Without any recent games to talk about, and with Sam (and Arsenalist) having touched on potential Jose Calderon trades, my options weren’t expansive in selecting an article topic for today. Rather than half-heartedly stretch a single topic over 1000 words, I thought I’d hit two different topics in shorter form.

Jose Calderon – Trade Bait
Jose has been playing great this season, and I’m not at all surprised. With a longer offseason to recover from nagging injuries and work himself into shape, he’s turned what was an inconsistent offensive game into a high-level point guard game. He’s always passed well, yes, but he’s supplementing his creativity with a knack for scoring now, buoyed by more than just a strong free throw percentage as in years past. In a word, Calderon’s offense has been sublime.

11 points, 3.5 rebounds, 9 assists, and less than two turnovers with 47/37/89 shooting marks. That’s what we, or inquiring teams, can expect on a nightly basis right now. And it’s impressive.

But does it mean he’s increased his trade value a significant degree?

Maybe not. His offense is clearly on point right now, and there are a few would-be contenders who could really use some help at the position (Lakers, Magic), but the trade scenarios Sam laid out are wholly unrealistic. His game has been tight, but not to the level we should expect a bounty of a Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, or Evan Turner in return (no offense Sam).

I love Jose, and I don’t want him to go. I think he’d be just fine running the team another year and helping transition to a new PG of the future. I understand people think his “value is high” but if all he’ll return is a C-level prospect (Darius Morris?) and some end-of-the-round Firsts (the Lakers have a pair), then I’d rather roll with Jose a while longer. This isn’t a draft class where we’d be grabbing a franchise PG in the top-10, either, it seems.

As for what we could expect as a return, well, consider the following:

So while Jose has been great offensively, some teams may look at these +/- numbers and see someone who takes too much off the table defensively. This may work for a team with a large lane presence like the Lakers and Magic, but it will diminish his value greatly to teams that aren’t as lucky.

Again, I don’t want to trade Jose unless his value is much higher than I’m anticipating, so maybe I’m subconsciously devaluing his contributions so I can justify low offers and therefore justify keeping him, but I doubt my subconscious is that clever.

The Raptors BAD Player Usage
I touched on this briefly in my last post-game coverage, a game in which Rasual Butler and Anthony Carter combined for 49 minutes of play, which is utterly ridiculous for a rebuilding team (or a contending team, or a Junior Varsity high school team, etc). Hollinger had recently introduced his BAD concept, which is basically a weighted impact of minutes teams hand out to players with a PER south of 12, an arbitrary cut-off point of mediocrity. The playing time of Butler (consistently) and Carter (in Bayless’ absence) made me dig for the Raptors BAD score.

As you can see, the Raptors don’t generally employ the optimal usage of their resources (at least offensively, as PER doesn’t capture anything but offense). The likes of Butler’s Corpse and Jamaal Magloire’s old ass have been the worst culprits, combining for over 700 minutes at production levels I could probably manage by just hiding in the corner and occasionally having a loose rebound roll to my feet. This is inexcusable. For a rebuilding team to be committing such a significant amount of playing time to aging players who don’t offer much in terms of production is silly. I understand Butler is not a complete pylon defensively, and that Magloire brings a toughness our other bigs lack, and there’s a place for one of them in the rotation, at the end (and by “one of them” I mean Magloire, because Butler should quit basketball).

There’s a trade-off here though. Every minute commited to a veteran is one that can’t be committed to a young player. Furthermore, every roster spot committed to a veteran is one that can’t be committed to a young player. No, we won’t find a Jeremy Lin by cutting bait on Butler and Carter, but we might find an Azubuike, Williams, Alston, Green, etc by giving someone who was overlooked a chance.

The gist of my point is this: where is the value in committing resources to a known mediocrity? Or rather, why is guaranteed mediocrity more valuable than potential success with potential failure?

You’re telling me that our third point guard duties couldn’t be safely handed over to D-League studs like Will Conroy or JamesOn Curry? Or that Magloire’s 6 fouls couldn’t be doled out by a D-League board-beast like Marcus Lewis? Or that all-around D-League star Justin Dentmon couldn’t handle a few minutes per game in the rotation? These guys, and others like them, may never be All-Stars or even starters, but if there’s even a chance they can be contributing role players, aren’t they deserving of a shot? And more so, doesn’t a franchise with a poor history of attracting and retaining marquee talent need an edict of finding upgrades at the margins to improve its chances?

Again, there’s room on a rebuilding team for some veteran presence, but in my mind right now there are four roster spots (Carter, Butler, Magloire, Alabi) and nearly 1000 minutes of playing time that have been used on players who will have no impact on the franchise’s success in the short- or long-term future (that is, no on-floor value, potential, or trade-bait-ness).

The Second Half
It’s going to be long, and the draft isn’t until June (not to mention, the quality of the draft class seems to be downgraded on a weekly basis lately). Let’s try to survive it and enjoy what we can…and let’s all pray together that if I re-run these numbers in April, DeMar won’t be on the sub-12 PER list. Yikes.

  • onemanweave

    I was reading, on ESPN, where 2012 is NOT  a great draft.  Remains to be seen.  What it DOES appear to be, however, is a deep draft.
        Davis looks like a runaway #1.   After him, you have a LOT of prospects who could prove to be suspects or very good NBA players.  Not all of them will turn out, but I bet a few top notchers are snatched in the low first, even second, rounds.
         If the Lakers have two low first rounders,  what about those, a second and a salary-filler?   If you were ever going to go down that road, this is the draft to do it.

    • onemanweave

       …. that is for Jose.

    • Brian B

       ADavis might be consensus #1, but Draft Express currently has raps at #4 drafting Thomas Robinson. Having watched both of them play on Saturday, Robinson looks more NBA ready – he is a MAN while Davis is still skinny and a bit awkward. Raps could do a lot worse than Robinson.

      Though I’m hoping they don’t grab another PF- yeah, I know “best available player”, but when you are this weak @ other spots, hoping to trade from such an obvious surplus will be tough to value back.

      • voy

        Robinson will have to play sf in the nba and I dont know if he has those type of perimeter skills to make that transaction successfully, imo.   Draft express has some iffy projections.  Jeremy Lamb at #12?!? Unlikely.

        • Brian B

           On what basis do you say he is a SF? I have looked at a bunch of  mock draft assessments, and most view him as a PF- he plays that way. He is as big and strong as Amir, and bigger and stronger than Ed Davis. A few predictions see him as a tweener. Like a lot of the class of 2012, he is more likely a rotation player than a star, but, as I posted before , Anthony Davis is far from a sure thing. My favourite item re: Robinson is a site that said his NBA comparable is Kris Humphreys.

          But my original point was that Davis is just one of a crowd of prospects. Any pick in the top ten, or maybe even the whole lottery, can generate a solid prospect, in a draft with no “sure thing”.

          • voy

            I think alot of his success in college is because he’s stronger, faster and has a better motor than alot of guys his size.  However, in the nba, I dont think he is long enough to play in the post.  I dont think he even has a developed post game.  From what I have seen this year(granted, only 5 or 6 games so far) alot of his success comes from (1) beating his man down the floor resulting in fast break buckets or a mismatch where he’ll jump over or out-muscle a smaller defender and (2) his midrange jumper.

            I think ED is definately longer than Robinson.  Robinson is certainly stronger but I think you need the length if you are gonna play pf. 

            In my opinion, I think Anthony Davis is more than just one of a crowd of prospects.  Robinson seems like a good kid but I dont want him with the 4th pick.

            • Brian B

               ADavis certainly has more upside potential, but it is largely unproven(for example, at this stage he has neither a post game nor a reliable jump shot).

              But why argue? I’d prefer Harrison Barnes or MK-G over either for the Raps.

        • Richdoria

          Yes. Robinson is a PF who Is a better athlete than basketball player. He can guard all positions! Offensively, he is better down low. Good thing our starting PF is a seven foot SF. Robinson is perfect!

    • Brain Colangelo

      I would love to see us make moves that allow us to draft Kendall Marshall. No reason he can’t turn into a Jose or better type of PG if they overlap for a year or two. Kendall Marshall on the rooming scale for pick 15 or later is a nice pick.

      • Brain Colangelo

        That should say “rookie scale”.

  • Nilanka15

    There are 2 points to consider when discussing the “veterans” getting minutes:

    1. Since training camp, Casey said he’ll hold his players accountable.  The fact that guys like Magloire, Carter, Butler, etc. are getting minutes might be because Casey is attempting to send a message to his younger players, who may not be performing (defensively) the way he expects.

    2. Although Magloire, Carter and Butler don’t provide much in terms of on-court production, they do provide value when it comes to leadership, professionalism, and preparedness.  They know their role isn’t to put up stats hoping to land their next contract.  They realize they’re hear to teach our young players, and nothing more.  On the other hand, if we scoured the D-Leagues for a backup center, would he be on his feet cheering his teammates from the bench (the way Magloire does), or would he be starving for minutes hoping to show the coaching staff that he’s worth a second 10-day contract?  Which of these two end-of-the-bench scenarios is better for overall team chemistry?

    • Brian B

       I see your comment applying to Carter and Magliore. not sure I agree, but agree you have an arguable point. Not clear why Calderon needs a mentor, so that means Carter is mentoring Bayless, who I’ve always said is what he is?

      But what about Butler and Forbes? I don’t see this applying to them, and certainly is not an argument to have BOTH of them, when one of their spots could go to a prospect (I realize Forbes looked like a prospect, but clearly, he is not, and aren’t they now stuck with a two year deal, clogging a roster spot? Oh well, maybe he can be used in a 2 for 1.

      • Nilanka15

        I agree on Forbes.  Not sure what possessed Colangelo to offer him a 2-year deal.

    • sleepz

      What are Magloire and Butler here to teach?

      In a mentorship role the teacher typically has to be someone the young players respect for their career and accompishments when it comes to the league. I don’t think the Raps young guys are that much in awe of Maglorie or Butler that they are taking their lead and following thier “leadership”.

      • Nilanka15

        Maybe “teach” isn’t the correct term, but they lead by example.  They’re helping Casey change the culture by boxing out hard, throwing elbows, and not giving up easy baskets.

        I agree that we’re missing that “awe factor”, but considering the Dollarma prices Magloire and Carter came with, they fit in terms of salary cap flexibility too.  I personally don’t have any problems with their presence on the roster.

        • sleepz

          I like vets as well. Just, you know, the type that can still actually play the game.

        • CJT

          It doesn’t seem that long ago when Carter would come off the bench in Denver and gave them good minutes.  I do like JM as he is a tough defender, throws his weight around and is the first one to defend his teammates in a scrum.  I think that is why he is here and what he is supposed to teach the young guys who have traditionally been intimidated by contact and altercations.  He is effin terrible on offense though.

  • brother

    I think there’s only one scenario where your point about playing youth versus incompetent veterans could be wrong. That is, if next year, all of the younger guys who are on the roster this year are super professional all by themselves. i.e. when former NBA player Magloire is doing meet and greets at Malvern mall this fall, Ed Davis is waking up early to work on his post up game.

    Other than that pipe dream, I think you’re dead right; go scour the D league and the euro league for some undrafted guys and give them a 10 day and then put them on the court. If things sour after day 3, drop him and move on to the next one. One example where this would have made sense is the curious case of Gary Forbes. Dude has nothing and that was apparent the first, fifth, and twelfth time I saw him on the floor. You think that if I see it, Casey and Colangelo don’t? Please.

    How can any young point guard do a worse job than Carter? Go get a kid who has a rep as a great ball handler but can’t shoot – then try and teach him to shoot! Give him a 10 day and see if he blossoms or wilts. He might not, but the only thing we know for sure is that Carter’s best days are LONG behind him.

    • Nilanka15

      “Go get a kid who has a rep as a great ball handler but can’t shoot – then try and teach him to shoot!”

      How about “The Professor” form the And1 Mix Tape tour 😉

      • CJT

        Hot Sauce!!!

  • Bendit

    Am surprised no one so far has brought up the conspiratorial/purposeful nature of putting this team together. Shoot for a high draft position.

    • CJT

      I kinda of agree with you observation, but believe that if AB was healthy we would be in the playoffs. 

      • Lorenzo

        And we really, really wouldn’t deserve it.

        • CJT

          maybe so, keeping us solidly in the middle with no improvement etc.

  • Raps4Ever

    Some people just don’t get it, or refuse to. Magloire, Butler, Carter weren’t brought in as skills coaches. They were brought in for two reasons:

    1. Cheap 1 year rentals to fill roster spots while the new coach evaluates where the team stands with the young kids and what he would like to see as priorities moving forward. It’s not about this year, but about evaluation and development of the youth  we have now, and what best to do this coming draft and summer.

    2. The bonus in filling those spots is not to “teach skills”, but to mentor, provide examples, of being a pro and what it takes. Carter-12 years, Magloire-11 years, Butler-9 years. Lot’s of guys with more skills than them had 2-3 year cups of tea in the league, and were never heard from again. Whether it be not partying at night, taking care of your body, working in practice on what coach wants, not whining about playing time while supporting your teammates, yada, yada, yada,,,,,,, it’s about showing the young lads about being a pro athlete and what it takes to be around the league a long time. The skill development is on the coaches.

    • Nilanka15


    • Theswirsky

      I think people understand that, but beyond that the question is… if these guys have no future on a rebuilding team, why are they getting minutes (aside from injuries)?  If they aren’t going to add any productivity to the team, why not see if the next jeremy Lin or Ben Wallace is out there?

      I think rebuilding teams need more than just youth, they do need experience to.  But does this team need 3 10 year vets  that aren’t going to be here next season? (+ gray 6  years, Jose 7 years, Bargs 6 years) The Raps miss out on roster spots some other guy, who may or may not suck aswell could fill, but atleast has a chance of having the future on the team.

      • CJT

        That is a big if and there is no way that a D leaguer or long shot player would have the impact on the young guys that the vets are in terms of lead by example. 

    • Jeffrey Thompson

      I agree, I think this writer undervalue what Jamaal and Rasual bring to the team.  There have been numerous times where the Big Kat came up gig for the Rap, not necessarily in scoring but in holing down the opponents big man and providing a spark from his defence

    • sleepz

      It’s not about refusing to get it for some. It’s about trying to understand it.

      1. It’s definitely not about this year but you have questionable vets, mentoring questionable youth. To me the development of the youth might be as big a problem as the vets the Raps are employing to do it. Which of the young players on the Raptors can you envision as an all-star or even a must-have piece going forward? Before you say Andrea, even with the improvements he has played 13 games this year and I’m not prepared to just assume this is the norm for him now. Even if it is there shouldn’t be any question marks for a #1 pick in his 6th year on the same team. After him, who can you project any level of success to? I like Ed but the jury is still out on him. My point is, what does it matter if you have vets trying to teach the young players if the young players aren’t going to take your franchise anywhere? No dissrespect to the players but it’s not like this is J.Wall, Westbrook, or Cousins they are mentoring. 

      2. Mentoring is great but sometimes might require some reciprocal respect to ensure results. If the young guys don’t respect the older dudes or don’t view them as mentors where is the pay-off?  

      • CJT

        Who’s to say that the young guys don’t respect them?  Is this something that you have heard from a source?  Wouldn’t you repect the big cat stickin’ his nose in to protect his players? 

    • Raps Loyalist

       AMEN! well put

  • Sam Holako

    Just putting this out there, and take it with a grain of salt, but the Raptors MIGHT be involved in a RUMOURED Howard/Hedo/Nelson/Gasol/Bynum trade that would see the Raptors send Jose to Orlando and possibly get Gasol back. The numbers don’t work on the Raptor side, so more would have to be added in that scenario, but it does represent something more than getting filler and draft picks for Jose.

    Source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orlando-magic/os-magic-schmitz-sunday-0226-20120225,0,424129,full.column

    • Bendit

      The piece says that Howard is “cool” about joining up with Kobe. Wonder if its about losing his topdog status when he gets to LA. That will always be Kobe’s team.

    • westsideridah

       Way to put this out there 12 hours after it was reported and refuted.

  • voy

    I may be missing something here but why do we want Gasol on this Raps team?

    • Nilanka15

      I don’t think the Raptors would get Gasol in this scenario.  We’d simply rid ourselves of Calderon’s $10 million obligation, without getting anything back, other than the ability to sign (for example) Wilson Chandler.

      • Theswirsky

        so Raps trade Jose for cap space to overpay Chandler?  Nice!

        BC running out of trading partners to fleece him so he’s just gonna do it himself

        • Nilanka15

          I like Chandler.  Is he worth $8-10 million per season?  Probably not.  But with the Raptors being the lone “foreign” team, there’s a premium we must pay for free agents.

          As for Calderon, who knows what his current market value is.  If there are better deals out there, I sincerely hope Colangelo is exploring them.  But if it’s a choice between freeing up cap space now vs. later (i.e. in 2013 when Calderon’s contract expires), the impatient fan in me might lean towards now if it means getting a player with upside, that also fills a hole in our roster.

          • CJT

            I am not sold on Chandler especially at the price he is going to command from the Raps.  His numbers to not add up to that kind of cash. 

        • Nilanka15

          There are some interesting points discussed about trading Calderon in attempt to go after Nash this summer.  The pros and cons are pretty much covered by all angles.  It’s a good read, check it out:


        • Tim

          Well, to be fair to BC this is ONLY Jose. He traded bigger stars ( Bosh) for trade exceptions which he later did not use !! Give him a break man. The guy looks great in Italian suits.

  • Tim

    Howard said that he will NOT sign an extension with Lakers !!! Just heard that on ESPN Radio LA  on the Mason Ireland show !!! 

    • Bendit

      Refreshing! Someone actually saying “No” to a big market team…especially the Lakers.  

      • Raps Loyalist

         He just doesn’t want to be Shaq 2.0 (because of all their stupid superman beef) and play with a washed up Kobe making $30 million.  All he’s saying is that we wants to play for a different big market team to help his “brand” and acting career.

        Howard’s a good player but winning a championship is less important than being famous.  Not a big fan of where this guy’s head’s at for a superstar player that claims we wants to be a closer even though he has never improved his FT shooting or post moves.  Also, hate the big men can’t shoot FTs because of their size…Yao, Big Z, Smits, help even Jonas V can already shot FTs.  Makes me think Howard, like Shaq, doesn’t work hard on his game in the summer.

        • Brain Colangelo

          U only need to take one look at howards body and shaq’s body at the same age to know that is not true. Howard works hard. Shaquille was a natural born beast.

          • Raps Loyalist

            In the weight room yes.  On his FT shooting def not!

            Howard’s FT% by season

            04/05 67%
            05/06 59%
            06 58%
            07 59%
            08 59%
            09 59%
            10 59%
            11/12 49%

            What gives if he’s such a hard worker on his weaknesses and FT is a key to being a “closer” Which he desperately  wants to be/thinks he is

  • Raps Loyalist

    “”If Raps could get “some end-of-the-round Firsts (the Lakers have a pair), then I’d rather roll with Jose a while longer.””

    What a ridiculous comment! 

    Instead of two 1st round picks in one of the deepest drafts in memory according to all the scouts and pundits we get Jose Calderon for one more year before he walks as a 32 year-old free agent to a contender unless the Raps way overpay!

    We are rebuilding!  We need picks not guys in their 30s making $10 million a year who can’t play defense.  By the time we’re good he will be over the hill..what’s the point?

    “” I think he’d be just fine running the team another year and helping transition to a new PG of the future…This isn’t a draft class where we’d be grabbing a franchise PG in the top-10.””

    Where are we getting the PG of the future this offseason Blake?  Where is the logic?  If we aren’t drafting a PG in the top 10 and have no other pick please tell me what good young PG of the future BC is signing this offseason for Jose to groom???

    If the Raps could get a 1st round pick for any veteran (Barbosa, Johnson, Kleiza, Calderon) they should make that trade immediately.

    A late first rounder in this draft is like a pick in the teens in most drafts.  In the 20s there will be guys like Kris Joseph, T. Jones, and M. Teague available.  Players of this caliber would have been lottery picks in last year’s draft.

    No free agents of any worth are signing with the Raptors until we get some good young players on the roster.  AKA we need picks badly if we’re gonna turn this team around.

    Calderon plays weak D and puts up offensive stats on a bad team.  He’s not part of the future so get something for him before he walks just like Bosh did and we get jack sweet F*^k in return one year from now.

    It’s unreal how many Raps fans just don’t want the team to be bad instead wanting the team to do what it takes to build a CHAMPIONSHIP contender. a la OKC/Spurs model of getting draft picks and patiently building your team and not signing mediocre players like Calderon to big money free agent contracts in their 30s.

    Calderons been good this season so time to cash him in for younger talent or pick(s) not keep him an hope we can be a late-lottery team for the next few years and maybe make a first-round exit or two after that.

    • mountio

      couldnt agree more. Very well said.

  • knickz

    after watching that jose calderon segment on the score, I am more disgusted how he ha been treated by this fan base.

  • KJ-B

    THE RAPTORS ARE TANKING RIGHT NOW!!!!  Unbelievable!!!! I thought that was a myth!!!!!

  • 511

    Ank-tay ity-cay. 

    Almost too obvious. 

  • 511

    And while I sit here, sort of unsettled about all that I saw tonight, I’m wondering (among other things) just what the hell is wrong with Bayless, anyway? This is a guy who, with the skills and talent that he has and the intelligence that I THOUGHT he had, should probably be one of the better point guards in the NBA. But no. What he is, I’ve decided, is a dummy who we should dump as soon as physically possible, if not, sooner. I don’t know if his skull is made of cement or granite but he — is — a — dummy … if he can’t see that if he adapted his stupid eyes to see a wider view of the floor and figured out how to dish and pass and set up his teammates, instead of looking for his own stupid shot all the time, he could probably be a top ten point guard in this league … but nooooo. He has to stay a dummy all his stupid NBA life. We need him to be gone. Sorry Jerryd. But you stink. Because you’re a dummy. 

    And … where are the RR boys? This site still open for business? Hope so. Just asking. 

    • Nilanka15

      I’d be very surprised (and disappointed) if Colangelo picks up Bayless’ qualifying offer this summer.

  • Destro

    TJ Ford’s 06-07 season >>>> Jose Calderon