Socialize

RSS Feed

One move the Raptors shouldn’t even contemplate


One stinking minute.

That’s how long it took yesterday between the time Woj tweeted that perhaps the Minnesota Timberwolves are or were trying to come to some of buyout agreement with Anthony Bennett on the remainder of his rookie scale contract and the first “he’d be a perfect fit in Toronto” reply I saw.

Can’t imagine why it took that long even if it did almost cause me to do a spit-take on my stool.

But, seriously, I guarantee more than a few people went off half-cocked at the notion and that’s the kind of kneejerk reaction we’ve come to expect.

I’ll preface this by saying I quite like Anthony Bennett; in the few dealings I’ve had with him over the years – beginning with his first post-draft news conference that The First Lady Of The Beat hurriedly drove down to – he’s been fine. Polite, accommodating, not the greatest insightful quote in the world but what kid is?

That said …

I cannot imagine a worse situation and both sides should run from it like their hair is on fire.

Here’s the simple truth: It’d be a horrid fit for a variety of reasons that would do nothing of good for anyone, neither a team that needs to show some improvement over the disappointment of last season and doesn’t have time to let a kid find his niche, nor a kid who hasn’t found that one skill that forces his team to play him over someone else.

We all know and saw Bennett have great success at the Pan American Games as the focal point playing against what was in truth suspect competition. As a role player he was far less impactful in Mexico, very much just a guy on the team who seldom asserted himself on any particular game. He was okay and he didn’t hurt Canada by any means but little more than that, that’s the harsh truth.

Let me ask you this right now and please don’t let your judgement be clouded by passports.

In a frontcourt rotation with the way the NBA is going now, who does Bennett supplant? Valanciunas? No. Patrick Patterson? Can’t see how. Luis Scola? Fat chance, they need the savvy. DeMarre Carroll as a small ball four? How could anyone imagine that, given skill level and accomplishments so far? Heck, so many love James Johnson for so many reasons, we need to add him to that list, too.

So you’d have your fourth, maybe fifth guy in a 3-4-5 rotation who has shown nothing so far to suggest he’d earn playing time after not doing it with very dubious teams in Cleveland and Minnesota. Does that mean every day in November and December and January that Bennett has to answer questions about why he isn’t playing and Dwane has to answer thinly-veiled enquiries about why the good local kid can’t get significant minutes? That’s the last thing this team needs.

I am sure there will be lots of teams interested in Bennett, if he becomes a free agent. That’s logical given that he’s only 22 years old and has a relative-to-the-times dirt-cheap contract with no long-term obligations and may or may not eventually become a contributing rotation player on a good team.

But that list can include Phoenix or Philly or a handful of other teams that have nothing really to prove this season.

It cannot include Toronto, despite the unabashed enthusiasm of fans and fanboys who won’t take a step back to have a realistic look at the situation.

Right, Masai?

Season’s coming, this epic show was 35 years ago today so …

I don’t know but after having seen so many people putting on makeup while dead in traffic or still talking on their phones while driving along the highway on a never-ending commute every now and then, yesterday might have taken the cake.

It’s late afternoon, I’m on the ramp trying to get up on the Gardiner at Bay (it’s a crowded downtown interchange for those not familiar) and the guy in the Fusion next to me with the sunglasses on, head bopping to whatever music he was listening to all while he was smoking a joint was a first for me.

Top that, would you?

If you need your fix of all things Raptors I know a lot of guys in are in town working out every day and the staff is going through nearly daily meetings hammering out plans for the coming training camp and pre-season and everything is proceeding in due course.

I made a handful of hotel reservations yesterday and will likely book some flights today so things are going swimmingly on that front, too.

But I tell you, a closer look at the schedule shows it to be a bear early on and it’s going to be tough to handle.

Not only are there a four-game and a five-game trip in November alone – no way I’m doing all nine of those, I’m not as young as I once was – but there are also six-game and seven-game homestands in the first two months and I can feel the staleness creepy in.

My friend Melissa (@throwinsmoke on the tweeter) gave us this Josh Donaldson hair story yesterday (and it looks way better in the startouch iPad app you should have all downloaded to your tablets for free by now) and that proves that this team has truly become something special. Once you start that kind of stuff – and it’s a cool story that I guarantee people will soak up and enjoy – you’ve taken a season to a whole different level.

Of course, we’ve seldom experienced that over at the basketball side of things, which is too bad. Someone could have written about Oak’s little twisties hair-do that one time, or the stretch Mo Pete went through when he looked suspiciously like Marion Jones.

Guess the closest we’ve come lately was when James Johnson showed up with that dyed red look last year.

And I’m not unhappy that we’ve missed out on doing those stories, to tell you the truth.

TORONTO STAR | SPORTS | DOUG_SMITHS_SPORTS_BLOG

None found.