Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors: Match Maker

David Aaron LindsayContributor IDecember 5, 2008

Here's a crazy idea, and I KNOW I will get some real flak from both sides for this, but hear me out here and then make your final judgment.


Toronto Raptors trade Andrea Bargnani, Jason Kapono, Joey Graham, Will Solomon and their 2009 first round pick.

Golden State trades Corey Maggette, Marcus Williams, Marco Belinelli and Brandon Wright.


First let's evaluate pure feasibility. Right off the top, this deal wouldn't be able to be approved until after Dec. 15 because that is the earliest that players who signed in the offseason can be traded.

This could also help explain why the Raptors made the coaching move now; to see how they perform with the current roster before those signed become available for trade.

Secondly, dollars. The Raptors would be sending over about $14 million in contracts with Golden State sending back about $13.5 million. So the Warriors' owe slightly more money immediately, but save money in the long run as all the players coming in have short deals or deals that expire at the end of the year. Either way, the money works.

Toronto Raptors Perspective:

The Raptors are built, and more importantly NEED, to win now. If we don't start winning and winning fairly big now, then we can guarantee Bosh will be saying bye-bye in two years.

O'Neal is not getting any younger, and while some people have been down on him, I actually think he has been pretty good and is definitely further along than I thought he would be at this point. So this satisfies that criteria for us. Not only does the trade make us deeper right away, but it makes our starting five more balanced as well.

Maggette is a solid defender at small forward, plus he gives us another scoring option that isn't afraid to take it to the rack.

Williams gives us a solid backup PG that has recent NBA experience.

Belinelli is a European player and great shooter that I know the Raptors were high on when he came out.

Wright is a versatile front court player that slides in behind Bosh and could also get some time backing up the three. He is still very raw but we really don't need to get a lot out of him right away.

The Raps Depth Chart would look something like this:

PG: Calderon, Williams, Ukic
SG: Parker, Belinelli, Adams
SF: Maggette, Moon, Wright
PF: Bosh, Wright, Hump
C: O'Neal, Hump

This lineup makes me feel a whole lot better when thinking about if the team can compete in the East this year.

Sure Bargnani has looked like he is starting to figure things out, but let's be realistic here folks, he isn't a SF and Bosh will always will be blocking him at PF, where he belongs. He is also probably another year or two away from developing his talents and by that time, what are we really left with?

You HAVE to give up something to get something and he is the only logical choice.

Kapono has never really fit in Toronto but could be valuable in the right system.

Graham and Solomon are more for contract purposes to make the money work.

I don't like dealing another first rounder, but we need to win now, not three years from now when that first rounder will be able to contribute.

From the Warriors perspective:

Golden State is off to a terrible start. They are in, and should be in, full rebuild mold. Nellie says he is sticking around for the rebuild, so the Warriors need to bring in players that are going to fit his system.

By acquiring Jamal Crawford, they further congested their wing situation. Anthony Morrow looks like he has real potential and needs to have more playing time. This really helps by taking Maggette out of the equation. Maggette has a long-term contract and is a player that "needs his minutes".


Bargnani has been referred to as Dirk-like right? (Due to a similar skill set). So who better to guide Bargnani in his early years than the coach that helped develop Dirk. I think Barney is the kind of PF that fits Nellie's system as well. With Biedrins proving that he's a defensive force at center, Bargani would be able to play at his natural PF position.

Kapono is another player who seems to fit Nellie's run and gun style. He is one of, if not the best, three-point shooter in the league and Nellie's teams always throw up a boat load of those.

Graham and Solomon would just be bench fillers and depth options at best.

The first rounder gives Golden State a chance to add more youth for the future of the franchise next summer.

The Warriors depth chart would look something like this:

PG: Crawford/Ellis (When he's healthy), Watson, Nelson, Solomon
SG: Jackson, Morrow, Watson
SF: Azubuike, Kapono, Randolph, Graham
PF: Bargnani, Randolph, Kurz, Hendrix
C: Biedrins, Turiaf

Now that's a run and gun lineup that could take advantage of Nellie's style.

Signing Maggette was probably a mistake for the team to begin with. The Warriors were already deep at that position. In addition he's not a signing you make if you're building for the future. They would probably relish the opportunity to undo this transgression.

Williams obviously has fallen out of favor with Nellie as he barely sees the court and doesn't appear to be part of their long term vision.

Belinelli might be Nellie's kind of player but again, with acquiring Crawford, the Warriors are over-stocked at that position. In addition, Watson seems to be performing well and Morrow looks like he may have passed him on the depth chart.

Wright also doesn't appear to be a favorite of Nellie. I mean, the Warriors don't have a lot of depth at power forward and his minutes are some of the most sporadic in the league.


I don't know whether I have convinced you or not, and obviously no one of any consequence is paying attention. But this seems like one of those rare opportunities where both teams could end up getting exactly what they need and want. Let me know what you think below.


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