So just your average Friday right? Not quite. Last night the Chris Paul to the Lakers deal was first crushed by fans and media alike for it being totally hypocritical on the NBA's part. Then owners telling Stern to kill the deal. It almost made the fact the CBA was finally ratified an after thought. So after all of that we wake up to this morning to the news the BCE and Rogers have joined forces to purchase a 75% stake in MLSE from the Teacher's Pension Fund. Larry Tanenbaum added to his stake in MLSE to 25%. What it means that Rogers Sportsnet and TSN now own the Raptors may not be much better than before. Clearly the Leafs are what both were after and the Raptors are pretty much an after thought. There was lots of talk of content for the networks but not a ton of talk about what they are willing to do to build a winner. It remains unclear how much different things will be. Part of the BCE portion will be part of their pension fund. That is not exactly a good sign. But to process what at the end of the day this will all mean for the Raptors or for MLSE as a whole is still up for debate. Rogers has failed to this point to step up to the plate and spend money on the Blue Jays. They were taken to task for suggesting fans need to come out to the ballpark before they spend money. Well if that is there attitude it is not like people will be flocking to the ACC for the Raptors anytime this year.
All this and you almost forget that training camps and free agency officially open for business in the NBA today. We already have two moves made by the Raptors. Jamal Maglorie will be coming home perhaps far to late to make an impact. But he does give the Raptors a vet and a guy that can play at the center position. The latest news is the Raptors are expected to send draft picks in the 2nd round to the Suns for Mickael Pietrus. Raptors were in desperate need for a swing man with only James Johnson ready to roll at the small forward position. I have never been one to be concerned with second round picks and Pietrus has been someone the Raptors have been rumoured to be pursuing him for a long time. Both deals are following the plan Colangelo said out in his press conference earlier in the week. Just a year left for Pietrus and Maglorie on a veteran minimum contract for a season.
It is far from exciting and the Raptors will likely add a third string point guard and perhaps another big to the mix. ESPN must have missed B.C's press conference earlier in the week. He said he had no intention to use the amnesty clause this season. ESPN seems to think he will use it and blow out his number 1 draft pick in Andrea Bargnani. I find that hard to believe. While there is lot to be critical about when it comes to him. The Raptors would be foolish to at least not give him another year or try to move him before they resort to that extreme.
So were off with a bang to the Raptors season even if much of it has little to do with hear and now for the Raptors. Maglorie and Pietrus are not going to massively change the Raptors outlook. But they could impact on a young impressionable core in the future regardless of if they happen to be here for the results of it. Time will tell on a lot of things. But one way or the other people will look back on today as the start of a new era for all of Toronto sports it remains to be seen if it will be in a positive or negative way.