John Hammond Rumors
Q: Are you anticipating making any moves before the Feb. 18 trade deadline? John Hammond: This time of the year we’re doing our due diligence. We’re on the phone; we’re talking to the other teams. We’re making calls; we’re receiving calls. We’ll evaluate and as the trade deadline draws near, we’ll see if there’s something we can do that may help our team.
Q: Would you classify this as a rebuilding situation for the team or is it something else? Expectations were high after jumping from 15 victories to 41 last season under coach Jason Kidd. Now the team is 19-27 with 36 games remaining. John Hammond: Absolutely not. A rebuild is saying, ‘We don’t have players.’ We like the players we have. For that reason I say it’s not a rebuild, not even close to a rebuild. We took two major steps forward last year, going from a 15-win season to a 41-win season. Those were historic measures. Sometimes this happens. It happens in life, it happens in business, it happens in sports. Sometimes you take two major steps forward, you might take a step backward. Maybe the step backward might be healthy; maybe it’s the right thing for you. The most important thing is not to panic.
Q: What do you think center Greg Monroe has brought to the team after being signed in free agency last summer? John Hammond: I think Greg has done a great job for us. He’s a guy that has helped us so many games scoring the ball; he’s been an excellent rebounder for us night in and night out. I can’t imagine life without him on this team right now.
Q: Will Vasquez be back this season (following right ankle surgery) and in hindsight was it a gamble to give up a 2017 lottery protected first-round pick in the trade for him? John Hammond: There is no timetable. We’re hopeful that he can (return). I think he’s going to do everything that he can to get himself back on the floor. I think he wanted to play; he wanted to be on the floor. But at the end of the day he had to have the surgery. It’s a part of business. Look, he played 82 games last year, almost 2,000 minutes and was a great contributor for that Toronto organization. We thought he could play well for us.