Minus plan A Nash, and now potentially plan B, someone like Lin, is Bryan Colangelo left with Bayless as plan C?
If you're at a bar and you see a ridiculously attractive woman that you want to talk to, what's the worst-case scenario?
I mean, say you make your way across the dance floor and decide to approach her, perhaps to not only engage her in conversation but also to obtain her phone number, what's the worst thing that could happen?
She says no and moves on? She says no and explains she's already got a boyfriend?
I guess those would be my typical worst-two but technically she could summon her friends that you hadn't noticed nearby, and then proceed to point and laugh at you, sharing a nice chuckle about your looks, your attire, whatever, all the while remarking that you never had a chance.
Yeah, that's not so good.
That's kind of how Bryan Colangelo must feel this morning.
Sure, Steve Nash isn't signing with the New York Knicks, but last night's right turn which suddenly put the Toronto Raptors' number one free-agent target in La La Land sure doesn't look good for BC. The thought had always been that Nash didn't care about winning titles (hence the reason teams like Miami were never mentioned when this process began) and the prime factors in deciding Captain Canada's next team were money and fit with whatever club was offering the most dough. From an ESPN piece just a few days earlier:
"There's positives to every situation," Nash said. "The Raptors would be one of those teams where you're probably not going there to win a championship in the next three years. For me it'd be going home to Canada, to a great city, and trying to help an organization move forward.
"I'm open to the positives of all of them. It'd be great if four or five contenders came after me and all offered me a deal, but the reality is I might not get that opportunity. So I'm going to look at every opportunity and Toronto will be one that I'll study as well and look at the opportunity for them to grow in the next three years and what kind of impact I can have on that team. And obviously from a community standpoint, it's a special place for me."
Not that those words by Nash were lies, but it's pretty obvious now that as soon as Los Angeles entered the fray, they became the top option with a good chunk of the reason why coming down to Nash's kids.
"Everything in his mind was predicated on his children," (Nash's agent Bill) Duffy said. "It put me in an interesting situation because I knew that dynamic. It wasn't about the most money. He turned down a lot of money and aspects of other deals for the well being of his family."
Now obviously it was somewhat about money, as the National Post's Eric Koreen noted. If it hadn't, Nash would have simply signed with LA for a smaller amount, foregoing the sign-and-trade situation. He was simply playing the free agent game and it's hard to find fault in his decision to pick a club that offered not only a good chunk of change, but also the geographic proximity he was desiring AND an opportunity to win an NBA title. The National Post's Bruce Arthur aptly summed this all up last night.
But going back to Raptors' President and GM Bryan Colangelo?
Hard not to say he didn't ever mis-read this whole thing and even if the Lakers hadn't jumped in, the general feeling seemed to be that New York was still a preferred choice to TO. So really, of all the options out there, you get the feeling Toronto was last on Steve's list.
He's swung and missed on Nash now, and this follows up a complete mis-read of the Chris Bosh situation and the questionable moves for the likes of Hedo Turkoglu and Jermaine O'Neal. I'll say it again but on a macro level, has Bryan Colangelo really done a lot more for the future of this franchise than the ever-maligned Rob Babcock?
You could even make the argument that Colangelo has gone one step beoynd the man who infamously drafted Hoffa in terms of exposing the raw nerve of Raptors' fans everywhere; the Toronto Raptors are no different than the Milwaukee Bucks or Minnesota Timberwolves on the NBA relevancy map. With one of the bigger media markets in the NBA world, the overriding belief was always that Toronto, despite a lack of on-court success was "different." Time and time again when Colangelo and co. spoke with the media we'd be regaled with stories of how "Toronto is a world-class city that NBA players love and want to play in."
Now those words ring hollow as Canada's best didn't want to suit up for his "home team" despite the fact that they gave him more loot than anyone else and in many ways, to the casual fan it hardly matters that LA was always a better fit. They simply see the headlines and think "well sh#t, if Nash doesn't want to play for the Raptors, who would?"
As TSN.ca's Tim Chisholm put it, perhaps that's a Pandora's Box that Colangelo never realized he was opening by pursuing the two-time MVP, indeed a scary thought.
So now what for the former Legomaster? Forget plan B, what's plan C?
By all acounts BC could have dealt the eighth overall pick in the draft for Kyle Lowry, had his point guard of the immediate future, and continued on with free-agency from there.
Now, as noted, there may not even be a plan B as not only is Nash off the table, but various other free agent point guard options have quickly dried up. Jeremy Lin appears to be mulling over an opportunity with the Houston Rockets, and another potential PG target, Goran Dragic, seems set to join the Phoenix Suns.
Does that mean it's a re-upped Bayless and another year of Jose?
It's starting to look like it unless Colangelo can find a way to renew talks to pry Lowry away from Houston. Minus Dragic though, the Rockets may feel like that ship sailed on draft night.
I'm not going to get into a whole talk about BC's future here, I'll save that for another time, but there's no question he's on by far the shakiest ground he's ever been. His new employers want TV ratings more than ever arguably, and minus Nash and with likely little to help make that a reality, it's hard to see him sticking around much longer barring an unforeseen jump in productivity from the club's current cast.
So I'll end it on this.
My one hope is that in effort to save face, Colangelo doesn't now make several rash decisions just to get this team to 35 wins. The loss of Nash is actually the perfect opportunity to finally tackle the real issues this club faces, including players being miscast as starters who at best are sixth men options. Time to really rebuild this club and continue surrounding players like Jonas Valanciunas with the right pieces to enable this club to finally progress.
If not it's quite likely Raptors' fans are about to watch a re-run of one of their favourite movies.
Current GM makes desperation moves that hurt club's future, only to see a new GM brought in who has to clean house and start from scratch.