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Media Watch for August 29th, 2005

Reports coming out of Utah are indicating that Toronto Raptors GM Rob Babcock is interested in signing Jazz restricted free agent Keith McLeod to an offer sheet. This looks to be another Chris Duhon situation however as the Jazz will in all likelyhood match any offer the young point guard receives. McLeod was never drafted coming out of Bowling Green and played overseas in Italy after his college career ended. In 2003 he joined the Timberwolves only to be waived months later. After a stint in the NBDL and more time overseas McLeod finally found his way back to the League signing with the Utah Jazz last season and playing in 53 games for them. McLeod is extremely quick, has a great first step and a great assist to turnover ratio. While not as good a defender as Duhon, McLeod is a better scorer and has good court vision and would serve as a similar attempted signing in shoring up the Raptors backcourt.

The other rumour which has peaked our interest here at Raptorshq is that of the Raptors sending Jalen Rose to the Minnesota Timberwolves. While there is no word on who the Raptors' would receive in return, Wally Szcerbiak's name has repeatedly been mentioned in rumours this offseason. On paper a Jalen for Wally deal couldn't work 1 for 1 based on the new Collective Agreement. However, a deal involving Jalen for Wally and Troy Hudson or a re-signed Micheal Olowokandi would. The question is do any of these deals make sense for the Raptors? Jalen has only 1 year left on his deal and is the Raptors lone offensive threat at this point other then Chris Bosh. Wally-world still has 3 years on his deal and by acquiring it, Rob Babcock would seemingly be hypocritical on his "dumping bad contracts" stance. The same goes for Troy Hudson who still has 4 years left on a contract he has failed to live up to. Raptors fans may remember that Babcock made a play for Hudson last summer but settled on Rafer Alston when it became clear that Hudson would remain a remeber of the T-Wolves. With the trade for Marko Jaric and Lionel Chalmers this offseason, in addition to the drafting of Bracey Wright (who can play the point) Hudson may indeed have worn out his welcome in Minny.

The main question concerning this rumour is would ANY of Minnesota's players other then Kevin Garnett help our squad? While Wally Sczerbiak is a great shooter, he is slightly one-dimensional and his defence is hardly an upgrade from Jalen Rose. Hudson is more suited to playing a Bobby Jackson scoring point guard role off the bench. One could argue that we already have that in Rafer Alston and therefore he would have to perhaps be included in this deal. Michael Olowokandi, perhaps the most disappointing first overall draft pick ever, would be welcome in the East due to his size and maybe he could turn his career around. However, it's also possible that Aaron McKie and Kwame Brown help Kobe Bryant win the Lakers the NBA Championship this upcoming season...

Other then those three main pieces, the Timberwolves are a collection of prospects (Wright and Rashad McCants), problem players (Eddie Griffin) and raw players still learning the game (Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Ndudi Ebi.) Oh....and Mark Madsen...

Obviously until we hear some truth to this rumour and some names mentioned as to who would be involved in the deal, it's too tough to speculate the deal's pros and cons. However, it does make for some interesting discussion.