Sam Smiths’ reporting that the Raptors are actively looking to package TJ Ford along with some expiring contracts in a trade that would also involve the Heat’s #2 pick. The report also states that Calderon will be the starting PG come next year and the Raptors are hoping a team can look past TJ Ford’s spinal injuries and take him on. This is also confirmed by the Oregonian which says Bryan Colangelo has put the “untouchable” label on Calderon. Its nothing that we couldn’t have already guessed but seeing this rumour so often and in so many different places, you would have to believe that something’s brewing.

Given the controversy and instability of last season the Raptors would be insane to start next season with both point guards and other teams know that. We have to trade TJ Ford and teams will bargain hard with Colangelo who will be forced to give up those valuable expiring contracts if he hopes to dump Ford. TJ Ford’s early-season injury has turned him from a commodity to a liability when it comes to trade value and nobody’s exactly banging on our door for him. It’s a little unfortunate that we’ll probably end up shipping out Rasho who’s massive salary comes off the books next summer. The whole TJ Ford to Miami speculation can be completely shattered if Chicago selects Michael Beasley leaving Derrick Rose open to join the PG-desperate Heat. More smoke here.

Then there are the Knicks who are looking for a point guard and if its not going to happen through the draft for them, they’re likely to be looking at the Raptors and Ford or towards Memphis for one of Mike Conley Jr. or Kyle Lowry. The Grizzlies are in a similar situation as the Raptors except one can argue that neither of their point guards are at the level of Ford and Calderon. Even the Grizzlies executives aren’t sure which one is better.

How much value do you put on expiring contracts? Are they overrated for us? If you look at the free agent list of next summer there aren’t exactly any great names you can go after. There’s Elton Brand but we already have a PF. The restricted rookie contracts that are up for bidding include Chris Paul and Deron Williams but they’re not coming to Toronto anytime soon. Then its the likes of Andrew Bynum and Andrew Bogut but after that it gets very thin. Its probably a better idea to acquire a proven solid player through a trade than to play Russian Roulette next summer and enter a bidding war that if you lose will break the eggs that are in your one basket. And if you believe some, playing in Toronto doesn’t help.

Reducing your salary is never a bad thing but in our case we’re doing it because we want to be able to pay Jose Calderon, Chris Bosh and hopefully Andrea Bargnani big money, not to target any juicy free agents. That’s not to say we can’t target second-tier players such as Corey Maggette or Josh Childress this summer, both of which can be had in the 7-9M range. It might even make more sense to trade our expiring contracts this summer to sign some key pieces and worry about the cap anew next summer. Just some thoughts.

A really weird story this one, China has stopped broadcasting NBA playoff games as they aren’t in the spirit and atmosphere of the country after the earthquake.

If Michael Jordan thinks you’re doing a good job as GM, is that a good thing?

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