Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Do the Raptors Have a Legitimate Number 1 Point Guard

The Raptors seasons to date has been plagued by trials and tribulations that have seen them start the season at 4-19, comeback strong in the month of January, make a major trade before the deadline that brought in Rudy Gay, go on a losing streak at the end of February that may have taken them out of the playoff picture and the whole controversy surrounding Andrea Bargnani. Yet, with all that has been going on with the team, no one has really contested the point guard situation for the Raptors. Do they actually have a legitimate number one point guard that can lead the team down the floor and distribute the ball effectively?
The Raps started the season with 3 point guards, in Calderon, Lowry, and Lucas, however a trade before the deadline saw long time serving Raptor in Jose Calderon being dealt in a three team trade that brought Rudy Gay to Toronto, leaving the Raps with Lowry as the starting point guard and John Lucas and newly acquired Sebastian Telfair as the back up. Now both Lowry and Lucas have played well at times this year and have shown signs of being able to handle the load of their respective duties, however there has also been instances that shows inability to distribute the ball, hit crucial shots, hold emotions, and inconsistency.

Kyle Lowry wanted to be the main guy, and wanted the chance to run the team and has been given that opportunity with the departure of Calderon. But has he really stepped his game up, lead the team to where they need to be, and has he shown front office personnel that he is the right guy to lead the team in the future? Here's what he has done this season for the Raptors, he as average 12.7 points a game and 6 assists, which are decent numbers, however when  you have viable scorers on the floor like Bargnani, Derozan and you can even through Anderson into that category, and now Rudy Gay a player like Lowry has to be able to not distribute the ball better but also create better plays that enable the rest of the team to get better shots. Lowry does have upside, there is no question about it, he is still young and has the young Raptors continue to grow and develop so will Lowry. The question is, will the Raptors put the teams in the hand of Lowry or bring in someone in the off season. My guess is that the Raps will stick with Lowry for next season, but bring in a veteran to back him up that has the ability to start if Lowry is struggling. If the Raps want to go in a different direction there are plenty of options available to them via the free agent market, like ex Raptor Jose Calderon, Mo Williams, and Devin Harris.

Sebastian Telfair's contract is up at the end of the season and will most likely not be signed to a new contract and John Lucas is under contract for another year. Lucas was involved in many rumors before the trade deadline, to be involved in a package deal wit Bargnani to the Bulls and a number of other teams. This doesn't mean that its a guarantee that he will be traded in the summer, but look for him or Alan Anderson to be packaged with Bargnani if they do make a deal.

So do the Raps have a number one point guard, its tough to say, while the team continues to add new pieces, the overall direction of the team get better, but it will take time to see how Lowry is able to progress and integrate himself with the current team and the future moves that the Raps make.

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