Raptors: What does a successful 2021 for Goran Dragic look like?

Raptors: What does a successful 2021 for Goran Dragic look like?

The Toronto Raptors acquired point guard Goran Dragic as part of the deal that sent Kyle Lowry back to Miami following his legendary Canadian career. Purely on paper, it looked like Dragic, who averaged 13.4 points per game last year despite his advanced age, could be the bench scorer that this team needs. In practice, […]
Raptors: What does a successful 2021 for Goran Dragic look like? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Vegas thinks Goran Dragic is a Sixth Man of the Year favorite

Raptors: Vegas thinks Goran Dragic is a Sixth Man of the Year favorite

The Toronto Raptors have a new backup point guard for the 2021-22 season, as their sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat that sent Kyle Lowry to South Beach brought Goran Dragic back to Toronto by way of his $19 million player option. Dragic didn’t exactly endear himself to the fanbase when he arrived in Toronto, as […]
Raptors: Vegas thinks Goran Dragic is a Sixth Man of the Year favorite – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Welcome To Rock Bottom

At this point, each loss is becoming more and more laughable and not in a good way. The game on Sunday afternoon was no different.

This series along with the Washington series, really feels like how the Cubs series felt in 2017. Both teams were in a position to make a run for a wildcard position, yet both teams went on a road trip and weren’t successful in making ground. With around 40 games remaining, it’s looking less and less like our beloved Blue Jays can make up the 4.5 games remaining against the Oakland Athletics. Especially as they play the tough Chicago White Sox starting on Monday.
Losing 5-3 to the Detroit Tigers hurts, like a lot.  Let’s dive head first into pain, shall we?
Things worth mentioning:
Bats need heat to survive:
The Jays’ bats went cold in this series. This has actually been a problem all season, but according to most, they have a top offense because they occasionally smash teams into the ground. Peep this mid June tweet of mine.

The classic cold bat move of:
Pounce on the starter and potentially score a ton of runs, but don’t.
And then proceed to be bad for …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors: Where does Fred VanVleet rank among East point guards?

Raptors: Where does Fred VanVleet rank among East point guards?

The Toronto Raptors are making a huge change at point guard this season, as the end of the Kyle Lowry era means that Fred VanVleet is in line to succeed him as the team’s point guard following Lowry’s magnificent near-decade at the helm. VanVleet’s 19.6 points and 6.3 assists per game, numbers that are a […]
Raptors: Where does Fred VanVleet rank among East point guards? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Marc Stein confirms interest in Ben Simmons trade

Toronto Raptors: Marc Stein confirms interest in Ben Simmons trade

The Toronto Raptors might be in the market for a new starting point guard considering the fact that Kyle Lowry might be ready to leave Canada, while the rival Philadelphia 76ers could trade in their former No. 1 pick in Ben Simmons as part of their quest to retool and compete for a title. After […]
Toronto Raptors: Marc Stein confirms interest in Ben Simmons trade – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Deadline Primer: The Rotation

Before we get started, it’s important to point out that the starting rotation options for this trade deadline are bleak at best. The likely strategy for most teams looking for pitching help will be to add to the bullpen, and The Blue Jays should be no different. But let’s have a look at some of the potential targets if Ross Atkins and the front office do decide to venture into a heavy seller’s market.

In 2020, the team added Taijuan Walker who had barely pitched in the two and a half years before becoming a Blue Jay. The acquisition cost was next to nothing, and the additions of starters-turned-relievers Robbie Ray and Ross Stripling were likely in the same vein. Walker went on to make six starts in a Blue Jays uniform and performed extremely well, exceeding all expectations. A similar, low-risk-high-reward move could be in the cards for The Jays this trade deadline, however, The Jays rotation is much more solidified this season than it was last.
Robbie Ray has emerged as the clear-cut ace of the staff, and despite a rough patch, Hyun-Jin Ryu appears to be getting back on track. A top of the rotation …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn needs to become an ace Sixth Man in ’21

Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn needs to become an ace Sixth Man in ’21

The Toronto Raptors appear likely to take a point guard in the 2021 NBA Draft, with Gonzaga standout Jalen Suggs standing out as the most likely selection for Toronto. This isn’t the news that Malachi Flynn was hoping to come across. Taken 29th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft out of San Diego State, Flynn […]
Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn needs to become an ace Sixth Man in ’21 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Player Valuation and bargain hunting in the offseason

It’s probably no secret at this point that the Leafs don’t have a lot of cap space. I mean, they have the cap space to bring in maybe one significant player, but after that it’s going to be about bargain hunting some of the better, cheaper options in free agency. While the lesser known signings certainly aren’t as fun as big game hunting players like Dougie Hamilton or Taylor Hall, teams like Tampa Bay and Montreal certainly point to the importance of having a depth that contribute beyond their contract.
To some extent the Leafs did have that though. Jason Spezza and Joe Thornton certainly provided value beyond their contracts, it just may come down to utilization, miscasting of roles, or you could argue in Thornton’s case, that his opportunity to play a significant part of the year within the top six forward group propped up his numbers beyond his personal contributions, which is both a fair criticism, but also ignores the fact that a capable top six complimentary player at that price isn’t anything to scoff at and the Leafs failing to consider style of play into the roster construction isn’t his …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A Fortnight On The Farm: Mid-Season Edition (Part One, The Draft and Triple-A)

This is the unofficial midway point of the major league season but the literal halfway point for many minor league teams (the recent extension of the schedule and addition of playoffs notwithstanding). It’s a really good time to take a look at the progress so far and what sort of impact that could or should have on prospect rankings and valuations inside and outside the organization.

On Sunday the team added a new Top Prospect to the list in the form of University of Mississippi RHP Gunnar Hoglund, and made me look smart in the process.

I mean, I so seldom get to do this… pic.twitter.com/aDzaEBKElU
— Tammy Rainey WarrenDemocrat (@Tammy_Beth) July 12, 2021

Shi Davidi had this quote after the pick from the Blue Jays scouting director Shane Farrel:
“We saw a little pick up in fastball velocity this year. Combining that with his upper level ability to command the ball to both sides of the plate and throw the slider off the fastball is what really drove us to make the selection.”

Hoglund was originally thought to be in line to be the third college starter selected back before the season when everyone had the Vandy …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

DFO Rundown: The Red Wings are seeking players vulnerable to the Expansion Draft, such as Travis Dermott

By this point, everybody is aware of Kyle Dubas’ conundrum with the upcoming Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft.

He can use the normal 7-3-1 protection scheme and expose both Justin Holl and Travis Dermott, or he could use the eight-skater scheme and prospect one of those two defenders, but at the cost of leaving Alex Kerfoot exposed.
We don’t yet know what Dubas is going to do but we can safely assume that general managers around the league will be calling about these players before they get exposed to Seattle.
One of those general managers appears to be Steve Yzerman. Kevin Allen, a beat writer for Detroit Hockey Now, appeared on the DFO Rundown on Monday and spoke about the Red Wings’ off-season plans. The Red Wings have a wealth of cap room and a whole bunch of draft picks to work with this summer and, as Allen says, Steve Yzerman is in a prime position to pick up a player who is vulnerable to being selected in by Seattle…
I think [Yzerman] is looking at trade, but he’s looking younger. I know you’re going to say Jack Eichel is in the rebuild age bracket, but Eichel …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation