Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan - teammates soon?

Toronto Sun

With the Raptors over the cap and the mid-level exception already spent, Barnes was to be acquired via a sign-and-trade with the Magic, with the return going the other way remaining unclear.

But sign-and-trades must be three years in length- though only the first year needs to be guaranteed.

More problematic was the inability cap-wise for the Magic to give Barnes a deal starting at more than $2 million.

The Raptors, Magic and Barnes are expected to try to make something work in discussions Tuesday, but Yahoo! Sports reported fatalistically that: "’The sign and trade (scenario) is dead.’ Blamed on a ‘miscalculation.’ somewhere in talks."

The Raptors have a $14.5-million trade exception from the Chris Bosh deal with Miami and a smaller one from the Leandro Barbosa trade.

It was expected a portion of the Bosh exception would be used. The team cannot sign Barnes outright.

Barnes would likely start at small forward over fellow newcomer Linas Kleiza – who oddly has not yet been officially welcomed via press release – and the emerging Sonny Weems.

Barnes would provide much-needed toughness to the Raptors. The 30-year-old started 58 games for Orlando last season, averaging 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. He has shot 33% from three-point range for his career and is considered a well-above average defender.

He has played for seven NBA teams and joined Orlando and previously Phoenix for under market value in search of a championship.

Toronto entered the bidding for Barnes late, but apparently offered more money and opportunity than most other suitors.

Should the money angle fall through, it is unlikely Barnes would still join the retooling Raptors.

That would mark the second time this season that a transaction involving the Raptors hit a roadblock late in the process.

Toronto Sun

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they will take on the Phoenix Suns and B.C.‚s own Steve Nash in a pre-season game Oct. 6 at Rogers Arena, formerly GM Place.

The Raptors will hold part of their training camp in Vancouver, but many of the cheers will be for Victoria‚s Nash, a two-time NBA MVP, who was wildly applauded as a torchbearer at the Vancouver Olympics.

Raptors coach Jay Triano formerly played and coached for Simon Fraser

Toronto Sun

Colangelo’s plan to re-tool the roster took another leap forward with the re- signing of multipurpose man Amir Johnson to a five-year $34-million-dollar deal. Johnson could end up being a bargain down the road, as there are few Raptors that can run and rebound with his tenacity.

Linas Kleiza, 24, of the Denver Nuggets is another player that may suit up with the Raptors next season, as the Nuggets are not expected to match an offer sheet put forward by Colangelo. Boasting a dynamic skill set, the six-foot-eight, 245-pounder could vie for a starting job next year at either small forward or power forward.

Add six-foot-11 rookie power forward Ed Davis and the Raptors are in the midst of building a roster full of tough and athletic bodies, capable of success at multiple positions.

Ultimately, it will be up to head coach Jay Triano to capitalize on this new depth and roster flexibility while employing a balanced scoring attack.

Barbosa’s speed, vision and scoring ability will be an integral to that end, as the Raptors aim to succeed by running teams out of the gym next season. With Bosh no longer the team’s offensive security blanket, the door is wide open for a facilitator to take charge, and Barbosa may be just the player to jump into that role.

Toronto Star

According to league sources, Barnes could be a Raptor as early as Tuesday on a two-year deal worth about $9 million (all figures U.S.).

The deal is not finalized but sources suggested both sides are confident it will be done.

The move will have to be a sign-and-trade deal for the unrestricted free agent and will eat about $4.5 million of the $14.5 million trade exception the Raptors got when Chris Bosh left for Miami.

The Raptors would have to send something else — likely a second-round draft pick — to Orlando to complete the transaction.

National Post

The seven-year veteran averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Magic last year, starting 58 times and shooting 48% from the field for the Southeast Division champions. However, the statistics do not accurately portray his game. At 6-foot-7, Barnes, who has played for seven different teams, is an elite defender. The Raptors were one of worst defensive teams in the league last year, even the worst depending on the metric one was using.

He also brings a willingness to mix it up with opponents. In a March game last season, Barnes had three separate confrontations with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, once faking to pass the ball toward Bryant’s face during an inbound play. The Raptors have lacked that attitude over the last few years. Reggie Evans was supposed to bring that to the club last year, but a foot injury all but ruined his season.

Barnes would also give young swingmen DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems a defensive-minded model to follow. However, there would appear to be a glut of players available to play the wing positions. Barnes would be added to a group of players that includes DeRozan, Weems, new acquisitions Leandro Barbosa and Linas Kleiza, as well as Marco Belinelli at those positions.

The Barnes addition would likely increase the need to move Calderon, who was supposed to be dealt to Charlotte, in order to free up more minutes for Barbosa at point guard. If not, it seems that there will not be enough minutes to go around for each player that can reasonably expect playing time.

DIme

We’re not predicting playoffs of anything, but the Toronto Raptors might not be as tragic as you would’ve thought in the post-Chris Bosh era. Clearly the eyes are on the future, and T-Dot has a nice young nucleus with Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis and Sonny Weems. (And maybe Amir Johnson.) DeRozan and Weems had a little Vince/T-Mac vibe going at the Vegas Summer League, Davis has also shown potential going against pros, and Bargnani is coming off a season where he averaged 17 points and got some experience as the No. 1 option in meaningful games when Bosh was hurt. The Raptors flipped disgruntled Hedo Turkoglu into veteran scorer Leandro Barbosa, they signed Linas Kleiza, they have a decent PG tandem in Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon, and late last night Toronto was reportedly on the verge of signing Matt Barnes to a two-year deal. That’s not a bad lineup. We can definitely see the Raps losing a lot of close games down the stretch due to not having that proven go-to scorer and (as always) lacking on defense, but they should be entertaining in the process …

ESPN

But the limited sign-and-trade options available to Orlando — Barnes’ last team — could scuttle the deal, according to sources close to the situation.

Under the impression that he would be receiving a two-year contract in the $10 million range, Barnes thanked Magic fans via his Twitter feed and said that he’ll be "playing for the Toronto Raptors" next season.

Sources told ESPN.com that the teams will resume discussions Tuesday, as planned all along, with the intent of landing Barnes with the Raptors via sign-and-trade.

Yet no such deal could be assured as of midnight, raising the possibility that Barnes would have to accept new terms to sign with the Raptors or that other teams that have been chasing Barnes will get another shot at him if the deal collapses.

Since Toronto recently spent the bulk of its $5.8 million mid-level exception to sign Linas Kleiza, it doesn’t have the available funds to sign Barnes outright to a deal that starts in the neighborhood of $4 million.

The Magic, though, are prevented by salary-cap rules from starting a sign-and-trade deal for Barnes at higher than $2 million, because Orlando doesn’t have Barnes’ full Bird rights after employing him for only one season. A sign-and-trade deal would also have to span at least three years, although only the first year is required to be guaranteed.

Piston Powered

Trade

Pistons receive:

  • Jose Calderon (10.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Reggie Evans (3.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.5 steals)

Raptors receive:

  • Rip Hamilton (18.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Chris Wilcox (4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.4 steals)

Saving The Skyhook

Toronto Raptors (40-42, Missed Playoffs): D

The only reason this isn’t an F is because Chris Bosh’s departure was basically inevitable and there was nothing they could really do. Nevertheless, when a lottery team loses its one star, it’s a recipe for disaster. Ed Davis won’t be ready for a couple years, and while dumping the disgruntled Hedo Turkoglu and his bloated deal on the Suns was a good move, LeAndro Barbosa isn’t going to save the team. And giving Amir Johnson $34 million over 5 years? Please. It’s going to be a miserable year north of the border for the Raptors.

Basketball Outsider

Barnes, considered a hardnosed and tough player before last season, gained status of premiere defender in the National Basketball Association after a couple of hard fought battles against Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.

He was also expected to sign with a contender but after making about only $7.5 million dollars on his seven year NBA career, Barnes couldn’t resist the $5 million dollars a year offered by the Raptors, a team not expected to go anywhere, anyway in the short term.

It was a great signing for the Raptors. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t title contenders or even high profile playoff contenders. By signing the defensive specialist, probably the most regarded free agent still out there, Toronto’s General Manager Bryan Colangelo sends a message that he finally understands the importance of playing some defense in order to put a decent product on the floor.

The Raptors struggled badly last season to protect themselves. They were dead last in the league on defensive efficiency, allowing 110.2 per 100 possessions. They were also 27th on points allowed, giving up 105.9 a game.

It should be mentioned that Toronto’s offseason has been focused on curing that cancer, though. P.J. Carlesimo was hired as an assistant Coach to take care of that department, they had a trade agreed with the Charlotte Bobcats to get cleanup guy & rim protector Tyson Chandler that was called off just before they were going to ask for the league’s approval and now they’ve signed Barnes to protect the perimeter.

Orlando Sentinel

The original ESPN.com report by Marc Stein said the deal would be contingent on the Raptors working out a sign-and-trade deal with the Orlando Magic.

But it’s clear that the Magic don’t have $4.5 million to give Barnes as a prelude to a sign-and-trade.

Here’s why:

• The Magic, who are well over the 2010-11 salary cap, already have used most, if not all, of their midlevel exception of $5.765 million to sign Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson.

• That leaves the Magic with only the biannual exception of $2.08 million, Barnes’ non-Bird exception of $1.92 million or a minimum-salary exception to pay Barnes. None of those come anywhere near $4.5 million, obviously.

So, it looks like the deal has hit a potentially fatal snag.

The Magic simply don’t have anywhere near $4.5 million to give Barnes as the first step in a sign-and-trade.

It appears that Barnes and the Raptors will have to agree to a new deal — one for significantly less than $4.5 million. If they can’t reach a new deal, Barnes would remain on the free-agent market.

Yahoo

Even after Matt Barnes announced himself as a Toronto Raptor on his Twitter account, the sign-and-trade deal that would’ve sent him to the team with a two-year, $9 million contract has fallen apart, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

“The sign-and-trade is dead,” the source flatly said.

Barnes could still agree to a new deal with the Raptors with the available money left in their midlevel exception, but there appear to be larger offers elsewhere for him. A source blamed the snag on a “miscalculation” in negotiations.

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Once again, heart felt congratulations and best wishes to Sam / @rapsfan on his marriage this past Friday. It was a great day, a beautiful ceremony and the start of a wonderful partnership. Tabrik migoyam.

 

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