Marcus Camby is coming back to Toronto!
No, that is not a joke, and you did not misread.
Howard Beck of The New York Times is reporting that the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors are close to a deal which would see the Italian join the Knicks for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and a first- and second-round pick.
The Knicks could use a new sixth man (with JR Smith on his way out) and would also welcome his ability to create space as a stretch four. The Raptors, on the other hand, are just happy to be able to get draft picks for Andrea Bargnani.
Does This Deal Make Sense for the Raptors?
On paper it makes little sense, as Camby is perennially injured, but he says he is healthy and he is making just under $5 million for the next two seasons, which represents a team-friendly contract or asset for future deals.
Novak is 6’10", can hit the three and would be able to replace the "floor-stretching" that Andrea Bargnani brought to the Raptors' lineup.
Something most Raptors fans may not know is that Novak is a better three-point shooter than Bargnani, as he hit 133 and 149 in his best two NBA seasons while shooting .445 from deep. Bargnani has never hit more than 121, and his best season from deep he only managed .409. Novak is .433 on his career, while Bargs is .361.
The two picks make this deal and, with closer scrutiny, make it a no-brainer for the Raps as a first-rounder and second-rounder. Backups at the 4 and the 5 is actually a pretty compelling offer for someone we could not find a taker for last season.
I would still prefer Boozer and his monster contract, but that is neither here nor there, as we may be able to get him when and if he is amnestied by the Bulls.
Does This Deal Make Sense for the Knicks?
This deal makes sense for the Knicks, as they get a proven scorer who can help create space on the floor, offer positional mismatches and provide them with someone who could potentially become the NBA’s premier sixth man.
Novak and Camby are little-used spare parts who both complained about their lack of a role in the playoffs, and they would likely see much more sizable roles in Toronto.
Tyson Chandler is the reason this deal really makes sense. Chandler is the type of center Andrea Bargnani needs to mask his defensive deficiencies and perhaps help him reach the next level.
Getting Bargnani for spare parts and a late first-rounder and a late second is just too good of a deal to pass up. I expect this rumored deal, if actually considered by both sides, to come to fruition in short order.
Can the Raptors Do Better for Bargnani?
This is the million-dollar question, but any way you analyze it, the Raptors need to divest themselves of Bargnani, and Camby and Novak will be much easier to move in subsequent deals, as their contracts are much more reasonable.
I was always a fan of the Boozer deal, and I liked the Spencer Hawes rumor, but Masai probably realizes Boozer is very likely to be amnestied and become a free agent while a Spencer Hawes deal will cost more than just Bargnani.
Some Raptors fans will be up in arms over this rumored deal, and I cannot blame them. However, Bargnani must go, and we may not be able to find a better offer.