Just slightly off the trade radar has been the Raptors back-up point guard Jerryd Bayless. Toronto didn’t pick up the final option year on his rookie contract and can make him a restricted free agent this summer in keeping with Colangelo’s plan for salary cap flexibility, plus Bayless has not made a secret of his desire to be a starting point guard at some point in his career. Coach Casey however handed the starting job back to the veteran Jose Calderon and assigned Bayless the back-up role. This marks the third time in his short NBA career that Bayless has been stuck behind a veteran point guard who is playing well.
“Sooner or later I do want to do that and hopefully some day that happens,” said Bayless. “But right now I am here and this is the role I have been given so I am going to do whatever to help this team.”
In an effort to get Bayless more minutes, Casey has started the young combo guard at the two several times, but this isn’t the role Bayless wants. When asked about it, Bayless was emphatic.
“I am playing the backup point and I’d rather play backup point and continue to do what I am,” said Bayless.
Bayless has been a solid player for the Raptors, both off the bench backing up Calderon and providing scoring from the off guard position and he isn’t causing any waves, but it seems unlikely the Raptors will be his first choice as a free agent and if the team wants an asset in return, the trade deadline may provide their best opportunity.