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What If The Raptors Rebuild? | What IF Wednesday

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We have just seen the Toronto Raptors suffer yet another playoff exit at the hands of LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.

We saw them add pieces in Serge Ibaka & P.J. Tucker at the deadline to try and bolster their “Big 3” of Lowry, DeRozan and Valanciunas. (It hurts my soul to call them a Big 3 so don’t be too harsh.)

In the end, it wasn’t enough—and probably never will be. By the time LeBron stops being good enough to blow past every team, Lowry will be collecting pension checks and DD will be on his third knee surgery (I know harsh…)

Teams like the Bucks and 76ers are playing the long game with a core FAR younger than the Raptors and even the Bucks aren’t notably worse than the Toronto.

Where does this leave Raptors brass in term of direction?

Lowry is a free agent, so is Ibaka and JV is on an affordable contact. This all means you can make moves. Don’t get me wrong—I understand this team won a bunch of games and provides entertainment for the fans (which is the business)…but I say tear it all down.

Masai Ujiri came onto the scene and let the players play out, then traded off some dead weight, and they started winning.

I don’t think this was part of the plan. I think he’s just been making low cost moves to maximize it until he runs out of track. And this train is about to go off the cliff. But the tracks will remain.

I say let Lowry go, don’t re-sign Patrick Patterson, Trade JV and sign Ibaka just to make it crazy. They have good young pieces that they drafted in past years and it all really comes down to how low will you go.

Dare to “trust the process” enough to not sign Ibaka and trade away DeMar? I would…

Toronto has built the foundation as a good organization, but in reality, superstars win. The Raptors do not have one nor is one likely to sign to play in Canada.

You need multiple top 3 picks in a row. Do what you need to get them.

Phil is the tall guy who ended up talking circles around the game better than dribbling circles around players. He has odd fascinations with the NBA Draft, trade deadlines, arm length, and how a team is built. Phil brings energy, passion and laughs to every conversation; catch him weekly on The Away Team podcast.

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  1. Press Basketball

    October 17, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you for checking in.

    We hope to bring you more great reads in the future!

    -Press Basketball Team

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Featured Article

Ride The Wave

Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers. Things were good then.

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Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers, drawing in a decent support team and a lot of talk that the West was looking incredibly dominant next to a “weaker” East. Things were good then.

Five months later and things couldn’t be farther from that idylistic picture. The East thrived without the King and GMs put together some of the most noteworthy teams in a while. And the Lakers? The Lakers currently sit in the 11th spot of the Western Conference with very little hope of making it to the playoffs. They’re a team that is constantly attacked for their lack of chemistry, skill, and effort. For the first time in a long time, LA became synonymous with “hopeless”.

This wasn’t the future we saw for the King.

On the heels of a night filled with one of his greatest achievements ever, the Lakers as a team walked away with a loss to the Denver Nuggets. A night that began on a high note went out on one that was equivalent to sour candy. Furthermore, a frustrated team left an arena, hopped on social media, and found a bevy of congrats for their star player, while enduring the storm that came with another Lakers loss.

It seems that James’ stardom has reached a tipping point, one that makes him a GM one moment, the King of the league the next, and finally the biggest point of contention within the locker room. The most notable thing is that it is clearly wearing him down. Chris Martin let us know that “nobody one said it was easy”, but you’ve got to ask yourself, does it have to be so hard?

The answer is unfortunately, yes. It’s always going to be this way, and there is no fighting the current, but there is beauty in riding the wave. Embracing that moment when the wave comes crashing down on you is important, because it’s always going to happen, but your attitude will always be remembered. LeBron rides high, and keeps things in the positive light for the media, but he’s got to realize that they are writing his story, and he doesn’t have to play into their’s. Ride the wave, and take the loss in stride with all the great that has come with it, but take the loss because your part of a team that is.

The wave has crashed down, but the current will bring another.

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Year 15 | A Mini Documentary

Year 15 of a legacy…

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What’s to come for the man on top, and what got him here?

It’s Year 15 of a man’s career, but it’s also Year 15 of a legacy…

Created by Tristan Laughton | Twitter: @Ctrice

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Editorial

Something Out of Nothing

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It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau. We’re meeting to speak about this exciting new idea I pitched to them. We were tired of spinning the wheels on our own individual internet shows, and I told them that it was time we stopped waiting for a network and became the network.

We spoke that weekend about creating a community of content creators that all loved ball and came together to make unique content with unique voices – voices we felt were never heard in the mainstream. This community was the base of Press and we’d continue to push forward from that spot. We spoke about some amazing show ideas, article ideas, social media plan. It was truly an exciting time, and still one of the best weekends of my life.

Two years later and that group is a lot smaller, and that idea is Press Basketball.

It caught fire at the beginning and we had people joining our bright shiny new plaything left, right, and center. It was exciting, but now I kind of realize that a lot of it was just that we were that “bright shiny new thing”.

We ended up with a lot of Press Basketball “members” but when I stepped back and looked at what was happening… it wasn’t what I’d imagined. The fire burned out. The idea was gone. We had just become another thing trying to stay alive, waiting for some deus ex machina to show up with money and make everything okay.

I’ve gone through most of my life making something out of nothing. It’s never easy, but when it happens it’s always worth it… ALWAYS. Press made me feel alive at a point. It was literally all I could think about, and while it still is on my mind, it doesn’t make me feel alive. This hurts more than I can ever explain.

Changes are coming my friends. We’re not laying down and dying, and if we do it’s not going to be like this.

The core of Press will be setting fire to a lot over the next few weeks and I personally can’t wait for this to start. From the ashes something new will rise (I watched a lot of XMEN growing up).

Stay tuned, because it’s not over.

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