Good job, ladies and gentlemen.
A strong finish to the week got this mailbag pretty full with some good stuff, much appreciated.
Now, while I wish I could have a day at the beach today – I could really use one – it’ll have to be a bit of loafing, some phone calls, maybe some stool time and trying to figure out how to celebrate Canada tomorrow.
Enjoy this, and the day.
Q: Hi Doug:
I might be in the minority but I happen to agree with your assessment of Bryan Colangelo in your Thursday blog. On paper, much of what he did over his 7 years here made sense. The problem seemed to be that the players he acquired never seemed to live up to their billing nor the level of play they exhibited in previous locations. You can point out numerous examples with Hedo and Bargnani being the biggest ones. How much of that was due to the fact that the organization may have been too "soft" on players when they came here?
Joe D, Mississauga, ON
A: I don’t think “soft” is the right word at all. I think the only one they might have mishandled was Turk when they gave him that training camp off when he returned from the world championships.
I suppose various coaches could have been a bit tougher but I don’t know if that would have worked, either. Unless you’re around these guys intimately every day – and we’re around but not everywhere – I don’t think we can presume to know how each has to be handled. Some players need coddling, some need to be taken to task more than others.
But I think it’s too much of a generalization to say any one was “soft” on anybody.
Q: Salut Doug,
Love your blog, read it daily. I have a question that has probably been asked/answered 1000 times but here goes: Why does the NBA insist on announcing trades after the fact instead of just letting a team make it own pick - like every other professional league does? I'm guessing that there may be a league policy that requires team to notify the league of trades via fax (carrier pigeon?), but if there is a reason for it, it is lost upon me. "Bush league" may be too strong a descriptor, but watching Shabazz Muhammed talk about playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves - while wearing a Utah Jazz cap - was the best illustration of why this looks dumb. On second though, bush league isn't too strong...isn't this league a billion dollar industry?
Craig M, St. Albert, AB
A: Bush league? No.
And yes, there are approvals that have be obtained for every trade, what’s known as “trade call” has to be held with the league office and the teams to make sure the deal meets the requirements of the collective bargaining agreement and there are physicals that have to be taken and past before any deal is official.
So while it may not look good to you, it’s prudent business.
Q: Hi Doug,
Love your work! You're absolutely dead on about the causes of the rise of basketball in Canada. I arrived in this country during the Harold Ballard years of Leafs hockey so it's no wonder I've never been a hockey fan.
Anyway, my question is about the fate of Bargnani: if no other teams want to get him in a trade, what would be the difference between the Raptors amnestying him vs. buying him out? With amnesty, the Raptors would still have to pay him his remaining salary, wouldn't they? Or if bought out, wouldn't Bargs come off the cap anyway?
A: If the amnesty clause is used, it takes the team off the hook for the salary as it pertains to the luxury tax; that’s not the case in any buyout.
Simple accounting and money savings means amnesty is preferred if possibie.
Q: Hi Doug, big fan of the blog. In the NBA draft, what happens if a team doesn't have a pick in when their time expires? Do they lose the pick? And has it ever happened before?
Keep up the good work!
A: Yes, they would forfeit the pick if they don’t make it in the five minute allotment for the first round or two minute limit in the second. I don’t believe it’s ever happened again and it wouldn’t surprise me if it ever got to, say, 4:40 or 1:45, that a call wouldn’t be made from someone at the league office to the team to say, “hey, what’s up there?” simply to avoid the embarrassment.
Q: Hello Doug,
Well, the NBA Draft 2013 was something special. The picks ranged from thrilling to head-scratching - and some were simultaneously both - and what was not usually must-see TV for me, became so compelling that I stuck with it to midway through the second round. Particularly enjoyed watching David Stern - in the final draft he will be presiding over - obviously having fun
with the audience, and found it hilarious that no sooner did David depart and Adam take over that the booing was instantly transferred to Silver.
But as entertaining as it was for me to watch, I bet it was an even bigger hoot for reporters covering it. And by hoot I mean super stressful. :)
So, my question is about your process. When Anthony Bennett was revealed as the No. 1 pick, how did your night change...and was it such a big story that in days gone by it would have been a Stop The Presses moment.
Lorie P, London
A: Let’s put it this way:
The e-mail conversation I was having with my boss right after the selection was entitled: HOLY SH--!
So, yeah, it was a bit of stress but, in the end, it only added one little story to my workload and changed the focus and tenor and play of the main piece.
But it was a bit frantic trying to get quotes, do some more research and figure out how I could get to see the kid the next day.
Frazzled for a few minutes, no question, but once we all got a deep breath and took a minute, it was just another work night.
Q: Hi Doug, Happy Canada day!
The winds of change have been blowing through the front office for the Raptors lately, but doesn't it feel now like M.U. is preparing to make some major changes on the court? Do you get that sense?
Trevor B. Saskatoon
A: My sense is that there will eventually be significant change to this roster but it won’t happen in some frenzied 24-hour period. If there’s one thing I think we learned from watching Masai in Denver is that patience is one of his attributes. I do think he will turn over some chunk of the roster, but over time.
Q: Hey there. I know you are not fond of addressing speculation but if the Bledso for De Rozan rumours are true, would that facilitate a move of Lowry to shooting guard? Do you think that is a better fit for him? Or will he then be on the block for sure with a PG acquisition? Thoughts?
Thanks s always
A: You’re right, not at all fond of it. But I also do not think Lowry is a shooting guard at any level, too slow defensively, too small.
Q: Hey Doug,
Long time reader, first time writing in. Just wondering what your top 5 free agent list would be for the Raps to pursue? Thanks.
A: I think I’m going to need a day or two to digest who’s out there and who might be a realistic target, depending on other teams’ interest and financial concerns.
Let’s say quickly right now, and this is off the top of my head stuff, but a list might include Tony Allen, Jason Maxiell, Paul Millsap and David West.
Are any of them realistic? Doubt it and that’s why I need some time to check things out.