Jack, who averaged 13.1 points and 4.1 assists last season, is capable of handling both backcourt positions. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder started 53 games for the Pacers last season.
If he does end up in Toronto, he could be used as a backup to Jose Calderon at point guard and would have more experience than Roko Ukic, who is just going into his second season. And, depending on how Toronto’s shooting guard spot ends up working out, Jack would undoubtedly see minutes there, too.
DeRozan didn’t totally get the message about the Raptors wanting him to be more aggressive, getting to the line just twice and making one. But he did score 20 points and grab four rebounds in Toronto’s 91-87 loss to Detroit.
"The message we’re trying to get to him is to get more aggressive,” said Raps coach Jay Triano. "He’s making that jump shot, which is good and bad. We want him to get to the rim and finish there.”
I like Roko, I really do – I probably like him more than most people, but I can’t deny that he just hasn’t shown enough yet – he’s shown flashes of brilliance here and there, but he’s definitely not stable enough to run a team given serious minutes. Plus his two summer league games have been subpar so far. But I am confident he will get there, so until then, it’s good to have a proven point guard in Jarrett Jack who could arguably start on a lot of teams. Adding Jack should motivate Roko that much more.
Now Toronto is trying to build a team to put around him, because next year Chris is a free agent and may want to leave. The biggest off season move was to land Hedo Turkoglu. Hedo is a definite mismatch player that becomes so valuable if you make the playoffs. He not only has the outside shot, but also stands 6? 10? tall. Hedo averaged over 16 a game this year.
“Revamp” would be an understatment in describing what has happened to the Raptors roster so far this offseason. Brian Colangelo remains focused on collecting a winning team now. Obviously, keeping Chris Bosh in Toronto beyond next season is the top priority.
“My first NBA season was pretty cool,” Ukic said. “My whole life, my dream was to play in the NBA, which is very tough for a white European point guard.”
He is ecstatic about Toronto signing free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu.
“Last season, I felt I was getting better and better,” Ukic said. “I just wanted to get on the court and get a chance. It’s a shame we didn’t get to the playoffs. A shame. But I think we’ll have a better team this season.”
Should the Cavaliers fail to land the "stretch-four" they’ve been seeking, another player they have some interest in is free agent small forward Joey Graham, according to an NBA source.
Put it this way: If Antoine Wright isn’t starting for this club at shooting guard on opening night it would be a serious oversight on the part of the Raptors’ brass.
What Wright brings to the table are exactly the attributes this team needs at that spot. Since they decided to swap Shawn Marion for Hedo Turkoglu, they need a guy that they can stick on opposing wings to stop them from burning the club with penetration (a huge issue for the team a year ago). Wright can guard all but the biggest and burliest of perimeter players (he had his trouble denying position to Carmelo Anthony in the aforementioned series, for instance) and he does so without needing touches to stay focused on that task.
"I’d say right now everything’s up in the air," said Colangelo, who watched his team play Saturday in the NBA Summer League. "We have a lot of moving parts right now with free agency and our draft, and as the dust settles, we may have some things that may or may not affect Marcus."
Banks had surgery on his big right toe March 23 and played in six games for Toronto after being acquired from Miami in February. He is scheduled to make $4.5 million in 2009-10 and $4.8 million in 2011, the final year of his contract.
Jack will turn 26 years old later this year and his game has steadily improved since his first season in the league back in 2005-06 when he was with the Portland Trailblazers. While Portland was reluctant to use Jack as a starter in the 2007-08 season, after moving to Indiana to play the 2009-10 season, Jack started 53 games and averaged 13.1 points per game, 4.1 assists per game, and 2.7 rebounds per game.
So in lieu of the acquisition of Hedo Turkoglu, Devean George, Antoine Wright and the resigning of Andrea Bargnani; Raptors fans should be feeling pretty good as their leader Bryan Colangelo has worked some of his old magic again. I still feel that the Raptors have an opportunity to acquire stronger role players (the bench bunch) so lets look at whose left in the world of free agency.
If he ends up in Toronto, this is a good move for the Raptors. Unlike the Knicks who are trying to build a team to attract a big free agent next summer, the Raptors have a big free agent that they are trying to keep next summer. Players like Jack, Turkoglu, Antoine Wright, and the Bargnani extension should give Bosh the inclination that the Raptors are trying to get better and that they are trying to win with him.
Raptors vs Pistons Hilites
Pacers officials wanted to re-sign Jack, but they likely won’t be willing to match such an offer. The Pacers don’t want to go over the league’s $69.9 million luxury tax figure next season.
Jack, a college teammate of Toronto All-Star Chris Bosh at Georgia Tech, averaged a career-high 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists last season. He replaced T.J. Ford at point guard and started the final 12 games.
My head tells me letting Jack go is the only move here for the Pacers, considering the limitations in his game. My heart will always have me rooting for Jack and watching his progress with Toronto. There’s even a small part of me that hopes the Pacers rue the day that Jack left town after his game fully matures. That day may never come but for Jarrett’s sake I hope it does.