Let’s start off today with Ryan from Hoops Addict interviewing Matt Devlin. Great job as always from Ryan who’s managed to get himself an occasional press pass:
Nathan Jawai’s getting a guaranteed 2-year deal which will allow the Raptors to retain his early Bird rights, in other words they can exceed the salary cap when offering him a future contract. Multi-year contracts are rare for second round picks so the Raptors must be high on him, next step is to get him over to training camp and see if he can ball. It’ll be a tough road for him but he’s in good company with a chance to learn from Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal. Worst comes to worst he’ll play in our NBDL squad and see some fierce toughness, hone his skills and ultimately get better and hopefully develop into Shaq! It does look like the Raptors have a real plan him but then again it looked like they had a plan for PJ Tucker and Uros Slokar.
Jay Triano talks about the trinity that is O’Neal, Bosh and Bargnani. Basically the Raptors hope to have at least two of the three on the floor at all times and all three will play two-thirds of the game. Triano alluded to Bargnani’s SF defense against the Magic in the playoff and assessed only too kindly that he had “trouble guarding” the position. It would be a pleasant surprise if Bargnani came back and held his own as a SF but given his background, lateral movement and natural weaknesses it’s asking a lot of him. The athletes at that position are too good to be held in check by anything remotely resembling a stiff. Check out that pic they used in the article, its 50′s technology.
The Clippers chose not to extend a qualifying offer to Shaun Livingston which is a little surprising given the talent the young man has shown over the years. This makes him an unrestricted free agent. He hasn’t played in more than a year due to his knee injury but is recuperating and should be good to play at the start of next season. As Colangelo pointed out on Wednesday, the Raptors are in the market for a combo-guard and Livingston, if healthy, can be a heck of a player.
The Nets just signed a guy I wanted the Raptors to get – Jarvis Hayes. Hayes is a player, put him at 2 or 3 and he’ll produce for you by playing hard defense, hitting threes and occasional slashing. He’s been part of a winning environment in Detroit and will bring leadership to the table along with a solid veteran presence. He had interest from Phoenix and I’m surprised he chose the Nets. Either way, great signing by Kiki Vandeweghe.
Andres Nocioni is a guy that gets a few Raptors fans wet for some reason and Vandeweghe might be able to snag him by only giving up Marcus Williams. From the Bulls perspective, this trade makes no sense since they’ve already got Rose, Hinrich and Gordon but if the Nets pull this one off, it’ll be a steal and make the tough Atlantic even tougher.