In the last in the five part series, the HQ looks at the PG position...
"That Paul Pierce sure can play poker eh?"
Yep, that's what the current NBA off-season has been reduced to.
Gone are the usual discussions that typically occur this time of year such as "who overpaid for whom" and "who got the best grade for their free-agent haul."
No, at this point everyone's just sorta sitting around waiting for some scraps of NBA news.
This includes myself, and for that I apologize.
My girlfriend and I took a quick weekend trip to New York City to take in the sights (including the amazing new Tribe Called Quest Documentary - a must-see for all hip-hop fiends) that for me, turned into a last-minute jaunt to Seattle, the location from which I'm penning this piece.
If you can call it that.
No, our final installment of a "Raptors' free-agency shopping list" so to say is a lot to do about nothing, as pouring over the free agent point guard options for Toronto it becomes quite clear quite quickly that there just ain't much there.
So for this last post I think I'll abandon our "tiered" system. After all, anyone who's hugging Colangelo about getting a player like Aaron Brooks or Rodney Stuckey, arguably the two highest profile PG options in this class, needs help.
And under the "Nice Work if You Can Get It" tier, MAYBE, just maybe you're happy about getting Rodney Stuckey if the price is very cheap.
But that's a big maybe.
The fact of the matter is that Toronto's point guard position in many ways is the position that needs the least assistance (that and/or power forward depending on how you view the metrics), and so if you're going to shell out big bucks for an upgrade at the 1, you better be sure said player is indeed a big jump from what you've got.
And that's not the case when you pour over the names of free agent options at the 1. From Hoopsworld's free agent list:
Aaron Brooks, Phoenix Suns - $2.0 million - Restricted ($3.0 million Qualifying Offer)
Rodney Stuckey, Detroit Pistons - $2.8 million - Restricted ($3.9 million Qualifying Offer)
T.J. Ford, Indiana Pacers - $8.5 million - Unrestricted
Carlos Arroyo, Boston Celtics - $1.2 million - Unrestricted
Ronnie Price, Utah Jazz - $1.3 million - Unrestricted
Patrick Mills, Portland Trail Blazers - $0.9 million - Restricted ($1.1 million Qualifying Offer)
Sasha Vujacic, New Jersey Nets - $5.5 million - Unrestricted
Sebastian Telfair, Minnesota Timberwolves - $2.7 million - Unrestricted
Charlie Bell, Golden State Warriors - $3.9 million - Early Termination Option ($4.1 million)
Willie Green, New Orleans Hornets - $4.0 million - Unrestricted
Mario Chalmers, Miami HEAT - $0.9 million - Restricted ($1.1 million Qualifying Offer)
Jason Williams, Memphis Grizzlies - $1.4 million - Unrestricted
Earl Watson, Utah Jazz - $1.2 million - Unrestricted
Pooh Jeter, Sacramento Kings - $0.5 million - Unrestricted
Jose Barea, Dallas Mavericks - $1.7 million - Unrestricted
Sundiata Gaines, New Jersey Nets - $0.7 million - Unrestricted*
Chris Quinn, San Antonio Spurs - $0.9 million - Unrestricted
Royal Ivey, Oklahoma City Thunder - $1.1 million - Unrestricted
Marcus Banks, New Orleans Hornets - $4.9 million - Unrestricted
Earl Boykins, Milwaukee Bucks - $1.4 million - Unrestricted
Anthony Carter, New York Knicks - $1.4 million - Unrestricted
Acie Law, Golden State Warriors - $0.7 million - Unrestricted
John Lucas, Chicago Bulls - $0.7 million - Unrestricted*
Ben Uzoh, New Jersey Nets - $0.5 million - Unrestricted*
That's a lot of D League options for next season.
On top of the lack of realistic upgrades therefore, there's also the issue of playing time and need.
The team has Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless forming some sort of platoon, and backing them up in a pinch, the Raps can turn to Leandro Barbosa, or even occasional point-forward James Johnson.
There simply isn't a need for middling talent or band-aid solutions. If the Dinos are going to fix their issues at the 1 it has to be done via trades, not via free agency.
Could Colangelo conceivably bring on one of these above listed players though as bench depth?
However outside of someone with a bit of upside or veteran experience, say like a Patrick Mills or Ronnie Price, again, money could be better spent elsewhere.
Price would be my favourite option of this group actually as he could be had for cheap, could fill in for injured players and run the offense...
...and provide the occasional spectacular dunk like this:
Really though, the hope is that Colangelo takes a pass on this position and turns his attention elsewhere.
And Bryan, that means not signing Marcus Banks to another four-year deal ok?