I’ve seen two Maceos in concert…

I’ve seen two Maceos in concert. Maceo Parker, one of the hardest, most important and tightest funk musicians ever…and Maceo Baston, the underwhelming former Raptor. I got thrown out of the Maceo Parker concert I went to (we won’t get into details, but let’s just say it was a complete misunderstanding between me, some dude looking for a fight and an overzealous bouncer) and wished I had been able to see the rest of the concert. I stayed for the whole game I saw when Maceo Baston was part of the Raptors…I wished I hadn’t. It was at the end of a season full of injuries and to see Maceo out there trying to stop the leaks on the floor was painful. It was like walking into a rainstorm with only a newspaper to keep yourself dry.

Anyway, the Raptors have signed Maceo Baston to an offer sheet, numbers were not disclosed (that seems to be a common term lately), but I have heard it will be around 2 years and just under $4 million. The Pacers have 15 days to match the offer, but I would be surprised if they did.

I am NOT a Maceo hater. I actually think he’s a good player. Considering his NBA career has only allowed him an average of 8 minutes per game, it is tough to really get a sense of what he’s all about and I don’t think he was used effectively when he was in Toronto. Regarding his college days, his NBA bio says, “He finished his career at the University of Michigan as one of only two Wolverines (along with Roy Tarpley) with over 1,300 points, 800 rebounds and 100 blocked shots in his career…in Michigan record books, he ranked first in career field goal percentage (.652), fourth in career blocked shots, eighth in career rebounds and 19th in scoring…he missed only six games in four seasons…he had 15 double-doubles and led the team in rebounding 48 times.” But we all know how much emphasis I put on college numbers…not much.

So where do we go to get a good sense of M-A-C-E-O…MACEO!!! (sorry, taken from Maceo Parker)? We go to Europe where he has been a solid player, playing with a few teams, but most importantly, playing with AP for Tel Aviv (maybe there is something to be said about the Anthony Parker - Maceo Parker same last name, cosmos lining up kind of thing, but probably not). He won Euroleague titles with Tel Aviv in 2004 and 2005. In his first season with Tel Aviv, he averaged 14.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 1.64 bpg, while shooting nearly 71% (185-261) from the field in Premier League competition. That’s right, 71%. That is not a typo.

While he is a skilled dunker, what cannot be lost is his defending ability. He can get up and down the court well, which means that while he is an offensive presence, he will not get caught down the floor. He gets back down the court and will come out of nowhere to block shots. If there is one thing you can say about his D, it is that he is constantly active (kind of reminds me a bit of MoPete and Boris Diaw). Now THIS is more of a signing that looks like it will be something the Raptors need…but what will that mean for the other guys on the team?

Gatorade Graham. Dude, things just got a bit murky in Raptorland for you. Maceo always plays bigger than he is listed, although I still think he isn’t at his best when having to defend bigger guys. Then again, GG isn’t so great at defending bigger OR SMALLER guys on a lot of nights. Tough to say what is going to happen here, but if I am Gatorade Graham, I’m not going to be rolling out the welcome mat for Maceo.

Overall, I like this signing. Maceo is a quality player and a good locker room guy, so he will be a good fit. Looking forward to seeing him back if the offer doesn’t get matched.

2 Comments

S.K.  on July 12th, 2007

I really like the pieces Colangelo is assembling here - even Kapono is a good signing from a roster perspective, though I don’t really trust Mitchell not to overplay him. I agree that this probably punches Graham’s ticket out of Toronto, but I think it’s time.

Anyway, Baston is a great signing at this money. Stats from Europe are more valuable than most people realize, and Baston put up great numbers there.

axl  on July 12th, 2007

I acutally think I’d rather have maceo parker than Joey G…