DocHolliday Show full post »
Northern Neighbour
DocHolliday wrote:
Horford would not be Oneal or Hakeem. Not even close. You have zero data to support your assertion that Al would be (or is) a similar version of what those two  players you mentioned became.  As for cap flexibility, what cap flexibility? That all went out the window with the pandemic and with the cap possibly dropping to 95mm. 

The point is that the Raptors would be taking on an ageing, declining player while paying him significant money (although Hakeen signed for the exception) and taking up cap space. Adding Horford limits whatever flexibility the Raptors could have over three more seasons.

With respect to the cap, what data do you have to say that the cap will stay low for years to come? Most projections expect a decline for the 2020-21 season but then recovering in 2021-22 and beyond. Adding Horford negates the team's cap flexibility in those years. That's the point - i.e., looking well down the road and not making short-sighted moves or panicking at a one-time drop in the cap. This has long been Masai's approach with the lone exception being the acquisition of Kawhi.

If Lowry is traded, it will likely be for future assets (e.g., a first-round pick and/or young player) while still creating cap flexibility to make moves in the medium and long terms. As you know, the Raps could use any cap space to acquire a player via trade. Alternatively, they may not do anything or use the cap space to take on a player with a bad contract while accumulating more future assets. A lot will depend on the team's trajectory. Dealing Lowry would at the very least signal a re-tool if not a complete rebuild, and Horford doesn't fit in this regard. Richardson sort of does, although a decision would need to be made on whether to keep him or Powell. 
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The cap is a fickle thing, I can't prognosticate what it'll do and I didn't say it would stay low for years to come.  However, with the losses this season, the heavy losses next season (from a fanless season) and the China fallout (which seems to be having fallout still), the cap will surely take a couple of years to bounce back.  We just have different opinions on a Lowry trade, I'd much prefer proven players on short deals (like AL, 2 years and then an expiring plus Richardson) that can keep the train rolling while operating above the cap.  

I'm not sure if dealing Lowry would signal a rebuild or a retool but it's not like we're speaking about a superstar player that had the roster built around him, the Raptors best line was FVV, Powell, OG, Pascal, Gasol - though one can't argue Lowry's on/off splits.  IF he's going to be dealt next season (or this off season) and a rebuild is imminent, then the first sign to me would be the team not resigning Gasol or Ibaka (or signing and trading them to a contender - though not many have any assets).  The team could also simply trade Lowry and have FVV take over, which I don't doubt is going to happen, and retool with a few pieces - not like FVV and Lowry's playing styles are that different.  For me personally, as great as Lowry has been, the team took off with Gasol and Kawaii.   I guess it really depends on how the team is playing that will determine MU's decisions but my preference is to trade Lowry.
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Northern Neighbour
Horford with three years remaining on his contract is not a short contract, especially considering it takes him through his age-36 season. That's a bad contract. I do like Richardson, though, and I would take him over Powell due to his defensive ability and versatility. 

As well as FVV has been, he's not Lowry. Lowry's impact on the team is immeasurable (well advanced stats do calculate his impact). The Raptors don't even get into a position to acquire someone like Kawhi or Gasol without Lowry. Those two just put the team at the peak - the Raps don't even base camp if Lowry played in another jersey. I don't think FVV can impact a game like Lowry does. He's more Lowry-lite. 

While I'm not against trading Lowry (I do hope he plays the rest of his days in Toronto), any move should be focused on the future and building around Siakam and OG (and maybe FVV depending on his price). They need young players and/or future assets (namely picks) to rebuild or "re-tool" the club around these two. A deal for Horford is a "status quo" move, but Horford doesn't improve the team's outlook or off the court. He actually could have quite the opposite effect, in particular hamstringing Masai and Webster's ability to strengthen the club. 
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I'd be shocked if they moved Lowry. They will probably hold onto him until summer 2021. Then they'll go hunting for Giannis or a similar big name, and if they get them, try to sell Lowry on a one year small deal, then give him an ease-into-retirement MLE type package the year after. And Lowry, depending on how the next year and a half goes, may well have a stronger market out there and might leave because they can't afford him. But if they strike out on the FA's, or it turns out they all sign extensions and just aren't there to chase, the Raptors will want to have the option to just re-sign Lowry to a market deal and keep him here to mentor the next generation of the team (and likely continue to kick butt for a few seasons). 

The reward of trading him is not worth the risk to those scenarios. It only really pays off in the scenario where they hit a home run in FA, and frankly in that scenario it won't make a huge difference if they've got some return for Lowry or not.
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My guess is they keep Lowry and let him finish his career on the Raptors.
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