I grant you it’s might early to be doing a post like this, but my brain was provoked by watching Grantland’s Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons. In their Toronto Raptors pre-season analysis, in which they have the Raps ranked #23, Jalen was strong in his belief that Rudy Gay will not be a Rap much longer. Is that an accurate assessment? If not Rudy, who on the present roster might be moved? I’ve tried to consider each player based on both their fit with the Raps, and their perceived value around the NBA.
|Rudy Gay||High||Expiring-contract holders are always prime trade candidates. Rudy might re-sign, but he’d have to take a pay cut. Does he believe enough in the Raps’ future to do that? Of course, there’s another problem – what team would trade for him?|
|Kyle Lowry||Medium-High||Another expiring contract…Kyle will need to both play well and keep his nose clean with coach Casey, and even then he might get moved. His reputation as a coach-killer may dampen the market considerably.|
|Jonas Valanciunas||None||A franchise cornerstone. Is Miami offering LeBron? No? Then hang up.|
|Amir Johnson||Low||He’s a valuable guy on a reasonable contract, but he’s not held in particularly high regard around the league. I suspect Dwane Casey would object mightily to the idea of moving Amir.|
|DeMar DeRozan||Medium||His name is plastered all over the place as most likely to be shipped out, but I’m not buying it. DD wants to remain a Rap, he’s still young and improving – why move him? If Terrence Ross takes a giant leap forward, DD might be pushed into “High” ground.|
|Tyler Hansbrough||Low||He was discarded by Indiana, and unloved by most other teams. Besides, we need a backup power forward, and he looks like he’ll work out.|
|D.J. Augustin||Low||Another player who didn’t receive much love in the off-season. He won’t go anywhere unless there’s demand, and I’m not sensing a great deal of that.|
|Steve Novak||High||A 3-point shooting specialist who’s likely to be of interest to a contender at the trade deadline.|
|Quincy Acy||Low||There’s little reason to move him, as he’s cheap and versatile.|
|Landry Fields||Low…no, lower than that||Until Landry proves he’s healthy and can shoot, he won’t be in demand by anyone. He’s a candidate for the Worst Contract in the League award.|
|Terrence Ross||???||A test case for Masai Ujiri. Can our GM be patient while Terrence develops?|
|Aaron Gray||Medium||An injury-racked contender might call, and we could extract a decent return. Aaron isn’t a long-term solution for any problem, but he makes an effort always.|
|Austin Daye||Medium||A throw-in to a Rudy Gay deal, perhaps? He certainly has no emotional connection to the team and its fans, like DeRozan or Johnson.|
Note I’m not bothering with Buddy Wasisname and the other fellers (Buycks, Morais, Wright, Stone). Let’s see who makes the team, if any, from that group, and then we’ll offer a thought.
What do you think? Who should (or shouldn’t) be moved, and why? Let me know in the Comments.
Brian Boake is Senior 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.
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