steph

So, nothing Raptor-related happened on Monday. Don’t know how else to put it, but there you go. There was some movement with Joe Johnson looking like he’ll be heading to Brooklyn, which means that the NBA’s official bitch, Dwight Howard, will probably expand the set of teams he’ll go to without throwing a tantrum. Good news for those teams I guess, they’ll get a guy who hasn’t managed to develop a 6-footer in 8 years. With the Hawks having cleared a ton of cap room by also off-loading Marvin Williams to Utah for Devin Harris, they’re primed to make a run for FAs this year or next with names to pick from including Howard, Paul, Bynum…list goes on. The impact of this on the Raptors, and I’m stretching here, is that the Nets will actually improve and provide competition in the Atlantic and make the 8th spot tougher to get…but who cares, playoffs shmaoffs. We don’t need ‘em.

Yesterday, John Hollinger said that the Raptors were willing to up Nash’s offer in order to sway him if he leans towards New York. Scary stuff, here. On the other hand, a mild and likely meaningless article suggests that Dragic is in play too. It doesn’t make sense that the Raptors are this desperate for Nash and that their backup plan is Goran Dragic (or Kyle Lowry, for that matter). Those are two very different directions for the team. That’s like saying you want a sip of vintage wine, but when that’s not available you’ll settle for a case of Labatt.

Here’s Jeff Blair from the Globe and Mail hinting at what Nash means to Colangelo:

Nash, who grew up in Victoria, is a no-lose proposition for the Raptors. Off the court, the returns would be obvious, in terms of merchandise and television and a pre-eminent place in the national sports discussion. For Colangelo, this is a chance to regain his reputation as Master of the NBA Universe™ and justify his contract extension, let alone make life even more miserable for his Maple Leafs’ counterpart, Brian Burke. Hoops 1, Pucks 0.

I don’t mean to talk about Nash anymore, whatever needed to be posted/commented about him has happened over the last two days. I just leave the PG talk by pointing out that Ramon Sessions is also available and there are plenty of reasons to like him, perhaps our attention should turn there? There’s also Lou Williams if you’re into shoot-first PGs and Jeremy Lin if you like the circus.

The rumor mill also has Ilyasova linked with the Raptors, not going to link to an article because there are hundreds out there which are equally vague and unsourced. The three spot is where I’d expect Colangelo to improve the three-point shooting on the team:

Rasual Butler .273
James Johnson .317
Linas Kleiza .346

Terrence Ross shot 37% from college-range last season, and if his range translates, he’ll become the best three-point shooter on the team. He could play the three but I really see him as the backup shooting guard next year, what with Barbosa gone. Ilyasova shot a ridiculous 45% from three last season in his breakout year, but who knows what to read into it since he shot 30%, 34% and 36% his first three years. There’s also Nick Young who’s 38% for his career, of course, he’s accompanied with a whole lot of Nick Youngishness which I fear Casey or Colangelo don’t want to deal with.

More throughout the day.