Thank you Hedo Turkoglu for opening your fatigued mouth and demanding a trade. It was one of the best things to happen to this franchise because it has managed to convinced Bryan Colangelo that he has to trade him. After appearing too confident for everyone’s liking at his exit press conference that “we’ll see a different Hedo Turkoglu next year”, Colangelo’s guardian angel has convinced him to close the chapter on one of the worst signings in Raptors history.
The word out of the Raptors camp about the trade rumours is “no comment”, which means there’s something to be said and they’re just not saying it. There hasn’t been a single public quote from Colangelo since Turkoglu’s trade request and the longer the silence goes on, the likelier a Turkoglu trade becomes. I suspect that the next time we’ll hear from Colangelo, Turkoglu will have sold his condo and burned his Raptors jersey. If there was no smoke here, we would’ve at least heard a public statement categorically denying that the team is trying to trade Turkoglu and that his comments were at the very least, misunderstood if not misquoted. Sometimes silence speaks louder than words and this is one of those times.
The Sacramento rumour doesn’t make any sense. I could be convinced that Geoff Petrie wanted Hedo Turkoglu back on the Kings, but that was when Turkoglu still resembled a solid player. If he had a more reasonable contract, something comparable to say Andres Nocioni or Beno Udrih, perhaps a straight swap would’ve been possible. Since the Kings have worked so hard to get under the cap and shed themselves of the Kevin Martin contract, it just doesn’t make sense for them to turnaround and add Turkoglu. The easiest way for him to leave is to be part of the Bosh trade, or be shipped to a team which is under the cap and getting him only because they couldn’t get a higher profile free-agent. If the Knicks strikeout with LeBron, maybe they could convince themselves that there’s something to be said for a Boozer/Turkoglu or Stoudemire/Turkoglu pick’ n roll combination.
The Bosh and Turkoglu trade scenarios have been taking up a lot of ink the last few weeks, but lost in the mix is our point guard situation where a trade is almost certain. Which one of Calderon or Jack will go isn’t as easy to predict as some might think, at least not as easy as it was when deciding between Ford and Calderon. The latter’s contract, defensive play, passiveness and issues staying healthy make him the less desirable player, but if Bosh leaves and college roommate Jack wants to follow suit, it could easily be that Jose Calderon would find himself saddled as a starter yet again. As previously mentioned, it’s unlikely given Jack’s character, but if Toronto is going to enter rebuild-mode, the thought has to cross Jack’s mind.
As shoring up the defense appears to be a big priority this summer (like it apparently was the last two), Colangelo won’t be gambling with Calderon at the point for another season. It’s not so much so that Jack is that much better, it’s that Calderon is that bad, or more importantly, perceived to be that bad. Triano and Colangelo have dropped public hints that Calderon needs to improve his defense, or as should be said, the defensive scheme in place should be able to hide his weakness. As a coach, it has to be frustrating to see the glaring hole at the point serve as the first domino in a crumbling defense and have his defensive schemes blamed for it. It’s not entirely Jose’s fault, but since this franchise doesn’t have the cahones to hold Bargnani accountable, somebody other than him must take the fall. So Jose it is. Jose Calderon – scapegoat for Bargnani, Turkoglu, Bosh, Triano and Iavaroni’s defensive shortcomings.
The X-Factor in all of this could be Marco Belinelli, his terrible year in which he couldn’t do a single thing right for more than one game in a row threw the franchise a real curveball. He was expected to be the first wing of the bench but found himself straddled closer to Patrick O’Bryant for most of the season. He struggled with consistency, shot-selection, and rhythm, and never managed to get his bearings right. The occasional passing and somewhat visionary passing play aside, his season was forgettable.
How much faith Colangelo has in Belinelli (should be high considering he picked up his option very early) could determine the fate of our wing situation. If the franchise believes that Belinelli can produce and become part of the regular rotation, why shouldn’t they invest in him instead of Turkoglu? A decision needs to be made on him because right now he’s in limbo here as much as anyone. The only wings that have truly earned themselves a spot for next year are DeMar DeRozan, for being a touted lottery pick and showing good improvement, and Sonny Weems, for simply producing when nobody expected him to.
In draft news, ESPN’s 4.0 Mock Draft came out and they have the Raptors passing up Udoh and selecting Bradley.
Crazy NBA news of the day, John Wall just made $25 million without playing a single NBA game. Predictable NBA news of the day, Doc Rivers isn’t happy with the officiating. The finals officiating has been quite poor and it it weren’t for the instant replay, they would’ve blown Game 3. The officials are calling things inconsistently and way too tightly, but it’s hard to see either team gaining any advantage because of it. The refs have equally screwed both sides, so technically, the screwing is cancelling out. Boston has been called for five less fouls in the three games but LA has had 10 more FT attempts. I don’t know what those stats mean, but watching the games, it appears that anytime either team’s bigs get decent interior movement, they either get fouled or score.
Just a heads up, RR will holding a Draft Party at Sports Centre Cafe on Thursday, June 24th. It’s before the G20 weekend so hopefully by then I can find a hole in the impenetrable iron fences they’re constructing around my house.
Time for a classic and not-so-classic Raptors moment:
Not so classic:
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