[20 second timeout: There’s much chatter about Memphis listening to Toronto pitches for swingman Rudy Gay. If I were Grizzlies CEO Mark Levien, I’d be asking myself why I’m bothering with the idea of dealing one of the core players of a 29-15 team. What could the 16-29 Raps send to Memphis that would make the Grizzlies better than what Gay already provides? We’ll look at this another day, if the rumor continues to have “legs”.]
A simple swap of Kyle for Brandon Bass works financially, but giving away a proven point guard for an undistinguished power forward would be madness. Hang up the phone.
Dec 21, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors guard John Lucas III (5) makes a move against the Orlando Magic at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Magic 93-90. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Here’s a massive deal that’s legitimate: trade Kyle and Landry Fields for Sullinger, Jeff Green, Fab Melo and Leandro Barbosa. Our front court suddenly is one of the youngest and deepest in the NBA, while our wings and back court suffer. This is a white-flag trade, meaning we’re surrendering any serious chance of sneaking into the playoffs this season. The team would be too unbalanced to contend. However, Toronto General Manager Bryan Colangelo and coach Dwayne Casey would have the luxury of extended tryouts for next year’s Toronto Raptors. If the trade was done with time remaining before the trade deadline, BC could deal from strength for immediate swingman help from teams needing bigs for the playoffs. Make the deal.
Finally, mull this quiet trade: John Lucas III to Boston for Sullinger. The Celtics are talking bravely about how Avery Bradley is ready for his close-up as the team’s starting point guard. Fine, here’s a veteran backup for you – we’ll take your rookie. I have grave doubts about Boston General Manager Danny Ainge even continuing a conversation with BC after hearing this proposition. “Wait – you want me to take an undersized aging career backup point-guard-in-name-only, in exchange for a highly regarded rookie big man? Sure, Bryan, I was hoping to get fired anyway…just pitching this crazy deal to my owner will trigger it, and I’ll get a fat severance.” I understand there’s no chance of this one passing the laugh test, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Perhaps Ainge will grow to like the idea of Lucas as his backup, and a multi-player deal can be built out from there. For example, package Fields and Aaron Gray with Lucas, and a swap for Jeff Green and Leandro Barbosa clears the bar.
BC must make it clear that there’s no deal possible without either Green or Sullinger coming to Toronto. Ainge badly needs to make a trade for a point guard. The Raptors have no need to deal at all, which puts BC in the power seat.
You will note I’ve shied away from packaging Andrea Bargnani in any deal. I don’t think there’s a GM in the league who will touch him with a barge pole until he returns from injury and shows he can still shoot. Even then he may be persona non grata.
I’ve also not bothered with bringing in third teams. While such deals do happen, they’re rarer than an Aaron Gray 3-pointer.
A few threads relevant to trade talk I’m going to explore over the next week or so:
- If we keep Jose Calderon past the trade deadline, is he likely to re-sign with the Raps?
- Does BC still have enough credibility left with the new masters of MLSE to get any trade approved, or is he a lame duck?
Do you like any of the deals I’ve proposed? Do you have any interesting trades you’d like to put forward? By all means, include a third team if you like. Drop us a comment.
Brian Boake is a staff writer 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.