Friday, June 20, 2008

Office Buzz

It's a pretty well known, completely embraced fact that every sports fan around these parts is in heaven twice a year – the spring and the fall. Seasons are ending, others just beginning ... For those who love the discussion and debate that surrounds sports just as much as the games themselves, generally the offseason rumour mill provides plenty of intrigue and excitement to carry them through the summer months.

This summer there may not be much better dialogue than what the NBA will provide, with a great deal of it seemingly focused squarely around the father and son GM tandem of the Colangelos.

Now that these NBA Finals have come to an end one thing is clear: Trades equal success! It's fair to say that neither the Celtics nor the Lakers would have made it as far without blockbuster trades. This doesn't mean that every team is about to mortgage their future, but with a significant increase in major trades this past season, it would not at all be surprising to see quite a few teams hoping to go the instant gratification route.

For those who are loyal to both the Toronto Raptors and enjoy plenty of offseason player movement, this year may be your lucky break! his from the New York Post could be considered a good sign of what may lie ahead for this Toronto franchise:

With the NBA Draft one week away, there's still a debate whether the Knicks will use the sixth pick or trade down… Sources have indicated Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, who picks 17th and is looking to move up, has been most active.

It's shaping up to be a busy summer for Bryan Colangelo. He has already made one move in buying out the unfortunately stubborn Jorge Garbajosa, and while he has yet to solve the point guard situation (Jose Calderon or T.J. Ford) there are hints at activity to come with a number of the expiring contracts at his disposal (one of the most coveted of options in the Association, or so it seems).

The other major basketball story revolves around the elder Jerry Colangelo as he tries to return USA Basketball back to their rightful place at the top of the basketball world.

The U.S. hasn't finished better than second in the past 3 international tournaments, including sixth at the 2002 Worlds. On Monday, the team that's intended to return the U.S. to the top will be announced. Colangelo has already made it clear this will not be as star-studded as some may think; he’s far more interested in putting together a compatible team with the ability to function as a whole, rather than just banking on a number of superstars to pull out a win. The quote below from Jerry Colangelo gives credence to this notion:

"We're going to stay true to what we said. It's not an all-star team. It's a team of different components."

While this week we have found out that Amare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups are out, and a whole slew of others are on board, early next week they have said they will finalize the Olympic Dream Team. The NBA Draft takes place later that week.

Imagine the NHL having its draft and naming the Canadian Olympic team at the same time.There’s truly no better time for speculation and debate.

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