By Zack Cimini
Teams that are transitioning are going to shuffle their lineups frequently. Toronto’s been in that scenario for many years. In the past though, they had the reliability of Chris Bosh. The over haul of the franchise features new guards in Jerryd Bayless, Leandro Barbosa, Sonny Weems, and DeMar Derozan. A backcourt nucleus they’re trying to figure out along with veteran Jose Calderon.
It’s definitely a team that is going to be in the cellar of the eastern conference and NBA for many years. Give credit to Raptors fans though. They show tremendous support unlike what they do for the Blue Jays. If this team is going to make any kind of shift it’ll start in the interior. We profiled Ed Davis a few weeks ago, but there are a couple of other guys to follow.
Amir Johnson, owned by just 57% of Yahoo fantasy rotisserie owners needs to be picked up immediately. Toronto seems to be leaning more in more in Johnson’s direction. He gives the team energy inside and brings it on both ends. Earlier on in the year he was foul prone, but lately he has been able to stay in games. In the month of January he is averaging near twelve points and eight rebounds a game. Remember, Johnson came straight out of high school in 2005 and went late in the second round. So he is starting to blossom just at the right point you see most young athletes do in the NBA.
If Johnson or Davis goes down, the Raptors have another big man that is still a project in Alexis Ajinca. A first round pick out of France a few years ago, he just hasn’t panned out to the NBA style. Against Milwaukee, January 28th, he did give the Raptors a solid twelve minutes. He is used sparingly though as he is too much of a liability currently on the court. A development player that is probably a year or two away from getting regular bench minutes.