Well now another would be Raptor is officially on another team. The Raptors after having a deal worked out to acquire Tyson Chandler from Charlotte, would watch him later get traded to Dallas. Now Matt Barnes who had agreed to a deal with Toronto only to have it fall apart is elsewhere officially. News now is that Barnes has signed a deal for far less money with the 2 time champion Lakers. Here are the details from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. It is another situation where the Raptors miss out on someone in a very public way. It is hard to now stand up there and say, when you make other moves, these were the best ones. Clearly the Raptors had targeted players like Diaw, Chandler and Barnes and they will now become the measuring stick for other deals.
I used earlier in the week the Fred Jones example as having to go with a plan B in terms of signing someone. The Raptors are in bad need of both a legit center and a small forward. It seems hard to imagine the Raptors entering the season with Bargnani at the 5 spot backed up by a second round draft choice that is raw and unproven. The Raptors could use guys more suited to play the 2 and 4 spots to play at small forward, but that would cause issues on defense, for a team that claims to want to improve on that aspect.
It is not like Colangelo will stop trying though. It just is not in his nature to do so. However, if the Raptors remain true to the plan to remain below the tax threshold, the amount of wiggle room is very small. Colangelo has stated in interviews that although the Raptors had plans to venture into the Tax Threshold, those plans were based on having a re-signed Chris Bosh. No Bosh, and no tax seems to be the result. So that eliminates a lot of options. Including the use of that massive trade exception from the Bosh deal. It seems pretty clear the Raptors plan on holding that till next season, or at the earliest the trade deadline. It would take out of play the idea of trading for an Andrea Iguodala unless Philadelphia were to consider Calderon and some expiring contracts.
I am sure Bryan Colangelo has a plan. But what letter plan are we down to now? Plan C? D? It just does not look promising. This team as constructed now is no where close to being a playoff team in the East. This is without taking into account that Chris Paul is trying to force his way out of New Orleans we are told. He has given 3 options for his destination and one would hurt the Raptors very badly being the New York Knicks. According to the New York Post the Knicks are willing to trade anyone and anything other than Amare to land Paul. Adding Paul to the Knicks makes them a playoff team for sure in my opinion. The Raptors would tumble to at best 3rd in the division and with many teams in the east upgrading, hard to see Raptors being able to hold ground. Also, you may be aware of comments Paul is said to have made about establishing a New York big 3, with himself, Carmelo Anthony and Amare. I like the Young Guns as much as anyone but they are not on the level of these threesomes that are popping up in the East.
But Colangelo seems focused on what he can do under the new CBA. In the moves he tried to pull off their was a clear focus on clearing cap for the first free agency in 2012 after a new CBA would be in place. The hope being that it will be a much more tighter cap system and thus increase the value of cap room. While it would also decrease the amount of teams able to compete in the free agent market. Things like the out and out end to the Mid Level Exception have been thrown out there as possibilities under the new CBA. Even some hardliners talking about a hard cap at the end of it all. No one knows for sure the exact outcome. But everyone is predicting at the end of it the players side is going to lose. The sale of a team for 450 million dollars is not going to stop the NBA from pushing for a much tighter deal in the next CBA.
You must commend Colangelo for thinking ahead to this. When you consider he has still yet to sign an extension with the Raptors as he enters the final year of his deal. Most G.M's would try to save their own butt and say the heck with the future. But B.C clearly has one eye on this season and one eye on the NBA's new reality in a new CBA.
Unless something major breaks I am off for the weekend. Raptors are holding Dance Pak auditions, and sadly I have been passed over as a guest judge. If you are over the age of 18, and have 2 years of dance experience, and are female, you can take your shot to join the dance pak. Auditions start at 11am Saturday and you need to be at Gate 1 by 10 am according to the press release the Raptors issued. There you can get all signed up and registered. Good Luck to all the ladies that try out.