One Rasho Down, One Delfino to Go


Yesterday evening the news all of Raptor-nation expected became official - Rasho Nesterovic is once again a Toronto Raptor.  Franchise gives a few quick thoughts...

If you were a betting man, and had to pick one transaction this offseason that you felt Bryan Colangelo was sure to make, my guess is that your money would be on Toronto either retaining the services of Carlos Delfino, or bringing back Rasho Nesterovic.

Now that the latter has happened we wait to see if the former comes through as well.

It was announced last night that Rasho agreed to a one-year deal with the Dinos worth essentially the bi-annual exception ($1.9M) thus giving Toronto some much-needed depth behind Andrea Bargnani at the center position.  Now, with 14 of the 15 spots on the Raps' roster filled, we wait on Carlos Delfino.

In terms of the Rasho deal, there's really not much to dislike about the signing.

-It ensures an efficient offensive and defensive option behind Andrea Bargnani should he get into foul trouble,

-The deal ends after this season so if Rasho shows his age he doesn't represent another dead-weight contract,

-If the luxury tax limit drops by a large amount, Toronto isn't left holding the bag either with this deal the following season

-It gives Toronto a legit 7-footer with bulk to go up against the Shaqs and Howards of the East

-And maybe more importantly, the move, as the Arsenalist mentions this morning ensures that "there was a zero chance of Patrick O'Bryant touching a basketball during non-garbage time."

All in all a solid piece to the puzzle especially considering the dwindling quality of "big men" left on the open market.

So what about Count Chocula?

It sounds from The Toronto Star like negotiations are ongoing so it wouldn't surprise me to see this deal done in the next week or so.  I maintain that getting a wing with the ability to get to the hoop and defend his position is paramount for this team and aside from personal favourite Von Wafer, Delfino looks to be the best remaining option out there.  (Unless you're still of the mindset that Gerald Green is about to break out.)

However Toronto could foreseeably go in a slightly different direction.

Jarrett Jack will undoubtedly play some 2 and perhaps Hedo will as well since this was a role he took on at times in the playoffs for Orlando.  And with the way that DeMar DeRozan played in Vegas, perhaps he's indeed more NBA-ready than was originally believed.

If that's the case, maybe a Hakim Warrick, who recently saw his offer from the Grizzlies withdrawn, could be worth a look?  I've always felt that he was an underrated player and while not a "slasher," he would be a nice boost at the 3-4 from a rebounding and athleticsm standpoint.

He'll probably be far too expensive in the end but both he and Linas Kleiza are now waiting for the phone to ring.

Athletic types like Desmond Mason and Rodney Carney are in the same boat.

And defensive grinders like Keith Bogans, Ime Udoka, James Singleton and Mario West might be had for cheap as well as various undrafted types considering the NBA economy.

Personally I'd love to see this team buy-out Patrick O'Bryant to open up another spot on the roster that could be used for a serviceable player (ahem, Pops,) but that doesn't seem likely at the moment.

And the reality is that the core of this team is already set with Bosh, Bargs, Hedo, Jose, Jack, Evans, DeRozan and Nesterovic. 

If Toronto can't add Delfino to make this a solid nine-some, anyone else they do bring in will probaby be spending a lot more time next to Marcus Banks then on the court.

FRANCHISE

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