Posted on: January 21, 2009 11:12 am

2009 Free Agent Class - Overlooked and Forgotten?

I know we are all focused on 2010 when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh become free agents and the rumours that are swirling around with that, but what about next years class? looking over the list i see a lot of pieces that many teams would love to have, so, the question is do you think this season's batch of free agents will be pretty much ignored or will there be a flurry of trades and deals to secure some of these guys before 2010 which, in my opinion, is really a three team race right now.

Here is the list

Hawks -Josh Childress, Solomon Jones, Marvin Williams
Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia



Celtics - Glen Davis, Leon Powe
Eddie House (P)


Bobcats - Shannon Brown, Jermareo Davidson, Raymond Felton, Ryan Hollins, Sean May



Aaron Gray,Drew Gooden



Cavaliers - Lance Allred, Tarence Kinsey
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (ETO), Damon Jones, Joe Smith, Eric Snow, Wally Szczerbiak, Billy Thomas, Anderson Varejao (P)

Mavericks - Brandon Bass, Gerald Green, Eddie Jones, Jason Kidd, Keith McLeod, James Singleton



Nuggets -Linas Kleiza
Chris Andersen, Anthony Carter, Steven Hunter (ETO), Allen Iverson, Dahntay Jones


Pistons - Will Bynum (T), Jason Maxiell, Check Samb
Kwame Brown (P), Richard Hamilton (ETO), Rasheed Wallace



Warriors - C.J. Watson
Al Harrington (P)


Rockets - Mike Harris, Luther Head
Ron Artest, Ron Francis



Pacers - Danny Granger, Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts
Maceo Baston, Marquis Daniels (T), Travis Diener (P), Jeff Foster, Stephen Graham, Rasho Nesterovic


Clippers - Ricky Davis (P), Steve Novak, Brian Skinner
Jason Hart



Lakers - Coby Karl
Trevor Ariza, Kobe Bryant (ETO), Chris Mihm, Lamar Odom


Grizzlies - Juan Carlos Navarro, Hakim Warrick
Antoine Walker (ETO)



Heat - Stephane Lasme, Joel Anthony
Mark Blount (ETO), Shawn Marion


Bucks - Ramon Sessions, Charlie Villanueva
Malik Allen (P), Tyronn Lue, Desmond Mason



Timberwolves - Rashad McCants
Calvin Booth, Jason Collins


Nets - Nenad Krstic
Trenton Hassell (ETO), Jarvis Hayes (T), Stromile Swift



Hornets - Melvin Ely, Mike James (P)



Knicks - David Lee, Nate Robinson
Jamal Crawford (ETO), Eddy Curry (ETO), Jerome James (P), Stephon Marbury, Quentin Richardson (ETO), Malik Rose


Thunder - Johan Petro
Adrian Griffin, Chris Wilcox, Damien Wilkins (ETO), Donyell Marshall



Maqic - Marcin Gortat
Keith Bogans, Brian Cook (P), Adonal Foyle, Anthony Johnson (P), Hedo Turkoglu (ETO)


76ers - Royal Ivey (P), Andre Miller, Kareem Rush



Suns - D.J. Strawberry
Matt Barnes, Grant Hill



Trail Blazers - Ike Diogu, Channing Frye, Martell Webster
Raef LaFrentz



Kings - Bobby Brown (P), Francisco Garcia
Shareef Abdur-Rahim (ETO), Bobby Jackson



Spurs - Ime Udoko, Jacque Vaughn



Raptors - Carlos Delfino, Joey Graham, Jamario Moon, Will Solomon
Jermaine O'Neal (P), Anthony Parker



Jazz - Paul Millsap, Kyrylo Fesenko (T)
Carlos Boozer (P), Jarron Collins, Brevin Knight, Kyle Korver (ETO), Mehmet Okur (ETO), Ronnie Price



Wizards - Etan Thomas (ETO)

Posted on: November 27, 2008 10:28 am

Raptors - Bobcats - a game review

We can overlook the fact that the Bobcats took us down to the final minute with no Jason Richardson. We can overlook the fact that Gerald Wallace seemed to be unstoppable for the first half of the game. We can even overlook the fact that Emeka Okafor seemed to be able to get any offensive board he wanted and kept the game close pretty much by himself in the fourth quarter.

What we can’t overlook is the fantastic game Chris Bosh played with 39 points and 11 rebounds and 1 steal and 2 blocked shots for his 8th double double of the season. We can’t overlook Andrea Bargnani who played alright on offense though he did have an off night with only 11 points, but with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, he played a defense that Sam would love to see every night getting in guys faces and causing the Bobcats fits with his arms in the passing lane all night long. We can’t overlook the much maligned Joey Graham and his 17 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench and his much needed energy boost on defense as he pretty much shut Gerald Wallace down in the second half holding him to 6 points in the half. We can’t overlook the solid play of Roko Ukic off the bench in relief of a still hurting Jose Calderon. In 7 minutes Roko gave us 2 points, 3 assists including a sweet behind the back to Bosh on a break and 1 rebound. The biggest thing for Roko was 0 turnovers! He was much more comfortable out there and seemed to be in a much better flow which bodes well for the Raptors down the road. Jose had a bit of an off night on offense, but he held his own defensively which is more than we could ask for as he scored 10 points and added 3 rebounds and 9 assists and 2 turnovers. He is currently 2nd in the league behind Chris Paul in assists per game!

A couple of thoughts that I was pondering last night after the game might provide some more things we can’t overlook, I know from my perspective last nights game offered a good window into this team and the chemistry it carries.

Will Solomon sat on the bench and I suspect his chance to prove himself could be on the downside. An NBA team should be able to control the ball and last night we had 8 turnovers in the first half but only 4 in the second. That kind of ball control allowed us to hold the Bobcats off down the stretch as they committed 14 turnovers. It may sound petty, but in a 6 point game, 2 turnovers could be as much as a 12 point swing either way. Until Solomon can get on the same page and control the ball, I see a lot more minutes for Roko.

Anthony Parker last night was unable to find a jump shot, but was able to grab 5 rebounds and 5 assists and 3 steals as he chased and harassed D.J. Augustin and Raymond Felton all night long. Some nights when his shot is off, he has tended to disappear. It was good to see him add some good support defense while his shot was missing.

Jamario Moon and Kris Humphries both had bad games, but the problem is, Kris will recover and does know what is expected from him when he is in the game. His shot was a bit forced last night as he felt the need to provide Bosh some help. He stuck his nose in the paint and just didn’t have the shots fall. 2 rebounds and a block give us some solid results in 16 minutes. Sure we would have loved 10 points and 5 rebounds, but on a night when no one seemed to be able to score, he was able to give some much needed rest to both Andrea and Chris with Jermaine O’Neal on the mend. Jamario is another issue altogether. Last night we have an example of how little he understands what he can provide this team. 3 points, 1 assist and 0 rebounds. He was guarding Wallace as he went off for 17 in the first half. Jamario needs to get back to his defense and his rebounding game as he has very little confidence on the offensive end at this point and putting Joey on the floor saved the game for the Raptors.

I think Jason Kapono’s season was displayed on the first possession of the second half when he got the ball with a clear shot and did his now famous pump-fake-travelling show and turnover. He needs to shoot the ball and again last night he couldn’t or wouldn’t.

On a night when Chris Bosh displays his heart and his will to win, this team took until the second half to respond and support him with Joey Graham leading the way. 22 assists is not bad, but ball movement was a bit of an issue last night as we stagnated a bit in the 3rd quarter again. Over all, a much needed win for the team and with the Hawks and the Lakers up next, we needed a boost and got it.

Posted on: November 25, 2008 2:55 pm

Raptors - Bobcats Game Preview

Wednesday night, the Bobcats come to the ACC bringing with them a record of 4 – 9 to the game. They are coming off a win over the 76ers following losses to the Magic, the Mavericks, the Hawks and the Bucks in the past 10 days. The Raptors are coming into the game reeling from to tough losses to start a 4 game home stand having lost to the Celtics and a heart-breaking loss to the Nets as Vince Carter carried the game for the visitors. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo lead the Champions who had 7 players in double digits in the game.

Sam Mitchell will look to the bench and see a hurting Jermaine O’Neal and a banged up Jose Calderon which has contributed to the sluggish play the last 2 games. The Bobcats are missing Jason Richardson who is their leading scorer in spite of missing 6 games. The Bobcats will start D.J. Augustine, Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafur, Alexis Ajinca, and Raymond Felton at point guard. The Raptors will counter with Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Jermaine O’Neal, Anthony Parker and Jose Calderon.

I look for the Raptors to carry the game to the Bobcats as both teams need a win at this point in the season. If Jermaine is unable to play, Kris Humprhies should provide an energy boost or they could put Andrea at the Post and give Jason Kapono some much needed minutes to raise his confidence level to a functional level. For the Raptors to win, we must control the ball, we must out play their front court at both ends of the floor and we must play with more intensity on defense and move the ball in transition to take advantage of our front court advantage on the glass.

Posted on: November 9, 2008 12:36 pm

Raptors - Bobcats game Preview!


Is it too early in the season to call this a MUST WIN game? At this point in the season, we have been embarrassed by teams who have figured out that we rely totally on the outside shot to win games. We don't rebound well if at all being dead last in rebounds per game at 34. We can't stop perimeter players from lighting us up – Tayshaun Prince with 27 and Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby with a combined 85 against the Pistons and the Hawks in our losses.

This team quickly needs to re-establish itself as a balanced team that can play perimeter defense or teams need only shut down our interior and send in all their offense from the wing! The Bobcats have 5 players averaging between 10 and 20 points per game. Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafur, Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustine. Though they average only 90 points per game, most of their scoring comes from the back court and the wings! Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon and Jose Calderon MUST play some defense or this will quickly become a very frustrating season. With Chris Bosh averaging 26 a game and Jermaine O'Neal averaging 11, our front court should be able to out-play the Bobcats. The question will be can Jamario, Andrea Bargnani or Jason Kapono step up and grab some rebounds! Until we commit to the glass, we will have a very hard time winning games in this league! Our defensive rotation the past 2 games has been awful! It is time to step up and shut down the slashing and box someone out!

When i watch the guys in time outs and on the bench, they seem to have become shell-shocked at what has happened the past 2 games. They have watched two very good teams eat them for lunch from the wing. We have seen our front - court struggle to score at times with inconsistent play from Andrea Bargnani and Jamario Moon, this team has been destroyed when the second line is on! Larry Brown is a good enough coach to not only recognize this, but exploit it as well! Can Sam find answers to these issues? He had better, and quickly. With the Celtics coming up and then the 76ers agains, the Magic and it won't get any easier as the season moves on! we are the WORST rebounding team in the league at 34 boards a game! we are consistently - 9 or -10 on the boards! This game will show us what these guys are made of as the issues are plain to see by anyone who has ever watched a basketball game! Ball control, attack the glass and play some tough defense both man up and as a team!

Let's hope these guys play the game we all know they have and Sam can convince them that they are a good team and to continue to play as a team! Especially on defense!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com