And you thought I'd forgotten about you
|STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR|
|Georgia Tech teammates come together again in Toronto.|
Well, being refreshed after a week of deck washing and weed pulling, ball games and barbecue hosting, looks like there’ll be some basketball work in the next little while.
Which is good for basketball writers but it might also mean I’ll miss a day or two in my next gig: Golf scribe.
Yep, the weekly foray to the Canadian Open begins today; not sure how we’re going to cover it or what makes it into this space each morning but it should be a hoot. I seem to know there’s a difference between a niblick and V-grooved gap wedge, let’s see what else we can come up with.
But first, the hoops …
My man Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star got in touch with Jarrett Jack late last night for this story that says the deal’s done and it seems I’ll have a news conference to attend tomorrow.
I don’t think anyone’s the least bit surprised that Indiana isn’t going to match the offer, there are some financial issues at play with the Pacers that made it a virtual impossibility for them to pony up that kind of cash for Jack.
This was a pretty good move by Bryan Colangelo, no question. M. Grange ™ and I were discussing this while pretending to be baseball writers on Sunday night and it’s the kind of relatively quiet signing that could have a major impact on how the team does next season.
Jack’s big, tough, and – according to everyone I’ve talked to in Indy and Vegas last week – more than okay with the role that’s laid out for him here.
He’ll back up Jose, play some two, not complain and work hard.
Well, according to everyone I talked to last week, Carlos Delfino and Rasho remain very much in play and I have a feeling that both situations – or at least both roster spots – will be taken care of in the next week.
And then what are we going to do? Loaf all of August? Sounds good to me.
Okay, let’s for the sake of argument say the Raptors and Delfino can’t come to terms on a new contract, or that Toronto changes its mind and thinks having him might be too much duplication in the two-three spot.
Well, here’s one to put entirely out of your mind:
Just because there are suggestions – legitimate according to sources I’ve talked to – that the money is somewhere north of $4 million per, it doesn’t mean they’ll have the same money to spend on someone else if Delfino falls through.
Can’t happen. Won’t happen. The only reason Toronto can offer that kind of cash to Delfino is because he is their own free agent; and because they’ve tied up almost all, if not all, of the $5.9 million mid-level exception on Jack (and we haven’t found on the absolute particulars on the contract but it’s close to that number) they have no more money to spend.
What they will have is the so-called Biannual Exception (which starts at about $1.9 million) and veteran minimum contracts to offer.
They could, I guess, do some kind of sign-and-trade for Delfino but, trust me, every source I’ve spoken to thinks it’s virtually impossible that any other team wants to throw that kind of money at him.
You watch those contrived in-house ad ESPY awards last night?
You’d think Michael Phelps could have worn a tie, no?
Maybe he traded it for some munchies back stage or something.
What I find really interesting is that there seems to be a lot of questions right now on who’ll be in the starting lineup around Halloween when the ’09-10 season gets under way.
Antoine Wright? DeMar DeRozan? Carlos Delfino?
How about we do this: We worry about that once (a) the team has had a chance to, you know, get on the court together; and (b) everyone’s signed that’s going to be signed.
Suffice it to say that Calderon, Turkoglu, Bosh and Bargnani are locks; the other spot will likely depend on who looks best with who on the court, something we’re not going to find out until October.
We know DeRozan is going to play and I presume Wright gets some time, too. (Check the last post, a 10-man regular rotation includes the four dead-bolt starters, Jack, Evans, a backup centre, a backup three and one of Wright or DeRozan).
But who’s on the court to start opening night is not going to become clear for months.
This just in:
People were impressed with DeRozan last week in Vegas, Douby did all right making decisions with the ball, Ukic was just okay and the Raptors won three of five games.
Now, please forget that summer league ever happened.
So I’m a Seamhead on Friday night, filling in for our baseball triumvirate who were off doing more important things, I guess.
I go to the dugout before the game and interview Cito Gaston.
We go up for dinner and say hello to Pat Gillick and Gord Ash, who are dining at a table across the room.
And I’m thinking: Yeah, this is Flashback Friday for sure.
Made a guy feel like it was ’93 all over again and I was just a pup starting out in the bigs.
I believe there were quite a few moments last season when I got letters or comments from fans killing the Raptors for the lack of productivity from their starting wings.
Now Cleveland’s got AP and has signed Jamario Moon to an offer sheet.
What’s it all about, Alfie?
I know, I know, I know.
I’m a crotchety old codger who doesn’t quite get things.
But I’m going to say this: The passing of Walter Cronkite on Friday was every bit as significant to the world as any in the last month – and, yes, I’m talking about that crooner out in L.A.
Of course, people won’t be clamouring for tickets to this memorial but people of a certain age – like, say, my age – grew up with Walter giving us all the news. I remember the day Kennedy was shot, and being sent home from kindergarten to watch Cronkite; it was his reporting of bodies returning from Viet Nam that lend a certain credence to the anti-war movement in the United States, a movement that created a societal sea change. He was there talking to us when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon 40 years ago today.
Cronkite’s impact on the world as we know it was hugely significant; you kids should go read more about him today.