Excuse me for being so blunt and direct and not buttering you up with some clever catchphrase that’s almost lost in a brilliant metaphor. I’m so sorry. But this is just too weird.
“Hopefully I get to play with him one day in the NBA and hopefully it’s here in Toronto,” Vasquez said Monday on TSN Drive with Dave Naylor (via TSN 1050 Toronto’s Josh Lewenberg).
Is that even legal? Like, that has to be tampering, doesn’t it? And if it’s not, what he said later must be.
This time speaking on TSN 1050 with Bryan Hayes, Vasquez, unprompted, brought up Durant again. Scroll to the 9:20 mark here to his comments. Special thanks to Eye on Basketball’s James Herbert for bringing this to our attention, along with the transcription:
Hayes: “It was announced ‘Raptors Day’ on Monday here in Toronto, and you guys just got to the first round. What do you think the city would be like if you ever won a title here?”
Vasquez: “Well, imagine if we get KD, Kevin Durant, 2016.”
Hayes: “That’s your guy, too, right?”
Vasquez: “And he’ll lead us to a championship.”
Hayes: “Are you calling your shot right now, Kevin Durant coming to Toronto?”
Vasquez: “I think he’ll have statues right outside the ACC.”
Hayes: “And where’s your statue going to be?”
Vasquez: “It’s OK. It could be back in the locker room, it could be in Venezuela. As long as I win a championship with KD, that’ll be an amazing feeling. So hopefully that happens.”
What the hell?
Durant and Vasquez played high school ball together and the temptation to dream is always there. But now? Durant’s Thunder are still in the playoffs. The Raptors have DeMar DeRozan. Kyle Lowry is a free agent. This is what Vasquez has on his brain? Free-agent recruiting two years in advance?
I’m (almost) lost for words. The Durantula is beyond unlikely to sign with the Raptors in 2016. Sure, they’re on the up and up. Yes, they’ll have cap space. But they still aren’t the Thunder. Or the Lakers. Or the Nets. Or the Wizards. Each of those teams should have cap space in 2016 too, and each of them have a better chance of prying Durant out of Oklahoma City than Toronto.
No disrespect intended, of course. Toronto is great. Incredible. The fans there—oh my God. But the Raptors still have a long way to go before they’re staging free-agency coups headlined by Durant. Maybe I’m wrong. Who knows? We sure don’t.
More importantly, why are we even talking about this? Please tell me y’all can appreciate the ridiculousness of this situation. Vasquez won’t stop chirping about Durant two years before he’s even a realistic target. And he’s doing so for a team he might not even be playing for.
Vasquez is a restricted free agent this summer. If he receives an offer that blows him away, it’s unlikely the Raptors match. They’re going to have to pay somewhere in the ball park of $10 million annually to keep Lowry.
Maybe, just maybe, Vasquez should get his own free-agent business in order before selling Durant on a team he may no longer call his own by 2016.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com.