Saturday, February 14, 2009

SPORTS: I Missed Humphries

In listing the 2009-10 Toronto Raptor squad yesterday, I missed listing Kris Humphries the third man in the big rotation. I DID account for him in my total salary computation. The 14-man roster, if all healthy, would see Banks and Jawai looking good in suits on the bench.

Let's go over this again. O'Neal's $21M is NOT completely available for signing free agents. Banks burns some of it. That leaves a bit better than half of that total to attract a free agent wing. Remember, there are two caps. The soft 'salary cap' is BELOW the luxury threshold, but exists only for interfering with trades and as a starting point. The REAL cap the NBA teams pay attention to is the Luxury Tax threshold. At least most teams do. Toronto is one of them.

You can waive good-bye to Solomon, Voskuhl and whatever outstanding cap consideration was owed former players. It doesn't amount to much, but it's there.

A week or two after the draft, the teams will start signing players to bring to camp in the fall.

AFTER signing the new wing, whether it's Artest, Hamilton, Marion or an as-yet unthought of player, the Raptors can THEN go over the salary cap to resign (Bird rights players) Parker, Graham and Delfino, repatriating the latter from Russia. Parker comes back for slightly less, spurning European overtures for more. Graham gets a little raise. There MIGHT be some renouncing player rules I haven't considered completely, but I don't think that comes into play unless you sign more than one free agent from another team. But I could be wrong. I think the mid-level exception is also there for Toronto to play with.

Then they sign their backup/future shooting guard from the draft conducted before the signing period. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let it be Gerald Henderson. He's no Grant Hill, but even Grant Hill wasn't 'Rookie of the Year Grant Hill' this time many moons ago. (And yes, I KNOW Duke lost to hated North Carolina Wednesday night. Helluva ballgame though).

Finally, we bring back Rasho Nesterovic, signing him on a veteran's minimum deal that the NBA pays partly for and reduces the cap hit appropriately. He will be the last player signed.

GM Bryan Colangelo can then turn to the question of coaching the team and accepting kudos for the miraculous turnaround on the once team of the future, turned disaster.

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