Yes, as our header indicated, Loren Woods has found a team for next season. According to sources out of Sacramento, it looks like the Kings will sign Woods tomorrow to a one year deal worth between $950,000 and $1 Million. Woods would back-up Brad Miller at the center spot and give the Kings somewhat of a shot-blocking presence. While Woods was incredibly frustrating to watch as a Raptor, it will be interesting to see what he can do with the Kings. New coach Eric Musselman is one of the league's toughest and demanding coaches, especially in terms of defense, and if Loren actually ends up excelling in Sac-town it may indeed be indicative of Sam Mitchell's system, and not Woods lack of skill. I however think in the end that this will be more of a Lamond Murray situation and when the Kings are in town we'll see Woods in a similar role to the one fans were accustomed to seeing him play in Toronto - riding the pine. The most interesting thing to us about this signing is that the Kings reportedly picked Woods over various other center options including Kelvin Cato, Scot Pollard and even Michael Olowokandi - which makes us wonder...is that a statement of Woods' abilities or the other options' complete lack of? This week besides giving our version of our "All-Time Raptor Squad," we'll also look at the departure of both Woods and Mike James.
Great news concerning Pape Sow. Doug Smith reported in Saturday's Toronto Star that Sow is ahead of schedule with his rehab and looks to be closer to a return to the court then previously planned. Sow has been through a ton of adversity in his short basketball career so if anyone can pull through this, it's Pape. Of course as we've previously discussed on the site, it's still unfortunate that he didn't get a full summer of workouts and summer-league in as minutes will be a battle next season.
Out of Cleveland's press, it looks like some more information has been released concerning the contracts of Lebron James, Carmello Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. It's interesting to note that all of the players except the Raptors' Chris Bosh have 15 per cent bonuses that kick in if any of them are dealt. You could look at Bosh's lack of such a clause in a number of ways. Perhaps he's confident that he won't be dealt and has no desire to be dealt and therefore he and his agent refrained from including such a stipulation. Or perhaps the lack of a clause gives him an easier out if things don't work out in Toronto. He would be easier to deal without that extra bonus...
Speaking of Bosh, the Raptors' franchise player is starting to see more minutes with Team USA. Bosh played 15 minutes in yesterday's 111-88 win over Lithuania, chipping in six points and five rebounds. It looks more and more like Bosh will not be among the final players cut for the squad with Bruce Bowen and one of the extra point guards the leading casualty prospects at this point.
Over at ESPN.com, ScoutsInc. (Insider login required) gave their take on the "Top 10 Small Moves Teams Made in the Off-Season That Matter the Most." This was the opposite of their "7 Moves That Will Flop" piece and the Raptors signing of Fred Jones was actually one of these "Top 10 Small Moves" that they felt would have big impacts. We here at the HQ are definitely in agreement.
Finally, thanks to one of our readers, Bernard, for posting the NBA.com power rankings link which bears some discussion. Anyone else think these rankings were a bit off? Come on. With the moves the Raptors made I'm having a hard time thinking that teams like Boston, Minnesota and even Seattle will be ahead of them in the standings come end of season and some of the other rankings of teams make even less sense to me. Memphis ahead of Houston and Sacramento? The Lakers making the playoffs in the West? Washington and Detroit up that high and Utah and Milwaukee that low? It's too early for us to roll out our predictions concerning standings next season but it's pretty safe to say that they'll look a lot different.