Raps start pre-draft camp + MLSE looking at England

Blogs and new age media are a great thing and provide a candid, sometimes humorous perspective, but you often come across pieces written without any knowledge of the player/team/GM in question. Consider this little brief analysis of our friend Joey Graham from Hoopsworld:

“He improved a lot this past year, became a more reliable player”

Now I don’t know whether the author is confusing him with his brother Stephen who might’ve improved “a lot” this past year or might’ve become a “more reliable player”, I don’t know. What I know is that I can testify with certainty that Joey Graham failed to make a single valuable mark on this team in 2007-08. Joey was the 10th guy coming off the bench for most of the season and unless Sam Mitchell has a massive change of heart or Joey develops a mid-range game rivaling Rip Hamilton, he’s about as much a factor in Colangelo’s plans as Joe Wolf. Its not out of this world to believe that Graham can be an impact player in this league with his strength and slashing ability. He needs to get consistent playing time on a team where he can play through his mistakes and develop into a slasher somewhat like Corey Maggette. It might happen, I wouldn’t bet on it but the potential is there.

The Raptors start their pre-draft camp in Florida today and we find that Colangelo is also considering trading the #17 pick because of good practical reason:

“Selecting someone at 17 and think they’ll be actually contributing next year might be a bit far-fetched”

But at the same time we’re holding workouts for 40 different players so Colangelo isn’t close to deciding what he’s going to do with the pick. Either way a draft and/or trade should address the swing position and kick one of our two PGs out of here. The draft will have ripple effect and depending on what position we draft, it will end up deciding the role of Parker/Moon/Nesterovic amongst others for next season.

Moving along we find out that Richard Peddie and MLSE are very interested in taking over a European football club. The report states that Leeds United, Southampton and Reading peaked their interest:

MLSE president Richard Peddie and chief financial officer Ian Clarke reportedly visited England and spoke to officials from Southampton, Reading, as well as a possible meeting with representatives of Leeds United and Ken Bates.

Reading play in the top flight of English football and would bring in considerable revenue to MLSE which would become yet another foreign owner of a British club. Manchester United and Liverpool are also currently owned by American billionaires.

Back to some on-court stuff. We all remember our rebounding problems from last season and how we salivated at the likes of Anderson Varejao, Marcus Camby and even Reggie Evans. Well, according to I Hate Raptors, Varejao might be on the outs in Cleveland and it would be logical for us to at least look at what it would take to get him here. I couldn’t find a credible link to a story except this article which alludes to the fact that he’s only signed for one more year and this one accusing him of costing the team a higher seed because of the hold-out. Take it for what its worth. I’d like to see him here.

I want to see Jeff Hornacek coach bad. Real bad. He’s either going to be complete flop or one of the best coaches in the league. He’s played under great coaches and has been part of great teams and has had great teammates. In my mind he won’t be a rookie head coach at all but someone who’s got Jerry Sloan, Johnny Orr, Cotton Fitzsimmons and John Stockton in his huddle at all times. He’s already interviewed with the Bulls and Suns and in my humble opinion he’d be great hire as an assistant who you groom to be a head coach.

Daniel Nestor answered nicely to a question about whether Steve Nash should play for Canada in Beijing:

He has done so much for the country that you can’t knock the guy for not playing. And he hasn’t won an NBA championship and, realistically, in his mind, he probably sees himself having a better chance of winning an NBA championship than winning a gold medal. You have to respect him. He’s a top-five player in the world. Roger Federer, he doesn’t always represent Switzerland in the Davis Cup — and athletes like Federer and Nash have to have their own agenda to get where they are.

The Cavs fans really want Michael Redd. I never liked Redd’s game as much as everyone else, he’s a 2nd tier player who happens to play in a very loose offensive system where bad shots are tolerated and mediocrity rewarded. He might space out the floor better than Delonte West for you but if you want to keep Lebron in Cleveland you’ll have to get him another superstar to play with, just like the Celtics did with Pierce.

Not much happening in Raptor-land, not even rumor-wise. Just a reminder you can read this blog in your favorite RSS reader by latching on the feed.

Till tomorrow.

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