By now you've most likely heard the news that Mickael Pietrus is on the way to save the Toronto Raptors.
Ok, maybe not save, but certainly act as a stop-gap solution for the starting small forward position.
USA Today's Sam Amick reported yesterday afternoon that the Raptors will indeed soon sign the free agent swingman to a one-year veteran-minimum contract, waiving current player Dominic McGuire to make room for the Pietrus acquisition.
On paper this obviously looks like an upgrade.
Pietrus has always been perceived as a solid defensive player, with the strength and athleticism to guard some of the league's best at his position. He also is a threat from long-range, something the Raptors need in their starting unit at that 3 spot, Pietrus being 36 per cent three-point shooter.
However perception is obviously not always reality so I'm curious to see how this works out, assuming of course Pietrus passes his physical, etc, etc. (Which, after the Raptors went down this road last year and balked, isn't even a sure thing.) Pietrus was underwhelming in his stop with Phoenix in 2010-11, making Wages of Wins overpaid list despite a fairly small salary, wasn't stellar in Boston last year (shot under 40 per cent from the field) and we're talking about a player who's approached the league average PER of 15 once during his career, in his sophomore season. His career mark is a pretty brutal 11.8.
Hopefully then fans don't view this move as any sort of huge get for TO.
At best to me this is a band-aid solution brought forth out of desperation. Any time you decide to waive your starter in favour of an out-of-work player who isn't on an NBA roster essentially a fifth of the way into the season, you're grasping at straws to a certain extent. It's an indictment of the situation the team found themselves in though, with Alan Anderson and Landry Fields on the shelf, and the team obviously struggling on the court.
Once the signing becomes official we'll do a full breakdown of Pietrus and his potential benefits to the club but right now we'll simply say that this should be a bit of a boost. McGuire was unfortunately miscast in his time here out of necessity, and his defense never stuck the way I expected it to.
Here's hoping he latches on with another club or is able to ply his trade successfully overseas.
Here's also hoping Pietrus can come in and make a positive contribution at the 3 spot, something you could say this club needs just a bit of...