I had a chance to sit down (I always say that, but it's actually a sit down via the amazing world of cyberspace and electronic mail ((e-mail as they call it)) using a personal computing device) with famous Raptors blogger Ryan at Hoops Addict. You can view what I had to say about the Jazz here. Ryan responded to my questions below. He was a little bitter about my first question.
From a financial standpoint it's a huge score for the Raptors. The team currently markets Raptors TV across Canada and with the change in team colour from purple to red and Naismith silver sports fans across the country have bought into this idea of the Raptors being Canada's team hook, line, and sinker. While fans may not know the national anthem some players, such as Grant Hill, have gone on record as saying they prefer our anthem to yours. So, stick that in your ear...
2. Calderon. The guy is a stud. Will he be staying in Toronto long term? Does he win MIP? How has the TJ Ford situation changed the way this team plays?
There's no chance of him leaving as Bryan Colangelo will tell anyone who will listen that he'll match any offer for Calderon this summer. Besides, what's not to love? He's a throwback to when point guards played like John Stockton and were selfless. We're living in an era where players need to throw down dunks or lead the league in scoring to grab fans attention, yet Calderon is happy being among the league leaders in assists and takes pride in his high assist-to-turnover ration. Throw in the fact that few teams have money to throw at free agents and it's clear that Calderon will be with the team longterm. Ford, on the other hand, is a different story. The coaching staff and front office love Ford but it's become clear since his injury that he's been passed on the depth chart by Calderon so look for the team to deal Ford to a team for a rebounder (someone like Chris Wilcox from Seattle).
3. Honestly, where would the Raptors be if they were in the Western Conference. How grateful are you that they pay in the East?
They would be up a creek without a paddle. Seriously, the Nuggets are looking at winning over 50 games and missing the playoffs? I think there's a chance an Eastern Conference team could lose 50 games and make the playoffs.