Jamaal Magloire Makes Sense For Toronto Raptors

By Dan Levine

Nothing will be official until at least Friday, but all reports indicate that 33-year old Jamaal Magloire will sign a one-year deal with the rebuilding Toronto Raptors.

The details for now (CBC Sports) on the Raptors’ first Canadian player:

“Contracts cannot be signed until Friday, but reports indicate the former all-star agreed to a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum of slightly more than $1 million US.

He will provide relief off the bench for Toronto’s frontcourt trio of Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson.

Magloire played 18 games for the Miami Heat last season, averaging 1.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 8.8 minutes.

He is a career 48.1 per cent shooter, having averaged 7.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 22.1 minutes in 646 games over 11 NBA seasons with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Heat.”

More than anything, this move signals that Bryan Colangelo may actually resist the greater temptations of free agency, understanding that 2011/12 will not be Toronto’s year. Jonas Valanciunas is stuck in Europe, and there is little sense in striving for mediocrity.

It’s supported by Colangelo’s statements from earlier this week (Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun):

“To say that we’re going to race out and sign somebody to a significant contract is probably not the case, unless it’s a one-year deal. We have contemplated a few of those scenarios, or acquiring a player in a trade with a one-year scenario.”

“We’re laying the foundation for what’s next. When Chris Bosh decided to leave, we decided to go in a different direction and that’s where we’ve found ourselves,” Colangelo said. “You are competitive, you do want to win every game, but the reality of it is, this year, it isn’t in the cards. We’re going to do everything we can to fight and if we somehow get to the playoffs, that will be a great story and we’ll all be talking about it.”

Nobody wants to “tank,” but I’ll be fine with the decision to stay away from long-term deals to players who won’t ultimately be part of the “finished product” – at least in Colangelo’s vision. Why aim for someone like Shane Battier, who will add some wins, but not nearly enough? Or Tyson Chandler, who would decline just as the young players mature?

On the other hand, one-year deals to players like Magloire work for me. Forget the PR angle that comes with being Canadian – perhaps he’ll help new coach Dwane Casey improve the work ethic and defensive intensity of this squad. If not, no harm done.

Where do you stand on signings like this, and on the direction of the Raptors right now?

And what does this mean for Solomon Alabi’s development?

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