Who's hungry for some links?
We originally started these with a look at recaps of last night games but fresh over the wire comes news that the Toronto Raptors are going to be minus one Anthony Carter very soon.
From the Toronto Star piece on the topic: "The Raptors are going to try to either move the veteran guard in some transaction or release him in the next week and a half, according to a team source."
So the Carter era is over and we can all speculate to our hearts content on what this means going forward. It definitely frees up some roster flexibility in terms of potential future trades, but it's more than likely a favour to Carter and his agent. Carter hasn't played much this season and may relish the chance to hook up with a playoff club.
The loss drops the Raptors' record to 12 and 26 but the crazy thing is, it puts them in a four-way tie for the league's fourth-worst winning percentage, along with Sacramento, Detroit and New Jersey.
New Jersey just pulled its tank card out, shelving the recently returned Brook Lopez for three weeks with an ankle sprain, so if the Raps want to ensure a top five pick, they may want to keep Andrea Bargnani in hiding for a while.
Because as Sportsnet.ca's Michael Grange points out, beware salvaged seasons.
Sunday's win over the Warriors moves Toronto up one spot on ESPN.com's power rankings, but really the focus now is around the upcoming trade deadline in just over a week. For the Raptors, the Portland rumours are still swirling, be they regarding Jamal Crawford or Raymond Felton.
From a recent ESPN.com Insider piece regarding the Blazers:
That could leave Toronto's Jose Calderon as Portland's best option. He's not a big-time scorer, but knocks down a high percentage of his looks and is one of the best passers in the league. His decision-making would be a key for the Blazers when things get tight. You could send Felton and Wallace to Toronto for Calderon and Linas Kleiza. Portland gets its new point guard, one who would allow Crawford to play off the ball down the stretch and might also boost the game of struggling Wesley Matthews. Batum steps into a 35-minute role as Portland's full-time 3 and inherits Wallace's job as the go-to perimeter stopper. Kleiza is a versatile bench scorer, better suited to that role than either Batum or Wallace, and is one of the league's top-25 per-minute scorers this season in clutch situations.
Toronto would get the 3 it lacks and the defensive ace that Dwane Casey surely covets in Wallace. They also get a replacement for Calderon in Felton. Someone has to run the team for the rest of the season. If it works out, they can re-sign Felton this summer, and he's young enough still to be considered a point guard of the future. If things don't go well, cap space is always nice.
I'd give the thumbs up to such a deal, especially if it nets the Dinos a player of Wallace's caliber.
Calderon's name has been bandied about the most in terms of trade talk, but end-of-game plays like this aren't helping boost his value.
For a full team-by-team look at the upcoming deadline, check SB Nation's trade deadline series, here.
One player the Raps would likely be glad to have back in the fold right now is Sonny Weems. Weems is having a great campaign in Europe, and he recently topped it off by winning a dunk contest...
...a REAL dunk contest.
Check out the legit "free-throw line" jam!