Even the most optimistic of Raptors fans probably thought that between the season finale on April 26 and the Draft Lottery on May 30, there wouldn’t be much in the form of interesting or intriguing Raptors news. But as Manchester United supporters are painfully aware today, assuming makes a big pretty big ass out of everybody.
This time last week, I thought we’d have to pass the time with things like Jonas Valanciunas’ birthday.
How quickly things change. Since then, we’ve discussed DeMar DeRozan’s place on the U.S. Select Team, the possibility of Steve Nash playing for the Raptors next season and we’ve given you our interview with Mr. Ultimate Raptor himself, Vince Carter.
Those are so last week though. Now? Just a small matter named Jeremy Lin.
In a Saturday column by Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News (that somehow flew under the radar until guys like CBS, Business Insider and USA Today ran with it on Monday), the Raptors were mentioned as potential suitors for Lin’s services. Here’s some of what Lawrence had to say:
After writing that “Toronto will be in direct competition with the Knicks for Steve Nash,” Lawrence writes about how the Raptors “like” Jeremy Lin and that they’d obviously like “what he’d do for their attendance” (though as most of us in Toronto know, attendance and fan support isn’t really an area of concern right now). Lawrence goes on to write that in an attempt to keep the Knicks from matching an offer for Lin, back-loading a contract would be a good option for the Raptors.
The most interesting line, though, is Lawrence following up with this, on the possibility of Toronto submitting a big, back-loaded contract offer for Lin:
“According to league sources, that’s what the Raptors just might do if their Nash plan falls through.”
The Raptors being interested in guys like Nash and Lin shouldn’t really be considered news, and if the source of the chatter was simply bloggers in Toronto or elsewhere coming up with “hey, this makes sense” kind of posts, then we’d simply acknowledge the post, perhaps discuss it, and then move on.
But what makes the last week so interesting for Raptors fans is that credible NBA writers and reporters like Sam Smith and now Mitch Lawrence aren’t just saying that it’s a miniscule possibility that technically “could” happen, but rather that it’s something league sources and other people in the know believe might actually happen. There is a difference between the two, and right now, that’s the difference between this being just another summer of dreaming for basketball fans in Toronto, and being an off-season in which we’re all rightfully anxious to begin.
If any of these reports end up coming to fruition, then I think we’ll all understand what exactly Bryan Colangelo meant when he foresaw an “exciting and active” off-season.