A half-baked trade idea that could totally come to fruition.

Alright, bear with me here.

So, by all accounts, the Raptors want to keep building this offseason. As Ryan Wolstat of the Sun noted, the Raptors want to bring the whole band back. That includes Lowry, Vasquez and Patterson. We know this much.

In looking at the balance sheet, if all three are signed for a combined $20 million, it would leave the Raptors with little-to-no cap space left to upgrade. There’s also the cap figures for draft picks to consider. In theory, they could still build using the full mid-level exception, but a cursory glance at the free-agents this season doesn’t present any immediately obvious fits, especially at around $5 million. It could always be split between multiple players, but there aren’t that many holes in the lineup.

So the question remains — how can the Raptors upgrade? Here’s how: with John Salmons.

Most of you are counting the days until June 30, which is the deadline for Salmons to be bought out. I’m not going to beat around the bush — Salmons was pretty bad. He had his moments, and was once a productive player, but at the age of 34, he’s washed up.

Salmons’ contract has him slated for $7 million next season, but only $1 million is guaranteed. Tyler Hansbrough also fits in the same boat, where only $1 million of his $3 million is guaranteed. The deadline to buy them out is June 30.

Their contracts provide for interesting ballast. It’s essentially free cap space for any team who wants to carve some out. By extension, it allows the Raptors pick up dead salary, and perhaps an asset along the way. So which team is desperately trying to shed money?

None other than the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets, if you can believe it, are looking to add another superstar this offseason, and they can’t really get one via trade. They can, however, shed the burdensome salaries of Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, who are both owed $8.37 million apiece next season. If they manage to clear out their detritus, the Rockets could carve out as much as $19 million to attract a star.

The issue with Asik and Lin’s deals is this: they’re actually owed $15 million next season. They were famously signed to poison-pill contracts to pry them from their original teams. That, of course, makes it very expensive to take on either player. That likely prices him out for teams without playoff aspirations, which, coincidentally, are also the same teams who have cap room, for the most part.

But, if MLSE is willing, the Raptors could offer them, say, John Salmons and a second rounder for Omer Asik’s salary (disregard the salary figures in the image below. Houston’s real salary info can be found here)

trade

This trade works for both teams. It gives Houston the cap space they so desperately crave. Buying out Salmons gives them an easy out. For the Raptors, it gives them a quality upgrade at back-up center, of which they cannot reasonably attain in free-agency. Adding in Asik would still allow for the Raptors to re-sign their three free-agents, yet still remain under the luxury tax.

Of course, there are a few snags, mainly on Houston’s end. Shedding Asik for nothing is taking a loss, as he certainly does still have value. Also, shedding Asik’s deal alone isn’t worth anything because Lin would need to go too. Fortunately, if the reports are true, Morey already has deals in place to scrap both. And, not to be discounted, paying $15 million for a backup center is also quite a hurdle.

So, there’s that?

UPDATE:

Nevermind. It’s not happening. The Pelicans went crazy and offered salary relief and a first-rounder for Asik. Welp, it was an idea, but you can never plan on stupidity.

  • DanH

    Salmons for Perkins and 29th pick.

    • DDayLewis

      If they weren’t cheap, OKC would just amnesty Perk, trade 29 for Shump, and profit.

      But they are cheap.

  • afrocarter

    Asik was super-sad playing as a back-up to Howard; imagine how sad he’ll be having to back up JV.

    • DDayLewis

      He can’t afford to pout in a contract year

      • afrocarter

        Ha! This is true. Fingers crossed that his bummed-out attitude wouldn’t Andrew Bynum the locker room.

      • Rapturd

        I love the idea of using those contracts to get a player.
        And as much as I would like Asik as a backup, Casey would start him over Jonas.
        we could also wave those players and use the $8mil to get someone on our own.

        • DDayLewis

          Nah, if we waive Salmons and Hansbrough, then sign the free-agents, there’s no more cap room left

          • noname

            actually I got an idea, if we trade chuck hayes, fields, and this year’s first + future second rounders to the golden state warriors for harrison barnes, then draft antetokounmpo at 37 and a C at 59 and stash them in the D-league for a year or 2. Then trade salmons + hansbrough + a future second rounder for asik…we would still have enough cap space to resign our free agents and we would be set for this year.

      • ckh26

        You run the risk of his pouting upsetting a pretty decent locker room.

        • DDayLewis

          People get branded as bad personalities way too easily. No one heard a peep out of the dude until last year. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure Casey and Lowry wouldnt put up with his sourpuss.

          • jjdynomite

            “No one heard a peep out of the dude until last year.” Um, maybe because he wasn’t backing up Dwight Howard after being promised the starting C job on the Rockets… until last year?!?
            Why don’t you rewrite this to be about Salmons for Jeremy Lin instead (of Asik) because it is a possibility that Lowry might leave, while JV, the Raptors’ starting C, is under contract. Then the Raptors can hold Asian Night every home game and can rotate playing K-Pop, J-Pop, V-Pop, P-Pop, T-Pop and C-Pop to their hearts’ content, and to your chagrin.

            /slow news day

            • DDayLewis

              It’s not a slow news day. This is our third piece published today. And thanks man. Great idea.

      • afrocarter

        I’m sure he’d rather not come off the bench in a contract year, either.

  • Jensan

    i FIND DDL’s comments “cheap” not beneficial, if I am the Raps you are asking for Asik and Terrence Jones or Donatjus for Salmons and Hansborough, remember Toronto not only has to pay 8.3 million cap, but there is a back end salary balloon of another large amount I believe it is 6 million dollars extra.
    IMO Toronto has to pay less and this way it is a 10.3 million dollar deal that goes in both directions, costing Houston slot wise only two million and saving an additional 6 million balloon for Asik, Asik can start at PF as well. If you get Terrence Jones, you dont have to resign PP.

  • thegloveinrapsuniform

    JV/Asik could be the Robinson/Duncan of the 2010s. BOOM!

    • afrocarter

      That’d be one seriously clogged-up lane

  • TheSpiceTyrant

    I like this trade. He doesn’t demand the ball, finishes well and does a reasonable job around the rim. He plays a game similar to JV but could stretch the floor a bit and have fewer PNRs.

    A problem is rim protection. I don’t know what the real deal was with Dwight but id hate to see any degree of selfishness/minutes etc issues with this teams great chemistry.

    Another problem is our pace. If he comes off the bench, I worry about the pace slowing down too much.

    • Copywryter

      Rim protection? He was leading the league in blocks in 2013.

  • Brian L

    The last time a Turk came to Toronto..

  • Jamshid

    Another trade proposal from Raptor fans who think other GMs are idiots.

    • DDayLewis

      Well a GM just paid a future first-rounder to add $15 million worth of salary to a cash-strapped team so they could struggle to contend for a playoff spot.

      • 2damkule

        there are a slew of teams in the W who will ‘struggle’ to contend for a playoff spot, not because they’re mediocre, but because the W is so stacked. the pellies are on the move, they have a franchise, top-5 quality player in davis, and need to start making progress as a team. the pellies need to figure out a way to unburden themselves of the shitty contracts they’ve doled out, but they have a pretty solid core, and i think they’ll be a reeeaaaalllly hard team to score against with a backline of davis/asik.

        • DDayLewis

          I get that, but spending a first pick (trading away their first in three straight drafts) to get Asik on an extremely expensive deal for one year? How is that good asset management? Now they have no more cap room and they’re stuck with praying for health.

          What has to go right for New Orleans to make the playoffs? Here’s my list.

          1. Anthony Davis turns into a top-15 player

          2. Jrue Holiday stays healthy for the whole season
          3. They find some way to alleviate spacing issues with Asik and Davis in the front-court
          4. An upgraded bench (seriously they have no one aside from Tyreke).
          5. One of Dallas/Phoenix/Memphis gets much worse

          That’s a lot of ifs. They should have waited until next offseason, when the landscape of the West might be entirely different with the Spurs retiring, Durant and Marc Gasol potentially leaving and Dirk a year older.

          • Copywryter

            Davis is easily a top 15 player.He’s already fourth by PER. Fourth!
            Anderson spaces the floor if he’s healthy. Big if, admittedly.
            Asik is plus passer for a big and Davis’ post-up game isn’t great at this stage of his career.
            Asik is a great rebounder, so is Davis. They will beat milddling teams that don’t score efficiently.

            I think they make the playoffs next year.

    • Alex Vostrikov

      well, its not that bad as many dreaming that Toronto will sign Durant when his contract is up.
      may be possibility, in 10 years, when he is 40+, on a 5 year contract…. and max deal

  • Alex Vostrikov

    guess what…. pelicans doing it again.
    pelicans finalizing deal for asik…. and what Houston gets in return? next years 1st round pick.
    wow
    I guess salmons for asik is a long stretch…. or some ones wet dream.

    • DDayLewis

      Or the Pelicans massively overpaid?

      • BigDickKaman

        of course but this trade was about as deluisional as pelicans idea of becoming a top 20 with asik

        • DDayLewis

          It definitely favors Toronto, but it’s a salary dump with a second rounder coming back. There’s something in it for Houston in that deal. I obviously didn’t think the Pelicans would have paid such a price for Asik.

  • tonious35

    Do you want Asik’s 12+ million at the final year?

  • mountio

    As you have noted, the Pelicans picked him up and it cost them next years first rounder. Can we please stop with the notion that John Salmons (aka cap space) has value. Yes, he will help to facilitate a trade, but there is going to need to be a kicker with actual value to make it happen. I personally would not have traded our 2015 first rounder (equivalent value to the Pelicans give or take) for Asik …