Photo courtesy of the Toronto Sun

NBA Trade Rumors: Has the ground shifted under our feet, Toronto Raptors fans – and do the Blue Jays get the credit?

Following the Rudy Gay trade, Bryan Colangelo went on record with some tantalizing and very out-of-character statements. This most buttoned-down and careful executive said he is willing to exceed the salary cap, and he may not be finished upgrading our roster. I haven’t been able to push those words out of my mind, and I believe I’ve finally come to a conclusion as to their origin and significance.

Feb 13, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and Toronto Raptors small forward Rudy Gay (22) box out during the second half at Madison Square Garden. The Raptors won the game 92-88. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays have rolled into spring training as the pundits’ choice to win their division, and possibly much more. Some astonishing off-season trades and free-agent signings (which have ballooned the Jays’ payroll from $ 80M in 2012 to $ 125M for the upcoming season) have bumped the team from also-ran to favourite. The deals have electrified the city of Toronto, and led to tremendous excitement even among non-baseball people who just want their city to have a winning team once again. The Raptors’ new owners, the shotgun-wedding consortium of major content providers Bell & Rogers, are certain to have sat up and taken serious notice of the Blue Jays’ interest spike. How could they not – Rogers owns the Blue Jays and the concrete bunker retractable roof stadium they play in! I’ll warrant the suits are already salivating at the additional advertising and gate revenue they will realize now the Jays are a hot ticket.

Bryan Colangelo, savvy businessman that he is, no doubt has challenged his corporate masters along these lines: “You allow me the same degree of open wallet that Paul Beeston and Alex Anthopoulos received, and I’ll deliver similar results. I can drive our revenue through the roof, not just from ticket sales [20 second timeout: the Raps attendance is 88.1% of capacity, well down from the vintage years of Air Canada Carter, though still respectable for a team with a losing record for years] but through playoff tickets and TV and internet revenue. With extra funds at my disposal, I’ll trade us into the playoffs…maybe not this season, but for many to come. So tell me now – can I break the budget like the Jays did?” I believe he got a positive reply, hence the sudden willingness to spend.

I don’t often discuss the Raps’ finances on this site. We’re basketball fans, not bean counters. However, Rapture Nation, in this case I think what is happening is too important to ignore.

The Raps went into the All-Star break on a 4-game win streak, which they will try to push to 5 tomorrow night in Washington against the improving Wizards. The trade deadline, as we all know, is midnight on the 21st, and I’m going to largely disregard salary-cap issues when analyzing possible Raptors deals. Can Colangelo complete a big, budget-buster of a trade to bring in another established star? If he does, he may galvanize the attention of Toronto fans, and convince them the Raps are serious about once again being a major player in the large, intense and lucrative Toronto sports market.

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: Bryan Colangelo Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Raptors Trade Rumors

  • Pun

    I sure as hell hope so…

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Pun: An admirably brief comment, which I’m in complete agreement with.
      We’ll “speak” again. I hope.

  • help me i’m on welfare

    Let’s spend and win…big cities do big things.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      multiple thumbs up

  • help me i’m on welfare

    And R.I.P. Jerry Buss.

  • Greg Hall

    A bit off this topic, but I thought of something we might be able to offer the San Antonio Spurs for DeJaun Blair, add Stephen Jackson and Cory Joseph and send them Andrea Bargnani and Aaron Gray, salary will work and SA want to get rid of Blair and Jackson’s contract is expiring and is what makes this work money wise, the only question in my mind is whether SA would take Bargnani and Gray for those players listed above and I don’t know if they would, but an interesting proposition all the same with San Antonio seemingly just about as willing to trade Blair and Toronto is Bargnani

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Greg: Stephen Jackson is a volatile individual. I question whether BC would want to take him on. It’s too bad; Jax can still play. I’ve always liked Blair, & don’t understand what’s happened in San Antonio. There’s an argument to be made that if you can’t play there, you can’t play anywhere. Cory would probably be happy to come home and restart his career.
      Give me your take, please, on the Al Jefferson trade. Thx.