Yesterday, I attended what appeared to be a 'first year season seat holders' event at REAL SPORTS ..
I have another pair that I've had for 4 seasons no that didn't get an invitiation to this event but the pair I bought at the end of last year did. This leads me to believe that there will, in all likelihood, be another event for those that have been with MLSE/RAPTORS longer.
Anyhow, as per usual I try to MAXIMIZE my time with BC and any of the BRASS when I can. Richard Peddie was in the house but honestly I feel it's no use talking to the guy. He DOESN'T REALLY know sports enough to carry a conversation that'll merit some sort of 'basketball' insight.
Anyhow, no one special really..
~ spoke to a few reps there who are all on the same page of understanding the team needs time and wish something would give soon...
~ Klezia came for literally 5 minutes and left..no autographs or pictures... odd
~ in walks BC, and my moment to get some q's answered
~ After watching hopeless and annoying ppl rushing him and taking pictures and 'thanking him???' i decide to slip my way in
~ Qs... What's up with the PEJA deal? he's an UFA at the end of the year, I'dve thought you'd definitely pull a 1st (or 2nd at worst case) rounder and a 'rent-a-player outta that mix.. maybe a BIG?
~ BC...we tried. I had some deep conversations with GM's around the league about acquiring Peja and what we'd potentially get in return. Reality is there are about 15-20 players that have large (7-15 mill) expiring contracts. The GMS are all doing/thinking the same thing... how do I unload this contract into a useful (expiring) one and or picks or talent...
~ says he had trades lined up and wanted to pull them right then and there; GM's were'nt ready
~ told them he wants it now and not later (trade deadline)
~ Asked them, IF TODAY was the deadline, would you pull the trade(s)? All said no.. and that was that
~ VERY happy with the move as Ajinca is/was a 20th overall pick; liked his game but didn't get to draft him
~ got his 2nd rounder back; feels as if he got a 1st (Ajinca) and a 2nd for Peja .. happy with it
~ Says the decision came when he had a guy who was pretty much ready to play just taking up 'air' in the training facilites
~ didn't want the other players to see that and ultimately knew he had to move him
~ wants to keep the youth development going and Peja, obv wasn't going to be a part of that
~ Ajinca will be in town tomorrow/today and ready to practice for Wednesdays game
~Q If it was all in your control, would you prefer the team tanks and gets a solid draft pick, or make the playoffs?
~ BC ... I'd never ever tell my guys to lose games on purpose or 'dont worry about winning'.
~ our guys are young and energetic and we have a good core that we can add pieces too
~ with the east being what it is, anything can happen and we continue to tell our guys that ... hard work could merit reward
~ Ed Davis is a SOLID player and will be
~ Raved about how well Amir Johsons playing (* he's good, but i still think BC overpaid)
~ Loves Demar and his growth and future
~ says it's VERY HARD to gauge what they have with all the injuries; says he's never seen something like this happen
~ Barbosa about 1 week away from returning
~ Reggie 1-2 weeks
~ Kleiza day to day
~ Told me Jose wasn't going to play
~ said he literally had to call Sundiata Gaines today and tell him not to leave the city as they need him
~ Said he's signed a D-league guy, forgot his name and may need to cut Gaines' 10 day short bc of it
~ Q ...Toughness, we obviously LACK it. How is toughness built? By Coaches or Players?
~ BC... It comes from the guys that you have as a unit.
~ last year, we got toughness and it broke his foot
~ This year, my guy is leading the league in rebounds and things are looking good and he goes down again
~ Wishes Reggie would've been around last year bc he brings character ON the court, OFF the court, and CHALLENGES Guys.. this year, even tho he's hurt he's still in guys faces and getting guys to work
~ says he has a bit of a situation as the TPE and Reggie's contract are good 'pieces' that are out there
~ Q ... WHAT about MONEY WEEMS? He's a free agent this year... do you keep him and go with the potential that you know of? or, with 2 1st rounders do you try to get even younger via the draft
~ BC ... Sonny's a RFA so right there, we're in a good situation. I'm not allowed to comment on this but b/c of the pending CBA, who knows what'll happen and what the going rate for Sonny's services will be
~ We've also got a hard working young man in Julian Wright who's turning some heads
~ * He didn't seem so impressed by Sonny, mentioning that we'll look at what he's getting and if we think he's worth that much. Also said, Sonny's got to stop looking to score all the time, he's built that mentality.
That's all I can remember for now, nothing too special but good insight nontheless...
..till next time..
Follow me on twitter @burhanehsan and @raptorfandotcom