I was deeply disappointed at the news of Pau Gasol’s foot injury, as I thought he would look great in Raptor red (with Andrea Bargnani and Landry Fields heading to the Left Coast in exchange). While speculating on other trades, I’ve harboured the hope that this trade will be deferred until the off-season. I think a trade makes great basketball sense for both teams, and I’m going to toss out another reason why it could help the Raps.
Jose Calderon has stepped into the role of Detroit Pistons’ starting point guard like the skilled veteran he is; Motown fans and management love him. Detroit’s general manager Joe Dumars has made no bones about the fact he would like to re-sign Jose, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. I have to believe Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors’ embattled President/GM, wants to bring Jose back – as would every Toronto fan I know, and most I don’t.
Let’s suppose Colangelo strikes quickly after both the Raptors’ and Lakers’ seasons are in the books to bring Pau on board via trade. Jose and Pau are fellow Spaniards, and great friends. Is it not conceivable that Pau could have then a huge impact on which team Jose decides to join? I can easily imagine Pau calling his friend to say: “Jose, we’re both on the other side of thirty, so we’ve only got a few seasons left in our bodies. I’m a Raptor now, and this team is much closer to being a serious contender than the Pistons. I’d like to win another championship, while you’d like to win your first. Let’s do it together in Toronto. You and I won a World Championship and an Olympic silver medal together; we can win an NBA title as well.”
Is this scenario too far-fetched? Surely not – one can easily imagine conversations of this kind occurring among Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade before they became Miami’s Big 3.
[20 second timeout: The Raps could acquire Pau today, if they waived his physical in the hope that his injury isn't career-threatening. While I like risky moves on occasion, this isn't one of them. You are welcome to disagree.]
There are financial implications to trading for Pau, and to Jose re-signing with the Raps. I’ll explore the Raps and the salary cap very shortly. In the meantime, what do you think about Pau as a Rap? Could he influence the return of Jose? Please Comment.
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.