Mickael Pietrus Trade Scrapped, Raptors Sign Rasual Butler, Aaron Gray Instead

Hasib MoeenAnalyst IIDecember 10, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  Aaron Gray #34 of the New Orleans Hornets holds the ball as Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts to knock it away in the first quarter in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Yesterday it was reported the Raptors and Suns agreed to a trade which would send Mickael Pietrus to Toronto in exchange for a protected second-round draft pick.

Today, however, Azcentral.com reported that the trade has since been cancelled after Pietrus experienced knee swelling after a workout with the Raptors, and Pietrus will return to Phoenix to rehabilitate the knee. Pietrus missed the last 12 games of the 2010-11 season due to injury and had a minor surgery on his right knee during the summer.

The situation with Pietrus complicates things for the Phoenix Suns, who recently retained forward Grant Hill and signed former Lakers guard Shannon Brown.

It is possible the deal is only being postponed and we might see still see Pietrus in Toronto uniform, but that hasn't stopped the Raptors from filling up the roster. It was reported today that the Raptors have signed both forward Rasual Butler and former Hornets big man Aaron Gray to one-year deals.

The 32-year-old Butler was slowed down by injuries last season and only appeared in 47 games. He finished the season averaging only five points in 16 minutes, despite having a career year with the Clippers the year before. The Raptors are hoping the 6'7" Butler will bring three-point shooting and a veteran presence off the bench.

The other player reported to have joined the Raptors is former Hornets center Aaron Gray. Gray is a 27-year-old center who has spent five seasons in the league on the Bulls and Hornets. Gray has been a benchwarmer throughout his career, but he provides decent size down low and is an efficient rebounder for the playing time he receives.

Last season Gray averaged 4.2 rebounds in only 13 minutes of play backing up center Emeka Okafor, and he could see his minutes spike up playing for the big man-starved Raptors. Gray is expected to split playing time with newly acquired big man Jamaal Magloire and the young Solomon Alabi in what should be a very exhausting season.

From a fan's perspective, these signings are no different than the Magloire signing—they're low risk with some reward. This becomes especially true with Aaron Gray, since the opportunity for increased playing time could mean the difference between having a double-double center and having a benchwarmer.