Raptors disappoint as trade deadline passes

Remember our three off-season acquisitions which Colangelo insisted made up the best Raptor team he’s built? Jermaine O’Neal, Hassan Adams and Will Solomon are all off the roster as Colangelo’s officially gone 0-3 for the summer. Nice job guy.

I was expecting Anthony Parker to be moved and the only reason that I can think of he wasn’t is because of the expiring nature of his contract. Colangelo’s going to let his $4,550,000 come off the cap and hopefully that’s the last we’ll see of him. His recent play at the backup PG position might make you want to resign him to a lower number but that’s going to be a mistake since history tells us that he’s going to continue his decline next year. Colangelo’s been openly saying that he’s like to bring Parker back and to me that speaks of infatuation with a conceptual player rather than a proper evaluation of him.

We shipped Will Solomon to Sacramento in a three-way and got Patrick O’Bryant who like Will, shouldn’t be in the NBA. I suppose this was a trade that you had to make since there’s no point having four mediocre PGs on your team (What? You called Calderon mediocre?). With Banks and his chunky contract in town, Will wasn’t going to get any more playing time as that’s much better invested in a guy you’re stuck with rather than a guy who sucks. No offense to Will, it’s not his fault Colangelo reached in the summer. This trade reminds me of the Juan Dixon for Primoz Brezec one pulled last trade deadline, you know, we give up a guy who wasn’t getting any time for a guy who’s not going to get much time. Only difference was that Primoz had a personality, maybe O’Bryant can live up to his sort of Irish nickname.

Sacramento (which has cut its 09-10 payroll from $66M to $45M) is also expected to waive Mikki Moore to make room for Solomon and I’m sure I don’t need to remind you what he can do. He’s only averaging 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds this season but I’ll take him over O’Bryant, Voskuhl and Jawai any day, especially if we’re half serious about making a run at these playoffs. Smarter teams like Cleveland and Boston are vying for his services and he’s expected to end up in Boston. How come Colangelo doesn’t value those kind of players? Joey Smith (who many here want to target this summer) is also hoping to sign with the Celtics after the Thunder buy him out. I just love how great teams try to add that missing piece at the last minute, so much more interesting than trades involving King Will. You can follow all the trade talk and analysis at ESPN and also at NBA Round Table which has quick analysis of all the situations across the league.

I don’t know how you guys feel about Tyson Chandler whose trade to OKC got rescinded because of an earlier toe injury. We need somebody to rebound and there’s not many better than him. He could’ve been had for a package of Kapono and Parker as his contract is worth approximately $12M per year till the end of 2010. It’s tough to pull but frankly, if I have to take a questionable contract past 2010 I’d rather it be of a player we can use instead of the worthless punk that is Kapono.

Anyway, O’Bryant was Colangelo’s answer to our immediate big man woes, not Chris Wilcox. Wilcox is a guy who I’ve been wanting the Raptors to acquire for quite some time and yesterday somebody finally did. It’s the New York Knicks who only had to give up Malik Rose (averaging 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and making an expiring $7.6M) in doing so. Wilcox’s $6.7M contract also ends this summer so neither team is assuming any risk, the only gain for OKC is that they get to shed an extra 0.9M of their cap as the Knicks get the better player. You can’t tell me we couldn’t have put together a package involving Anthony Parker for Wilcox, you just can’t.

The Knicks went on acquired Larry Hughes and his 13M 2010 expiring deal in exchange for the mistake that was Jerome James, Tim Thomas and somebody names Anthony Roberson. Good deal for the Knicks as they add a D’Antoni-type player who can even play some defense without adding any salary past 2010. They have less than 13 million in guaranteed contracts past that magical summer.

You know what would be nice right about now? The ability to trade Garbajosa’s 4.3M expiring contract instead of letting it rot against our cap.

Jason Kapono wasn’t traded and I can’t blame Colangelo for that one, a team would have to be desperate to sign a guy considering all the other holes in his game. With close to $19M owing till the end of 2010-11, I doubt any team is going to touch a contract like that unless it’s part of something ridiculous like Chris Bosh. Get used to Jason Kapono fellas, he’s here to stay. Mo shats!

As evidenced by the trades that took place over the last couple days, I honestly believe that the opportunity to retool our roster so that it would have some momentum heading into the summer was there but Colangelo chose to remain quiet. Perhaps he’s firm in the belief that there’s no shot at making the playoffs and has raised the white flag instead of making an honest run.

Looking at our salary situation we have $45.75M in guaranteed contracts for 2009-10 which doesn’t include Joey Graham’s $3,441,104 qualifying offer which should be enough to keep him. The salary cap which was $58.68M for this year is expected to go down and if it shrinks to say, $57M, we’ll still have enough to absorb a salary in a trade before we resign Marion (if we choose to do so). The absolute worst thing that can happen for us is if we let Marion walk and are unable to sign a free agent of at least the caliber of Marvin Williams. Even if we address the SF position through Marion or Williams, we’ll still need to address the backup big situation and nothing short of a true, hardcore rebounder like Anderson Varejao should be accepted by the fan base.

For the last two years we’ve been asking players to play beyond their ability and at some point we’ll have to sign proven talent and not long-shots. Enough of Will Solomon, Hassan Adams, Jamario Moon, Jake Voskuhl, Nathan Jawai and Anthony Parker. Other than Chris Bosh we don’t have any trading chips and Colangelo will have to be at his finest in the free agent market if we’re to return to respectability as early as next year.We need something we can believe in without taking a leap of faith.

Be sure to participate in our latest poll which asks whether Colangelo has done enough to give you hope for the future.

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