Feb. 4, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Charlotte Bobcats shooting guard Ben Gordon (8) is pressured by Miami Heat shooting guard Ray Allen (34) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto Raptors deal Andrea Bargnani for Charlotte Bobcats' Ben Gordon?


There was a report on Thursday out of Charlotte that Bobcats shooting guard Ben Gordon and coach Mike Dunlap had a practice-time confrontation so fractious that ‘Cats management is listening to trade offers. In our continuing series on trading Andrea Bargnani, I’ll explore whether the Toronto Raptors should take advantage of this unforeseen opportunity.

Ben Gordon is a smallish shooting guard who has amassed some healthy scoring statistics during his eight previous NBA seasons. He enjoyed considerable success in Chicago, but after averaging over 20 PPG in 2008-09, signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Pistons. The boys from Motown have been in a down cycle for several years, and Ben wasn’t able to help them; his scoring numbers tumbled into the low teens, and he was moved to North Carolina in the off-season.

The Bobcats have not proven to be a tonic for Ben’s career. He’s nearly 30 years old, and is averaging 12.6 PPG in 26 MPG off the bench. Ben isn’t cheap – he’s making $12.4M this season, and has a Player Option contract for next at $13.2M, which he’d be mad not to exercise. Does it make sense for the Raps to step even further into salary cap jail in order to move AB, and does Ben help our team make the playoffs this season or in ’13-‘14?

I can’t find much evidence of Ben displaying knucklehead behavior in prior years. Has he simply had enough of losing and wants to force his way out of town, hoping to join a winning team before his career is over? Bryan Colangelo and Dwane Casey have no patience for locker-room malcontents – will they make an exception for Ben Gordon by overlooking this troubling Charlotte incident? He attended Connecticut, as did Rudy Gay; could his fellow alum keep Ben under control? I can’t answer any of these questions, so I’m going to assess this trade strictly on its hardcourt merits.

Feb 25, 2012; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies former player Rudy Gay (center left) stands with his family as he is honored before the Huskies take on the Syracuse Orange at Gampel Pavilion. Syracuse Orange defeated the Connecticut Huskies 71-69. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Ben’s role in Toronto would be as first swingman off the bench when DeMar or Rudy need a rest. He would therefore supplant Alan Anderson, and slice into Terrence Ross’s already emaciated minutes. Ben might also make the depth chart as the third point guard in an emergency. The man can shoot from outside. His career shooting percentage from distance is over 40, and has not dropped off this season (74/181, 40.9%). The Raps have become a perimeter, small-ball team since the departure of Ed Davis, so Ben would certainly be able to step right in offensively. He’s viewed as respectable defensively, although he struggles against taller wings.

What does Andrea Bargnani do for the Charlotte Bobcats? That’s difficult to envision, as they already have a stretch-4 in Byron Mullens. For AB to help, he’d need to play near the basket on offense, which is hardly his strength. He might benefit from having Kemba Walker as his point guard on the high screen and roll.

If I haven’t convinced you, I’m not surprised, as I haven’t convinced myself. This trade (which works one for one) would be another example of two teams swapping problem players, and hoping for the best.

February 8, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker (15) drives down the court during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Time Warner Cable Arena. Lakers won 100-93. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone like this deal? Comments welcome.

Brian Boake is a co-editor 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.

Tags: Andrea Bargnani Ben Gordon Charlotte Bobcats Toronto Raptors Trade Rumors

  • Ian Denchasy

    How about Gordon and Okafor for Pau Gasol?

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Ian: Interesting idea, but how does this impact the Raps? Help me out here.
      P.S. I hope your deal doesn’t happen. I’d still like to move Landry Fields & Bargnani to Lakers for Gasol in off-season.

  • Willie Jenkins

    Stupidest trade ever, are even planning on developing Ross? Ross/Anderson/Gordon all coming off the bench basically the same position.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Willie: Then we shouldn’t do it. Note I didn’t push for this trade; I merely called it out as a possibility, given Gordon’s rebellion against his current bench boss, and therefore his unexpected arrival on the trade market. Colangelo is duty-bound to call his Charlotte counterpart, and we as bloggers must explore how a deal might affect both teams.
      See my reply below for personal favorite of all deals we’ve explored.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Martin B

    The Raptors have decent players in the 2, they need a big man who can rebound and shoot. I’d rather trade Bargnani for Boozer instead even though it would imply a luxury tax.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Martin: I’m in complete agreement. The inside game is non-existent now that Ed Davis is in Memphis. As for the luxury tax: these Bell/Rogers guys can afford it. If the Raps get into the playoffs, they would view the tax as table stakes.
      Thanks for commenting.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Martin: The consensus of commenters clearly favours the Boozer deal. I’m OK with it. I think the guy is a pro, in the best sense of the word, although he’s not a long-term solution for us. If the smoke signals are to be believed, it’s also the deal closest to fruition. Having said that, there’s hints that Philly has an interest in AB.
      Stay tuned, and thanks for commenting.

  • rob

    This is just dumb, both teams have no need for both players, at all.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Rob: Both teams are below .500, in Charlotte’s case a lot below. They need something, or perhaps they need to be rid of something or someone. I’m not thrilled with the deal, but it wouldn’t be a disaster either.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • help me i’m on welfare

    Your articles are great BB but this one does not work (which I know you know). BC should be fired immediately if he made this mistake. At this point if the rumors are true take the Boozer trade before Chi-town realizes…let me not jinx it. If we don’t make the trade we will wish we did when we are stuck with another year of The Magician.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: Thanks for the kind words – much appreciated. When a guy like Gordon sounds like he’d welcome a trade, I feel duty-bound to take a look at whether him coming to our team makes any sense at all. You’re right about me not liking this one. It’s wrong on so many levels: trading big for small, bringing in a malcontent, giving up a still-young player for an older one on the downslope.
      However, it still could happen if Colangelo is determined to be rid of AB, and this offer is the best he gets.

      I’m monitoring the Chi-town situation.
      Please keep commenting.

  • d_money

    I personally really like Ben Gordon’s game. I would love to see him in Toronto but not at the salary he’s making. Like most of the comments I think it’s a no-brainer to get Boozer. But if the offer IS on the table…then why hasn’t it been taken yet?

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: I’m watching the ticker, and there’s no Boozer trade yet.

  • d_money

    If we were interested in bringing Ben Gordon to Toronto I would rather trade Landry Fields and Linas Klieza for him instead. With the addition of rudy gay we don’t need fields anymore and he is too expensive to be a backup SF. Klieza is going to get amnestied in the off-season anyway if we don’t trade him so he is just to make the salaries fit.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: If Charlotte takes this deal, and we could somehow dump Kleiza’s contract in the process, I might throw a party. I love it, as I too would rather keep AB.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Greg Hall

    Hi Brian, I’ve commented on a few of your posts before and I’ve recently heard a new rumor blowing in the wind regarding the 76ers and Spencer Hawes and possibly Dorrell Wright for Andrea and that the Boozer/Robinson for Bargnani/Lucas will be available as an option if the Raptors wish to take it until the end of the trade deadline.

    I must say that I think Boozer is likely the worst fit despite being the best player simply because there will not be enough shots of the floor for Gay/Derozan/Lowry/Boozer and I can’t say that I’d be thrilled about a Ben Gordon acquisition at this point either, bad attitude to go into the overwhelming mix of bench SG/SF’s like Fields, Anderson, Ross, Kleiza (if he ever returns) and Pietrus. That would give us 6 wings as the popular term appears to be with very little front line depth to give JV and Amir some rest, unless the plan is to sign Kenyon Martin and hope he’s still got some game AB for Ben Gordon straight up doesn’t make sense to me at this point.

    My favorite Trade Machine trade is actually Nene for Andrea Bargnani but I really doubt Washington would be interested, but that would make an interesting lineup for the Raptors with a lot of Athleticism at every position, quite the fast break in the making. Nene has run with Ty Lawson in Denver so he could probably keep up reasonably well with Lowry, Derozan, Gay, and pass JV or Amir on the way down the court.

    Thanks for listening to my rant, hopefully you don’t get too sick of me, just a very passionate Raptors fan with reasons to feel optimistic for the future of the franchise :)

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Greg: I am certainly NOT sick of you. We want Raptors Rapture to be a home for passionate and intelligent fans of our team – you qualify, so please stick around.
      Nene for AB? I’d do that deal. Washington is playing better lately. Improving teams usually don’t make trades, but it’s not out of the question.
      I’m committed to a post on the Philly story, so watch for that. We’ll be writing about Terrence Ross and the dunk contest as well.

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    That trade will never happen. Trading big for small? Does not make any sense whatsoever.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Jeffrey: Do you have a deal of interest? Please let me know.

  • Raptors18

    PG-Lowry
    SG-Gordon
    SF-Derozan
    PF-Gay
    C-Valanciunas

    Am i missing something here or does that not sound like the most athletic starting line in the nba! Ill support my case first by saying demar playd alot of SF this season, and he has become a very strong player who has fixed up his D alot! His confidence has gone up since the arrival of Gay too! Then we look at new york where they’ve been playing melo at the 4 and have been succesful… Gay has already seen floor time as a PF in raptor uniform, you have amir, grey and acy off the bench, Gay is ur big minute man with him playing the 4 you can easily rotate val amir gay the majority of the game with acy and grey there too! And now the 2 and the 3 where you’ll have fields ross and anderson, and obviously john lucas backing up lowry!

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi: I think of all the trades I’ve suggested as possible, this one has created the strongest opinions pro and con. I can see your lineup, and if I were Ben Gordon, I’d probably be thrilled at this deal. Whether he could re-charge his career is another matter entirely. As Jeffrey notes [below], teams usually don’t swap big for small.
      I’ve got at least one more deal coming, which has been put forward by fans of the other team! Watch for that one shortly.
      Thanks for commenting.

    • help me i’m on welfare

      That is a horrible idea. Ben Gordon is a sixth man who would leave us with a gluttony of wing players. However if the Bobcats offer their 2014 1st round pick (unprotected), I would agree, although it messes up my team till then. 25 mil for two years of Gorgon is hilariously ridiculous otherwise. I am glad you are not our GM Raptors18.

      • Raptors18

        Well your dreaming bud were not getting an un protected first rounder from the bobcats thats a joke lmao who are u trading rudy gay lol! This is andrea bargnani u bring a 2 who can rebound more then him, idn what ur watching on the court but that last game against pacers was ridiculous, this is about BC getting rid of his mistake, make they trade dont go for boozer! I also like the hawes trade!

        • help me i’m on welfare

          I am dreaming, but that is how much we do not need Ben Gordon. I do like Hawes (well it is okay) trade, but not more than the Boozer trade. And to be honest I would probably trade anybody for that 2014 pick b/c it is a chance to get get Wiggins.

          • Raptors18

            Wiggins is a SF what about gay?

          • help me i’m on welfare

            Wiggnis is the next Lebron, so who cares what you got already or have to give up, you go get him (unless you are already a perennial playoff team like the Heat, Thunder, etc.

          • Newmarket_Brian

            Hi guys: I’m going to take a long look at how the Raps can grab Wiggins. I don’t know when I’ll post – it’s a complicated matter, to say the least, but a guy with his vast potential (and a Canadian!) is worth the research time.

          • Raptors18

            We’ll have gay till the 2015-2016 season forsure no other team will offer him 19 mil in his player option! We’d have wiggins for a year then we could trade rudy im guessing for draft picks or pieces for wiggins