I voted for option #2, as I see three scenarios that play to the Raptors advantage when going this route:
1) add salary that another team wants to dump
- An example of this would be adding the bad contract of a player like Okafor from New Orleans, while also gaining an additional lottery pick as a 'thank you', similar to how Cleveland got the Clippers' pick last year for taking on Baron Davis' contract. The Raps could trade Amir for Okafor, and could also include any/all of JJ, Forbes, 2nd round picks (#38 & #56) in the deal.
2) trade down/out of the draft
- If the Raps are stuck with the #8-11 pick in the draft and aren't confident enough to draft a player who will be on the board in that slot, they could get a jump on other teams in similar position, by offering up their pick (potentially along with other assets too) for a legit player who's under contract with another team, before other teams have the cap space to do so and start a bidding war.
3) TPE is useless in scenario #1
- Another reason to like scenario #2 is that once July 1st rolls around and the Raps fall under the salary cap, the TPE acquired in the Barbosa trade is effectively lost. The raps can only use it (up until March 2013) if they are at/above (and stay at/above) the salary cap - taking on salary prior to July 1st would keep the TPE in play throughout the offseason.
The only downside to option #2 is that it effectively takes players like Batum, Mayo, Nash and Dragic out of the conversation, unless salary cap space is freed up by other means, or the Raps talk to team ahead of July 1st and work out a S&T ahead of time.
Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 10:43 AM.