Rapcast #86: Talking Phoenix East + Andersen trade motivation

First, we try to understand the motivation behind trading for David Andersen. Then we talk to Valley of The Suns and see if Barbosa is still any good and how to become Phoenix East.

David Andersen. The deal is a $2.5M salary dump for Houston, but what does it get the Raptors? Acquiring Andersen for a bench role is plausible but it’s hard to imagine why he’d get minutes ahead of Alabi, a player highly touted by the Raptors.

The deal is made possible by the TPE we received in the Turkoglu-Barbosa trade, and since we also received cash, it’s very likely that a good chunk of his salary is being paid by the Rockets. The pick we shipped off is the one we received in the Hassan “LOL” Adams deal. On paper, we added a backup center who isn’t/shouldn’t be used on a team looking to develop their bigs. Colangelo’s taking the humanistic angle on things:

David is a skilled big that gives us some insurance at the backup centre position. He will also bring a veteran presence and savvy to a relatively young team.”

The skeptic in me says this is much like adding Primoz Brezec without the entertainment value. Unless Alabi is a flop and is sent to the D-League, Andersen’s destined to be the 2010-11 Patrick O’Bryant. And since backup center is an actual need, I’d rather Alabi get in there and get baptized by fire instead of going through the D-League song and dance like Jawai.

A sure positive of adding Andersen is his contract; the Raptors now have $14.71M in expiring contracts – Banks, Evans, Belinelli and Andersen. We’re now in a position to take back a high salary player while providing cap relief for our trading partner. Since we already have a large TPE at our disposal (from the Bosh trade), we have the flexibility of pulling a trade by either providing immediate cap relief or simply absorbing a contract. I’d like to think that Andersen isn’t here to play and that this trade smells of something bigger, but I’m probably wrong.

This is also another foreign/Euroleague-background acquisition: Printezis, Brezec, Garbajosa, Parker, Nesterovic (twice), Delfino, Slokar, Solomon, Bargnani, Jawai, Kleiza, Belinelli, Barbosa, Turkoglu, Andersen…I’m sure I’m missing someone. Make of it what you will.

On to our guest today, it’s Michael Schwartz from Valley of the Suns who discusses Leandro Barbosa’s exit from Phoenix and what’s left of him as a player. We’re also covering what Turkoglu’s been saying in Phoenix, potential Raptors target Louis Amundson, the essentials of playing the “Phoenix style” of basketball, Amir Johnson’s contract, and we compare Andrea Bargnani and Channing Frye amongst other things. You should also check out the neat interview he did with David Berri of Wages of Wins.

Grab the iTunes feed or the plain old feed. You can also download the file (27:44, 9.52MB).



  • Barbosa’s problem last year were completely injury-related and he hasn’t lost any of his speed or athleticism. Goran Dragic had simply supplanted him as the backup guard, Dragic was a better defender and purer point guard. The Suns didn’t need him to be a complete sparkplug off the bench anymore and it didn’t make sense for them to pay $7M for someone who they don’t really need.
  • Barbosa “missed layups” last year despite being one of the better finishers in the league, the fitness and rhythm just wasn’t there last year and it can be written as a one-off type deal. Has full confidence that Barbosa can go back to full form as at 27 he’s very much in the prime of his career.
  • There should be no concern about Barbosa playing increased minutes, he has played 33 minutes a season before and there’s no reason he can’t do it again.
  • Barbosa simply cannot run an offense and is not fit to be a starter. He’s a “microwave-type guy” who will come in and look for his own shot, sometimes to a fault. You cannot trust him to run an offense for more than 5-10 minutes a game, he is more of a two-guard and point guard is too heavy of a responsibility for him to bear. The Raptors should minimize his point-guard plays because in his career so far has already shown that he’s not one.
  • Barbosa has a lot of experience playing a two-man game and his best weapon is the turn off the high screen. His explosiveness in those situations is excellent and he can exploit a late hedge in no time. The one thing you have to worry about is him trying to get his own game off in a pick ‘n roll and high-screen situation. He can create, but only in those pick ‘n roll situations, nothing more.
  • Barbosa cannot guard in one-on-one situations and is not a good team-defender. There is no question about this, Barbosa’s quickness and athleticism might fool one into thinking otherwise but that is simply not the case. He can make some defensive plays in the passing lanes but those are too infrequent to be considered anything. His 6’3″ frame forces him to only play PG on defense.
  • Phoenix likes Turkoglu for the same reasons as the Raptors did. The problem of redundancy still exists in Phoenix since they already have Nash, Dragic and Childress so Turkoglu will definitely have to adapt.
  • Amundson is a very athletic player, a terrible offensive player and is “a complete energy” guy who battles on defense, but at 6’8″ he is fighting an uphill battle.
  • Bargnani and Frye are comparable. Much like Bargnani, Frye is not a great defender but does know his way around offense and is more than just a three-point shooter. Although he lacks the post-game, he knows how to get to the rim from the weak-side when there is another two-man game going on. Although their production is similar, the major difference is in salary – Frye makes $5M and is a certified role player who has met expectations whereas Bargnani is the #1 overall pick making twice the amount. Would still take Bargnani over Frye.
  • We talk about the things that make Phoenix the system of choice for the up-tempo game and what a team which is trying to emulate Phoenix should be doing. We mention a PG who is available and perhaps the Raptors should make a play for him.
  • Laughed out loud at the Amir Johnson deal but as he read up on the David Berri and his Wins Produced system, Amir Johnson was a fairly decent signing. However, feels that Johnson could have been had at a lower price.

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