It's OVER? Looks like that is the case. The players and owners have reached a deal it seems. The fact I am up at this hour to find out is not unusual. So it figures while most of the world was asleep this all comes to an end. The word is a 66 game season will begin on Christmas Day. Training camps are said to be opening on December 9th if all goes well. Players and Owners will still have to vote on this deal but most feel it is going to pass. All this goes down on the 4th Anniversary of the Dino Nation Blog. This has been a tough time and a tough year for the blog but we have made it through the storm?
Also news yesterday that the Raptors owners have decided to stick around. MLSE will not be sold. So is it better the devil you know? Also with this new labour agreement will anything change in terms of the Raptors. I would not hold your breath with a new super luxury tax as part of this deal. But in reality the Raptors with even more cost certainty should stop trying to pretend to be a small market team and spend some money. Raptors will have money to spend as well even if they will not head into the land of luxury.
But based on comments of Bryan Colangelo do not expect the Raptors to spend much of that cap space on this short season. It was clear to me that Colangelo just looked at this as a lost season and made his plans accordingly. Including drafting a rookie that will not be here till next season. So even though basketball it looks like is back, the Raptors likely will still be terrible. Dwane Casey is not a miracle worker I don't think. So the Raptors will be rebuilding for yet another season. The big storyline will likely be Demar DeRozan taking over the title of face of the franchise from Andrea Bargnani. He will do it minus on of his Young Gunz buddies. Sonny Weems unlike many NBA Players that decided to go to Europe does not have an out clause in his contract. There was no guarantee he would have been back anyway as he was a restricted free agent. Raptors did make a qualifying offer so when Weems makes his way back to the NBA Raptors will hold his rights.
Is this the year we finally see Jose Calderon just go away? Will Bayless and him have an open competition in camp for the starting job? Yes folks if you have not figured it out we are talking basketball again. Raptors will also have to decide if they want to bring back free agent Reggie Evans. Raptors had a few other free agents but the only one that will even be considered coming back is Reggie. Tough to say if there will be a big market for Evans after two injury plagued seasons in Toronto. When healthy he still can hit the glass and be one of the top rebounders in the league.
Lots of time to sort all this stuff out but it is just a pleasure to be back talking basketball with you all again. I have missed doing this and missed talking basketball with so many of you. But it appears that is a thing of the past. But as the Raptors learned with a trade for Tyson Chandler it is never a deal until it is signed. NBA and the players have a bunch of B-list issues to sort out and they will need to vote to approve this deal. However at this point if this were to go south both sides would get buried and I think they all know that.
So is it forgive and forget and move on? I can only speak for myself. I will forgive sure but not forget. This whole experience has made me a little less passionate for the sport that I love. Will I get over it in time? Sure likely but I am not going to forget this and say no harm done. I remember after the NHL came back how much people acted liked idiots in this country. At the end of the day no sport is bigger than life itself. If there is any lesson I take away from all this greed and nonsense that is it. I also realized what a screwed up world we live in when I don't have basketball to stop me from paying attention to it. I learned that I really don't need to tweet everyday if I don't want too. That life marches on if this blog is written everyday or not. But all that being said I have invested 4 years of my life into the DNB. That is longer than pretty much any relationship I have ever had with a woman except for one. So that might have been the hardest thing about this lockout for me. Watching all that I worked for in the last 4 years be completely out of my hands. It was frustrating and it hurt. There is no doubt a lot of hurt and hard feelings coming out of this on the over side. We all will need time to heal. Hopefully that can happen and this deal can create an NBA that is worth watching for fans in every city that has a team in this league.
So if all goes well will see you Monday!!!