Maybe all the chatter about patience isn't going to go for naught
Julyan Stone, eh?
Well, when you’ve only got the mid-level exception at best – and there’s every chance the HOTH are only going to have the taxpayer mini-mid-level of about $3 million the way things are shaping up – it’s the Julyan Stones of the world you’re going to get.
That’s nothing against Stone, a 6-6 point guard the Raptors signed to a two-year minimum deal (the second year is not fully guaranteed) on Thursday, hardly the kind of franchise-altering Fourth of July addition that set off any fireworks.
But it’s the reality right now and while it must be nice to see guys like Al Jefferson or Tyreke Evans be on the move, and other medium- to big-name free agents still on the market, so get used to it.
If there’s one sense I get from talking to people around the league and people in the Raptors organization it’s that Masai is a man of patience and he’s hording what he sees as assets.
I can absolutely see him not doing anything with the amnesty clause when the period opens on July 10 because even a guy like Linas Kleiza is an asset because of his contract that’s going to expire at the end of the season; maybe the money becomes marketable during the season even if the player isn’t.
Same with Kyle Lowry, whose contract is the same: A marketable asset if the season goes awry.
It’s not to say the Masai isn’t talking to people this week and wouldn’t take the right deal if it came up but there’s no sense out there that he’s going to do anything major just for the sake of doing it.
So, Julyan Stone it might be for a while.
Now, I have no clue what Stone is going to be like and neither do you; he’s had a cup of coffee in Denver for two seasons, never played a significant stretch in a rotation and while I’m sure he’s okay, we don’t know at what level he can perform with any consistency.
But since there were no other point guards on the roster other than Lowry as of yesterday noon, adding someone on the cheap who could be a backup doesn’t hurt.
Is Stone better than John Lucas III, who Toronto cast adrift earlier this week? Well, Stone’s short history would suggest he’s more a traditional point guard than Lucas and likely an upgrade on Sebastian Telfair, who was never in the long term plans.
And if Masai’s looking for front court depth, you’d think he’d be looking at big editions of Stone, under-utilized kids who might or might not pan out.
Maybe he’s doing exactly what I thought he should be doing:
Waiting to see how the current group – Lowry, DeRozan, Gay, Johnson, Valanciunas, Fields, Novak, Ross and Acy and maybe one other – does with a full camp and some familiarity.
Maybe patience with this group is prudent, as some of us had thought all along.
Maybe a boring summer with little roster consistency isn’t a bad thing at all.
I heard this somewhere or read this somewhere or something like that (my memory has its moments) but it’s a giant’s birthday and why not …
Dude has under-rated voice, too.
Ran into the old Olympic flame in the hotel neighbourhood (I had seen it in pictures way back in February from a travelling Irregular) and I have to tell you.
Time doesn’t seem to have been good to it.
As a symbol, it’s outstanding, that was a watershed moment in Canadian sports history but, man, like Dwyane Wade, it got old in a hurry.
Mail? I’ve got, or had depending on when you read this, a stupid early flight out of Vancouver and have some questions to putter around on during it.
But there’s always room; almost last call over at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few football musings?
Why not? Maybe some of you watched the game and have some interest and, besides, I refuse to write about the hot dog guy winning the seventh time in a row.
Of course the B.C. Lions June Taylor Dancers would be called the Felions. What else makes as much sense?
Other things I forgot in the 20 or so years it’s been since I covered a CFL game:
You should bring little binoculars to the press box; great seats in B.C. but you’re a long way away. And that has nothing to do with needing to see Felions. Honest.
It takes a damn long time to play a football game in comparison to what I’m used to seeing. If the HOTH get to 2:30 TOG, I’m miffed; this thing Thursday night almost got to three hours.
I know basketball fans and hockey fans and baseball fans love to wear jerseys but the facepaint and the few people sporting helmets and the like make football fans stand out.
First game I’ve covered in a long time where there wasn’t even a sniff of flopping.
Kept scanning the sidelines for Rocket Ismail (that’s how long it’s been since I wrote an Argo game story) and when the pressbox conversation turned old-time I was right at home.
Remembering the Las Vegas Posse practicing in a parking lot. Kindly old Fred Anderson, who owned the Sacramento Gold Miners telling reporters after one board meeting that the league was near death. Reporters all making calls to Hamilton every two weeks to make sure the players got paid when they should have.
Ah, the good old days.
But you know what? From doing some research and checking in with old colleagues and friends, the CFL seems as solid as it’s ever been and I’m kind of glad about that. It’s quirky and tiny and it’s uniquely ours and we don’t have enough things that are totally Canadian.
If Dwight Howard does decide his future today – as some reports would indicate – can we all just yawn and move on?
Now, there is no way this could ever work back in Toronto but what they’ve done with B.C. Place is outstanding.
First time I’d been in the joint since they took the roof off and what a tremendous decision that was. No clue who paid for it or how much but it turned what I recall as a mausoleum – much like the Skydome – into a nice little open-air park.
And I now will say with the utmost confidence that every stadium built anywhere from here on in should either be totally open air or at least have a retractable roof and some level of intimacy because it’s the only way to watch sports.
You’re welcome, fans.
All right, long flight, which means something’s going to happen and I have to hit the ground running when I land so we’ll get to things when we get to things.