Toronto Raptors: Trading for Gasol Is the Key to Signing Steve Nash

TJ NagyAnalyst IIIJuly 2, 2012

PHOENIX - JANUARY 05: Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors are tired of being a joke.

And why shouldn't they be? They haven't had a relevant, marketable team since the days of Vince Carter. Even the Chris Bosh era couldn't save the Raptors from continuing to fade into obscurity. 

Still, the Raptors have a fanbase that cares, and wants to see this team succeed. Let us not forget that this is the same franchise that sent legue attendance records ten years ago, when "Vinsanity" was at it's peak.

But now, after years of sub-par basketbal, the Raptors have returned from the grave in Jurassic Park-like fashion. They want to be relevant again, they want to break records, and they want to revive their city.

They want to bring in Canada native and NBA legend Steve Nash, to the reported tune of 3 years and $36 million. Not too shabby for a guy going into his 17th season in the pros. 

The dream scenario is far from being set in stone though. There are plenty of other, possibly more attractive options out there looking for Nash's services. Teams that could win titles now, and could realistically finally give Nash a ring to go along with his two MVP's. 

But still, this is Canada we're talking about, where Nash is revered, probably even worshipped.

He's the best Canadian player of all-time. It's not saying much when your only competition is Rick Fox, but still, it's worth mentioning. The guys a pretty big deal up there. 

In other words, Toronto has to make this happen, and here's how. 

Trade for Pau Gasol

To my knowledge, I don't think the Raptors have even been mentioned in the rumors for Gasol, but that doesn't mean they can't make this happen. 

How about a nice little package of Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and a first round pick. If that doesn't make the Lakers consider pulling the trigger on this, then I sorely think they're delusional about the return on Gasol.

Bargnani is a former number one pick, a seven-footer, and still continuing to improve. He's good, not great, and he's certainly no Pau Gasol. But who is?

And if you pair him with the Lakers roster? I don't see him failing. 

As for Calderon, he's the kind of point guard that the Lakers want, and will need if Ramon Sessions fall through their fingertips. It's saft to say that with guys like Kobe and Bynum (and Bargnani) around him, the 7-year-man could easily turn into a double-double threat every single game. 

And the first round pick? Of course the Lakers will take that. That's the biggest thing they've been searching for all along while shopping Gasol. 

Is it risky? Of course it is, especially if Nash decides to sign somewhere else, but Gasol in Toronto can still attract a PG, and could still make this team competitive at the very least.

Seriously, what have the Raptors got to lose in trying? At the end of the day, you get a proven franchise player, a huge opportunity to acquire the best point guard of this generation, and people talking about basketball again in Toronto. 

Honestly, looking at this current roster with Gasol seems like something that Nash would be a fool to pass up on. Let's just break this down for a moment.