Well, the Raptors have dipped into free agency and picked up Jason Kapono from the Miami Heat on a 4 year deal. A few beat guys had talked about this one coming through, so good on them for picking up on it. I’m just not sure if this is the kind of guy I think the Raptors need right now.
The one thing that almost everybody knows the Raptors need is a guy who can attack the basket, a forward who can knock down an outside shot, but is more comfortable taking it to the rim with aggression. Jason Kapono is not that guy. Is he a good player? Yes. But I am a little nervous about a guy whose career field goal percentage is lower than his 3-point percentage. There could be an argument made that while he is first in 3-point percentage, that he ranks 43rd in the league in 3-pointers made, suggesting that he takes good looks and doesn’t force the issue, but in the end, I’m not looking for Kapono to dunk on anybody.
Once Daequan Cook was taken in Thursday’s draft, I had a feeling Kapono might be coming this way, because that selection showed that Miami wasn’t going to be throwing any cash to keep Kapono around. I still wasn’t sure if he was going to be coming to Toronto, because while his style of play may actually suit what the Raptors are doing, I didn’t think he was really the piece they needed.
Outside of his not really being a guy who can attack the basket, there’s another big problem with his game. The dude can’t play defense. He would what an announcer would call a “defensive liability”. I’ve seen guys blow by him like he was stapled to the ground and he knack for looking over his shoulder to see what play he just missed kind of reminds me of that look Hoffa used to have in the middle of the lane (did you hear that the Jazz may be offering him a deal? WHA?). The Raptors need some defensive work, which includes rebounding and that isn’t going to come from Kapono.
On a good note, hopefully, having a serious 3-point threat will create some more room for Bosh and Andrea down low (note: “Andrea” and “down low” are not commonly seen next to each other, we’re hoping this will change). Also, there’s nothing better to start (or stop) a rally than a 3-pointer. If there was ever a final nail in the coffin for MoPete, this would be it. Heartbreak in Toronto on Canada Day.
So at this point, the Raptors have picked up Delfino (after a lot of thought, I’m 50-50 on that one), Kapono (I’m also 50-50 on that one) and some Greek God, Giorgos Printezis. Now let’s quickly talk about Printezis. To put it out dead straight, I have never seen him play. Not even a YouTube clip. But I have read some different stuff about him, which may or may not equate to anything. That being said, from what I have read, the kid can play some D and likes to attack the rim. Let’s not harp on the fact that he looks like a bad night at Palazzo (circa 1993…click here to see what I am talking about), he sounds like the kind of young talent the Raptors need.
So…um…do the Raptors like Americans anymore?