If rebuilding is your cup of tea then you have nary a complaint about this trade since it’s a step in that direction. Jerryd Bayless is pretty much Jarrett Jack without the high-profile friend circle, swapping those two does little in the way of improving the point situation, the only impact it has is that Jose Calderon gets awarded the starting job only four months after almost being traded. We’ve seen this before, haven’t we? Jose has a few good games where he’s playing unselfish basketball, hitting his jumpers, even getting to the rim by turning the corner, and suddenly he’s fit enough to be a starter. The bubble usually bursts a few games later when he hits a poor run of defensive form and the phrase ‘great backup but not a starter’ is plastered across the forums. The same applies to Jarrett Jack who never proved to be more consistent than Calderon, so from my point of view, giving up Jack for a slightly worse but five years younger version is a wash. The Raptors probably got a little worse as a team but not enough for anyone to quite care.
On the plus side, Bayless is cheaper, has a shorter deal than Jack, and could fit in adequately with the youth movement. Who knows, maybe he’ll even learn to pass? You could argue that a more apt comparison for Bayless would be Barbosa (hear me out) than Jack, in that he can’t really play the point but also can’t consistently defend the two. Don’t get me wrong, Jack was not a great defender or a good point guard, but he could hold is own for a few minutes here and there. You can’t ask Bayless to pair up with Calderon since that would be a defensive nightmare, and you also can’t expect him to play shooting guard. What he’s ideal for is a good scoring punch off the bench, much like Barbosa which makes you wonder what role Bayless will play once Barbosa returns. If you’re looking for some stats, check back for the Statophile segment tomorrow, but Bayless’ AST% and AST/FGA are slightly better than Jack’s. Again, Tom Liston with more tomorrow.
The Raptors lose David Andersen who I was just starting to like, and as much as it saddens me to see the gritty Aussie head out the door, it is completely understandable. The Raptors have to allocate minutes for Ed Davis and they’re not going to come at the expense of Amir Johnson (signed to a new deal) or Reggie Evans (having a career rebounding season). Andersen was the odd man out and when Davis does return, he can expect to see the floor as early as the first quarter, which is when Andersen used to pop off the bench. If the goal this year was to rack up as many wins as possible, this would have been a bad move because Andersen was filling out the rotation quite nicely, but since the job at hand is to lay the foundation by developing the youth…
Colangelo, under the guise of improving the team, will present Peja Stojakovic as someone who can help the team’s three-point percentage, spread the floor, and pick up the scoring when things aren’t going well. In reality, Stojakovic should not be playing a single minute ahead of DeRozan, Weems, Kleiza or even Wright, because he’s not going to be here next season. I’m not sure what the deal with Leandro Barbosa is, his “strained left shoulder” has made him miss six straight games, and you have to at least ask the question of having season-ending surgery even though he’s going to play on Sunday against Boston. If he goes through with that, Stojakovic could fill in the minutes (along with Bayless) so I suppose there is some use for him.
More importantly, this is a 2-for-1 trade which frees up a roster spot. Can you say Erick Dampier? Of course, signing him wouldn’t make any sense since Andersen was doing just fine, unless Colangelo is planning on doing something special with the extra money he saved on this deal this summer. Speaking of money, let’s recap that situation:
Once you subtract the incoming salaries ($20.67M) from the outgoing ones ($22.91M), the Raptors save $2.24M over the length of Jack’s deal. They take on some more salary this year but save it in 2012-13, more importantly, they shed $2.87 extra this summer than they would have if they hadn’t made the trade. Toronto is also receiving cash in the trade upto $3M. Speculation: this could be Colangelo freeing up room to extend Weems.
Here’s another Stojakovic thought. Come the trade deadline, contenders are always looking to add a veteran into the mix and Stojakovic could be an attractive proposition. He would come at no long-term financial risk, is a proven shooter (albeit a struggling one), and has played in big playoff games. It would be a good piece of business if the Raptors are able to flip him for a pick. One can also not rule out the possibility of a buyout, especially if Stojakovic feels he has something to still offer or wants to play abroad.
From New Orleans’ perspective, this trade is all about keeping Chris Paul happy in much the same way the Raptors tried to keep Chris Bosh content. They also go under the tax without giving up anyone who was contributing to their league-best 10-1 start. Stojakovic is the fourth salary dump for them this year, the others were Peterson, Posey and Songaila. BTW, if you had any doubt that John Hollinger is completely full of sh*t, he referred to David Andersen as “softer than cotton candy”. Now I know he has never seen him play.
Final thoughts on Jack. He had to have known about the trade for a few days now and that was reflected in his last two performances. I can sympathize with his situation, he came to Toronto expecting to contend with Bosh and Turkoglu leading the charge, but ended up slotted in as the “leader” on a team destined for the lottery. I was surprised to see his enthusiasm this summer because I never expected him to be happy in a rebuild situation, but I suppose the early losing took its toll and he let it affect him on the court. The Raptors should have never asked him to be a starting point guard (or shooting guard for that matter), the man is a solid NBA backup and one that any contender would welcome, anytime you ask a player to play above his talent level you can’t be upset when he under-performs. For my money, Jack’s effort was good, he played hard and tried to instill a sense of toughness in the team. The position he played required a wider range of thinking than he was capable of, and every time he went on those offensive escapades, he drew more ire than admiration because he didn’t distribute and make his teammates better. Best of luck to him in New Orleans, I’m sure he’ll do well.
The trading of Jarrett Jack marks another Colangelo free-agent/trade acquisition that was shipped out before their time, here’s a list of them:
|T.J Ford||June 2006||July 2008|
|Jason Kapono||July 2007||June 2009|
|Jermaine O’Neal||July 2008||Feb 2009|
|Shawn Marion||Feb 2009||July 2009|
|Hedo Turkoglu||June 2009||July 2010|
|Jarrett Jack||July 2009||Nov 2010|
|Linas Kleiza||July 2010||?|
|Leandro Barbosa||July 2010||?|
Marcus Banks was also traded, he was a nice guy.
My verdict: This trade does very little without a follow-up deal happening. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop because at some point the Raptors’ point guard situation needs to be permanently addressed. This deal will take place in two parts, but the most important thing is that the Raptors get to retain more than $12M of the Bosh TPE which will come in handy this summer.
The Doctor Is In will return for a special trade episode on Monday to discuss this deal.