By Micheal Malcolm… So in lieu of the acquisition of Hedo Turkoglu, Devean George, Antoine Wright and the resigning of Andrea Bargnani; Raptors fans should be feeling pretty good as their leader Bryan Colangelo has worked some of his old magic again. I still feel that the Raptors have an opportunity to acquire stronger role players (the bench bunch) so lets look at whose left in the world of free agency.
Current Bench (players that have not accepted or signed are not included)
PF- Reggie Evans
SF- DeMar DeRozan (I don’t think he’ll be a starter to open this year)
PG- Roko Ukic
SF – Devean George
C- Patrick O’Bryant
SG- Quincy Douby
So I feel that we could use another shooting guard, center, and point guard minimum (personally id pretty much get rid of everyone less Evans, and DeRozan) but let the search begin!
1) F – Barnes is known in league circles as a marksman that can defend amicably against various forwards in the league. The Raptors would be signing him for his 3 point shooting ability and to be gunner on the second unit. Barnes would be relitavily inexpensive and a two year commitment plus a mutual option should be enough to entice him to come north of the border. Signing Expectation: 2 Years\5 Million plus option could be 3 years\8.5 Million.
2) Luther Head G – Head is a personal favorite, as he can play either guard postion increasing his flexibility to be inserted at various points during the game. Head is another decent three point shooter (albeit not as good as Barnes) that can create his own shot, play defense and is improving his point guard skills – he’s everything you look for in a backup not to mention his youth and low milage. Signing Expectation: 4 Years/10 Million or even 3 Years plus an option.
3) Rasho Nesterovic – C – Rasho is an older player one who enjoyed his stay in Toronto, and simply because Bargnani may still have some issues with foul trouble this year Rasho is still capable of playing 10-15 minutes a game, making some great passes, rebounding the ball and providing that all-important veteran leadership. Signing Expectation: 1 Year/1.2 Million with a player option.
4) Ime Udoka – SF\SG – Udoka is a premier defender that hasn’t necessarily gotten his due in the NBA (probably has to do with playing in San Antonio). He could be the “lockdown” defender that this team needs he also is a bit older (32) and would not require a long term commitment. As an added bonus he has learned to shoot the corner three (again not with much consistency as previous years) Signing Expectation: 2 Years/ 4 Million.
So any combination of Rasho, Head, and Barnes can be had for various pieces of the mid-level exception. I understand rumor has it that Delfino is coming back, and I am not saying he shouldn’t or won’t but until he signs he’s not a Raptor – just someone they have the rights to. I suppose in the perfect world that we’d be able to add him and basically trade away George, and release Douby. No offense to them but they are marginal NBA players and if we want to put the best team on the floor they have to go. Think about it:
PF –Reggie Evans
SF – DeMar DeRozan
C- Rasho Nesterovic
G- Luther Head
F- Matt Barnes
G – Carlos Delfino
C- Patrick O’Bryant (ideally he’d be waived but sometimes you don’t get what you want)
Doesn’t that look better? Wouldn’t the expectations that bench fit one of a contender?
Are you really going to say that Head-Barnes duo beat a Douby-George one?
I’ve always maintained the Raptors need to build some depth on their bench and seeing Channing Frye sign for two years and 3.8 Million (with PHO today) makes me believe that there is NO excuse for Colangelo to put together a better bench than he has now. Do you disagree?
by Marcel Mansour…
10. Nolan Ryan
Ryan was a dominant pitcher who pitched for over four decades (’60s until ’90s). He is the all time leader in strikeouts with an amazing 5714 in his 27 year career. He had a record of 324 - 292 along with 222 complete games, 61 shutouts and a 3.19 E.R.A. He was also selected to the All Star team eight times, starting in the 1979 game.
He led the league in E.R.A. twice and he led the league in strikeouts an absurd eleven times. His best season came in the 1973 season with the Angels. In that season, he had a 21 - 16 record, 383 strikeouts in 326 innings pitched and a 2.87 E.R.A. However, he never won a Cy Young Award, finishing in the top five six times. Finally, he helped lead the 1969 Mets to a victory in the World Series.
9. Warren Spahn
Spahn was an extremely consistent and great pitcher from the 1940’s until the 1960’s. He had a record of 363 - 245, 2583 strikeouts and a 3.09 E.R.A. He had an amazing 13 seasons with twenty or more wins along with 382 complete games and 63 shutouts. He was also selected to the All Star team 17 times, starting in three of them.
He won his only Cy Young Award in the 1957 season as he had a 21 - 11 record, eightteen complete games, four shutouts, 111 strikeouts and a 2.69 E.R.A. He led the league in E.R.A. three times, wins eight times, strikeouts four times and shutouts four times. Finally, he led his teams to the World Series three times, winning his only championship in 1957 over the Yankees.
8. Pedro Martinez
Pedro is one of the most dominating pitchers ever as he was exceptional during his prime. So far in his 17 year career, he has a 214 - 99 record, 3117 strikeouts and a 2.91 E.R.A. He has been selected to the All Star team eight times, starting in the 1999 game. He also has led the league in E.R.A. five times, in wins once and in strikeouts three times.
He was won the Cy Young Award three times. His best season came in the 1999 season with the Red Sox when he had a 23 - 4 record, 313 strikeouts in 213.3 innings pitched and a 2.07 E.R.A. He won the Cy Young that year and also finished second in the MVP voting. Finally, he helped lead the Red Sox to a victory in the World Series in 2004.
7. Bob Gibson
Gibson was an amazing pitcher who pitched on the Cardinals during his entire career. In his 17 year career, he had a 251 - 174 record, 255 complete games, 56 shutouts, 3117 strikeouts and a 2.91 E.R.A. He was selected to the All Star team nine times, starting in the 1972 game. He was also a fantastic defensive pitcher as he won nine consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1965 until 1973.
He won two Cy Young Awards in the 1968 and 1970 seasons. His best season came in 1968 when he also won the NL MVP award. In that season, he had a 22 - 9 record, 268 strikeouts and a 1.12 E.R.A along with 28 complete games and 13 shutouts. He just missed the Triple Crown Award that season as he finished first in strikeouts and E.R.A. and second in wins. Finally, he helped lead his teams to the World Series three times, winning two of them in 1964 and 1967.
6. Tom Seaver
Seaver was a dominant pitcher from the late ’60s until the mid ’80s. In his 20 year career, he had a 311 - 205 record, 231 complete games, 61 shutouts, 3640 strikeouts, and a 2.86 E.R.A. He was selected to the All Star team 12 times, starting in the 1970 game and he won the 1967 Rookie of the Year Award.
He won the Cy Young Award three times, having his best season in 1969. During that season, he had a 25 - 7 record, 208 strikeouts, 18 complete games, five shutouts, and a 2.21 E.R.A. He led the league in E.R.A. three times, in wins three times and in strikeouts five times. He ranks sixth all time in total strikeouts, seventh in shutouts and 18th in career wins. Finally, he helped lead the Mets to a championship in 1969.
5. Roger Clemens*
Clemens would have probably been number one on this list had it not been for all of the steroid accusations that have occurred recently. In his 24 year career, he had a 354 - 184 record, 4672 strikeouts, 118 complete games, 46 shutouts and a 3.12 E.R.A. He was selected to the All Star team eleven times, starting in three of them. He led the league in E.R.A. seven times, in wins four times and in strikeouts five times.
He won a record seven Cy Young Awards, having his best season in 1986 when he won the AL MVP award. In that season, he had a 24 - 4 record, 10 complete games, 238 strikeouts and a 2.48 E.R.A. He ranks ninth all time in career wins, third in strikeouts and seventh in games started. Finally, he helped lead his teams to the World Series six times, winning two of them in the 1999 and 2000 seasons with the Yankees.
4. Greg Maddux
Maddux was a great and extremely intelligent pitcher who was dominant during his prime and solid throughout his career. In his 23 year career, he had a 355 - 227 record, 109 complete games, 35 shutouts, 3371 strikeouts and a 3.16 E.R.A. He was selected to the All Star team eight times, starting in three of them. He is also the greatest defensive pitcher ever as he won an amazing eightteen Gold Glove awards in a 19 year stretch.
He won the Cy Young Award in four consecutive seasons from 1992 until 1995. His best season came in 1995 when he had a 19 - 2 record, 10 complete games, 3 shutouts, 181 strikeouts and a 1.63 E.R.A. He led the league in E.R.A. four times, in wins three times, in complete games three times and in shutouts five times. Finally, he helped lead the Braves to the World Series three times, winning it all in 1995.
3. Sandy Koufax
Koufax was arguably the most dominant pitcher over a five year stretch from 1962 until 1966. In his short 12 year career, he had a 165 - 87 record, 137 complete games, 40 shutouts, 2396 strikeouts and a 2.76 E.R.A. He was selected to the All Star team seven times, starting in the 1966 game. He led the league in E.R.A. five times, in wins three times, and in strikeouts four times.
He won the Cy Young Award three times and the NL MVP once. His best season came in the 1963 season when he won the MVP. In that season, he had a 25 - 5 record, 20 complete games, 11 shutouts, 306 strikeouts and a 1.88 E.R.A. He won the NL Triple Crown award three times in his career.
Finally, he was arguably the greatest postseason pitcher ever as he lead the Dodgers to the World Series four times, winning three times. He had a 0.95 E.R.A. in 57 career postseason innings.
2. Steve Carlton
Carlton was a dominant pitcher who pitched from the mid ’60s until the late ’80s. In his 24 year career, he had a 329 - 244 record, 254 complete games, 55 shutouts, 4136 strikeouts and a 3.22 E.R.A. He was selected to the All Star team ten times, starting in two of them. He won one Gold Glove award in 1981 and won the NL Triple Crown Award in 1972.
He won the Cy Young Award four times, having his best season in 1972. In that season, he had a 27 - 10 record, 30 complete games, eight shutouts, 310 strikeouts, and a 1.97 E.R.A. He led the league in E.R.A. once, in wins four times and in strikeouts five times. He ranks 11th all time in wins, fourth in strikeouts, and 14th in shutouts. Finally, he led his teams to the World Series four times, winning two in the 1967 and 1980 seasons.
1. Randy Johnson
Johnson has been the most dominant pitcher over the least twenty seasons and the best in the modern era. So far in his 21 year career, he has a 295 - 160 record, 100 complete games, 37 shutouts, 4789 strikeouts, and a 3.26 E.R.A. He has been selected to the All Star team ten times, starting in four of them. He has led the league in E.R.A. four times, in wins once and in strikeouts an amazing nine times.
He has won the Cy Young five times, including four consecutive from 1999 until 2002. His best season came in 2002 when he had a 24 - 5 record, 334 strikeouts, eight complete games, four shutouts, and a 2.32 E.R.A. He ranks second all time in total strikeouts and 25th all time in wins. Finally, he helped lead the Diamondbacks to a victory in the World Series as he won the World Series MVP.
by Marcel Mansour…
The following list is in no particular order.
- As far as playing, I didn’t care who guarded me - red, yellow, black. I just didn’t want a white guy guarding me, because it’s disrespect to my game.
- I really don’t like talking about money. All I can say is that the Good Lord must have wanted me to have it.
- (To Xavier McDaniel with five seconds left in tied game) I am going to make a shot right here in your face. (after he makes shot in exact spot he said) Sh**, I didn’t mean to leave any time on the clock.
- What’s better? Dogs or broomsticks? I mean, will the world ever really know?
- You know, when I played, you had men and Kevin McHale and some other players throughout the league. I think it’s good for a fanbase because as we all know, the majority of the fans are white America. And if you just had a couple of white guys in there, you might get them a little excited.
- The man who won’t loan money isn’t going to have many friends—or need them.
- But the point of using the number was to show that sex was a great part of my life, as basketball was a great part of my life. That’s the reason why I was single.
- When you got out there and do the things you are supposed to do, people view you as selfish.
- With all of you men out there who think that having a 1,000 different ladies is pretty cool, I have learned in my life that having one woman a thousand different ways is more satisfying.
- It was a different sexual situation going on in the ’80s and ’90s, and I did a very poor job of describing that.
- Scoring 100 points is a lot, but I could’ve scored 140 if they had played straight-up basketball.
- Durability is part of what makes a great athlete.
- The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot.
- We don’t have selfish guys here, which sometimes leads to problems.
- The constant expansion has diluted (hurt) the talent, but other then that, it is still the same game.
- One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.
- I think I did very well against everyone who tried to defend me.
- Ask not what your teammates can do for you, ask what you can do for your teammates.
- I think the game itself has gotten better over the recent years. The reason why is, I think the players are taking it more seriously and are really trying to win the game.
- (On North Carolina missing 22 of their last 23 shots in an NCAA tournament game vs. Georgetown last year) Stevie Wonder could make one out of 23 shots.
- (Before his race against Dick Bavetta) I have nothing against old people, I want to be one myself one day.
- Dick Bavetta and Moses parted the Red Sea together.
- (To Kenny Smith) Hakeem could never kick your ass cause you were too close kissing his.
- (To Ernie Johnson) You’re the boss, Ernie. The white man is always the boss.
- (On the Portland Trailblazers serving Thanksgiving meals a few years ago) In between arrests, they do community service.
- I love Sam Cassell. He’s a great guy, but he does look like E.T.
- (After the Atlanta Hawks announced the game’s attendance was 16,000) If there were 16,000 people there, I’ll walk from here to Oakland.
- They say it about brothers, but I can guarantee everyone in Finland looks alike.
- (After being swarmed by reporters as he arrived at a Knicks game) You guys want to talk to me? I guess it’s not like you have a team to cover.
- It’s kinda great to see the Celtics doing well again, ’cause that was so much fun in my day to go to the Boston Garden and get spit at, get things thrown at you and talk about your mom. It sounds like dinner at Kenny Smith’s house.
- (To Kenny Smith) You know the amazing thing about that game was that between you and Hakeem, the two of ya’ll had 60 points, Hakeem’s 51 and your nine.
- (Ernie Johnson) - Auburn is a pretty good school. To graduate from there I suppose you really need to work hard and put forth your maximum effort. Charles - 20 points and 10 rebounds will get you through also
- (Ernie Johnson) - Did they recognize you in South Dakota? Charles - Yes, they did. It was easy because I was the only black person there.
- I’ve been rich and poor. Being rich is better.
- (To Billy Crystal, the only “famous” Clipper” fan) How did you not become a Laker fan like all of the other phony celebrities?
by Marcel Mansour…
10. Earl “The Pearl” Monroe
Monroe was one of the best scorers of all time. Over his career, he averaged 18.8 points, four assists, and three rebounds along with one steal, a very good 46.4 percent from the field, and 81 percent from the free throw line.
He was selected to four All Star teams and won the 1967-1968 Rookie of the Year Award. He also helped the New York Knicks win the championship in the 1972-1973 season. He was selected to the All NBA team once, with it being a first team selection, and he recorded six seasons of averaging at least 20 points per game.
9. Joe Dumars
Dumars is one of the best guards of all time on both ends of the floor. He was one of the best defensive guards of all time, as he was selected to the All NBA defense teams five times, with four of them being first team selections. Offensively, he averaged 16.1 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.2 rebounds along with a good 46 percent from the field, 38.2 percent, from the three-point line, and 84.3 percent from the free throw line.
He was also selected to six All Star games and he was one of the more clutch players of his era as he helped lead the Detroit “Bad Boys” Pistons to back-to-back championships in the late 80s. Finally, he also won the Finals MVP in the 1989 Finals series against the Lakers.
8. Sam Jones
Jones was the starting shooting guard for the legendary Celtics teams in the 1960s. He won 10 championships in his career, which is second all time only to Bill Russell. He averaged 17.7 points, five rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting a solid 45.6 percent from the field and a good 80 percent from the free throw line.
He was selected to the All Star game five times and he was selected to the All NBA team three times, with of all of them being second team selections.
In his 12-year career, he averaged over 20 points per game for four consecutive seasons from the 1964-1965 season through the 1967-1968 season.
7. Pete “Pistol” Maravich
Pistol Pete was one of the most exciting and entertaining NBA players of all time, but had a short career, playing just 10 seasons. However, he averaged a fantastic 24.2 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds along with 1.4 steals and a solid 44.1 percent from the field and 82 percent from the free throw line.
He was also one of the greatest NCAA players of all time, as he still holds the record for points per game, having averaged a tremendous 44.2 points per game in three seasons with LSU. In the NBA, he was selected to five All Star games and he was selected to four All NBA team selections, with two of them being first team selections.
6. Clyde “The Glide” Drexler
Drexler was one of the most all around guards of all time. He averaged 20.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists along with two steals and 0.7 blocks. He also shot a solid 47.2 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free throw line. Additionally, he was an above average defensive player.
He was selected to 10 All Star teams in his career and five All NBA teams, with one of them being a first team selection and two of them being second team selections.
He also helped lead the Houston Rockets to their second championship in the 1994-1995 season—the only championship of his career.
5. Allen Iverson “The Answer”
AI is one of the toughest players in all of sports. Even though he is only 6′ and weighs 160 pounds, there have only been a few players more dominant in the history of the league. He is third all time in points per game with 27.7 points per game. He also averaged 6.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game.
He has been selected to nine All Star teams in his 12-year career so far and he has made the All NBA team seven times, with three of the selections being first team picks.
He is the shortest player ever to win an MVP Award, which he won in the 2000-2001 season.
4. George “Iceman” Gervin
Gervin is one of the greatest pure scorers of all time. He averaged 26.2 points per game in his career in the NBA along with five rebounds and three assists. He also averaged 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks while shooting a tremendous 51 percent from the field and 84 percent from the free throw line.
He won four scoring titles in his career and twice averaged over 30 points per game. He was also selected to the All Star team nine times and the All NBA team seven times, with five of the selections being on the first team.
3. Jerry West “Mr. Clutch”
West is by all accounts the greatest basketball person of all time. He was one of the greatest players of all time, a solid coach, and arguably the greatest General Manager in all of sports.
In his legendary 14-year career, he averaged an amazing 27 points, 6.7 assists, and six rebounds along with a great 47.4 percent and 81.4 percent from the free throw line. He also averaged 2.6 steals and 0.7 blocks and his defensive stats were only recorded in his last season.
He was selected to an amazing 13 All Star teams and to the All NBA 12 times, with all of them except for one being as a first team selection. He was also one of the best defensive guards ever as he was selected to the All NBA defense five times, with four of them being first team selections. (All NBA defensive teams started in the last five seasons of his career.)
However, he only won one championship even though he made the NBA Finals over 10 times, with nine of the losses to the legendary Boston Celtics team and one to the 1970 Knicks team.
He is also the only player of all time to win a Finals MVP award on a losing team. He accomplished this in the 1969 Finals against the Celtics, when he averaged over 40 points in the seven-game series.
He is a true basketball legend.
2. Kobe Bryant
For Kobe to already be ahead of Mr. West at such a young age (30) tells you how great he really is. So far in his 12-year career, Kobe has career averages of 25 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.6 blocks. He also shoots a solid 45.3 percent from the field, 34 percent from the three-point line, and 84 percent from the free throw line.
He has made the All Star team 10 times, with one of the seasons being cut off because of the lockout. He has also made the All NBA team nine times, with six of them being first team selections. He is one of the greatest defensive guards of all time as he has made the All NBA defensive team seven times, with five of the selections being first team selections.
He has also won an MVP Award, two All Star game MVPs, and two scoring titles. Despite his young age, he is already 24th all time in total points.
Finally, he helped lead the Lakers to three straight championships in the early 2000s and made himself one of the best playoff performers of all time.
Kobe still has several great years in him and could move to No. 1 on this list someday.
1. Michael Jordan
Jordan is one of the three greatest players of all time (behind both Magic and Kareem). In his 15-year career, he averaged 30.1 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists along with 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks. He also shot a tremendous 49.7 percent from the field and 84 percent from the free throw line.
He was selected to the All Star team 13 times, winning three All Star game MVPs. He was also one of the greatest defensive players of the all time as he won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1987-1988. He was selected to the All NBA defensive team nine times, with all of them being first team selections, and to the All NBA team 10 times, with nine of them being first team selections.
He led the Bulls to two different sets of threepeats in the 1990s and he won six Finals MVP Awards. He is also second all time in MVP Awards with five, behind only Kareem, who has six.