Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Toronto Raptors


Mess with the bull and get the horns, Lorenzo!


Well, it was bound to happen. Welcome to the 2010-11 season, Raptors fans. I would like to introduce you to your franchise player, Andrea Bargnani. My brother from another madre. Gone are the days of a soft 20 and 10 from Chris Bosh, and here are the days of an even softer 18 and 8 (plus 1.5 blocks and 1.5 threes!) from Bargnani. To be honest with you, from a fantasy standpoint Bargs might have better year-end value this season than Bosh. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit. But then again, he’s a fellow paisan.  My love for him doesn’t go as deep as my adoration for Danilo Gallinari, but no one’s ever complained about being Tom Lorenzo’s No. 2.

Jose Calderon is the highest paid Raptor, yet it’s Jarrett Jack who’s earning his pay at the point guard. Calderon burned fantasy owners last season and it’s pretty evident from the early mocks I’ve been in that they’ve yet to forgive and forget. He was nothing more than a mediocre point guard, when healthy. Jack wasn’t much to write Rome about, but at least he played all 82 games. That being said, neither interest me that much. If I can grab Calderon in the 10th I might give him a look. Hey, how about giving Marcus Banks a look?

Linas Kleiza has returned to the NBA! Woo-hoo! I wonder, yes, it’s true, I wonder what kind of value he’ll have in Toronto. I mean, it’s not as if he was a terrible player when he left for Greece. With Denver he was good for about 10 points, 4 rebounds, and over a three per game. Not terrible. But then again that was in Denver where the ball was dominated by Carmelo Anthony and for almost the entire 2008-09 season he was in a timeshare with J.R. Smith. Look at the Raptors roster and tell me you can’t see Kleiza playing 22-25 minutes. That could turn into a productive value add, no? Yeah, you’re probably right.

Not only do I like the numbers that Bargs can put up this season, but I may just take Leandro Barbosa as my second Raptor. Barbosa is a guy who can give you 15+ points and add 1.5 threes and close to 1.5 steals. How’s that for a 10th rounder! Seriously, though, after Bargnani who do you take? Amir Johnson has nice upside and I can see him posting big blocks numbers, but nowhere else has his game developed. He’s a last round pick as far as I’m concerned. Julian Wright intrigues me as someone who could steal some balls, but he too is unproven. Then there’s DeMar DeRozan. I would definitely take a shot on DeRozan in the final few rounds, but he’s got some holes in his game. I like how efficient he is (49.9 FG%, only 0.8 TOs), but he can’t shoot the three-ball, doesn’t dish the ball, and isn’t a good rebounder. Nice value, but I’m not crazy about him. Again, after Bargs tell me who you would take next. Barbosa?

PG: Jarrett Jack, Jose Calderon
SG: DeMar DeRozan, Leandro Barbosa
SF: Linas Kleiza, Julian Wright
PF: Amir Johnson, Ed Davis
C: Andrea Bargnani, David Andersen

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3 responses to “Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Toronto Raptors

  • bubbly

    I am higher on Kleiza and amir johnson than brother Tom. I see them both as high minute guys with good upside. Kleiza is the second raptor to take. In terms of draft position no player from last year will rise higher that Steph curry. No player will sink lower than calderon.

  • Tom Lorenzo

    I hear you on Johnson. I think he has a high ceiling, but we still haven’t seen him play 20+ minutes per game in his 5 years in the league. He could do it, I’m just waiting to see it. As for Kleiza, he doesn’t play enough defense for me. No defense! If he were to get at least a steal per game I might be a little more excited.

  • Jeff Andriesse

    Maybe because his name is slightly Italian-sounding, but Tom has been in love with Barbosa for a few years and clearly isn’t over him despite the heartbreak. Can Barbosa shine or even get his own shot off on a team as poor as Toronto? Maybe he’ll deliver garbage points but I am not sure he’s got the makeup to take the next step as a player despite the opportunity.

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