NBA Roundtable

Raptors Sign Dorsey

In Free Agency, General NBA on April 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via twitter)

Joey Dorsey has agreed to sign with Toronto, his agent, Lance Young, says. Sacramento released the forward last week.

Very good signing by the Raptors. A no-risk possibly high reward signing.

Joey Dorsey is unlikely to play for the Raptors this season. He was not waived in time by the Kings to be playoff eligible and the Raptors need to gear up, and get their rotation correct, in time for the playoffs. Only seven games left so Toronto is unlikely to be able to find any court time for him.

Bryan Colangelo will use this time to monitor Joey Dorsey in practice and to prepare a thorough evaluation. If Colangelo likes what he sees, then Dorsey will be asked to return next season and likely to fill the fourth or fifth player in the big man depth chart. If not, BC will cut him loose over the summer. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

A no risk possible high reward acquisition. A very good signing.

Ideal Raptors Rotation

Toronto should use the following rotation

  • Big Men — Bosh and Dorsey to start with Amir coming off the bench
  • Wings — Weems and Hedo to start with DeRozan off the bench
  • Guards — Jack to start with Calderon off the bench

A nice tight eight man rotation. That squad would win somewhere between 46-50 games. The Raptors would be an above average offensive team and a mediocre defensive team.

Andrea Bargnani should be used as a trade bait and offer the Raptors and opportunity to upgrade one of their rotation players. If on the squad, Bargs should be used as a situational substitute when Toronto needs more offense, jump shooting ability or a longer low post defender.

  1. Dave,

    re: using Jack and Calderon properly

    Most of the good teams in the NBA start their better offensive PG and bring their defensive specialist off the bench.

    Good teams rarely start their better defensive PG and then bring their better offensive off the bench.

  2. Dave,

    What’s your impressions of the following trade proposal for the Raptors and the Rockets?

  3. Hey Khandor,

    Toronto Raptors

    I wouldn’t trade Bargnani for Battier. Battier is too old (31) and Toronto is too far from title contention to make it worthwhile. I would be looking for someone younger who has more years left.

    A starting five of Jose + Battier + Hedo + Amir + Bosh along with a bench of Jack + DeRozan + Weems + late lottery pick should win somewhere in the high 40s to 50 wins. A good offensive team and solid defensive team. If they could improve their interior defense with a quality big man (either as a starter or first big off the bench — just someone good, not necessarily dominant), 50 wins would be very likely.

    I think that team is short a star talent though and I have no idea how they could add it. Not a lot of trade assets. No free agency money. After this year’s late lottery pick they wouldn’t have high quality picks. Try to package DeRozan + expirings for someone? Possibly … a big need + questionable flexibility to make the move.

    Chris Bosh

    I think Bosh leaves Toronto this summer. I would have no interest in adding Battier without Bosh being on the roster and I don’t think Battier is good enough for Bosh to change his mind about where he plays next season.

    Houston Rockets

    Yeah, maybe … hard to say with Bargnani. What teams would be interested in him and which wouldn’t.

    Morey is a big believer in adjusted plus/minus and Bargnani doesn’t rate well in that statistic (Morey does use different numbers than though) so I’d say his interest in Bargnani is doubtful.

    But overall, yeah, I think Battier is a realistic and quality trade package for Bargnani. Some team(s) will definitely be willing to give up a player of comparable quality for Bargnani.

  4. Dave,

    From a Raptors’ perspective:

    Keeping Bosh would be Step 1.

    Trading Bargnani for Battier + Taylor would be Step 2.

    – it would rid the team of a defensive albatross
    – it would add a 3rd string PG to play behind Calderon and Banks
    – it would add a solid wing defender/rebounder with good size to go with the younger tandem of DeRozan and Weems

    Step 3 would then involve trading Hedo Turkoglu.

    Step 4 would then involve trading Jarrett Jack.

    Step 5 would then involve keeping Amir Johnson.

    Step 6 would then involve selecting another future rotation player with the 2010 1st Round Draft Pick.

    The Raptors would then be moving forward with the following group of players:

    1 Chris Bosh, C
    2 Amir Johnson, PF
    3 Shane Battier, SF
    4 DeMar DeRozan, OG
    5 Jose Calderon, PG

    6 New Player #1 [obtained via trade for Turkoglu]
    7 New Player #2 [obtained via trade for Jack]
    8 Sonny Weems, OG-SF
    9 Marco Belinelli, OG-PG
    10 Jermaine Taylor, PG
    11 Marcus Banks, PG
    12 2010 1st Round Pick
    13 New Player #3 [FA signed to replace Antoine Wright]
    14 Reggie Evans, PF [or New Player #4, obtained via trade for Reggie Evans]
    15 Rasho Nesterovic, C [re-signed for the veteran’s minimum]

    Patrick O’Bryant would not be re-signed.


    From the Rockets’ perspective:

    1. Bargnani could play Center for them, if Yao Ming isn’t ready to go at the start of next season.

    2. Bargnani could be used as Yao Ming’s offensively oriented back-up off the bench, if the big fella is ready to start the season.

    3. Bargnani could be used at the PF position, beside Yao Ming, if the big fella is ready to start the seaon, and the Rockets want to go with a twin towers line-up.

    NOTE: In every situation, Morey would need to play Bargnani with solid positional defenders in order to compensate for Il Mago’s deficiency in this area. Morey is smart enough to pull that off.

  5. Dave,

    Option 2 for the Raptors

    The same personnel moves as above … except:

    1. Keep Turkoglu, SF.

  6. Khandor,

    #1 — I agree with your reasoning as possible reasons as to why the Rockets might be interested in Bargnani.

    I’d also add on that I expect Houston to shop Shane Battier on the trade market over the next year. So I believe the Rockets are willing to part with Battier for a player who fits a different need and is preferably younger (like Bargnani).

    #2 — You consider Jermaine Taylor point guard?

    I haven’t seen him handle the ball all that much. I remember a few flashy passes in traffic but outside of those I didn’t his passing was up to much either. I always thought he was more of a scorer.

    #3 — I would be worried about the Raptors offense is both Turkoglu and Bargnani left without a talented offensive player arriving (either through trade or the draft).

    The offense would be too one-dimensional and I think mediocre overall.

    I worry about the Raptors ability to acquire players talented enough (due to a lack of assets + cap space) to change that in the near-future. Maybe if you got cap flexibility by trading Hedo and Jack but that is a big “if”.

  7. Dave,

    re: Taylor as a back-up PG

    Calderon would be the starter.
    Banks would be the defensive oriented back-up.
    Belinelli and Taylor would be combo’s battling for the 3rd spot.

    re: offensive woes without Bargnani and Turkoglu

    Then the Raptors could simply keep Turkoglu.

    i.e. STARTERS: Calderon + Turkoglu + Battier + Johnson + Bosh

    The more I’m looking at the depth chart with a starting group that looks like that, the more I’m beginning to see a variety of different possibilities which would be quite positive.

  8. Khandor,

    Yeah, I like that starting lineup too.

    A nice offensive balance with three main starting points, creative players, with two excellent finishers alongside them (Battier at the three point line and Amir at the rim).

    A good defensive team team with Bosh + Amir patrolling the paint and Battier taking the tough defensive assignments on the wing. I also like Turkoglu’s defense against secondary offensive threats.

    Trading Turkoglu

    I’m doubtful the Raptors will be able to find a trade that benefits them more than keeping Turkoglu does. His trade value is too low given the length of his contract and weak performance this past season. It will be very difficult for Toronto to get anything worthwhile for him.

    For that reason, I would be including Turkoglu in the team’s plans for the immediate future.

    Note: If Hedo had a comeback season next year, which I believe he’s capable of if Jack is out of the picture + Hedo is used as the main offensive threat in the second unit while Bosh rests, I think he’ll be trade-able again (for cap flexibility at the very least).

  9. Chrisholm’s recap of BC’s press conference — link

    Colangelo has never been shy about his feelings towards Andrea Bargnani. He saw a seven-footer with unlimited potential when he drafted him first-overall in 2006, and little has changed in his evaluation since.

    Despite four years of middling returns as a rebounder and team defender, Colangelo still sees nothing but blue skies in Bargnani’s future as a Raptor – and make no mistake, his future is as a Raptor. If there was any thought that Bargnani’s potential was going to be leveraged to try and bring in talent at another position, Colangelo eradicated that thinking this afternoon.

    He spoke often about his expectations with regards to Bargnani, about his ability to be a dominant offensive force, about his ability (and need) to improve as a rebounder and defender and about his potential as a focal point for the club should Chris Bosh choose to ply his trade elsewhere.

    Colangelo was forthright, for the most part, when it came to acknowledging Bargnani’s limitations, but he certainly feels as though many of them are temporary and that Andrea will continue on an upward climb towards stardom.

    Unfortunately, it looks like the Raptors are going to be stuck with Bargnani for at least another season.

    The make matters worse … the longer Colangelo waits before trading Bargnani the more other GM’s are going to write off Bargnani’s perceived potential … thereby lowering his trade value + consequently making his long term contract more of a serious issue for the club.

  10. Nice discussion, guys.

    I tend to agree with Dave that it will become progressively harder to trade bargs if his performance doesn’t improve substantially. At his current performance level, his contract is pretty terrible, and I think more and more people will start to realize that.

    IMO, we should have dealt him straight-up last summer, or via a sign+trade to allow for more to come back in return, since he’d just logged the best 1/2 season of his career. But that’s water under the bridge now.

    Here’s a question for both of you — how does this team markedly improve for next year if it retains Bosh + Bargs + Hedo? Can it realistically improve to any significant degree? Khan — I know you’ll likely say we can improve by benching Bargs (making him backup C), but we all know that is NOT going to happen. Would love to hear your guys’ thoughts…

  11. Hey Scott G,

    There is not much that the Raptors can do if they keep all three players in their frontcourt.

    Nothing substantial, only marginal improvements.

    Keeping those three players ties the Raptors hands.

    Dump Turkolgu + Sacrifice DeRozan?

    The only strategy I could see would be to dump Turkoglu and then try to trade DeRozan + expirings (Reggie/Banks/Marco) for a high quality wing player.

    Not a lot of possibilities out there … but Andre Iguodala possibly could be one. Phily is doing badly, they’re looking to make a big change, a prospect and some cap flexibility could be an interesting trade package.

    Draft Pick = Best Asset

    If Toronto continues to refuse to trade Bargnani, their best route to improvement is through their draft pick.

    Their trade assets outside of Bargnani are fairly limited (Jose/Jack/Hedo) + DeRozan’s trade value relative to his value as player/prospect is … he’ll likely add more in the future than most of the guys he could get in a trade. Makes him a bad trade asset. He has good value but he offers more as a player/prospect in nearly every scenario.

    So, Toronto’s trade asset cabinet is fairly bare and they are limited to the MLE in free agency. The options in free agency do not look promising for the Raptors either.

    The draft pick is the only valuable asset they have.

    Note: I think Iguodala is good enough to part ways with DeRozan but I’m struggling to come up with any other realistic targets. Most of the others are Rip Hamilton type of players and I would rather keep + develop DeRozan than acquire that level of player.

    Draft Prospects

    I don’t watch college basketball so I’m basing my thoughts on what I’ve read and heard about various college players … but anyway,

    The draft pick range doesn’t look particularly promising either. There are some nice guys in that expected 7-10 range but things get cloudy in the next ten picks. A lot of risky gambles which don’t offer good value.

    The Raptors might be best off trying to trade down. There appears to be a lot of talent in the late teens and early-to-mid twenties. Pick up a pick there and maybe a late first or early second and the Raptors might come ahead.

    The one player in that range that does sound very interesting is Ekpe Udoh + there is a chance that someone drops from the mid-lottery to the end of the lottery. Those two options seem to be the Raptors best chances at acquiring a talented player with the pick.

  12. Scott G.,

    If “the given” is keeping 1/Bosh, 2/Bargnani and 3/Turkoglu, plus NOT shifting Bargnani to the bench, then, I would choose to go with a line-up that looks something like this:

    1 Jarrett Jack
    2 DeMar DeRozan [or Weems]
    3 Hedo Turkoglu
    4 Chris Bosh
    5 Andrea Bargnani

    6 New Player #1 [obtained via trade for Calderon]
    7 Sonny Weems [or DeRozan]
    8 Amir Johnson

    9 Marco Belinelli
    10 New Player #2 [obtained via UFA replacing Wright]
    11 Reggie Evans [or New Player #3, obtained via trade for Evans]
    12 Rasho Nesterovic

    13 Marcus Banks
    14 2010 1st Round Draft Pick
    15 Joey Dorsey

    Patrick O’Bryant would not be re-signed.


    – Bargnani continues to improve
    – DeRozan continues to improve
    – Weems continues to improve
    – Johnson continues to improve
    – Turkoglu rebounds [i.e. in Calderon’s absence]
    – 2010 1st Round Draft Pick develops into a future rotation player

    that’s a collection of returning and new players which “should” be able to contend for a lower tier playoff spot in the Eastern Conference next season … pending who they plug in for roster spots 6 and 10.

  13. Scott G.,

    IMO …

    – if the Raptors are going to keep Bargnani, then, it’s important that they trade Calderon

    – if the Raptors are going to keep Calderon, then, it’s important that they trade Bargnani

    The combination of Bargnani [i.e. mostly his fault] and Calderon [i.e. less so his fault] together is one source of the Raptors’ horrific Pick and Roll/Pop Defense.

    Since the specific scenario you outlined above involves keeping Bargnani as “a given”, then … unfortunately for Calderon, this would mean adios, if I was charged with running the team, on a day-to-day basis.

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