Of roster moves and the coming schedule
Finally got some good weather for a holiday, which was entirely unusual but quite welcome around these parts at least.
Still painfully slow around the Raptors but there are some things to think about.
Okay, in the last couple of days I’ve heard or been asked about Ime Udoka, Gerald Green, Pops You Know Who, Good Joey and about five or six other guys as “possibilities” for that final roster spot that now seems certain not to go to Carlos Delfino.
Let me just throw this out:
Does it really matter who?
Consider this: Turkoglu’s been pretty durable – he’s only missed 18 games in total over the last four seasons and he carries a workload of about 36-38 minutes a night. The Raptors coaching staff, as we’ve been mentioning for a couple of weeks, thinks Antoine Wright is quite capable of playing the three for a little bit and there are even those connected with the team who project DeRozan as a small forward possibility, at least in some rare occasions in his first couple of seasons.
So what are we talking about with that other guy? Someone who’s going to play – maybe – 6-7 minutes a night unless something drastically bad happens? And for this people are getting worked up?
It’s almost to the point where it doesn’t matter who that guy is and you can pick any one of the handful of names I’ve been presented with and it’ll be fine. The determining factor may end up being personality and willingness to accept a really minor role and none of us really knows how any of these possible additions would handle that.
The more you think about it, isn’t this really a case of getting worked up over nothing?
Schedule’s out this afternoon, 1 p.m. I believe, and here’s one thing it won’t have:
Local television information.
As has been routine in the past, divvying up games between the dozen or so local broadcasters (okay, it’s only five but you get my drift) takes some time and it’ll likely be September before we learn what games are on TSN, The Score, CBC, TSN2 and RaptorsTV.
After all, there’s a whole season of NHL games to worry about first and we all know the pecking order around here.
Yes, that was an ugly brawl between Canada and Italy the other day and if you haven’t yet seen it, here’s a quick glimpse.
But the reality is, fights in international basketball happen with far more regularity than they do in, say, North America. I don’t remember a qualifying tournament or exhibition series without some sort of contretemps and while this one lasted a bit longer than usual, it seemed to be a lot more milling around and gesturing with hands than anything.
A disgrace? Not exactly.
Any repercussions? I doubt it.
And you know what? Ask a bunch of Canadian players from the past and I bet all of ‘em tell you these kinds of dust-ups help in the team-building more than anything.
Back to the NBA schedule for a minute.
One thing we should learn today is the American national broadcast schedule, that’s games on TNT, ESPN and ESPN2 and ABC.
If I had to guess, I’d bet they get shut out on TNT again, maybe get one or two ESPN games and aren’t included on the ABC schedule, although we know things can be re-arranged for those late-season Sunday games, like they were a couple of seasons ago when they added a game at Detroit to the ABC lineup.
What’s it mean?
Well, before anyone goes off half-cocked about disrespect and blah, blah, blah, know that it has more to do with a 33-win season a year ago than anything TNT bigwig sitting in some office in Atlanta laughing about Toronto.
Let’s go back to the roster one more time, if for no other reason that to stretch this post out to a legitimate length (I keed).
I know I’ve said I don’t expect this to happen because it doesn’t make any sense with regards to the salary cap or the tax level but one guy in the organization I talked to recently did hold out some chance that the Raptors may just buy out Marcus Banks and cut the cord.
Now, if I’m Marcus Banks or his agent, there’s no way I take anything less than the full amount owed over the next two seasons (which amounts to somewhere near $9.3 million) but if Bryan’s got his powers of persuasion working and can reduce the actual amount of money that goes out the door (even if it carries no savings in tax or cap issues), why the heck not.
There is no question the Raptors don’t have a lot of time for Banks; I can’t see him being anything other than an inactive list habitant all season and they remain miffed that he didn’t take part in the summer league.
But no one – no one – is going to trade for him and here’s why, again. No team wants to take on money for the 2010-11 season so there’s no deal for someone with a contract as long or longer than Banks’s. So any trade scenarios you’re cooking up in your mind can be immediately forgotten.
Maybe a buyout is the right way to go; the people I’ve been talking to aren’t sure it’s going to happen but the fact it was even mentioned in passing makes me think it’s now a remote possibility in a move that’s of the less-is-more category.