Alex Radojevic and Oliver Miller and a summer of work
No news of note yesterday, that’s for sure; and I don’t imagine there’ll be much today.
The braintrust gathered, the braintrust talked and braintrust continues to hammer out different scenarios. It was that way yesterday, it’ll be that way today and I imagine it’ll be that way tomorrow and Thursday, too.
Wish there was more to offer, and I’m trying to find more, but the cone of silence is descending
Luckily, you have some wildly entertaining speculation to read here.
The proverbial elephant in the corner as we head in the final couple of days before the draft is not what the Raptors are going to do at No. 9 and certainly not if they’re going to buy themselves a second pick.
The big question, the one that will determine whether this summer is a success or not is this:
What are they going to do with Shawn Marion?
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|There's one major issue lurking in the background right now.|
The draft will yield a player no doubt, perhaps even a starter and certainly someone who can be in the rotation but the 31-year-old Marion is the guy on whom so much hinges. It’s not that he’s irreplaceable, it’s that he plays a position of weakness on the roster and he can’t just get away.
We all know the issue with Marion is going to be money. I think he was okay playing in Toronto, the season ended with some promise, but if the Raptors aren’t going to pony up enough cash to keep him happy, they have to find someone who will.
And that’s where Bryan’s summer gets exponentially more difficult.
I haven’t spoken to too many people to find out just what’s out there on the market in a possible sign-and-trade; I do know their favourite free-agent-to-be is Hedo Turkoglu but I don’t see a scenario in which they can get him.
At the very, very least, if they can’t get a deal done with Shawn (and my first offer is a three-year deal with a team option on a fourth that starts at about $7 or $7.5 million) they have to turn him into someone who can start in that small forward position.
So no matter what transpires on Thursday night, the real work of the summer is ahead.
All right, before there are more questions and concerns about Anthony Parker and the fact Olympiakos of the Greek league is supposedly interested in signing him to a deal.
That is not news. It is not even mildly surprising.
Parker’s still got game – as an NBA backup but as a EuroLeague stalwart, I believe – and the fact a top European team will come asking shouldn’t be at all eyebrow raising.
It might even be true.
But the Raptors knew that possibility was going to arise, they knew it before last season when there was some interest expressed in AP and they have to sit back and see how things develop.
They want him back, no question about that, but they are not about to get into a bidding war with a deep-pocketed European team.
It’ll be entirely up to Parker if the lifestyle in Europe is something he and his family wants to experience again.
I never thought Parker to be money-hungry and a guy who simply chased the biggest offer so I don’t think that’s going to be the determining factor.
But the offers will come, no doubt.
Big day at the Air Canada Centre today.
Bryan’s doing his Last Availability Before The Draft thingy this afternoon when we all get to hear what we’ve all been reporting for the past few days.
But at least we’ll get to hear him say that they’ve got their list narrowed to four or five or six, they aren’t entirely sure what’s going to go on ahead of them and, yes, they’ll be looking to acquire a second selection.
It’ll be up to us to find out some juicy news ahead of time to ask him about or some juicy news after that’ll make the stories a bit better than they might be.
Someone was asking me the other day about workouts and whether there were any really good Raptor workout stories and I have to tell you, searching the dark recesses of my mind, I really can’t come up with any spectacular ones.
Or even really good ones.
Aside from Sam Young impaling himself on the machine that measures vertical jumps this year – and that one might go down as the best ever – 1999 provided one glimpse at why individual workouts are, um, useless sometimes.
Armed with two picks – No. 5 and No. 12 – they knew they were going to trade the top pick for Antonio Davis but they were in a quandary at No. 12.
So they worked out a kid who killed a kid in the session and looked so good doing it they had to take a flier on him.
Yes, in a lot of ways just because Alexander Radojevic beat up Zeljko Rebraca in one of those pre-draft workouts did Toronto entirely wasted a late-lottery pick on a guy who had more surgeries than baskets in a short and non-illustrious NBA career.
Workouts? Sometimes they just don’t work out.
Oh you lucky, lucky readers.
Remember last summer, Beijing, the whole Olympics Doug Covers Other Silly Sports thing? Well, the Benevolent Bosses have asked me to spend at least part of the weekend chronicling the Canadian Track and Field championships at the U of T and, trust me, you don’t want to miss that.
And I’m thinking, I need to get over the fact I used to think the only thing more boring than track was field.
Please, tell me this story, kindly pointed out by Reader Jim yesterday, is a spoof?
Please tell me that.
Can I just say this about the draft on Thursday night since we’re all focusing on who they take and why.
I would consider it a failure if all they came away with at the No. 9 spot was a backup point guard.
Yes, this is a draft deep in them and there are some good ones. But the holes on this roster are many and they are at the two and three and using the top pick they’ve currently got on someone they know has no chance at starting seems, to me, to be a bad decision.
Of course, Bryan doesn’t usually ask my advice or seek my counsel but what the heck, I better offer it anyway.