Everyone thought the competition for Steve Nash’s services was being fought between the Raptors and Knicks. The Mavericks were seen as a formidable team in the mix once they lost out on Deron Williams.

Earlier on Wednesday, New York looked like the overwhelming favourites.

And then, just like that, news began to break Wednesday evening that the Lakers, who hadn’t even really been mentioned in the Nash sweepstakes until Tuesday, had swooped in to steal Nash.

John Gambadoro, a sports radio host in Phoenix who began breaking the news, had a couple of interesting tweets after the fact:

 

If true, then the Raptors and Knicks have been had, though Marc Stein of ESPN seems to think there were four finalists (I’m guessing Lakers, Mavs, Raptors, Knicks).

It will be fascinating to see how Nash and Kobe fit together in the L.A. back court, and also interesting to monitor if this helps the Lakers’ chances of acquiring Dwight Howard.

From the Raptors’ perspective, the news is tough to swallow, especially considering that just days ago, some believed we might get a Nash/Raptors agreement on Canada Day. Having said that, I can live with Nash in L.A. more than I would have been able to handle him wearing Knicks colours and playing against the Raps four times a season in the Atlantic Division.

So Plan A has gone down the toilet, nobody expects the Raptors to rescind the offer-sheet to Landry Fields since that sort of thing burns some bridges with agents and other players (and the Knicks likely won’t match the three-year, $19 million offer), and for now, the point guard situation in Toronto remains a combination of Jose Calderon and Jerryd Bayless.

If you believe the reports out there, the Raptors might still pursue Jeremy Lin, although without Nash, you would have to assume the Knicks will literally match any offer-sheet for their marketable young star. The next option appears to be Kyle Lowry, who is a rising young NBA point guard, is a great competitor, and is actually locked into a very reasonable contract for the next two years, which will see him earn about $12 million over that time.

On Goran Dragic, I’ll mention again that while I like him as a point guard in general, I think it’s insane to give him $8-10 million per season when Jerryd Bayless has proven he can put up virtually the same production when given the chance, is two years younger, and will cost the team much less.

If all else fails, starting the season with Jose Calderon would be far from the worst thing in the world. He was surprisingly good last year, and if he can manage to get off to a good start in 2012-2013 and stay relatively healthy, he should have some intriguing value on the trade market as a large expiring contract.

The Landry Fields’ contract obviously looks shoddy without Nash (I’m all good with acquiring Fields, just not on those terms without Nash) and like many of you, I’m incredibly disappointed in how this all turned out. I tried to keep myself from getting too excited and getting my hopes up, but come on, we all thought there was a pretty damn good chance Nash would be running the point come October.

Having said all of that, the notion that this is a death blow for the Raptors or for Canadian basketball is ridiculous. It’s a very disappointing and disheartening day, for sure, but any reason you may have had for being optimistic about what the Raptors were doing pre-Nash still exists.

There are still some nice young pieces in the mix, Jonas Valanciunas is still coming, Dwane Casey is still here and the team still has future financial flexibility, even with a contract like Fields’ present. Though retaining that flexibility going forward is why I wouldn’t want a large, risky contract handed out to a player like Dragic.

It’s okay to be upset right now, because believe me, I am too. But just don’t overreact as if any positive step taken over the last couple of years has suddenly been wiped out.

Comments (37)

  1. I think Lowry is certainly the best option for the Raptors now, and I think he was a better option than anyone else in the first place.

    Maybe they can still swing a deal with Houston. Something along the lines of Lowry and Martin for Calderon and someone else.

    • I agree, he does a lot off court for us but when it comes down to the actual game, getting Lowry would be much better. Heard that he’s big with Alvin Williams so I have hope for this guy coming too but if this off season ends with only Val coming over, I would be very disappointed.

      And I guess Gretzky wasn’t too convincing lol

  2. These team at most will acheive a 8th maybe 7th seed. Time to blow this thing up. This team will not be able to win a championship. Tanking foor a legit star is the only option. It might take years at the bottom but that’s what it is going to take. Id rather be close to charlotte with a chance and not millawkee stuck in the middle.

    • Blow what up? Most of the key pieces are kids, and at this rate the team will have another high draft pick next year.

      The “accelerated rebuild” just decelerated in a hurry.

      Please, please don’t just spend on middling free agents because the franchise has the money. Now, more than ever, is the time to be patient.

    • Blow it up? Did the Raptors ever really build anything?

    • As I’ve written recently, the Raps fielded a team that relied on names like Alan Anderson and Ben Uzoh down the stretch. To me, that’s as close as you can get to a “tank.” But Casey was good, other teams tanked more embarrassingly and in the end, the lottery balls didn’t bounce our way. You’re really ready to give up on guys like DeRozan, Bayless, Johnson and guys we haven’t seen yet in Valanciunas, Ross and Acy? It’s one thing to say trade Calderon or trade Bargnani, but I don’t really get what there is to blow up when you’ve assembled a pretty young team that is looking toward the future.

      • I would definitely give up on the players you listed, with the exception of Valancuinas.

        There are prototypical players like that in the draft every damn year. The only difference is the raptors choose to cling to their story well after it’s clear that they won’t be key pieces on a good team.

  3. This certainly sucks… but you raise a great point about looking forward Joseph. Personally, I’d love to see Lowry, and I wouldn’t put it past BC to pull in a big piece via a trade none of us has even fathomed. With that said, i think plan B should be to pivot away from upgrading PG as the first priority, and look to find a small forward. Between Calderon and Bayless, we have a solid, if imperfect solution at the point, SF is far weaker. How much is Kirilenko expected to cost if he’s coming back from Russia? Is there a viable deal for Iggy?

  4. Blah blah with these comments, no one wants to come here end of story,, once again no playoffs Colangelo in his Armani suit

  5. I’m actually legitimately terrified about what BC will do with the money that he intended to spend on Nash outside of the $20 million already sunk into Fields.

    Put me down as another proponent of a Lowry trade but you have to think BC will be in on both Dragic and Lin over the next few days.

  6. I never liked the idea of Nash as a Raptor anyway. It seemed far too much like a business decision than a basketball one. The idea of a lottery team signing a 38 year old PG probably wouldn’t have seemed like NEARLY as good an idea if it wasn’t Steve Nash, the homegrown Canadian boy.

    Plus, I’d much rather see him finish his days on a contender, where he’s got a shot at helping a team win a ring.

  7. Boy this hurts … for what ever reason I thought he was coming to Toronto … but we have to face the truth in the NBA world teams like the Rap’s are the fat ugly babes in the club … we just need to hit the gym keep working hard and develop this young group of players.

  8. All these kids are all soild players. I mean who is going to be the superstar player, hell the star player on this team to lift them to contendership. Bargnani? Derozan? Davis? None of these players have steped up tobecome stars. No noe is close to lebron, Durant, Wade, Rose, Westbrook, Griffin, Paul. Hell the wizards havea brighter future with wall and beal. The only player I wouldn’t trade is Valenuincas, and theirs certainly no guarentee he will become a star

  9. So lets recap – raptors strike out to get marquee FA again. Raptors over pay a FA again. Now raptors have Landry Fields, James Johnson, Linas Kleiza, Demar DeRozan and Terrence Ross to fill 2 starting spots as Calderon, Bargs and Valanciunas are all but locks to be starters.

    I was all for Nash taking his victory laps around TO b/c we have a young team, he may or may not help teach Bayless how to be a productive pg in the league and help teach the young guys how to be professionals. But why did we have to sign Fields to a $20M deal. Why add a guy who is basically a replication of Kleiza?

    So thanks to BC we may or may not be offering a guy with little to no starting experience (Dragic) a $10M per deal to save face for swinging and missing badly on Nash.

    It just feels like every time the organization takes a step forward it again takes three steps backwards. 5 guys 2 positions. No pg for the future to help grow with Valanciunas and Ross (DeRozan is a duplication who can’t shoot three’s).

    It’s been nice knowing you BC. But likely before you will go you will clog up our cap situation trying to dig yourself out of this hole and trade multiple first rounders away to put the team in contention for the 8th seed.

    I guess its safe to assume we’ll have to cheer for the Thunder until the Raptors recover in 2020. Thanks for nothing BC.

    Sincerely, Raptors Fan-base

  10. Colangelo is in full-on “win now” mode, where “win now” means “get tot he playoffs”.

    He needs to justify a new contract. Fields might not be the only bad contract we see from him.

  11. Did anybody outside of TO think Nash was going to sign with the Raps? Serious question. This Phoenix reporter is tweeting that Nash never wanted to go to TO. Similar sentiments by John Hollinger, Jonathan Givony, etc. Just makes the Fields offer that much more sickening.

    This reminds me of the Bosh situation. Everyone outside TO says no way he will re-sign. BC for some reason thinks otherwise.

    Anyway, agree that going after Dragic with big money would be stupid, but I have no faith BC will do anything smart anymore.

    • Damn, my sentiment as well. I have no faith BC will do anything smart ever again.

      Well, maybe one thing every five years, but it will be something where he was just correcting another of his huge mistakes. Like the turk deal, then getting out of it with Barbosa.

  12. FIRE BC!! FIRE DOUG SMITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. The problem isn’t BC. Blaming BC is like blaming the court jester instead of the King when the food at the festival is rancid.

    The problem is at the top, unless you are a shareholder and then there is no problem at all.

    • Colangelo is the one making the decisions. The board isn’t telling him what to do.

      • You don’t think there’s the slightest chance the MLSE board is instructing Colangelo to make the playoffs next year, at any cost?

        • Sure, there’s a possibility. But Colangelo already bolted from one owner who he felt was too meddlesome. I don’t think he’d think twice doing it again.

          The thing is that the Raptors are doing quite well financially, so Colangelo is probably being given a long leash. If the team were losing money, I can see them saying something, but they aren’t.

  14. Well, Dragic is off the market, signs with the Suns (4-years $34 million) and it sounds like Lin is about to sign an offer sheet with the Rockets so he’ll be back in New York.

    Ramon Sessions/Raymond Felton anyone?

    • Are you serious? What would you be willing to pay for either of those guys? Felton had one good year with D’Antoni, and Sessions is a career back-up who hardly impressed as a Laker. I really find it hard to believe that they’d sign a contract with us that we wouldn’t hate.

      • I think that’s what PBI is pointing out.

        I get a feeling of dread whenever I think of BC with capspace.

  15. When BC took over, he had a playoff team plus the #1 pick in the draft. Since then, we have passed on players like Danny Granger (took Joey Graham) and Roy Hibbert (traded for O’Neil). He took on has beens like O’Neil, Marion, Turk; snowballing from one bad move to the next. The Terrence Ross pick questionable. The Landry Fields move, unfathomable. Time to fire BC before the Raps can’t compete against D League teams.

    • Ive already said that I’d like to see Colangelo replaced, but you’re wrong with some of your information.

      Colangelo took over a team that had missed the playoffs four years in a row.

      It was Babcock who passed over Granger, not Colangelo.

      And the Roy Hibbert thing is way over-questioned. It was a mid-first round pick and, quite frankly, Hibbert isn’t nearly as good a player as some Raptor fans are saying. My guess is the worst signing this summer with be Hibbert’s max contract.

      No one knows HOW the Terrence Ross pick or Fields’ signing is going to turn out. I actually like Ross and think he’ll end u being one of the top ten players drafted, but I thought he should have moved up.

      I wasn’t a big fan of the Fields’ signing, but to call it unfathomable is a massive overreaction. I think he’s a good role player who will help the team.

      Again, I have no problem with you saying you want Colangelo gone, but he hasn’t been THAT bad.

  16. 1) Captain Canada??? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    His heart really beats for his beloved country!!!!! Ha ha ha ha!
    And, two days ago, people here were ready to find excuses for him going to NYC for less money, forgetting the national flag (his family is there, and bla bla bla bla)!
    And now he goes to LA?!? Ha ha ha ha ha! Does he have another family there?
    How much you guys like to be joked around? And you all keep putting the blame on Colangelo just because Captain Canada didn’t give a damn of you all??? Ridiculous!!!
    Do you know that famous ancient fable on the fox and the grape?
    ———————————————————
    2) For your information
    - Landry Fields is another two guard – as he always played in NYC – not a small forward. A solid player and contributor, anyway. Not a clown like Carmelo, Amare, or JR Smith.
    - As of Kyle Lowry, it’s not him having a problem in Houston with Kevin McHale. The matter is: HE IS the problem/cancer in that locker room, and the same it would be in Toronto.

    • Why did Nash have to sign with the Raptors? I don’t understand the hate towards Nash. He’s not from Toronto, has never played for the Raptors, and never suggested they were a favourite to sign with. Yet now people want to bash him for signing with a team he actually has a chance to win with?

      Petty much?

  17. Let’s remember we have two capable point guards already under contract. Nash coming to TO would have been amazing. He makes everyone around him better. Now that he is not I would think BC either focuses his attention on getting Kyle Lowry or maybe trying to trade for a SF. I dont know how people can blame BC for Nash not signing here. He offered the most money and in the end it didnt happen. Move on

  18. I am glad I gave up my season tickets.

    The End.

  19. Upset??? I’m SOOOOO happy we didn’t get Nash. I’m sorry 36 Million for a 38 year old with a bad back no thank you. If Nash was 30 then a differant story. Lets all remember Hakeem enough said. Why Waste money on a retiring player and why not put it to a young up coming or young star now.
    Lowry is a great option i would love to see him in Toronto.

  20. So… Houston bidding for Lin. S&T’d Bayless for Lowry anyone? Or do you think Houston would prefer to match the Dragic offer Phoenix made?

    Pretty sure Lowry won’t want to be a backup to Lin, and that Bayless hasn’t quite earned starter minutes yet.

    Seems to make the most sense for both teams.

  21. Clown GM bro…

  22. Major blow, all rosy from here considering the emotional crash that many Raptors fans are going through right now.

    I like the young guys on the team, Lowry might be heading over, still building properly.

    Raps will be full of assets, whether BC stays or goes.

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