It’s actually not the first time Kevin Durant has talked about his childhood love for the Raptors, but Durant admitted on a pretty big public scale today (the Dan Patrick Show) that he “wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors” as a kid for a couple of reasons, namely their unique jerseys and Vince Carter’s Vinsanity.
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Posted by Joseph Casciaro under Uncategorized on Jan 17, 2013
With the Raptors closing out the 2012 calendar year with seven wins in eight games, fans are letting excitement and renewed hope creep back in, perhaps more so than you’d expect for an 11-20 squad that hasn’t beaten any real good teams in that stretch.
But considering where the Raptors were just a couple of weeks ago and where the bar was set for this season (most fans simply hoped for a team that could potentially sneak into the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed), basketball fans in Toronto may have legitimate cause for that aforementioned excitement.
One of the constant themes through a frustrating 12-game start to the season so far has been the lack of respect the Raptors have received from the officials. The numbers alone are indicative, as the Raps sit 13th in the NBA with 23.8 free throw attempts per game, allow the third-most free throws against at 27.8 and sit fourth from the bottom with a -4 free throws attempted differential.
But those numbers alone don’t tell the whole story.
The firing of Mike Brown in Laker Land today got me thinking about the premature panicking coming from Raptors fans right now, or at least from a lot of the Raps fans on my twitter timeline.
Obviously in Toronto, Dwane Casey’s job isn’t on the line, and a 1-4 start for a team expected to finish either just in or just out of the playoffs is a lot different than a 1-4 start for a team with championship or bust expectations, but from what I can gather, panic is slowly creeping in here.
With the NBA trade deadline now just 10 days away and some big names reportedly on the market, you can expect quite the bevy of rumours and “reports” between now and the 15th. Given that the Raptors are supposed to be in full rebuilding mode or just “building” mode, as Bryan Colangelo would say, you would expect that any rumours involving Canada’s lone NBA team would reveal them as heavy sellers at the deadline.
It’s quite surprising then, and might I add perplexing, that the Raptors are reportedly one of the teams interested in trading for Trail Blazers guard and NBA journeyman Jamal Crawford, according to Hoops World. While the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year does have a very fair, if not valuable, contract at just $5 million this season and still averages nearly 15 points per game in Portland, Crawford will be 32 later this month, and the same report states that the Blazers are “concerned” Crawford will not exercise his $5 million player option for next season and will instead opt for free agency.
If the Raptors were planning on trading Leandro Barbosa before next Thursday’s deadline or anticipate losing him one way or another at the end of this season and Crawford was locked in at $5 million next season, I’d support this rumour. But given that Crawford is expected to go the free agent route and that his age doesn’t really fit with Toronto’s current rebuild, I would be against such a move. Plus, if the Raptors traded for Crawford, what would they have to give up to bring him in?
If they’re going to trade for and then sign Jamal Crawford, I’d much rather they just hold on to Barbosa. Hopefully this rumour is nothing more than a team, agent or player rep adding unwarranted teams to a list to drive up their client’s price, and nothing more than that.