Hey folks, here is this week’s mail offering. Hopefully it gets you through until Sunday night, when we’ll be back for the in-game blog just before 8 p.m.
Nothing tomorrow morning, I believe sleeping in will be a very good idea. The Raptors brass is in Jersey seeing gang workouts (not of anyone with a legitimate chance at being No. 9 I was told) so there’s nothing cooking there and the Finals are quiet and I’ve got nothing to add out or Orlando.
So digest this and tell your friends and family to join us Sunday, might be the last game we get to see.
Q: Hey Doug, who do I need to lobby to get the Raps to come to Halifax for an exhibition game? (And please send their email addresses.) What factors go into the decision making? How far in advance are these decisions made? Halifax is a wonderful basketball town and the Metro Centre would be a sellout. The Raptors came before their first season but that now seems like light years ago.
Phyllis P, Broad Cove, N.S.
A: Believe me, if I had my way, we’d not only be there for an exhibition game but for training camp, too. Great city, nice arena, excellent people. But, alas, they set their schedules up so far in advance, you’d have to start lobbying now for 2010 and I’m not exactly sure who you’d be best to pester. I’d just go to the website, find a contact here and inundate them with your suggestion. Eventually, I’d hope they take it.
Q: A question about 20 million dollar men. If that is the max a team can give (either as current team or sign and trade), which players are actually worth it? Lebron, Wade, Paul, yes. (Kobe already has it for now.) Is Bosh worth 20 of 58/71 (however the caps work?) Play GM for us, how do you build a team when a player accounts for that percentage of your spending limits.
Bruce M, Winnipeg
A: No player is “worth it” by any stretch of the imagination. But your $20 million man is a bit of a stretch since there are, by my count, eight in the entire league and they are all on – or close to – the final year of maximum value contracts they signed years and years ago.
Under CBA rules, the most any player can now make, to start a contract, is 30 per cent of the cap. If, as expected, it’s around $53 million next season (give or take a million) that’s a starting deal of about $16 million a season. And it’ll take three or four seasons, with maximum allowable raises, for anyone to get to $20 million.
And, yes, if you find bargains in other spots, or are willing to go above the tax level, spending 30 per cent of the cap on one guy doesn’t preclude building a good team.
Q: Hey Doug, not that the draft is approaching. Raps have a decision to make who’s their guy. I heard in an interview that it's hard to get DeMar DeRozan to come here? He might come but it's unlikely he'll be ready to run drills. Have you heard anything on that? And how big of a role do agents play in determining weather a player should workout for a team or not. I saw four drafts all picking DeRozan to the Raptors. I’m confused, especially if he's our guy at 9 and we desperately need a wing, can you please elaborate on this issue?
Spirow B, Toronto
A: Heard anything? I wrote it. But, not to worry, the Raptors have seen DeRozan work out and if that’s the guy they get – and he’s just one on a list of possibilities – they won’t be going into it blindly.
Agents? They play a huge role on who works out where. Sadly.
Q: In a previous column you mentioned that if the Raptors renounce all their free agents they would have $8.9 million to spend in 09/10.In 08/09 the Raptor salaries were $72 million including Marion, Parker, Graham, Kapono, Garbo etc. Exclude salaries from above and include R.Evans & salaries committed would amount to $44.5 million. Would they not have considerably more money to spend on free agents than $8.9M?
Steve T, Fredericton
A: Here we go again. The CAP level will be, under current estimates, somewhere below $54 million (and it will not be determined until early July) so the $8.9 is about right.
Q: Hi Doug! With the trade of Jason Kapono to the Sixers for Reggie Evans and with Alvin Williams close to joining the coaching staff, do you think we have a chance and interest (from the management)to sign Morris Peterson and Rasho Nesterovic as bench players? Thank you and keep up the awesome work of yours.
Don F, Scarborough
A: I know they have a big interest in bringing Rasho back, if they can make the numbers work, but there is absolutely no interest whatsoever in Mo. That is a non-starter.
Q: Another paper reporting that the Raps 2nd round pick from Greece is coming over next year -- True?
Jeff G, Vancouver
A: No. False. Very false. According to people in the Raptors organization, he is not nearly ready for the NBA and, if the information I’m hearing from both sides of the ocean is correct, his agent is using the Raptors as leverage to get a better deal in Greece.