News of Rajon Rondo’s season-ending knee injury induces long faces among Boston Celtics fan worldwide, but has the opposite effect on those of us who cheer for the Toronto Raptors. Let’s have our 15 seconds of schadenfreude …..OK, done, now we’ll move on to a cold-blooded examination of whether we should trade one of our point guards to the Celtics, and, if so, which one.
Boston general manager Danny Ainge will be under intense pressure to “save” his team’s season by trading for Rondo’s replacement and squeezing into the playoffs. Dealing for a veteran point guard is not a clear-cut decision; the Celtics’ best players (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett) are ancient. Ainge may well conclude the season is lost, and the time has come to scatter his veteran players to the winds. However, for purposes of these posts, we’re going to assume he wants to take a run with his greybeards.
Boston is hard up against the salary NBA cap, which means they can’t take back more salary than they surrender. With that in mind, we’ll crank up the Trade Machine.
Let’s start with dealing Jose Calderon, and we’ll discuss moving Kyle Lowry in our next post.
Jose for Brandon Bass and Jason Terry works financially. How does it impact our team? Bass is a much-traveled front court man (think Ed Davis with a barrel chest) who is probably out of the Celtics plans. Last season was the best of his career (12+ points, 6+ rebounds per game), but he has reverted to his norms this year. Jason Terry has enjoyed an excellent career, highlighted by outstanding play in Dallas’ championship run, but he’s 35. I can’t imagine Jason wanting to join our perennially rebuilding squad. Can we get a third team involved? Possibly, but it makes the deal exponentially more complicated. If we can’t find another team to take Terry, or if Boston won’t offer a first-round draft pick, this deal is a n0-go. We give up the hugely efficient and much beloved Jose for a backup power forward, and a shooting guard on his last legs – Pass.
The player I’d really like to pry away from Boston is their highly-regarded rookie forward Jared Sullinger. The Raps would get a lot younger and deeper in the front court, and this fellow has a higher ceiling than any of our incumbents. I suspect Ainge would get torched by the Boston media if he dealt Sullinger, but that’s his problem. We exchange Jose for 3 players: Sullinger, Jeff Green (a talented power forward who is trying to rebuild his career after major heart surgery) and the Brazilian Blur, Leandro Barbosa. The money on this deal works amazingly well. The Raps get much deeper up front, which gives BC flexibility as he reconfigures the guards. Leandro would be fun to watch for the half-season of his return, but the other two could be long-termers – Make the deal.
We’ll look at moving Kyle Lowry, plus the impact on the Raps post-trade, in Part II.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.