The pursuit of Chandler is a complicated matter
Okay, here we go, another five days off between games. Nice! Sure, there’s a rather busy weekend ahead with stories to write and people to see but no games and that’s not a terrible thing.
My head hurts
Spent more than a few minutes trying to figure out the cap machinations that would make it possible for Wilson Chandler to sign here this season – if, in fact, he’s not simply using the Raptors for leverage – and I’m glad they invented Tylenol.
All the Raps can do this year, most likely, is get to about $4.3 million in cap space, get Chandler to sign an offer sheet at that number and then grumble when Denver matches so you can probably discount that.
Let’s put it this way: There are three best-case scenarios that have to happen for a signing for this year to occur:
If – BIG IF – they can find someone in the next couple of days to take Leandro Barbosa off their hands for nothing in return they can likely shed the $7 million or so to make an offer that at least makes Masai out in Denver go “um, er, ah” and gives Toronto a chance. But – BIG BUT – finding that team is virtually impossible because none of the teams with cap space right now to do it probably have the desire to make the deal.
That leaves …
Hoping Chandler and the Nuggets can’t figure out a long-term deal and he signs for just the rest of this season and becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, when Toronto will have oodles of money to spend on him, or someone else.
Of course, the other hope is that Chandler could decide to sign here for the rest of this season using some of Toronto’s approximate $2.5 million left on the mid-level exception and use the final 33 games or so as a mutual get-to-know-you period.
I wish I knew.
I do know Toronto put on the full court press with Chandler yesterday, squiring him around the city and the arena, letting him meet with poobahs, Henchmen and players and making him feel at home.
Whatever happens, I’m hearing, is going to happen quickly, this should all be resolved by the middle of next week at the latest.
We know Chandler’s a good basketball fit, a long wing shooter who would instantly become one of Toronto’s key pieces.
The Raptors have liked him since the summer, they may know by Sunday whether that feeling is mutual.
Getting what he wants
All season, Dwane’s been talking about getting the Raptors to up their toughness quotient so teams around the league have more respect for them.
Well, Detroit might.
That was the toughest game they’ve played in a while and at moments, Pistons coach Lawrence Frank was incensed.
You had Jerryd Bayless putting a shoulder in to Greg Monroe and getting a flagrant foul; you had Jamaal Magloire horse-collared someone under the basket (might have been Monroe again, Dwane was blocking my view) and the Raptors generally comported themselves as a gaggle of crankypants.
No idea if it’ll be a consistent trend – it hasn’t so far – but for last night at least, they were tough guys. Good to see.
Give him credit
About midway through the first quarter, DeMar is crossing the lane to take a pass and Ben Gordon buries a shoulder into him, knocking DeRozan back about six steps and almost knocking him right over.
Now, it’s not a good thing that a guy as smallish as Gordon could so easily knock DeRozan so off balance (the kid needs to live in the weight room in the summer and become physically stronger) but DeRozan’s reaction was heartwarming to his coaches.
I know they feared that would be enough to make DeRozan shy away from contact for the rest of the night but he didn’t, he was as aggressive in the lane late in the game as he was early in it and, yes, it’s a small step but an important one.
And now, the rest of the story, as the man used to say:
This would be apropos of nothing but since Bob Seger made a special guest appearance in the IGBT last night, why wouldn’t we pay homage to the other Detroit music genre.
Is Marvin Gaye’s Heard It Through The Grapevine right at the top of the best Motown songs ever list?
I could make that case.
No, the game story did not include a quote from Leandro Barbosa, nor did he do any TV or radio.
Dude had a plane waiting for him and a scheduled 10 p.m. departure for all-star weekend back home in Brazil.
He was in such a hurry that he was about halfway up the tunnel to the locker room when the final buzzer went; if you think he moves quickly on the court, don’t think I’ve ever seen him go as fast as he did to get out of there.
He’s a huge family guy and I guess if you’re going to another continent for the weekend, no sense wasting any time.
Here would be nice, give me something to putter around on during the flight this afternoon.
So, I hear Barack Obama’s having a little $35,000 a plate fund-raiser down in Orlando tonight which in and of itself is hardly a big deal; guy’s gotta make some cash to combat those other fellows who seem to be spending the entire pre-election period debating each other, which can’t be a wise move since people tend to watch those debates.
Get this: The fund-raiser is AT VINCE CARTER’S HOUSE!
Yeah, old HWSNBN runs in some big-time circles it seems and all I wonder is how come Canada Post didn’t get the invite to me in time.
Bit stressed this morning by having to a rent a tux before my flight but a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do, I guess.
(I keed, I keed).