Sorry it’s a bit late, had a chance to sleep in and took it. Lots of stuff here, a few draft related queries left over because the workouts start Tuesday and I can see this evolving in a week full of draft stuff.
Q: Doug, I will be hugely disappointed in this organization if we don't end up with either Joey Dorsey or Richard Hendrix in this draft. With two mean, physical rebounding specialists available (according to the draft boards) at reasonable positions in the draft and the Raptors with such a glaring need for toughness, wouldn't you expect the Raps to try to obtain a late first-round or early second-round pick so they can grab one of them?
Mike D, Markham
A: Prepare to be hugely disappointed.
No, I wouldn’t expect the Raptors to add a late first-round pick because the guaranteed contract that includes will limit financial flexibility in the next three years. And if they get a second-round pick somehow, I’d expect it to be someone raw they could maybe stash in Europe.
Q: I was reading that the PBL, the Premier Basketball League is expanding to Toronto. The league us made up of franchises that basically seceded from the ABA.
I can see a D-League team keeping its head above the water in this market, if they have the NBA behind them. I know that supposedly there is an ABA team headed to Hamilton, a league where franchises are truly day-to-day.
My question is whether or not there is any market for minor league pro-basketball in the GTA?
Steve C, Hamilton
A: The Premier what? No, it will not fly, it won’t draw flies and if there’s an owner out there willing to lose all that money, I suggest he send it to me, it’ll go to better use.
And if that alleged ABA team ever plays a game in Hamilton, I will be shocked.
The D League team? Maybe one partially-owned by the Raptors will be something like a financial loss-leader and it’ll draw a few fans on a consistent basis. It still won’t make a profit.
The market is basically there for the Raptors to develop front-office talent, maybe stash a player or two and keep their eye on the minors without having to travel to Colorado to see their franchise play.
Q: What do you think of the new flopping fines going in effect next season? I imagine the first 1-2 years it will be hectic. Refs maybe unsure of when exactly to call it, and of course players arguing the call to death. Do you think it will eventually end the flopping era?
Amanda F, Barrie
A: It’s a valiant effort by the league to clean up one of its problems but I’m not sure it’s going to work. Sure, the guys who sit in the stands and monitor games can provide video of flops and the league will issue fines – I can’t imagine they’ll be huge ones – but I think it’ll be one of those things were it works well at the start before it backslides. It’s really, really subjective and that’s not going to sit well with players who pile up fines. Oh, and I can here the whining from players and their agents, too.
But it’ll be nice while it lasts ‘cause we all hate flopping.
Q: Two questions:
First, I'm trying NOT to be completely negative, but I see the Raptors improving as a team if they trade Bargnani and Ford for a few half filled Gatorade bottles. (preferably lemon-lime or rain, but I'd settle for anything.) My thoughts are this: they are good players on paper, but the inconsistencies are too much to take. As a team, give the minutes to Hump or Calderon, we'd be better off.
Second, we as fans see what we need to add to our team to improve. A rough, aggressive, slashing, rebounding machine, but is it possible to cut out the dead weight as a package to get someone while keeping our goods? I just don't want to get rid of Calderon or AP to get better, because in my opinion, BC would just be changing our weaknesses instead of correcting the one's we have.
Chris G, Barrie
A: Positively, Gatorade’s way better than a 22-year-old seven-footer or a point guard, you’re absolutely right. And when you’ve got Hump ahead of Bargnani, you need to check what they’re putting that Gatorade. I believe you’ll find vodka or some other stimulant.
And if you want to obtain something good in a trade, you have to give something good back. Unless you’re dealing with the financially-strapped Memphis Grizzlies, who traded Pau Gasol so they could lessen the long-term financial burden on whatever sucker buys that team, you aren’t packaging “dead weight” for “a rough, aggressive, slashing, rebounding machine.”
What you do, if you’re Toronto, is deal from your depth, which is the foursome of swingmen and the two starting-calibre point guards. Even if you suspect one is worth no more than a sports drink.
Q: In some circles, there is the belief that the NBA wants certain franchises to do well. It seems like in the last decade, San An has been a beneficiary of numerous calls and decisions. If Bruce Bowen is stepping underneath people, or bodychecking MVP point guards in a Pacers uni, isn't he instantly one of the league's most suspended goons
But after Game 4 it looks like the Spurs charms are lost on the NBA for a chance to get LA into the finals. Is that the common perception? I remember D-Wade getting all the "superstar" calls when he won his ring a couple of seasons back. How concerned is the league with their image of favouring certain players or teams?
Duane C, Toronto
A: Not as concerned as you think because they refuse to admit it’s a problem. And watching Bennett Salvatore make the absolute worst playoff call I’ve ever seen to take away a possible four-point play from Boston at a crucial point of Game 6 against Detroit (and killing all the conspiracy theorists who “knew” the league wanted Boston-LA) is case against the point.