After signing Monday with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Parker believes he has a legitimate shot at winning his first NBA title.
"For me it’s always about who really saw me fitting in with what they’re trying to do," Parker said. "Cleveland has been that team from the beginning. They showed the most interest and pursued me the hardest. It just so happens they’re also a team that’s contending, which is even better. It was a fit all the way through."
But Howard, who was the league’s top defensive player last season after winning an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. men’s team, also saved praise for the Raptors and Turkoglu. He admitted that losing the 30-year-old Turk would hurt his team, and said the versatile 6-foot-10 forward would help his close friend Chris Bosh, Toronto’s franchise player.
“I think they’re going to be a contender this year,” the 23-year-old said of the Raptors, who missed the playoffs last season. “[Turkoglu] has helped my game in the past couple of years to get where it is today. … Hedo is a great piece to fit in their team, with his style and his ability to get to the basket and create for others.”
Still, at the very least, the offer to Jack should not hold the Raptors’ other business up too much.
They still have the bi-annual exception, worth about US$2-million per season, which remains unchanged regardless of what will happen with Jack. The Raptors will likely use that on some frontcourt depth, possibly Rasho Nesterovic, who has stated his desire to come back to Toronto.
The Raptors are also looking to bring back their own restricted free agent, Carlos Delfino, whom they can re-sign with no regard to the salary cap. However, they will likely wait until the Jack deal clears – or not – so they know how much money they have left beneath the luxury tax to spend on Delfino.
Raptors vs Trail Blazers Hilights
DeRozan’s hasn’t done any serious spending yet.
"I’ve bought my parents a few things, furniture and stuff like that, but I haven’t really splurged on anything yet," he said, smiling.
The "toys" he spends most of his time with these days are his Twitter account and his Nintendo Wii console.
DeRozan (DeMar-DeRozan is his real account) keeps his followers updated on his workout – "I’m in the gym, lifting" – and eating – "At Benihana" or "Just got a French vanilla cappuccino" – and encourages responses by starting a campaign for Raptors fans who follow his account to coin a nickname for him.
He hasn’t decided upon one yet "but I’ve got some good suggestions, like `DeMoralize,"’ he said, smiling.
Ah, to be young and just be embarking on life as a pro hoopster …
In the piece today with Jack, Watters had the balls to ask Jack how much of raise he was getting as a result of the Raptors offer sheet, Jack, actually answered the question!(about three times what he made last year!). I can almost guarantee you that very few reporters have ever asked a player that type of direct question on the air. Fewer have ever answered it. Jack talked candidly about his relationship with Bosh, that he joked with Bosh that Bosh better be here for all 4 years of Jack’s offer if it holds. He talked about Bosh adding bunk beds to recreate their dorm room form Georgia Tech.
Jarrett Jack Interview (audio)
Although former Wolves forward Sam Mitchell has been frequently linked with the position, ranking as a longtime favorite of team owner Glen Taylor, sources said Mitchell has not been summoned to interview for the post, with Minnesota believed to be intent on hiring an up-and-coming coach from a lower salary bracket than Mitchell’s after a stint with the Toronto Raptors that included NBA Coach of the Year honors for Mitchell in 2007
Accompanied by his coach (Joan Ramon Tarragó), Jose Manuel Calderon has initiated today in his first trip to China to promote its new sportswear brand, LI-NING. José Manuel spend almost a week touring several cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, and doing promotional events for LI NING.
there’s a lot of people out there saying, if we get J. Jack, Rasho and Delfino back… all of a sudden, the Raps are title contenders. The Raptors still need to get a really good guard, unless DeRozan turns out to be a superstar which we’re all hoping for in two-three years…
But right now, no way the Raps can win a title without having a superstar, other than Bosh… "superstar"… only team to win without superstars were the Pistons, but those guys are incredible together."
DeRozan finished with 15 points and six rebounds, but connected on just three of his six free throw attempts. It was a good game for him as he continued to look more and more comfortable asking for the ball. A nice surprise is his ballhandling. The guy has a nice handle and when he’s in the open court he is dangerous.