This, that and the other things
Big day yesterday, no?
Workout in the morning, new guy in the afternoon, qualifying offer in the evening.
Gotta love the off-season.
Anyway, we’re a week and a day out from the draft, a couple of weeks away from the start of free agency and I’ve got a feeling things are going to get busier before they get quieter.
And then, maybe, we can have summer?
Until then …
I’ve been through enough of these new guy media sessions – with the “all I want to do is come in and help” chatter with a couple of “yeah, it’s a good team, we’re going to do well” comments thrown in along with an “it all starts on the defensive end” to end the cliché-fest – that my eyes generally glaze over the minute the guy starts talking.
But there was something about Reggie Evans that seemed different.
When the guy started talking, you believed him; he really doesn’t give a crap about anything other than doing his job and doing it well and his job is, simply, the dirty work.
And you people are going to love him.
Oh, and all this stuff that he’s Charles Oakley?
“That’s a first. I’ve got a lot of respect for his game, Charles Oakley was real good. I looked at him a lot playing, especially in the playoffs … Comparison wise? I don’t know because he had a jumper, he could shoot a 17-foot jumper, 15-17 feet, so you couldn’t really leave Oakley open so I can’t really compare.”
|THE CANADIAN PRESS|
|Delfino offer could be the start of a busy stretch for the Raptors.|
What do we make of this news that the Raptors have extended a qualifying offer to Carlos Delfino?
No news there.
Given what their options were – renounce everyone, get space, hope to get a significant free agent – deciding to kind of stay the course makes by far the most sense to me.
It doesn’t mean that they are going to do nothing, though.
The option still exists to sign-and-trade Shawn Marion and they will have the mid-level exception to offer someone. And judging by the economic climate out there and the number of teams with cap space, I think there are going to be some bargains to be had.
And, just from listening to people around the gym and in private conversations I’ve had with people tuned in, I have no doubt that Bryan’s got a few things simmering.
Now, whether any of them get pulled off or not, I can’t tell you.
But the sense I’m getting from talking to people is that there is going to be more action than you’d think in the next month or so.
So, DeMar DeRozan is gracing the Raptors with his presence today – to work out on his own.
I bet he looks great making shots against no defenders and I’m pretty sure he kicks the crap out of the pylons and chairs in one-on-ones.
As one Raptor type said to me the other day: “I don’t know what we’re going to see that we didn’t see in Chicago.”
I guess the chance to talk to him over dinner or lunch and a chance for the coaches to get a shot at him on the court is something. But it’s not a lot.
As we were standing on the baseline of the practice gym yesterday watching the end of Gerald Henderson and some other inconsequential guys work out, who comes wandering in but Patrick O’Bryant and Quincy Douby.
And after we got done chatting with Henderson – and if I had my druthers they’d draft him just because he’s a good interview – down the other end of the floor, what do we see but Marc Iavaroni, Alex English, Alvin Williams, Eric Hughes and Micah Nori putting them through their paces.
The best drill?
Iavaroni and English, with those big arm pads on you see worn by dog trainers or lion tamers, smacking the hell out of O’Bryant as the rail-thin centre took entry passes in the post.
Toughness is not an attribute usually associated with Patrick; if the Raptors can instill some maybe he becomes something more than a 13th man on a 15-man roster.
So why like the Henderson kid so much?
Well, here’s one: We asked him about his “stock” and where he might fit in this draft:
“Stock? It’s a mythical thing. It’s not something real. That’s how I look at it. You just prepare for each workout and try your hardest. You see what happens after.
“Really, when it comes down to it, it’s about how each team feels about you, not how people are talking about you or what kind of player people will think you will be or stuff like that.”
I like that kind of answer; sort of goes to how I feel about this whole draft process.
Jim Kelly on the vagaries of this draft, which is more complicated to figure out than any I can remember for a long time:
“There’s some movement up there. I think there are some picks up there for sale. Rumours are rumours but you hear Washington has a very young team, they might decide, like they have done in the past, to do something else with their pick. If somebody else moves into that slot, you have no idea what they would want in the draft.
"I do think it’s the type of draft where there are some movement possibilities up in the top and spots away from us. You might have a course where you think you know where everyone is and then on draft day, a complete surprise is there.”
Another interested observer at the workout yesterday, a familiar face that should make fans of Canada’s national basketball programs feel pretty good.
Steve Konchalski’s in town as part of his gig on that solid Council of Elders thing Wayne Parrish has put together to assist the national team programs and Steve’s going to be hanging around Greg Francis and the Under-19 team that starts work Saturday in preparation for next month’s world championships in New Zealand.
Steve’s going to travel to the tournament with the team as some kind of adviser, which can do nothing but help Francis and his assistant Peter Guarasci.