Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Rush’

T minus 1: No sign of what the Raptors might do

Posted by Arsenalist on June 25, 2008

Let’s start off the day with Chad Ford’s mock draft which insists on us taking Robin Lopez at #17. I don’t see it happening unless Brandon Rush, CDR or even Donte Greene are already taken. There’s no doubt that drafting a hustle-type big man is the easier thing to do, there’s far less expectations from a banger than from a scoring talent and also a greater sense of assurance about what you’re getting. Rebounding is Need #1 but wing scoring and defense is #1a. As evidenced by the rumours, we’re looking for a big man via trade so it makes sense that the draft is there for a young winger. Anyway, we’ll find out tomorrow.

Doug Smith points out 7 players we’re closely looking at of which 5 are big men. Rush and CDR and nowhere to be found. I highly doubt the Raptors will tell Smith or anyone for that matter who they’re looking at. Take the list with a bucket load of salt. He’s also saying the deal to Phoenix remains “very much alive”.

The Jermaine O’Neal trade talk when combined with speculation that we might go big in the draft leaves us with one question: What does this do with Andrea Bargnani? Has Colangelo given up on him and is already hunting for a C replacement? Is he planning on moving him to the three so rebounding is less of a responsibility? Michael Grange tries to answer questions like these and suggests that Colangelo might be closer to giving up on him than before. In my opinion, the first 20 games of the season will tell us exactly where Bargnani is and whether those intimate sessions with John Lucas worked or not. Until then, I’ll hold judgment but I’ll say this: If he doesn’t get it done in the first half of next season, I see no reason not to trade him and publicly admit the mistake.

From Indiana’s perspective only two players are untouchable: Granger and Dunleavy. The rest are available (even Tinsley) as long as you give them something they can use now. Larry Bird doesn’t appear to be too fond of rebuilding from the ground-up, he’s all about applying patches and hoping they stick. Since Indiana’s already picking at #11 its somewhat surprising that they’ll also be in the hunt for a pick 6 spots further down. They’re looking to swing trades and something tells me their interest in our pick is only because they want to package it with another trade.

The Knicks are up for trading practically anybody on their roster as long as it gets them a shot at O.J Mayo. Donnie Walsh is crazy enough to try to acquire Shawn Marion (who makes $1.3 billion) just to re-unite him with Mike D’Antoni. I see the Knicks are fully in pursuit of mediocrity. I think our new slogan should be: The Toronto Raptors: Hey, at least we’re not the Knicks.

The Pistons are reportedly trying to acquire Baron Davis which would leave a PG void in Golden State and we know how much Don Nelson loves T.J Ford. But as I said yesterday, there’s absolutely no one on the Warriors that is even worth looking at who is not labeled as untouchable or is a free agent.

In ex-Raptors news, Jorge Garbajosa has signed with his former club Unicaja for next season. This after he turned down offers from CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid. Not surprisingly, no NBA teams were in the mix.

Have a nice one.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Phoenix targets Rush + Very depressing stuff

Posted by Arsenalist on June 16, 2008

Brandon Rush might be Phoenix’s top prospect. This saddens me to no end because Phoenix is picking two spots before us at #15. It would amount to nothing short of tragedy if the Raptors fail to get a chance to pick Rush who by all accounts is raising his stock higher than most in the pre-draft workouts. The only reason it was low to begin with was because of his knee injury but he’s shown no sign of that this month. I don’t see the Raptors having the temerity (balls) to anticipate Phoenix and trade up to get Rush, it just amounts to doing too much work. Also, Phoenix would like nothing more than to stick this one to Colangelo.

If you’re interested in checking out workouts of players, look no further than the Blazers who’ve worked just about everyone out there.

Chris Bosh faces some competition to get into the US Basketball team, namely Tyson Chandler and Carlos Boozer. Chandler’s the better defender of all of them but they already have Dwight Howard on the team and need some frontcourt scoring so you’d think its between Boozer and Bosh. It’s a toss-up. I wouldn’t mind seeing Bosh sit the games out for his own good and get some rest before training camp starts. The flip side is that he gets into shape well before training camp and gets into mid-season form sooner. Again, its a toss-up.

Chad Ford’s thinks the best international player in the draft is Danilo Gallinari followed by Nicolas Batum. The little blurb about Gallinari says this: “He plays very hard, possesses great leadership skills and has an extraordinary basketball IQ”. Screw the basketball IQ, I like the first two attributes much better.

The Celtics failed to close out the Lakers last night which means the stage is set for Kobe Bryant to pull some Jordan-type performances. Beating the Celtics three straight times sounds like a tall task but you’ve already won one game and need to pull together for one more before forcing Game 7 where anything can happen. I say the Lakers aren’t as dead as everyone thinks and just need Kobe and Gasol to up it. On a side note, the Celtics will play the most playoff games in NBA playoff history this year, at least 26.

Finally we turn to the downright depressing shit – Adriana Lima and Marko Jaric are getting married. Hasn’t Adriana seen this?

This article about ex-Raptor (technically speaking) Jonathan Bender’s post-retirement life is something good.

See ya!

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

CDR vs. Rush + Raps get high-tech + Detroit fire sale

Posted by Arsenalist on June 6, 2008

Stop the presses, put the phones down, ignore the workouts, screw the draft – we have some breaking news: Starting this fall the Raptors will play under a brand new 17-screen scoreboard supplied by Mitsubishi Electric which uses the “Black Package” Diamond Vision high-definition technology! The idea is to distract the other team by having them in complete awe of the scoreboard. This will easily be Colangelo’s most influential move of the summer, let’s see how it pans out.

Let’s turn now to Jim Kelly who talks about the workouts of Bill Walker, CDR and Brandon Rush on Thursday. The Raptors were concerned about Bill Walker and Brandon Rush’s injury problems and after the workouts today they feel Rush has fully recovered and has gotten even better than before, not to mention more athletic. Walker still hasn’t regained the athletic and jumping ability he had a year and a half ago and it appears that its making the Raptors wary of him. There were concerns about CDR’s shooting ability when he’s tired and it looks like he didn’t do as well as they would’ve hoped. Kelly seemed generally impressed with Brandon Rush, especially his composure on the court. You can see all the interviews here and Doug Smith’s article is basically a transcript of Kelly’s interview.

The Rush vs. CDR battle started in college and looks to continue in the NBA. They were matched up in yesterday’s workout and it was Rush who got the better of his counterpart because of his defense. You would’ve thought if there’s one thing CDR has over Rush it’s got to be his reach and athleticism on the defensive end; then again it was one workout….and one national championship. How much can missed FTs tell you about a player? I’m not saying CDR is a Nick Anderson but there’s something to be said for a guy who’s 6-7 from the line and then goes 0-2 in the clutch. So far Rush has the edge over him and if the Raptors are going for a swing guy at #17, they need to pick up Rush. And I’m not even saying this because I’m a Kansas supporter, seriously.

Chauncey Billups is considered to be the likeliest candidate to be traded on the Pistons. At this point a team wouldn’t touch him unless they’re looking for that final piece of the puzzle in a championship team. As suggested a while back in this space this is the start of the fire sale in Detroit which could also see Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince depart. Richard Hamilton is the one you’d want to pick but he apparently falls in the untouchable category. We already have a great trading relationship with Detroit so if Prince is on the outs the Raptors would be fools not to call.

A little to the side now. You know most of us bloggers just do this unpaid shit because we love the Raptors and want them to be part of our daily routine (Its sad but much better than masturbating). Take me for instance, after every game I angrily get up from the couch, swear at the TV, give my wife an angry look and storm off to the computer to write a heated PG recap. Others, like Ryan from Hoops Addict, actually go to NBA workouts, take notes, record audio, have one-on-one interviews and end up presenting a report that’s better than any TV or newspaper reporters’ out there. So if you’re going to click on one link in today’s post, click here and here and here. Much, much respect.

Rowan Barrett wanted to play some ball and Leo Rautins obliged. Now only if Magloire could grow a set of balls and play for Canada he might even be able to resurrect his fledgling NBA career.

Chris Bosh did his thing with Jay Leno last night and it was hilarious. Check out the video, it’s funny stuff. Nothing else going on really, oh yeah, Channing Frye is complaining about spending 25 bucks. Those cunty Celtics won again, if they win the title I won’t be able to eat for months.

Posted in Raptors, Sports, video | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »