The Steve Nash debacle (we don’t get Nash, we do get to overpay Fields) brings into sharp focus a huge problem for the Raptors’ brain trust. OK gang, when was the last time we lured a boss free agent to Toronto? Waiting…waiting… time’s up. Anyone who said Jarrett Jack needs to take a timeout on the stairs, and that guy in the back who said Hedu Turkoglu is hereby banished by imperial fiat. It hasn’t happened – and why not? The reason most often given is the failure of the Raptors to create a winning environment, one which will cause a player in the downslope of a storied but ring-less career to come to the ACC to fulfill his championship aspirations. And why haven’t we created a winning environment? Because no free agents come!
Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane then he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Joseph Heller – “Catch-22″
Any of you who’ve been around this star-crossed team a while know, we’ve been burned by those few players we’ve drafted who became stars. Mighty Mouse, T-Mac, some guy named Vin… Car… (a.k.a. Voldemort, He-who-cannot-be-named), and most recently CB4, all hit the free agency Yellow Brick Road. Did they do so because it’s chilly here in winter, or because they didn’t believe the organization would do everything humanly possible to win championships? I don’t know, but I lean towards the latter. We bottomed out when blase Lenny Wilkens was coaching the Raps; we were an easy out, and nobody cared. Sam and Jay did the best they could with the poor hands they were dealt. Now our bench boss is Dwane Casey, who has no interest in being the palsy-walsy manager of a country club, which gives me hope.
BC hasn’t drafted any stars so far, but no busts like Araujo either. Oddly our star-free lineup may work out best. A “Big 3″ makes an easy headline in Boston or Miami, but I’m a believer in depth. Give me a young squad with a 10-deep rotation that stays healthy, and we fans might have ourselves the best time in years. The only way the Raps can overcome Catch-22 is to win with the guys we draft, and hope that our Ugly Duckling organization begins to resemble a Swan. Then we might be able to cherry-pick the kind of free agent who will be the final piece in the championship puzzle.