The rumours surfaced a few days ago and it just became official: he’s not coming here next year and will join the Raptors in 2012-13. And reading the labor picture Adrian Woj paints, he’s not going to be missing much.
If there is a season then it’s going to really suck not having a chance to see him develop when the team is trudging its way to 20 wins again. Seems like a bit of a waste to me, but I’m not privy to the contract negotiations that were had or what restrictions Colangelo was working under. If the Raptors opted not to bring him in to save money/cap space and a season does happen, then they’ll look like idiots because developing here is better than developing there. Period. If there’s no season, then the move is pure genius. In either case, this pick just became even more underwhelming and even less exciting. Sad really, because as fans this was the ONLY thing we were looking forward to since November, and it turned out to be the greatest anti-climax ever.
If there is no season next year, the league could go the NHL route and average out the last three seasons to determine the 2012 draft order. This is not good for the Raptors because it would give them a pick outside the top four, something they could better if they just played the season and do what they’re so great at – losing. So, adding all this up as Raptors fans we have to pick between, 1) watching a rebuilding season where our top pick isn’t even developing in the NBA, 2) getting robbed of draft spots. Good news is that 2012 is supposed to be a solid draft class so we could have two “studs”, ableit rookies, heading into the 2012-13 season.
Paragraph break so I can take a deep breath, relax, and think somewhat rationally.
When the pick was announced it was like a bomb that just exploded. Once everybody gathered themselves, saw that nobody was killed and nobody had gone missing, they started to lick the substance they thought was blood. It wasn’t blood, they were strawberries. Delicious strawberries that you couldn’t get enough of, so much so that after a little while you were glad there had been a bomb which blessed you with delicious strawberries. I’m not ready to say Jonas Valanciunas is a strawberry, but after 24 hours of reading some of the reviews out there, it does appear that he’s not a bomb. At least not yet. This is a pick that will always be considered guilty until proven innocent because the general consensus amongst fans was to take either Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight. Both those two fell considerably deeper into the lottery which is probably easing a lot of fears. It helps that a journalist such as Ric Bucher thinks that Valanciunas would have been the #1 pick if it hadn’t been for the contract.
As far as actual news is concerned, the assistant coaching ranks are about to be altered. Reports are indicating that Memphis assistant, Johnny Davis, friend of Dwane Casey is being sought as one of the new Raptors assistants. This means the Raptors would have two assistants: Davis and Carlesimo. Alex English is on the outs as of right now.