Raptors Continue Spending Spree, Extend Bargnani
On the other, we tend to flip out when someone spends irresponsibly. There is a salary cap and a luxury tax, after all, and handing off a bazillion dollars to that small guard who has difficulty with creating his own shot and thinks he can tell you what his nickname should be when it should clearly be Iggy can draw our ire as well. Not that I'm naming names.
So it's kind of a sticky situation to begin with. Of course, the Raptors have just poured maple syrup over their particular situation in regards to Andrea Bargnani.
ESPN is reporting that the Raptors have a deal in place to extend the 23-year-old's time in Toronto for five years to the tune of $50 million. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
Now, there are much worse moves that the Raptors could have made with $50 million in available funds. Ask the Sacramento Kings how much they're paying Beno Udrih and Andres Nocioni this season ($13.5 million would be their answer ... well, either that or they'd vomit on their shoes). And Bargnani was a rare bright spot this season, bouncing back from a sorely disappointing sophomore campaign to show promise as a perimeter frontcourt player. Unfortunately, you couldn't describe his improvement as revolutionary, nor worthy of a premature, long-term, double-digit investment.
The reason for the move is obvious. Alongside the signing of Hedo Turkoglu, the Raptors are putting pieces in place to convince Chris Bosh to re-sign with them next summer in the 2010 Free Agency Summer of Doom. By putting a cohesive unit with star power, they're hoping to secure Bosh for the long haul. It's quite a gamble. If Hedo plays as well as he did this season, and if Bargnani progresses on track (and learns how to rebound every once in a while), and if Jose Calderon can remember the goal is to drive the offense, not drive the offense into a brick wall, then they're set.
But if the Raptors miss with this concoction, not only will they miss out on Bosh, but they will have locked themselves into lengthy, pricey contracts with one player who'll be swan-diving into his mid-thirties and another who hasn't proven he can be a reliable big man.
Still, while most teams are simply clearing room in the house for the expensive china cabinet they have their eye on for next summer, at least the Raptors seem to be aware of the dire circumstances surrounding what's necessary to keep their superstar in house.