So the plan for today was to be to talk about Canada Basketball as they were set to wrap-up the preliminary round at the FIBA Americas qualifying tournament. Like the Super Bowl this past year the lights went out and chaos would follow for the afternoon. Canada will play at 10:30PM tonight at last word. This is some of the problems that happen with FIBA and there way of doing things. They take a check for 5 million dollars or so to play in a country in South America where a game not involving the host country draw flies. It is an important game for Canada as they will eventually play Uruguay for second place in their pool as they attempt to qualify for the World Championships now re-branded as the world cup.
Will leave the Canada Basketball stuff for tomorrow and talk a little about the Raptors who will be opening camp next month. They will do that with a roster of 14 players as the Raptors announced they have waived Quinton Richardson. This was expected and now the Raptors will enter camp with potentially a spot on the roster to play for. Expect the Raptors like they did last year to invite a few players to compete for that open roster spot. A competitive camp is a good camp and this is a change that is good for the Raptors since Dwane Casey has arrived.
There is no guarantee the Raptors will keep a player and start the season with 15 players. It actually makes some sense to have 14 and leave some flexibility to make some trades down the line. If things don’t go well for the Raptors and they look to do some moves to rebuild and take their lottery ticket for the draft this year.
While some will look on the surface and say what the heck are the Raptors doing in getting rid of two players from the Andrea Bargnani trade. Understand that the fact the Raptors have the money to do it is part of the advantage they have compared to small market teams. Bargnani had to go as well and the draft picks and Novak was more than most could have hoped for in dealing Bargnani who had bottomed out in value.
It will be very interesting to see what happens with this team but in general you have to like it. They are not giving up on the season before it starts but are still able to leave some flexibility to go a different direction.
So if the lights stay on in Venezuela will have some thoughts on Canada’s efforts in the preliminary round of the qualifying tournament. It has been pretty good to this point.