Of mid-level exceptions and the worst trades ever
Deck’s looking better, if not great; grass a manageable length so we don’t find wayward sheep coming to graze and a nice piece of grilled Cajun catfish finished off a not bad day.
Oh, and the comments section over there sort of kept me in tune with what some of you were thinking, asking, commenting on. Nice way to stay in touch.
Okay, let’s get to this whole mid-level exception obsession that’s running rampant and throw cold water on any of the Corey Maggette, Mickeal Pietrus, Ron Artest, James Posey, I don’t know who else stuff that’s out there.
Every team that’s over the salary cap, as the Raptors are, can make use of the mid-level exception every season. If they want. So, yes, Toronto had it.
But here’s the deal: It’s an exception to the CAP, not to the TAX, which is a rather huge difference. And it turns the whole “use the mid-level to sign someone” argument moot.
Now, these are estimates, not absolutely correct but not far off, and it will show you why they are NOT going to use that money.
Right now, with 12 players under contract or about to be, the Raptors have right around $70 million committed. The CAP will be about $59 million and the TAX level is going to be about $71 million, maybe slightly more.
And Torontois NOT GOING TO SPEND OVER THAT. Not going to happen. Put it out of your mind.
So, with those numbers in mind, about the most they can offer to the 13th guy would be a veteran minimum contract, which runs from about $700,000 to about $1.2 million depending on how long the guy’s been in the league. And that’s exactly what they’re think they’re going to do at the moment.
So, please, no more Maggette, no more Pietrus, no more Artest, no more anyone of that ilk.
Well, that’s a tough one to answer because there are a lot of issues at play.
But, there were a handful of names floating around in conversations I had yesterday, mostly of guys who might fall through the free agent cracks this month and be looking for work in August at a minimum value deal.
Here’s four to kick around who fit the bill of combo guards who can make a shot or do something that might help steal a game or two in the season: Eddie House, Tony Allen, Roger Mason and, believe it or not, Juan Dixon. I’m sure there’s more out there but that’s a jumping off point.
I’m sitting there watching Canada play the Tall Blacks the other night in Hamilton, that’s the New Zealand basketball team and, let me tell you, the Tall Blacks aren’t the Tall Blacks without Sean Marks, if for no other reason that he once bought a round for a table of grunts at the finals one year after giving us the restaurant recommendation
Anyway, I digress.
So, I’m watching Canada-Tall Blacks and I’m thinking (a thought echoed by The First Lady Of The Beat earlier in the exhibition tournament) that we really need a nickname.
After all, you’ve got the likes of the Black Stars, the Indomitable Lions, the Canaries, the Boomers and a host of others. Team Canada? Borrrrrrring!
The Canadian Shield ? Nah, maybe not. The Maple Leafs? No, too trite. Prairie Oysters? Not so much. I dunno.
What do you think?
How much, I ask you, does the now-completed trade of Seattle for Oklahoma City suck?
That much. And more.
And it brings us to list time:
Four worst trades in NBA history
Vancouver for Memphis.
Let’s see, Stanley Park or Beale Street? The Pacific Ocean or the Mississippi? Duh!
Pau Gasol for, um, garbage
Maybe if Marc Gasol wins a ring before his brother does, this one moves down the list.
Oklahoma City for Seattle.
The Kells, Metropolitan Grill and Pike St.Market for, oh, I dunno, dust!
He Who Shall Not Be Name for a bunch of guys
This one hits close to home still, doesn’t it?
Of all the cockamamie, dopey, idiotic things I’ve heard this week, the whole notion of the Raptors playing a regular season game in Buffalo would top the list.
Exhibition games? Maybe. And, having seen 60 or so exhibition games over the years, they can play ‘em all in Buffalo for all I care.
Regular season? Not a chance.
Go back to saving the Bills.
Here’s three things to think about concerning the newly-constructed roster and “depth.”
It defines more clearly the role for Bargnani, who is now a backup four and five. No more questions about whether he should start or Rasho should, no more jerking him around and maybe that helps his confidence.
The swingman position has been narrowed. There were legitimate questions last year about whether Delfino should play more or Kapono should play more or Moon should play less or, yes, even whether Joey should get on the court. And we haven’t even touched on Juan Dixon. This way, there are three – Moon, Parker, Kapono -- with legitimate claims on playing time – and two – Graham and Adams – who can fight for a fourth position. But if they don’t do anything, there won’t be people saying they should get on the court.
The point guard position is settled.
You may not like the way things are shaking out because there is no question they didn’t address the lack of athleticism on the wing and that’s going to bite them in the ass more often than not, but that’s some of the logic behind the moves.
Matt Devlin probably gets announced as the new Raptor TV play-by-play guy today.
Don’t know much about him, actually. But he’s worked in Charlotte and around the league for quite some time.
A mailbag question:
Q: Maybe I missed it but I was wondering if the Raptors are planning on having a summer league team this year?
Derik F, Moncton
A: Oh, yeah, they sure are. In Vegas and here’s the schedule: July 12 vs. Sacramento, July 14 vs. Denver, July 17 vs. Philadelphia, July 18 vs. L.A. Lakers, July 19 vs. Golden State.
Over in Spain, the national team’s getting ready for the Olympics already, minus one of its top players. For now.
Jose’s sitting out camp until after he signs a new deal with the Raptors next week. He’s training on his own because it doesn’t make sense to go to camp without the security of a newly-signed deal.
You’ve probably noticed a dearth of mail in here. Lots of questions were of the “why don’t they sign this un-signable player” so I sort of glossed over them. But we need some legit queries for the mail bag tomorrow, don’t forget.
Speaking of tomorrow, it’s the first time in like half a decade that the national team’s playing in Toronto. Ricoh Coliseum, 7 p.m. Oh, and the junior team’s playing a collection of area college kids at 4 if you want to get there extra early and that wouldn’t be a bad idea.