Tuesday July 13 2010 – 1:51pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
This looks bad.
This looks really bad.And, unfortunately, it’s not the first time it has happened (see: TJ Ford last season).
The Charlotte Bobcats are reportedly pulling out of their deal with the Toronto Raptors; a trade that would have seen Jose Calderon, Dwayne Jones (soon-to-be-acquired from Phoenix) and Reggie Evans head south to North Carolina for Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler.
Word is that Bobcats president, Michael Jordan, got cold feet at some point late last night and would not sign-off on the trade with the Raps. There is also some talk that Larry Brown wasn’t thrilled about losing Chandler.
But why does this look so bad?
Hey, deals fall through all of the time. Sure, rumors are reported and speculation swirls on moves that never come to fruition almost every day – especially at this time of the year!
But this is different. Players were told. The negotiation went beyond merely ‘talking’ and moved the point where players were called and informed of the upcoming transaction. Chandler told Yahoo Sports that he was heading to Toronto. Evans tweeted a message on his Twitter account … thanking the fans of Toronto for their support over the past 12+ months.
And now the deal is off.
No rules were broken but the smell around this mess stinks. You can’t string along the players – and their personal lives like this. I’m sure Chandler, Diaw, Jones, and Evans have their own issues … but let’s look at Calderon as an example:
He finds out that he’s being traded from the only pro team/city he has ever known while dealing with his 3-month old son at home in Spain. Yet as he wraps his head around the fact that he’s on the move to Charlotte, he finds out early in the morning (in Spain) that the deal is likely off and he’s actually staying in Toronto. Further to that mess … he now knows that the Raps are/were trying to get rid of him and the answer to the “are they going to trade Jose or are they going to trade Jarrett Jack” question seems pretty clear.
Sure, some may say ‘that’s part of the business’ … but that’s not how you tread people or how you do business properly.
There’s no way that I can imagine Rod Higgins (Bobcats GM) and Bryan Colangelo came to an agreement without Jordan knowing what was going on until the final second. Why did MJ not squash this move earlier in the day — seeing as it was being worked on for nearly 24 hours (or more) — instead of balking at the bitter end when players had already accepted their new reality?
The Bobcats were close to grabbing Pacers’ guard TJ Ford at last year’s trade deadline before backing out at the last minute as well; all sides (and all indications) seemed to think the deal was done.And, ironically, this isn’t the first time Chandler has been ‘traded’ … only to ‘head back’ to his current team. When he was a member of the New Orleans Hornets in 2009, Chandler was dealt to Oklahoma City before the Thunder rescinded the deal. But that scenario was different as it had to do with Chandler’s physical with OKC.
Jordan’s cold feet – or Brown’s anger – has put Toronto in a tough spot with Calderon and Evans and it has potentially affected the Raptors in future deals for either of those players as well … ’cause teams may assume Toronto is trying to move Jose or Reggie and, thus, they’ll offer less in return; trying to force (or fleece) Colangelo’s hand.
Perhaps the deal with the Bobcats and Raptors could be resurrected at some point — with other players or money exchanging hands — but for now it seems to be dead.
And it stinks.