Good Saturday Morning!

The Raptors extended qualifying offers to Jose Calderon (no agent, fired him) and Carlos Delfino which means they have an intent to resign them and want to have a shot at matching any offers made to either player. This makes perfect sense for Jose Calderon but it’s a little surprising to see Carlos Delfino get the same treatment. The Raptors probably have a salary in mind for Delfino and unless he signs an offer-sheet at or below that number, they’ll let him walk. He is a serviceable backup at the 3-spot and with Joey Graham more and more out of the picture, Delfino and Moon look to be the second line at the SF position. This of course assuming we get a starting 3 somewhere through draft/FA/trade.

The Boris Diaw for TJ Ford + #17 better be horseshit because if we are actually considering making that trade it tells me that either Colangelo has a soft spot for the Suns or that TJ’s value is so low that any package not involving our pick will get us nothing. With Garbajosa gone, we do need a versatile forward that can rebound and score but giving up the 17th pick in a deep draft might be paying too much. A straight up swap for Diaw is far more acceptable and probably something even Colangelo feels is fair, hence the smoke in the first place. Porter’s fondness of TJ Ford stems from his stint in Milwaukee and he’s seen what we’ve seen – potential. He feels he can get it out of him whereas we’ve given up.

Now if you throw in Leandro Barbosa as part of trade talks, that changes everything. The Portland Trailblazers are looking at him and might be willing to give up Martell Webster and the 13th pick. The Suns (much like the Raptors) are also trying to upgrade their SF spot and are looking to be in the hunt for Richard Jefferson, Josh Howard or Gerald Wallace. The pick of that group remains the slasher Jefferson that could use a change of scenery and some distance from the plague that is Vince Carter to fully recognize his potential. I believe he’s a perfect fit for the Raptors. There’s also Ron Artest but if he’s going anywhere it’s going to be the Lakers.

Speaking of Boris Diaw, every time his name comes up I think back to Bill Walton’s insane commentary in the Suns/Lakers game – check it out. It has something to do with Beethoven and the Age of Romanticism.

The guys from NBA TV break down the Raptors draft and say that the time is now for the Raptors and that the rebuilding process better start showing some results. They also take Jose Calderon over TJ Ford and like Jamario Moon as a bench player. Finally they point to Bargnani as being the key to the Raptors and how he needs to pay back some dividends – Rick Kamla is still a believer in him and if he’s a believer, so am I. The general consensus seems to be to take the best player available at #17 and not draft by position, something I totally agree with.

There’s a piece in the G & M about how the Raptors are helping out Basketball Canada in many different ways. One of the reasons cited for this cooperation is Bryan Colangelo’s “deep respect and passion for the international game”.

Nicolas Batum failed a stress test which is the reason why he didn’t participate in our workout.

Later!

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