A weird night of nothing, really
What a surreal night.
We’re in the media room and everyone knows what’s happened, we all know Bryan can’t talk about O’Neal, there’s no sense in him talking about Hibbert and even the 41st pick, as relatively inconsequential as it is, can’t evoke an official comment.
So what’s a group of grunts to do? Well, sit around and mock the draft TV coverage among other things.
Oh, and come up with little tidbits to put in here.
(If you came looking for the regular Friday mailbag, you’ll have to wait a day; seems it’s an irregular Friday Or Saturday Depending On The News And Doug’s Mood mailbag now)
Had chats with a couple of Raptor coaches yesterday, trying to figure out what they think of the big deal and what they were doing to figure out how to use Bosh and O’Neal together.
Reaction was overwhelmingly positive (yeah, that’s a huge surprise) but mostly because of what O’Neal might do defensively.
Now, when some flat-footed wing guy gives up one of his many blow-bys, they think at least there’s a big, ornery fellow waiting in the paint. Rasho, for all his good things, was not big and ornery and I’m pretty sure Andrea couldn’t find big and ornery with a search warrant.
O’Neal at one time was a pretty good defender, even excellent at times, and if he’s at either of those levels this time around, that’s the huge plus of the deal.
Well, and take this not as a true comparison but just as an example, the staff’s going back to look at vintage video of how San Antonio used Duncan and Robinson together. Not saying Bosh and O’Neal are at that level, not a chance, but as a way to figure out some plays, that’s a pretty good duo and a pretty good coaching staff to mimic.
Yes, there was a Gerald Wallace deal in play that never materialized because the Bobcats wouldn’t throw in another draft pick.
Wallace is intriguing, no doubt, but there are concussion issues, he’s not a particularly good jump shooter and he really doesn’t get to the free throw line all that much.
His money? Deal’s cheaper but longer than O’Neal’s.
I don’t know what I would have done had the two deals been actually on the table at the same time. Might have done Wallace and kept No. 17 but look who was there? A bunch of long-term projects. I dunno. Would have been a tough call.
Wallace doesn’t address rebounding and defensive needs, doesn’t provide the cap flexibility soon, and there are those on the staff who think he’s actually a four in a three’s body.
Anyway, it’s all water under the bridge now, they did what they did with what was actually available.
You watch that on TV last night?
What in the world is up with Jay Bilas and his fascination with “wing span?”
I swear, every kid had an extra forearm or another elbow or something.
Check out this Jermaine O’Neal quote from the interviews he did yesterday.
"You’re talking about a team that’s extremely athletic, extremely big at the wing positions, and they play defence.”
Guess he didn’t spend a lot of his downtime last season actually, you know, watching Raptor games.
The talking TV heads – and I really like Jeff Van Gundy – were prattling on about the odd hiring of Vinny Del Negro in Chicago and Mark Jackson lauds it because the Bulls “went outside the box” to hire a coach with absolutely no experience.
Since Mark wants some team to do exactly that with him, maybe he should put that clip in his video resume.
Don’t for a minute think the Raptors haven’t been keeping a close tab on him.
They sent Keith D’Amelia, the team’s strength and conditioning coach over to Italy to work him out, test him and make sure he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing. They tell me he is.
Oh, and he’s going to the big man camp in Vegas in late July to continue his off-season work.
A dip into the mailbag:
Q: Doug, help me out with this: Why is everyone presuming that Delfino is gone this off-season? It seems that an athletic 2/3 with what will likely be a reasonable price tag is something we'd want to hold onto. Am I missing something? I know he's up and down, but c'mon! I think he's earned a new deal. Can you shed some light on this?
Mike K, Toronto
A: It’s a combination of two things that I imagine will drive Carlos out.
One is money, there just isn’t an awful lot to go around and the bottom three or four roster spots are going to be filled with low wage-earners.
The second is the fact there was a glut, or logjam, at the two-three spot last year and this is one way to clear it up. The rotation needs to be tightened and defined in some sort of swingman cull and this is one of the ways to do it.
Now, if he wants to come back for the minimum and they can move Joey somewhere, then I can see it happening. But neither of those things is likely to occur.
Free agency’s next but anyone thinking the Raptors are going to make a big splash is likely going to be sorely disappointed.
Even a little ripple might be asking a bit.
Once they do Jose’s deal, they’ll have 10 guys under contract and will have very little money to spend. Without knowing the cap number, tax level or Jose’s number, it’s impossible to tell with any certainty but I’m guessing they’ll have around $5 million to spend on two point guards and another player and that’s not going to yield a star, that’s for sure.
My best guess: They do Roko Ukic, another point guard (I know there’s been some sniffing around Jason Hart) and then a young swingman in the Moon mode. If there’s money left, then they’ll go look for another big.
Anyway, that’s all to be determined over the weekend and into the first of next week.
Which, of course, will give me something to do while it rains all freaking weekend.