The 12-39 Washington Wizards and the 17-35 Toronto Raptors face off for the fourth time this season, the Wizards winning two on their home court, one being their first win of the season and another going to overtime in early February, and the Raptors taking a Feb. 3 matchup in Canada (three days before the Wizards’ OT win). Per Michael Lee, both Trevor Booker and Nene will be out tonight, so the Wizards will have a true test — Toronto has started Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Linas Kleiza, Andrea Bargnani and Aaron Gray in the past two games and beat the Denver Nuggets, lost to the Miami Heat by 12. For tonight’s 3-on-3 we have Sam Holako (@RapsFan) of the ESPN TrueHoop blog Raptors Republic, along with TAI’s Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) and Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20). The Raptors are favored by seven points; Goodbye Sunday…
#1) I’m a big-time free agent in 2012 and it’s come down to D.C. or Toronto, both franchises are offering equal money. Which team do I choose and what most influences that?
DIAMOND: Neither team is exactly poised for near-term success. A few weeks ago, ESPN’s John Hollinger and Chad Ford issued their annual “future power rankings.” According to the forecast (via ESPN Insider), the Wiz are No. 22 in the league and the Raptors are No. 26. So if I’m looking at Toronto vs. Washington, it’s not because I care about winning now — I’m drawn by peripherals. And which city offers more TV exposure? Which one has a bigger (potential) fan base? Which one has less confusing tax rules? Gotta be DC.
HOLAKO: I’d have to say Toronto. Even though both teams are on a similar trajectory in terms of talent and cap space, the Raptors have a better core of young players to build a team around. John Wall is probably the best individual player on either team, but the Raptors seem more complete as currently constructed. Also, paying Nene $13.5 million-plus for 14 points and eight rebounds isn’t a good idea; that’s just me, though.