The Raptors really don’t have any untouchable players on the roster; I mean, if Boston came around and offered us Rondo straight up for Bargs, we’d all think hard about it (not easy to quickly dismiss that is it?). The simple facts are Calderon has responded positively, and much more successfully, to Casey than any of us could have imagined. He’s made himself a constant offensive threat on the floor,  while controlling tempo and creating for the rest of the team; that’s elite level point guarding (?) being exhibited (remember there is a difference between being elite, and exhibiting elite level talent from time-to-time)

Dwayne Casey:

We’re trying to hold on to him and keep him, but he has played his way into a very high status as a point guard. A lot of teams have been calling and wanting him.

Call me crazy, but the non-committal tone is something I don’t want to hear as a player, and Jose deserves more from this franchise. In fact, it has the stink of Danny Ainge all over it. It’s no secret that Jose needs to go if we really want to blow this mother up and rebuild, but the way he’s been playing…makes you second guess your armchair quarterbacking. He also deserves to be handled with the utmost respect, because that’s all he’s done for this city…

Trade speculation and free agency are my two favourite parts of the year by far. Rumours and plugging retarded scenarios into trade machine have been the only thing that has kept me going between mediocre season after season.

Before I get my head ripped off, let me go on the record as saying that I only support trading Jose IF it brings back young players who can be core pieces to build around, OR, brings back a youngish, serviceable replacement plus draft picks. I’m all for loyalty, but I’d rather have a winning team to cheer on.

The reality is that we could hold on to him, be happy with his stellar improvement, have his contract expire in 2013 then either resign him for half of what he’s getting now, or let him walk. Both scenarios hurt this team’s long term outlook because you aren’t getting max value for the guy by dealing with him at the right time.

Dumping Jose for cap relief makes no sense given how he’s playing and leading this team, so here are a few scenarios I’ve come up with that work and make some level of sense for the teams involved (in no particular order):

Raptors/Rockets/Lakers
To Rockets – Gasol
To Lakers – Calderon, Scola
To Raptors – Lowry
Trade Machine
Raptors do this because…they get a younger point guard who’s having a hell of a season, and save some money
Rockets do this because…they finally get Gasol, whom they covet for some reason
Lakers do this because…they upgrade at the point while getting a solid replacement for Gasol

Raptors/Lakers/Celtics
To Lakers – Calderon, Bass
To Boston – Bayless, Gasol
To Toronto – Rondo, Jermaine O’Neal
Trade Machine
Raptors do this because…it’s a no brainer
Celtics do this because…they can field a starting five of Bayless/Allen/Pierce/Garnett/Gasol; much better than what they have now
Lakers do this because…they upgrade at the point, clear $5mil from their cap and look to move Bynum for Howard to field a starting five of Calderon/Bryant/MWP/Bass/Howard

RaptorsSixers/Lakers
To Sixers – Gasol, Walton’s contract
To Lakers – Calderon, Brand
To Raptors – Evan Turner
Trade Machine
Raptors do this because…they save cap space and bring in a young swing guard who has lots of upside
Sixers do this because…they add an elite low-post scorer who can actually run the break with the other wings
Lakers do this because…upgrade at the point, and replace Gasol with a capable veteran

There was one more deal I came up with, that could happen if the pot was sweetened with picks and cash: Raptors send Calderon to Dallas for Odom and Beaubois (trade machine). Odom is useless, and I don’t want the shit-show that comes with Kardashian infection, but he will soon become ‘Odom’s expiring contract’ which will have some value. For Dallas, Jose could be a solid Plan B if they can’t land Deron Williams this summer; a core of Calderon/Nowitzki/Howard could compete for a championship for a few seasons.

I’m leaning towards the 1st scenario; it makes sense for all the teams involved, and the Raptors replace Calderon with Lowry, whose younger and makes half the money. Getting Rondo would be the best move to make here, but any deal that helps the C**tics drops to the bottom of my list. I concede each scenario has the Raptors getting back max value for Calderon, which doesn’t happen in real life, but desperate teams (Lakers, Celtics, Rockets, Knicks, Magic and the Nets ) in extraneous circumstances (lockout shortened season) will be working overtime to make something happen. BryCo needs to be ready.

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