Bucks’ Miles Plumlee to Raptors for James Johnson?


Trade Proposal: does Raptors’ James Johnson to the Milwaukee Bucks for Miles Plumlee help both teams?

The Toronto Raptors lack of size has bothered me since Amir Johnson left. I don’t know how much I blame GM Masai Ujiri for not backfilling the power forward spot more aggressively. I suspect he thought Patrick Patterson would be able to step right into Amir’s shoes, but that hasn’t been the case. Luis Scola was signed as a free agent, and was third on the depth chart until pre-season games commenced. At that point, Patrick fumbled his opportunity, and Scola has been the starter since.

To me, this is not a tenable situation. Scola is tied for 22nd in Rebounds Per Game [PG] (with Amir and Taj Gibson – how weird is that?) and 2-Pat is tied for 35th, among qualifying Power Forwards. Our guys combined have fewer 3-pointers made (44) than Merza Teletovic (55) or Kevin Love (49). In sum, our power forwards don’t distinguish themselves either as big time rebounders or “stretch-4s”. And with  PERs of 15.27 for Scola, and a dismal 9.8 for 2-Pat (NBA average is 15), there’s little argument to be made for them as glue guys.

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All of which leads me to speculate about a trade, and to rumours that the Milwaukee Bucks are looking to move Miles Plumlee.

Jan 4, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee (22) drives to the basket in the second half against Toronto Raptors forward Bruno Caboclo at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Raptors 125-109. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Plumlee is listed as a centre, but I don’t see that as an issue. He’s struck me when I’ve seen him as mobile enough to play PF, and we’re in need of a backup centre anyways.

I don’t understand what has happened to Plumlee’s once promising career. As recently as 2013-14 he started 79 games for an overachieving Phoenix team, but was dumped midway through last season. Bucks coach Jason Kidd clearly has little use for the Duke University product (yes, a player’s college matters), as he’s barely seeing the floor.

The same applies to James Johnson, who once again has climbed into Dwane Casey’s doghouse and seems unable to find the key to unlock himself. While I think JJ can do a lot of good things (and a lot of bad, like overdribbling, taking bad fouls and running his mouth), coach clearly thinks the Raptors can win without him.

I don’t think this trade would turn our team from contenders to championship-calibre beasts, but small deals like this one can often help both teams. Whether Kidd would be interested in a player with JJ’s spotty career is unknown, but he might like the challenge. Perhaps he’d like a veteran to balance his kids.

Both Plumlee and JJ’s contracts expire this season, so neither team is taking a huge gamble with its cap space. If these guys don’t work out, wave them goodbye. No harm, no foul, as we used to say in pickup ball. We’d be winning this deal if for no other reason than we’d be trading small for big.

The ESPN Trade Machine is fine with the proposed deal; it works financially and has no impact on the suggested wins total of either team.

Next: Is Kyle Lowry a superstar?

Mason Plumlee can play two frontcourt positions, at a time of serious need for the Raptors. I’d make this trade.

Would you, Rapture Nation? Let me know in the Comments.