Leave it to Will Shakespeare to provide the pithiest view of the January 30 Toronto Raptors’ trade which has ruined the season. The Raps have gone 12-19 since Rudy Gay’s arrival. Loyal readers will recall I expressed deep dismay at the loss of Jose Calderon at the time. You’ll read tomorrow why the loss of Ed Davis might in fact be the worst element of the deal. Today, I’m going to consider the most elemental question there is – why did we making any deal at all? When the trade was announced, I managed to control my glee. Whether Rudy was worth acquiring was of secondary interest; the factor which precluded me from joining in the celebration of the Big Trade was a nagging concern that Bryan Colangelo had lost his own plot.
Over the past few years, there’s been no shortage of Raptors Nation members calling for BC’s job to be forfeit. I haven’t join their ranks for two reasons. One was that I agreed with his analysis that the team needed to be patiently rebuilt through the draft. The other has been his strong draft record since he’s been our GM. Whatever you may think of Bargnani, DeRozan, Valanciunas, Ross, etc., there’s no way to argue they are busts. Ed Davis, the #13 pick in 2010, took some time to find his footing in the NBA, but once Bargnani went down, Ed seized his opportunity. BC, meanwhile, continued his call for patience from fans and the press while the team’s rebuild took root and grew strong. Just as it was doing so, and BC’s faith in his draft pick (i.e., Ed) was being rewarded, BC was blinded by the light. Somebody whispered in his ear that the NBA is a star’s league, so Bryan wanted one of those, and traded for Rudy (“He who shoots overmuch” in Algonquin). Instead of sticking to his strategy, BC went for the quick fix.
We’ll continue this discussion tomorrow with a look at the hole left by Ed’s departure. On Wednesday, we’ll consider the long-term negative implications resulting from BC’s sabotaging of his own strategy at a critical moment.