Friday, July 3, 2009

Raptors Offseason - Is David Lee the answer?

The Free agent season is upon us in the NBA and to say that things have developed slowly in the first 2 days would be a bit of an understatement. Sure some signings have happened but its taken a lot more time than in previous years.

That said there are a number of major players that have made decisions on their new homes. Artest in LA, Ariza in Houston Gordon and Villanueva in Detroit. All of these pieces are key to what Brian Colangelo and the Raptors do.

This is the offseason that will shape this team going forward. The plan thus far has seemed to be to try and surround star Chris Bosh with better talent and show him that they are serious about contending. This is great in theory but so far the biggest move they could make would be to renounce their free agents (Marion, Parker and Delfino) to get enough money together to pay the Pizza loving Hedo Turkoglu who is rumored to be looking at a 5 yr deal for between 10-12 million a year. This to me is the worst idea ever. BC learned last year not to put all your eggs in one basket (hello J O'neil). I cannot foresee a circumstance where he would do this. It would be suicide.

The most rational option seems to be to try to resign Sean Marion to a reasonable contract and then use the Mid-level exception to sign some depth to the roster. Linus Kleiza's name has been circulating as a target for the Raptors and of course bringing back Delfino is also a strong possibility. Although if they did this I would like to see them try to move Humphries for a backup PG like K Dooling.
This would at least make the team competitive although I'm still not sure it'd get out of the first round in the playoffs.

The last option circulating is that BC has shown interest in restricted free agent David Lee. Lee is also looking at around 10 million a season which is certainly a lot of money. When i first heard this I figured it was just one of those rumours that get floated out to generate interest in a player and drive up his valuve but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. Signing Lee would spell the end of Bosh in Toronto. He is basically the same player without the mid range game. He could fill in at PF immediately and allow the Raptors to trade Bosh for Maximum value now. Trading Bosh would surely net the raptors a starting SF and a backup SG or PF as well as a draft pick. I could see a deal to Chicago for Deng (or Hinrich) and Tyrus Thomas and a first rounder for Bosh. Or to Miami for Beasley, Haslem and a Pick. Heck if BC is smart he'll insist on including Banks in any deal involving Bosh. That would be glorious.

As much as I don't think trading bosh is the answer I think getting value for him now before next season or even this year's deadline is crucial. If the Raptors do end up netting Lee this offseason I think we would all see the writing on the wall.

Needless to say these next 48 hours will be interesting.

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