Raptors' mid-season report card
Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan walks off the court a loss to the Spurs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont., Feb. 15, 2012. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)
The halfway mark of this shortened season is upon us and it's time to grade the Raptors to this point.
Some would argue nobody deserves a pass since the team is just 10-23 following Wednesday's win over Detroit, but we're marking them against our expectations of them coming into the season, not on the current record. Here's our take, in alphabetical order, on who has lived up to the hype and who has not:
Solomon Alabi: Incomplete
We haven't seen much of him and likely never will. Speed of NBA game still too much for him.
Leandro Barbosa: C
Has helped win some games, even though his shooting numbers have slipped to career lows. Highly inconsistent, but a useful weapon.
Andrea Bargnan: A
Nobody saw his emergence as a near all-star level player coming. Offensively he's taken a major leap, but the surge at the other end has been the most shocking.
Jerryd Bayless: C
Leads team in three-point percentage, but overall percentage is lower, meaning he's struggled mightily from everywhere else. Not creating enough for teammates.
Rasual Butler: D
Raptors wanted a veteran defender who could hit shots, but Butler has hit only 30.1% of his attempts and had a couple of key inbounding errors.
Jose Calderon: B
Has played in every game after missing ample time the past three years and his 9.4 assists to 2.0 turnover ratio is extraordinary. Second on team in player efficiency.
Anthony Carter: C
Slow start, but veteran stepped up when Bayless went down. Still can get up and bother opponents on defence and shots are starting to fall for him.
Ed Davis: C
Has not met expectations, taking a step back almost everywhere, most notably in his finishing ability and offensive rebounding. Team expects more from sophomore.
DeMar DeRozan: D
Good play over past two weeks saved him from a failing grade. Expected to lead team, offensive productivity has dipped massively, though defence has improved.
Gary Forbes: C
Defence good, but has not provided the pop off the bench team was looking for and is still a work in progress as an emergency point guard. Hitting just 17% from three.
Aaron Gray: B
Doing everything the team could have asked of him. Sets good screens, rebounds and gives an honest effort.
Amir Johnson: C
After breakout campaign, personal and injury issues have set Johnson back. Turning ball over too often due to thumb problem. Should be better in second half.
James Johnson: B
Has been best defender on team, leading in steals and blocks and has cut down on turnovers. Bad shooting numbers preventing him from being a good NBA starter.
Linas Kleiza: B
Has rebounded from a major injury to provide unexpected results. Third in player efficiency rating and is scoring, rebounding and providing an edge.
Jamaal Magloire: C
Offensive game is gone, but Magloire is strong defensively (fourth on team in defensive rating) and plays boards well in his spot minutes.
Dwane Casey: B
His team plays hard and defensive turnaround has been remarkable. Offence needs to become more dynamic, but can only do so much with what he has to work with.
Bryan Colangelo: Incomplete
Hard to grade the GM when he didn't make any impact signings, but Casey choice was a good one. Needs to move Barbosa for assets as Raptors look ahead to an important summer.
(The term is finished, the grades are in, but who will be staying in school at the ACC next season and who will be cast aside? We take a look at what the future might hold for the Raptors:)
Solomon Alabi - Not in their plans. Could be moved at the deadline, unlikely he returns next season.
Leandro Barbosa - Though there has been talk of an extension for the unrestricted free agent-to-be, team doesn't need both him and Jerryd Bayless. Could be attractive trade bait.
Andrea Bargnani - Not going anywhere. Will lead team once he returns from injury and is part of the long-time core.
Jerryd Bayless - Needs to prove he can stay healthy for long stretch in second half, or else team might decide a $4.1 million US qualifying offer or extension is too risky.
Rasual Butler - Won't be back. Could be cut to facilitate a 2-for-1 transaction.
Jose Calderon - The offers are piling in and he only has a year (at $10.5 million) remaining after this season on his deal, but hard to see a move since Raptors don't have an alternative at the point.
Anthony Carter - Signed for veteran's minimum, good insurance at a position where Raptors lack depth. Might be retained for depth next season or could move into coaching role elsewhere.
Ed Davis - Unclear where he fits on a team laden with power forwards. Still on rookie contract and has upside so other teams will have interest.
DeMar DeRozan - Needs to continue recent hot streak in second half or else his future as key part of the core group could be in doubt. Still has a cheap year remaining before Raptors will have to make a call on an extension. Team has hyped him as a star. Must be better.
Gary Forbes - Signed for another year on the cheap ($1.5 million), should be back as a scorer off of the bench, but must start hitting shots.
Aaron Gray - Will be a free agent, but good chance he returns with promise of starting role until Jonas Valanciunas is ready.
Amir Johnson - Still owed a lot of money (two years guaranteed, another partially guaranteed), hard to see both he and Davis around long-term though Davis would be easier to move due to contract status.
James Johnson - Has emerged as a nice asset to keep around. His defence and energy is needed. Doesn't need to sign bigger contract until after next season.
Linas Kleiza - Production has Raptors feeling better about his future. Should stick around for final two years to help countryman Valanciunas' transition, and to help power the bench.
Jamaal Magloire - Likes playing at home, so could be back at the minimum again, depending on off-season moves.
Jonas Valanciunas - Will start his rookie deal next season and franchise is already hyping his arrival. A crucial building block.