Time to trade or time to stand pat?
Slow day around these parts what with a lot of travel, a missed practice (and it sure seems like I didn’t miss anything) and just another off-day before another practice before the games start up again.
So, we’ll be all over the map here today.
Have at it:
Here we go.
Last two days before the trade deadline and the chatter – league-wide and Raptors-specific – is going to amp up between now and Thursday afternoon for sure.
But maybe the best thing that happened to this group is to have had a few days off to sit and reflect where they are, which is in a pretty good place.
The recent success is, to me, more reality than mirage, this isn’t a bad team and it’s only going to get better as it grows together.
Yes, there will be tweaks needed, backups at the two and three needed for upgrading, another big maybe, a less expensive third point guard and stuff like that.
But the core?
The core – Calderon, Jack, Turkoglu, Bargnani, DeRozan, with a big question mark around Bosh -- is solid and as we’ve seen with so many teams, letting things grow together always makes more sense than, say, bringing in nine new guys.
One thing that fans need to think about this week more than anything is long-term prospects as opposed to making some wild short-term move that may or may not pay off.
The Raptors are about where a lot of us thought they would be, the fifth best team in the East starting to come together and mesh.
And if you look at this as a two- or even three-year plan, there’s no sense busting it up right now on the off-chance some dramatic move is enough to win even one playoff series.
I know Bryan had far more than this season in mind when he constructed this team; I also hope he realizes going for some fake brass ring right now doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Got on the couch just in time to watch some of the Olympics – man, you’ve got them on a lot of channels up here in a country where they matter – and saw the medal ceremony for the Bildodeau bump-skier.
Very emotional, very cool.
One question from an old, square dude: When they play a national anthem, aren’t you supposed to remove headwear?
I don’t think this counts as a trade rumour because one of the players involved has actually said it’s going to happen and that makes it far more legit than others.
So news that Marcus Camby is being freed from the Clippers to move to Portland in a deal for Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake and something else makes me pretty happy for the kid.
Marcus is a good kid and still a pretty good player and moving to a Blazers team decimated by frontcourt should be enough to keep Portland in the playoffs out west.
Oh, no, Hedo didn’t make it back for practice Monday night, he’s still on an excused absence to deal with a family matter, but word I got was that he’s expected back on the court today.
Other than that, though, all were in attendance, which hasn’t always been the case with this franchise on the post-all-star day.
Mo Pete, and I love him dearly, used the always win the Most Tardy Raptor Award, missing at least a couple of day-after workouts because of travel woes or somesuch.
Always cost him a little bit of money and got him in hot water with his coaches and always gave us a little note to write.
I’m sure there’ve been other Raptors who’ve somehow managed to miss either the practice after all-star or the one after Christmas but it’s Mo that I remember being the most frequent violator.
Shawn Respert for Acie Earl.
In case you were wondering on this Deadline Week, that was the most obscure last-day trade in Raptors history.
They tell me the boys pucks portion of the Olympics begins tonight; guess that means the Games are officially on.
It’s funny. When you’re at an Olympics, to me at least, the “teams” competition seem oddly detached from the rest of it, at least at the start of the competition.
To me, the Olympics – and I’ve only done one Winter Games against five of the Summer variety so that’s the frame of reference – are always about “moments” and the one-day, one-competition, one-race kind of event, more drama, more surprises, better stories.
Yes, medal rounds in team events are cool and the gold-medals games have all the inherent drama but the preliminary stuff just seems a bit off to me.
And there’s today’s Olympic moment.
Back to basketball?
Okay, if you insist.
Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that the one big trade we’re all waiting on – the Where Does Amar’e Land Sweepstakes – might not get done until Thursday afternoon.
Seems Phoenix, or Stoudemire’s agents, or someone like that, has played this scenario to perfection.
Make sure something leaks out about one team so that others who may have interest sit up and take notice. It drives the bidding up, may force the first team to sweeten the pot and creates a market all because the first team’s interest hits the papers or the internet in some reputable report.
And that’s how the game is played and I would expect that’s how it’ll be played with Stoudemire over the course of the next 48 hours or so.