|RICK MADONIK/TORONTO STAR|
|Not everyone will be back after the free agents fall.|
I’m not sure, actually. I know it’ll be a late one in case we find out some things right after midnight tonight but the people I talked to around league and Raptorland yesterday made it sound like nothing was going to happen with these guys at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow.
That said, things have a tendency to come together quickly in free agency, one signing happens (or one agreement is reached might be a better way to put it) and other stuff can fall into place rapidly.
As one guy put it to me yesterday afternoon, concerning the Raptors and the league:
“There are so many different balls up in the air right now, it’s hard to guess what’s going to happen.”
He probably should have added, “or when it might happen.”
Anyway, looks like we’re in for a bit of a long day.
Marion, of course, is the first.
Here’s what I know, or at least what I’ve heard from people who are paid to know these things.
As they’ve been saying all along, they’d like to get him back at a reasonable number over a few years or, as I suggested yesterday, they might try (futilely, I imagine) to get him on a big-bucks one year deal.
About “four or five” teams have expressed some interest in exploring sign and trades if there’s no deal to be done here.
The only names being speculated on – and it’s true speculation right now – are Dallas and New Orleans but they are very cursory talks and nothing is, or was, too serious. And, sadly, no names at the moment. And, as I mentioned the other day, I’m virtually certain Bryan will – and should – call Orlando to see if there’s a Turkoglu deal to be done.
I would think he should call Houston, he should call Utah and probably Sacramento to see if there’s a deal to be done. Chicago’s loaded and while there may not be a fit there, it’s at least worth a cold call to see what the Bulls might be thinking.
I do know from various people that if you’re looking at Portland, there is no interest there in dealing away the one guy who might fit, Travis Outlaw. So let’s put that one out of mind at the moment.
But, as you should realize by now, some people keep things very close to the vest until they’re actually done or imminent so ferreting out information long before something happens is uber-difficult.
We’ll try, though.
Now, before anyone rushes out and buys replica No. 44 The Legend jerseys, please consider this:
The offer sheet to Pops Mensah-Bonsu yesterday meant nothing. The offer is entirely non-guaranteed, it doesn’t mean they are dead set in bringing him back but he’s like an insurance policy in case something else goes down.
Because it’s not at all guaranteed (worth a little bit more than $1 million), no one in the organization thinks he’ll sign it because if he does and something else comes up, all they’ll do is waive him and have faced no risk.
On the other hand, we have our friend Mr. Graham.
If they had extended a qualifying offer to him, it would have had to have been worth about $3.5 million, it would have been fully guaranteed (under rules pertaining to qualifying offers) and, as one guy with a brain said last night:
“If he gets an offer for $3.5 million guaranteed, he’d sign it in about 10 seconds.”
Now, Joey may get some offers out there in the league (although I bet he’s a late-July, early-August signing after all the big moves are made) but I also can’t fathom it being for that much money.
And, this way, the Raptors don’t have that money tied up in a guy they can get -- if not him, a cheaper facsimile – any time this summer.
Got your BayHawks jersey yet?
Yes, the new D League affiliations are out and the Raptors are now hooked up with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Erie BayHawks.
It doesn’t mean much except that travel costs are down significantly from last year when they were hooked up with the Idaho Stampedes.
And I will say this, I may never have been in Boise but I have been in Erie and the Raptor sure didn’t upgrade the scenic nature of their affiliation.
The Raptors haven’t finalized their summer league roster yet – I know they expect DeRozan, Jawai, Ukic, Douby and O’Bryant there from list of returning players – but I will tell you this:
They want Marcus Banks to play and the last time I spoke to anyone with power in the organization, the request was being greeted with resistance.
I imagine Banks, with six years in the league, might think he’s above playing in the summer league, which is absolutely the wrong thing to think.
Here’s a kid who’s played about 1,200 regular season minutes over the last three years (my abacus says that’s the equivalent of about 25 48-minute games) and a kid who needs to show a little bit of what he can do, even under messy summer league conditions.
Not only that, if Banks wants to have a chance to earn some time with the Raptors – or even show 29 other GMs that he’s got some game – it’s imperative he plays.
Stay tuned on this one, because if he ultimately bails, I can’t imagine it’s going to make his bosses happy.
From Digression World, we offer this:
Remember the Marathon of Golf thingy way back when, the 100 holes in a day charity fund-raiser for the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association?
Well, got a note that says the final tally was about $43,000 raised and I know that some of you had something to do with that.
Again, thanks. Very much.
You know who I’m not sure I want to be?
Now, I like Hump and think he’s got some promise but I can be pretty certain in saying that if Bryan’s out there trying to make multi-player trades, one of the guys he’ll offer in a package and one of the guys other teams might look at is Hump.
He’s 24, shows some promise some time, has a very manageable contract ($2.9 million this year, $3.2 million in 2010-11) and if there’s a chance to make some that might include a big man coming back along with something else, Hump’s got some value.