Now the off-season's really here
Okay, now what?
No trade speculation, legit or otherwise. No free agent chatter, legit or otherwise. No nothing. What’s a guy to do? And what’s a group of rather faithful readers to do?
Guess we’ll just figure something out and go plodding along. After all, I’m sure you’ve got questions, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got answers and looking at the comments I haven’t had a chance to publish yet (they’ll be up right after this) you’ve got opinions.
And, of course, I’ve got all of Beijing to worry about and I hope you all noticed my women’s football team stomped the Singapores in their final pre-Olympic friendly (you did notice, right?).
So I’m guessing there’ll be enough to sustain us until September, when it’s going to get really, really slow.
On with today’s stuff …
I have to admit, the signing caught me a bit by surprise (kudos to Israel’s Eran, usual chronicler of all things P.J. Tucker, for tipping me off) but when you sit back and look at it, it makes a bit of sense.
There was really no one over here who was overwhelming, a couple of guys might have fit but that’s about it. And getting a 30-year-old who’s probably happy to be back in North America doesn’t hurt. Sure worked out okay with AP, not that Solomon is going to have nearly the same responsibility but it’s something to take into account.
What’s his role?
Well, he’s going to be given a chance to compete with Roko for that backup point guard position but right now, it’s Ukic’s to lose. And I don’t presume he will, from what people tell me about his game.
I know Solomon does come with the Sam Stamp Of Approval, having met with the coach last week just to make sure they were on the same page and could co-exist.
That’s a key because one of the knocks on Solomon over in Europe was that he had a tendency to get a bit out of control, trying to do too much. I’m pretty sure Sam would have laid it out in pretty plain terms – you’re here to be a part of the team, not the dominant member of it.
How’d they find him?
Bryan was at a game in Turkey, watching Omer Asik (a second round Portland pick) when Solomon killed Tau Ceramica in the same game. Bryan kept Solomon’s name in mind and when it came time to find that combo guard, the memory of that game came flooding back.
Goes to show you, you make all these long goofy scouting trips and who knows what might come up. The guy you want, you can’t get; the guy you need falls into your lap.
Here’s one from the mail:
Q: Hey Doug, I have a bone with the Raptors and I'm just sending it to you because. The Raptors are constantly trying to tell us they are Canada's team and yet, you can't even pick them up on the radio as far away as Waterloo? It just seems a ridiculous way to engage the region.
Kim A, Toronto
A: That is a tad ridiculous, I think it’s time they tried harder to expand their radio network. I don’t know if they can but for the people over at Maple Leaf Sports who are reading this (and you know who you are, with the daily clips on your desks), see what you can do to help Kim out, would you?
Oh, if you were wondering why they didn’t give John Lucas a look at camp, here’s the assessment from a guy I trust who saw all five summer league games:
“He’s T.J. without the talent.”
Which means small, fast, can’t make a shot or a play.
A couple of cranky-pants over in the comments section seemed to think I was taking some veiled shot at Nathan Jawai yesterday by busting on him for calling in sick for the Dance Pak (oops, Irish Spring Dance Pak) auditions.
It was a joke, people. Chill.
Nothing nefarious behind it. A wee shot at the new kid for calling in sick. That’s it.
Kwame Brown to Detroit? Good luck, Mike Curry.
Of all the under-achieving draft stiffs of the last few years, he’d be right near the top of the list. Maybe being with a bunch of old heads like McDyess and Rasheed (if he doesn’t get traded) will teach Brown a few things but I’m skeptical.
Been a pretty underwhelming summer for the Pistons, no? Joe Dumars, who would be in the discussion of best GMs in the league, sounded like he was bent on blowing things up after they bowed to the Celtics. So far? Nada.
Here’s one that touches on a couple of different subjects:
Q: Doug I was wondering if you can shed some light on whether we might see more of the Raptors on any of the national broadcasts this upcoming season. I would think that with the addition of O'Neil and the continued rise in popularity of Blaine Harrington (aka Chris Bosh) that the NBA might want to feature our beloved heroes of the hardcourt a little more now than in past seasons.
Have you heard any rumblings about this? What are your thoughts? Do you think the Raptors as currently constructed could be a draw for viewers in prime time ABC Sunday matchups...perhaps against a newly constructed Sixers team?
Steve H, Mississauga
A: I presume you mean American national broadcasts, right?
The schedule should come out next week (they were tweaking it late ‘cause of the Seattle-Oklahoma City move) and I really haven’t heard anything about it.
I would imagine, though, that these guys will get at least a sniff of a Thursday TNT game and I’m sure they’ll get a Friday night ESPN date but I don’t know about Sunday afternoons. I’d presume it’d be like last year, they’d have a chance to get moved to a Sunday afternoon date late in the season (like they did for the game in Detroit last March, I believe it was).
But I do know people in the broadcast group down in the Ivory Tower in New York know about the Raptors and see it as a team with some potential and some interest.