It’s not always easy to keep perspective. Like when the 410 lb. orca whale purchasing $30-worth of Burger King for himself double-checks with the cashier that the soda he was served is Diet. But we here at Razzball know how difficult maintaining perspective can be, especially when you’re drunk and trying to sketch moving objects. So from now until the start of the season, we’re bringing you the 2010 Fantasy Team Previews, which will focus on each NBA team in hopes of painting a clearer fantasy picture. Who’s starting over whom? Who might surprise you and who might make you want to hurl yourself off a bridge in a few months. Enjoy! Next up – The Toronto Raptors.
Gained – Linas Kleiza, Leandro Barbosa, Ed Davis
Lost – Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, Marco Belinelli
Probable position depth –
PG – Jarrett Jack, Jose Calderon, Marcus Banks
SG – DeMar DeRozan, Leandro Barbosa
SF – Linas Kleiza, Sonny Weems, Julian Wright
PF – Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson, David Andersen, Ed Davis
C – Andrea Bargnani, Joey Dorsey, Solomon Alabi
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season –
1. Ed Davis is going to be a bust, isn’t he?
Compared to the guy he was drafted to replace? Yeah. He’s out indefinitely after having knee surgery which, as 1/3 of this season’s forwards and centers will tell you, is bad news. The bright side here is that no one really believed Davis was going to do anything this season anyway, so your not drafting him isn’t affected by his not playing. Everybody wins! … Except Ed Davis.
2. Are the days of Jose Calderon as a top 10 PG gone?
Was he ever really a top 10 PG? I dunno, man. It’s your question. Well then, I’m thinking he wasn’t. Even in 2007, his best year, he only averaged 11/3/8. Great. So you wasted a question to build a straw man argument. Well, not exactly. The question is more about whether Joe Kettle continues his decline (20.5 PER in ’07, 18.7 in ’08, 15.5 in ’09) or stages a big of a resurgence. Okay … well? Yeah, not if he’s going to be playing equal or fewer minutes alongside Jarrett Jack. In the last three season, his minutes have been cut almost in half. Unless his situation changes, consider Calderon a PG outside the top 20.
3. What is a Linas Kleiza and where can I get four more just like it?
As I said in Kleiza’s fantasy sleeper post, Linas will be given every opportunity to succeed and help a lot of mid-sized and deeper fantasy teams. He’s not a stat-stuffer, but he will offer the standard 1 trey, 14 points, six rebounds that comes industry standard in many late-round SF picks. The difference with Kleiza is for most of the offseason, no one even saw him coming and snatched him up far later than he should have gone. Don’t be surprised if Kleiza’s stashed at the end of a a lot of championship fantasy rosters this year. Yeah, but … where can I get four more just like him? Oh. Uh … I’m sure K-Mart carries Kleizas. I haven’t seen a K-Mart since the ’90s, bro. Oh. Uh, Target then. You’re making this up, aren’t you? Just everything after “… rosters this year.”
Fantasy Disappointment in ’10 – Andrea Bargnani. He was drafted somewhere in the third or fourth round of most drafts on the strength of his position and the fact that he shoots threes. And threes are neat-o keen and all, but he only made 1.5 treys last season in 35 minutes. What’s more, all of earth predicts Bargnani’s stats to go through the roof with Bosh out of the way, as if Bargnani and his 6 rbd/1.5 blk would have just loved to play down in the block if Bosh wasn’t in the way. Blaming Bosh for Bargnani’s über-European style of play is like blaming immigrants for taking all our tobacco-pickin’ jobs. He’s drafted to be a fire-balling center with a 30 points per game average and they’re going to be stuck with a center with a poor FG%, poor rebounding numbers and no assists to speak of.
Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’10 – Andrea Bargnani. … But, he will be the scoring leader of one of the five worst teams in basketball. And a probable steady source for blocks. In the land of the blind, you can’t spell “Bargnani” without one “i.”
Deep Sleeper – Would it blow your mind if Bargnani was listed here too? Amir Johnson. Right now, Amir is raw. Raw enough that Reggie Evans is a sturdier pick to toss in the starting lineup, which is like a barnacle scoffing at a barrel-bottom. But Johnson’s per36 was 13/10 and 2.7 blk+stls last season. He has a career PER of 16.1 and was only used 14.6 percent of the time he was on the court. The talent is there if he can get the touches. Can he get the touches? Go ahead and scroll back up to that list of Toronto’s bigs and judge for yourself.