Back at it after a day to taking a breath
I figured as much.
Was nice to take a full Sunday and do very little except glance at the comments a couple of times. Some family time, some laying on the couch time, some long-neglected outside work time.
I did try to put together a mailbag but almost every question was ‘Why don’t they get this guy? What do you think of that guy? Hedo is the best/worst thing ever, agree?’ And, frankly, they were statements rather than questions and the ones I could answer I already had.
I know you missed it but …
|REUTERS FILE PHOTO|
|No, no, no, no, a thousand times no.|
Here’s one thing I don’t quite get – and that’s on a long, long list:
The suggestion somehow that getting Hedo Turkoglu means the Raptors are now going to trade Chris Bosh. Or should.
I’m trying to get this straight:
You get a good player so it means you plan to, or should, deal away a very good player?
The logic escapes me.
Isn’t this the way to show Bosh you’re serious about winning? Doesn’t giving him another weapon to play alongside – a weapon who is going to create a lot of space for Bosh to operate – mean you’re trying to put the best team possible on the floor?
Now, you know that I’ve never thought they should trade Bosh, that he’s too good to get anything close to value for, that I think he’s in for a monster year, that I think he could just as easily re-sign here next summer as leave.
But it just doesn’t make any sense at all to strengthen your team by adding a borderline all-star small forward (and go check the dispatches from last February and see how many people thought Turkoglu got jobbed when he was snubbed for the all-star game) and then weaken it by trading away a bonafide all-star.
Now, Chris Bosh may indeed decide a year from now that he wants to go play somewhere else. But you can’t say for certain that he will, just like I can’t say for certain that he won’t.
But I will say with absolute certainty – and I will not listen to arguments to the contrary – that making this kind of move does more to appease Bosh than turn him off.
And you have to trust me on this one last point: There is no one – NO ONE – in the Raptor hierarchy who has any taste for moving Bosh today.
Tough loss for Greg Francis and the teens down in New Zealand overnight, as Tanya details in this dispatch.
Here’s the deal: They need to beat Kazakhstan today and then Argentina tomorrow (or Kazakhstan tomorrow and Argentina the day after, depending on what hemisphere you’re in, I think) to have any shot at the quarter-finals.
Can they do it?
I have no idea, to tell you the truth.
You’d think a win over Kazakhstan would relatively easy to accomplish; beating Argentina might not be the easiest task.
Best o’ luck, kids..
So, what’s Bryan up to now?
Not entirely sure because the information super highway dried up a bit yesterday when everyone sat back and took a deep breath after the Turkoglu saga.
I know he was working the phones but it was the end of holiday weekend down south and I imagine a few folks decided take the foot off the pedal for a day.
But it’s got to be back to work today.
You’ll see in Brian Schmitz’s story here that there is going to be no sign-and-trade transaction in Orlando so scratch that off your list of possibilities.
It’s not like it’s the only fire Bryan’s got going, though. There are several teams still interested in Anthony Parker – Cleveland seems to be the most aggressive – and now that it’s official that Shawn Marion’s going to be out there, you might here his name mentioned in a city or two.
What, or how, Bryan can turn those assets into remains between him, the bean counters and the agents but the GM’s a rather creative sort so something might be afoot.
And after we’ve all had time to take that deep breath, I imagine rumour, speculation, innuendo and a fact or two might emerge in the next 24 hours.
Should be fun.
Here’s one for you that might, in some small way, back up my contention that coaching isn’t the be-all and end-all in winning.
When Joe Dumars gets around to hiring a replacement for Mike Curry, he will be Detroit’s sixth coach in 10 years.
And in that time, the Pistons have won an NBA championship, gone to Game 7 of an NBA final and been in, what is it, six straight conference finals?
That’s not bad. Seems the guy calling the plays might not make that huge a difference.
That said, whoever gets the gig now – and it looks like Avery Johnson is the leader in the clubhouse – had better get some kind of long-term guaranteed deal because the chance of him finishing out the contract are pretty slim.
So I’m sitting in the restaurant/saloon last night, waiting for Super Wife and Stumpy to come calling and it’s one of those places with a zillion televisions, all on sports.
Now, I’m as eager to watch whatever’s on as anyone – hell, I sat and watched that tennis yesterday morning like I knew what was going on – so I’m casting furtive glances as the Sunday evening TV fare.
On this station: A Lennox Lewis fight.
On that station: Leaves vs. Gretzky and the Kings.
On that other station: Lakers vs. San Diego Clippers (and it did the heart proud to see World B. Free chucking it up like no one we’ll ever see again).
And I’m thinking: Yes, there are too many channels.
I’m going to put this one out here now because I’ve had a lot of queries about it:
Q: Hi Doug. Could you clarify what constitutes a minimum salary player?
Matthew S, Vaughan
A: The minimum salary for any player is dictated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It varies by years of service and goes from about $450,000 for a rookie to about $1.3 million for a 10-year veteran.
You know how there’s a moratorium on signings until Wednesday?
Well, there’s now a moratorium here on questions about the mid-level exception.
Here is the definitive statement I got from a very highly placed league source who knows what he is talking about.
The only – ONLY – way Toronto could have possibly retained its mid-level exception was if Orlando wanted to do a sign-and-trade deal for Shawn Marion.
That, as we read earlier today, is not going to happen.
So, ipso facto (or something like that), Toronto can’t get it and I’m done considering it.
Okay, I’m off.
In between Raptor phone calls and e-mails, I’m Argoboy today (lucky football readers, indeed) and there’s a long and, I presume painful, visit to the chiropractor thrown in for good measure, so if we’re a little tardy on the comments, we’re a little tardy on the comments.