Terrence Ross as a trade chip?

May 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross (31) blocks a shot by Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson (7) in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. The Nets beat the Raptors 104-103. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

A seemingly harmless bit of musing by the The Star’s Doug Smith in his blog seems to have taken on a life of its own. Doug postulates that the Toronto Raptors might use Terrence Ross as trade bait over the off-season. Our friends at Bleacher Report have picked up on that, and named Terrence in a post discussing each NBA team’s most likely player on the block.

I’m here to tell you that trading TRoss would be a colossal mistake. Yes, his stats so far in his brief career don’t exactly project a superstar in the making. He’s had two significant positive blips, one being his winning the Slam Dunk award (while I pooh-poohed it at the time, such things are fun while they last), and the other his 51-point explosion against the Los Angeles Clippers. That game was the most exciting Raptor loss I’ve ever witnessed. Otherwise he’s been largely mediocre, because his mid-range jump shot is a work in progress, to put it kindly. His 3-pointer has a greater likelihood of going splash than shots inside the arc.

Late and lost concert violinist in Times Square: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Manhattanite (misunderstanding question): “Practise, practise, practise.”

That’s the only solution for TRoss and his shot. His form is excellent and always has been. He just needs to put up a zillion shots in the off-season, like his teammate and gym-rat extrordinaire DeMar DeRozan. Anybody remember DD’s first couple of seasons? I do – there were times when I thought he couldn’t put the ball in a hula hoop, let alone a basket.

TRoss is turning into a defensive beast. He’s slender enough to slip many picks attempts, and more than quick enough to stay with almost everyone he’s asked to defend. His shot-blocking numbers are nothing special (Detroit’s much-maligned Josh Smith leads all small forwards in this category, and it’s not close – who knew?), although his steal numbers are edging up the ranks. No one touches big-handed Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio in these categories when combined; he’s third in steals and fifth in blocks. I can tell you from observation that few small forwards are more disruptive via kicking balls or tipping passes than TRoss.

All the analysis in the world won’t change my mind on one simple fact. Terrence Ross has a crazy-high ceiling on both sides of the ball. While certain players stake their claim to greatness early, others need time to figure it out. In his first four seasons, a future 2-time MVP winner never averaged 10 points per game and was considered a bust. His name? Steve Nash.

I don’t know who the Raps could receive in trade for TRoss that I’d be OK with. He’s certainly far more than a “chip”. I hope he’ll be with us for many more seasons, and is my ridiculously early selection for the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

What do you think, Rapture Nation? Have I lost my objectivity? Let me know what you think about TRoss in the Comments.


Tags: Terrence Ross Toronto Raptors

  • Take it in

    Yes they’ve lost there’ve lost there minds on t Ross he is up a coming to me I think writers are bored and need something to write about so they go to our best wing defender as trade bait to make story for readers to react but giving up Ross on any level is a lost put a vet beside him like deng or carter cause no one the team has the experience to take him to the next level

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Tii:
      Between Deng and Carter, I’d take Luol. He’s a better player and has less baggage than Vince. We do need a veteran teacher-type on the bench, or as a spot starter.
      Thanks for checking in.

  • Rowdy101

    Trading T-Ross would be a mistake. There’s way too much upside to this guy on the offensive side. His defence is already top 10, which is enough to keep anybody on this team. His offensive play during the playoffs should not be a signal. At worst, he becomes a bench player in 2015.
    For the Raps to go to the next level, they need the superstar. I think Masai knows this. Is DeMar DeRozan going to be that guy? In my mind, DD now has a new challenge: bring himself into the top ten players in the league. He can’t be the star-struck bench all-star like he was in the all-star game, and be satisfied with being top 40. Raps need him to be top 10, and the leader.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Rowdy:
      If I had to pick between DeMar and Terrence as to who is more likely to be a superstar within 2 years, I’d say Terrence. If DeMar has another 10% improvement in him, that would be a wonderful surprise, but I believe we’ll see his performance plateau. Of course that’s a plateau at a pretty high level, so I’m not complaining.
      TRoss can bring it at both ends of the floor, and he’s already a better 3-point shooter than DD. We fans have been waiting a long time for an exciting, winning team, and our wait will be rewarded soon.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Jensan

    For a backup three Tayshun Prince, a great shutdown player, and Memphis wants to move him. Another of my famous trades, here goes Hansborough+ Rudy Gay TPE (4.5) for Tayshun + a pick.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Jensan:
      Getting a veteran like Prince is something I’d consider at the trade deadline, if I thought the Raps would need a lockdown defender in the playoffs. I wouldn’t make that deal this off-season; I’d rather keep my options open & move Hansbrough if we spring a leak somewhere in the lineup.
      That said, I’d love to find a way to use the TPE.
      Love your “famous trades” – keep them coming.

  • Guy

    Bigger & better names have been traded so I wouldn’t say Ross is untouchable but, if he was dealt, the return would have to be significant.

    When I compare Ross to Derozan after his 2nd year, it’s not even close. Ross is faster, better shooter, better passer, better ball-handler, more explosive hops & a much better defender. He’s only scratched the surface and I think after a couple more years of experience/maturity he’ll be an extremely versatile & dangerous player.

    Further, since they came in at the same time, I think it would be quite enjoyable to watch Ross & Valanciunas grow & develop together. Especially given the differences in their games & demeanor. JV, the solid post presence. Ross, the high-flying slasher with the sweet jumper. JV, the emotional big man that backs down from no one. Ross, the cool-headed dude that doesn’t get drawn into anything confrontational. But not a single drop of ‘attitude’ or arrogance between them.

    If Ross does get traded….okay, but it better be a tremendous return. Personally, I hope he stays.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Guy:
      Amen to everything you wrote!
      I wouldn’t consider any player outside of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar untouchable, but Ross is very close. Once he starts scoring in the high teens consistently, JV will have more room to pour in points.
      Thanks for commenting.