Toronto Raptors Roster Shake Up: 7 Crazy Trades That Can Help the Raptors

Hasib MoeenAnalyst IIMay 24, 2011

Toronto Raptors Roster Shake Up: 7 Crazy Trades That Can Help the Raptors

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    OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 25: Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors sits on the bench during their loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on March 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downlo
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Toronto Raptors have a roster full of talent and potential. The problem is half the talent isn't even on the roster yet. Raptor fans are scrambling to figure what pieces will be brought in through the draft and free agency so that this team will look dangerous next season.

    We've all looked at the mock drafts and heard the free agency talk, but today I've decided to explore the trade market and evaluate what possible deals can happen involving the Raptors and other teams trying to figure out their rosters.

    Note: Not knowing what will happen with the CBA I tried my best to ignore any changes for these scenario's.

    Here are some crazy but possible trade ideas I've digged up, tell me what you think!

Raymond Felton for Amir Johnson

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets and Raymond Felton #20 of the Denver Nuggets celebrate late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Trade: Raymond Felton for Amir Johnson, cash and second-round pick

    Denver's Logic: Raymond Felton is a very good player, but the Nuggets' future at PG is Ty Lawson. Felton was in All-Star form with the Knicks, but didn't nearly produce as much with the Nuggets. In Denver, Felton put up 11.5 ppg, 6.5 apg, shooting 43 percent from the field. Many people believe Felton's performance was disturbed as he was no longer starting, but the reality is that he still played for 31 minutes a night.

    Is it possible that Felton's numbers in NY was a result of their system? Hopefully that's what everyone's thinking because the Raptors are trying to create a similar run and gun environment.

    Amir Johnson is a very good player. He had to deal with his back and ankle all season, and is finally getting surgery this summer. Amir Johnson's numbers won't likely wow you, but there is reason for Denver to want this young man. Kenyon Martin wants out, Al Harrington is no starting PF.

    Amir Johnson had to literally share playing time with four people. Reggie Evans, Ed Davis, Joey Dorsey, and Andrea Bargnani all played some PF, and Amir was stuck playing fluctuating minutes. We've all seen his ability to score though, and the Nuggets would be helping their roster by making this move. Amir scored 9.6 ppg, and pulled down 6.4 rpg, while shooting an outstanding 57 percent from the field; all in 26 minutes. When adjusted to 35 minutes he would've scored 13 ppg-9 rpg. 

    To sweeten the Deal the Raptors would include their 2012 second rounder.

    Toronto's Logic: We're crowded at the four, Felton is a legit PG who could play like an All-Star, when Amir won't really do much for us playing behind Andrea and Ed. This trade would be perfect if we draft Leonard fifth overall.

    Summary: This trade has a 1 percent chance of happening, and It'd be a dream come true for Toronto if it did, but at the same time there is some backbone to the idea.

Andrea Bargnani for Marcin Gortat and Garret Siler = Dream Come True

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 30:  Marcin Gortat #4 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the NBA game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at US Airways Center on March 30, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Thunder defeated the Suns 116-98. NOTE TO USER: User expr
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Andrea Bargnani and trade exception for Marcin Gortat and Garret Siler

    Phoenix's logic: Steve Nash is old, Vince Carter is old, Grant hill is old, Warrick and Childress are overpaid, Aaron Brooks goes to free agency if you don't over pay, Frye and Lopez are centers... Bargnani is a talent who will make this team better, losing Gortat won't be easy, but It's Bargnani: a 21-point scoring 25-year-old.

    He'll play PF, with Lopez being at the five. The Suns will do much better next season then they did this season with this trade—even with the stars aging. Bargnani has a very decent contract and the suns could try and make a few moves (trading Carter, Warrick or Childress), and their draft pick could be a solid prospect. If they land Biyombo or trade up for Burke, the Suns might not even miss the playoffs next season. This is a deal Phoenix will at least think about.

    Toronto's logic: Bargnani is great, would hate to lose him. Gortat is a Center. Interested? No? Read on!

    We always wanted a Center, and for around $7 million a year Gortat is way cheaper then anyone we'd get from free agency. Gortat is 27 years old and delivered a modest average of 10.2 ppg and 8 rpg per game, he shot 56 percent from the field, all in 25.4 minutes a night. This was in a season where he was backup to Dwight Howard for a good portion, and didn't start right away at Phoenix.

    When starting however, Gortat's stat line is more pleasing to the eye. He did 13.9 ppg, 10.8 rpg, shooting 56 percent from the field (all in 33 minutes per start). That is beast. If Gortat could average just 13-10 he's better than half the centers we could target in free agency, and I'm sure Phoenix would really consider this deal. Toronto Will have their center issue solved, and Brian Colangelo can enjoy a free agency spending spree with all the cap space he has saved up thus far. Toronto with the ability to drastically improve in the standings could trade out that 2012 first rounder and improve even further! Imagine this:


    DeRozen/J.R Smith/Barbosa or Weems

    Wilson Chandler/Shane Battier/Kleiza/J.Johnson

    Ed Davis/Amir Johnson/Reggie Evans

    Gortat/Kwame Brown/Random scrubs

    * Something along those lines (15 players or less though) would be pretty good wouldn't it?

    Summary: An Interesting Trade both sides should consider... *Notes: Siler is just a throw-in so the trade could work, Raptors could (should) include a 2nd rounder (2012) if it means breaking the deal, this gave Toronto a plus-six in wins according to the ESPN trade machine.

Deal Kleiza for McDyess?

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    MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 25:  Antonio McDyess #34 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 25, 2011 in Memphis, T
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Linas Kleiza for Antonio McDyess

    San Antonio's Logic: The Spurs were the best team in the West, yet didn't make it out of the first round. As their star trio continues to age, San Antonio could use some help. One position which the Spurs didn't get any bang for their buck was at the SF position. With the departure of Bruce Bowen, San Antonio brought in Richard Jefferson to add some scoring and athleticism. Last season Jefferson was unable to contribute the way they wanted, scoring only 10ppg.

    Linas Kleiza is a very good player. He could actually start for the Raptors next year if given the chance. Kleiza had played his heart out last summer for Lithuania, and played through an aching knee which made the problem worse. As a result Kleiza missed 43 games last season, but still managed to contribute for Toronto. Kleiza scored 11.2 ppg and grabbed 4.5 rpg in just 26.5 minutes. Those numbers adjusted to 36 minutes become 15.2ppg and 6rpg. Kleiza, at age 26, has a lot to offer SAN and can be a very solid contributor towards another title run.

    Toronto's Logic: The Raptors will be looking to sign a top SF this year. Most likely they'll spend a good chunk of change on a center, but will have money left over to sign a SF or trade for one. Kleiza really has the potential to out play his contract, but Toronto might not give him the chance. With Weems likely to be re-signed on the cheap and James Johnson still developing, the Raptors could try and save some money by taking McDyess for Kleiza.

    Their salaries are close to identical, but McDyess has less years, and the 37-year-old veteran will most probably agree to a buyout and return to a contender. If McDyess decides to stay, he won't be wasted. If you adjusted his minutes to a fair 25 minute game, McDyess would have pulled down seven rebounds nightly last season.

    Summary: This trade is bad for the Raptors. They'll be throwing away talent for a little bit of cash (4-5 million). Still, this is one of those trades which could help assist Toronto in another deal, having an extra 2-3 million/season could be the difference between signing a Wilson Chandler over a Tayshaun Prince type player.

Calderon Salary Dump: 2 Trades Which Will

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    CHICAGO - MARCH 09: Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz passes the ball to teammate Mehmet Okur #13 between Kirk Hinrich #12 and Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 9, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Jose Calderon for Mehmet Okur, second round pick OR Jose Calderon for Kirk Hinrich

    Utah's Logic: Okur no longer seems to have much left in the tank to help the Jazz. He is 32 years old, and has an large contract of $9 million next season. Jose Calderon is a potent point guard. His 10 ppg-9 apg stat line is very good. Jose spent a good chunk of the season dealing with injuries and sharing his spot with other players.

    Jose Calderon is one of the few (maybe six-seven) PGs out there who can dish out 10 assists on a a nightly basis, and should be worth taking for the Jazz, especially if they're serious about moving Devon Harris. Calderon can help the Jazz whether they draft a PG or not.

    Atlanta's Logic: The Atlanta Hawks have been a perennial play off team. This past season they defeated the Magic and gave the Bulls a hard time as well. Atlanta needs a PG, and they're going to be hurt if Crawford doesn't re-sign this summer. Atlanta might have to trade away Hinrich, a hard working blue-collar guy.

    Hinrich is good but isn't a real distributor, nor is he worth his large salary. Calderon could really benefit the Hawks and get the ball moving for their offensively challenged squad. Calderon's terrible contract won't be that terrible anymore because it was two years left after this season, which is a good enough reason for Atlanta to swap for it. Calderon can't play defense, but the Hawks will make up for his flaws and vice-versa, this is a great match.

    Toronto's Logic: This trade once again hurts Toronto. We save some money for next summer, but that's really far away and fans like me and you don't like looking really far. Why should Toronto throw away Calderon knowing he's going to do better next season? Calderon will once again be forced into playing backup behind Knight and Walker (if we draft one of them), and Bayless will also be in the mix. It's time for Calderon to go. Paying $9 million for a role player will suck but Hinrich is a hell of a role player. He plays defense, shares the ball and is a great guy just like Calderon.

    Okur can possibly have a bounce back season even at the age of 32, and the former all-star could provide the Raptors with a good backup center, and a useful second rounder (for 2012).

    Ideally though, the Raptors always have the choice to make further moves with whichever of these expiring contracts they get.

    Summary: This hurts if you're a Toronto fan, and might not make any sense for Utah unless the Jazz shake their roster up, so it's too early trying to speculate the Okur deal. The Atlanta deal is actually possible, and I really wouldn't mind it especially if we have no choice (if we draft a PG).

Should Toronto Absorb Charlie Villanueva's Contract for Detroit's Pick?

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    Remember this guy?
    Remember this guy?

    Charlie Villanueva, Pistons' eighth pick in 2011 draft For James Johnson and trade exception

    Detroit's logic: Joe Dumars made a mistake when he signed Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon to large contracts in 2009. Unfortunately the only way he can undo those mistakes is to give up valuable resources to rid the roster of these players.

    Charlie-V is one player who could be moved. His situation clearly didn't work out very well and even though Tayshaun Prince is leaving, I'm sure the Piston's will look to move Charlie-V. Giving up their first round pick (eighth overall) isn't likely, as they could net a solid young player, but the Pistons roster has plenty of young talent already on it and keeping Charlie-V could hurt the development of some of these guys (Daye, Summers, Monroe, Jerebko). With this move they'll have cap flexibility and could carefully address their needs moving forward. 

    Toronto's Logic: I know what you're thinking: Oh my god,  no, not the cap space, anything but the cap space!! Realistically though, this would be pretty good for Toronto. The Raptors will probably take a solid but not spectacular star at fifth (Knight, Leonard), but the eighth pick will also hold a very interesting player.

    With the eighth pick the Raptors can net a player who will be a gamble, but could possibly be better then our No. 5 selection. If Irving, Williams, Kanter, Knight, and Leonard are taken 1-5, that leaves Valanciunas, Vesely, Walker, and Biyombo left for the Raptors at 8. All three of the mentioned players can become potential stars right away for their teams but hold the risk of succumbing to their flaws early on (size, or transition to the NBA game, not coming over, etc). After having one solid and proven prospect, the Raptors can satisfy their temptation on another risky player, hopefully leading to a steal.

    The second part to this is: Charlie-V wasn't always what you see today. He did a healthy 16 ppg in Milwaukee, and in his rookie season with Toronto, he did 13 ppg which was very solid. Charlie-V coming over could possibly be a pleasant surprise.

    No matter how he turns out though, this trade will result in choice but to trade either Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani or Ed Davis. It will also result in a second-tier Center from free agency rather then a young star (Samuel Dalembert instead of Marc Gasol kind of signing).

    Summary: Overall this trade is something which also has little or no chance of happening, but the Pistons will think about it if they don't like what they see on the draft board.

Ed Davis for Javale McGee

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30: JaVale McGee #34 of the Washington Wizards puts up a shot while being guarded by James Jones #22 of the Miami Heat during the second half at the Verizon Center on March 30, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Toronto trades Ed Davis for Washington's JaVale McGee

    Washington's Logic: The Wizards will consider any offer involving Ed Davis, especially if they can move Blatche. Ed Davis is a solid young Big who scored 7.7 ppg and grabbed seven boards a night for the Raptors. Davis only saw 24.6 minutes per game, but more importantly he has grown as a player every month. 

    Ed Davis is oozing with potential, and should be able to put up 14-10 as early as next season. Davis has played PF and center mainly behind others all season. JaVale McGee is a great young center, but the Wizards will have to throw a lot of money his way a year from now, where as they have three more years to enjoy Davis' improvement before re-signing him. McGee is a solid center, which is not easy to find, but doesn't have the ceiling that Davis has, also the Wizards may consider drafting a center with their sixth pick (Valanciunas?). McGee has had his share of criticism and off court issues (e.g fighting with teammate Blatche), so he's not 'untouchable' either.

    Toronto's Logic: The Raptors have the money to get a center but that isn't going to guarantee anybody. Marc Gasol and Tyson Chandler are both considered vital to their teams, and Memphis and Dallas will do what it can to keep them. In order for Toronto to nab a top center they might have to throw near max-contract dollars around, which might not be worth it at all. Consider Chandler being aged 31, and Nene being 29, in two years their big contracts might haunt us, it's better to go young. If we keep Bargnani,  Ed Davis won't develop into a star off the bench.

    The Raptors could also focus on a SF this summer with the addition of McGee which could get interesting (I like Wilson Chandler).

    Summary: Check this out:



    (Chandler or Thad Young)/Kleiza/Johnson


    McGee/ Random Scrubs

    That's a dangerous Roster, of course I get a gut feeling that Washington people view McGee much higher then I view him, and they view Ed Davis much lower than I view him. Would be a good trade both ways, especially if the Wizards move Blatche.

Jennings and Maggette for Calderon and Bayless

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    MILWAUKEE - APRIL 30: Brandon Jennings #3 of the Milwaukee Bucks grabs his leg after hitting the floor hard against the Atlanta Hawks in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at the Bradley Center on April 30, 2010
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Brandon Jennings, Corey Maggette for Jose Calderon and Jared Bayless

    Milwaukee's Logic: Jennings has been terrible last season, and Milwaukee might want to part with the young star. Jennings was one of the hottest rookies back in 2009-10, and could still bring back much value. Jose Calderon is a proven PG, who can distribute the ball for the Bucks a team which has been known to have offensive dry spells. Many believe the reason why the Bucks dropped out of the playoff race this year after having such a promising season the year before is because they lost their top role player in Luke Ridnour.

    Jose Calderon is like Luke Ridnour just better, and should help the bucks get back on track. Jared Bayless is a young prospect who has shown a lot of talent. Bayless never really got the chance to be a leading PG, but was solid for the Raptors last season. Many people point at the month of April where Bayless scored 22.5 ppg, and dished out 5.6 apg, shooting 48 percent from the field, in eight games as a starter.

    Jennings has struggled shooting 39 percent from the field, and even though he finished with a healthy 16 ppg, many can blame his teams struggles to win games on his bad efficiency. According to ESPN's trade machine the Bucks win one game with this trade, and that is assuming Bayless does not improve (which he will). Corey Maggette is a scorer who did not see many minutes on the floor. He has been labelled selfish by some, and the Bucks should want to swap the 32-year-old for Calderon as both their contracts are equally as bad.

    Toronto's Logic: Corey Maggette only played 21 minutes a night. Despite that he still scored 12 ppg. His stats adjusted to 36 minutes is 16 ppg, a good stat line for a position Toronto could improve in. Brandon Jennings is a clear-cut star, and personally I feel that his value is at the lowest now that he has just gone through the "sophomore slump". Many players blossom and have break out years during their third seasons, and this would be a risk the Raptors can't pass up on.

    If Jennings does not give us a pleasant surprise, the PG we'll likely draft this season shouldn't have a problem replacing his starting spot.

    Summary: I'm 99.99 percent sure that this trade opportunity will not present itself for the Raptors. I honestly feel the Bucks will want something shiny and flashy for their top guy, and even though this package might make sense, it's just not going to jump out at anybody.

    Worth Noting: Jennings and Demar are good friends who grew up together, he's 6'1".

Unlikely Trades Which Could Still Go Down

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    Nice Space Suits Im Wearing the exact same one right now!
    Nice Space Suits Im Wearing the exact same one right now!Handout/Getty Images

    Thanks for reading, I went through a bunch of random trades trying to think outside the box, and spent too long getting scenario's which aren't that likely.

    Tell me what you think, do any of these work for the Raptors? What other moves do you think think they could do?

    Here's some extra ideas which I thought about, but decided not to go down with at the end:

    Bargnani and Cash for Okur and Utah's third pick = Utah won't do it, it's basically trading Kanter for Bargnani, and they don't have the need for a PF.

    Absorbing Ben Gordon (instead of Charlie-V) = He's $3 million a year more than Villanueva, so it'd be bad for Toronto at that point because they'll have too little to spend on free agency. Over paying someone by $5 million year for a rookie would be like paying a rookie $7 million a year, which isn't reasonable for the eighth selection.

    Acquiring Andre Iguodala:  He costs $12 million year, and we'd have to give up Bargnani (at least) to get him. The trade would make sense for Philly, but Iggy at the three won't help the Raptors that much, especially considering a line up of Knight/Demar/Iggy/Davis/(our next center); won't be able to shoot the ball for beans..

    Acquiring Danny Granger: Like Iggy it'll be hard to get him from Indiana. Granger would fit our team, but Indiana has young PF's which they probably would like to develop instead of taking Bargnani as their PF. Also there have been rumors of Granger going for the second overall pick, which would mean his trade value is probably much higher then we'd think (even though he's just another scorer honestly).

    Acquiring Rudy Gay: I'd like Gay to be a Raptor, but there is a good chance he's an 'untouchable'. Recent rumors have suggested otherwise though, but getting his max contract over to the Raptors without taking bad contracts back has proven to be hard. Still, I think it may be possible to trade Bargnani, Bayless, Kleiza for Gay, Vasquez and Smith. I feel this trade looks bad for Memphis and they're better off keeping Gay and staying close to the Tax then going for it.

    That's it, leave a comment tell me what you think, and thanks for reading!