Losing Bosh is huge. He was the only all-star on this team (regardless whether you think he was a franchise player or not). Who will replace him? There are so many holes to fill it’s hard to know where to begin. As it stands, here is next year’s starting lineup
- Calderon / Jack
- Evans / Johnson / Davis (hoping that Davis could conceivably learn to play centre, if he is tall enough)
This is not an NBA starting lineup. But worse, it creates a number of problems. Calderon and Turkoglu don’t work well together. They both need the ball too much. What can be done? There are a few options:
- Get rid of Turkoglu: this is probably the worst time to trade him but if he doesn’t want to be here, what can they do? They would be trading him for a terrible return and the Raptors, yet again, would be without a starter-level small forward. This lets Calderon run the offence like he used to.
- Get rid of Calderon: I suspect Calderon’s return on the dollar is slightly higher than Turkoglu’s right now but it still wouldn’t be good. This would mean that Turkoglu becomes the playmaker on the team, which is a somewhat scary thought given his play last year.
- Get rid of both: the problem with this option, aside from the Raptors getting little of value in return at this moment, means that there is no true playmaker on the Raps. As much as I like Jack’s competitiveness and defence, he is not a true point guard. It would be the Mike James show all over again, only without Bosh to demand the ball from him.
- Keep both of them: the only way I can see this working (frankly, I can’t see it working) is if Jack and Turkoglu play half the game and then Calderon and whomever play the other half. That’s a lot of money invested in three players not playing true starters minutes. I don’t think it will work.
As I’ve alluded to already, perhaps the biggest issue, bigger than the Turkoglu dilemma, is what to do about the point guard situation.
- Do we keep the overpaid, injured, Calderon, who when he was at his peak was one of the best half-court point guards in the league, not to mention an amazing free-frow shooter, who just so happens to be one of the worst defenders in the league and allergic to the fast-break?
- Or do we keep the at least apparently more competitive, better defensively Jack, who needs someone else to make the half-court plays for him if the Raptors are going to be given a chance of success this season?
The more I think about these two situations, adding to it my belief that, at this point in his career, Bargnani cannot become an all-star, the more I think it might be time to blow the whole thing up (minus DeRozan and Davis, obviously). The Raps aren’t getting a franchise player through free agency this summer, and I doubt they ever will. They need to draft one. That means they need to suck. Or they need Miami to suck, which I doubt will happen (not saying they’re going to win anything either though).