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Starting center next year? Options are limited...

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

Post#401 » by VanWest82 » Fri May 28, 2021 6:49 pm

Steelo Green wrote:
VanWest82 wrote:
Steelo Green wrote:People keep referencing the 19-20 season as if Kyle aging two years isn’t a big factor as to why we can’t replicate that.

He was your best player.


Good point. Also, people keep referencing the 19-20 season as if our young veterans gaining another year of experience has no impact on our ability to develop other aspects of our team.

We have new best players now. Driven, hard working players who are only 23-26 don't just stop improving.

Doesn’t matter. None of these guys will ever be as good as Kyle.

Having good players is irrelevant. You need the best players. Kyle was a top 15 player leading us to 50 wins year in and out before Fred and Pascal were even in the NBA. He was the key factor.

The second half is moot. You act like all NBA a players aren’t driven and hard working for the most part.

This core is mediocre. Simple as that.


Except, Kyle wasn't a top 15 player in 19/20. We went 12-2 in games he missed that year. We had the 2nd best record in the league. That's not mediocre.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#402 » by Los Soles » Fri May 28, 2021 8:57 pm

Steelo Green wrote:This core is mediocre. Simple as that.

Are we already onto tanking next season now?

Steelo Green wrote:Having good players is irrelevant. You need the best players.

Does the team with the best individual player always win? Or just one of "the best"? How best is best enough, and how do you measure that? One...top 15 player? Top 10? Top 5? By what standard? Some metric? Someone's opinion? Your opinion? Stephen A Smith's opinion?
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#403 » by Steelo Green » Sat May 29, 2021 7:06 am

Los Soles wrote:
Steelo Green wrote:This core is mediocre. Simple as that.

Are we already onto tanking next season now?

Steelo Green wrote:Having good players is irrelevant. You need the best players.

Does the team with the best individual player always win? Or just one of "the best"? How best is best enough, and how do you measure that? One...top 15 player? Top 10? Top 5? By what standard? Some metric? Someone's opinion? Your opinion? Stephen A Smith's opinion?

I don’t think we need to tank next season.

I think we will likely either be fighting for a playoff spot or missing entirely. Essentially the no mans land Masai says no about.

Title winners: Lebron, Kawhi, Steph/Durant, Steph/Durant, Lebron, Steph, Kawhi

I said the best players, which is obviously the top 5-10 guys. I don’t need to have some subjective measure. Look at the players on the teams that won titles.

Pascal and Fred? They’re not even in the vicinity of those guys.

They’re not even in the vicinity of the next tier.

You want to name 25 better players than Fred or Pascal? Or will you say it’s subjective to say that Lebron or Kawhi or Durant or Curry or Luka and so on and so forth or better because that’s your view?
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#404 » by Los Soles » Sat May 29, 2021 12:53 pm

Steelo Green wrote:I said the best players, which is obviously the top 5-10 guys. I don’t need to have some subjective measure.

No, that's not obvious. Could have been the top 15, or top 3, or... I still have no idea what "best" means, and you still haven't told me. "Top 5-10 guys" is entirely unclear, and arbitrary, and defining it is arbitrary. Different people would have different opinions about who is on that list. You said 5-10...well is it 5 or 10, or somewhere in between? Does it include elite defenders, or just elite offensive players? Two-way players who are good both ways but not elite either way? Is Doncic on it? Gobert? Tatum? Bam? Butler? Jamal Murray? Donovan Mitchell? Kyrie? Jokic? Randle? Beal? Capela? Booker? Chris Paul? Trae Young? Paul George? Anthony Davis? Draymond Green? Embiid? Simmons? Lillard? Harden? I honestly have no idea, but you're acting like it's obvious. "I don’t need to have some subjective measure." Ok...you have no measure at all. It is just entirely your subjective opinion, except I don't think you even know what it is.

Tell me: Who is on your list of *best* players?
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#405 » by TorontoRapsFan » Sat May 29, 2021 1:46 pm

Los Soles wrote:
Steelo Green wrote:I said the best players, which is obviously the top 5-10 guys. I don’t need to have some subjective measure.

No, that's not obvious. Could have been the top 15, or top 3, or... I still have no idea what "best" means, and you still haven't told me. "Top 5-10 guys" is entirely unclear, and arbitrary, and defining it is arbitrary. Different people would have different opinions about who is on that list. You said 5-10...well is it 5 or 10, or somewhere in between? Does it include elite defenders, or just elite offensive players? Two-way players who are good both ways but not elite either way? Is Doncic on it? Gobert? Tatum? Bam? Butler? Jamal Murray? Donovan Mitchell? Kyrie? Jokic? Randle? Beal? Capela? Booker? Chris Paul? Trae Young? Paul George? Anthony Davis? Draymond Green? Embiid? Simmons? Lillard? Harden? I honestly have no idea, but you're acting like it's obvious. "I don’t need to have some subjective measure." Ok...you have no measure at all. It is just entirely your subjective opinion, except I don't think you even know what it is.

Tell me: Who is on your list of *best* players?


I think something that needs to be realized to help with this argument is that right now in the NBA there are more top 5 type and top 20 type players than there has been for probably the last 3o years. The list of superstar caliber players that usually are top 5-10 includes something along 3 generations of players with players like LBJ and Paul playing so well in their mid 30s. Add the added scoring and possessions in games and players able to put up stats that make them all star caliber players is pretty large.

Just my 2 cents
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#406 » by Federalies » Sat May 29, 2021 3:23 pm

Just posted this in the FA thread above but I’d suggest it it likely fits here as well.

Good morning all, what’s the consensus on considering Bobby Portis as a relatively low cost option at C?

He has a $3.8 mil player option with the bucks but after posting 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, while shooting a ridiculous 47% on 3 pointers (yes, I had to double check that) and 74% from the line, all on less than 21 minutes per game, I’m assuming he’ll turn that option down. Bobby is 6’ 11” with a 7’1.5” wingspan and is now tipping the scales at 250 lbs. perhaps we can split the MLE with Kehm and have them battle it out for starters minutes? At 26 I believe he’s still mobile enough to play some 4 in a jumbo lineup! Thoughts?

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

Post#407 » by Los Soles » Sat May 29, 2021 4:42 pm

Federalies wrote:Good morning all, what’s the consensus on considering Bobby Portis as a relatively low cost option at C?

I like it a lot. I like Portis or Muscala as under-the-radar, cheaper options. I think this starting lineup could be really good:

FVV-Lowry/Trent-OG-Siakam-Portis

And then you still have Boucher-Birch frontcourt off the bench. Some good versatility there for different combos depending on the matchup.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#408 » by Los Soles » Sat May 29, 2021 5:16 pm

TorontoRapsFan wrote:
Los Soles wrote:
Steelo Green wrote:I said the best players, which is obviously the top 5-10 guys. I don’t need to have some subjective measure.

No, that's not obvious. Could have been the top 15, or top 3, or... I still have no idea what "best" means, and you still haven't told me. "Top 5-10 guys" is entirely unclear, and arbitrary, and defining it is arbitrary. Different people would have different opinions about who is on that list. You said 5-10...well is it 5 or 10, or somewhere in between? Does it include elite defenders, or just elite offensive players? Two-way players who are good both ways but not elite either way? Is Doncic on it? Gobert? Tatum? Bam? Butler? Jamal Murray? Donovan Mitchell? Kyrie? Jokic? Randle? Beal? Capela? Booker? Chris Paul? Trae Young? Paul George? Anthony Davis? Draymond Green? Embiid? Simmons? Lillard? Harden? I honestly have no idea, but you're acting like it's obvious. "I don’t need to have some subjective measure." Ok...you have no measure at all. It is just entirely your subjective opinion, except I don't think you even know what it is.

Tell me: Who is on your list of *best* players?


I think something that needs to be realized to help with this argument is that right now in the NBA there are more top 5 type and top 20 type players than there has been for probably the last 3o years. The list of superstar caliber players that usually are top 5-10 includes something along 3 generations of players with players like LBJ and Paul playing so well in their mid 30s. Add the added scoring and possessions in games and players able to put up stats that make them all star caliber players is pretty large.

Just my 2 cents

I don't think that's the problem. I think the problem is that we don't know who's going to win titles until they win titles. We know who won titles in the past, but we don't know who's going to win titles the next few years. Then we'll start calling the best players on those teams "the best". The "Best Players" is easy to define after the titles are won. Is Doncic the best? Well, he might win multiples titles...or none. We don't know yet. Same with Gobert, Embiid, Jokic, Tatum, Simmons, George, Capela, Harden, Randle, Booker, Zion, Morant, Murray, Mitchell, Ball, Young, Cade, Suggs, etc. They're not all going to win multiple titles. Steelo Green can't define who among them are "the best" because he doesn't know how many titles they're going to win the next few years.

How many years was Dirk "the best"? Was Dirk "the best" when he hadn't won any titles yet? When his 67-win team flamed out in the first round to an 8th seed? When his Mavs only won one playoff series in four years? Was he only "the best" the year they won the NBA title? Say Tyson Chandler tears his ACL in 2011 and Dirk never wins any titles. Would he be "the best" if his legacy was fundamentally playoff failure?

When did Kawhi become "the best"? Steelo Green just said he was "the best" in 2014. No one thought that at the time. ESPN ranked him 34th going into the year. He got zero votes for MVP that year. He wasn't on any of the All NBA teams that year. He wasn't even an all-star. Key player on a title team, so now, in retrospect, he's "the best".

It's circular, tautological reasoning. You can't win titles without the best players, so if you win titles, you have the best players.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#409 » by Los_29 » Sat May 29, 2021 6:11 pm

Kawhi averaged 16ppg the year he won finals MVP with the Spurs. The Spurs beat the Miami superteam with Bosh, Lebron and Wade. What about in 2011? Was Dirk better than Wade and Lebron?

The fact the Clippers with Kawhi and George are fighting tooth and nail to get out of the first round should tell you how important it is to have a good supporting cast. We need a superstar but we have something that is also hard to assemble. And that is a supporting cast that has proven themselves to be capable of winning a championship. There is a foundation already there.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#410 » by Ell Curry » Sat May 29, 2021 7:37 pm

Los_29 wrote:Kawhi averaged 16ppg the year he won finals MVP with the Spurs. The Spurs beat the Miami superteam with Bosh, Lebron and Wade. What about in 2011? Was Dirk better than Wade and Lebron?

The fact the Clippers with Kawhi and George are fighting tooth and nail to get out of the first round should tell you how important it is to have a good supporting cast. We need a superstar but we have something that is also hard to assemble. And that is a supporting cast that has proven themselves to be capable of winning a championship. There is a foundation already there.


That's why, if we don't move up in the lotto, I'm assuming Masai's first option will be to move Lowry for assets and try to package those assets to move up in the draft. For example, the Clippers you mention badly need a guard like Lowry:

Lowry for Beverley, #25 and Terrence Mann, who is playing quite well.

Then Mann, #25, #7 and Boucher to try to move up to #2 or #3 and grab Green or Mobley to either turn us into a normal team with VanVleet-Green-OG-Siakam and we start looking for a center, maybe not for another year or 2 until Green is up, or become a defensive team with a Mobley-Siakam-OG-Trent-VanVleet starting lineup and in a year or two we're looking for another scorer unless OG, Mobley or Trent becomes a 20+ guy.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#411 » by Los_29 » Sat May 29, 2021 7:48 pm

Ell Curry wrote:
Los_29 wrote:Kawhi averaged 16ppg the year he won finals MVP with the Spurs. The Spurs beat the Miami superteam with Bosh, Lebron and Wade. What about in 2011? Was Dirk better than Wade and Lebron?

The fact the Clippers with Kawhi and George are fighting tooth and nail to get out of the first round should tell you how important it is to have a good supporting cast. We need a superstar but we have something that is also hard to assemble. And that is a supporting cast that has proven themselves to be capable of winning a championship. There is a foundation already there.


That's why, if we don't move up in the lotto, I'm assuming Masai's first option will be to move Lowry for assets and try to package those assets to move up in the draft. For example, the Clippers you mention badly need a guard like Lowry:

Lowry for Beverley, #25 and Terrence Mann, who is playing quite well.

Then Mann, #25, #7 and Boucher to try to move up to #2 or #3 and grab Green or Mobley to either turn us into a normal team with VanVleet-Green-OG-Siakam and we start looking for a center, maybe not for another year or 2 until Green is up, or become a defensive team with a Mobley-Siakam-OG-Trent-VanVleet starting lineup and in a year or two we're looking for another scorer unless OG, Mobley or Trent becomes a 20+ guy.


I agree that the Clippers desperately need a guy like Lowry. However, I highly doubt we'd trade him to the Clippers for that poo poo platter. Beverley is not a good basketball player, Mann is a bench player with limited upside and late FRP's are essentially useless. If we do get the #7 pick, no team is going to trade a top 4 pick for Boucher, #25 and #7. Although Boucher is a solid player, he doesn't move the needle and he's already 28 years old. According to many, there is a massive difference between the top 4 and the other prospects in the draft. A team isn't going to give all that up for a 28 year old bench player and #7.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#412 » by Ell Curry » Sat May 29, 2021 9:20 pm

Los_29 wrote:
Ell Curry wrote:
Los_29 wrote:Kawhi averaged 16ppg the year he won finals MVP with the Spurs. The Spurs beat the Miami superteam with Bosh, Lebron and Wade. What about in 2011? Was Dirk better than Wade and Lebron?

The fact the Clippers with Kawhi and George are fighting tooth and nail to get out of the first round should tell you how important it is to have a good supporting cast. We need a superstar but we have something that is also hard to assemble. And that is a supporting cast that has proven themselves to be capable of winning a championship. There is a foundation already there.


That's why, if we don't move up in the lotto, I'm assuming Masai's first option will be to move Lowry for assets and try to package those assets to move up in the draft. For example, the Clippers you mention badly need a guard like Lowry:

Lowry for Beverley, #25 and Terrence Mann, who is playing quite well.

Then Mann, #25, #7 and Boucher to try to move up to #2 or #3 and grab Green or Mobley to either turn us into a normal team with VanVleet-Green-OG-Siakam and we start looking for a center, maybe not for another year or 2 until Green is up, or become a defensive team with a Mobley-Siakam-OG-Trent-VanVleet starting lineup and in a year or two we're looking for another scorer unless OG, Mobley or Trent becomes a 20+ guy.


I agree that the Clippers desperately need a guy like Lowry. However, I highly doubt we'd trade him to the Clippers for that poo poo platter. Beverley is not a good basketball player, Mann is a bench player with limited upside and late FRP's are essentially useless. If we do get the #7 pick, no team is going to trade a top 4 pick for Boucher, #25 and #7. Although Boucher is a solid player, he doesn't move the needle and he's already 28 years old. According to many, there is a massive difference between the top 4 and the other prospects in the draft. A team isn't going to give all that up for a 28 year old bench player and #7.


I think you underrate Mann, much like Lue is doing. He shot 51/41/83, isn't a bad defender and is cheap as hell.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#413 » by Darkseid » Sat May 29, 2021 9:37 pm

I say we give Baynes another shot

After a season of constant reminders why he's awful maybe he'll turn it around next season when there's no evidence to show why that's possible.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#414 » by Los Soles » Sun May 30, 2021 12:45 am

Los_29 wrote:Kawhi averaged 16ppg the year he won finals MVP with the Spurs.

Actually just 12.8 that season.

Los_29 wrote:The Spurs beat the Miami superteam with Bosh, Lebron and Wade. What about in 2011? Was Dirk better than Wade and Lebron?

Exactly. And Pistons '04.

Los_29 wrote:The fact the Clippers with Kawhi and George are fighting tooth and nail to get out of the first round should tell you how important it is to have a good supporting cast. We need a superstar but we have something that is also hard to assemble. And that is a supporting cast that has proven themselves to be capable of winning a championship. There is a foundation already there.

I agree about the "supporting cast", but I think the "star" narrative is overblown. I think you need effective offense and effective defense. I think when a team plays great basketball, someone gets credit -- someone *becomes* a star, because that's the tautological narrative we have to have.

(We really struggle with this when there's not a clear leading scorer -- see '04 Pistons and '14 Spurs. Spurs MUST have had a superstar...pundits just can't figure out whether it was Bruce Bowen Kawhi, 37-year-old Timmy, 36-year-old Manu, or out-of-the-league-a-couple-years-later Parker.)

The Raptors have a core of solid two-way players. They've shown they can play very effective offense and very effective defense without Kawhi -- just not consistently enough through pandemic awkwardness, injuries, and roster fluctuations. If they were to hit on a few development/coaching/personnel decisions and stay healthy, I believe they would be a threat to make a deep playoff run. And then the narrative would change. E.g., if Siakam was a 25 ppg scorer that beat the Sixers and Bucks en route to the Finals, suddenly he is the "star" we thought he might become a couple years ago.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#415 » by Ell Curry » Sun May 30, 2021 1:20 am

Los Soles wrote:
Federalies wrote:Good morning all, what’s the consensus on considering Bobby Portis as a relatively low cost option at C?

I like it a lot. I like Portis or Muscala as under-the-radar, cheaper options. I think this starting lineup could be really good:

FVV-Lowry/Trent-OG-Siakam-Portis

And then you still have Boucher-Birch frontcourt off the bench. Some good versatility there for different combos depending on the matchup.


Yeah, Portis for the MLE makes a ton of sense. He's younger and bigger than Olynyk and he can really rebound. Not a rim protector, but Siakam, OG and Van Vleet are good at keeping guys in front of them so hopefully that weakness is less of a problem for us than other teams.

Though we passed on him last year, along with Noel, for Baynes, which I didn't understand then, so maybe Masai's not a fan.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#416 » by Los_29 » Sun May 30, 2021 1:22 am

Los Soles wrote:
Los_29 wrote:Kawhi averaged 16ppg the year he won finals MVP with the Spurs.

Actually just 12.8 that season.

Los_29 wrote:The Spurs beat the Miami superteam with Bosh, Lebron and Wade. What about in 2011? Was Dirk better than Wade and Lebron?

Exactly. And Pistons '04.

Los_29 wrote:The fact the Clippers with Kawhi and George are fighting tooth and nail to get out of the first round should tell you how important it is to have a good supporting cast. We need a superstar but we have something that is also hard to assemble. And that is a supporting cast that has proven themselves to be capable of winning a championship. There is a foundation already there.

I agree about the "supporting cast", but I think the "star" narrative is overblown. I think you need effective offense and effective defense. I think when a team plays great basketball, someone gets credit -- someone *becomes* a star, because that's the tautological narrative we have to have.

(We really struggle with this when there's not a clear leading scorer -- see '04 Pistons and '14 Spurs. Spurs MUST have had a superstar...pundits just can't figure out whether it was Bruce Bowen Kawhi, 37-year-old Timmy, 36-year-old Manu, or out-of-the-league-a-couple-years-later Parker.)

The Raptors have a core of solid two-way players. They've shown they can play very effective offense and very effective defense without Kawhi -- just not consistently enough through pandemic awkwardness, injuries, and roster fluctuations. If they were to hit on a few development/coaching/personnel decisions and stay healthy, I believe they would be a threat to make a deep playoff run. And then the narrative would change. E.g., if Siakam was a 25 ppg scorer that beat the Sixers and Bucks en route to the Finals, suddenly he is the "star" we thought he might become a couple years ago.


You're right. He did average 12.8ppg that year. I got the years mixed up. And there is no doubt Kawhi played really well in the finals but people seem to forget how he was getting his points. Most of his points were a result of players like Parker, Diaw, Duncan and Manu setting him up. He had a lot of wide open shots. The Spurs beat Miami based on playing team ball. Sure they had good players but you can argue that none of their players at the time were better than Lebron or Wade.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#417 » by tecumseh18 » Sun May 30, 2021 1:37 am

Los_29 wrote:
You're right. He did average 12.8ppg that year. I got the years mixed up. And there is no doubt Kawhi played really well in the finals but people seem to forget how he was getting his points. Most of his points were a result of players like Parker, Diaw, Duncan and Manu setting him up. He had a lot of wide open shots. The Spurs beat Miami based on playing team ball. Sure they had good players but you can argue that none of their players at the time were better than Lebron or Wade.


Spurs in that Finals was the greatest passing team I've ever seen. They cut the Heat defence to pieces, and showed how the whole idea of having a point guard - like Russ - dominate the ball and rack up the assists is completely outmoded. I'm not sure the league has caught up to it yet.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#418 » by Los Soles » Sun May 30, 2021 3:35 pm

Los Soles wrote:
Steelo Green wrote:I said the best players, which is obviously the top 5-10 guys.


Tell me: Who is on your list of *best* players?

Come on, Steelo. Let's get some answers. Two questions for ya:

1) Who is on your list of "best players"?

2) Who do you think should start at center for the Raptors next year?
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#419 » by WaltFrazier » Sun May 30, 2021 5:15 pm

tecumseh18 wrote:
Los_29 wrote:
You're right. He did average 12.8ppg that year. I got the years mixed up. And there is no doubt Kawhi played really well in the finals but people seem to forget how he was getting his points. Most of his points were a result of players like Parker, Diaw, Duncan and Manu setting him up. He had a lot of wide open shots. The Spurs beat Miami based on playing team ball. Sure they had good players but you can argue that none of their players at the time were better than Lebron or Wade.


Spurs in that Finals was the greatest passing team I've ever seen. They cut the Heat defence to pieces, and showed how the whole idea of having a point guard - like Russ - dominate the ball and rack up the assists is completely outmoded. I'm not sure the league has caught up to it yet.


When that Spurs team won, I thought that passing style of offense was going to take over and become the new trend. It was so nice to watch, ball movement like the Lakers and Celtics of the 80s. But they only lasted one year, and the Warriors took over with the high volume 3 point style. I feel like now looking back those 2014 Spurs and the '04 Pistons were anomalies, with their balanced depth and lack of a single star scorer. Far more championships are won by teams with 1 or 2 "superstars".
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#420 » by Ell Curry » Sun May 30, 2021 9:49 pm

Yeah, haven't really seen anything like the 2014 Spurs since, and looking around, I don't really see anything on the horizon. Seems like ISO ball is largely back, even for teams with tons of skill at multiple positions like the Hawks.

We had some great ball movement in 2019, but a lot of that was Gasol, and passers at the 5 spot are tough to find. Part of the case for Sengun at #7 is that he's already at 2.7 assists a game as an 18 year old big, and if he and Siakam are at 4+ assists a game at the 4 and 5 and Van Vleet, Trent and OG all keep growing as shooters and attacking closeouts we could put together some impressive halfcourt passing. If we draft Barnes and commit to a smallball frontcourt of Barnes-Siakam-OG with Barnes as a Draymond type playing point forward on offense and center on defense that could also improve our ball movement quite a bit. Also, if we move up in the lotto and end up with Suggs, I feel like a VanVleet-Suggs-OG-Siakam-Center team would move the ball pretty well.
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