With all due respect to some of my friends and colleagues here at the Republic: The Raptors easily win the Marion deal and now find themselves only a couple dollars away from being REBUILT.
Now, I’d love to suggest that more deals are coming and that Nash and Amare are just around the corner, but I think Colangelo may be done. In fact, he should be. Bryan, if you can hear me (and I know you read my posts religiously) stop now while you’re ahead (unless of course you can get a veteran big like Joe Smith for nothing). Now, I know, that I have written 8 months of posts hammering you to make more moves, but this time, I think, that you may have actually got it right – and all that stands between you and the second round of the playoffs is money…so spend it wisely!
Marion, even if he is half the player he was in Phoenix (which is kind of like what he was in Miami) he will improve this team ten fold. Everyone has already hammered out the positives and negatives of this trade but here is all you really need to know:
- O’Neal was a good player but wasn’t helping this team win.
- Without touching your starting rotation you were able to turn a backup center into a starting SF and a backup PG, thus filling the two biggest holes in this team’s line up.
- If Banks can give this team 10 minutes a night of turnover free ball (and if Roko can do the same) Jose can go back to playing 30 strong minutes a night.
- This team now sports a legitimate NBA starting line up of Calderon, Parker, Marion, Bosh and Bargnani. Respectable in all regards.
- With Kapono back to occupying the sixth man role he plays well, Graham as the seventh man, and Roko and Banks sharing the backup guard duties, this team can be happy with guys like Humphries and Voskuhl as its reserve bigs.
- While I’m not the biggest fan of Delfino, if you sign him to a reasonable contract with some of the cash we’ve saved the bench is all of a sudden not so thin. Remember, he’s barely getting paid in Russia and we hold his rights.
Here is where the money thing comes into play. Pick your year, 2009 or 2010, either way the Raptors are now a legitimate NBA coach away from making a run in the East.
2009 – Game plan
- Fire Triano today and spend the 3 million you got in the Miami deal to bring in (in order of personal preference) Hubie Brown, Eddie Jordan, Jeff Van Gundy, Avery Johnson or Flip Saunders. Not only does the 6th to 8th spot become a realistic target for this team, but a first round upset against one of the East’s big 3 is also possible (before you call me out on this note that it’ll be the topic of my next article).
2010 – Game plan
- Wait until the offseason, bring in one of the big coaches.
- Resign all your own guys (including Marion and Delfino).
- Sign David Lee to an offer sheet (since he is a restricted FA and the Knicks don’t want to spend any cash before 2010) for the 10 million of cap space you will have and hope the Knicks don’t match.
- Sign a serviceable veteran like Joe Smith to the MLE.
- Buy a draft pick and package it with your own lottery pick to move up in this year’s draft and get your hands on a guy like Jennings or Rubio.
- …and BAM! You are back and ready to go.
As always, standing in the key, I’m the Dr. I’ve got my feet planted, and I’m planning on taking a charge!