The Toronto Raptors decided to participate on NBA trade deadline day after all. Fans were expecting a big splashy trade; what they got barely qualifies as a ripple.
Austin Daye, an alleged “stretch-4″, has been moved to the San Antonio Spurs. The Raps receive lanky guard Nando De Colo, a French national who is playing in his second season on this side of the pond after 3 seasons with Valencia in the EuroLeague. De Colo has been an afterthought with the championship-minded Spurs, so probably welcomes the chance for a fresh start.
Can he move the needle for the Raptors? While having a veteran guard on hand is usually positive, it’s hard to see where his minutes are going to come from. Julyan Stone and Dwight Buycks aren’t exactly secure in their spots – does De Colo bump them even further down (perhaps to the D-League)? Is Greivis Vasquez on the outs? I’m not going to overthink this situation. Dwane Casey will probably give Nando some minutes following a few practices, then decide if he can help in spot duty, or if he’ll rack up a bunch of DNP-CDs (Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision).
Austin Daye may be a good fit in Texas, but only if he rediscovers his outside shot. He didn’t make a 3-ball in a Raptor uniform, but the Spurs utilize a ball-movement offense which emphasizes accurate shooting from deep. Coach Gregg Popovich is notorious for resting all his aging stars for entire games when he deems the time off more valuable than another win (must be nice). Don’t be surprised if Austin gets 20 minutes of burn in one game.
Just for fun, I tried this trade on the Machine; it passed (I should hope so!) and claims no impact on the win totals of either team. I feel the same way.