Even for the money, the Johnson deal makes all kinds of sense
Basketball angle: Good deal locking up a young big.
Financial angle: Big whoop.
Seriously, the money’s not at all a problem to me, it’s a big a raise off his $3.66 million deal of a year ago but, talking to people last night for the story, there was some other interest (as widely expected), the Raptors wanted him and went and got him.
It doesn’t impact anything else they may want to do this summer, there’s every possibility he’ll be the team’s starting centre next October and, at 23 years old, they’ve got him locked up for what could be the prime of his career.
The criticism that this could be a bad deal by, say, 2014 is entire guesswork; we have no idea what the economic landscape will look like then so to say it’ll hinder or help the team in three or four seasons is impossible to know.
And, besides, we’re not entirely sure how the contract is structured; maybe it’s not $6.8 million a year, maybe it starts lower and gets bigger or starts bigger and gets lower. Maybe there aren’t full guarantees for each year, those questions will be answered when the deal’s actually finalized in a week or so.
Look, Amir Johnson’s a pretty good young player and for fans who want the Raptors to “blow it up and start with kids” he’s one who fits with DeRozan, Weems, Davis and, to some degree, the relatively grey-haired Jack.
Johnson, who does have a penchant for fouling, which may impact how much he can play, made huge strides last season working hard with assistant coach Alex English on some offensives moves. If he keeps growing like that, I guarantee the money issue will be put entirely out of mind.
The Raptors wanted to get him, he wanted to be here, and the deal got done quickly. There are still several other moves rattling around in the mind of Bryan Colangelo, it’s good that he got this one out of the way quickly.
The money? Sure, it’s a lot of money. But it’s what the market – where Drew Gooden, six years older than Johnson, by the way, gets $32 million – dictates.
Um, one question: Wasn’t one of the big beefs from some that the Raptors wouldn’t spend what it took to win?
From the Department Of The Body’s Not Even Cold yet, we have …
Q: Hey Doug. You have been a consistent supporter of Chris Bosh. No one has watched his career as a Raptor closer. Now that Bosh is about to sign elsewhere, is there a feeling of disappointment?
Now I know professionalism would speak against such human emotion but I have to wonder - What are your personal feelings?
Jacklyn M, Charlottetown
A: I’ll be quite up front about this: I like Chris Bosh, I think he’s a good kid, an exceptional basketball player and as a guy who had to interact with us on almost a daily basis, he was tremendous.
We did have to wait him out after almost every game because he had to be fully dressed – right down to the earrings – for each post-game interview because he wanted to look good when he faced the cameras. Good for him, a tad frustrating for us on deadline at times.
But as a guy? He’d have a conversation about stuff away from the game, he answered a lot of hard questions (remember the hullabaloo about the public negotiations about his child support issue? Well, that sure turned out to be nothing but he talked about it) and he answered them all.
So, yes, I guess there’s a sense of disappointment that he won’t be around.
I hope he goes on to have a long and outstanding career.
I remember writing quite some time ago that “you’ll miss him when he’s gone” and I have a feeling I’ll be right.
Okay, that’s one out of what’s shaping up to be an excellent mailbag, click here for your last shot at getting in it.
Hey, Black Stars today!
My man C Young (this is a late addition, you have to read this) over in South Africa reports Ghana are without doubt the favourites of the masses and I can just add, “it’s about time.”
I’ve got the hat, Super Son’s got the t-shirt and we’re ready to rock.
Ghana 1, Uruguay 0.
I’m sure you’ll see an update here later today sometime, probably in the form of a second post or maybe a separate story, but the Under-17 Canada Cadets open the inaugural world championships today over in Germany.
It’s a good young team under coach Roy Rana and represents a lot of the long-term future for the national senior program.
No idea how they might end up doing – this is the first age-group world championships ever – but the most significant thing is that they area there and gaining valuable experience.
The quicker these teens get used to the international game, the better; and what might be just as important is the exposure they’ll get in front of European club team scouts because the greater number of Canadians we have playing in the top Euro leagues, the better.
There’s always a problem with Canadian kids out of college finding places to play because too many of them have been buried on NCAA benches for years and no one gets to see them. With things like this tournament, their names may get out to enough teams that it helps long-term.
Oh yeah, the Mighty Yankees didn’t do anything yesterday. Figured some of you might like to (not) know that.
The one thing I think we’re going to find quite fascinating as the next few days and weeks play out is that you might find some teams that have cleared all kinds of cap room with nowhere really smart to spend it.
A lot of people – myself included – didn’t expect Joe Johnson to go back to the Hawks but reports are suggesting a maximum value deal (and talk about over-spending) will keep him there. Rudy Gay is another guy lots of folks expected to move but it looks like he’s going back to Memphis for about $80 million.
Those are two of the “other” free agents that I think were fallback positions for the teams with mega-cap room like New York, New Jersey and Miami.
And if any of those teams don’t get the biggest names out there – and there was no movement other than meetings on LeBron, Bosh, Wade and Stoudemire yesterday – they could be left holding the bag of money, so to speak.
Watch out then if you’re looking for teams to over-spend on guys.
So Phil Jackson says he’s going back to the Lakers for another shot; Doc Rivers isn’t going to abandon the Celtics for a quiet family year quite yet and Byron Scott gets recycled yet again.
So much for the coaching carousel, eh?
Am mildly surprised Jackson re-upped since all indications were that he’d trot off into the sunset to deal with some physical issues and marvel at his championship ring collection.
But that leaves just one gig – the Clippers – and then we’ve got all those vacancies filled.
If only free agency was so smooth.
All right, another day of calls, e-mails and waiting ahead. Thank goodness there’s some football to help pass away the hours.