Turning to basketball now some news late yesterday that Raptors tendered a qualifying offer to Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Just to clear up any confusion all this means is they retain his rights as a restricted free agent. The Raptors have done the same with Carlos Delfino as well who they have made no secret about wanting to re-sign. As for Pops it may not be the same type of deal. I have no doubt the Raptors have a number in mind when it comes to Pops and they will not go over it to match an other offer. They also can later take back or rescind the qualifying offer at any point. Same goes in terms of Delfino. But it does at least show an interest on the part of the Raptors to bring him back.
The Milwaukee Bucks did not do the same for Charlie Villianueva. They did not offer him a qualifying offer and he will now become a free agent tomorrow. The Bucks decided to offer Ramon Sessions qualifying offer and not Charlie. It probably seems unlikely that Charlie could return to Toronto. However Raptor fans for the most part would welcome him back with open arms. I personally just wish him all the best as he is one of the better people in this league. He does a lot of great things for charity and kids. So all the best for him on what likely will be his 3rd NBA team.
Last year the blog title on this day was who will Bryan Colangelo be talking to at midnight tonight? If you dream big here are 3 options for you.
Ron Artest- There was a time that Ron seemed a lock to return to the Rockets. Does the recent news that Yao Ming will miss all of next season and his career is in some doubt change that? I would think it is worth a phone call to find out. Colangelo has talked about making this team tougher and Ron Artest would do more than his fair share in that regard. The idea of Artest as a Raptor has been kicked around by myself and others for a long time. This may be the final shot at making that a reality.
Trevor Ariza- If there is anyone that I would overpay for to get this is the guy. Ariza did nothing but up his value in the Lakers run to a championship. It is a real shot in the dark to think he would bolt north of the border. But there are only so many teams that have money to spend. So if the Raptors really wanted to make a strong pitch money wise to him it is possible. I think Ariza still has upside and can grow so that is why he appeals to me.
Lamar Odom- Also likely not very realistic. However the Lakers challenge is how do they re-sign both? It may be difficult for them to do. So that would open the door for other teams to make a run at the one the Lakers do not end up choosing. You can make the argument that Odom might be the one left out in the cold.
Some other Options for that first call:
Shawn Marion- Colangelo has made it pretty clear he would be more than happy to re-sign Shawn Marion. It will be a question of dollars for the Raptors. It will likely be for Shwan as well. Can the two get together on a number that makes both happy? The market may hold the answer to that. But it makes sense that Colangelo checks in first with Marion and his agent first to see where that is at before he goes shopping elsewhere.
Hedo Turkoglu- If this man gets the first call and says 5 years and 50 million do you hang up? Maybe not hang up but you sure don't say done deal see you in Toronto for the presser. I think if you over paid for Hedo it would be a mistake. One of the biggest blunders made by Glen Grundwald was over paying for Alvin William, Jeromoe Williams and Antonio Davis. At the time Grunwald was praised but as time rolled on it would be a big part of his demise as G.M of the Raptors. I think if Hedo was signed, at the terms I have listed, that is what is said to be asking price you have a similar result. Fans would cheer in the short term but end up booing long before the deal was done.
Who is not getting a call at all?
Joey Graham it seems pretty clear is done as a Raptor. There has been almost no talk at all about him. It is with good reason as well. In his time here there have been many chances for Joey to prove himself and he has failed to establish himself. Will be interesting to see who actually will pick up the phone and call Joey. I have always thought OKC is a nice fit but we will see.
Raptors might get a busy signal when they call Anthony Parker. Teams like Boston and Cavs seem to have some interest as having Parker as a bench player. Where would you rather come off the bench if you were him? Raptors have made it clear should he remain he will have a roll likely coming off the bench. For a pure competitive situation it is much more attractive to do that in Boston or Cleveland. Parker does love Toronto but I am not sure if it is enough to pass a chance at a title with the for mentioned teams.