The Raptors don’t figure on doing anything substantial, unless they are willing to part with one of their core players.
General manager Bryan Colangelo, however, has always done something during his tenure in T.O., whether it was engineering a trade in the days leading up to the deadline or pulling the trigger that day, such as last year’s acquisition of Patrick O’Bryant in a three-team trade involving Will Solomon.
Worth noting is that the Raptors have a roster spot available, even though the team is right up against the tax threshold.
Also, keep in mind that playoff rosters are set on March 1, which opens up the possibility of a team claiming a player who has conveniently been waived thanks in part to some back-door arrangement with an agent.
For DeRozan, being picked for the dunk-in raised awareness of his skills around the league and also let him show off his personality.
He’s not exactly a wild and crazy guy but he does have a youthful exuberance not many see.
"In a game, you’re focused on the task that’s at hand; in a dunk contest, you’re more open-minded, you can do a lot of different stuff," DeRozan said Friday.
"You just go out there and have fun with it, entertain the people, act silly with it. Just like I do back at practice with my teammates in the gym doing crazy stuff. Just bring that out and let the people see it."
DeRozan’s involvement in the all-star weekend is limited to dunking because he was overlooked by NBA assistant coaches, who chose the teams for Friday’s rookie-sophomore game (which ended in a rare victory for the rookies over the sophomores, 140-128).
It may have had to do with the makeup of the team and the depth among first-year guards but DeRozan’s teammate, Chris Bosh, said it might also have to do with the anonymity that surrounds the Raptors.
With incessant chatter about Bosh leaving the Raptors as a free agent this summer – although never from him – he said Friday he’d like a shot at attracting someone to Toronto.
"Come visit me for a weekend and then we’ll talk later," he said when asked what his sales pitch would be.
But Bosh was coy when asked to describe that weekend. "Ah, go to the museums, go to the park, go out to eat, go get some shots up."
Bosh has been a big promoter of Toronto in the last couple of years and said earlier this season he feels "at home" when he comes back to his adopted hometown.
He just wishes it wasn’t so hard to get major recognition for the team or the city. "It gets forgotten all the time, I don’t think it’s that much of a secret," he said "We don’t have any national games in the States, we don’t get as much attention as other teams do. I mean, we’re rolling right now and I don’t think anybody really knows it.
"I think it can be changed, you just have to go the extra mile."
The night I attended, the Raptors played the Indiana Pacers. About a minute into the game, Hedo Turkoglu received an elbow to the eye and was quickly ushered off the court. Lisa hissed and booed about this, as she’s not a fan of Turkoglo, who had been involved in an incident a month prior at a Toronto club: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/751089–turkish-delete-raptor-in-cellphone-spat. I hadn’t counted on such good gossip and drama so early in the game! It also seemed like every 10 minutes they stopped the game for some sort of performance. I particularly enjoyed the group of little kids who simply nailed their hiphop dance routine — so sweet! And then there was the Raptors mascot, who kept chomping down on the security guards’ heads while they barely flinched. I got a real kick out of that. In the end the Raptors won the game, and I felt like a bit more a sports fan.
Especially when those sports involve beer, T-shirt cannons and break-dancing children. Now THAT’S entertainment!
Chris Bosh, PF, Toronto Raptors
Contract Type: Player Option
Likelihood of Leaving: 90%
Possible Destinations: Chicago, Miami, New York, New Jersey, Cleveland (via Sign & Trade), Toronto, Dallas (Via Sign & Trade)
Best Destinations: Chicago (With LeBron/D-Wade), Cleveland Chicago (Without LeBron/D-Wade), Miami, Dallas
What Will Happen: Signs With Chicago.
My Thoughts: Finally, we get to talk about someone who will be on the move this summer. Presumably it will come down to two major markets for Bosh’s services: Miami and Chicago. So why, with the opportunity to team up with Dwyane Wade, would he want to sign with Chicago? Pat Riley. We’re being blissfully ignorant if we think Riley isn’t just waiting in the wings to Stan Van current coach Erik Spoelstra. And for some reason, I get the feeling that Bosh doesn’t respond well a forceful personality like Riley. In turn, Bosh will tell his agent to take the Chicago offer, where he can play for a coach that makes Colts coach Jim Caldwell’s coaching style look like Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday.”
Just minutes after winning the first ever Dunk-In that earned him the right to compete in tomorrow’s Slam Dunk contest, DeMar DeRozan held court with the media here in Dallas. He talked about the importance of making dunks, his plan to have Sonny Weems assist him tomorrow, and how he’s counting on Toronto’s support.
The NBA says the vast majority of voters — in the stadium, and at home watching on TV — used their phones to text their votes. Some, however, logged on to NBA.com.
And that’s where there was one final embarrassment for the night. It said "Vote For Your Favorite" in big splashy font. Then there was a picture of each dunker, with a little check box next to their names below. "Eric Gordon," said one. "DeMar DeRozan" said the other.
Only, there was a problem. The name "DeMar DeRozan" was under the picture of Gordon. And vice-versa. This means casual basketball fans who wanted to vote for Gordon may well have voted for DeRozan.
The league says the problem was fixed after about a minute. And the voting was not close.
Gordon laughs at the idea of protesting.
"It is what it is. … If I would have made it the first time, it would have been a tough decision," he says. "But it was an easy decision."
Former NBA player Juan Dixon has tested positive for the steroid nandrolone, his Spanish team Unicaja announced.
The player gave the drug test in Greece in November, before he joined the Malaga-based team, Unicaja said on its Web site.
Dixon was informed of the positive result several days ago and the International Basketball Federation decided to suspend him on Friday. His suspension is indefinite until further notice.