Told you there’d be some later Sunday.
Enjoy Canada Day.
Q: Hey Doug: Do you know what your assignment(s) will be for the Olympics? Are there any particular duties (other than ensuring that Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is still open) that you are looking forward to? When do you leave and return?
Tim H, Windsor
A: Haven’t really nailed down any specific assignments, the fun part of the Games is floating all over the place, a little track one day, maybe some diving the next, a day or two at the basketball. We usually don’t know for sure what we’re doing until the night before when we divvy up the best Canadian stories of the next day.
I’m getting in a few days before to get acclimated (and to spend at least one afternoon/evening at the Cheese) and hanging around a few days to decompress and perhaps take a train ride to Paris.
Q: Hey Doug. If Bryan Colangelo comes up to you this weekend and asks you for a list of 5 free agents we should pursue, what names do you give him?
Fuzzy D, Devonshire
A: Nash, Ilyasova, Batum, Hill, Pietrus; knowing full well that the most they get is two. There is a second wave of restricted and unrestricted guys they might want to take a quick glance at like Kirk Hinrich, Leandro Barbosa, Landry Fields, Jeff Green, Boris Diaw but they’re on the backup list.
Q: Doug, being that the Raptors need shooters, and drafted based on that premise, is it the most difficult thing a players has to learn, or a coach to teach?
Steph R, Glencoe
A: I don’t think so. It’d be near the top of the list but I think learning to defend in a team system at the NBA level is harder, learning to make split-second decisions with the ball might be a bit more difficult. Bad shooting form can be corrected with a lot of hard work but it’s more physical, the mental part of the game is harder, I think.
Q: Hi Doug. Good work on PTS today. In regards to the amnesty provision, can a team amnesty as many players as they want or just 1?
Enio P, Vaughan
A: Teams can use the amnesty clause only one time and only on a guy who was under contract to them on July 1, 2011.
Q: Hi Doug. If they have the assets and cap space to get him and he has the desire to go there, should OKC take a shot at getting Dwight Howard and forming their own big 3 with Westbrook and Durant?
Joe D, Mississauga
A: Of course they should but they don’t and he’s got his sights set on Brooklyn if you believe the reports.
Q: Hey Doug, If the raptors sign Nash, I am a little confused to why the raptors would want to amnesty Calderon. His contract in the market especially considering that it is a 1 year deal would be popular trade bait. And if nobody budges, we can just keep him as a backup point guard that could at times slide to the shooting guard spot. Calderon seems like a pro, and i think wouldn't mind backing up Nash for at least 1 yr, even under a limited role. (Plus if were stuck with Calderon for this yr, we have great insurance incase Nash gets hurt)
The way I look at it is that Calderon's 1 year/10.5 million dollar contract would be greater to have than the combination of Bayless and Amir Johnson. The reason I compare Calderon to those two players is because rumors say we are going to amnesty Calderon, but why not keep Calderon, amnesty Amir and let Bayless walk. His presence in the locker room as a leader and a vet combined with his shooting and passing would be an upgrade from Bayless. We don't need Amir Johnson because we already have Ed Davis. Amir is the one that we should amnesty, his contract is way harder to move, being that it is a multi year deal worth 6, 6.5 and 7 million in the next three years.
And worst case scenario, if we don't like the fact that we are paying a backup PG 10.5 million this year, you either ship him out in a deal or you sit for 1 yr with Calderon as the backup, and then the money comes off the books next year.
Anyways I would love to hear your thoughts to why amnestying Calderon is a better option.
Thanks a bunch for your time!
Mario A, Toronto
A: I don’t think it’s a better option at all but they think they may need that money to sign a free-agent small forward or two if a suitable trade can’t be arranged.
I do think there are other options – an amnesty on, say, Kleiza clears up about $5 million more – and I would presume they would explore them first.
But they make think it’s necessary.
Q: Hi Doug. In your recent blog, you played the "what if" game with Damon Stoudamire. Playing that same game, if Detroit had not taken Darko in the 2003 draft, any idea as to whether the Raptors have taken him over whichever of Bosh or Wade was still available at the time?
Mark S, Hamilton
A: That’s a good question that I’ve never asked Glen but my recollection is that they were pretty high on Darko, too. Lots of teams were, incorrectly, as it turned out and the Raptors did have a need for big men at that time. Would have been interesting and I’m quite sure a decision Glen is, in hindsight, glad he didn’t have to make.
Q: Hey Doug, 2 part question:
I feel out of the loop because I cannot figure out what HOTH stands for.
What is your favourite Olympic games? (summer vs winter)
David S, Calgary
A: Our weekly recap: Heroes Of The Hardcourt.
And I much prefer summer, even though they’re bigger and almost unmanageable; have only done one winter though – Nagano – but I don’t imagine I’d change my mind.
Q: The statement, "he’s got at least two or three years left in his career and the Raptors have the financial wherewithal to make him an offer more lucrative than almost any other team in the league," you made in your June 29 article free agency is concerning. Where is your crystal ball? And, more importantly, where's the journalistic responsibility to your readers to mention the invariable drop-off in production and Colangelo's tendency to overpay? Steve Nash's talent is undeniable, as was Isiah's, Cousy's, Frazier's and Payton's. This doesn't mean it makes sense to give him a 3 year going-away gift...even if tomorrow is Canada Day. The production difference between Calderon and Nash is low, should become lower each year going forward. How about a succession plan instead of switching one elder for another?
Jeremy T, Toronto
A: Why is it concerning? There’s no evidence to the contrary, his production hasn’t fallen off in a half a decade and it’s an opinion you may not share but many do.
And I would debate the ‘production difference’ when you take everything into consideration but your opinion is your opinion.
I will point this out since you seem bent on the though Nash will somehow magically break down: He hasn’t missed more than eight games in any season over the last decade.