Despite his well-chronicled defensive deficiencies, Bargnani would figure to be an effective pick-and-roll partner for Derrick Rose once the point guard makes his expected return from knee surgery after the All-Star break. The biggest impediment to such a trade, sources said, is believed to be whether Toronto can realistically afford having both Rudy Gay and Boozer on its payroll beyond this season.
If the Raptors make this deal, it will be for a power forward who has a history of injuries, a la Jermaine O’Neal. On the other hand, it will allow the Raptors to end the Andrea Bargnani era.
From a straight basketball perspective, replacing Bargnani with Boozer would be a significant upgrade for the Raptors, especially if this season is any sort of indication of the players in question. I’ve knocked Boozer before for being absolutely porous defensively, but generally speaking, going from Andrea to Carlos isn’t exactly that much of a defensive drop-off, and if it is, it’s certainly not enough of a drop-off to negate the offensive upgrade the trade would be for Toronto.
…on second thought, the whole #LetRossDunk campaign was unnecessary, as I’m sure in the end, the rook’s aerial assault spoke for itself.
Gay’s role as a Raptor can’t be over-stated enough, a legitimate scorer and creator who has so much to offer and so much that needs to be ironed out. People can debate whether Gay is a bonafide franchise player, but he’s among the very best at his position, which hasn’t been uttered in Toronto for years. Admittedly, Casey says some of the plays the Raptors like to operate are sets Memphis, Gay’s former home, would use, the common thread being assistant Johnny Davis.
The interesting part of this episode, however, is not that the Raptors could have potentially acquired a former All-Star like Boozer if they had a desire to do so, it’s that after six-and-a-half years we’re finally getting a sense of what Bargnani could net Toronto on the open market. While the former number-one-overall pick was always believed to carry some value since he’s a seven-footer with a three-point shot, his deficiencies as an NBA player – such as defense, rebounding and a lack of overall toughness – made it hard to peg what he would be worth to other teams. Complicating matters further was the assumption that Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo held Bargnani is such high esteem that no trade would match the value that Colangelo had placed on Bargnani’s head.
The bigger issue to me is the lack of development in terms of playing time we are seeing for both Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas. I think it is fairly clear the Raptors are not heading to the post-season. Even for the most optimistic, the loss to Boston has to pretty much put an end to logical debate on if they can make it. In my view, the playoffs are and were a pipe dream for this team after their disastrous start to the season.
It’s not that Boozer is a bad player. He’s not. He’s actually an excellent low post scorer, despite his lack of size for his position, and a very good rebounder. It’s just he sometimes struggles with consistency and has never been a good defender. If Boozer were making less money, it’s possible that Chicago wouldn’t be looking to get rid of his contract. But they are. In fact, if they can’t trade him, it’s a good bet they will amnesty him this summer. It says a lot when a team would rather pay you to play elsewhere than on their team. And now apparently Colangelo wants him. Why am I not surprised?
The last time the Pacers and Raptors met it was an ugly game. The Raptors came out with a victory but scored only 5 points in the fourth quarter, edging out the home team by a mere 2 points. Things are bound to be different as both teams are far different since their last meeting.
What do you do if you’re a team that feels you’re paying way too much to an underperforming power forward and you no longer want him to be a part of your team? If you’re the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors, then maybe you try to swap those power forwards and hope for better results with new surroundings.
Davis is essentially replacing Marreese Speights, who had, along with Darrell Arthur, composed one of the more imposing frontcourts off the bench before being shipped to Cleveland. Davis is not nearly the shooter that Mo Speights is, but the former Tar Heel is young, long and full of potential, and may be whom we point to in a few years to signify which team won the Rudy Gay trade.