That the Raptors need some kind of shake-up seems to be universally accepted at this point. There has been no indication that Bryan Colangelo is going to be dismissed. He also went on the record that Dwane Casey’s job is safe. So that only leaves trades as a way to shake things up.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for the Raptors, it has with Andrea Bargnani being ruled out indefinitely. This really hampers the Raptors trade options, as it was going to be tough to move a healthy Andrea Bargnani and impossible to move an injured one with a sprained right wrist and torn ligaments in his elbow.
This info was released while I was watching the Raptors lose their sixth straight to the Brooklyn Nets with only nine healthy players. Quincy Acy had to travel across country from Bakersfield to Toronto, making it to the arena less than an hour before game time.
Kyle Lowry is also out for the Raptors and is expected to be out 10 days with a partial tear to his right triceps muscle. Not that he is likely to be moved at this point, but he is hurt as well.
Add in Landry Fields who even if healthy would not be eligible to be traded at the moment. He will see a doctor to have a second follow up after he had ulnar transposition surgery on November 14th. No timetable has been set for his return.
There is one bit of good news, as Alan Anderson is expected to be back as soon as Friday vs. the Mavericks.
This listing of all the injury woes of the Raptors is to explain the team's challenges and argue that making a trade right at this moment might be unrealistic. So keep that in mind, if you see Andrea Bargnani in any of these trade ideas. In order for another team to even consider taking him, he will need to return and look healthy, before you likely even get a team to the table to consider trading for him.
It also makes the idea of packaging him with Jose Calderon something impossible to do at the moment. To make a big splash like a deal for a Pau Gasol, or even an Amare Stoudemire seems unlikey, both of whom also are dealing with injures. It really isn’t easy and the short answer is, I see it as unlikely that the Raptors can make a significant move anytime soon.
This is a three-way deal that would shake things up for all three teams involved. The Lakers move Gasol to the Raptors and in return get a young talent in Derrick Williams from the T-Wolves and Jose Calderon who can distribute the basketball. Like Steve Nash he lacks defensive skills, but can run the pick-and-roll very well. Williams gives the Lakers a legit future piece, something they lack on their roster.
This is what it would look like:
Minnesota gets Andrea Bargnani who struggles to rebound, but when you have Kevin Love on your team that is not as bad of a problem. What Bargnani brings at his best is a great three-point threat and with Ricky Rubio passing him the ball, he should find lots of open looks. They also add a first-round pick for their troubles from the Lakers.
While Toronto takes the biggest gamble with Gasol. They also take Luke Ridnour who would fill in as the backup point guard. The Raptors move two of their biggest problems and grow defensively, while not sacrificing any of their young assets.
Have a feeling Raptor fans will hate this one and think I may in fact be crazy, like the guy I am suggesting the Raptors trade for. Metta World Peace is a good fit in Toronto with the Raptors. He may not be the defender he once was, but he could be a positive influence on the rest of this team in developing a defensive mentality.
Add in the fact Metta World Peace loves Canada, with him spending a great deal of time on the west coast this past off-season. While visiting Toronto a few seasons ago, he decided to show up at an art show that was put on with him as the subject and theme of it.
In addition, coming the Raptors' way is Robert Sacre, the young Canadian center that could play behind Jonas Valanciunas eventually in the future.
In return, the Lakers get L.A native Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross, the Raptors' draft choice this season. This is not going to be popular among some fans. Amir has been a great fan favourite in Toronto, while Ross has captured the imagination of folks trying to be hopeful about the Raptors' future.
Is this a huge risk? You bet it is. That said, it may take this kind of move to shake up the Raptors. Metta World Peace is perhaps the ultimate X-Factor in many ways. At his core though, the guy I prefer to call Ron Artest has his roots in defense.
In getting Amir Johnson, the Lakers would add some depth and he could even play in the starting five, if they decide to move Pau Gasol, while Ross is a development piece that has the potential to be a very good player. Watching Kobe Bryant for a few years can only help the chances of that happening.
This is perhaps the simplest of trades that will be suggested. Amir Johnson goes to the Denver Nuggets for Wilson Chandler. Last season, before his eventual return, the Nuggets' Chandler was considering the Raptors. He did eventually re-sign with the Nuggets. This was all prior to the Nuggets getting involved in the Dwight Howard trade and taking home Andre Iguodala in that deal however.
This makes Chandler expendable to a degree for the Nuggets, while Denver could use some help on the bench at power forward behind what they have in their starting lineup.
It is not a terribly sexy trade for either side but it would help out in terms of depth.
This is just a small move in terms of the Raptors and would give them another option on the wing and perhaps their best option.
The Raptors might well want to wait and see what they have in a healthy Landry Fields. Even still, Chandler would be a welcome edition to the mix.
Brandon Jennings didn't get offered an extension by the Milwaukee Bucks. So this leaves his future very much up in the air heading into next season. DeMar DeRozan has his extension and a long-time friendship with Jennings. This will not make history in being the first article written pairing the two together.
Obviously, the Raptors would need to have supreme confidence he would re-sign in Toronto to do this deal
Yes, I know you hate this trade, sorry about that. However, the Raptors likely won’t do it, so don’t worry. That said, this is an example of buying low and selling high to me. Jennings was once thought to be an emerging talent in this league. Davis is begging to show signs of growth, while Terrence Ross still has lots of potential.
The Raptors have made the mistake of not trading assets at a high value. Ed Davis is at perhaps the highest point of his career. This may very well continue to be the case and his talent could continue to rise. That is the risk you take. In terms of Terrence Ross, he has shown us he can dunk and has the basis of being a good shooter.
This would be a risky gamble, likely one the Raptors are not going to take. Jennings and DeRozan could make a dynamic combination and it allows you to consider the idea of moving Lowry and keeping Jennings, if you like what you see. You could even keep both, but that likely would be far too expensive.
Vince Carter got a lot of people talking when he said that he had not ruled out a return to Toronto before his days in the NBA were done. Dallas is not in need of a Dirk-like seven-footer, they have the actual Dirk. What Mark Cuban may enjoy is getting a couple young players on rookie deals along with an expiring contract for $10 million and the change that comes with Jose Calderon
So combine this and that and you come up with this trade
Vince Carter SG
Shawn Marion SF
Darren Collison PG
Jose Calderon PG
Terrence Ross SG
Ed Davis PF
Shawn Marion was once upon a time traded to Dallas from Toronto. Collison could be expendable for a combo of Calderon and Fisher on the table instead. To be honest, this would be Dallas loading up for next offseason and waving the white flag on this current season. They could make a run at trying to land a big fish in free agency.
Let’s face it, being 11-11 is not the greatest and yes, Dirk Nowitski will be back, but how far can they honestly go? Why not just admit defeat and make another stronger run at it next year.
For Toronto they get some veteran pieces to help stabilize things in Toronto. A return of Vince Carter would be met with mixed reaction from the fans. However this would be a chance for him to restore his legacy in Toronto, something that it seems Vince may actually want to do.
If all else fails, go for the nostalgia angle right?
In the end, not sure any of these trades make any true sense. That might be the problem right now: No matter what deal anyone comes up with at this point, the Raptors are seen as desperate and that is a terrible position to be dealing from
Facing facts, the Raptors season is already lost, so why compound it with making a reactionary trade? Maybe the thing the Raptors should consider most is taking their lumps and seeing what happens when the deadline comes.
At the trade deadline the pressure will shift to the teams trying to secure playoff spots, or others seeking the final piece to a championship puzzle. That might be the best time the Raptors can actually get some true value.