Memphis Grizzlies v Toronto Raptors

Report: Grizzlies considering trading first rounder to Raptors


Overpaid and over-the-hill, John Salmons still has trade value for the Raptors.

At least his contract does.

That’s why Toronto has taken its time before waiving Salmons, who has only $1 million of his $7 million 2014-15 salary guaranteed.

Mac Stein of ESPN:

Prince is owed $7,707,865 next season, the final year of his contract. So, the Grizzlies would waive Salmons and save $6,707,865. That won’t get them cap room, but maybe they have another deal planned and/or want more cushion below the luxury-tax line. Most likely, it’s primarily a cost-cutting move.

Essentially, Toronto would add $6,707,865 to its 2014-15 team salary in exchange for moving up 15 spots in the draft.

It’s probably worth it, considering the Raptors – as long as they want to keep Kyle Lowry, which they should – don’t project to have cap room this season. The deal might affect their maneuverability beneath the luxury-tax line, but that’s only a minor concern. Prince, even on the downside of his career, can replace Salmons as a backup forward. Plus, I believe this draft begins to thin in the mid 30s.

Besides the low salary of the No. 22 pick, there are no cap implications beyond next season.

The Raptors already have the No. 20 pick, so this would give them two selections in the same range, and perhaps, the ability to trade up further.

Because the Grizzlies already dealt their 2015 pick (to Cleveland), they can’t yet make the trade. But they can easily pick on behalf of Toronto and then officially complete the trade after the draft tonight. That’s a non-issue.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
Leave a comment

DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.