The end of the weekend mail
Okay, while I’m on the Lewis And Clark journey (who else would go to Oklahoma City from Toronto through Minneapolis?) you all have fun with this and I’ll check in a bit later from the Finals. I’m sure I missed some late Saturday afternoon or evening questions and I’ll try to touch on whatever I can whenever I can.
Oh, and if you want some Raptors news, workouts for draft prospects in Toronto start Tuesday; we’ll keep you up to date in the morning stuff every day as we can.
Q: Hey Doug: This question may have been asked before - and, sadly, it could very well be that I was the on that asked it! - but I've heard that the Tall Foreheads are unhappy with your work in the Sports Department (don't worry, there will definitely be an Irregular uprising - I just don't know how long it will take to get organized), and want to reassign you to another job. In recognition of your many years of working for Mother Star, they've allowed you to pick your area. Other than Fashion, where would you like to go?
Tim H, Windsor
A: Oh, I’m going to write travel pieces; see more of the world on the company’s dime without having to do deadline game stories. Imagine that’d be fun.
Q: Reading your most recent post, about how something is missing in Miami, I started to dream about Steve Nash joining the Heat. I'm not a Heat fan, but this is nevertheless something I would love to see. What better way to cement his reputation than to make this team play like a team, and in doing so win a championship?
Doug H, Toronto
A: What better way to cement, or create, a reputation as a guy who chased a title in his dotage, ala Gary Payton and Karl Malone with the Lakers and I don’t think that’s in Steve Nash’s character. That said, he did at one time mention the Heat so you never know but that would run counter to the Nash I know.
Q: Doug do you believe there is a chance that Dion Waiters and his agent are lying and that he is not promised to a team but simply creating a ruse to create more spotlight on his name. I have seen a bunch of draft sites and waiters isn't even a lottery pick. Couldn't this be an attempt to make it look like another team sees major value in him so that some other team may bite on him? This no-show that he pulled has created a lot of media attention on Waiters.
Also, do you think from what you have heard and seen about waiters that he would just be a Jerryd Bayless number 2 or do you think their games are not very similar?
Thanks for your time!
Mario A, Toronto
A: Oh, I think “lying” is a pretty strong word so, no, I wouldn’t use it. They perhaps over-estimated something they heard but, having talked to more than a few people in Chicago, there is no doubt right now that Waiters is a lottery pick.
As for his game, I haven’t seen nearly enough -- and not any against men – to have an informed opinion right now. Hope to see some more video and talk to more people but I can’t say now how good or bad he is; I do know for a fact, the Raptors are interested.
Q: Hi Doug. How come there seems to be no doubt whatsoever that Anthony Davis will be the top pick in the draft? Is he that much better than anybody else in what has been deemed a strong draft?
Can you think of any other case of a player was a certain no 1, was chosen in that position but ended up being a bust?
Thanks a lot for the daily serving in NBA, Raptors and unrelated news.
Matthieu B, Bern
A: Yes, everyone I talk to says he is that much better than anyone else, but a wide margin in the opinion of many.
Others? Well, perhaps no one as cut-and-dried as the consensus No. 1 as Davis but there certainly have been busts. However, guys like, say, Kwame Brown or Michael Olowokandi were not thought to be far and away the No. 1 selections; they were gambles that failed.
Q: Hello Doug. It's almost swap season, and thoughts turn to trade value. Based on which current Raps might qualify as sure-fire starters on other NBA teams, I come up with just one. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Bargnani would likely start for at least 28, if not all 30, teams. After that, between Calderon and DeRozan, who would likely find a starting role on more NBA teams?
Now, putting starting/finishing roles aside, which of those two do you think has the higher overall trade value? Jose, because of his steady hand and expiring contract? Or DeMar, because of his athleticism and youth?
Finally, what do you think the chances are that all three will remain Raptors this coming season? And thanks for a great blog!
David M, Ottawa
A: I’m not sure Andrea would start on that many teams but he would on quite a few but other than he and Jose and DeMar, it would depend on fit and need. As I’ve said, Aaron Gray would be Wilt Chamberlain in Miami, allowing them to move Bosh to the four, LeBron to the three with Wade and Chalmers.
And it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other on who would have higher value for the varied reasons you state. I would presume – and this is without talking to 29 other GMs – Jose’s combination of skill and contract would make him more valuable.
And since you asked today, I’d say it’s 99.9 per cent certain today that all three are in camp. And, yes, that means there’s a chance they all won’t be.
Q: Alright Doug, we gotta go 'Back FOR the Future!'
Imagine Colangelo hops into his time-travelling Delorean and goes back to some point in the past 16 years. He has to go out and either draft a player or sign a free agent.
There are three catches:
He only has room for one guy
It must actually be a former HOTH
They can only play for the team for one season before they are sucked back into the void and go back to the past.
As such, their statistics and impact would mirror those of their rookie season or first year after signing as a free agent with the HOTH. No going back to get Olajuwon 10 years before he actually became a Raptor.
Which player's first season with the Raptors would help the current team the most? Which player regardless of our current team had in your estimation, the best first season with the Raptors?
Off the top of my head, I might answer Garbo and Mike James respectively.
Cheers Marty! Er... I mean Doug.
Andrew P, Toronto
A: I hope I’ve got this right and I think I do.
The list would start and end with HWSNBN; his rookie year in Toronto was amazing and how would that young 3 look on this team?
Garbo would help, sure; but I can’t get behind Mike James at any level, sorry.
Q: Hey Doug: This is not related to the HOTH, or even to any type of basketball - I hope I don't stir up the "This is a basketball blog" naysayers for you.
When you were growing up (or even now), what Super Hero did you (do you) want to be?
Thanks for putting up with some of our zanier requests!
Tim H, Windsor
A: Who didn’t want to be Superman? And I mean in the George Reeves era. Although Margot Kidder in the movie made that role pretty palatable.
Q: I put this in the comments but I think it better belongs in the mailbag. I know you don't like trade scenarios and the like, but hear me out:
New Orleans Hornets have said the 10th pick is available if someone takes on Ariza or Okafor. I would love if the Raps trade a small contract for Ariza and the #10. Then they retool with 8 and 10 or see if they can flip those two picks into a top 3. I've also read that Rudy Gay or Andre Iguadala might be available for a player or two and the #8. I'd prefer my "scenario". What are your thoughts, based on where this team is in their development and what you might think works best? Love the blog! Keep it up!
Bryden B, Brandon
A: The New Orleans Hornets actually haven’t said that, it’s extrapolation by people that may or may not be right.
And I’ve got this Gay-Iguodala stuff covered off somewhere else in here this weekend.
Q: Doug. I recently saw "Moneyball" and quite enjoyed it. It got me thinking too -- about basketball. I don't always read your mailbag, so sorry if you've been asked this before, but would the principles applied in the movie be able to translate to basketball at all? In the movie, they keyed on one stat only - On Base Percentage. If somebody were to attempt to translate the theory to basketball, what one stat would you want to look at? Shooting Percentage? Could you look at just one stat? I suspect that there's no way it could work in basketball, especially since it seems so star-centric, but after watching Miami in the playoffs... Interested to hear your thoughts.
Chris C, Toronto
A: I don’t think there’s one stat at all that’s comparable or should be used. And how’d that whole “Moneyball” thing work out in the end? Not so good, eh?
Q: Doug. Just saw something flash by on a ticker of one of our local sports channels. Raptors targeting either Rudy Gay or Andre Iguodala and will include their eighth pick in the package for either.
I, like most Raptor fans, feel the pain of this rumor, knowing that we could have had either of these players, as well as Danny Granger, who has been rumored to come here as well, for nothing had we drafted properly.
We all know who we took instead of Iggy and Granger. Don't need to bring up those names and cause any more pain.
I just find it hard to believe that the guys we are 'targeting' are guys we passed up on and now are willing to give up our own players and picks to get them back.
Shane S, Thornhill
A: Why would that be an issue or hard to take? Sure, they missed on Iguodala and Granger, spectacularly in the first instance, but if you get a chance to add talent, you do it.
Q: Without talking the specifics of any crazy hypothetical trade. I'm simply wondering if there is any way this off season that Bosh becomes available to T.O in a trade... would BC do it???
He bashed Bosh's toughness when he dogged it at the end of his last season here almost blaming bosh for the Raps missing the playoffs. Is Bosh still considered a star player? or he viewed as a complimentary piece?
Jeff M, Saint John
A: At that money and what would be a hugely significant cost? I doubt it but the guy is a perennial all-star.
Q: Doug, I'm a little shocked how things went down with OKC and San Antonio. Did you think it was possible the Spurs would lose 4 in a row? I sure didn't. Now that it's over do you think this was more a OKC win (based on their adjustments, hunger, etc.) or a failure of San Antonio (age, fatigue, etc.). What do the Spurs need to do in the off season?
Greg W, Ancaster
A: I think it was all about the Thunder, who played great defence, took care of the ball and were simply the better team at the end. Spurs? Not much they can do, or really nee to do. They’re pretty darn good, you have to think guys like Leonard and Green will get better and they did just come off an appearance in the Western Conference final. Maybe some tinkering but nothing too much.
Q: Doug, Which of this year's current crop of Eastern playoff teams do you see as likely out of the picture next year? Philly, Boston and New York?
Paul C, Mississauga
A: Not even sure you can make an uneducated guess at this point. Still too much player movement to worry about. Sorry, but I will say the bottom four teams, at this writing, have enough flaws than any of them could drop out.
Q: Hey Dougie. I’m going to Vegas next week. I realize its not one of your regular grunt stops. But any tips for a guy who likes to keep his money and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage?
Any general tips for a first time trip to the states would also be appreciated.
When if ever was the last time you covered summer league?
And I have seen Gary Payton on one of those sports channel thingies a few times recently. Apparently he lives in Vegas. Any idea where I might run in to my favorite Sonics guard? Any stories on the Glove you can share with us?
Marcus T, Newmarket
A: Wish I could help but I’m not much of a Vegas guy at all; too much sensory overload, too much heat, too much everything. And I haven’t been there for years and years – last time might have been Bargnani’s summer league year? – so I’m afraid I’ve got nothing.
Irregulars? Can you help a fella out?