Fort Worth Dragoons

Fort Worth Dragoons (95)

Thursday, 29 October 2020 21:10

Dragoons look to start the season

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The Dragoons General Manager has taken a beating in the public.  Others have beat him up on prior moves, transactions and bids.  The heat has been heavy.  The team would have had the fifth overall pick in this years draft.  However, a prior trade gave up the pick for what ended up being a later first rounder.

The team will be playing their last year in Fort Worth.  Fans would love a championship before the leave.  Those fans are asking for more than a miracle.  It would be a gift for the team to make the playoffs in their final year.  Who can help them?

Hitch failed to resign Remington who was obtained in the Baranowski trade.  This angered the fan base with how Hitch handled the bidding.  Instead of getting the point guard, he may have overbid to get Budd back.  In hindsight, the loss of Remington may have worked out well.  The Dragoons signed Kersey to a lot less money. In addition, the team signed Graves to a one year deal.  It should also be noted that the Dragoons obtained the Muscles first round pick in the deal.   If teams perform as bad as last year, Hitch would have two top five picks upcoming.

The front court may not score much, but the back court should take care of this.  Motley, Ibanez and Kersey are all scorers. Motley and Ibanez are very good defenders.   This squad will be better defensively than less year and shouldn't give gifts on the line.  Hitch found players who can avoid fouling. He also found guys that good alter shots underneath the basket.

Time will tell if Hitch can win enough games this year. If not, can he make moves to put the team in better position for the new stadium next season?

Friday, 09 October 2020 01:23

Dragoons entering last season

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The Dragoons are entering their final season in Fort Worth.  The owner, Blake Cain,  has a brand new stadium being built in Toronto.  He negotiated a deal after the city decided his team was not worth keeping.

Will the staff be focused on this years team?  General Manager Hitch is expecting his team to give fans a winning season.  "I expect wins, the owner expect wins and the fans expect us to give our best effort.  I will except no less from everyone involved." Hitch stated.

Hitch has already work with Coach Kolby to bring in some staff.  He hired three coaches, James Bibbs, Keith Highsmith and Daniel Jones.  The team spent just 350,000 on the three.  This will save several million dollars to the organization.  Hitch is hoping to utilize the money to bring in players.

In other news, their are rumors that the Dragoons have developed a new logo.  The court design and uniform designs may also be under way.  The team is moving to Toronto, but the team name has not been announced yet.  Sources say that the logo will have some type of dog in it.  The team has not made any comments to confirm or deny this information.

One thing is for sure, it doesn't matter where the team plays.  If they can't win games, the stadiums will be empty and fans will not spend their money on the team.

If only the season were starting today.

The Dragoons have finally found a winning strategy.  Fort Worth has won four games in a row for the first time all year.  This includes winning six of the last eight games.  In the same stretch, one of the losses were to a tough Archers team. It was only a three point lose.

Some have wondered why the team traded Baranowski.  General Manager Hitch believed the team was lacking a floor leader.  It appears he may have known what he was talking about.  However, unless he can sign the asset obtained in the trade, it is all for not.   The team is now 24-48, but were 14 and 36 before the trade to get Xander.  The Dragoons are 10-12 since getting Remington.  Keep in mind that a 500 team should make the playoff in the Eastern Conference.

Baranowski appears to be fitting in with the Muscle.  He is averaging 17 points per game with Detroit. However, he remains on a losing team.

The team will have some money to spend next year.  Will the owner give them more money to spend?  Will Hitch know how to retain Remington?  Only time will tell.

 

 

Monday, 03 August 2020 00:55

Dragoons make another move: out of desperation?

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What happens when your team is 14-36 at the All-Star break, owners panic.  Then, General Managers feel they have to make a move for fear of losing their jobs.  Is this what happened in Fort Worth.  No one is sure.

What is certain if that the Dragoons General Manager Hitch made a move.  Many believed he just traded the best player on the team.  If nothing else, he traded one of the most liked players on the squad.  Baranowski was averaging almost 20 points per game this year.  He was doing most of the work on his own.  The team seemed to lack a point guard who could get the ball in the right spot.  It was back in 2026 that Hitch decided to trade a very good point guard away. 

Nobert Cunningham was traded to the Sunkings.  This caused the team to get younger. Although Fort Worth did get a first rounder back for the ninth overall pick.  Many wondered at the time what Hitch was doing.  The same ones are wondering about the latest trade.  Baranowski was the sixth over all pick.  He was traded for Remington, a star point guard, and Molina who plays shooting guard.  He was able to obtain a first round pick in the deal also.

Can Hitch convince his owner to fork out the money to pay Remington in the off season? If so, the Dragoons may have won the trade.  If not, Fort Worth has fallen behind for years. 

The job of a General Manager.  Did he make the right move or will he fear for his job?  The question remains unanswered.

Saturday, 25 July 2020 23:29

Dragoons losing continues

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     Fans had hoped this would be the year the team made it back to the playoffs.  Unfortunately, it will wait at least one more year.  The team has not had a winning year since 2020, but did make the playoffs in 2024. 

     The Dragoons started the year at 3-21.  They have gone 8 and 10 since then.  The team has looked for trades and did find some players off waivers and free agency.  The coaching staff has changed their style of play in hopes of using the teams personnel better. 

     The team would be sitting with a top five pick in next years draft.  Oh wait, General Manager Hitch exchanged first round picks with the Inferno.  Hitch believed his team would be playoff worthy this year.  Thus, he took a chance on the trade.  It did not work out in his favor.  Instead of drafting in the top five as it currently stands, the pick is a mid to late first rounder.

    Things must change.  There won't be many fans in the seats next year as the team is moving to Toronto.  If Hitch can't get some excitement or wins with this team, they may not have any fans in the new stadium either.  Only Baranowski will be under contract when the team moves.  However, five players will have team options.  Hitch has to work with his owner to extend the budget or he must develop this young talent quickly.  He does not have the money to sign a big name free agent.  He doesn't have the cap to trade for one either.

     Speaking of Toronto, it appears that the team will be called the Labradors or Labs.  There are rumors that the team colors may be neon green with orange or yellow.  Purina is looking at securing the naming rights and naming the arena Purina's Dog Den or Dog Pound.

     General Manager is seeking logo input although he has a year and a half before the move.

Thursday, 28 May 2020 22:40

Dragoons 2027.1

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It may come to a surprise to many, but General Manager Hitch was able to sign some players today.  Fort Worth is a small market, but with low loyalty.  It is so bad that the owner, Blake Cain, is paying millions to build a new stadium.  The team will be moving to Toronto in 2029.  Fan support could be low again this year.

Rufus Motley is just 28 year old.  He was originally drafted by the Snipers as the second overall pick in 2018.  Hitch was able to sign Motley in 2022 to a 5 year contract.  There was some criticism at the time for the signing.  This time he signed for 3 years for around 39 million.  The third year is actually a team option.  He has earned the money with solid defense and the ability to score.  He has averaged 15 plus points per game each year and plays solid perimeter defense without fouling.  The Dragoons plan on him being with the team to open the new stadium.

There were discussions with Richard Hardee too.  He stated that he did not want to play in Canada.  Hitch needed to find a contract that worked for both the team and star.  Hardee agreed to a one year deal plus a player option.  Fort Worth obtained a five time All Star.  The Center average almost 30 minutes, 15 points and 9 rebounds per game.  He will be a big upgrade from last year.

His last contract was for 14 million a year in 2022, but he signed a contract for 16.8 million for two years.  Some owners feel Hitch over paid on both as Hardee wasn't getting many offers.  Motley had offers up to 17 million per year as there was a bidding war.  He failed to sign early and teams withdrew their offers as other players were signed. 

Jason Marshall was added for scoring and defense along the front line.  However, he will need to reduce his fouls per game to be effective. 

The nucleus is back from last year along with six drafted rookies.  The team will need some good training camps or fill up their bench with minimum vet contracts.  It is early but the line up should look as follows with 7 of the 9 players being home grown:

C     Hardee

PF    Budd     R Williams

SF    Baronowski    Lett

SG    Motley     Mathers

PG     Ibanez    Young

There are already 16 guys on the roster.  It is heaving with Centers and many will be cut.

Next week, we will speak to some of the new players as they arrive to town.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 00:37

Dragoons time for a move

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There have been rumors for years that Blake Cain wanted to move his team out of Fort Worth.  The market size is small and fan loyalty has been poor.  However, the city has a very high economy.

Cain is not all about winning, but like most owners he wants to make money.  The team has a nice stadium.  It has a capacity of 18013.  The Stable Center has 2130 club seats and 118 suite seats.  In 2020, the team had 96.6% capacity and had almost 700,000 in attendance. The stadium will soon be empty.

Cain had wanted to keep the team close.  There were reports last year that Cain was working with the city of Houston.  He was looking for a bigger market and to add to the fan base.  According to sources around the team, New Orleans was in consideration for a team.  The sources stated that Cain heard other owners were looking at that market.  He felt the city was not big enough for two teams.  Today, Cain announced a big move.

"Thank you all for coming today.  I would like to announce that we have an agreement in place to move the team to Toronto.  Construction is under way for our new stadium.  We have tried for several years to get an upgrade with city officials in Fort Worth.  We were not able to come to an agreement.  Last year, we tried a proposal in Houston to stay close to Fort Worth.  This would have allowed our great fans to continue to see the team.  The city declined our offer to pay almost half of a 385 million stadium.  Toronto officials heard we wore looking to move.  They came to us about bringing a team across the border.  It was an offer that I could not resist." the Dragoons owner stated.

It is not clear if Cain talked to the Toronto Huskies General Manager Jim Tessier or their owner Mr. Jackson.  Sources close to the organization say that the Cain could not even tell his own wife or staff until the deal was signed.  He was only able to talk to the lawyers.  Toronto has guaranteed revenue for sell outs for the first three years of the deal.  No one knows how this will be paid, but it will go into Cains pocket one way or another.  Can Toronto handle two teams? Will there be enough fans for both teams.  Will General Manager Hitch pull fans away from the Huskies who are in a 25 year old stadium?  Time will tell, but there may be a new rivalry brewing .

The stadium size is going to be the exact same.  However, the team is increasing club seats by a few hundred and adding about seven luxury seats.  The seats will be larger and new.  There were many seats in bad condition.  Instead of fixing them, the seats were not used.  With a new arena and new fans, the ticket prices should rise.  In addition, Cain has already signed a deal with Purina for naming rights.  As part of the deal, the team will change its name from the Dragoons to the Labradors or Labs. 

Early details from the Dragoons organization are as follows:

Stadium name Purina Dog Pen

 

Nick name will be Labradors (as in the dogs)

 

Capacity 18013

 

Club seats 2575

 

Luxury seats 125

 

Team logo and colors are pending. Discussion are around a yellow lab which may mean team colors of something with yellow.

 

team giving $240,000,032

 

city giving   $175,411,000

total cost    $ 415,411,200 

Sunday, 29 March 2020 20:08

Dragoons Digest

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The Dragoons are battling for the top pick in next years draft.  So, what happens?

Coach Kolby Kurzyna decided it was time to move his rookies down to the D league.  He wanted them to get more playing time and to see if they could work through some things.   At the same time, Griffen returned to the team at point guard.

So, this is what happens.  The guys playing are not giving up. The team won four of five.  Three of those wins were on the road where Fort Worth had not won a game all year.  Fort Worth still has the second worst record in the league.  Will the veterans cost the team a top pick?  Will General Manager Hitch force the coach to bring up the rookies and play them?

Currently, Young, Mathers and Ibanez are trying to help the Imperators get to the playoffs.  Hitch was some decisions to make in the next couple of days.

Sunday, 15 March 2020 20:24

Dragoons fans losing hope

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The Fort Worth Dragoons are at the bottom of the league in wins.  Season ticket holders had expected a playoff run, but instead are looking at at team heading for the lottery.

The staff continues to make roster and line up changes in hopes that wins may come.  The Dragoons are 5-5 in the last ten games.  Griffen has returned after a long injury recovery.  The team is at full strength, but it may be to late to make the playoffs.  "Only this staff can screw everything up.  First, they led us to believe this was a good team with talent to go into the playoffs.  Now, they have a chance to draft first and they decide to start winning," stated a long time season ticket holder.  "They can't even get assets for Motley, who is on an expiring contract. "

Hitch said earlier this year that his team is not in it to get a draft pick.  However, what is the point of winning if you can't make the playoffs or win if you do?

Tuesday, 25 February 2020 18:40

Dragoons' Hitch on the hot seat

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The Dragoons owner likes to make profits and is normally quiet.  When Blake Cain speaks, people listen. 

There are general managers in the league who believe it is in the best interest for the Dragoons General Manager to tank this season.  Cain has never been one to worry about winning or losing.  However, yesterday, he told the press that he is expecting improvements this season.  "I do not put up with players and coaches not giving their best.  These fans pay good money to come see our team play every night.  This team will not tank.  They will play hard and improve or changes will happen somewhere," the owner stated.

What does this mean for Hitch?  If the team tanks, they get a high draft pick.  This would enable the team to get one of the best college players in the draft.  This may also help the team in the long run, but fans may not come to games this year or buy season tickets next.  This means Hitch is in a no win situation one could say.  if he wins this year, the owner is happy.  The fans want a championship team and a team that can win each year.

Rumors are the Kevin became frantic after the statement.  He wants to keep his job but he also wants the city to have a team they can be proud of.  Other general managers have stated Hitch has been trying to improve his team but doesn't like the offers for Motley.  They also state Baranowski seems to be untouchable. 

After this statement by Cain,  Hitch seemed to have a problem with another general manager.  It appears he wanted to trade an injured Griffen to the Blaze.  Griffen is still on the injured list and has been for awhile.  Of course he would not pass a physical and the trade was vetoed.  League sources would not say who is involved in the trade. 

Is this a trade to please Cain now or to improve the team in the long run?  Is it possible for it to be both?

 

 

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