, rebound, contest shots, and hit open layups; typical big man things. Let's see how the guys we just signed perform in their rest of season tryouts. Either way, just say no to Baynes...

We all thought Baynes and Len did those things...

Well the FO better not mess it up again! :lol:

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