Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan - teammates soon?

The madness continues. According to Hoopsworld, the Raptors will trade Jose Calderon to the Charlotte Bobcats for Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler.

Yesterday the Raptors shipped off Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix and got Leandro Barbosa in return and have a deal that’s likely to drop today which will return Boris Diaw for Jose Calderon and Tyson CHandler for the trade exception the team obtained from Miami in the Bosh sign-and-trade deal.

After the euphoric joy I experienced yesterday, there is some more news to share. This time it won’t be considered great news by all, because we would be receiving Boris Diaw in return, a man who makes $9M over the next two seasons and plays the same position as Ed Davis and Amir Johnson, two guys we’ve promised playing time to. For an analysis of Diaw’s potential impact on the Raptors, you may consult the post and comments from early this morning. Having said that, the deal has some very nice advantages for the Raptors and overall, a good move.

The exit of Jose Calderon and acquisition of Tyson Chandler is a massive salary dump. Chandler has one year left on a deal that pays him $12.75M, and Calderon has a deal that sees him make $9.4M over the next three years. If this trade goes through, the Raptors would save an additional $12.75 million next summer. It’s hard to imagine Chandler playing any sort of significant role with the Raptors since we already have Bargnani and a plethora of PFs, so there’s even an outside chance that the Raptors might just waive him to free up a roster spot. It is unlikely though because Colangelo is as much about rebuilding as he is about pseudo-contending. This deal would use up almost the entire TPE acquired using the Bosh trade.

Many in the Republic rightfully feel that the exit of Hedo Turkoglu has paved way for Jose Calderon to be a significant part of the team, and seeing him traded might make you fuzzy, sad and even bring out a little tear. I can see that and won’t judge you if that happens, because with the acquisition of Barbosa, Jack’s role is slightly marginalized since they have similar games. It would make sense to retain Calderon and trade Jack, but then again Colangelo appears to be in salary-dumping mode and Jack makes about $4M less than Calderon.

Let’s look at the Raptors depth chart if both trades go through:

Chandler-Bargnani
Johnson-Davis-Evans
Diaw-Kleiza
DeRozan-Weems-Belinelli
Jack-Barbosa-Banks

On paper at least, this is a team with a good blend of youth and a nice touch of big expiring contracts ($22M in total). Defensively, we’re solid up front with some great athleticism in the backcourt. What we’re missing is a true PG that could facilitate things and serve as a catalyst. Barbosa hasn’t yet proven to be a starting caliber PG capable of running a team, he’s more a change-of-pace guy than a distributor. Colangelo’s next move must be making a play for Darren Collison, or another true PG who can use his speed, quickness at the point of attack and distributing ability to put it all together.

Colangelo’s once again showing some variety and sophistication in his early summer moves, but man, does it ever look like he’s using his PS3 to come up with this stuff. His Phoenix roots are also showing again, he already got his hands on Marion and Voskuhl, and now he’s about to nab Barbosa and Diaw. He’s searching for answers by looking at his past more than anything, and it’s also concerning that the best days of both Barbosa and Diaw are behind them. Still, these Colangelo trades are looking good because the mistakes that they’re trying to erase were so great. As already alluded to, the silver-lining in all of this is the potential for a big salary-dump next summer.

==============================================================================

Note that as of 12noon on July 13, this deal is now dead.