Archive for July, 2006

Raps Sign Uros Slokar

The Raptors signed 2005 2nd round pick Uros Slokar to a 1-year deal. No terms were disclosed. Slokar played in Europe for 5 years and a couple of summers for the Raptors summer league teams. One guess on a certain team he played for in Europe…yep: Bennetton. Another guess for two current Raptors he played with there…yep, Garbajosa and Bargnani. Forget Toronto, it’s the United Nations Raptors!

See ya Alvin

Well, another very likeable player and a very talented one (when he is healthy) is gone from the Raps. It was tough to see Charlie V leave after having a great rookie season and surprising most people. It is only remotely sad to see Alvin go, not because he was a bad player or a bad seed, probably the exact opposite. But it is only remotely sad because by Colangelo coming in and taking care of this item so quickly, it just shows what should have been done a long time ago.

The Raptors club leader in assists should have had an agreement worked out a long time ago that would have resulted in him leaving the Raptors. If the club could work something out (if you can call it that) to get Zo out of town (did he ever really get here?), then surely, something could have been done about Alvin. I’m no doctor, but anybody with any level of competency could see that Alvin wasn’t going to play again here, probably not again in the NBA. I hope he does, but when you have that many operations on your knee and you’re a guard, you had better start checking out your options.

Colangelo’s move once again exposed just how inept Raptors management has been in the past. Alvin was dead wood and had to be cut off. Now, if they could maybe purchase a burger franchise for Mart and see if he’ll go too…

Reflections on D-Mart

1. Can anybody believe Colangelo hasn’t come in and said, “Wait, you guys are kidding, right? Sorry, I thought this guy worked the concession stand.”

2. Just checked the Raptors site. They have him listed at 170 lbs. I’m serious.

3. Word around town is that with all of the international signings, D-Mart has been asking how he can create new interpretations on the classic American hamburger.

4. When told Colangelo was taking over the team, D-Mart’s first reponse was, “Jello? Jello? I love Jello.”

Honestly though people, where does D-Mart fit into all of this? I think the “instructor” and “advisor” role that he had last year was played up way too much and when he was on the court, he wasn’t terrible, but there are better options. Seeing D-Mart trying to land a 2-on-1 layup could be one of the most painful things anybody has to watch. Anyway, best of luck to D-Mart this season, he could be my new favourite Raptor. D-Mart… we should just start calling him Mart, cuz he’s got no D. Sorry Mart, but now that Mine James is gone, we need a new whipping boy. Congrats, it’s the first position you can rely on as being yours.

Another Raptor Signing…and maybe I’m the Dummy of the Year Candidate

Colangelo just can’t stop. In an attempt to tell Raptor fans just how far off the map we were with last year’s edition of the team, Colangelo signed Spanish league Finals MVP Jorge Garbajosa. Garbajosa, a 6’9″ forward averaged 14.8 points and 6.9 rebounds with Unicaja last year, making him an appetizing thought for Colangelo. But let’s be honest, this probably wasn’t as much of a Colangelo signing as it was a Gheradini-whispered-in-Colangelo’s-ear signing. Garbajosa spent four years in Italy playing for Benneton Treviso, so I’m putting money on Gheradini telling Colangelo to get moving on the guy. Sources say the guy doesn’t mind a little contact, which will be a nice change for Raptor fans after seeing the ballet that was sometimes our offence AND defence last year.

Now back to John Salmons. About five minutes after I put a post up about his blunder in not signing with the Raps, he signs with the Kings. As I mentioned, maybe he knew something we didn’t, but I can’t say I saw him going to the west coast. Terms of the deal weren’t available as of yesterday. Either way, I still think Toronto would have been a better fit for Salmons. Toronto is going to run and be athletic this year, things that play to Salmons strengths. The Raptors are also going to be looking for a few guys to break out and help Bosh carry the load and this would have been a perfect opportunity for Salmons. Let’s not forget how tough the Pacific Division is. Suns, The Clip, Lakers, Kings and The ever rising Warriors. Compare that to the Atlantic, where the Nets were the only above .500 team last year. I dunno, I still think he would have been better here. Anyway, let’s hope he later gets traded to the Knicks.

New Deals and a Dummy of the Year Candidate

Well, we certainly can’t fault Bryan Colangelo for being passive. Since taking over the Raps, he has been putting his mark all over this team and why not, surely, things can’t get any worse (note: disclaimer here for if things do get worse, maybe I should say it is “unlikely” things will get worse). Fred Jones is going to sign with the Raptors, leaving the Pacers and bringing his 9.6 ppg (off the bench) to Basketball North. Should be interesting to see if he actually works himself into a starting job, but if a guy is comfortable coming off the bench and doesn’t seem to against it, then Sam might just leave him there. A nice move by Colangelo to pick up on the Pacers pulling their qualifying offer and moving in to get a valuable piece of the puzzle.

Now on to the Dummy of the Year Candidate – John Salmons. The Raps had 5 years and $23 million on the table for him AFTER he turned down an offer from the Suns. The Sixers have also pulled a qualifying offer that was on the table earlier. So now guess what Mr. Salmons? You have no offers anywhere and no guaranteed money for next year. Nice work. In a statement from his agent, Joel Bell (reported in the AP), it was said that Salmons didn’t think Toronto was the best fit for him. Wow. Either he knows something we don’t or this move is completely crazy. Maybe his “best fit” is waiting another month before getting an offer from the Knicks. Dude, honestly, you’re John Salmons and you just turned down 5 years, $23 mil in a place where you would have had tons of playing time. Seriously.

Raptors keep the transactions rolling

A few things to report tonight, and I’ll go more in-depth tomorrow.

  • John Salmons, of the Philadelphia 76ers, has just minutes ago completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Toronto Raptors. It’s a 5 year contract worth approximately $23 million, and the 76ers will most likely get back a 2nd round draft pick and a $2 million trade exception.
  • Anthony Parker, from Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv, has agreed to play for the Toronto Raptors with a 3 year contracted worth $12 million.
  • Chris Bosh looks to sign for 3 years with the team for $40 million, with a player option in the 4th year.

Mike James – Killing Min. Softly

As much as I enjoyed dragging Mike James through the proverbial mud last season, I was more than content on just burying the hatchet and moving on. However, after listening to Chuck Swirsky’s interview on the FAN590 today, I just had to say a few more things.

[Click here to hear the interview]

First of all, Mike… IS you crazy?

Granted, the Raptors offer of 3 years and 5 million dollars is absolutely a slap in the face, but Minnesota’s contract was extremely accomodating for a one-year track record for a 31 year old player. To sign a contract with a new team and then rant to the media that you’re still underpaid and appreciated is disrespectful. Sure Kevin Garnett placed a personal call for Mike, but that was before he ever realized that Mike James is the black hole of the NBA. Once a basketball hits his event horizon, it ain’t never coming back.

But let’s look at the facts. Mike had an incredible year, and nothing can take that away from him. Oh, except for the fact that the Toronto Raptors didn’t give a rat’s ass that he left. And the fact that the one person who actually stood up for him, namely Chris Bosh, said in more ways than one that Mike James was one selfish snap crackle pop. And let’s not forget Sam Mitchell’s look of horror during the final seconds of every game when Mike held onto the basketball like it was a bucket of the Colonel’s best chicken wings.

Matt Bonner leaves town and the organization and players weep. Charlie V. leaves town and the organization and players weep. Mike James leaves town and the organization and players throw a party. And who can blame them? Mike James makes more demands than a bank hostage taker.

Goodbye, Mike James. Your legend died out long before your candle ever did.

Mike James signs with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

You heard it here pretty early.

NBA front-office sources told that James on Tuesday agreed to sign a four-year contract with the Wolves worth an estimated $25 million.

James also confirmed the agreement to radio station ESPN790 in Houston.

Anyone already thinking twice about taking Kevin Garnett first in their pool next year?

Andrea Bargnani Videos

For those of you who have seen little of the Toronto Raptor’s 1st overall pick, here are some video compilations of Andrea Bargnani. Enjoy.

See ya Charlie

When the message came across the bottom of the ticker, I wasn’t all that surprised that Charlie V had been traded (there had been a lot of rumours), but I didn’t think it was going to be a one up for TJ Ford. Apparently, the discussions were initially around bringing Jamaal Magloire to Toronto (why does everybody think he is going to be our saviour?) and ended up with TJ Ford coming back.
Good move? Sure. Tactical and smart, but let’s all just hope there aren’t any future injury problems. After missing a season and a half with a spinal-cord injury, Ford came back to lead him team with 6.6 assists per game, something the Raps are sorely needing. The 12.2 ppg were a nice addition, but let’s be honest, it will be nice to have a guy running the floor who is pass-first, shoot second, instead of the MINE James show. So I guess there will not be any more butler references for us as it looks like Mine James is on his way out of town via free-agency.
Make no mistake folks, by letting Charlie go, Colangelo is making a very clear statement on how good he thinks Bargnani is going to be. Charlie V proved to be a quality player, but as soon as Bargnani was selected, Charlie V was trade bait. Good on Colangelo, because how many times have we seen guys have a good rookie year, only to flop later? If Charlie V doesn’t start taking care of that body a bit, he’s going to watch it morph into a mid-90s Big O.
Here’s the best of luck to both of them in their new cities.