Lottery odds, S&Ts, trading the #1 pick and aliens

Chris Bosh is apparently not even talking to the Raptors which means Bryan Colangelo needs to get his sign-and-trade game-face on. The good news is that he's pulled off one pretty decent sign-and-trade deal in the past.

If you’re a Bosh truther you might want to look away, because according to Hoopsworld he’s not even talking to the Raptors. The only good news here is that Hoopsworld has a reputation of saying stupid stuff just to get some cheap hits, so hold off on burning your Bosh jersey and scratching that First Ink DVD set. Maybe when Colangelo called him to offer an extension, he was in one of those bad cellphone reception areas where you only hear every third word. Colangelo probably heard “Don’t…even…call…me” when Bosh might have said “I don’t want to go anywhere, not even Houston, I love Toronto. Call me in a few”. That’s probably what happened so all’s well.

I stopped watching the Suns/Lakers game after it turned into a semi-blowout and went around for a drive. As usual, I turned to AM640 to listen to George Noory talk about how aliens are controlling our dairy supply when their sports update comes on. The update is given by a girl named Sam Mitchell, I kid you not, I looked her up and couldn’t find her pic but did stumble on her LinkedIn profile. As usual, they give the baseball scores first, mention some hockey games that weren’t even being played and when she finally get to the NBA, she says, “The Lakers are leading the Suns in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals”. I mean, really? No mention of the score or the time left? It’s a good thing Noory calmed me down with a story of how a UFO landed in Boise, Idaho, started a family which eventually produced Sam Cassell. I joke, I joke. Cassell’s great.

ESPN Insider came out with a piece yesterday which tried to determine the best sidekick for LeBron James. They had four criteria: 1) He will not hog the ball. 2) He will space the floor. 3) He will finish what he starts. 4) He will crash the boards. They went through Nowitzki, Lee, Stoudemire, Boozer, Johnson, Gay, Rose, Wade, Harris and Davis, and finally concluded that Chris Bosh was the ultimate sidekick for LeBron James. John Hollinger wrote the article so there were some stats in there including something called the “LeBron Rating” so take it with a grain of salt. However, don’t think talk like this isn’t having an influence on Bosh; once you hear something over and over again, you actually start to believe it.

Yesterday I took some heat in the ‘raps’ section for my team-building ways. My plan saw us get Shane Battier, Jordan Hill, and Jared Jeffries in a Bosh deal, sign a defensive big and a PG in the draft, and re-sign Amir Johnson. Not only would these moves, however unglamorous as they are, given Weems and DeRozan more playing time, it would allow the Raptors to field an enthusiastic bunch that would play hard, grow together and maybe bring some excitement back to town. With the money we’d save once the expiring come off, we could use our young talent to swing a trade, sign a free-agent or even re-sign some of our players once their rookie-scale contracts end (assuming they’re deserving of it). The plan was scoffed at which I understand, nobody wants to see no-name players take the court with Hedo Turkoglu as the floor leader, but I’d still rather see a hard-working, young, and athletic group of players that are trying to earn contracts, instead of players playing in the security of one. Call me crazy, but that sounds appealing to me, regardless of the return in Ws the first couple of years.

My fear is that 90% of the fan base will be mightily disappointed once the S&T happens, because there’s some belief that the Raptors actually hold some cards here. Unless Bosh picks out a team that is over the cap (Chicago, New York or Miami are under, Houston is over), we are forced to get what we can, not what we want. If Morey does a sell-job on him, then we’re actually have some sort of leverage as at that point Houston needs us to make a deal and don’t have the option of signing Bosh away like an under-the-cap team. Ideally, you want a starter, a draft pick and an expiring contract, but that’s probably what you would’ve gotten if you traded Bosh when he was under contract, not a free-agent. Just a reminder that if we lose Bosh for chump change, Colangelo should be publicly ridiculed for not trading him at the deadline or last summer, but I fear that nobody will do that and we’ll just pretend like he didn’t screw up.

I do have some faith since Bryan Colangelo has pulled off one pretty decent sign-and-trade deal. He signed and traded Joe Johnson to the Hawks for Boris Diaw and two lottery-protected first round picks and a $6 million trade exception. Johnson wasn’t even a big star back then and the return can be considered quite decent. Diaw turned into a serviceable player and two first round picks are nothing to be scoffed at. When that trade went down, Colangelo said:

“Joe Johnson made us aware of his personal desires which just didn’t fit our model of building a team. We’re sorry to see Joe leave and we wish him nothing but the best in Atlanta. Despite losing Joe, we are pleased that we have acquired a young, talented player in Boris Diaw, two first round draft picks and additional flexibility to keep our building process moving forward.”

I can already hear similar words with respect to Chris Bosh and Aaron Brooks.

There’s an article on the official dot com about the lottery tonight. Basically, it’s saying that not since the 1993 Magic has a team jumped from our position or lower to win the lottery. The Raptors have dropped from their record-based draft position four times in nine tries. On two of those occasions, we ended up with Vince Carter and Chris Bosh. Of course, that was #4 and #5, not #14, which is where we’d be if we drop.

The chance of us dropping is low and best illustrated by this table from Wikipedia which says it all:

To spell it out, the Raptors have a 0.6% chance of winning the lottery, a 0.7% chance of getting the 2nd pick and a 0.9% chance of getting the third pick. They cannot get the 4th to 12th pick. The chances of staying at #13 is 96% and the chance of dropping to #14 is 1.8%.

This NY Times article brings up an excellent point, namely that we could see the #1 pick traded since about half the lottery teams are already happy with their PG situation:

Then consider this curious twist: about half the lottery teams are set at point guard, or at least very committed. It may all conspire to create the rarest event of all: a trade of the No. 1 pick. It has not happened in 17 years. “That’s certainly a scenario that could transpire, particularly with a team that has a point guard that they’re very, very happy with,” said the Nets’ president, Rod Thorn, who will be joined at the lottery by the team’s new owner, the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov.

That’s it from me, sick as a dog today. Probably because on the streetcar I sat next to a guy whose idea of ‘sneezing in your arm’ was to sneeze on mine.