It’s a damn slow day, I was hoping for a press conference with Bryan Colangelo introducing Marion and Marcus Banks but Eric Smith says don’t bank on it (Update: he’s wrong). I haven’t a heard a single word out of Marion about this trade and either he’s refusing to talk about it and drowning himself in alcohol or he’s just “unavailable”. I’m hoping it’s the latter and that he’s not consumed by the shock of coming and playing in -15 windchill. Don’t worry Shawn, winter’s almost over, I think they spotted the groundhog’s shadow (Marion says: WTF is a groundhog?).
John Hollinger’s ESPN Insider article (which I can’t post for obvious reasons) is pointing out that the Raptors have a 10.6% chance of making the playoffs given their easy schedule and the teams in between them and the promised land (yes, 8th spot is the promised land for us now). He’s also suggesting that the Kings are actively looking to unload John Salmons who some of you believed to be a good (and cheaper) fit for our SF needs. Now that Marion’s here I’m sure we’re out of that race.
He’s also pointing out that Marion’s agent is Dan Fegan and his players don’t come cheap. Yeah, but nothing comes cheap for the Raptors, we’re used to overpaying for talent and if we resign Marion I doubt it’ll be at a reasonable rate. I’m used to the reality that NBA players need to be paid more to play in Toronto, it’s not a slight against the city, it’s the perception of it which is only made worse by the constant losing.
Colangelo in his post-trade teleconference said that he’s thinking of resigning Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker and Joey Graham while bringing back Carlos Delfino and Rasho Nesterovic. I don’t know how I feel about bringing back Parker in any sort of capacity, I know that he’s played well as a backup PG but you have to figure that he’s going to continue his steady decline and be even worse next year. I would still opt for drafting a defensive minded shooting guard in this year’s draft and taking my chances with Roko/Banks at the backup-PG situation. At some point you’ll have to plan for the future and Parker just doesn’t fit in the plans.
As for Delfino, sometimes we tend to overvalue players that have left the franchise. There’s a lot of nostalgia about Mo Pete and Delfino that would immediately disappear after 10 games of them coming back. I appreciate Carlos Delfino and what he brought to the team but let’s not forget that the man went through stages where he rivaled Jamario Moon for bad shot-selection. You might argue that was the by-product of Mitchell’s system (or lack thereof) and that in a structured environment Delfino could be a valuable asset. If that is the case the next logical question becomes can Triano be the coach to implement a system that allows for mediocre talent players like Delfino, Banks and Graham to play better than they are? The jury’s out on that.
There’s an article in the Sun today that suggests Triano’s handling of Marion and Banks will determine his future. It’s a fair argument but it would be naive of Colangelo to think that Triano and his staff have the capacity to take a complex and mediocre roster and have it make noise in the playoffs. More interestingly, the article mentions the name of Chris Wilcox as a player who is available. I’ve always liked him and wanted the Raptors to make a play for him last year. Hopefully Colangelo can land him, I really don’t see Jawai doing much for us and as much as I like Humphries his basketball IQ and court awareness is just not good enough to play the role of a constant and consistent 7th man.
Do check out my interview with a Miami Heat blogger regarding the trade.