The move to make, if one is even needed

Exploring why Jack is still a Raptor, who is the likeliest to get traded, and what Colangelo’s options are.

Speculation: Jarrett Jack signed with Toronto because he got good money and got to play with his college friend, Chris Bosh. When Bosh left, Jack didn’t like it too much because the former had a big part in him signing with the Raptors to begin with. Over the course of the last season, Triano and Colangelo realized the level to which a weak defensive point guard can go about hurting the team. In their eyes, Jack was a stronger defensive option than Calderon and did not want to lose him. So, in order to “convince” Jack to say and be part of the rebuild, Colangelo offered Jack the starting point guard position. Jack, knowing that there isn’t another team in the league that’ll take him on as an outright starter, took the bait and agreed to stay.

On Thursday, Jack gave an interview to and clearly said that the team is still trying to make a move or two, while expressing his disappointment at the Charlotte trade not going through. Who could the Raptors be looking to deal in a trade? Let’s go through player-by-player and see:

Alabi: The Raptors are high on the guy, you might’ve heard.

Andersen: For God’s sakes, we just got the dude. Besides, nobody wants him.

Banks: Trade value as an expiring contract.

Barbosa: Colangelo doesn’t trade guys he’s been high on for years. At least not within the first six months.

Bargnani: Colangelo is more likely to trade his first born.

Calderon: You don’t find too many $9M backups in the league.

Davis: Third most valued guy on the roster.

DeRozan: He is YGZ®.

Dorsey: My Kwame Brown rookie card has more value.

Evans: Trade value as an expiring contract.

Jack: Starting point guard.

Johnson: Duh!

Kleiza: Isn’t there a rule about trading someone you just signed?

Weems: Perhaps the best bargain in the NBA.

Wright: Just got him, it’ll be a year before he gets traded.

The only two contracts (not players) that are candidates to be traded are Marcus Banks and Reggie Evans, and that’s only because they are expiring. I’d say that Banks has become an asset that you keep, he’s liable to give you some situational defense at PG and will help the financial situation next summer. Reggie Evans provides no value on the court and is a roster spot wasted, but since the Raptors aren’t in a hurry to win a championship, a clogged up roster spot doesn’t mean much to them and they could very well live with Evans remaining on the books till the end of the year. That’s how a normal GM could look at things and pick Calderon as an odd man out, especially since there’s perceived insurance at the point with Jack and Barbosa. This could very well be true even though the Wins Produced stat would indicate that when Calderon does play, he’s just as good as Jack:

Or you could shelve the talk of Calderon heading out and view Jack’s comments as meaning that Colangelo is ready to use the TPE. I don’t see it because if that was going to happen it would’ve happened a long time ago. There’s not much haggling involved in a deal with such a large TPE, either a team’s looking to dump salary or they’re not. Also, as the current roster is an experiment which will either be aborted next summer or reinforced with more resources, it’s wiser for Colangelo to hold on to it until the future is clearer.

As it is the off-season and all we can do is speculate, let’s see what Colangelo’s options are:

  1. Status quo: Stick with the current roster and save $10M next year as Banks and Evans expire. Unless Barbosa can hold his own at the two, one of his or Calderon’s minutes will take a hit. View this as a good problem to have and deal with it. You know Jose’s not going to complain.
  2. Trade Jose Calderon for, say, Diaw and Dampier: This is based on a nonsense article from yesterday but let’s go with it. You save $10.5M over three years as Calderon’s contract is longer. Diaw could add insurance at the three, but after watching him at the FIBA tourney you wonder just where he would fit in. Not to mention that acquiring Julian Wright addressed the defense that Diaw was valued for in the trade that fell through. Dampier would compete with Andersen for time and would come off the books at the end of the year. Meh.
  3. Trade Calderon for a center that’ll give Bargnani a run for his money or get us a legit point guard, possibly for the future: Idealistic, but this is the only scenario where we trade a strength and address a true weakness while thinking long-term. This is the reason why fans wanted Collison and welcomed the idea of Chandler. With all due respect to Andersen, he provides no challenge for Bargnani, and an unchallenged Bargnani is something to be scared off. Marcin Gortat would be somebody who could tempt a coach to bench offense for defense, thus providing Bargnani with a healthy impetus.

I’m trying to think of a paragraph that will nicely conclude this blog, but can’t seem to do it. Perhaps you can help?

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