If we had some momentum in this franchise, had won a playoff round or two, were on the cusp of achieving something meaningful, and then added Nash as a finishing touch, this offer would make a helluva lot more sense than it does now. As it stands, this is 90% a PR move to help with declining attendance numbers, masked behind the story that Nash can reinvigorate this franchise by getting JoVal’s NBA career off to a solid start by running the pick ‘n roll like only he can.
I accept the offer, not because it can be endorsed from a basketball/rebuilding POV, but because that’s what I’ve come to expect of Colangelo: flash. The decision to make this offer is definitely helped by the lack of obvious free-agent PG options out there (even though Williams, Gordon and Dragic are available), the Raptors unattractive position in terms of promising winning, and the potential economic benefits of having Nash in Toronto. Kyle Lowry might be a good fit for this team, and fit much better in Casey’s defensive system than Nash, but I doubt Joe Bornahockeyfan will care about seeing Lowry vigorously hedge and trap. Nash makes sense – from an economic standpoint.
Raptors fans are used to basically crying while watching the games, and Nash would at least make the games more watchable, so even if your basketball ethos demand that you be against this move, consider the sensory pleasures – even if ever so brief – that this might bring to the ACC. If that doesn’t do it for you, let the spin doctors frame this move in a way that’s more digestible:
Nash, who also met Sunday with the New York Knicks, is seen as the key ingredient to an accelerated building process the Raptors are trying to implement.
Yes, yes, the “accelerated building process”, of course, how could I forget.
As mentioned yesterday (and likely the day before that and the one before that), Calderon’s going to be the sacrificial lamb here. Either we’ll trade him to free up cap space (more TPEs we won’t use!!!), or we’ll amnesty him. If we can’t find a suitor, then it’ll be a double-whammy for the Raptors because they’d amnesty a perfectly fine contract and overpay a 38-year old. The talk of amnestying Kleiza is all well and and good, but remember that he’s JoVal’s chaperon so I don’t see that happening. I vote down any Amir Johnson amnesty because he’s a decent player for the money (especially considering Asik’s offersheet – WTF?!) and plays hard. The guy played center last year FFS.
While Nash is the Raptors’ #1 target, he’s a little down the road for teams like Brooklyn and Dallas, who are competing for Deron Williams, so I would think that the Nash situation would only get resolved after Williams’ deal has been sorted out. The team where Nash would, hypothetically at least, be the best fit is NY where he’d be reunited with Stoudemire and resume running the best pick ‘n roll the league has seen since Stockton/Malone. The problem there is that the Knicks can only offer him $3M/yr unless they get Phoenix to do a S&T, which the Suns don’t really want to do since they want to use the money freed by Nash on other PGs (like Williams, Dragic, Gordon, which you might argue is what the Raptors should be doing).
Are we offering too much money to Nash? Of course we are, a 38-year old on a crap team making $12M is ridiculous – no arguments, but as Colangelo already said this year, “money supercedes most concerns” and the Raptors expect to give “above market deals” to people to get them to sign. From Nash’s perspective, does he play in Toronto pressure-free for $12M, or chase a ring in pressure-packed NY for $3M. Money talks and bullshit walks.