Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven

Report: Raptors re-signing Greivis Vasquez to two-year, $13 million contract


After their deepest playoff run in 13 years, the Raptors entered the offseason with three members of their rotation – Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez – heading into free agency.

Toronto could have created cap room by waiving John Salmons, but the Raptors traded him to Atlanta, allowing the Hawks to add cap space. At that point, Toronto’s plan was clear: Retain its own free agents.

When Lowry re-signed, the next two deals became all but inevitable.

Patterson followed, and now the Raptors ensure they’ll keep the band together.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

That’s a little pricey for a backup point guard, but Vasquez fits well in Toronto.

For one, he and Lowry excelled when sharing the backcourt. Vasquez also might be useful as a Lowry contingency. Before playing 79 games in his breakout 2013-14 season, Lowry missed 33 games the previous two years. It might be a little soon to count on him remaining healthy.

By giving him just a two-year deal, the Raptors reduce the risk of Vasquez becoming a detriment to their flexibility. They also keep him into 2016, when Kevin Durant – friends with Vasquez since they played together at Montrose Christian – becomes a free agent. Just sayin’.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.