Tuesday July 28 2009 – 4:02pm Eastern (Toronto, ON)
Normally I like reading Bill Simmons. I still do. And I’ll still continue to click on his articles and enjoy his wit and sarcasm.
But I do take some exception to what he recently wrote about the Toronto Raptors:
“To Toronto’s Bryan Colangelo, who spent money more recklessly than Michael Bay. A $53 million extension for Andrea Bargnani? Sure! Another $53 million for Hedo Turkoglu? Why not? How ’bout $20 million for a third guard (Jarrett Jack) just because he’s college buddies with Chris Bosh and might sway Bosh to stick around next summer? Absolutely! As always, there’s nothing more dangerous than an NBA GM in desperation mode. Smart moves for 2010 — dumb moves for 2012, 2013 and 2014 … and, of course, he’ll be gone by then. Sorry, Raptor Truthers. You deserve better.”
Every man is entitled to his opinion, but let’s break down what Simmons wrote …
- The Raps may have slightly over-spent for Bargnani but if that’s the going rate for a former #1 overall pick, then you do it. In fact, as crazy as it may sound, $10 million/year may end up being a relative “bargain”. If Bargs continues to improve this season (and next season, and the season after that) as he did in 2008-2009, that contract will be very fair.
- Jack is not a third guard. He’s the primary back-up for Jose Calderon. He may even start some games – or see “starter-like minutes” if Toronto toys with Calderon and Jack seeing the floor together at the 1 and 2. So while he may be third on the depth chart at the 1 and 2, I don’t think it’s fair to label him as a “third guard”. He’ll have a larger role. Furthermore, Colangelo wouldn’t make a move just to bring in “Bosh’s buddy”. Please. That’s ridiculous. Is it an added bonus? Sure. But is that the primary reason? Absolutely not. Did Simmons forget that Jack is coming off a career year and he brings the kind of grit and D that Toronto is looking for?
- Dumb moves for 2012, 2013, and 2014? I take exception with that as well. *IF* Bosh were to walk next summer, they’d still have a core in place for the next few seasons that would include Turkoglu, Calderon, Bargnani, Jack, and DeRozan. And based on approximate numbers … Toronto would still have about $25+ million to round out their roster around that core. That looks alright to me. If you’re trying to win now, you can’t ignore the future. You still need to be responsible about the future. But you’re trying to win NOW, period. I believe BC has managed both. And to flippantly throw away Toronto’s flexibility in 2010 isn’t fair either. Isn’t that what it’s all about right now – for almost every team in the league? That’s not a point to kinda ignore or brush aside.
- Was Turkoglu not one of the top 3 free agents available this summer? And Toronto landed him at the going rate for a player of his calibre. How is that a bad thing or a bad move?
Anyway, that’s my take. I’m sure some will agree with me … some will call me an “apologist”. Whatever. Differing opinions are what makes sports go around – and what makes sports so interesting!
Looking forward to future columns from Simmons!