Today could be my favourite day of the annual NBA Calendar: The day after NBA Trade Deadline. Not to evaluate all the great trades that happened. Which based on yesterday amounted to a total of maybe one made by the team the Raptors chase, the Milwaukee Bucks. It is the end to the constant rumour mill that some sites make a living off on the internet. In the end all their rumours and bluster amounted to next to nothing. It is the case more often than not.
The end result if we cut though everything in my opinion is the Bucks got better in the deal they made with the Magic. The attention to match the big game changer type move the Raptors made by acquiring Rudy Gay with targeting Josh Smith. That didn’t work but for very little in terms of their short term they add some much needed 3 point punch to their line-up with J.J Redick. The Raptors move to get Sebastian Telfair is just insurance and a look at a player to consider as the long term back-up. I would suspect we only see him to April and never again. The Raptors paid very little to get that done. They were rumoured to be looking at other options like Eric Maynor from the Thunder but ultimately the Thunder went a different direction.
All that said the key figure people were focused on was Andrea Bargnani. If we are to believe David Aldridge who is one of the more respected NBA Insiders working for TNT/NBA TV the market for Bargnani had dried up over a week ago and it never was even in the mix for the Raptors to move him yesterday.
Now you are left with a fan base that I would estimate is 60/40 in wanting Bargnani gone and he isn’t. That said of the 40 that still support him I would venture to say that support is not all that strong for most of them. The 60 percent that are against him are much more passionate about what they believe and no doubt Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors will hear from them in the stands and on the internet for the rest of the year and heading into next off-season.
Going into yesterday I never expected Bargnani to move but a couple things about yesterday have me deeply concerned if you can move him in the off-season. The fact that there were no discussions about him leading up to the deadline at all is first. That makes me question the Raptors assertion that there is interest in Andrea Bargnani. I question if there is based on the lack of activity and the rumoured deals that were on the table prior to that. It seemed the only interest there was from teams looking to unload contracts that are worse than his. Boozer at the top of that list in Chicago with the biggest and worst contract of all.
This leads to my second concern. PLT: Punitive Luxury Tax is likely the biggest factor in why we saw a dud of a trade deadline day around the league. In the new CBA the PLT kicks in this off-season and teams were clearly aware of that in the moves they made and didn’t make yesterday. It makes the idea of adding the 10 million dollars a season plus a trade kicker that comes with getting Andrea Bargnani not a very appealing idea if you are concerned about your cap number and the PLT.
Andrea Bargnani could turn all of this, if he played well in a role off the bench. That doesn’t seem likely and if he struggles and the game occurs at the ACC like tonight against the Knicks he will hear from the people that want him gone in the form of boos. No speech on the radio from Coach Casey or appeal from anyone is going to stop these fans from expressing their opinion in the form of boos. It just isn’t going to happen. The more you tell them not to do this likely the louder and more dedicated it becomes.
Don’t believe that? How many articles appeals and energy has been wasted on two things involving fan reaction in terms of Vince Carter and Pizza. While the Raptors could solve their Pizza problem by pulling the plug or changing the promotion they have not done that. Many folks have pled for fans to come to their sense about this issue including me with honestly no success. The same type of thing has been done about booing Vince Carter yet the fans still do it and likely always will.
Bargnani like Carter has worn out his welcome with enough fans that there is little that can be done to turn that situation around.
As for the game tonight the Knicks should be very hungry for some revenge and the key match-up of the night should be Rudy Gay and Carmelo Anthony as we likely see Gay match-up with him at the 4 as he did in New York. I expect the Knicks to get their revenge and pound the Raptors.
In a thing I thought I would never see. Matt Devlin has made his way to the TMZ website as a result of this whole Wale nonsense. I truly can’t believe this whole thing has been as big as it has become and it is all just so stupid. I didn’t know who Wale was either. What I know now is he seems to be a pretty insecure punk and if that is what you our why on earth did you get into rap music? I have never heard a Wale track and likely never will. What I did hear was TBJ having some funny with all this if you have yet to see their little rap anthem taking up the side of Matt Devlin in a pretty funny way….go see it.
That is a Rap for me not much of a preview for tonight as we already have talked a lot about this match-up last week and not much has changed. Rumour has it that Telfair will sport Doug Christie’s old number 13 and the number that Steve Nash would have worn had things gone differently in the summer.