The Toronto Raptors are shopping Andrea Bargnani around right now. Hard. Like they did last summer. They’d pretty much take a pump to inflate basketballs in return, so long as it doesn’t have a worse contract (hello Carlos Boozer). But the results are pretty much the same — everyone has seen Bargnani play, they know he can shoot threes (usually) but not much else, and nobody really wants to take on the two years and $22.2 million he is owed after this season.
Which means while the Raptors will keep trying heading into Thursday’s NBA trade deadline to find a new home for Bargnani but that likely will wait until next summer, reports Doug Smith at the Toronto Sun.
The big one, of course, is Bargnani and one note I got this weekend simply said: “Looks like the summer.”
Sorry Raptors fans.
This may be a quieter than normal trade deadline because teams are leery to take on salary with the increased luxury tax penalties kicking in next summer. And with all the money Bargnani is owed — and the limited production teams would get for that — nobody is all that interested.
I think this summer we will see bigger moves — Bargnani, maybe Pau Gasol, there will be other bigger names — but right now it feels like none of that will get done in the short term. Which means Bargnani will stay put. For now.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.