Feb 4, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Charlotte Bobcats center Bismack Biyombo (0) controls a rebound against Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O

Trade targets - who can help the Raptors, and what will he cost?

In the run-up to the NBA trade deadline of February 20, we have concentrated on moving Kyle Lowry. I want to flip around the telescope, and consider what kind of players the Toronto Raptors should be bringing in, rather than who should be sent away.

Jan 11, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards power forward Nene Hilario (42) dribbles the ball as Houston Rockets power forward Greg Smith (4) defends in the first quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In my view, we need the following, in order:

  • an old-fashioned, glass-pounding heavyweight power forward
  • a true backup centre
  • a shutdown wing

Today, we’ll  take a closer look at the power forward. Amir Johnson is our incumbent PF, and he’s been given every opportunity to establish himself as the double-double machine we need in that spot. However, he’s coming up short, particularly in rebounds (6.7 PG). Big-bodied 4s like Blake Griffin can also cause Amir grief, because he lacks the bulk to keep them out of the paint.

Of course, Blake Griffins, or even Griffin-lites, aren’t hanging around street corners; they are already gainfully employed, at eye-popping salaries. We aren’t likely to extract DeAndre Jordan, Jared Sullinger or Andray Blatche without giving up a cornerstone, so I’ll confine my speculation to PFs who might be going to waste elsewhere.

There are a bunch of The Usual Suspects who are being bruited about as available in trade: Kris Humphries, Ersan Ilyasova, Glen Davis, Spencer Hawes, even Brandon Bass. You got your mention, fellas, but I’m movin’ on. Here are a pair of young big men who intrigue me:  Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte Bobcats) and Greg Smith (Houston Rockets). Biyombo is a prime example of a project player, one who is drafted on potential rather than achievement. It’s not often these guys work out, but teams keep trying. The ‘Cats are waiting for a switch to go on in the mind of the Congolese-born Biyombo, though I have to believe they are ready to listen to offers.

Smith wasn’t drafted but has found a spot anyway, which displays admirable perseverance. He’s not going to be an All-Star tomorrow, but he’s young (23) and could improve. At 6’10″ & 250 lbs., he’s solid enough to take the interior pounding. The Rox are a dark-horse title contender, and may welcome a veteran who can help them in the playoffs.

I’m going to trade for both of them, just for the intrigue. [20-second timeout: Neither of these deals are rumors, merely speculation on my part. If I'm working off a rumor, I'll say so.] Biyombo was chosen #7 just 3 years ago, so Charlotte will want more than merely Steve Novak. In addition, toss them the 2 second-rounders we’ve got coming this summer (from the Kings and Thunder), and we’ll call it square. The Trade Machine says this deal has no impact on either team’s win totals. That’s also the result of my trade for Greg Smith, in which we send  Austin Daye (and a second-rounder, because I’m feeling generous) to Houston.

Hopefully that’s enough food for thought. Over to you, Rapture Nation. Is there a power forward rotting away elsewhere whom you’d like to bring to Toronto to compete for Amir’s job? Let me know in the Comments. If I like your suggestion well enough, I’ll flesh it out into a post and offer a hat tip.

We’ll examine our needs at centre and on the wing shortly.





Tags: Charlotte Bobcats Houston Rockets Toronto Raptors

  • Jensan

    Ok, it must be snowing where you are, and you are throwing as much mud against the wall to see if it sticks.

    PF rarely develop in the first year for every Blake Griffin, there are 20 Amir Johnson. However, by the 4th year you can see solid PF in Johnson’s case the 6th year.

    Now if you want a 10 Rebound game man, my inclination is David Lee. Who can shoot the ball from 15 feet and rebound 10 boards a game. Patterson can be a backup.

    However, trading Amir Johnson and Lowry for David Lee you are doing Golden State a huge favor, there is 40 million dollars there in turn trade Amir Johnson and Chuck Hayes, that is a more reasonable trade for the Raptors.

    MY ultimate trade is Goran Drajic for Kyle Lowry and get a third team involved like the Knicks and the Raptors can send, 2nd Round Pick from Knicks, Shumpert and Felton to Phoenix, we end up with Drajic to the Raptors, and Lowry to the Knicks and the first comes to the Raptors from Phoenix’s collection of firsts.

    Raptors than look like this
    PG- Drajic, SG-Derozan, SF- Ross, PF -Lee and C- JV

    PG- Vasquez. SG- Salmons, SF-Novak, PF- Patterson and C- Hansborough

    • Greg Hall

      Jensan if the Raptors can steal David Lee from the Warriors for Amir Johnson and Chuck Hayes I’m all for that, sadly I think the Warriors GM would probably hang up the phone pretty quickly.

      As for your second proposal I’m not sure who’s trading the picks and who’s getting them. It seems there are a collection of firsts included in that proposal, are those going to the Knicks? Are they both from Pheonix and if so where is their second pick from?

      I must say, I do like the look of that lineup (with Salmons likely covering most of the minutes at both SG and SF with Novak in limited action most likely).

      • Jensan

        To receive David Lee for Amir Johnson and Hayes allows Barnes to start gives cap relief next year if GS desires.

        • Greg Hall

          I like Harrison Barnes, but they took his starting chances away bringing in Andre Iguodala. Barnes is a Small Forward, I could see him sliding to the shooting guard, but I don’t think he’s big or strong enough to start (or play) the Power Forward spot. I still like Kyle Lowry though, and right now the rumor mill is swirling around Kenneth Faried. Faried was mentioned as a hot trade topic in a David Aldridge interview in All-Star weekend with the difficulty of what you pay this young man when he’s off his rookie contact (see Taj Gibson and Serge Ibaka’s massive contacts).

          • Jensan

            Faried is 2.5 years from a restricted free agency. Really Amir for Miller and faried works financially. Lowry is not a requirement for Denver

          • Newmarket_Brian

            Hi Jensan:
            If we can’t move Lowry, I’d stand pat. I certainly wouldn’t give up Amir for Miller & Faried. Chemistry matters.
            I agree that Lowry is not a requirement for Denver.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Jensan:

      Yes, it is snowing here in southern Ontario, but that’s got nothing to do with my post. Your comments leave me perplexed. I tried to be very clear about the fact I was filling Raptor needs rather than commenting on trade rumors.
      As to acquiring Goran Dragic: I don’t think Phoenix is even bothering to respond to proposals about that guy. He’s playing out of his mind for the Suns, and isn’t going anywhere. If you can work out a deal in which the Raps can grab one of Phoenix’s juicy collection of first-round picks, let us know, and we’ll analyze it.

      Finally, I did analyze a David Lee trade.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Rowdy101

    Teague…. He would make a great Rap.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Rowdy:
      I like Teague, but not as much as I like Lowry.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • AM

    I don’t see the Nuggets trading Lee for Amir and Hayes. Hayes doesn’t have enough trade value and doesn’t at all match the style of the Nuggets.

    I also can’t see Phoenix giving up on Dragic right now especially if his replacement is Felton. Phoenix has a good thing going, but it’s a surprised good thing, things are starting to click for them. I can see them being patient and playing it out until the postseason. If they made that trade it would be a step back.

    • Jensan

      AM, HERE is the deal, Bledsoe will be starting at the 1 and Ray Felton will be a backup guard as he goes on a diet or he starts looking like a PG version of Oliver Miller.
      Brian…… Standing Pat is going backwards. Amir, can be replaced by Patterson/Faried combo, for the same price for the next couple of years as Amir is now.
      Additionally, Miller is a solid PG for teaching Vasquez. Lowry can be traded for a quality pick and a Scoring Guard /Forward to back up Derozan and Ross replacing John Salmons who than can be traded. Opening your trading avenues.
      Finally, I like Brian your decision to go after Lee, but it is big money for a PF, Amir, Hansborough, and Fields for Lee and Draymond Green

    • Jensan

      AM i agree with you the Nuggets wont trade Lee, but Golden State may.

      • AM

        Ha, whoops