Durant, Wade, Artest, Kobe, and DWill are just a few of the names that come up when talking about NBA players circumventing the lockout to play overseas. Earlier in the summer the press might be thought to have been orchestrated by the union to make the league second-guess the financial impact the lockout would have on the players, all that has changed. As the summer has worn on the exodus of NBA talent to Europe has seen a rise, and there isn’t an end in sight to the migration with Billy Hunter the latest to suggest that the season will be collateral damage.

The Raptors as an organization cannot create a contingency plan for their players as they’re not allowed to communicate with them, so it comes down to the players to both stay fit and find employment. DeMar DeRozan’s Drew League exploits are vaguely interesting, almost entertaining, but is the Drew a solution in the case of a cancelled season? He’ll be entering his crucial third season, one which usually speaks more to a player than any other, and it’s vital that he starts examining possible professional playing destinations.

What Leandro Barbosa and his expiring contract do with themselves doesn’t come into play for the Raptors, so they won’t pay much attention to his rejection of Brazilian interest. There’s an unsubstantiated, mostly created out of convenient logistics, rumour that Linas Kleiza could sign for Lietuvos Rytas (yes, that’s JonasVal’s team), which would do Kleiza well if he’s back to being healthy. If Kleiza doesn’t play next year he’ll come back rustier than A-Dub’s writing which doesn’t bode well for the Raptors’ investment in the lumbering Lithuanian. As of right now, the only Raptor that has accounted for himself is Sonny Weems, and he’s a restricted free-agent.

Ed Davis is hooping randomly as well, and here’s a guy who the Raptors are advertising as part of the core going forward. You could look at it as not being a big deal since every NBA player taking a step back because of not having to play strong competition, or you could see it as an opportunity for advancement. This is the year where a player can possibly catch up to his peers through a program that would see them develop through competitive basketball. I’m not even sure what Amir Johnson is doing. What do the coaches do during this time? It has to be frustrating for Dwane Casey to get signed on to a gig where he’s expected to bring great change only to sit on his ass. At best you could scout around but even then there’s no college basketball to go around.

They say the idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and surely the Beasley/Ridnour for Calderon/Barbosa rumour has to be the product of a very, very bored writer. I’m not going to expound on the ridiculousness of the Raptors wanting a fourth power forward, I find it enough to say that any trade the Raptors do pull will be for a legitimate center. Anything else is so far down the to-do list that it isn’t even worth comment. The upside to the lockout just might be that Colangelo won’t have to do any work, and that an abrogated season will present Jonas Valanciunas with the starting spot on a plate. More positives? The franchise save the money owed to Barbosa, and get two year’s worth of reprieve on Bargnani and Calderon’s questionable contracts.

Finally, the completely random story of the day. Remember Popeye Jones? His son could be in the NHL. And here’s some guy who says Jerryd Bayless was a jerk to him.

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  • Nilanka15

    Bahahaha, Colonel Sanders!

    • Juicey

      Who knew the recipe to success in the NBA required zen, the triangle, and 11 herbs and spices.

      Oh, and one of either Kobe or Jordan.

  • Nilanka15

    “The upside to the lockout just might be that Colangelo won’t have to do any work…”

    I would think Colangelo is spending much of this lockout preparing a million and a half different trade scenarios, and analyzing each one from every single angle imaginable.  Or at least I hope that’s what he’s doing…

    • Beaverboi

      …or preparing a million and a half excuses…

  • Sheptor

    Can’t believe I read half that “Bayless” article only to hear one line on Bayless…which was almost repeated word for word in your article

    • Juicey

      But in good news, now I wont read that article.

      Speaking of Bayliss, do you know what he doing during the lockout, Arse?  He is another player who could advance his game for the Raptors benefit if he could find some meaningful lockout games.

    • Mack North

      haha, I just skipped through the whole bit til I read Bayless’ name and I started from there. It didn’t go very far.

  • guest

    Is what some college wanna be writer has to say about Bayless as a side note in an article without an explanation really worth printing a link for? Really slow news season…give it a rest already.We know you don’t like the guy but if I spent some time searching I could probably find an article where someone thought you were just as big of  a jerk. Keep it relevant!

  • Juicey

    To be honest I don’t imagine the owners are that worried about the exodus to europe.  It’s not like the players wont be coming back, especially after they experience the lifestyle of not being pampered in 5 star hotels like they are used to.  Plus, they were just as likely to get injured in an NBA season.  And in truth, the owners probably expected it.  The same thing happened during the NHL Lockout, so why would the NBA be immune?

    No what the NBA should be worried about is knuckleheadism.  Like recent conflicts at summer league games by guys like Beasley and Matt Barnes.  The longer these guys are way from the game, the more likely they will be getting in to trouble.  Whether it’s the more aggresive summer leagues or the bad influences they can usually avoid when kept busy with an NBA schedule.  Eventually the hood will find them.  Before you know it, Ron Artest is punching a cop, Shane Battier is smoking dope, and Manu Ginobbli is running an illegal baby fighting league.  That can’t be good, as when the league gets back this is the owners product.  And they dont want to lose any more fans than the lockout is likely to cause.

    • Bendit

      Did you have the sarcasm-on button when mentioning Battier & Ginobli? Battier is one of the upstanding citizens in the league and Ginobili may look like he’d be good with a stiletto but I have never heard trouble attached to his name. Artest on the other hand… 

      • Juicey

        Yeah, I picked those two because I could never picture either one doing anything wrong.  But you never, when people have a lot of time and not a lot to do…

  • Beasley? Only a  PF?

    Kevin Love anyone?
    Beasley’s been playing the 3 in Minnesota. C’mon.Don’t tell me we’re too ”stacked” there. The Rap is starting Kleiza.

    • points

      dime bag and beasley got the hookup

    • KJ-B

      Uhmmm… Because there’s nothing much else to do — I found highlights, non audio, of Ed Davis in Tri-Cities summer league… No braces on and a monster jam–his hops look to be almost all the way back (FForward to 17-18 secs in)… 

      Remember that Special Ed was at best 85% at the end of last year–BE EASY on the trade rumors in that direction!

      • KJ-B

        Oops, the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Nzv9Q-ciys

        • Nilanka15

          That looked like old-timers’ highlights at the Y

  • Multipaul:

    Yeah now like the Badboys didn’t win anything. Oh snap.

    Rodman wasn’t a ”role model” but he was a HOF, legendary rebounder and a hand filled with rings.
    Good enough for me.

  • Yiiipee

    Carmelo anthony is a good bad hes a beast. Kobe raped a girl but hes a 5 time champion. Multipaul can eat bargnani’s pasta sauce.