Over the last two weeks when it appeared that the NBA season would well and truly be in jeopardy, one of the recurring thoughts I had was whether it was a mistake for some Raptors players not to sign overseas. It just seemed like a waste of time to not play competitive ball when there was a chance to.
There were pros and cons to opting to play elsewhere, the pros were obviously making some coin, staying fit, and dribbling a basketball with a real defender coming at you. The cons were the risk of injury (J.R Smith), and getting tied to a contract without an NBA-out (J.R Smith). Now that the NBA is likely to resume, we’ll see first-hand whether there’s a noticeable difference in play between those who played overseas and those who chose to stay home.
Kyle Singler is getting a lot of praise for heading to Spain early and getting ahead of the rookie class, and there are other examples as well. Again, how beneficial this court time will be for the second-rounder remains to be seen, but I think it’s going to be factor. A part of me just wishes that guys like James Johnson and maybe even Ed Davis had gone abroad for a taste for the last two months and come back with a head start. Part of me is just glad that there aren’t any injury casualties.
For the Raptors, Leandro Barbosa has an opt-out clause with his club in Brazil, Sonny Weems does not. Neither does Joey Dorsey (also playing in Spain), and Alexis Ajinca played for a little bit in France, and came back. He was mulling going back as well, but even with the NBA season good to go, he might still ned to head back. And that folks, is the most number of words any NBA/basketball related site will devote to Ajinca. Kleiza was thinking about joining Jonas in Lithuania but didn’t, and turns out is still weeks away from playing.
Finally, according to this article in the Sun, the Raptors “would love to have Tyson Chandler and Nene, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan or even Samuel Dalembert, but it is hard to see any of them ending up in Toronto for a variety of reasons”.
I’d like to add on to that list the following names: Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki…
Quick Jonas update. In five league games, he is shooting 75% from the field, and 91% from the line. I know what you’re thinking, those percentages are high because he’s only played a few games. But wait, he’s 27/36 from the field, and 30/33 from the line. That FT percentage is Calderonesque!
Here’s Stephen Curry and DeRozan on Twitter:
Can’t wait for this thing to get finalized so we can start debating whether Amir Johnson is the worst contract in the history of the NBA, or the greatest bargain ever.