Misconception #1: Bargnani is a candidate to be traded
There is a better chance of the Raptors shipping out Chris Bosh than Andrea Bargnani. It sounds ridiculous but as of today its a true statement. The fact is that we don’t know what kind of player we have in Bargnani, I mean we know that he has issues rebounding and playing defense and scoring but we don’t know whether those things are permanent problems or whether they can be corrected. Colangelo doesn’t know that either and isn’t stupid enough to trade him when his value is at an all-time low. Next season will give Colangelo a clearer idea of what exactly he has in the the second best player to come out of Italy over the last three years and he’ll decide next summer whether Bargnani can be part of the Raptors nucleus for years to come. So until then, no Bargnani trade talk since its all pie in the sky type shit.
Misconception #2: Jose Calderon is far superior to TJ Ford
He’s not, he’s a better shooter and a better floor general when it comes to running a team built like the Raptors – aka full of players with European background that can’t create their own shot and lack athleticism. If TJ Ford plays the entire year the way he did before he went down against Atlanta, we’re all talking about sign-and-trading Calderon to the Clippers right now. Unfortunately for him he got hurt and in his return he didn’t display enough professionalism and common sense to be considered a leader. His demeanor on the court requires some thick skin from his teammates and I’m not sure if the Raptors are the bunch that can tolerate stare-downs and shrugs after a missed layup or a turnover. Jose Calderon is the better point guard for the Raptors but TJ Ford is at least on par if not better than him when it comes to skills and ceiling. He’s also 2 years younger.
Misconception #3: We can get a player at #17 that can help us next year
CDR will not be available at #17, the NCAA tournament rocketed his stock just out of the reach of the Raptors. It doesn’t even matter though, the Raptors don’t need another young guy that will get buried under Sam Mitchell’s insane substitution pattern and thereby struggle because of unpredictable and inconsistent playing time. We need a true rebounder and a true scorer, neither one of them can be found in the draft, at least not ones that are good enough to help the team now. Our best option is to package the pick along with TJ Ford for something that can help us and lift the pressure off of Bosh.
Misconception #4: Our priority is finding a second scorer
Its not, its rebounding and defense. Having a Rashard Lewis type player on the Raptors would help things out but not having a second scorer isn’t the reason we finished 41-41 – it was rebounding and perimeter defense that did us in. You don’t believe me? Go look at the box score for 35 out of our 41 losses and tell me if not having enough scoring is what killed us. All year long teams killed us on the boards and second chance points, if we just sure up our rebounding and go from 28th in the league to say 10th in the league, you’ll see our win total rise significantly. So as much as we’d like a sexy scorer in here it would be more prudent for Colangelo to address our rebounding needs. The last thing we want is to go into next season with Jamario Moon being our second-best rebounder.
Misconception #5: We have a chance at the #2 pick.
Pat Riley is not going to flinch at anything the Raptors offer save Jose Calderon, the #17 pick and then some. The “then some” part is the one the Raptors a) don’t have or b) are not willing to give up. I don’t blame either GM for not doing this deal, what the hell would we do with the #2 pick anyway? Our people don’t even scout the NCAA thoroughly and couldn’t tell you who’s the better fit for our team – Rose or Beasley. I wouldn’t mind picking Rose and trading both of Jose/TJ out of town and acquiring Maggette in the process. The problem with this is that it depends on what Chicago does, if they end up picking Rose with us having the #2 pick, its all for donkey nuts. Oh my God, I just proposed 4 different trades/signings in this paragraph.