Ed’s Note: Another post by GetDefensive.

The 2012-13 Raptors are littered with redundant talent.  At point guard alone there’s Kyle Lowry, a borderline All-Star when healthy, Jose Calderon, a player who’s flirted with the All-Star Game himself and is coming off a strong year, and John Lucas III, a player who filled in admirably as the primary backup for the Bulls in the playoffs last year when Derrick Rose tore his ACL.  At shooting guard we have incumbent starter DeMar DeRozan, a rookie who may push him for minutes in Terrence Ross, and our marquee free agent signing: Landry Fields.  None of these players is decidedly more talented than the others, the only reason playing time won’t be much of an issue is because of the glaring hole at small forward.  Some, or all, of these players will undoubtedly spend time at the 3 with the only competition there being Linas Kleiza, a player who’s actually more effective as a 4.  Speaking of power forward, here’s where we have the greatest congestion of similarly talented players on the roster.  Andrea Bargnani is the starter, finally at his natural position after years of being cast as a centre, and with short stints at small forward.  After him, we have Ed Davis, a young player in need of playing time to encourage development, Amir Johnson, who will follow in Bargnani’s footsteps and be forced into the centre position out of necessity, the aforementioned Kleiza, who will spend most of his time at small forward, and Quincy Acy, an undersized PF who isn’t skilled enough to play the 3.  The centre position is quite possibly the only position that needn’t be shuffled in trade this season as, while not overly talented, the current rotation allows for plenty of development for the Lithuanian sensation, Jonas Valanciunas.  So who stays?  Who goes?  What realistic moves can Bryan Colangelo make that could help balance the roster?  Read on….

Point Guard:

The answer here is obvious and it’s been discussed at length by almost everyone who follows the Raptors.  If Kyle Lowry is the future of this team at the PG position and Jose Calderon feels like he’s a starter and is being paid like a starter, then he is the likely candidate to be shipped out.  This is especially true when our 3rd point guard has proven himself capable of stepping up when needed.  Jose could really help a playoff contender in need of steady point guard play or 3 point shooting, especially if there’s an injury.  With an expiring contract (worth over $10.5 million), Jose also has tremendous value to a team looking to rebuild quickly or cut costs.  As I said, this story has already been beaten to death so I’ll end the explanation right there.

Shooting Guard:

Here it’s a little more difficult for some, but for me the answer is nearly as obvious as our point guard situation: DeMar DeRozan has got to go.  There are a number reasons for this, and it deserves explanation.  First of all, he has begun to plateau as a player, although enough excuses have been made for him that another team may still be convinced of his potential.  I, however, am not.  For my taste, he’s too slow and robotic out there.  He doesn’t have the feel for the game or the ball-handling to react quickly.  Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the great ones are playing chess while DeMar’s playing checkers, and he still takes longer to make his damn move.  He hasn’t shown much, if any, actual improvements to his game since he was a rookie, it’s only his usage that has gone up.  Still, there are many people out there who think he could still put it all together.  I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, just that I’d be pleasantly surprised.  If he doesn’t make serious progress this season, his value will plummet.

Another reason: his contract is up at the end of the year.  Like most players in his position, having been coddled as he has, DeMar probably sees his value a lot higher than it actually is.  What do we do if he starts demanding $10 million per?  Do we let him walk and regret not trading him while we could?  Or do we re-sign him for too much when some other idiot GM decides to offer him what he wants and we have to match?  That would cripple this team going forward.  Too much money invested in a mediocre player that doesn’t produce wins?  Haven’t I seen this one before?

Lastly, we already have his replacement.  Terrence Ross may take a few years to get acclimated to the NBA, but what better way than to clear up minutes for him at his natural position?  His skill-set is a better fit with Lowry anyway; Lowry can drive, Ross can shoot.  On a very basic level it makes more sense that DeRozan and Lowry, doesn’t it?  And, by most accounts, Ross has the talent to be better than DeRozan in a number of areas very quickly if he isn’t already: shooting, passing, dribbling, defense; you know, the little things.  If he falls on his face, fine, at least we gave him the chance and cashed DeMar in for another asset while it was still possible to do so.  And we’ll still have the 6 million dollar man in Fields waiting in the wings to relieve the young fella if need be.

Power Forward:

The most congested position on the Raptors also presents the most difficult decision, and it essentially comes down to 2 players: Amir Johnson and Ed Davis.  Some people will always want Andrea gone but I just don’t see it happening.  Colangelo has been unwilling to waver on his faith in Bargnani so far, and we still haven’t crossed the final excuse off the list he’s made for him: playing Andrea at his natural position at power forward.  Not to mention, Bargnani showed more promise in his 1st 13 games under Dwane Casey than he ever had at any other point in his career.  There’s just no way BC gives up on him now, not with what he feels is the perfect interior compliment to Bargnani in Jonas Valanciunas finally making his way to Toronto.  Removing Kleiza or Acy doesn’t really do anything, Kleiza will barely play PF and Acy, well… he’ll just barely play.

So, back to Johnson and Davis.  Who stays, who goes?  In my opinion, Amir is still the better player.  He’s a better defender.  He’s got more hustle, more strength, more experience, and more versatility.  He can play centre in a pinch, particularly against backups without an advanced post-up game (in other words: most back-ups).  I’m not sold Davis can, at least not yet, anyway.  What Davis has is potential, youth, a cheaper contract, length, and a better rebounding ability.  Many of the differences are slight at this point, and it’s reasonable to suggest that Davis may be the better player in a few years.  For me, however, he’s the one who’s got to go.  Here’s 2 reasons why:

1st Reason – Value

In trade, if a team is giving up the better talent, they need to be able to justify it with a number of things in return: youth, potential, fit, and salary.  In most, if not all of these categories, Davis is superior to Amir from the incoming team’s perspective.  Amir has played 7 seasons in the NBA, he essentially is already the player that we’re going to see for the remainder of his career.  Davis is entering his 3rd year, and any disappointment so far has been wrapped into a nice bow of excuses and explanations.  So many, in fact, that much like in DeMar’s case someone is going to be inclined to believe them and take a chance.  And if it doesn’t work out?  Fine, he’s still on a very manageable rookie contract which expires in 2 years.  Amir has 3 years and $19.5 million left on his deal.  Adding someone like Davis to a trade will return you much more than adding Amir.

2nd Reason – Versatility

One of the main reasons I would rather keep Johnson is ability to play centre.  If our goal at the position is to develop Valanciunas without compromising our ability to fight for a playoff spot, then Amir is essential to meeting these goals.  We needn’t bring in a talented, true centre to nail Jonas to the bench, but we also can’t just hang a rookie out there to dry with only Aaron Gray and the ghost of Jamaal Magloire to back him up.  The biggest thing I expect the rookie to struggle with is foul trouble, something Johnson himself is certainly no stranger to.  If anything, he may even be able to help him in that regard as he’s been battling that demon his entire career and has actually improved in that area.  Still, there will be nights where Amir will have to step up and play the position alongside Bargnani, something I’m not yet particularly comfortable having Davis do at this point.

With all that being said, I’m not entirely opposed if Amir is the one who has to go, but I would prefer that it’s Davis.  Like I said: this one’s tough, it could go either way.  If Johnson has to go to make the right deal work, so be it.

So now that we’ve established who’s got to go, who do we get in return?  I would say our biggest needs this season are going to be a go-to scorer, more athleticism on the wing (especially with DeMar gone, although he never really uses his athleticism anyway), perimeter shooting, and perimeter defense.  We need an upgrade in our talent level altogether, so a package involving all 3 players for 1 or 2 players in return seems like the way to go.  Perhaps someone a bit overpaid would yield a higher return in talent, with the other team motivated by the potential and cap savings of the package we can offer.  If you put it all together with the obvious hole we have at small forward, a few prime candidates emerge.  (Another backup or 3rd string PG would certainly help as well.)

Rudy Gay:

This one’s easy, another topic that has been discussed at length.  I, for one, don’t believe there’s a better option out there (if this could even be called an option).  I have my doubts about whether Memphis would pull the trigger, unless they get off to a bad start to the season, but I would have no problem with Toronto offering all 3 of Calderon, DeMar, and Davis for Gay and someone like Tony Wroten Jr., who I think could really thrive with the right collection of talent around him (he’s not really the point of this discussion, but a line-up featuring Wroten with a bunch of shooters like Ross/Fields, Gay and Bargnani, as well as a good pick and roll finisher like Amir/Val, could eventually really thrive I think).  Gay is one of the few players out there that could fill most of the holes on the Raptors.  He’s clutch, a go-to scorer not afraid of the big moments.  He’s athletic, and he actually uses it unlike DeMar.  He’s a pretty decent shooter (although last year was a down season from 3 for him), a decent defender (better than DeRozan anyway), and a natural small forward.  He’s also a good rebounder, a necessity for any forward playing next to Andrea.

If Memphis did this deal, they would have to be sold on the potential of either DeRozan or Davis, and playing poorly enough to dismantle a big part of their core.  However, they must be feeling the financial pinch at this point with so many high-priced players; if they can pick up a younger, poor-man’s Gay (DD), significant cap space (Jose), and a young big with potential (Ed) for an over-paid Rudy Gay, you’d have to think they’d give it some thought.

Yes, I know, then we’d be stuck with an over-paid Rudy Gay, but we’re in a much better position to handle that salary.  2 of our potential starters in this scenario (although it’s possible neither start initially) are just beginning their rookie contracts.  Lowry has 1 of the best contracts in basketball, even Bargnani and Amir aren’t as over-paid as people seem to make them out to be.  What we need is to sacrifice depth where we’re too deep for an upgrade in talent where we aren’t.  I’d even throw in cash and a 2nd-rounder if it meant getting a deal done.  This is one that the Raps should be pushing hard for early, before the internal competition on our roster robs each of these players of much of their value.

Danny Granger:

If there’s 2 spots the Pacers need help at, it’s shooting guard and power forward.  They have quality starters at PG, SF, and C, and while David West is good at PF, he’s also on the last year of his contract.  A little depth could never hurt in that scenario.  At SG, the Pacers start the 6’8’’ Paul George, a player much more suited to play small forward.  The problem is: that spot is occupied by former All-Star Danny Granger.  Granger is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none.  He’s a sound defender, a good shooter, an adequate rebounder, and he wants to be the guy with the ball in his hands at the end of games.  Not quite the scorer that he once was, Danny would still represent a serious upgrade at that position for Toronto.  With only 2 years left on his contract at a reasonable $13+ million per, Granger may be a tough sell for the Pacers, but it’s definitely worth it for BC to take a shot if he can find a deal that works.  I won’t speculate on details here, as it’s difficult to make salaries match without finding a 3rd team or completely fleecing either ourselves or the Pacers.  This makes it all the more unlikely, but Colangelo has shown a talent for complicated deals like this before, although sometimes with mixed results.  Fingers crossed….

Luol Deng:

An acquisition that doesn’t quite solve our problems like Gay and Granger, Deng would still certainly improve our team.  His greatest contributions come in the form of leadership and basketball intelligence, 2 attributes that would certainly be welcome on a young team such as this.  While not really athletic, Deng uses his size and intelligence well and is actually a very effective defender.  Aside from that, there’s nothing about his game that really stands out, but he won’t really hurt the team in any areas either.  He’s a decent shooter but not much for creating his own shot.  He’s a good rebounder (noticing a pattern here?) but not an exceptionally adept passer for someone of his intelligence.  A solid player all around, he’d be an excellent pick-up for the Raptors provided we don’t give up too much in return.

Would a deal including Jose and DeMar for Deng and Marquis Teague be appealing?  Chicago could use some help at PG to hold things down until Rose returns, and with Jose’s expiring contract and the youth of DeRozan, the Bulls could potentially rebuild on the fly without surrendering too much in the win column in the meantime.  They don’t really have much use for Davis and that’d be too much to give up anyway; as it is this deal seems mutually beneficial for both teams.  In Teague the Raps would get a young, talented player to be our 3rd-string point guard and eventually maybe even the primary backup.

I know there’s other options out there, but these are the 3 most talented, somewhat attainable players out there at a position of need for us.  We thin out some of the log-jams at other positions and fill a gaping hole at small forward with a player more talented than most, if not all, of our current roster.  I know some of you are going to freak that we’re giving up too much here or that our players aren’t good enough to get a deal done there.  I’m damned if I do, I’m damned it I don’t.  Just try to keep in mind that each of our players I listed is highly expendable at this point, and in each case here I would probably give up a little more even just to get a deal done.  Unless it’s a complete robbery (ex. Carmelo to Knicks), the team that gets the best player usually wins the trade.  Depth can only get you so far when you can only have 5 players on the court at once, hell Miami just won a title with 2 and a half men.  Lowry was a good start, and Bargnani’s coming around, but would’ve been strong at those positions regardless.  It’s time to get some real talent where we need it most.

Thank you for reading.

  • Thecaptain2000

    if you package Calderon + Davis + DD  for Gay 19M per year Gay you do not give them a pick, you ask a first back making the argument you have given them plenty of youth and talent and salary relief  already. Moreover they would do it just in case things are not working there, so pressure would be on their side.  It is often a real pleasure making business with Raptors fans people seem always to talk themselves into beggars who can’t be choosers.

    • Matt52

       Then the Grizz say, “Ummmm, no, sorry.  Wroten is not included and forget the draft pick.  We’ll get back to you.”

      Grizz immediately pick up the phone and call Cleveland and Houston who absolutely destroy anything the Raps can offer.

      The old adage is the team receiving the best player usually wins the trade.  Calderon, Davis, and DeRozan are nowhere near the talent Rudy Gay is.

      • Thecaptain2000

         I respect your opinion, but I keep mine.  Luxury tax rules are becoming more stringent and Gay is not worth it Cap relief + Davis + DD + monry + 2nd rounder.
        Cleveland and Houston cannot give them expirings if I recall and not of about 11M (actually 15M if you count Derozan). again, never talk oneself into being a beggar.

        • Matt52

          Definite respect on the difference of opinions.

          Cleveland has a $6M expiring in Walton and about $10M in cap room in addition to 3 first round picks in 2013.

          Houston has $12.4M expiring contract in Kevin Martin, $3.5M expiring in Shaun Livingston, and $1M in Brockman plus possibly 2  2013 first round picks (raps and mavs).

          • GetDefensive

            Cleveland is a definite possibility, but I think Houston would be more reluctant to pay that much for Gay when they’re already massively overpaying Lin and Asik….
            But ya I never really considered the possibilities of competition for these players, just looking at things specifically from the Raptors point of view.  I do think, however, that if Davis or DeRozan start off the season playing well then Toronto’s offer becomes more attractive then Cleveland will offer, but then the question becomes if it’s worth it for Toronto to make the deal (especially in DeRozan’s case).  A lot of “ifs” at play…. If Davis or improves, if DeRozan can thrive at small forward, if Memphis plays well and doesn’t wanna split up their core… just throwing out ideas.

            • Matt52

              Definitely a lot of ifs in play.

              The most important one for Toronto whether they are traded or not is the play of DD and ED. 

              Personally, I hope they have great seasons and are traded.  Too many players with talent in the same area.  If Gay could be returned, wowzers. 

              Raps could then go in to this off season with 9 guys set and only needing a backup PG – which would be amazing if Jose returned.  Wet dream time:

              PG: Lowry, Jose
              SG: Fields/Ross, Ross/Fields,
              SF: Gay, Kleiza
              PF: Bargnani, Amir
              C: JV, Gray

              This assumes JV and Ross become average NBA players in worst case scenario. 

              Fingers crossed on a horrible season in Memphis! lol

          • Mapko

            In essence Walton -garbage; Say 2 first rounders -these guys MIGHT contribute in 2014 or more likely in 2015.
            Houston KMart -can play; but IMO they will be very reluctant to part with first rounders -still those MIGHT contribute in 2-3 years;
            Raps -Calderon (expiring) -decent starter & excellent 2nd stringer; DD & Ed can play now;
            In summary its To & 3 decent players (bench) vs expirings & guys that might contribute in 2-3 years;
            Last but not least: I am not stating that To offer is fair value. Its new CBA. Do you recall what Hawks got for a legit all star JJ (yes he makes slightly more than Gay but he has been an all star & Raps offer is a lot more than Nets paid)

      • Destro

        Too much for Gay

  • Matt52

    This comment section is going to be rich indeed. lol

    I would absolutely love Rudy Gay in Toronto.  I would be content with Deng.  I would be upset with Granger. 

    Gay is obvious.  He just turned 26 in August.  He fits everything the Raptors could need and want on the wing.  His contract is large but the Raptors would conceivably have their roster set for the next 4-5 years.  The issue of cap space left is not a huge issue because with a starting lineup set with PG, SG, SF, PF, C the Raptors would have Bird Rights to resign them all when needed.  There are also relatively young solid bench players the Raps can use Bird Rights on as well.  Each year they would also have the MLE exception to find a solid player.  This would be amazing. 

    Deng is a solid player and certainly a major upgrade over anything the Raps have.  He is still in his prime for a couple of seasons.  He won’t be 28 until the end of the regular season.  His injury history does give pause for thought.

    Granger is going to be 30 at the end of this year.  I think a good argument could be made he has been in decline the last 4 years which is likely to accelerate with age and his deteriorating knees.

    It would appear the Raptors major trade assets are DD, ED, Calderon, and
    3 second round picks over the next 2 years.  Trading DD is not an issue
    because Fields is most likely better suited to the 2-spot and there is
    also TR developing on deck.

    Gay is really the only player I get excited about here and, honestly, I don’t think the Raptors have any chance whatsoever UNLESS DeRozan and Davis have MAJOR breakout seasons.  There is also the factor of is he actually available.  With Heisley as owner I would have said yes but with new ownership on the horizon I don’t think that can be assumed anymore.  Situations have changed and last season I felt Toronto would have been one of the front runners (if not THE front runner).  IF Gay actually was available, there are now 2 teams that would have a significant advantage over Toronto: Cleveland and Houston.  Both teams have more desirable assets in my opinion (Cleveland picks and expiring contracts & Houston picks and prospects). 

    Anyways, this comment section has all the makings of a good ol’ fashioned shit show.  I’m going to pop some popcorn and watch the fireworks! 😀

  • Puffer

    Nice summary, but nothing new here. Toronto offers lower grade players and wants higher grade players. The only benefit to any trade partner is Jose’s contract. People need to get over Ed’s potential. What GM in their right mind is going to consider potential over actual available talent. The cap relief is the only thing making any of these trades possible. As is suggested in the article, the other bits are there to make it palatable to the other teams fan base…and who are the Raps going to fool there?

    Last spring Matt went through the possible trade partners who might be looking for an expiring contract worth $10.5. Some of them are no longer looking. 

    A more realistic look at trades might be “Who will give up draft picks for anything the Raps have, outside of JV, Bargs, Lowry, Ross and Fields?” If the Raps could bundle a few first round picks and one or two second round picks, they might be able to find a team that is play-off bound, with more than one good option at SF. Or maybe the Raps could do a three way. They should be hunting picks, then look to make a deal for a player.

    • Matt52

       Great points in last paragraph.

    • GetDefensive

      Ya I know a lot of this has been covered at length, I just felt it might be worth revisiting before the season begins.  I now know specifically what I’ll want to pay a lot of attention to.  If DeMar and Davis show enough improvement, these trades become viable options.  It’s also true if Memphis, Indiana, or Chicago struggle early and decide on a quick rebuild rather than seeing exactly how far they can go this season.  I was also interested to see other peoples’ opinions on the respective values of all the players in question…. I was just as interested in the discussion afterwards as I was in writing the article in the 1st place.

  • cesco

    The trade scenarios will be greatly different if the Raps are in the playoffs hunt than if they aren’t . If they are in the playoffs hunt then why not wait and see how far the team can go as such ? it is unlikely the team will make the second round even with a trade anyway ( and the chemistry on the team being disrupted ) . If they are not in the playoff hunt at all then every player including Andrea could be traded ( and BC will be shown the door ) .

    • GetDefensive

      I don’t want us to wait and see, this team has a a 1st round ceiling with the talent we have and maybe a 2nd round ceiling over the next few years.  DeRozan is not going to be a franchise player, Bargnani is never gonna be as well-rounded as we need him to be, and Lowry doesn’t have a lot of holes to noticeably improve upon in the future.  The ceiling for this team will likely be determined mostly by the development of Valanciunas in the future, and unless he develops into a top-5 (minimum) centre, we’ll never be more than a 2nd-round team.  Why not take an opportunity to add a near-franchise level player like Gay if he becomes available?  Then our ceiling becomes something we can get excited about if our other players develop has we hope, and we may even be good enough to possibly attract quality free agents in the future for the 1st time in years.  We can’t continually set our goals at the playoffs only, we need to set our eyes on a bigger prize.
      Also, the assets in question probably aren’t going to contribute much to our playoff chase in a way that we’re really gonna miss, especially with the depth at their positions.  And in all likelihood the value for each either deteriorates (Davis and DeRozan) due to (lack of) playing time or potentially disappears to free agency (Jose and DeMar) by season’s end.  We can’t waste their current values in pursuit of a possible 1st-round exit, or, even worse, a near miss of the playoffs which would cost us our 1st-round pick to Houston.

  • Tinman

    Wow – fantasy trades.

    Someone explain why the Raptors, at this point in their development, would go after one of the worst contracts in the league in Rudy Gay.
    We are two years away from needing to add that piece required. And Rudy Gay or Danny Granger (Deng?!!) is not who we willl be targeting.

    I do agree that a trade is likely, probably a combo of a PG and a big, but I sure hope you are off-base with what we will receive.

    • GetDefensive

      I just think that the only way a talent like Gay is acquirable is because his contract is outrageous, and I believe that with enough players on affordable contracts as the Raptors have we are in a better position than most to absorb his deal.  When our younger players are looking to get paid in a couple years, Gay’s contract will be expiring and we can evaluate our options from a position of greater leverage (Bird rights) at that point.  Plus with Memphis not meeting expectations last season and paying 3 other players great sums of money, it seems like a perfect storm of circumstances to make a strong push for him.  Adding Gay now would almost guarantee playoffs if we are hovering around the 8-10 range, and then we can keep a pick in the 15-17 range, and probably keep our picks for the next 5 years to find solid role players to support our core, rather than potentially surrendering a pick in the 10-14 range to Houston at the end of the season.  Now is the time, Gay is not too old to grow with and lead this team.

      • Tinman

        If we use Jose’s expiring deal on Rudy Gay BC should be stripped naked and put on a bus to Buffalo.

        • GetDefensive

          Could u elaborate?  Obviously you’re not a big fan of either Gay or his contract, but how would u suggest we let the Jose situation play out?  It’s not as easy as saying: let him expire and re-sign him to $3 million/yr to back-up Lowry.  Chances are he sees his value higher than that, wants to be a starter, could potentially have better NBA offers on the table, and could definitely have better offers overseas (particularly in Spain where he’s revered as a national hero) where he won’t be constantly looking over his shoulder for his “next replacement” as in Toronto.  It’s possible he has no intention of re-signing here after such little confidence has been shown in him for so long, and then we potentially lose him for nothing.  If we just let his contract expire, chances are we will be left disappointed by what the cap space we get instead will (or will not) net us in free agency as Toronto has a long history of having to overpay just for mediocre talent to sign here.
          If you have other trade options in mind instead, I’d like to hear em cuz I’m sure there are other valid alternatives that I haven’t considered.  Always open to suggestions….  :)

          • Robandbernie

            I figure Jose’s days of being a Raptor are numbered, but I do hope he gets resigned by us next year.
            It is not written in stone that Jose is our backup, see Ford, Jack and Bayless. Jose has a history of winning the starting position back, actually a long history of it.

            And what value you bring to Jose’s expiring deal. Barbosa brought us a second rounder, someone unlikely to ever hit the floor at the ACC

            As per fantasy trades, it’s something my 10 year old discusses with his peers. RealGM or BleacherReport fodder.
            Lets leave that to the GM

            • Matt52

               I agree on Barbosa returned very little but it should be noted that the Raptors appear to be at a different place than a year ago.  Last year BC made it clear they did not want any money coming back.  This year might be different – I don’t know, just saying.

              Barbosa returned very little with no money coming back.  That might be passed off as irrelevant but I think it is something very important to remember.  Nothing came of it but having the space provided possible opportunities…. again nothing came to pass but it would have been a shame had BC had an offer on the table but there was $6M in contract holding up a deal.

              • Tinman

                Listen, you express your view and make a good point on money coming back with Barbosa.
                I think my main point is I don’t see Rudy Gay as that good a piece for the price that is attached with him. And a move of that nature is a season or two away. Why do it now?

                • Matt52

                   Why 1 or 2 seasons away?

                  What happens if an opportunity arises for a trade now but it is put off and then no opportunity is there in a 1 or 2 seasons?

                  Why do it now?  Because assuming JV quickly becomes at least an average NBA C, the Raps are one wing away from a legit playoff team with no questions asked, in my opinion.

                  What is losing for one more year going to do for the Raptors?  A lottery pick is going to Houston unless the Raps hit lottery gold and pick 1, 2, or 3.

                  Why not hope Jose is as understanding about the business of the NBA as he claims to be, trade his contract, and sign him back this summer with the MLE?

                  I’m not sure why adding a top wing in the NBA is not an exciting proposition.

    • Mapko

      This summer the talk was something like Jose, DD, Ed AND at 1 first -no chance;
      If the price is Jose, Ed, DD for Gay AND Wroten Jr -I am interested. 
      Would this be fair -no, but tough. 
      JJ & Nets already established value (zero) for a good (legit/borderline all star);
      Lets be fair -what if DD averages 14-18 PPG -What do you pay him -10-12 mil (hell no). Then he walks for nothing. We only need Jose as a backup (at 10+Mil -please). 
      Remember Griz let OJ just walk because of salary. They have some 60 mil to 5 guys -what about a bench? This only gets them First round & a large tax bill.
      There are MOST teams that have no desire to pay luxury tax (Griz even with new owner -unless he is a cousin of Prokorov, will likely not pay).
      Other Q -what does Gay do for us: makes a likely playoff team while maintaining some core young guys -Val, Ross.
      Another option: wait to see what OKC wants for Harden -but that’s another topic.

  • Puffer

    Toronto needs to get rid of a few bodies so that the ones left can get playing time. It doesn’t do anybody any good to get 6 minutes a night. One of the problems of having such depth. 

    • GetDefensive

      Exactly, all these guys will only lower each other’s value over the course of the season as they eat into each other’s minutes.  That’s why I feel like the sooner a deal like this gets done, the better.

  • Jamshid

    The problem with Raptors is that they have done an awful job in getting talents through the draft or one might say developing these talents. 

    DD is no where close to where everyone thought he would be. It seems like there was a reason why Ed slipped on the draft day and he also is no where close to what people expected.

    This is why we have nothing to offer to team for trade other than expiring contracts and future draft picks. 

    Lets hope Ross and Big Val turn up to be better than DD and Ed.

    Gay coming to Toronto is a pipe dream but I can see Chicago going for the following trade:

    Jose + DD+ Ed + 1st round pick for Deng

    • GetDefensive

      I would say that’s too many assets to give up for only Deng, although you’re certainly entitled to your opinion.  That would be a package I’d probably send out for Gay, however, although if either DD or Ed gets off to a really productive start it may be too much.

      • Thecaptain2000

         That is way too much even for Gay. You seem to underestimate his contract goes up to 19M and the scenario gets realistic just if Gay clashes with Big zo or however if Memphis has a terrible season. I remember Memphis asking for exactly that package (or so was the rumor) this summer (and the pick was this year pick) and the answer coming back from the Raptors front office was “We are not going to solve your salary problems and talent problems all at once” or something to that effect. If those are the players, a first comes back to Toronto.

        • Destro

          Yea whats with this exaggeration of a guy whos not an all star in this league….Sorry you dont give up 3 key pieces of ur team for a non all star…esp when hes way overpaid….

          PLus im not ready to give up DeRozan yet and your foolish to do the same with Davis…

          • Jamshid

            How about after this season if Davis and DD performed the same way ? I know this seems to be alot but DD and ED have not done anything yet in this league.

            • Nilanka15

              Especially Davis.

              • Destro

                Disagree…second half of rookie season he showed what he can do…He needs to show more but i remember second half of 2011…  

            • Mapko

              Sounds fair.
              What if they don’t?
              Hint: Value=zero

  • howlonghowlong

    1) Resign Calderon for a 3 year 10 mil deal.
    2) Package DD and ED for a lottery (1-3 protected) pick.

    We’re not going to get Gay.  Memphis likes him and other teams can offer more.  Deng is not the answer.  The 2013 FA class doesn’t have SF scorers.

    The combo of Ross/Fields/Klieza will have to do until we can draft someone or wait for the 2014 class of FA.

    Can some one explain Amir’s contract?  I know we pay him until the end of 2014, but what’s the story on 2014-2015?

    • Destro

      Calderon is gone after this season one way or another…

  • GetDefensive

    I believe Amir is guaranteed through 2014-15
    2012-13: $6 million
    2013-14: $6.5 million
    2014-15: $7 million

    I don’t mind if we keep Jose and re-sign him as a backup, whether he’s willing to do that at such a discount is another story.  If he looks around and the market for him isn’t friendly, I could see him returning to Spain for a potentially lucrative offer, and then we lose him for nothing.  This is why I support cashing him in for something in trade during the season.

    I also see the logic in packaging DeMar and Davis for a lottery pick… any suggestions on which likely lottery teams would be interested?  I could see Phoenix and Detroit needing help at SG and PF.  PHX might be around 10-14, Detroit 4-8.  Probably not worth it with Phoenix unless they add something to the deal (what exactly we’d want back I’m not certain at this point).  And DET may not be interested if it’s a top 5 pick….

    • GetDefensive

      Toronto players’ salary info can be found at:


    • Lorenzo

      Amir Johnson making $7 million dollars…. wow…

    • howlonghowlong

      Not sure what team, Atlanta?  They’re likely to make the playoffs but may slip.  Orlando? … since they’ve traded for so many draft picks and they’re looking to acquire young talent?

      I was looking into Amir’s contract, according to hoops world the 7m in 2014-15 is not guaranteed but maybe 5 mil of it is?  Not sure?  Either way, it’s hard to stomach that him and fields will combine for 15.5M that year (i.e. >25% of team’s payroll!).

      • GetDefensive

        u could try looking at it differently, Amir and Val combining for $10.7 million shouldn’t be too bad (by Val’s 3rd year he could be pretty good), and Ross and Fields combining for $11.2 million is still excessive but could be ok if Ross develops nicely…. At least our bad contracts may be balanced somewhat by the talented youth on this team; gotta love them rookie contracts :)

  • Larrywkeown

    You guys have no patience….your suggestions will continue the long history of the Raptors training and developing young players for other teams.  DD has the talent and the work ethic to really turn the corner and become an allstar..he just needed some time to mature and gain some confidence…now that Lowry and JV and the “shooters” have been acquired, DD and Barg will not be the only offensive weapons which other teams key on…I predict DD will have a huge year and all you guys will conveniently forget all this “trade DD” commentary!!!

    • Jamshid

      if he does not have a huge season, will you then suggest to trade him as he did not achieve the expectations ?

      • Destro

        What are the expectations ? We have an italian center who hasnt met expectations in 6 seasons…

        • cesco

           We don’t have an Italian center but we have an Italian PF who is the #1 scoring option , could spread the floor for the likes of Bosh in the past or the team centers ( JV , Amir , Gray ) currently , drives to the basket more often than Dirk and cost only 10 mil/year which allows the team some financial room to continue a search for a top notch winger . Expectations met 100% for that salary .

          • sleepz

            Spread the floor for who?

            You act like opposing defences have always been keying in on Andrea which is bull.

            Don’t ever make the Dirk comparison. There is none to be made.

            • Thecaptain2000

               For the last two seasons opposite teamsn actually have. On the Disk comparison, you are right till  you watch them playing against each other and one looks like a pylon and not, he is not Italian.

          • Destro

            We dont have an italian PF we have an italian SG…

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    “Jose Calderon, a player who’s flirted with the All-Star Game himself and is coming off a strong year”

    Really? Jose had a strong year last season? Revisionism……lmfao

    Trade away both Bargnani & Jose and let’s start a new Raptors basketball day!!!!!

    • j bean

      There were only ten PG standing between him and the all-star game.

      • GetDefensive

        To be fair, I didn’t say he flirted with the All-Star game last season, I said he has before.  Can’t remember what year it was but probably the year we won the Altantic division I remember there was talk of him almost making it.  Probably based more on team success if it was that season….

    • GetDefensive

      “Really? Jose had a strong year last season? Revisionism……lmfao”

      I wouldn’t say it was his strongest, no, but for him it was a pretty good season.  He did miss 13 games but his offensive numbers were consistent with what we’ve come to expect from him over the last couple years and I saw a better effort defensively.  I’d call that a strong, although certainly not extraordinary, year.

      And I was not referring to last season as the year he “flirted with the All-Star Game,” just to clarify.

    • KJ-B

      Finally, some1 with some ball iQ round here–the worst draft pick in the history of the Raptors has been Andrea Bargnani… A Centre who can’t play defence and a “power” forward who can’t bang–could you imagine if Raps drafted Rudy Gay or LaMarcus Aldridge with Bosh?  I dunno–#7 is the gift that keeps on taking…

      And to all the #7 loyalists out there–close to 100% of the NBA will be coming into the season in game shape vs 10% last year post lockout… #7 won’t be looking as ‘fast’ as he did last year when players had no conditioning in that ‘magical’ 10 game stint to start the season…The book is out, high usage that hurts his team more than it helps–how on earth could a team expect to be playoff calibre with 2 anchors like Calderon + #7 — time to smell that MLSE coffee…

      • cesco

         Adding up the first 13 games Andrea played and the last 10 games he played , when he was closer to 100% of what he was in the first 13 games , the Raps have a record of 11/12 , for all intent and purposes they won half of those 23 games . By winning 50% of your games , you are in the playoffs picture and a healthy Andrea has shown the team can reach that lofty goal . Add Lowry , Fields and the rooks to the equation for good measure . Do you think by any chance that with Gay or Aldridge  instead of Andrea the team will be further ahead ? Tell us how far ahead , like a championship caliber team ? .

        • KJ-B

          It’s another thing to do it all year–game in game out… Love #7’s skills but he has no intangible assets that translate to leadership and respect on the bench/locker room like rebounding, grit, defense–big contracts don’t count… He’s no franchise guy but would be an AMAZING 6th man for a team like the Clippers/Lakers/Mavs/Heat/ where all he’d to bring is offense…

          He’s like a 7-foot Jason Terry for instant Offence!  If Denver wanted to unload some of their 3 men, like Gallinari and the french guy in the draft for Il Mago, I’d do that trade yesterday if I were BryCo!

  • The Rub

    The closest Calderon has come to flirting with the All-Star game is when he voted online.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RCWVIXH72H7GPHMFZ2B3HGJ3TM Alec

    “Jose could really help a playoff contender in need of steady point guard play or 3 point shooting, especially if there’s an injury. With an expiring contract (worth over $10.5 million), Jose also has tremendous value to a team looking to rebuild quickly or cut costs”
    The team in question is Toronto Raptors. We hope to be playoff contenders. We need a steady PG with 3pt shot and injury insurance. We need an expiring to add a piece next year as we are finishing our rebuild. Or just to resign Demar and Jose to reasonable contracts. For Jose 15mil/3 year for being backup sounds reasonable to me.
    Oh, and I would give up Ross before Derozan if the right trade is available.

  • hyperdouche

    Great article, I disagree on your power forward assessment. 

    Amir is made of glass and is just going to get worse. You mentioned the 7 years in the league stat. You can’t rely on him to just be there to play backup PF and/or C (cringe).

    I say trade him while he’s healthy and clear his salary off the books. It’s a good cap management move as well because Davis is cheaper and younger. This is the backup PF we’re talking about here.

  • sleepz

    Why would the Raps biggest need be a “go to scorer” when they have Bargnani on the roster?

    Isn’t this his role, because it’s not for defence, rebounding, or distributing the ball?

    Why would they have him as the 2nd highest paid player on the team (and soon to be first after this year on an escalating contract) if he didn’t bring significant returns to the table? I thought scoring the ball is supposed to be his strength?

    • p00ka

      Yeah, and why did Miami need James when they already had Wade? Why does OKC need Westbrook and Harden when they already had Durant? Why does nobody think Dallas is a contender when they have Dirk? They don’t need another scorer! The list goes on.

      As far as “highest paid player on the team”, what’s your point? He’s not even in the top 50 salaries in the league! If he was on the Nets, he’d be the 5th highest, behind Kris freakin’ Humpries. Chicago he’d be 5th. Knicks/Portland/Memphis/Boston/LAL/LAC 4th. The list goes on.

      • Destro

        ugh because LBJ is the best player in the damn league and Wade is fading….hyperbole to the rescue again…and he shouldnt be higher than 5th on any team until he rebounds and defends his position properly… 

        • p00ka

          Miss the point much?

          • Destro

            There was no point…you brought up Dirk and LBJ in completely different non comparable references…

            and a lame ass ramble about his salary which has ZERO to do with posters argument above you…

      • sleepz

        James and Wade are complete players, offensively and defenisvely. Westbrook, Harden and Durant bring multiple skill sets to the table and all are paid (except for Harden currently) handsomely for their skills and contributions. Dallas was not a contender last year but won their championship the year before. Dirk did everything that championship year.

        What does Andrea do??? What does he provide for his salary outside of low efficiency scoring? You are comparing him to players he shouldn’t be compared to.

        I don’t care about the salaries across the league. I care about how the Raps conduct their business and the investment they make in their players. How the Raps resources are utilized. 

        Andrea pays for the Raps not the Nets. The Nets squandering their resources is their business. I’m concerned with the Raps squandering their resources and if you think that analyzing the Raps situation is justified through how other teams make poor financial decisions you need to keep it moving and argue with those with are willing to entertain your rebuttals.

        • p00ka

          I was responding to the two points you made, not expanding it, as you choose to do now, to the finacial management of the team. Please keep on track about your own posts and relate my responses to what I was addressing.

          1. You ask the question “Why would the Raps biggest need be a “go to scorer” when they have Bargnani on the roster?”. Is that your main point, or not? Otherwise, why is that what you start with in response to the article? As I pointed out, in case you missed the point, teams need more than one “go to scorer”, and I provided examples in the hope you might get the point that your above quoted question is,,,,, well, dumb.

          2. You then brought in salary, as in top paid on the team, as an issue, which has nothing to do with whether they need a “go to scorer”, which is why I asked what’s your point in raising that, when you’re apparently responding to the “go to scorer” point raised in the article. Yes, I pointed out that if you wish to talk his salary, it’s a misleading topic to state that he’s the top paid on the team, when he isn’t even in the top 50 in the league, and the only reason he’s tops on the team the team is full of players on rookie contracts, making it a mute point. If you wish to expand your topic to evaluating value for money, then you need to look at the whole league, and analyze more than where he places on the Raps roster, salary wise. Do you get that?

          PS. apparently I don’t “need to keep moving”, as you appear quite “willing to entertain” my rebuttals, as poorly as you did.

          • sleepz

            1. Teams do need more than one go to scorer. The Raps imo still don’t have one. The players they have taking the bulk of the shots is DeRozan and Andrea. DeRozan is on a rookie deal so although the same scrutiny should apply to him, he is on a lesser contract. Your paying these guys for performance and of course they all have a specific role on the team. Andrea as the highest (as of next year) paid player on the team should be scrutinzied in his role, which is as a go to scorer no?

            2. I don’t wish to expand any topic. I am speaking about the Raptors and the resources allocated to a player who’s role I believe is as the primary scorer for his team. If you want to analyze other teams, then by all means knock yourself out.

            You’re right about questioning one thing. I am typically not willing to entertain your rebuttals. I did it as a courtesy to you on this occasion.   

            • p00ka

              Geez, the original point gets more absurd by the minute. You respond to the article’s point that the biggest need is a “go to scorer” by stating why is that the biggest need if they have AB, yet now you say he’s not a “go to scorer”, so how does your original question make any sense at all, never mind more than one scorer is needed? I get it. You saw “go to scorer” and decided it was prime time to rant about your opinion of AB, for the 500th time, even though it had nothing to do with the point of the article you were highlighting.

              Okay, you want to keep the topic solely upon how the Raps allocate resources. To do such a topic justice, it requires a much deeper analysis than AB is top salary, so I look forward to the day you provide what you say you want to do. BUT again, what does that have to do with whether they need a go to scorer? Or was that just part of your need to rant about your opinion of AB, whether it relates to the topic or not?

              “I did it as a courtesy to you on this occasion”

              Really? Is “you need to keep it moving and argue with those with are willing to entertain your rebuttals” mannerly and gracious to you? I don’t know what kind of home you grew up in, but that’s a lot closer to rude than courteous, in the world I live in, to a rebuttal that said nothing offensive to you. Unless a rebuttal in itself is offensive to you. In which case, I suggest you stay off the internet until you grow some gonads.

              • Stretchbigman

                You are an ass gerbil on this site.

                • p00ka

                  C’mon, this is the internet. You don’t have to hide behind an alias. Did you get picked on in the school yard today? There are better options to deal with it. I suggest the Kids Help Phone.

              • GetDefensive

                to be fair, I never actually said a go-to scorer was THE biggest need on this team, just ONE OF the biggest needs, just so happened I listed it 1st

                • p00ka

                  Fair enough, but the post I was responding to stated it as THE biggest need, though the replies stand in either case.

                • GetDefensive

                  ya I see that, just replied to u since u were the last 1 still talking about it at the time when I noticed the discussion… no worries man

              • Stretchbigman

                The Raptor internet cop role is getting played out mad quick. You do it better than the rest, but it’s tiresome.

                Just because I said AB was their go to guy (by role and by looking at the stats) doesn’t mean I have to feel that he is a legitimate go to guy.

                I don’t have to grow anything man. You are the type that shoots off when it’s convenient or safe so responding to you is pointless. You can be anything you want to be on the internet, but in reality the tough talk stays in cyberspace. 

                You can continue to debate my points sweating in an effort to counter what I am saying and that is good for you. Keep at it.

                • p00ka

                  LOL, forgot to change back from the alias you used to throw out nothing but childish name calling? LOL.

                  I see you jumped on the fan/internet cop band wagon that your RR mentors use. So FN lame, kid. Remember: Kids Help Phone.

                • GetDefensive

                  ya man u seem to get a bad Rap here (see what I did there? I’m hilarious) but I actually agree with most of what u say. Keep it up man forget that internet cop crap it’s ridiculous, they only say it when they run out of relevant ways to respond

                • p00ka

                  The “cop” thing actually had a legit point the first time it was used, but I’ve changed my approach to where it just doesn’t apply, and the ones calling me it are the ones assuming that role.

  • Roarque

    DDR is going to have the breakout season we’ve been waiting for. That should end the trade speculation where he’s the bait. Kleisa is going nowhere until JV is acclimated to the NBA and that means he’s here for 2012/13. Tell me again why AB isn’t available in a trade with the Griz? Who would YOU rather have Bargs or Gay – throw in Eddy.

    • p00ka

      I don’t think we should be trading for Gay at all, but why would the the Griz want to trade their star SF for 2 PFs when they have Z-Bo? You have to offer something the other guy wants/needs and a starting wing is a must in any offer.

  • Destro

    Anybody gonna mention that marca.com article lol
    Our favourite spanish PG whos a consumate team player im told is spouting off again about the organization….

    • p00ka

      What, when, where, to whom, in response to what conversation? If you’re going to make such claims, a link to a Spanish article (I doubt there’s many here that understand) does little to indicate anything but rumour mongering, with zero substance behind it.

    • j bean

      What does the article say?

      • Nilanka15

        Here’s the google translated version:

        “José Manuel Calderon faces his eighth season in the NBA with the same professionalism as always, but with more uncertainty than ever and reviews in an exclusive interview that you can read in full on or Orbyt BRAND. His name appears on all the rumors of transfers and the Raptors give ammunition to them.
        It still feels a major player in their team and brand the playoffs as the team’s goal. On the persistent rumors of transfer, is blunt: “There comes a time when you wonder why your name always comes up and not the other. Finally has never happened, but suffice to say anything to the end of something happening. I have never requested the transfer because I am very happy in Toronto. “He added: “Everyone would like to feel more valued, but in the NBA everything is different.’m Trying to do my best for the team and there are other things they value” The question is straightforward: Do you miss anyone from the franchise pull up for you? And the answer, too: “They did not say because I do not think. That I’m an important player for them this season it is true, because I have always considered so from the beginning. But on the other hand, Bryan (Colangelo) has come out saying that I am a candidate to be traded because I have a very important contract and I’m in my last year. Han said the latter more than anything else.”

        • p00ka

          In other words, much ado about nothing, again.

          • Matt52

             Exactly.  Calderon knows he is a trade candidate.  BC/Raptors have told him he is a trade candidate because of his contract.  While in Toronto, Calderon is happy to be there and the Raptors are happy to have him.

            Calderon appears to be a player who understands the nature of the business.

      • KJ-B
        • KJ-B

          This is the correct article: the news is on the street : http://tracking.si.com/2012/10/01/jose-calderon-reports-toronto-raptors-will-trade-him-nba/?sct=nba_t2_a3  

  • Nick Pollard

    Raptors are in as good of a position going forward as any team. We FINALLY have a point guard who is a leader and a fierce competitor. In my opinion, Lowry is the best player we’ve had since VC. He’s going to make this team better in every way, automatically it is his team. He’s an elite pg, and elite pg’s win.

    • Jamshid

      Is Lowry a franchise player that you build your team around ?
      I think Lowry is good but some fans are getting too excited about him.
      Lets list the elite PGs in this league:

      Rose, Williams, Paul, Rondo, Parker, WestBrooks

      Does Lowry belong to this group ?

    • Nilanka15

      Best player since Vince is still Bosh, based on individual stats, accolades, and team success.

      • Brain Colangelo

        Particularly since Lowryand his Valenciunas-ness have not yet played a game for Toronto.

  • expat

    If you understand spanish then that Calderon said in Marca is totally correct and in fact very professional..the guy is classy in Spanish as well but is also a competitor