How does it affect the Raptors? GM Rob Babcock just pulled the plug on his biggest signing of one year ago. His off-season prize, six-year Spanish pro Jose Calderon, and James vying for the starter's job at the point should be one of the bigger stories of this just-started training camp. And let's just say, right now, there is no favourite -- James has never been a consistent NBA starter, and Calderon is just getting his feet wet over here. (Other possible longshots are out of the question: Anything they get out of Alvin Williams is a bonus at this point, while Jalen Rose is not a point man and Robert Pack is, well, Robert Pack).
Last February, Houston acquired the 30-year-old James as they tooled for a playoff run behind Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. But in the first round, the Rockets lost in seven games to the Dallas Mavericks. Putting Alston into the backcourt in Houston makes the Rockets a lot more explosive -- in so many ways, including locker-room volatility. There just might not be enough balls to go around.
James is headed into the second year of a three-year, $10.2 million contract he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks a year ago. Undrafted by the NBA, he spent three seasons in Europe and one in the CBA before finally catching on for good with the Miami Heat in December of 2001.
Alston, meantime, is going into the second year of a six-year, $26 million deal he signed with the Raptors last year. He never fit well with Sam Mitchell, who is probably feeling pretty good about saying goodbye to this headache this afternoon -- until he starts wondering who will carry the mail at PG, that is.
What do you think?