According to Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com, the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets are set to complete a five-player trade that will see the Raptors trade point guard Jarrett Jack, center David Andersen and seldom-seen point guard Marcus Banks to the Hornets for Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless.
The acquisition of Stojakovic and his roughly $15 million expiring contract means the Raptors, if anything, acquire a very attractive expiring contract as part of the deal, along with the best prospect in the deal.
Jack has started for the Raptors this season, but Jose Calderon has shown to be the more consistent guard this season despite his defensive shortcomings.
Andersen was playing backup center duties with the Raptors behind Andrea Bargnani. However, with the return of Ed Davis expected soon, the club deemed Andersen expendable. Banks really has not seen the floor much this season, and is essentially just an expiring deal the Hornets would be acquiring—nothing more, nothing less.
This deal has some question marks, however, as the Hornets acquired Bayless from the Portland Trail Blazers in October and cannot trade him as part of a trade package until December 23rd according to NBA rules (60 days).
Bayless can be traded as part of a one-for-one trade though. This proposed deal could be done in two steps instead of one as a result.
Bayless, who is playing backup point guard to Chris Paul, is averaging 4.5 points per game and 2.5 assists per game with the Hornets this season. Taken 11th overall by the Pacers in 2008, Bayless has yet to reach his potential he had coming out of Arizona.
Stojakovic is mired in one of his worst seasons as a pro this year, only averaging 7.5 points a game and one rebound a game. One important thing to note, he is seeing about half the court time he usually does this season, so you could essentially double those numbers.
He's shooting an 11-for-25 from beyond the arc this season, good for a 44.5 percent three point field goal percentage while only playing 89 total minutes in six games. He's basically only played two full games with the Hornets.
The deal on the surface benefits both sides here. Jack gives the Hornets a backup point guard they sorely need as well as getting out from under a terrible contract in Stojakovic.
For the Raptors, they end the point guard debates they've been having for years, as Calderon will be the starter and the backup point guard will more than likely go to Leandro Barbosa. Meanwhile Peja Stojakovic will likely be the backup small forward for the Raptors.
Kleiza/Stojakovic (Expiring)/Wright (Expiring)
That would be the likely rotation the Raptors will settle on.
If anything, this deal also gives the Raptors quite a trade chip in Stojakovic. Along with a nearly $14.5 million traded player exemption, the Raptors boast quite the trading package for teams looking to unload salary.
The Raptors have holes just about everywhere now on this roster. The team could use a shot blocking, rebounding center who can defend along with a legit starting point guard, and maybe a wingman who can create their own shot.
Those positions remain to be filled, but all in all, this trade should be a good thing for the Raptors. It won't make them that much better, but it certainly won't make them worse.
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