The Toronto Raptors are rolling right now, but one can't help but wonder if this team can play to the level of Boston and Atlanta. They have proven that they can stay with Cleveland (remember Cleveland would not have an 11-game winning streak right now if the raptors won that game in January like they should have if it wasn’t for that awful last five minutes in the fourth quarter) and Orlando, and any other team in the east.
Boston and Atlanta however have proven to be difficult to say the least.
The Raptors have trouble against tough, strong, and athletic defenses and to combat that while complementing its current cast the Raptors obviously need a slasher that has a decent jump shot and very good live-dribbling ability.
Many Raptors fans would like to see Iggy on the team, and Iggy would be great but Caron Butler would be the perfect fit.
He can shoot the ball (Brian Colangelo prefers people that can shoot well), drive and kick, is still fairly athletic and brings high basketball IQ. Andre Iguadala is athletic and is a decent ball handler, but he is not the greatest jump shooter. Kevin Martin is a definite no, and Josh Howard might be on the decline.
The question really is what does BC do to bring in a player with the calibre of Caron? The only options are trade Hedo (which I'm not convinced many teams would want at this point) or trade a very valuable asset off the bench…..Jose.
Trading Jose would be detrimental to the team because he brings life to the second unit, and gives the second unit direction offensively (notice not “defensively”).
Not many teams can compete with the Raptors point guard-wise for a full 48 minutes. If Jose were to be traded, BC better make sure Marcus Banks is not going to be your back up.
If that isn’t scary enough, an injury to Jarret Jack would put Marcus Banks the starter. Barring a return of a decent point guard in return for a trade involving Calderon, Raptors fans can all but forget a blockbuster trade this season.
Brian Colangelo is a smart GM and he isn’t one to sit back. I see him still being proactive and bringing someone very valuable to the team before the deadline. It’s just a matter of whether or not he can make some magic.
If the Raptors are in fact staying in tact and no trade occurs, one better hope that they sneak into the 3rd spot to avoid the elite four (especially Boston and Atlanta).