The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Nathan Jawai gets a contract; Help settle a debate

Posted by Arsenalist on July 11, 2008

Let’s start off today with Ryan from Hoops Addict interviewing Matt Devlin. Great job as always from Ryan who’s managed to get himself an occasional press pass:

Nathan Jawai’s getting a guaranteed 2-year deal which will allow the Raptors to retain his early Bird rights, in other words they can exceed the salary cap when offering him a future contract. Multi-year contracts are rare for second round picks so the Raptors must be high on him, next step is to get him over to training camp and see if he can ball. It’ll be a tough road for him but he’s in good company with a chance to learn from Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal. Worst comes to worst he’ll play in our NBDL squad and see some fierce toughness, hone his skills and ultimately get better and hopefully develop into Shaq! It does look like the Raptors have a real plan him but then again it looked like they had a plan for PJ Tucker and Uros Slokar.

Jay Triano talks about the trinity that is O’Neal, Bosh and Bargnani. Basically the Raptors hope to have at least two of the three on the floor at all times and all three will play two-thirds of the game. Triano alluded to Bargnani’s SF defense against the Magic in the playoff and assessed only too kindly that he had “trouble guarding” the position. It would be a pleasant surprise if Bargnani came back and held his own as a SF but given his background, lateral movement and natural weaknesses it’s asking a lot of him. The athletes at that position are too good to be held in check by anything remotely resembling a stiff. Check out that pic they used in the article, its 50’s technology.

The Clippers chose not to extend a qualifying offer to Shaun Livingston which is a little surprising given the talent the young man has shown over the years. This makes him an unrestricted free agent. He hasn’t played in more than a year due to his knee injury but is recuperating and should be good to play at the start of next season. As Colangelo pointed out on Wednesday, the Raptors are in the market for a combo-guard and Livingston, if healthy, can be a heck of a player.

The Nets just signed a guy I wanted the Raptors to get – Jarvis Hayes. Hayes is a player, put him at 2 or 3 and he’ll produce for you by playing hard defense, hitting threes and occasional slashing. He’s been part of a winning environment in Detroit and will bring leadership to the table along with a solid veteran presence. He had interest from Phoenix and I’m surprised he chose the Nets. Either way, great signing by Kiki Vandeweghe.

Andres Nocioni is a guy that gets a few Raptors fans wet for some reason and Vandeweghe might be able to snag him by only giving up Marcus Williams. From the Bulls perspective, this trade makes no sense since they’ve already got Rose, Hinrich and Gordon but if the Nets pull this one off, it’ll be a steal and make the tough Atlantic even tougher.

The Lakers are said to have offered Lamar Odom for Ron Artest and Golden State has signed Ronny Turiaf to an offersheet.

The Dave Feshcuk article from a couple days ago spawned a huge thread on RealGM talking about the Raptors potential for a championship, all horseshit really. I had my two cents.

Not much going on this morning, help settle this one for me: Anne Hathaway or Megan Fox. Take it easy.

21 Responses to “Nathan Jawai gets a contract; Help settle a debate”

  1. khandor said


    The Raptors SHOULD be further along the path toward an eventual NBA championship today than they are at this point in their development under the direction of Bryan Colangelo, relative to the other teams in the Eastern Conference and the entire League as a whole.

    The Raptors W-L totals for the last two seasons are irrelevant in this regard. So are the consecutive 1st Round Playoff exits.

    What matters instead are the specific number of valued assets this team has today on its NBA roster vs what was there Feb/2006, relative to the remainder of the League.

    Assessing this objectively, the Raptors have either:

    i) Stayed the same; or,
    ii) Moved backward.

    How many years did the Celtics make the Playoffs before they were considered to be a legit contender this season? (Answer: None)

    What was the C’s W-L record last season? (Answer: Worst in the NBA)

    How about the San Antonio Spurs before they won it all with David Robinson and Tim Duncan?

    Or the LA Lakers before their first championship with Shaq & Kobe?

    Or the Miami Heat prior to their title year with D-Wade & Shaq?

    What matters most in today’s NBA is:

    i) How many legitimate assets (players & coaches) your team has immediately before becoming a real live title contender?

    ii) Is your team committed to doing what it takes to compete with the legit contenders in this League, on an annual basis, from that forward, in an effort to win the championship?

    iii) Is your team improving in this regard relative to the other upper echelon teams in the League?

    Unfortunately, the answers to these questions, as far as the Raptors are concerned, are still NO.


    Megan Fox.

  2. Arsenalist said

    Yeah, we should be along the way and the reason we’re not is because we screwed up th 2006 draft, sat on our asses last off-season and had two starting point guards when we only needed one for two whole years. No doubt its bad management.

    The Celtics, Spurs and Heat example you are giving have one thing in common: they have big time superstars on their team. We don’t have anything resembling that. I don’t think Colangelo’s the “one big summer” type of GM like Ainge is, he’s got an entirely different style which is heavily influenced by those around him (Maurizio Gherardini) and together they’re idea of team building is slow as molasses. It sucks but I’ve learned to live with it.

    We moved backward last season and so far this summer have moved slightly ahead as a team. However, given what other teams are doing and the rate at which they’re improving themselves, I’d say we’re the same in the overall grand scheme of things.

  3. Ryan said

    Thanks for the props on the interview!

    Great find with the Triano interview. I loathe hockey so I’m never on those sites but this was a great read. Here’s my take on Bargs: during the playoffs the other “bigs” weren’t able to slide over for help defense as easily because of Dwight Howard. Bosh was tied up with Howard and other the other bigs (Rasho, Kris, etc) weren’t able to slide off their men to play the kind of help defense Bargs needs when he gets beat off the dribble. I would think that when Bargs is playing SF with JO and Bosh on the court then one of those two guys can slide over and take away drives. This will allow Bargs to either guide a player to a certain spot on the court or else just try to make guys stay on the perimeter and not beat him off the dribble. I think by adding JO it simplifies what Bargs has to do on the defensive end which then makes him appear to be a stronger defender. Also, with the Raptors running a lot of plays out of the post for JO and Bosh it means Bargs doesn’t need to work his offense out of the post and then can set up shot outside to shoot open shots when teams collapse on our post threats. I might be drinking the Kool-Aid here but I think this is the ideal situation for Bargnani to be successful.

    I agree Livingston would be a heck of a find but if he’s not healthy he’s the last thing we need to be adding. If we had some depth at PG we could take the risk but we need a healthy/experienced backup so that Calderon’s not playing the 40 minutes per game he did when Ford was out. When looking at Calderon’s stats from last season you’ll see that after nearly two months of shouldering starters minutes, he began to slow down. Despite finishing the season averaging an impressive 11.2 points and 8.3 assists per game, during the last two months of the season there was a significant drop in Calderon’s shooting percentage due to his legs being tired and his jumper leaving him. During the season Calderon shot a sizzling 51.9% from the field (367-707) but during March he shot 48.8% (66-135) and in April his field goal percentage dipped even lower to 38.7% (19-49). Granted, this only represents two months of the season, but it’s a troubling stat because it shows what may happen again next season if Calderon is forced to log heavy minutes.

    Oh, and I’d take Fox in a heartbeat over Hathaway.

  4. khandor said


    Calderon’s stats declined during that phase of the season due to the situation with TJ Ford not fatigue.

    Calderon’s ‘game’ (e.g. like Mo Cheeks & John Stockton) is not the type which will be effected by fatigue should he have to play major minutes. He is an elite level athlete who depends on his teammates for his own ‘production’ but the more minutes he plays, in a controlled way, the better he actually performs overall (ala Cheeks & Stockton) becaue he can then effect others in so many different (and productive ways) himself.

    If Jose’s individual game stats decline this year it will not be due to fatigue should he end up playing 40 minutes per game it will be due to the other personnel and systemic changes which have/will occur this season on the team. ‘Other dependent’ PG’s – with adequate size, rebounding and defensive ability – are terrific table setters for championship-calibre teams, and the Raptors now have one of the best in the League leading their team.

  5. D G said


    Long time. A comment and a question.

    1. Anyone see any comments from TJ? There has been no coverage in TO, that I’ve seen, but it would be interesting to see his comments.

    2. Arse said it (I believe it was him), and I agree: the success of the Raptors depends primarily on Bargnani (cue outrage and insults). Bosh and O’Neil are solid players who can play on both ends of the floor, who other teams will have to guard and double in many cases. This should create opportunities to spread the floor and get good looks, as defenses are bound to key in on the mid-range/low post presence of Bosh and O’Neil. Where is there likely to be mismatches, AB! He’s a bigman who once upon a time could shoot the ball, and has shown signs of an ability to drive the lane. With the rest of the team it is reasonable to argue that we know what we are getting. Jose should be a solid o/s shooter, with decent moves to the basket (he’s not TJ); AP getting old, but is still pretty reliable.

    The greatest variability (and resulting risk) is Andrea. I am of course assuming that Bosh and O’Neil remain healthy and can play, and that Calderon didn’t have a breakout year that he cant replicate.

    Do I think they are going to win the Championship, maybe one day but doubt it will be next year.

    Oh, on the Megan Fox v. Anne Hathaway? I say both, a hottub, some chocolate sauce, whipped cream, a paddle and some olive oil.

    I have a shot as they both have terrible taste in men! (see: 90210 loser and Italian douchebag as supporting evidence)

  6. D G said

    I am making up for lost time.

    FAQ, now that the Euro factor on the Raptors has gone down, you must think that we’re a much better team! Too bad that the tribal honking, Euro loving fans are going to boycott the team and not show up to see any games.

    What are Colangelo and MLSE thinking!!


  7. Crank said

    Bargs will be the pivotal piece in next year’s roster. Nothing will amount to anything significant unless he creates problems for the defense by being a mismatch nightmare.

    JON and Bosh both know this and will push him hard next year, JON even said he’s going to make him into a more physical player who can play in the block. Triano wants to play all three at the same time which means Bargnani will play SF, his defense there will be even more important than his offense at that position.

    Imagine if Kapono played in the regular season the way he did in the playoffs, dare I say that he even resembled a bit of a “slasher”.

    DG: Euros out: Rasho, Euros in: Jawai. The Euro factor hasn’t changed.

    Anne Hathaway is all natural, Megan Fox has had work done. I’ll take AH.

  8. D G said


    I was just checking the “I Hate the Raptors” link. Check out the July 9th post, the dude is a racist prick. Theres no satire there, just ugly racist comments. Arse, cut the guy!

    If the writer of that blog reads this post: **** you!!

    BTW Crank: wasnt baston from france? ( I cant remember and dont have time this moment to check)

  9. Crank said

    OK fine, I’ll give you Baston but we also got Ukic which cancels him out. Euro content is the same my brotha.

    I read that post, its stupid but I don’t see the racism, maybe I’m slow?

  10. Endo said

    Shaun Livingston can play, I know his injury is severe but it looks like he’s going to be over it. He’s going to look for a chance to prove he can still play next year and will be motivated, offering him a one year deal can probably work except we got Roko waiting and there isn’t that much PT to go around.

    We sign Hassan Adams and NJ got Jarvis Hayes…hmm..wonder who improved there, they’re even talking about getting Najera. By the time the season starts NJ will have totally overhauled their roster, I wouldn’t even be surprised if they package VC out of town..any takers here?

    I’ll take Megan Fox, I don’t care about her pumping up her lips and getting a nosejob. Anne needs a tan.

  11. Crank said

    I think you’re talking about the July 2nd post, that is racist!

    A sampling:

    “Imagine how many Indians will fill the ACC if the Raptors have a turban wearing MJ play alike or a skilled Hindu slashing to the basket instead of the stomach of a appendicitis suffering patient in a TO hospital. Or even a bearded Pakistani driving the lane instead of a dilapidated metro cab!”

  12. Raps Fan said

    i agree with khandor, calderon’s decline this season was because of the ford situation. the guy is an elite athelete, and should be able to play up to 40 minutes a game. if iverson can do it, and take those beatings he used to, anyone can. (eh bosh?)

    as for a backup pg…i have to disagree, the raptors desperately need a wing who can play defense and create his own baskets before they get the next darrick martin, i’ll suit up for them if need be.

    please don’t bring livingston…no need for a third cripple running around. this is a basketball team, not the break ward at north york general.

  13. Sorael said

    Megan Fox and Anne Hathaway are both boring. Anne Hathaway looks likes she rode the short bus to school and Megan Fox looks like she made of plastic.

    On to more important issues. Arsenalist, why do you cover the Raptors, you clearly hate everything about them? Do you just admire Feschuk’s superdickery (it’s a word, check on basketbawful for the definition) so much that you have to emulate it? It just seems odd to me that you would expend so much effort just to trash the team.

  14. FAQ said

    I suspect BC still has the hots for Diaw and possibly Barbosa too .. but how to get them off the Suns with owner Sarver with his hate-on for BC ..??!!!

    Diaw + Barbosa = $15M long term salaries … and to swing something would require trading Bargs, Joey, AP … all expiring contracts which the Suns owner might cherish … oh well .. who knows … ….

  15. David Moro said


    Dave D’Allesandro (who is the Nets beat writer) thinks it was a HORRIBLE mistake letting Hassan go, and thinks he is a special player.

    Take that for what you will. Remember that he is pretty well-connected and well-respected as an NBA beat guy.

    Remember also people said the same thing about Hayes when he went to Detroit, and hence proceeded to produce little of consequence.

  16. Arsenalist said

    @David: In fairness to Hayes in Detroit, he was buried behind Hamilton and Prince.

    @Sorael: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    @FAQ: Bargnani is not going anywhere and we used our most tradeable asset in TJ Ford and Rasho’s expiring so no, we won’t be getting Diaw or Barbosa (especially with Ukic/Adams here). The only real trade bait left on this team is Kapono and I’d rather keep him and see if he can take advantage of the JO/Bosh doubles.

  17. khandor said

    D G,

    re: Maceo Baston

  18. khandor said

    There’s a lot to like about the 3-Bigs rotation of Bosh, O’Neal and Bargnani (supported by Kris Humphries) in the short term … as long as Il Mago can actually hold up his end of the Bargain. Likewise, there’s a lot to like about the Guard rotation of: Calderon (PG), Kapono (OG/SF), Moon (SF/OG/PF), Parker (OG/PG/SF), Graham (SF/PF), Ukic (PG/OG) and Adams (OG, SF), as well … as long as Sam Mitchell/Bryan Colangelo can hold up their end of the Bargain, and ensure that this collection of players is actually used in the proper way – i.e. by running specific sets in a half-court focused highly structured offense – to maximize their individual/collective abilities as a group of solid, if largely unspectacular, NBA players. As I’ve said before, elsewhere, there’s enough talent on this team … if it remains healthy … to win 50+ games THIS coming regular season.

    PS. The experiment of playing Andrea Bargnani at the 3 position, in the NBA, should go the way of the dodo.

  19. FAQ said

    Bargnani has had a rough ride in the NBA. In his first year he was allowed to play his natural Euro-style position hanging on the arc and lofting 3 pointers. He struggled and essentially failed on defence.

    In his second year he was told to convert himself to a slashing forward and also post up. He tried his best and it was difficult to watch as he competed against the best. Bargs was asked to learn on the job, and he did his best and now he is being criticized for it by unreasonable tribal honking fans.

    Now in his third year, Bargs is expected to suddenly blossom between Bosh and JO .. I don’t think so unless we see a miraculous conversion of mind over matter. I feel for Bargs, and wish him well next season, but he will still be fighting an uphill battle trying to contribute. Bosh went through the same hell, but his development was not as drastic as Bargs.

    Now if the Raptors had Bosh/JO/Diaw …..!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Sorael said

    Arsenalist – I may have over-reacted in my post, I apologize.

    Faq – I was with you until you mentioned Diaw. He got some decent talent, but he is also very good at disappearing from games. Bargnani needs to develop all aspects of his game and coming off the bench in a reduced role should be good for him.

    Khandor – Moon is a SF and Parker is a SG, neither is suited to any other position.

  21. khandor said

    At no time did Chris Bosh go “through the same h*ll” as Andrea Bargnani, in his early development as a top flight player in the NBA.



    I disagree with your assessment of Moon and Parker … which is okay, since each of us is entitled to his own opinion. :-)

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