Let's get right to it and dip into the mailbag.....
Aaron (Tip-In - Sacramento Post-Game Thoughts):
I was wondering if you guys could do a special report on the Jalen Rose situation (i.e. who may want him and what may be available.) We all know he needs to go, because frankly cheering up Araujo isnâ€™t worth $15million. Van Horn? Ratliff? Hardaway?
As far as Iâ€™m concerned, we donâ€™t even need to get a player in return . . . someone like Anfernee Hardaway who wonâ€™t even play would be fine. (as long as the player coming in has one year left on his or her contract, Iâ€™m happy . . . in fact, Iâ€™d take a sack oâ€™ potatoes if it only has one year left on ITS contract.)
Poppa Vlazo (The Week Ahead: November 28- December 4):
Should have traded Rose last year? Do you realise he is making $15M-$16M per season and that makes it extremely difficult to trade him. His value to a contending team is as offense off the bench and no contenders are going to pay that kind of money. The only way he gets traded this year is if you can get young talent for him (not likely) or a contract that is expiring this year. He doesnâ€™t fit with the Bulls (Thomas); the best scenario is getting Penny from Zeke the Clueless but LB and Rose have had their beefs. He is here for at least this year.
Howland - Poppa ain't no fool! We here at RaptorsHQ have spent an inordinate number of hours trying to piece together various trade scenarios whereby we trade Jalen and receive some value in return while not completely wrecking the valuable cap space that this team will have the off-season following the 2006-07 season. Bottom line is there is no such scenario unless Babcock manages to pull another STEAL like he did in the Mike James - Rafer Alston trade.
And Aaron here's the low-down with Jalen. The problem with Rose is that there are only a few viable spots cap wise in terms of one-for-one deals (mainly NY, Dallas and Chicago) and those teams likely won't bite. Larry Brown and Jalen have their issues and the last thing that team needs is another shot taker and defensive liability. Jalen was already in Chicago and Thomas comes off the books one year earlier so there is no way the Bulls do that knowing some of their young guys are going to ask for some serious $$ soon. i.e. Hinrich. Dallas may be a possibility late in the season if the Mavs want a little extra offensive punch and are willing to ship KVH but we are not holding our breath.
We have come to a conclusion between ourselves that Jalen is here for the rest of the year, at a minimum. That being said he has been a professional, has taken his demotion to the bench relatively well and has played well in spurts. Don't you just get the feeling that Jalen knows his skills are diminished? Jalen is a good guy. Unfortunately his contract is not so nice. That being said I would rather have Jalen then the decrepid old man we traded away to get him. AD is a shell of his former self.
Franchise - As a further to this, we HAVE been putting together some trade options for the team involving other players and we'll be posting these on Friday. Right now though, moving Jalen would require more then an 18 wheeler...it would probably involve an 18 team trade...
Raptorman (Tip-In: 2 All-Stars Beats 5 Of A Kind)
I partly blame this loss on Chris Bosh. Down the stretch and the first play in overtime, he tried to drive and got stripped at least 3 times. Contrast that with Arenas down the stretchâ€¦
Itâ€™s unacceptable from your (hopefully) all-star player to commit turnovers like that repeatedly. Like rautins was saying, he just has to go. When he stops to make up his mind or make a few moves before going, bad things usually happen. Chris Bosh needs to be more decisive, and then he can really be an all-star.
Howland - Raptorman you are absolutely right in terms of the turnovers. At points this year, including the Washington and Phoenix games, Bosh has struggled in crunch time and maybe for the first time he has started making the same mistake more than once. That being said Bosh is really looking strong this year and his numbers are great all across the board. He knows he is shouldering a lot this year and he is stepping up. That being said Franchise and I have been having a raging debate as of late over what kind of player we expect Bosh to become and whether he deserves top dollar when the time rolls around.
Is Bosh the next KG or is he the next Abdur-Rahim? I argue that Bosh is more likely to end up like KG, a great player but one who still requires an above average supporting cast in order to truly make a run. Franchise on the other hand seems more inclined to believe Bosh could be the next SAR. We plan on presenting both out arguments in an up-coming article and will likely make it an upcoming pole question!
Chris (Hollywood Blitzed)
Iâ€™ve been watching Charlie V. play recently, and is it just me or does he not look very athletic? He can run the floor really well, but he doesnâ€™t have much hops, it seems he barely gets off the floor with his jump shot, and heâ€™s tends to lay in it, instead of dunking. I wonder how good of a player he can be if he canâ€™t play above the rim
Franchise - I've seen some similar things from CV Smooth at times. I've seen him put down some monster dunks and get up in the air but at times I think he's just "too smooth" aka not forceful enough. The kid is quite athletic (tested well in the pre-draft combines) but he's just gotta use it more often. Sometimes it seems that he relies too much on his craftiness instead of his height and size and perhaps that's why Jack Armstrong was so adamant about him not picking up on the CV SMOOTH nickname. We need him to play tough. And I think this goes for other elements of his game as well. When Villanueva starts pounding the glass and taking the ball strong to the basket, you also see the other areas of his game pickup. Hopefully Mitchell will secure this "go 100% all the time" mentality in him.
Aaron and benjibopper (The Week Ahead December 12-18)
There has been a lot of discussion revolving around Bosh leaving after next season (especially in light of the recent remarks of Dr.Phil), I was just wondering what peoplesâ€™ thoughts on this are? Should we, as fans, start the campaign to keep him now or is it fruitless? In my opinion he has the look of a guy who wants to get away from the lonely cold North as soon as he can . . . and then in 2008 we get to start all over againâ€"how long can this go on for? In 10 years we have only re-signed two 1st rounders after their initial guaranteed contracts (Carter, Peterson) and one was run out of town soon after. This franchise better get itself in order because if they lose Bosh, Iâ€™m walking (and I think a lot of people are going to be coming with me).
Aaron this is definitely a concern for raps fans. I think they not only have to offer him a juicy contract but also show they are commited to winning by landing a proper centre. Bosh and Charlie V. have looked good on the floor together, and were talking about the â€˜twin towersâ€™ approach recently, so that seems hopeful. Combine that with a certain young Spanish pass-first pointguard with incredible potential, and one can only hope that Bosh sees a rosy future in Toronto, and that Maple Leaf Entertainment doesnâ€™t blow it this time.
Franchise - Thanks to Phil Jackson this whole Bosh re-signing issue has suddenly been thrust front and center. For the record I think the Jackson is a good coach and great mental motivator but isn't too far removed from Kobe Bryant in terms of ego and attitude. But I digress. Recently ESPN.com's Chad Ford was asked about this situation and he echoed something I read from San Antonio's GM RC Buford. Under the new collective agreement the Raptors will simply be able to offer Bosh more money then any other team. Therefore he would probably have to despise playing here to turn down the extra loot and run for the border and I don't think he's at that point of frustration currently. Make no mistake though this kid wants to win and the Raptors' braintrust will HAVE to show that their plan is coming to fruition. The last thing they want is for Bosh to re-sign for monetary reasons and then 2 years later, pull a Vince and decide he wants out. The Raptors have to establish a San Antonio type small-market culture and as it stands I'm impressed by the moves this team has made this season. Sure the team has only won a handful of games, but they've also been to OT twice and lost another handful in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. Babcock's plan seems to be working and if you follow the coverage of this team OUTSIDE Toronto there really hasn't been much negative to say about the Raptors other then their record. The pieces for the future appear to be coming into place and with another good draft this year Toronto may suddenly find itself in a great position for the 2007 season. Unfortunately there will be some patience involved but I really think the talent base that the Raptors are building is better then they've ever had. But that's the key to the whole thing. Drafting an athletic swingman with our first pick ala Rudy Gay and grabbing a Shelden Williams type banger with Denver's would go a long way to keeping Chris Bosh.
Andrew Gregg (Heartbreak Hotel)
I just got back from the Himalayas and Sherpas have no idea that the Raptors suck! You can try to explain it to themâ€"1-15 (until last night), no D, no reboundingâ€"but they just stare back in silent disbelief. Then they ask if you want more butter tea. Apparently there is no doubt in the mind of the Sherpas that the Raps will overcome.
Howland - Cricket.....cricket.......we are at least hoping you told them about the site.