Different Actors But Same Movie For Raptors?

I can't help but sit back and wonder if this is a case of De Ja VU. But first let's clear some stuff up. To sign Hedo the Raptors have to give up rights (Renounce) Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker, Carlos Delfino and Joey Graham and Pops Mensah-Bonsu by July 7th. Also in addition I have read and been told that the Raptors also will not have their MLE(Mid level exception) as a result of this signing. According to Doug Smith the only way the Raptors could get it back it to workout a sign and trade for Shawn Marion with Orlando. Given the fact they brought in V.C that seems unlikely. Perhaps some wacky 3 way deal could be worked out but I would not hold my breath. Basically the Raptors have given up the rights to 5 players and their mid level exception to sign Hedo. That seems like a heck of a lot does it not? Just like trading T.J Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and Roy Hibbert for Jermaine O'Neal and Nathan Jawai. That deal became worse given the health issues of Jawai. J.O also would have his injury issues as well. Would anyone do a 6 asset deal to get 1 player in a trade? I mean this is for Hedo not Dwight Howard.

I hear and read all of this talk about how great this is that we landed a high end free agent. It is only great if it works, if it doesn't it really means nothing. In fact honestly I question if it even means anything at all in terms of North American players. Does the fact we signed Hedo make the next Trevor Ariza type free agent sign in Toronto. Ariza in case you forgot or did not hear was offered allegedly 9 million more to come to Toronto and passed. Does that change this from happening again? Not unless the Raptor become a consistent and winning team.

In fact, I think the success of Demar DeRozan could have more impact on getting North American free agents than a Hedo signing. If DeRozan lives up to his promise and becomes a star and remains in Toronto that will do more for attracting free agents than anything. If a kid who grew up in Compton California gives Toronto a stamp of approval that will speak louder than any Euro player signing in Toronto in terms of North American talent. There would be a certain street cred about that. It is not to say that Vince Carter or Chris Bosh don't have that. But it is different. Dallas and Florida are not anything close to where DeRozan comes from. I may have watched Boyz In The Hood one to many times. However I think it would be something that might change attitudes about players coming to Toronto. It just a theory but I think it might have some merit.

But signing a Euro based player beyond improving the on the court product will have little to no impact on free agency in the future. The Raptors in the end regardless of what it does for future free agency may have given up far to much to sign Hedo. They will need to hit some major league home runs in terms of signing guys to minimum deals. As I suggested perhaps a guy or maybe even 2 on the summer league roster would have to get signed and make an impact in some small way.

The depth of this team is truly lacking and I am not convinced this is something Bryan Colangelo has some magic answer for. A sign and trade for Marion is extremely unlikely with the Magic. If the Raptors have no mid level exception they are really screwed in terms of adding depth. This team to me would enter the season in the same position it did last year in terms of being just one injury away from certain doom. If any play 1-3 goes down the Raptors could be totally screwed.

The one thing I can bet you won't here from Bryan Colangelo that this is the best roster he has had since he has been here. I think he learned his lesson on that last year. But it seems he has not when it comes to building depth on this team. Honestly I don't like to come off as the voice of doom. In fact, unlike some writers and bloggers, I really hope that I am wrong. I want to see the Raptors do well and succeed. If that happens to make me wrong about some things I can live with that. But I never write anything that I don't believe to be true from my prospective. That was the lesson I learned from the Jermaine O'Neal trade. I hated it from the start and would allow myself to be swayed. Well not this time. This is a bad contract and it does not address enough to out weigh the problems it creates. All this being said I do think the Raps will be a playoff team. But as I said a few days ago the goal is suppose to be Championships not Playoff appearances.


  1. What would you have done instead? Artest wasn't coming, Ariza wasn't coming. So you have a) Hedo, b) some combo of "average" guys like Klieza/Deflino/AP etc or c) blow it up.
    B) will not get you anywhere and Bosh will for sure leave. C) is an option, but blowing it up rarely works unless you're lucky enough to land a #1 in a great draft. So the last option was A). The players are pumped, many fans are pumped that we're getting serious, and we have a winner - a great teammate with desire and passion. Will years 3-5 likely bite with this contract? Likely. But it shows the Raptors are a proud franchise and want to win.
    Otherwise you're cycle is: draft a star (Chris Bosh), build a bit around and poof - the star leaves before you got to were you wanted to go. Rinse. Lather. Repeat cycle.

  2. I share your same views. We gave up too much for one player. We essentially gave up financial flexibility that could affect us for years. This team, as currently constructed is very soft to play against when looking at the starting 5. They cannot rebound so any thoughts of having a run-and-gun team are nothing more than wishful thinking. If you cannot rebound, you cannot go out on the fast-break. You need the ball to do that. I am reading that all we can do, if BC cannot swing some sort of deal, is sign players to the minimum. Not sure how that is going to work out. I am not a BC slagger. I have confidence he will work something out. No way he would do something to hamstring the franchise for years to come without having a plan. Right?

  3. Hi DB,

    Consider that before we signed Hedo, we were looking to be right up near the tax level, with a SL of Bosh, Marion, Bargs, Derozan and Jose, with Delfino, Evans, Ukic off the bench. We were reportedly after Klieza as well, and I have no idea what would have happened with AP.

    Now we have Bosh, Bargs, Hedo, Derozan, and Jose with Evans an Ukic off the bench, but instead of being up against the Lux tax, we are under the cap.

    While we may lose a bit of depth this year, we can come after FA's with full MLE & LLE, plus have enough money to not have to worry about whether maxing Bosh or re-signing Bargnani is going to lead us into the Luxurty tax. (Artest, ARiza and Wallace signed for the MLE, this year)

    We just did a big salary dump, that will pay off in the long term. In regards to whether Bosh stays, we are in a better position now than we were before if he choses to leave, himlsef has come out and said he likes the Hedo signing, why would you think it would hurt that?

    The whole thing about playing in Canada, BC did not create that, all he's doing is trying to build on the positves of it.

    We have 4/5th's of a full legit SL, if DeRozan is stong out of the gate, so as long as we can keep Bosh, what's the problem? Maybe it will be tough this year, but we should be able to do some damage on the FA market in 2010.

    Marion's a good guy, but it jsut didn't work. If he wanted to be here, he would be. He was offered a contract first, as was Ariza, that they didn't sign, Can't blame BC for that.


  4. Liston Artest would have come if Bosh would have given him a few tracks on his CD I am sure Ron Ron comes. But seriously you are right there may not have been any good options for the Raptors.

    I agree it is something that needs to be considered.

    I understand what Bryan has tried to do and it was a brilliant idea. But at the end of the day I believe you need North American Talent on some level to win in NBA. People will say the Spurs but the still have key American Players.

  5. The main difference is that we are not close to the tax but close to the cap.
    That mean we can add at the minimum, 7 people on the roster,no star just veterans.
    Last year, we were so close to the tax that we really bottom fish some cheap help like Hassan.
    Make no mistakes, we are following the same route that Boston is using.

  6. Hey Dinoblogger,

    Keep it coming, another day before we get real news to talk about!

    Not to say non-American players are better but case in point - the Spurs have been built around Duncan, Parker, Ginobli - the American players are largely "bench strength". They've been pretty good. But I digress - who cares where players were born anyway? KB ain't giving back the ring just because some Spanish guy put his team over the top. (Note: about the Euro Raps, CB4 is from Dallas, right!)

    Yes, BC in effect traded depth for Hedo.
    Depth wise, BC gave up Marion (who obviously did not want to be here as he turned down at at $2m more per year than he can get elsewhere); Parker a great guy who at 34 has no more than a couple a declining seasons left (I hope he gets the full MLE out of Cleveland); Delfino who left last year to play in Europe because no one in the NBA would give him close to the full MLE (Raps should be able to find a replacement out of the guys who can't find a FA deal by September); Joey (see Raps TV commercial with Calderon in-bounding the ball "joey, Joey, JOEY, i am going to pass you the ball") Joey - loads of potential - never clicked; Pops, a 10 day contract D-leaguer "nice project to take on" and we already have one under contract in Patrick O'Bryant.

    Starting SF on the NBA finals team for above depth, doesn't seem all that bad?

    Joey and Pops will probably be fighting to get more than the minimum contract if BC really wants them back.

    Big difference from last years trade, which was kind of like rolling the dice and only winning if you rolled double 6s. JO was coming off 2 years of serious injury, surgery, and had to wear a massive brace to hold his knee together. Now that's taking a gamble.

    Hedo's missed about 12 games over the last 3 seasons. And has no known injury concerns that I am aware of.

    Sure if one of JC, CB4, or Hedo goes down for an extended period, the Raps are in trouble. Boston crapped out early in the playoffs with a team way over the LT cap when Garnett went down. No one has the depth to be an NBA finals team with injuries to their best players.

    Long Term, (next 2 seasons after this) the Raps will be able to use their full MLE and possibly bi-annual and look for trades to improve the team by growing payroll. If the Goal is Championships, the Raps will likely have to get to at least $10m over the luxury tax cap to compete - but the real Goal is to sell season tickets, luxury boxes, and sponsorships and that only takes playoff runs!
    (Therefore, with this signing, BC gets to keep his job! Last time I checked MLSE was owned by a pension fund whose Goal is to make the most money possible, losing money and winning a championship won't pay pensions.)


  7. Awesome signing Turk, Marion was no difference maker and this article was very poorly done, you need to get your facts straight ! they would have to let go of Marion, parker, and delfino, thaats it

  8. Maybe you would like to tell that to Doug Smith, Eric Smith, Holly Mackenzie and about 5 or 6 other people that I can list you are the one who is out to lunch.

  9. DB - ignore anonymous posters/haters. It was a very good post. He was only taking a break from is grade 4 homework and was frustrated.

  10. Normal I do but to accuse me of be misinformed I had to post that. I am not always right 100% of the time but this time I was. Trust me far worse stuff never sees the light of day.

  11. I think Hedo will turn out like Marbury did in Phoenix.

  12. CBS Sports is reporting possible sign & trade Marion for Stackhouse, who has only $2m guaranteed. Maybe BC can pull the rabbit (er MLE) out of the hat after all.


  13. Yeah guess Doug was wrong or I miss read about Orlando thing. But time is ticking has to be done by tomorrow.