I doubt a home loss to a Memphis team playing on a back-to-back was going to make Bryan Colangelo pick up the phone and make a deal, because if he felt the team was lacking what it needed to achieve its objective, he would’ve addressed the issue by now. What that objective is can be debated for days. The loss was a reminder that our recent glories have done well to hide some of the flaws inherent in the squad. Not sure what Colangelo could’ve done at the late hour either, even though Hedo Turkoglu’s one measly point couldn’t have filled him with the confidence he was looking for coming down the home stretch. I know he was struggling with family matters but perhaps the better thing would’ve been to ease him back when he’s mentally ready because the guy obviously has issues playing if everything isn’t ideally set for him.
Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison have been snagged on the cheap as the Wizards’ firesale has officially started. With McGrady’s expiring contract in the mix and teams looking for cap relief, Colangelo simply couldn’t offer better deals than other GMs. I reckon he’d get laughed at if he even attempted to shop around Hedo Turkoglu, especially on the heels of his performance last night. The only team that we hoped would still have an interest was Portland and the rumour mill was deathly quiet on that front. The total value of the expiring contracts of Antoine Wright, Rasho Nesterovic, Amir Johnson and Patrick O’Bryant is approximately $9 million and of those, Wright and Johnson have become key contributors which Colangelo would be reluctant to trade. From a talent perspective, DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon are the two secondary pieces that you could believe other teams having an interest in, but I don’t know how Colangelo felt about parting with them.
In the end we’re settling for a Banks for Vujacic rumour which would have little impact on the team. A designated three-point shooter is a need, but if it’s coming at the expense of another perimeter hole you have to wonder what greater purpose it might serve. Still, we’ll keep an eye on it for entertainment value.
John Salmons, Kevin Martin, Caron Butler, Nate Robinson and Republic-favorite Carl Landry were some of the names shipped around and even though Colangelo termed the Raptors as “buyers” a couple weeks ago, there was never a real indication of a move being made. With the playoffs a sure thing in the weak East, you have to wonder if there is any real motivation to actually make a move, because just by losing in the first round the franchise can say that it improved over last season. The Cavaliers acquisition of Jamison was a move which tried to show a commitment to winning to LeBron James. Perhaps Bosh has already given the indication that he’s going to stay which would be even less reason for Colangelo to make a move since the mission had already been accomplished. With the Heat aggressively trying to acquire Carlos Boozer and putting forth multiple offers, you have to think they don’t like their chances of landing Bosh. Safest action for Colangelo was to stay put and head into the playoffs as underdogs.
I was hoping the Raptors could pull off a deal which would take them to the next level in the East and not just first round fodder. To be fair to Colangelo, he did spend money in the off-season but it just hasn’t worked out with Hedo Turkoglu which has hamstrung him from making a move even if he so desired. PhdSteve brought up Colangelo’s reluctance to pull major moves at the deadline (except Marion/JO) as being one of the reasons his teams haven’t made much noise in the playoffs; as the trade deadline nears I find those words echoing true but, as mentioned, it’s hard to find something on our roster that people would want.
The Memphis defeat was very disappointing, there’s no excuse for the start we had and it speaks to the lack of focus on the team. We finally got bit with an L but the pattern of letting mediocre/bad teams hang around within a couple possessions is something we’ve gotten used to – most recently Philly, Sacramento and NJN. The expectation and hope is that the Raptors will find themselves and play the full 48 minutes more often, but so far it hasn’t happened with the consistency required by a team that hopes to threaten in the playoffs. As we head to New Jersey tomorrow, I’d be a little worried because the Nets took Miami down to the wire on Wednesday and that was a day after they beat the Bobcats in Charlotte. We won’t have Chris Bosh available for the game which suddenly makes this a gettable game for NJ.
Let’s just hope Hedo Turkoglu finds his way because we’ve come this far without him and if he manages to step up his game, it actually would be like making a mid-season trade. He’s been that bad. Let’s keep an eye on the waiver wire because you never know when the next Primoz Brezec will fall our way.Follow @raptorsrepublic