Bryan Colangelo’s 2008 trade is a bust.
After two consecutive first-round flame-outs in the NBA playoffs, Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo was looking to shake up the Toronto roster. The Raptors had an issue with point guard T.J. Ford unhappy platooning and playing second fiddle to Jose Calderon in addition to being bested by the New Jersey Nets in consecutive playoff seasons.
In the 2008 offseason, Colangelo swung a deal with the Indiana Pacers for a former lottery pick straight out of high school in Jermaine O’Neal. However, once again, a Toronto general manager bet the team’s fortunes on a player with health issues. O’Neal’s injury problem was referenced in an espn.com article.
"One of those concerns appears to be knee arthritis, a degenerative condition any NBA player is subject to from the wear-and-tear of the sport. But O’Neal also underwent surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee in April 2007 and missed 42 games the following season due to pain and swelling, making him somewhat more susceptible to the condition."
Furthermore, the Raptors had three All-Star caliber center/power forwards on the roster after this deal, with Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani members of the Raptors frontcourt. In the end, Jermaine O’Neal’s time in Toronto was short. He lasted 41 games, in which he started 34, averaging 13.5 points per game before getting traded to Miami for Shawn Marion. The Raptors also failed to make the playoffs in 2009.