Meet any Raptors fan and engage in a discussion about the team, and undoubtedly two questions will arise.
1. Will Chris Bosh re-sign with the Raptors?
2. Can Jalen Rose’s contract be moved?
It’s still a little premature distressing over the first question because the Raps have Bosh locked down for another year and a half. I say we focus on issues at hand, and cross that bridge when we get there.
But I wanted to talk about Jalen a bit more, because whether you like it or not, we’re paying him $177,000 a game to showcase his mouthguard in his headband. As much as I love Jalen Rose as a player, carrying his contract on our books is like driving with the parking brake on.
Are we paying him too much? $16.9 million next season to bob his head to be precise, and I don’t even see him bob his head anymore.
Can his contract be traded? Absolutely.
It’s been reported that there are a couple of teams interested in acquiring Jalen, most notably the Los Angeles Lakers. Expect a first-rounder to be packaged with trade offers. And I’ve said this before - come playoff time when teams are making that final push, having Jalen Rose on your team suddenly becomes an attractive opportunity.
Fans have been cautious this year about knocking Jalen Rose as a player? Why? He’s been the exemplary professional. As my friend Jay pointed during the Houston game, there is not one NBA player who could’ve handled his situation better. It’s tough sitting in the doghouse while rookies log your playing time. It’s tough answering the same questions for the thousandth time in front of the Toronto media. And it’s tough playing for the worst team in the league in the twilight of your career. But give Jalen credit, because he bears it and grins.
In a recent article in the New York Post by Peter Vecsey, Jalen gives his thoughts on the season in an email:
“I promised myself early this yr dat I was gonna be a total PRO and let the chips fall where they may . . . by not taking this TOR situation PERSONAL . . . I feel something will happen soon . . . then bk 2 the States . . . talk 2 ya soon.”
Babcock was able to move Rafer Alston’s contract, proving that he might actually have the capability to pull off another miracle with Jalen. Until then, I’ll leave you with a final thought about Jalen’s playing time. If you want a rose to bloom, you have to water it first. We need to give him more playing time. Joey Graham will get his opportunities for years to come, and if we want to have a better chance at moving Jalen, we have to let him play his value up.