What an off-season it has been for Raptor fans. Just when we thought we would be subjected to the Lakers on-again, off-again Lamar Odom soap opera we received news that our President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo has made yet another trade.
The acquisition of Marco Belinelli provides the Raptors with a youthful outside scorer and a further boost to what is becoming a strong Raptors bench. For those that have been NBA fans for more than a minute, you will remember that Belinelli was a first round draft pick of the Golden State warriors and his greatest claim to fame was the sheer dominance he displayed in summer league during his rookie season. Belinelli also showed flashes of the player than he can become by averaging 14ppg 3 rpg 2 assists playing the shooting guard position for an extended stretch in December of last year. While these are far from superstar numbers, Belinelli can be an asset to the Raptors coming off the bench (I truly believe Antoine Wright should be the starter for what he brings defensively to the team if nothing else).
This trade now assures that Colangelo MUST make another trade as this team has become extremely ‘guard’ heavy with Roko, Douby, Banks, Jack, Calderon, DeRozan. What's even better is that we now know that Douby and/or Banks are the most likely candidates to be traded or waived. The Raptors are finally starting to get rid of that dead weight sitting on the end of the bench.
In ‘losing’ George the Raptors have lost a capable defender, and veteran presence in the locker room. On this year’s Raptors team, he would be fortunate to get the 12-16 minutes a game he got in Dallas. The salaries are about the same and for Golden State they get cash in the deal to offset that salary. So what this amounts to is paying an undisclosed amount of money for the rights to Marco Belinelli.
So really what does Golden State get out of this other than money? Devean George and Belinelli make the same amount of money, and it didn’t even take a second-round draft pick to make this deal happen. This is questionable at best for the Warriors as they are not a playoff team, so acquiring Devean George doesn’t fill a need when they have so many guard\forwards on that team to begin with. So while this doesn’t make much sense from an improvement standpoint for Golden State you never know with that team. It is possible that Colangelo has incriminating evidence on certain teams and that is my only explanation as to why he has displayed a golden touch this off-season. The Raptors are starting to come together, lets see what Bryan Colangelo's next move is.