The big news from last night/this morning might be around a certain current (or is it former?) New Orleans Hornets' guard, but more important for Raps' fans, it looks like Toronto has a starting small forward on the way, as well as a new group of owners...
And on the eighth day, the world exploded.
Ok, so there's no "eighth day," and only Twitter exploded but wow, what can you say about this thing we call the NBA?
First the ridiculous lock-out that dragged on for months before owners decided they even wanted to talk, then the sudden conclusion to said lock-out which saw the owners take much less of a hard stance than was expected.
Which begged the question, what the hell was this all about anyways, especially since the owners didn't end up with the hard cap they reportedly wanted?
Many answered by saying that the owners felt they got enough out of the proposed CBA that it evened the NBA's competitive landscape, a key issue for them.
But apparently they didn't get enough did they.
Because last night's ridiculous overturning of the "Chris Paul to the Lakers" deal was apparently a response to the very inequality the lockout was supposed to be about.
The funny thing is that New Orleans got a pretty good haul for CP3 including three near All-Stars and a first round pick in what promises to be a very strong draft. This wasn't getting the Williams' bros, Alonzo Mourning's contract and Joey Graham.
(As an aside, yikes, how bad does that look now.)
This was about as good as it gets for a superstar, and considering the potential frailty of said superstar's knees, potentially a win in the long run for NO.
But all that's for naught at this point, as David Stern buckled to pressure from owners, nixed the Paul trade, and as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com notes, turned the league into a Banana-Republic in one fell swoop.
I'm not going to get into all the in's and out's of this mess, but suffice to say that there will be lasting repercussions and who knows what happens now with future trades, not to mention the players involved in the original deal such as Paul, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. Nothing says "welcome to a new season" like being almost traded hours before training camp is scheduled to kick off.
Buried amongst the Chris Paul fiasco though are two important pieces of news this morning pertaining to the Toronto Raptors.
The first, that the parent company that owns the Dinos, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, is being sold to not only one Canadian media giant, but two. Yes, not only will Rogers have a stake in the Leafs and Raps going forward, but so will BCE, the parent company of Bell Media.
As first reported by the Globe and Mail, the two media companies will own a combined 75 per cent share in MLSE going forward, with Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of MLSE, boosting his ownership stake to encompass the remaining 25 per cent.
It's an interesting situation, and one that we'll likely dive into more next week, but watching the presser live as I type this makes me wonder how this is all going to work. Maybe fans don't see much change in terms of day-to-day operations post-sale, but I'm guessing us media will, and you can bet that both Rogers and Bell will start finding ways to see an ROI from sports-crazed Canadians via this agreement.
And really the big question here is if these two media entities can work together. Apparently Rogers has the bigger share of the 75 per cent, and considering these two media company's pasts in terms of relations, fans can only hope on the "on-court and on-ice" product doesn't become impacted by boardroom power struggles.
Now for the second piece of news, which is actually Raptors and "on-court" related.
French media is reporting that Phoenix Sun Mickael Pietrus is on his way to Toronto.
The Raptors of course were looking to upgrade at the small forward position and appear now to have done so, acquiring Pietrus in a trade for a conditional second-round draft pick. The Raps will absorb the remaining one year and $5.3M on his salary, provided Pietrus passes his physical.
Oh, and if David Stern allows the trade to go through.
All jokes aside, this is another good move by BC in my books. I was never sold on James Johnson becoming a legit starting 3 option and Pietrus gives Toronto another veteran defender, plus someone who can spread the floor as a 36 per cent shooter from beyond the arc. These are both areas the Dinos needed upgrades in and while Pietrus statistically had a rough season last year, he could bounce back with a bigger role in TO. We're doing our due diligence on the apparent move right now, and will take an in-depth look at Pietrus once the signing is made official, although both he and Jamaal Magloire apparently are expected to be at the Raptors' annual Media Day, set to now take place this coming Monday.
Speaking of Magloire, we should hear some more news regarding his acquisition later today. ESPN.com's John Hollinger gave the move a thumbs down but I have to disagree with him here for a change. From the blurb on Magloire:
I just don't understand how this has any prospect of putting them in a better position in the three-years-down-the-road window when they'll be in a position to actually win something. You'd much prefer them to roll the dice on a young prospect with this money.
Hollinger's missing the big picture here where the point is for Magloire to only be a stop-gap for this season in order to MAKE WAY for the real team in three years. And "rolling the dice on a young prospect?" I'd be all for that too if you could point me in the direction of a single center that had any sort of "cheap upside."
Does he mean Solomon Jones?