Thursday July 23 2009 – 3:47am Eastern (Toronto, ON) 

I really wanted to throw this headline on this blog: 

“Popper Scooper”

… But I digress.

Anyway …

Here’s the long-awaited update on Raptor man-myth-legend, Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

Many of you out there – including my man Arsenalist (rare shout-out) – have been asking exactly what the heck is going on with Pops?  What’s his status – or lack there of – with the Raps?

Here ya go … straight from some folks I talked to within the organization (with some added info on Carlos Delfino as well):

- Toronto withdrew their Qualifying Offers to both Mensah-Bonsu and Delfino but did not renounce their rights.

- When the Qualifying Offers were originally issued, both players became RESTRICTED free agents.  However, once those Qualifying Offers were withdrawn, both players returned to UNRESTRICTED free agent status.  Buuuuut …

- They are still, technically, “the Raptors’ UFA’s” until they sign with another NBA team or Toronto renounces them.

Again, that info comes straight from the Raptors … and from folks with deeper knowledge of the league rules and the CBA than you or I will ever have.

Of course the bigger question is … Will either player be on the Raps’ roster this season?

There is heavy interest in bringing back Delfino — a fact that you’ve heard about ad nauseam.  But a deal that both sides can agree upon has yet to be reach.

And is Pops a back-up plan to Rasho Nesterovic … if Toronto can’t re-sign the big Slovenian? 

Or do they want Pops not matter what … but simply can’t make room for him given that their roster would sit at 15 if Delfino and Nesterovic were added and no other deal (to clear a roster spot) was made?

There are still a lot of questions swirling around the Raptors, but hopefully the above info – especially related to Pops – answers a few of the queries.

Enjoy your Thursday.

E. Smith

12 Responses to “Scoop On Pops”
  1. 1.

    Up early Eric or up late?

    I like Pops, but I think we need a backup 5 more then a 4. I think Rasho will get done anyways. Makes sense to both parties.

    - Jules
  2. 2.

    I think the Raps would be crazy to give a roster spot to Patrick O’Bryant and not Pops. One is soft and years away from being able to even contribute, the other has a ton of passion and knows how to grab a rebound.

    You know which one is which

    - Mathew
  3. 3.

    Eric, I’d rather have Pops over Rasho as he is just too entertaining to pass up on! What were both their salaries? Wasn’t Rasho like highly overpaid at $8.4 million per when he was with Toronto?

    - Jason
  4. 4.

    3:47am posting this blog you MUST be tired! I wonder why?

    - Raps Fan
  5. 5.

    Pops seems like a nice enough fella but too much like so many of the guys we’ve had around here; could really bring it for a spark, a shift or a game but never for consistant games. Anthony Parker, Junkyard Dog, J Moon, TJ Ford, Pops, Marion, Kapono and others could all light it up on a given night or wow you on a certain play but knowing what they give you EVERY night was the problem and why we’ve had issues with a starting 5.

    Maybe Rasho and his workmanlike dependability are just the ticket.

    - Gary
  6. 6.

    I hope they ditch Marcus Banks so they can bring Pops back.

    - TomGfromBrampton
  7. 7.

    I would love to see Pops back with the Raptors next year. I think I fell in MAD basketball love with that guy and his relentless effort. All I think he needs to do is channel it at the appropriate times and focus on single tasks at one time rather than multiple ones.

    Maybe the ultimate solution, thanks to the addition of Jarret Jack, is to either renounce Delfino or trade his rights. That way you could have Pops with Nesterovic in a mentor’s role to both Pops and Bargniani.

    What do you think?

    - T.J.
  8. 8.

    Unfortunately no one would be dumb enough to take Marcus Banks off the Raptors hands. With $9 million left, a buyout and signing of Pops would cost the Raptors around $10 million to get the Mensah-Bonsuian one on this team. I don’t think that is going to happen. The best-case with Banks is to keep him for a year, see what you have, and try to get someone to take him next year as an expiring contract.

    - Doug S.
  9. 9.

    Frustrating to see POB on our team… no heart no intensity… doesn’t even wave the towel!!! heck I would even take Jake the Snake as the 15th man over POB – simply for his enthusiasm on the bench

    - Tom
  10. 10.

    Pops not the answer only if this team was rebuilding but, they’re not so, Rasho is the Guy who can help Barganai and Patrick and is a vet who barely makes no mistakes which, will make Bosh very happy!

    - Raps Fan
  11. 11.

    TO Star reporting this am that Rasho is a one year done deal.

    - Gary
  12. 12.

    What would we rather have? A man with energy and hustle along with heart who came from a D-League then called out an NBA team like Pops to back up Bosh and the others or would you have Raps Fan’s choice of no class guys like Bargnani who think he is all that with his 3-pointers? Sign Pops back already!! The Raptors are gonna need every energy, hustle & ruthless aggression come this season. Hedo & Calderon are the only European players that can stay. Rasho needs to retire since he has an NBA ring with the Spurs.


    - Anit-Euroleague
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