So today is a terrible day for me as a Raptors fan. The Raptors officially released PJ Tucker today. Personally, I don’t understand it. When he was with the big club, he maximized his playing time, provided the Raptors with some tough rebounding and worked hard. When he was sent down to the D-League, he played well and eventually got called back up. He was then inexplicably sent right back down, where he continued to play well. Never complained, just worked hard. Okay, now I know that some people are going to say that when he was with the Raps and he was picking up boards, they were in garbage time minutes, where he was doing it against non first-teamers. So? How many times have we seen other Raptors getting dominated on the boards by 2nd-stringers? The guy did his job when he was put on the court and he is still young. Are you telling me that with all of the lapses Gatorade Graham has shown, the Raptors have been willing to stand by him, but they aren’t willing to keep PJ around? Even Pape’s still here! Pape got minutes the other night! I don’t care if Pape’s raw and has talent, his clock is ticking and he had one hell of an injury. PJ was a quality player.
Now, obviously, Colangelo has his reasons for letting PJ walk and with the success of the Raptors this year, who am I to really question his move? Then again, Colangelo has made his share of mistakes when assessing young talent in the past (for example…sent Luol Deng to the Bulls for the draft rights to Jackson Vroman, a first round pick and cash considerations) and has also made one terrible trade (the Jason Kidd deal…YIKES). One just has to think that when you have a young talent who has shown a willingness to work hard to get where you need him to be, that’s the kind of guy you want in your system. I hope Colangelo proves me wrong.
So Colangelo kept busy on the off day, signing Luke Jackson to a ten day contract. Interesting move. The guy was a first rounder (10th overall no less) in 2004, but is coming off back surgery. With the injury history some of the Raptors have (Pape Sow, TJ Ford), I guess this just doesn’t scare the Raptor brass anymore. Maybe it’s some kind of club they’re starting. The Brotherhood of the Injured backs/necks. Anyway, it was a herniated disc in Luke’s case, but he also had a history of patella tendinitis.
Anyway, Luke was no joke at Oregon, had a stellar 4-year career there and led the team in scoring as a senior, so he obviously has the ability (you don’t get drafted 10th for nothing). Is this Colangelo’s secret slashing F/G? I don’t think so, but it will be interesting to see how the Raptors use him and even more interesting to see how they assess him.