Does another long day await? And Hedo (hearts) Toronto
|Toronto still hearts Hedo even after he broke hearts and playoff hopes.|
All right, let’s take stock here.
Nothing of real substance happened yet we had more than 160 comments, five different versions of the story, a day spent almost entirely on the computer and the telephone (although I did get the Back 40 mowed before the cows came in to graze) and the Raptors still haven’t come to an agreement with anyone.
Yeah, happy Canada Day indeed.
But I guess at some level it was fun, if by fun you mean a lot of work a bit of angst and a whole raft of speculation.
And it’s just begun!
I have no basis in fact for this except a gut feeling and some sense of history but I’d imagine things are going to go down today or tomorrow. A couple of dominoes have fallen (Villanueva and Gordon), another one may go down soon (Turkoglu) and after that, I think the gloves come off. Hope so, at least; might make for a more relaxing weekend.
Say this for Bryan: We heard six names yesterday: Marion, Turkoglu, Lee, Kleiza, Ariza (although I’m only reading that, I have never heard it from a personal source) and Villanueva.
That’s a pretty disparate group and when I was told before the negotiating period opened that Bryan would be “active” it sure seems to be turning out to be true.
I have no idea which of that group he’ll end up getting (and if there are six names out there, I guarantee you there are a handful of others that haven’t leaked out yet) but it does tell me that he knows how big this summer is in the need to improve the roster and he’s taking all kinds of shots to do it.
I heard from almost every corner of the continent yesterday that Turkoglu’s first choice for a new place to play is Toronto. Whether that can happen or not is doubtful because the Raptors really don’t want to gut the roster to get the money to make it so but if there’s a different, more creative way to make it happen, I guarantee they’re working on it.
It’s going to be the storyline almost the entire league is watching and it’ll have more than a few twists and turns.
Yes, I see all the Trevor Ariza chatter out there in internet-land. The Lakers are going to let him walk, it’s probably Portland or Toronto that makes him a generous offer, the Cavaliers have already had members of the coaching staff chat with him, there are other teams interested, too.
I’ll reiterate a point made here a handful of times yesterday: Ariza would probably be a good fit – although people in the Toronto organization were wondering during the Finals how good he is without that Bryant fellow next to him – and if he wants to take a mid-level exception contract from a 33-win team rather than join one of the legitimate contenders who have expressed interest, I’m sure the Raps would be fine with that.
But, as we’ve seen, it’s a long, long way from internet chatter about expressions of interest to getting a name on a contract next week.
If Bryan can pull it off, it’s got to speak hugely to his powers of persuasion and the perception of this team out there.
And, perhaps, it says something about Ariza. Either that he’s after money and not the greatest competitive situation or that he’s willing to work hard and build up a franchise. Which one that is, I don’t know.
While we’re digressing, how about this:
Welcome to Canada, LaBumbard clan!
While the rest of the basketball world was waiting for something interesting to happen, Media Relations Maven Jim LaBumbard, his wife and two kids were officially being sworn in as card-carrying Canucks yesterday.
No cracks about our obviously lax citizenship requirements, okay? The country’s better off with those four people part of it. And I’m particularly sure Fiesty Young Brandon has the attributes one Mr. Burke admires and could, one day, be a Leave.
Okay, digression gone.
I have no idea what they’re doing in Detroit, either.
But as my man Chris McCoskey, who has been ahead of this story the whole way, points out here, having Gordon come off the bench seems to be the answer everyone’s happy with.
Of course, when you link to the rest of his section to find out that Doug Collins has withdrawn his name from consideration for that coaching job, it makes me wonder if maybe Doug didn’t feel quite as comfortable with Gordon, Hamilton and Stuckey as maybe Joe Dumars did.
Now, the job seems to be Avery Johnson’s and I’m wondering how that rather strong-willed coach is going to mesh with the rather laid-back Charlie and the shooting-obsessed Gordon.
Fun times in Detroit, indeed.
Canada had a bit of a struggle to open the world Under-19 basketball championships down in New Zealand over night, as a newly-minted sports reporter chronicles here.
It’s not a horribly bad thing, there are still two games in the first round of the event, and I’ve got to think one win’s good enough to advance. And I’m also betting that Syria’s not quite in Canada’s league at the moment.
I think this team’s going to bear watching as this tournament progresses, I just wish they weren’t playing most games in the middle of the dang night.
Anyway, check the links, check the boxscores and keep checking back here.
Yeah, I really need to throw this out there:
I don’t get the apparent fascination with Allen Iverson among some of the gaggle of people who read and write here regularly.
At this moment, the absolute last thing this team needs is a relatively selfish, relatively old, ball-dominating combo guard who refuses to admit he might be better off coming off the bench and whose tenure everywhere he’s gone has ended rather poorly.
Seriously, where does he play here? Does he start ahead of Jose? No chance. Does he take minutes away from DeRozan? Not a hope in hell.
We need to put all this nonsense to rest.
Okay, I’m out of pocket a bit this morning to have this creaky old broken down body worked on and then there’s a very special interview scheduled for around noon (you’ll want to be reading the results of it, trust me) so if the comments are a bit delayed, fear not..
And if news breaks while I’m being pretzeled by the gentle chiropractor in charge of restoring some mobility to parts of me, I’ll get to it as soon as I can.
Now, go enjoy the morning.