Saturday, July 04, 2009

Raptors: There is no D in 'Türkoğlu,' but we can get past that

It's good when the Raptors sign a player whom MLSE executives might have heard of.

Adding Hedo Türkoğlu and spending right to the NBA's salary cap is a huge dice-throw by Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo. It is also an easy sell. Türkoğlu comes wearing the mantle of having been a NBA all-star and having just helped the Orlando Magic throw a wrench into David Stern's vision of a LeBron James-Kobe Bryant NBA Finals. Plus he has a cool-sounding name. You can just hear Matt Devlin or Paul Jones, the Raps' radio and TV announcers, yelling, "Hedo-nism Three!" after Türkoğlu swishes a three-pointer. (That's trademarked, by the way.)

It's probably a necessary risk. It gets the Raptors closer to a return to the playoffs. It is easier to implement a grand design when you still have a job or confidence of the highers-up. It will not make them a top-four team in the East.

By the same token, the Raptors' Achilles heel during the Colangelo era has been defence, rebounding and athleticism. Adding Türkoğlu, a 30-year-old perimeter player, does not necessarily address those areas.

They can probably sign a two-guard on the cheap and they have added Reggie Evans, who can get plenty of rebounds (as any fantasy leaguer knows). Meantime, as they showed in 2006-07 and much of '07-08, sometimes you can just outshoot and outscore teams in the NBA, which can be damn entertaining if hard on a fan's blood pressure.

As the Toronto Star's Doug Smith noted, Türkoğlu gives Jay Triano and the Raptors coaching staff more options when they are either late in the shot clock or in an endgame situation. It also somewhat addresses the Chris Bosh Question.
"Another good ball-handler and initiator on the court.

"A guy you can give the ball to at the end of the game and say, 'make a play' while you stretch the floor with José Calderón (a very good three-point shooter) in the corner.

Let's just say – as Jeff Blair first pointed out on a radio show last night – that (Chris) Bosh leaves (and no, I don’t have any idea if he will). Do you feel more comfortable going forward with Calderon, (Andrea) Bargnani and Turkoglu or Calderon, Bargnani and (Shawn) Marion? A no-brainer over here.

You can put Hedo and Bargnani in the pick and roll; you could never do that with Marion."
Needless to say, it was crazy how this came together late on a Friday night. Michael Grange from globesports.com described it thusly:
"Five hours later Turkoglu has a tentative deal in Toronto and I’m standing outside a bar trying to confirm and write a news story on my Blackberry while under the influence. Given that Turkoglu was in Portland and all indications were that he had agreed to a five-year, $50-million offer from the Trail Blazers, that’s a pretty major reversal."
Meantime, the defence, rebounding and athleticism parts will be works-in-progress. Ultimately, when you miss the playoffs and you're overshadowed by the hockey team, you have to take some chances. A lot of the armchair GMs might have done the same thing.

Related:
The dawn of a new era? Or something like that (Doug Smith's Toronto Raptors Blog)
Colangelo works fast and hard to get Turkoglu (Michael Grange, From Deep, globesports.com)

5 comments:

kinger said...

How can you have three heels?

Lollercoaster!

sager said...

That was deliberate, Kinger, just to get you to comment on a NBA post.

"The Achilles heel during the Colangelo era has been defence, rebounding and athleticism." Is that better?

Tyler King said...

Barely. I remain morally outraged at the quality of this content that I have paid nothing to obtain!

sager said...

Geez, Kinger. You would think that the Syracuse Chiefs had not won in 12 innings tonight to pull within a half-game of the wild-card spot in the International League.

Mike Radoslav said...

For all the weekends for this to happen it's the one where I'm hosting my buddies bachelor party in Montreal! But I guess like Grange said this did catch a lot of people offguard, while apparently many of them were slightly intoxicated as well :)

I like this, I'm going to write a bit on the impact this will have with Toronto but it is a clear sign to Bosh that this team has made a commitment to win and win now!

It's goingto be interesting to see this roster come the start of the season however they are making some good moves to try and improve and keep CB4 and for that BC has to be commended.