Jamaal Magloire it is, this after talk of Nene, Chandler, and Gasol. Seems a bit of a letdown, no? Almost like waiting the whole year for Christmas only to find out that instead of an XBOX360, you got a $20 gift certificate to the mall. Not even from a good mall like Eaton Centre or Square One, more like one in Malton. Let’s look past the wholly unexciting nature of the signing and focus on the specifics (let’s try at least).

Casey needed a big man to do whatever a big man did in Dallas for him. Grade: C+. If Chandler is the Megan Fox of interior rebounding and defense, Magloire’s like Britney Spears – used to be alright, but time has taken its toll in an unkind manner. Still though, what was once a well-oiled and efficient machine which played 82 games and averaged a double-double, is now a machine that sputtered through 18 games and averaged less than a field goal. Bonus points for the machine being made in Canada.

Raptors didn’t want to spend much on this supposed need. Grade: A+. I don’t even know what the contract is structured like, but I’ll bet my solitary left nut that it’s going to be cheaper than a Maple Leaf Square condo. It never made any sense to sign anyone long-term at the C when Jonas is waiting in the wings. I never realistically believed the Raptors to be in the run for Chandler, and that whole storyline existed only because of Casey and the failed Calderon trade. Maybe the Raptors thought Chandler would come cheaply (if ever so slightly) because of Casey, in any case, glad to put that behind us. Safe move, this.

Three quotes from Magloire that will make you go meh:

“I am the hockey player of this team”.

“I will be the oldest one and I look at myself as being a leader”.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a very long time”.

Sure thing, whatever. Leader, hockey player, local boy comes home, all that good stuff. It’s nice to see a Canadian suit up for the Raptors, even if you’d rather it be Cory Joseph than Magloire, but it doesn’t matter either way because neither of those two would be filling up seats more than the number of their immediate relatives. Unless Magloire has 2000 uncles who have 6000 kids, the ACC will be empty this season. This leadership stuff? He says him and Howard ran the Miami locker-room which is probably not a good thing considering the only instance of a scrub being the team leader on a team that did anything was….um….me on my middle-school team that won a home game?

No point repeating my stance on the whole “where should leadership come from?” debate here, so I’m not going to expect much in terms of that impact aside from a few chest bumps and lockeroom wedgies ($10 on James Johnson being the first victim). Basketball-wise, he’s replacing Reggie Evans, so you know we’re losing the better rebounder and the better “effort guy”. What we gain is a big body who moves around on defense (last I checked) and has the size Rasho did, so conceivably he could be used in a manner similar to the Slovenian.

Does this signing ensure that the Raptors stay on course to give Jonas the starting center spot once he arrives, and lose copious amounts of games in the process, all under the name of development? Yes, grade: A. Great signing, Colangelo. Now for good measure you got to find where Primoz Brezec is and ink him to a contract, thus guaranteeing the greatest most entertaining season in Raptors history yet.

Enough of me talking. You guys hate me anyway so I’ll just rip some video and show you what Magloire’s been upto in Miami, besides calling Chris Bosh a little b&^%$ (I have no proof that he in fact did this, I’m just going on what a normal human’s reaction would be when meeting Chris Bosh). These are all his plays on defense last season – all 34:

Congratulations if you got through the whole video! Do you see the Rasho in him? Certainly not the 2006-07 Rasho, but definitely better than the 2009-10 version. Miami used him against big men like Gasol, Howard, and Noah. Basically counter a big body with a big body and try to push potentially dominant big men off the block. You can see how Magloire has to account for his lack of quickness by giving space in face-up situations, and how he’s a little slow in his reactions on close-outs, recovery situations etc. Let’s excuse all that, because his defensive role in Toronto is not about him being a great man-defender or shot-blocker, it’s about how he can cover certain areas on the floor, how he can provide a barrier between a guard and the rim, and mostly how he can use his bulk and size to shift would-be rebounders off the block. Something like that, remains to be seen. His mobility isn’t great, so I wonder how he’d fit in a zone situation, but we’ll leave that up to Casey.

One more quote from Magloire:

“I’m not going to let my country, and this team down.”

Last time he played for Canada was when he was 18-years old. Not since.

Finally, a piece from 2008 by Michael Grange about Magloire, where he references two other pieces he wrote about him.

Jamaal Magloire, welcome. Stay healthy and give us a taste of the Magloire we all wanted to trade for back in 2004!

Training camp starts Friday. Practice in the PM.

Shameless plug: Settle in to the RR Forums starting with this thread which contains all player interviews.

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