Grange: Raptors Close to Signing Marion (Update Pg. 3)
Old 07-03-2009, 12:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Grange: Raptors Close to Signing Marion (Update Pg. 3)

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Michael Grange

Toronto — Globe and Mail Update Last updated on Thursday, Jul. 02, 2009 10:28PM EDT

Poor free-agent crop offers Raptors options

Getting a deal done with Marion likely makes the most sense. Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo can plug in the rest of the jigsaw puzzle in short order and likely give head coach Jay Triano a versatile lineup deep in proven NBA experience, if not an instant title contender.

As NBA free agency comes into focus, the emerging picture is of a game of musical chairs, only with a serious shortage of chairs.

“The market is very thin,” one league source said. This can mean only good things for the Toronto Raptors.

Only a few days ago it was anticipated Toronto would try to re-sign its own free agents – Shawn Marion and Carlos Delfino, anyway. That would put the Raptors over the salary cap, but they could use the league's so-called mid-level exception to go after another free agent. The Denver Nuggets' Linas Kleiza seems a likely target.

But in the dry market, uneasiness has set in, only it's not the Raptors feeling a little tightness in the throat. Instead it's the agents trying to find deals for clients in an environment where no one wants to spend any mad money.

The Raptors are in an interesting position.

One choice is to stay the course and start the season with a slate of familiar names but also a much deeper and flexible lineup, spending what's needed to get Marion signed. Alternatively, they can go in a different direction, “blow things up,” as one front-office source put it, a move that might increase the team's front-line talent while also insuring them against the departure of Chris Bosh.

The Raptors, wisely, have been in no rush.

Toronto has pencilled in three years and $18-million to $21-million (all currency U.S.) for Marion. The longer it takes him to survey the landscape and realize that might be the best offer on the table, the more likely he'll accept.

Tellingly, Bill Duffy, Kleiza's agent, has signalled that he's willing to wait for the Raptors to sort out their dealings with Marion. “There's time,” Duffy said.

Translation: He feels Toronto is a good destination for the burly 24-year-old small forward, and whatever portion of the $5.5-million mid-level exception the Raptors can make available to his client will be welcomed in a depressed market.

It's not surprising that the Raptors have been linked with some other high-profile free agents, including Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic, David Lee of the New York Knicks and Trevor Ariza of the Los Angeles Lakers.

(The floor for Turkoglu and Lee is a five-year deal starting at $10-million a season, while Ariza is hoping for something in the $8-million range as he tries to capitalize on his strong play during the NBA final.)

If they're going to get the money they want, their representatives need some competition for their services. That would explain the smoke signals that for the right money, all three would make their way north to Toronto. That in itself is a triumph of sorts, indicating that even though the Raptors struggled last season, their approach on and off the floor has gained traction across the league. They had a bad year, sure, but it's not a bad organization.

Besides, word getting out that some very good players are willing to take the Raptors' money might even help Marion make up his mind sooner than later.

What to do?

Getting a deal done with Marion likely makes the most sense. Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo can plug in the rest of the jigsaw puzzle in short order and likely give head coach Jay Triano a versatile lineup deep in proven NBA experience, if not an instant title contender.

But in a weak market, going big on Turkoglu or Lee isn't as risky as in other years. Yes, the Raptors would have to solve their depth issues with minimum-salary players, but the promise of steady playing time and a one-year minimum contract might be the best offer out there for a player willing to prove his worth in advance of a more lucrative free-agent period next summer.

And what of Lee, the bouncy, rebounding machine from the Knicks? It might seem strange that the Raptors have sent feelers out to a free agent who plays the same position as Bosh and Andrea Bargnani.

But with Bosh not willing to tip his hand about his long-term intentions, Lee becomes a pretty good replacement should it come to that.

And with a replacement in place, you don't think Bosh would fetch a worthy small forward and some added roster depth?

Turn up that music before all the chairs are gone.
Seems a bit low considering Hedo might get 10-12Mil, Gordon got 11Mil? If we keep Marion i have a feeling it'll have to be 9Mil. Then again BC has waited this out perfectly, knowing there wasn't a huge market for him, therefore the most he can get elsewhere now is MLE (5.6Mil). So if we offer him at some point 7-8Mil he should sign on the dotted line. **crosses fingers**

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Old 07-03-2009, 12:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The other concern i have is if Marion doesnt get what he thinks he is worth on the market and "settles" with us for 7mil/year, what Marion will we get. A sulky one, a no show, a loafer, me first me only ?

I can see him doing this too...
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i dunno shack. marion seems like he's got more pride than that, even with everything that went on in phx. i think he's learned his lesson on that too.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The other concern i have is if Marion doesnt get what he thinks he is worth on the market and "settles" with us for 7mil/year, what Marion will we get. A sulky one, a no show, a loafer, me first me only ?

I can see him doing this too...
I think he'd be out to prove everyone wrong and prove a point.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It is low and if it's true, i can see why he's in no hurry to take it. If we lose Marion because we're trying to nickel and dime him, i will be more unimpressed with Colangelo than i allready am. Word is late Thurs night that Cleveland is turning it's focus to Marion as well as Parker. Sign him allready and start concentrating on luring others here with our exceptions before all the good free agent pieces are gone.

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Old 07-03-2009, 12:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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reasonable price. really .. just sign them papers already matrix i can't wait any longer ... gimme NEWS~!!!
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It is low and if it's true, i can see why he's in no hurry to take it. If we lose Marion because we're trying to nickel and dime him, i will be more unimpressed with Colangelo than i allready am. Word is late Thurs night that Cleveland is turning it's focus to Marion as well as Parker.
All they can offer Marion is MLE.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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you never know guys ... BC could do a S&T .. if marion is asking for too much.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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settle him for the 7mil/yr if he thinks he's more worth it. 21mil in 3yrs. seems like a fair bargain. but if this negotiation doesn't pull through, we should definitely work out something with Kleiza and Belinelli. we could lose Marion but at least we have decent players who can contribute an average 10ppg.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The other concern i have is if Marion doesnt get what he thinks he is worth on the market and "settles" with us for 7mil/year, what Marion will we get. A sulky one, a no show, a loafer, me first me only ?

I can see him doing this too...
he said himself he has to be selfish and take the ost money he can get which would be 6-7 mill. from us because he would get the mid level from everyone else. we wouldn't get a whiny marion because it would be as if he's getting the best deal out there. he wants money he's gonna get it and he's gonna show you that he's worth alot more than that.but, happy with what he gets at the same time.


also, i couldn't imagine that coming from a guy who looked colangelo right in the eyes and said "if you hadda had me all season. your team would be in the playoffs."
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The fact is Kleiza is willing to wait for Toronto apparently, so i'm sure BC said the right things and convinced him they'de sign him. And the only way to do that is sign Marion/Delfino and go over the cap so they can then spend the MLE/LLE.

BC knows what he's doing and if he has to i believe he'll pay Marion 8Mil+ and then go after Kleiza/Belinelli (trade).

I would love a bench of Belinelli/Derozan/Kleiza + another PG?....which is a good start and better then last season.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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ya, i believe bryan will bite the bullet and pay marion 8-9 mill. so, he goes over the cap and can use the mle and lle to his advantage.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Seems a bit low considering Hedo might get 10-12Mil, Gordon got 11Mil? If we keep Marion i have a feeling it'll have to be 9Mil. Then again BC has waited this out perfectly, knowing there wasn't a huge market for him, therefore the most he can get elsewhere now is MLE (5.6Mil). So if we offer him at some point 7-8Mil he should sign on the dotted line. **crosses fingers**
Ya I think it'll take 9 mil. Hope BC doesn't blow it.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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be assured w/e it is whether it be 6 mill or 9 mill or somewhere in between bryan will make the best and possibly better than most out of it.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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ya, i believe bryan will bite the bullet and pay marion 8-9 mill. so, he goes over the cap and can use the mle and lle to his advantage.
Exactly. The cupboards allready bare of assets. Lose Marion and Parker to top it off. You don't get over the cap so as to utilize the full amount of the exceptions. You don't build on the slim asset base we have when we have a great opportunity to do so. If that's the case, you might as well just plan for the lottery for another couple years. We are squandering away an opportunity here.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Exactly. The cupboards allready bare of assets. Lose Marion and Parker to top it off. You don't get over the cap so as to utilize the full amount of the exceptions. You don't build on the slim asset base we have when we have a great opportunity to do so. If that's the case, you might as well just plan for the lottery for another couple years. We are squandering away an opportunity here.
Let's hope Colangelo panicks like the fans and overpay for Marion instead of taking a cautious approach. Chill out. If Marion walks we trade Bosh and rebuild with Bargnani and Calderon... and quickly at that. A good pick this year, a year of seasoning for Bargnani and Derozan, and cap space in a huge free agent market. Sounds better than panicking.

Yes Marion would be good at 7, but 9?
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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So the Raps only want to give him 7 but Ariza 9. WTH I'd rather have Marion over Ariza 10 times out of 10
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Let's hope Colangelo panicks like the fans and overpay for Marion instead of taking a cautious approach. Chill out. If Marion walks we trade Bosh and rebuild with Bargnani and Calderon... and quickly at that. A good pick this year, a year of seasoning for Bargnani and Derozan, and cap space in a huge free agent market. Sounds better than panicking.

Yes Marion would be good at 7, but 9?
It's still squandering opportunity to build assets. Assets give you OPTIONS. Trades etc. It's a whole season wasted. Next year you can use the MLE exception again and can grab more. If we end up with cap space and little else this season because Marion and Parker are gone, we will probably overpay someone who no-one else wants with the little bit of cap space we have. If this season doesn't prove that being one of only five teams with cap space can't even net us someone coveted, what makes everyone think losing Bosh and creating capspace next season will benefit us. Everyone has cap space next year. So we trade Bosh and net a couple assets, thats only addition by subtraction. The only way this franchise will be successful is by continuosly adding assets which are trading chips to get who you what you want. We can't keep giving them away. That's why we are in this mess to begin with.

Even if we give Marion $9 he will have a good season here because he's a perfect fit. Trading him would not be hard to do. Because teams only have to worry about the luxury tax and not the tiny cap number when trading.

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Old 07-03-2009, 01:53 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Grange: Raptors close to signing Marion 4yrs/32-34Mil?

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Friday, July 3, 2009 01:40 PM

Raptors closing in on deal with Marion
Michael Grange

First things first: the latest word is that the three-year, $21-million deal that has been speculated as the Raptors' offer for Shawn Marion might be a bit light, I'm hearing. Think four years and north of $32-million; maybe as much as $34-million. If that's the case what is Marion waiting for, really?

First things first: the latest word is that the three-year, $21-million deal that has been speculated as the Raptors' offer for Shawn Marion might be a bit light, I'm hearing. Think four years and north of $32-million; maybe as much as $34-million. If that's the case what is Marion waiting for, really?

Back to that in a moment, but let me say this: I can't imagine if I covered neurosurgery instead of basketball I'd ever have a day when I though to myself: 'Stupid neurosurgeons, what the hell do they know? That was a totally dumb move."

Knowing that you don't know stuff is a big part of being a decent reporter and I don't see me ever shaking that feeling on the neurosurgery beat.

And even though the NBA isn't neurosurgery, I'm not the type to sit around and figure I know better, though sometimes it does cross my mind.

But seriously, Ron Artest? The Lakers signed Ron-Ron?

And let Trevor Ariza walk?

Are they insane?

Stupid Los Angeles Lakers, what the hell do they know?

Sure Phil Jackson coached Dennis Rodman with the Bulls to great effect. Dennis Rodman was quirky, weird and a heavy drinker, but in his own way he always struck me as rational. He understood celebrity, knew how to make himself stand out, made a lot of money as a result, and otherwise was good for 15 rebounds a game, lockdown defense at three positions and -- perhaps most importantly - didn't take any shots from Jordan or Pippen.

Does Ron Artest strike anyone as rational? The throwing balls at his teammates heads from his days with the Bulls? His getting a job at the electronics store so he could get the employee discounts? The leave of absence to pursue the rap career?

I'm not even going to mention the brawl or the not feeding the dogs part, it feels like piling on.

More relevant is the shot selection. The guy takes crazy shots.

That alone should have been enough for the Lakers to pass. Particularly when they let Ariza got to Houston, saying goodbye to a rapidly improving 24-year-old who runs, hits open threes and makes spectacular steals to win games in the NBA Finals.

Wow.

Anyway, to me this is good news for the Raptors.

I think one of the keys to this whole slow dance with Marion has been him coming to the realization that his days of earning $18-million a year are gone and not coming back. I had a very plugged-in guy with a Central Division club tell me he thought Marion would be doing well to get the mid-level; or five years for $33-million.

Seeing Artest get three years of mid-level money to sign with the Lakers might help Marion's agent, Don Fegan, have an easier go of explaining to Marion why he's going to have to take a pretty big paycut this year.

Everything I know about Bryan Colangelo's style is that he's not the type to hold the Artest deal over Marion's head. My sources are solid on the four-year offer of over $8-million per for Marion. That seems a little rich to me, frankly, but given where the Raptors are and where they're headed, I understand it. And apparently there is some sign-and-trade interest in and around those numbers, so maybe the money isn’t so out of whack.

Regardless, because I don't buy season tickets or pay the bills at MLSE, it's easy for me to say trade Bosh and start over. For various reasons there's not an appetite for that at MLSE right now, so the question is what's the best way to become competitive?

I think signing Marion, adding the likes of Kleiza and Delfino and maybe finding a way to keep Parker (long-shot; Real Madrid is coming hard) is the most direct route to 45+ wins. I'd like to see them find a really solid water-bug type as a back-up point guard too, but I don't think the money is going to line up.

But at some point Marion's going to have realize that the market really has shifted in a very short amount of time. If I'm him I take the Raptors money and be glad of it.

Last edited by jeffb; 07-03-2009 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Great news to hear.
So that be around 8 mill a year.
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