Monday July 6 2009 – 7:07am Eastern (Toronto, ON) 

I’m going to slightly break one of my cardinal rules here … and “speculate” a little bit.

However, I won’t create fantasy trades or play the role of Phantom GM here.  I hate when folks do that.  I’m not a fan of writers, broadcasters, or fans creating wild scenarios that end up being “rumor mill” B.S. half of the time.

Let’s just deal with what’s out there already …  


There are rumblings that the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in Raptors’ free agent guard Anthony Parker.

There are also rumblings that Bryan Colangelo may attempt to work out a sign-and-trade for Parker – if he’s able to do so before officially renouncing AP’s rights and moving forward with the Hedo Turkoglu signing.

There were also murmurs of the Boston Celtics having interest in Parker but now that Rasheed Wallace has signed in Beantown, that’s an unlikely fit.

How ’bout San Antonio?  Though Richard Jefferson is now in town, the Spurs could use a veteran wing like AP to replace the now-departed Bruce Bowen.

No matter what happens, if Parker isn’t back in T.O. … he will be missed (especially off the floor; there are few nicer athletes).


Perhaps – if Parker (or Shawn Marion) IS moved in a sign-and-trade – there’ll be enough money left for Carlos Delfino.  Is it a given that Toronto MUST renounce him in order to make room for Turkoglu?  Time will tell. 

Rumor has it (there’s that word again) that Colangelo and his cap crunchers are trying to find every financial way possible to tweak the roster beyond just the Hedo signing … knowing that there are few tradable “commodities” on this team other than maybe Kris Humphries (and that may be a strech given that Hump is coming off of a broken leg).

But whether Delfino is here or not – or whether Toronto has any exceptions to use on slightly-higher priced free agents or not – Colangelo should have a little wiggle room for players that’ll sign for the league minimum … or slightly more.

And who might fit that bill?

Again – I’m not suggesting that these are players the Raptors SHOULD get – I’m merely pointing out the type of player(s) that could be on Toronto’s radar (especially at the 2-3 … where there is little behind Turkoglu and rookie DeMar DeRozan):

Matt Barnes (29) – made just under $800,000 last year and I can’t see him making much more than that this season.

Keith Bogans (29) – made about $2.5 million last year.  Could that salary be chopped in half this year?  It is a buyer’s market.  There are more players than money out there.

Gerald Green (24) – made just under $800k last year.  He has never lived up to his potential (or hype).  But could he be one of those guys that just takes longer to blossom.  Is he worth a shot as a cheap(er) option on your bench?

Dahntay Jones (28) – made just under $800k last year but he’s expected to re-sign in Denver and actually get a bit of a raise as well.  We’ll see.

Bobby Jackson (36) – at this stage (and age) of his career, can he be had for the veteran minimum?  Can you get him for about a million bucks?  He may be the kind of defender you’re looking for in the 2nd unit – giving you time at the 1 and 2.  And there’s NO way he’ll make anywhere near the $6+ million he was bringing home last season.

Quinton Ross (28) – made just under $800,000 in Memphis last year; could provide some length and athleticism.

Ime Udoka (31) – made just over $1 million with the Spurs last year.  Could he recapture his 2006-2007 glory when he average nearly 8.5 PPG and 4.0 REB for the Blazers?

Carl English (28) – a Summer League invite by the Raps could be English’s last chance to crack through into the NBA after previous attempts (notably – with Indiana) fell short.

There will be other choices for Toronto if they end up having more money to spend and/or if the trade route proves to be more viable than any potential signings.

It should be fun to see how it all unfolds and how the Raptors’ management team puts all of the pieces together. 

I’ve told you before:  They’re not done.  The Turkoglu deal is not the one and only move.  More dominoes will fall. 

E. Smith

38 Responses to “Speculating …”
  1. 1.

    I’m going to throw another name on to your list. Brent Petway he is a guy that has a better than average defensive game and if people have pay attention to the D-League? He is a former Slam Dunk Champion of the D-League and the NCAA. Air Georgia is a heck of a talent. I am hoping he performs well in Summer league and gets a shot.

    Raptors probably are giving him a look as they likely noticed him on Idaho Stampede when Nathan Jawai was down playing with him last yr. I know they love Brent in Boise.

    - James Borbath
  2. 2.

    Great cover and thoughts Eric. Some “Raps” fans need to “chill” as you say. lol Get bent out of shape for nothing. Anyways, if Shawn Marion wanted to be here, he would have worked out numbers, etc. As much as I am a fan of his, its kinda sad to see him go. However, I love Turks game as well and makes our offense more potent. Defense is suspect however, if we adapt the Suns philosophy of out scoring the opponent by double digits then fine with me. It will be interesting to see how the next few days plays out. Keep up the good work Eric.

    - Nick
  3. 3.

    “I won’t come up with wild scenarios, trade ideas, or fantasy trades, etc.

    I don’t accept that kind of stuff from readers/listeners so I won’t break my own rule and do it myself.

    We could sit here and speculate about a player or two from every roster in the league that may or may not fit what the Raptors are looking for or what the Raptors might try to do. But that won’t serve any purpose.

    I’d rather deal in reality. When there is something legit to report – as I’ve done in the past with players being traded or coaches being fired – I will get it on the air and/or in this space ASAP and we’ll talk about it. But I’m not going to create things are play the role of some fantasy or phantom GM. I’m not going to try to create rumors. I’ll deal with what’s legit; with what sources tell me or with what stories are already out there.

    Sorry, that’s the way I work man.”

    Your typical Eric “the hypocrite” Smith’s way!

    - Mike
  4. 4.


    What are the chances the Raps will be getting rid of Kris Humphries? Please tell me it won’t happen…….

    - Ryan
  5. 5.

    The only players from your list who will be able to help the Raptors are Jones, Barnes and Ross, and all three of them -I think, will be getting much more $ than last year. As for the rest of the list…no comment! I don’t believe there’s a team out there willing to give Marion the 7-8 mil. he’s hoping of getting, therefore, I doubt BC can work out a sign and trade for the Matrix. The only moveable asset we have is Parker and it looks like Olympiakos is making a big push for him (it would be difficult to turn down the five million Euro that they are believed to be offering). Nevertheless, I’m excited to watch the summer league games to see just how good Derozen can be. Do you know if they will be televised live on Raps TV?

    - Mr. T
  6. 6.

    Curious as to what your take on Marcus Banks is?

    I just realized that he’s making about 4.5 million. Do you think he’ll make much of an impact with the Raptors this season, and if not, how difficult would it be to move his contract?

    - Boothe
  7. 7.

    Does Toronto have it’s Bi-annual Exception or was it renounced also?

    - Richard Spackman
  8. 8.

    Great list Eric. IF they can somehow pull of a sign and trade, make enough room to sign a Barnes or a Danthay, that would be HUGE. If we have at least 3 solid guys coming of the bench we should be fine…

    Barnes, Danthay(assuming he doesn’t sign back with Denver)

    - Gary Baptiste
  9. 9.

    Eric first i want to thank you for telling people to vote for Lind.

    Second do you think Leon Powe would be a good fit for the Raptors? especially if a deal is worked to get rid of Hump.

    - Luka
  10. 10.

    Good to see English get a shot being canada’s best offensive player and all.

    - Rob from brantford
  11. 11.

    How’s it possible Dahntay Jones made just under $800K last year? He had 5 years experience going into last season. The minimum salary in 08/09 for a 5 year vet was $926,678.

    I realize in the grand scheme of things the difference between $800K and $926K isn’t a big deal, but where are you getting Dahntay’s figures from? What am I missing?

    Also, how would a sign-and-trade work with Parker if it isn’t with Orlando and doesn’t cover 125% + $100K of Turkoglu’s salary? If there’s actually a way that can be done, it’s beyond me. Can you illustrate with a few numbers how that could work?

    Many thanks Eric.

    - MJ
  12. 12.

    Any update on Marcus Banks? Is he still under contract with the Raps for next year? If so, will he be able to contribute as a backup 2?


    - Rome
  13. 13.

    Eric, I’m not sure that I fully understand the cap problrm facing th eRaps with the signing of Turkoglu. Is it basically their relectance (refusal) to approach or exceed the soft cap?

    I ask this because how does Cleveland afford Shaq’s prodigious paycheque when already paying LeBron & co. and Orlando bring in Wince Carter (making way more than Turk) alongside the Dwight Howard contract.

    More unlikely, how does Boston bring in Wallace alongside Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce all making big bucks???

    Without Marion coming back, don’t we have only one mega-buck earner??? How is there not wiggle room to add a Delfino unless all other NBA East division leaders are WAY over the cap; is this the case??? Thanks

    - Gary
  14. 14.

    I’d like to see Parker stay and Marion go .. Parker seems to be more of a team-orientated player .

    A nucleus of Calderon, Bargnani, Turkoglu, Bosh, DeRozan, Parker, Evans , Ukic could be a 45 win team possibly
    DeRozan of course is hard to gauge.

    I’d like to see some of the players Eric mentioned or other new bodies give us a new look on the bench .

    - Chas
  15. 15.

    hope you are right. Would love to see Delfino back.

    Don’t hear anything re Joey Graham. What’s his status

    - DANNY
  16. 16.

    i hear you mr smith… i think the only name on that list i would even consider is matt barnes… the playoffs before he signed with phoenix, he was a beast for golden state, and that, to me at least, made me think, “he could fit well into a raptor uniform…” though, i would really want delfino back… bryan isn’t a one and done kinda guy, especially if his team is more then a few pieces away from being a contender…

    - chefdiz
  17. 17.

    Yep, you’re right Mike. I’m a total hypocrite.

    *note the sarcasm*

    Read the blog again.

    Show me once where I came up with a wild scenario, trade idea, or fantasy trade.

    Show me.

    Every trade I mentioned has already been discussed or attributed in major papers and websites (ESPN, Boston Globe, etc). In fact, they weren`t even trades that I came up with … they were simply suitors. Check the stories about AP over the past week and you`ll see his name linked to the Celtics, Spurs, Cavs, and more.

    And the Kris Humphries rumblings are out there too – attributed to team sources in both the Star and Globe.

    Meanwhile, the players I mentioned are simply free agents that MAY be affordable for a Raptors team that will have little-to-no money to spend after the Turkoglu deal.

    And if you didn’t notice, I did not endorse one of those players and say “the Raptors should go after this guy or that guy”. I merely pointed out those that could fit what the Raps have to spend.

    So get over it.

    Criticize all you want – but make sure it’s legit and warranted when you do.

    - E. Smith
  18. 18.

    ahahaha someone got owned!

    - chefdiz
  19. 19.

    That guy is an idiot- nothing you wrote was speculation but merely published reports and good fits. Is going above the cap an option and paying luxury tax for Delfino?
    I’d hate to see their bench this thin- an injury would be decimating.

    - Eli
  20. 20.

    Raps NEED to sign:

    -Pops Mensah-Bonsu
    -*Joey.G (he has toughess!)

    *I will watch EVERY Toronto Raptors game if Pops Mensah-Bonsu on the roster next season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    - Raps Fan
  21. 21.

    Hey Mike, Thanks for screwing up the fun! Sheesh, my Sarcasm and your complete Dumbass remarks really ruined it. Sheesh!

    - Lanny from Whitby
  22. 22.

    Raps Fan.. Are you serious?
    you think PMB is the answer to our bench problems??
    O nevermind i forgot we still have JoeyG for toughness…

    - Luka
  23. 23.

    Overt criticism gets answered but my query gets ignored?

    Perhaps I should be more rude next time…

    Go Raps

    - Gary
  24. 24.

    a lot of sensitive folks in here today!

    i answer what is given to me gary — and what i can get to with an 8-day old son.

    you know i normally answer your comments – and emails – on a regular basis.

    those teams you mentioned — cleveland and orlando – traded salaries that matched. 3 for 1 deals or 3 for 2 deals. that’s how they made it work. filling out the rest of the roster could be tough though, without paying the dollar for dollar tax.

    rasheed went to boston via the mid-level exception (something toronto won’t have if they can’t work out a sign and trade for marion)

    - E. Smith
  25. 25.

    re: marcus banks …
    no i’m not expecting much from him next year. i hope i’m wrong.

    - E. Smith
  26. 26.

    re: kris humphries …
    yes i think there is a good chance that he could be moved.

    - E. Smith
  27. 27.

    re: leon powe …
    he’d have to come DIRT cheap given that he’s coming off a major injury

    - E. Smith
  28. 28.

    Here we go again, Raps Fan!!

    Joey Graham? Tough? What in the world are you talking about? If I had a dime for every time he completely disappeared during a game…well, you know…

    That guy is the most perfect example of a guy with lots of skill and absolutely NO desire to use it…a huuuuuge waste of talent!!

    And Pops? Hello? Seriously? Did I miss something last season? From what I recall, the guy played a handful of games, and also disappeared with an injury. He was stuck in the D-League for a reason!! This guy has no chance of sticking with any NBA team for more than a few months or so…

    And Rasho and Delfino? No, thanks. Been there, done that. Lost in the first round. See ya later…

    Rasho is just about cooked. And Delfino cares waaaay more about his hair than he does gettin’ dirty in the paint. He disappeared from the NBA as soon as he could get a contract in Europe…or Russia, or wherever he was…

    I hope none of those players come back to T.O.

    - brento
  29. 29.

    re: Summer League …. no … i don’t think the games are on Raptors TV

    - E. Smith
  30. 30.

    The talent level of ball players around the globe is so good right now their will be free agents signed for little money that will be very good on nba teams.

    - Rob from brantford
  31. 31.

    Hey Eric it was your own quote your fighting against. Grow up. Your never wrong in your eyes.. I feel sorry for you.

    - Mike
  32. 32.

    People like yourself are what is wrong with this franchise. Complete amateur’s! Take a lesson from people like Jack Armstrong and Paul Jones who aren’t out to steal the spotlight and feed thier own EGO’s with praise from 10 year old kids. Your a star buddy!
    *note the sarcasm*

    - Mike
  33. 33.

    Hi Eric,

    Good day,

    I know that BC is one of the best GM in NBA, but I’m just wondering, Don’t you think he overpaid Hedo T? with the money that he paid the Turk, (in this buyer’s market in the NBA), BC can get 3 very good players for that amount of money.????

    BTW, just read in CNN sports Jamario Moon, was only offered $200,000.00 by Miami Heat, when BC paid him over $700,000.00 last season :)

    Thanks and hope to hear your


    - JACQUI
  34. 34.

    Congrats the on the baby by the way!

    - BIlla
  35. 35.

    You’re hilarious Mike. My ego eh?

    You failed to answer the question.

    You used a quote that I wrote – supposedly “against me” – but you still haven’t shown me where I truly contradicted myself.

    Where was the “fantasy trade” I came up with?

    Where was the “Phantom GM” stuff?

    Where did I say “Toronto should sign this guy or that guy”?

    Again, you can criticize me any time, any day. I’m not foolish enough to think that everyone will like me or like my work. But, again, get your facts straight. And if you’re going to attempt to critique a blog or my comments with quotes, make sure they match. Your argument is completely bogus.

    Also, I can all-but guarantee you that Paul Jones and Jack Armstrong – two of my closest friends – would tell you your immature statement(s) couldn’t be further from the truth. You probably haven’t met me. If you have, you’d know you’re totally out to lunch.

    I won’t even bother correcting your puncuation either – considering I’m guilty of using the “…” that some people hate.

    Your Star.

    - E. Smith
  36. 36.

    E-Smith…pls stop responding to people who are on here point. Jut do your thing. Mike: We don’t care who you are. Go start your own Mike blog if you just want to come on and argue. If you have valid points that contribute to the discussion of Raps basketball then no problem but don’t bite the hand that feeds you..E-Smith has opened an opportunity for Raps fans to discuss our team and you come on here polluting the blog…c’mon Mike more love on here Raps are movin in positive directions…

    Raps fans: Honestly the team is not far…I like that they are building in the mode of the Spurs considering they have similar pieces to their championship teams…would be nice to get a combo backup guard (a la Von Wafer tho I fear he is too $ for us) until Roko is ready (that dude will be a player), would be nice to get a Barnes type..nice starter until D2 is ready..and a backup big to guard Shaq/D12..

    - Coach Blue
  37. 37.

    ..and E-Smith, you better start putting that ball in your son’s hand preparing for that 2030 know in case we dont sign Bosh.

    - Coach Blue
  38. 38.

    if we get matt barnes i believe we would be the fourth best team in the east for starters…this would D2 to come off the bench and give us someone who has started in the league for years…similar player to anthony parker..

    - Coach Blue
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