I can't help but sit back and wonder if this is a case of De Ja VU. But first let's clear some stuff up. To sign Hedo the Raptors have to give up rights (Renounce) Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker, Carlos Delfino and Joey Graham and Pops Mensah-Bonsu by July 7th. Also in addition I have read and been told that the Raptors also will not have their MLE(Mid level exception) as a result of this signing. According to Doug Smith the only way the Raptors could get it back it to workout a sign and trade for Shawn Marion with Orlando. Given the fact they brought in V.C that seems unlikely. Perhaps some wacky 3 way deal could be worked out but I would not hold my breath. Basically the Raptors have given up the rights to 5 players and their mid level exception to sign Hedo. That seems like a heck of a lot does it not? Just like trading T.J Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and Roy Hibbert for Jermaine O'Neal and Nathan Jawai. That deal became worse given the health issues of Jawai. J.O also would have his injury issues as well. Would anyone do a 6 asset deal to get 1 player in a trade? I mean this is for Hedo not Dwight Howard.
I hear and read all of this talk about how great this is that we landed a high end free agent. It is only great if it works, if it doesn't it really means nothing. In fact honestly I question if it even means anything at all in terms of North American players. Does the fact we signed Hedo make the next Trevor Ariza type free agent sign in Toronto. Ariza in case you forgot or did not hear was offered allegedly 9 million more to come to Toronto and passed. Does that change this from happening again? Not unless the Raptor become a consistent and winning team.
In fact, I think the success of Demar DeRozan could have more impact on getting North American free agents than a Hedo signing. If DeRozan lives up to his promise and becomes a star and remains in Toronto that will do more for attracting free agents than anything. If a kid who grew up in Compton California gives Toronto a stamp of approval that will speak louder than any Euro player signing in Toronto in terms of North American talent. There would be a certain street cred about that. It is not to say that Vince Carter or Chris Bosh don't have that. But it is different. Dallas and Florida are not anything close to where DeRozan comes from. I may have watched Boyz In The Hood one to many times. However I think it would be something that might change attitudes about players coming to Toronto. It just a theory but I think it might have some merit.
But signing a Euro based player beyond improving the on the court product will have little to no impact on free agency in the future. The Raptors in the end regardless of what it does for future free agency may have given up far to much to sign Hedo. They will need to hit some major league home runs in terms of signing guys to minimum deals. As I suggested perhaps a guy or maybe even 2 on the summer league roster would have to get signed and make an impact in some small way.
The depth of this team is truly lacking and I am not convinced this is something Bryan Colangelo has some magic answer for. A sign and trade for Marion is extremely unlikely with the Magic. If the Raptors have no mid level exception they are really screwed in terms of adding depth. This team to me would enter the season in the same position it did last year in terms of being just one injury away from certain doom. If any play 1-3 goes down the Raptors could be totally screwed.
The one thing I can bet you won't here from Bryan Colangelo that this is the best roster he has had since he has been here. I think he learned his lesson on that last year. But it seems he has not when it comes to building depth on this team. Honestly I don't like to come off as the voice of doom. In fact, unlike some writers and bloggers, I really hope that I am wrong. I want to see the Raptors do well and succeed. If that happens to make me wrong about some things I can live with that. But I never write anything that I don't believe to be true from my prospective. That was the lesson I learned from the Jermaine O'Neal trade. I hated it from the start and would allow myself to be swayed. Well not this time. This is a bad contract and it does not address enough to out weigh the problems it creates. All this being said I do think the Raps will be a playoff team. But as I said a few days ago the goal is suppose to be Championships not Playoff appearances.