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The Rich Get Richer

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 11/22/2010 9:43:23 AM

Imagine being only one of 2 NBA teams to have only one loss after at least 11 games and they get better.

Enter the New Orleans Hornets, who freed up some salary room, got a very serviceable point guard in Jarrett Jack to back up the irrepressible Chris Paul, added a young guard in Marcus Banks and also got 6/11 forward/center in David Anderson.

‘Orleans sent Arizona product Jerryd Bayless and Peja Stojakovic to Canada.

Bayless has not found his niche so far and struggled in Phoenix before coming to the Big Easy while Peja had fallen out of Monty Williams rotation and really has always been just a one-dimensional player.

Stojakovic leaves with a lot of baggage and he is in the final year of his contract that will pay him nearly $15 million this season and his stats have gone down ever since his second year in the league.

Chris Paul had to sign off on this deal and is an old friend of Jack’s since the days when they roamed the ACC together.

Jack was the starting point in Toronto, is very durable and he has been productive his entire career. He averaged 13 his first year in the league and 11 last year and played every game both seasons.

Banks will be a free agent next year so if he wants to keep eating the crawfish and gumbo on Bourbon Street he will have to produce big time to stay.

Color this a great insurance policy to help Paul so he doesn’t have to feel he has the weight of the world on him every single evening.

Okay, Peja has been in the league for 16 years and will be expendable so that money is freed up, but this is an instant gratification world.

The mood has to be all about gloom and doom in Toronto. They were on the wrong end of the now Miami soap opera last year when Chris Bosh just made up his mind he was leaving and nothing was going to stop him.

As of Sunday the Raptors were the 2nd worst team in the conference and went backward on paper. Obviously this is a move about the future for the Canadians but you have to be careful about stripping and rebuilding teams without losing the fan base.

The General Manager in Toronto is Brian Colangelo, whose father is a true pioneer of the league and heads up the International roster.

The fact is the Raptors attracted over 17,000 for the game on Sunday with the Celts, but 11 days earlier only had a little over 14,000 show.

And quotes like this from a guy that is running the team will not put people in the seats.

Colangelo: “Whether or not we win games is really not the true issue right now, it’s how much we’re growing as an organization, how much these young kids are coming along.”

All fine and dandy to try to re-tool, re-load and get better but hoops will always play second fiddle to the ice in Canada and when a sub-par product is introduced as a long-range goal, it can be extremely unsettling to the paying customers.



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