A quiet night in Raptorland; hope the day turns out to be eventful
Well, I wish I had some huge news for you but, as expected, there was hardly a flurry of activity over night.
Especially in Toronto.
A few phone calls, more exploratory than anything, greeted the start of the free agency negotiation period and they’re keeping a tight lid on even who they might be interested in down at that Bay Street Ivory Tower.
About the only nugget I got yesterday was this, from someone who’s tuned in:
“Bryan’s really trying to be creative”
I take that to mean if he’s not getting the right vibes for Marion and his people about the money or length of a new deal, he’s out trying to find some good fit for all concerned.
And I know Hedo Turkoglu seems destined to go to Portland but I also know the Raptors are giving it their best to see what they can do, either using Marion as a chip or in some other “creative” way.
Other than that, though, I don’t hear a lot of rumblings, which means we’ll all be surprised when something goes down, I just hope we get surprised by reading about it here first.
I have no doubt that things might move a bit more slowly this year than in previous years, money’s tight and I bet teams are waiting to see what kind of bargains are out there.
What I presume is going to happen – because it’s happened in the past here – is that we’ll get a call from someone who knows what’s going on telling us to call this or that agent and we’ll find out the Raptors have come to some agreement with some free agent.
What that’ll be is the big question.
And, sadly, I don’t have a list of names at the moment.
I did run this by someone who’s in touch with the goings on in Toronto: With the dearth of small forwards on the roster, I figured a three would be a prime target, either through Marion’s departure or a mid-level signing.
The response I got:
“Don’t rule anything out.”
So, could they move one of their bigs (Hi, Hump!) in some package for another big? Or would they be looking this route to get a backup for Jose?
One name I keep hearing, and have heard for months, is Marco Bellinelli in Golden State.
He’s got a really cheap contract, $1.5 million this coming season, $2.3 million the year after, and he’s been in Bryan’s mind for a while.
They can’t just sign him, this would be outside the free agency period, but if there’s a bigger deal to be made with the Warriors, he’d be in it for sure. And seeing how the Phoenix-Golden State Amare Stoudemire deal seems as good as dead, I bet Toronto’s made another call to Nellie and Larry Riley.
Oh yeah, all you fans of Giorgos Printezis – and by that I mean all you who think he’d be a great fit here without, you know, having seen him play in person or more than once or twice – have another year to wait to see if he’s got any game at all.
I don’t know if he does or not but I do know there are those in the Raptors camp who don’t think he’s quite good enough right now to even make a team, let alone make a contribution.
Reports out of Greece say the small forward has signed a three-year deal with Malaga of the Spanish League (and we all know the greatest export Malaga ever made, right?) and that kind of seals Printezis’s fate for at least one more season, perhaps longer when we find out what the buyout might be.
The Raptors? I’ve got a feeling they’re quite all right with this.
Printezis is raw, he had an okay season in Greece last year – hardly the kind that would make you believe he’s a can’t-miss NBA prospect – and another year of seasoning can’t hurt.
There is no doubt that he and his agent used the supposed “offer” from the Raptors as some kind of leverage to get a European deal because, and I have this on pretty high authority, Toronto really didn’t want to bring him over this season.
And now they won’t.
And I bet as his season progresses, he becomes even better in the eyes of fans over here.
Big goings on in New Zealand starting tomorrow. And it might mean some late nights or early mornings over here.
The world Under-19 championships begin – Canada’s in a first-round group with Australia, Spain and Syria – and the team Canada Basketball sent over isn’t too shabby at all.
Names you’ll come to know: Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, who figure to be the team’s leading scorers, and Kelly Olynyk, who was the MVP: of a tournament the team won in France last month.
Because of the goofy time change – and I renew my suggestion that the whole world operate on the time zone in which I live – this is where you’ll find out best who won and why.
You know, I have a lot of respect for Doc Rivers and I presume this was done over his head but for the Celtics to not make a qualifying offer to Leon Powe just sucks. Huge.
Powe, as you recall, blew out his knee in the playoffs last year, after being so valuable to Boston when KG was out.
Powe made a paltry $797,581 last season and to qualify him would have cost just over $1 million, which truly is chump change. It would have sent a message that the team he’d given his all to cared a little bit about the health of one of their key players.
I know pro sports can be a ruthless business and teams can spend money any way they like but not giving Powe one season worth of piece of mind was a classless, boorish move by an organization that should be better than that.
Well, Mike Curry sure didn’t last long in Detroit, did he?
A one and done year for the guy who was supposedly one of the good young coaches in the league?
Didn’t see that coming and few did. The timing? Odd, given that they could have whacked him right after the season but I wonder if the availability of a replacement might not have had something to do with when Curry got fired.
I’m hearing all over the place that the job is Doug Collins’s to turn down and it’s quite possible it took Collins until this week to decide whether or not he really wanted to coach again.
Now, I know Curry didn’t really distinguish himself in his first year, he had issues with Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton and the Pistons were a mess at times but at what point do we start casting glances at Joe Dumars.
He made the disastrous Iverson for Billups trade, he’s the guy who put so much stock in Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson, he’s the guy who constructed what’s really only a so-so roster at the moment.
Mike Curry was the fall guy.