Deals are done, deals are undone, deals are in limbo. Fun, isn't it?
Another day, another snag, another story.
Yes, there are issues with the Matt Barnes trade/signing, issues that popped up about 15 minutes after the head hit the pillow last night judging by the flurry of e-mails that greeted me this morning.
Issues? Yes. Dead? No.
This is not Tyson Chandler and Michael Jordan, this is salary cap machinations the Raptors and Orlando Magic have to work through.
And they will give it their best shot.
It’s funny how these kinds of stories get going and how it’s impossible to keep entirely on top of them.
When I filed just before 10 or so, it was done; so done that my story got to the office about 20 minutes before Barnes tweeted that he would be playing in Toronto next season.
I’d checked this with a source or two; the word I got was “close” which is why I wrote the story for the paper (which you can read here) the way I did.
A bit softer that saying it was done, done and that’s mostly because I was mindful of (a) the words that the guys I was talking to were using and (b) Tyson Chandler kept running through my mind.
Now, in a perfect world, I would have been up around 1 a.m. when the note came in that there was a snag and I’d have been able to further update the story. But I wasn’t.
And the trouble is, for people who only get a hard copy of the newspaper, that wouldn’t have helped at all anyway; at 1 a.m. we’re closed for night on the paper side of the ledger.
I guess it underscores yet again how our business – and the entire business of disseminating news – is changing. And I don’t know if it’s all that good; I’d love to say I’d be willing to work at updating stuff every second of every day but that’s not going to happen. I just can’t figure out when the cutoff time should be each day.
As a basketball fit, you have to think Matt Barnes is a pretty good one for Toronto, no?
A defensive-minded swingman who can make a three and is athletic is about what the doctor ordered.
In fact, when I was sitting around yesterday scribbling some notes (you get some of the end product in a bit) one of the things I wrote was: Best still out there: Barnes.
Now, he’s got some flaws, he could shoot it better, he can disappear for stretches of games but on this Toronto team, he’s probably the starting small forward and a good compliment to DeRozan.
Hey, you saw the news about the Raptors-Suns game Oct. 6 at whatever they call that arena now, right?
We’re headed to Vancouver and while I love the fact some guys played up the whole “Raptors meet Hedo” thing because it’s fresh, getting to see Steve Nash in Vancouver will be very cool.
The full schedule is still being finalized but I imagine we’d be out there for three or four days of practice before the game, kind of a end-of-training-camp excursion after they have three days or so here in Toronto.
But I also don’t think we’re stopping anywhere in Canada on the way home; it’ll be Vancouver as the only stop on the national tour.
So, Golf Boy returns soon. Got to deal with one more morning of family stuff I think but I’m kind of looking forward to getting out to St. George’s. I haven’t seen a street festival/golf tournament ever and it should be kind of neat.
Plus it gives me a nice break from salary caps and trade exceptions and the like. Until, of course, the Barnes thing comes to a conclusion.
So, among those free agent recap notes I was jotting down yesterday – figuring out winners and losers around the league -- were these (and there’ll be more sometime the rest of the week)
Oldies but goodies: Among the better contracts, I’ve got Derek Fisher at three years, $10.5 million because it locks leader the Lakers really need; and Ray Allen at two years, $20 million because he’s still got some game and the Celtics need to make one more run.
Oldies but not so goodies: Am entirely unsure that 30-year-old Al Harrington at five years, $34 million on an already-aging Denver roster is money well spent; and Amar’e Stoudemire’s deal, five years, $100 million is a huge gamble on a guy who (a) has been hurt and (b) doesn’t have Steve Nash
Cashing in, big time: Anthony Morrow made about $736,000 last season in Golden State; he’s going to make about $4 million in Jersey. Wish I was him.
Understated, but big: Chicago didn’t get any of the LeBron Nation followers but Kyle Korver is really going to help; that team needed a three-point shooter and got it.
Rub your eyes, shake your head: If someone had told you when the free agency period began that the guy who would have the largest contract at the end of it would be Joe Johnson, what would you have said? “No way!” Well, at six years, $119 million, he’s No. 1 and I’m a tad stunned at the way things panned out.
Cashing in, big time II: Wesley Matthews made slightly more than $450,000 with the Jazz as an unsigned rookie; he got five years, $33 million in Portland and I’m thinking he and Anthony Morrow must be among the happiest men on earth.
Strength in numbers: No, the New Jersey (I Wonder If They’ll Ever Be Brooklyn) Nets win the Most Active Team award. But I wonder how much Morrow, Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar and Johan Petro will really help. That’s not a 12-win team, that’s for sure; but is it 35?
Okay, same deal as yesterday, folks. Got some stuff to take care of that might keep me away from here for a few hours; please don’t get angry or hurt. I still love ya.
(Well, most of you)