A little bit of action, or maybe we should say transaction, went down Thursday as the Toronto Raptors bought out Peja Stojakovic.
For those of you that had your bogus meter on high about his injury, you were right.
There were always questions and whispers, but in these eyes, when you never know a players’ pain threshold, or how they feel, you just have to take their word for it.
As for Stojakovic’s time in Toronto, it was a two-sided affair in that it was another case of a veteran player not wanting to be in Toronto at the end of his career to be part of a young team’s rebuilding phase.
The difference between him and Alonzo Mourning is two games in uniform.
There’s one side that says at least he was professional, showed up and kept his mouth shut. Then there’s the other side that says, he totally duped the fans for never wanting to be here.
Was it a good idea to trade for his expiring contract? Yes, but when nobody wanted to take it on in a deal and he decided he wanted to play for a Western contender, a buyout occured. In the big picture for Toronto it’s about developing young players and having cap flexibility when the new CBA is finally put in place.
But there are some that say the organization should not have done it because of the fallout and perception that it continues to perpetuate about Toronto around the league. The bottom line: it’s a case of Stojakovic wanting to win at this point in his career and it wasn’t happening in Toronto. In fairness, the organization probably wasn’t going to play him ahead of the young guys, but he could have had an impact in mentoring some of them before he left for a better situation.
I don’t like the way it happened because it propagates stereotypes about Toronto for the uneducated and misinformed. In truth, it’s more about winning, or not winning in this case as opposed to living in the actual city.
It sounds like a trade is imminent as well to help facilitate a roster spot for Stojakovic in Dallas, but at this point there is nothing official.
My broadcast partner Eric Smith and I weighed in on the move.
What happened in Toronto Thursday is minor compared to the ‘Melo drama playing out between New Jersey and Denver.
It sounds like Nets owner Mikhail Prokorov, is taking a pass for now when it comes to dealing for the star forward.
As of now, the situation is living up to the old adage that “rumoured trades don’t always happen and trades that happen aren’t always rumoured.”
But with the NBA trade deadline approaching on Feb.24th, stay tuned.
And with the spectre of a lockout looming, it looks the two sides will at least agree to talk during the all-star weekend.
But don’t expect much to come out of the discussion. Except more entrenched stances on each sides’ demands.