NBA Offseason: T.J. Ford on the Trading Block?

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMay 17, 2008

After another early postseason exit, the Toronto Raptors are looking to make several changes this offseason.

The first order seems to be shopping young guard, T.J. Ford.

A spinal cord injury forced Ford to miss the entire 2004-05 season. This season, the infamous Al Horford debacle cost him to miss 23 games.

During his time in the NBA, injuries have plagued him, but when T.J. isn't hurt, he has shown flashes of brilliance.

With the emergence of backup point guard, Jose Calderon, Ford may find his way out of Toronto.

Calderon has been quoted as saying he will not return to the Raptors unless he is given the starting job.

Jose is a restricted free agent and will begin negotiating with teams July 1st.

Ford currently has two years left and $16.5 million left on his contract.

Here are several teams that could use the services of T.J. Ford:

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Golden State Warriors

With Baron Davis possibly opting out because of his unhappiness with his contract situation in Oakland, and Monta Ellis being a free agent, Ford would fill in nicely as a backup.

T.J. has the speed to keep up in Don Nelson’s high octane system. He will also be surrounded by a few weapons.

San Antonio Spurs

Tony Parker is the team’s starting point guard, which is unquestionable.

However, San Antonio’s backups at the point guard position are very weak.

Jacque Vaughn’s offensive game is extremely limited. Damon Stoudamire has been a major disappointment, shooting less than 35 percent from the field since he joined the Spurs.

This leaves T.J. Ford the perfect man for the job.

Denver Nuggets

Ford has the ideal intangibles for the starting role in Denver; speed, agility, and the will to win.

A supporting cast of Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, and Marcus Camby will help lure the former Texas standout to the Nuggets.

There will be no competition for T.J., as their PG crop looks like this: Anthony Carter, Taurean Green, and Chucky Atkins.

Best Fit

Overall, I think Ford will be best suited in Denver, and here’s why:

The Golden State Warriors are in no position to, and will not let their future in Monta Ellis walk away this off season.

Baron Davis is attempting to put on his poker face and is bluffing about opting out of his deal this summer.

Only a handful of teams in the league will pay the amount Baron Davis is asking for, and most do not have the player resources to help pad Davis’s stats.

If Baron does opt out, Ellis will become the starter a year earlier, but everyone who watches the Warriors knows the time is just right.

In several mock drafts, San Antonio has been shown as selecting PG, Mario Chalmers with the 25th pick in the draft, solidifying his spot as second in charge.

Finally, T.J. Ford’s style of play may contrast with coach Greg Popovich’s slow and steady offense.

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