Is Jose Gone?

There is a news report by the Orlando Sentinal that the Orlando Magic are denying a rumour that a trade has been finalized (are you following all that?) sending Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu to the Lakers and Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and, possibly soon to be former Raptor, Jose Calderon to the Magic.

If the Magic are publicly denying this rumour, that can only mean one thing. There is obviously some truth to it.

Even if this trade doesn’t go through, you have to think that Calderon probably should keep his passport handy. This rumour also makes me wonder what exactly the Raptors were supposedly getting back. My guess is a first round pick and cap relief. While I’ve always been a defender of Calderon, if this rumour (and that’s all it is at this point) is true , it would make me pleased to see the direction that Bryan Colangelo is steering the team. When it came out that the Raptors were in the running for Wilson Chandler, I thought it was nice that a free agent was considering Toronto, but I also wondered why the Raptors would do that. It struck me as one of those moves we’ve seen so much in the past of Raptor’s history, trying to keep the Raptors competing, rather than contending. That’s nothing against Wilson Chandler, who is a fine player and should be a welcome addition to a playoff team, but Chandler is, quite frankly, not much more than a mediocre player who would bring a few more wins to a team that should be focusing on the race to get Anthony Davis (who showed this weekend, again, why he might be the best big man to come out of college since Tim Duncan…

I expect the bottom feeders, once they really start examining Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, to really think about what winning this year’s lottery will do for a team. The Kentucky center is the most polished true big man, even with only one season under his belt, to come out of college since Tim Duncan. Maybe since David Robinson. Shaq, powerful as he was coming out of LSU, wasn’t as polished offensively as Davis is. This kid isn’t just a game-changer, he’s a franchise-changer.

ESPN

Speaking of Davis, I’ve heard some Raptor fans say they should target a guy like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes, because the Raptors don’t need another power forward, but they do need a small forward. To me, that’s absolute nonsense. More than anything, the Raptors need a great player. When your best player is a borderline All-Star big man who is still a below average defender and rebounder, you need greatness, not to fill a position.

I’ve been a fan of Gilchrist since before he added the “Kidd”, but if it’s a choice between the two, I take Davis everytime because he’s simply going to be a better player. Doing otherwise would be stupid.

13 thoughts on “Is Jose Gone?

  1. Finally a Raptors related post!
    Not sure what to make of the rumour, if it pans out then you would have to say we are going all in for Anthony Davis. A gamble because after Davis, there is a big drop off.

    It would leave a glaring hole at a key position a hole that could take a while to fill. Bayless is not the PG I want.

    Would be surprised if thats all BC accepted for Jose. There is no rush to unload him, draft day is coming up(in case we don’t get the # 1) a trade scenario could arise. Also at this time next year his expiring deal would bring more than what’s being proposed now.

    And ironically, I personally feel the best case scenario is to keep him. We are looking for a good PG and we have one. I don’t see a better one on the horizon. Finish his current deal, resign him on a reasonable deal. Who better to help bring along the young guys, and it buys us a few years to find that stud PG to replace him. Transition him back to the bench.

    This rebuild will take time.

    • Quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing Calderon stay. I’ve always liked him and I think his ability to run an offense has always been vastly underrated by the fans.

      However…

      If trading him gives the Raptors a better chance of drafting Davis, then I’m for it. And yes, there’s a big dropoff (I remember having an argument with a few people a couple of months ago who felt there really wasn’t much difference between drafting 1 and 5) but when was the last time the Raptors were in a such a good position to draft a franchise changing player? I’d say 2003 when they had a shot at LeBron and got Bosh.

      And yes, there’d be a glaring hole at PG, but decent PGs are relatively easy to find, nowadays. And if the Raptors get Davis, that means they can deal both Bargnani and Ed Davis, so they should be able to get a fair bit in return for them.

  2. Won’t touch the trade Bargnani comment until we reach that bridge.
    That’s a lot of eggs to put in one basket But we should be in the discussion and if we do trade Jose we will have more ping-pong balls in the mix.

  3. Hey Tim,

    How come you aren’t on Raptors Republic anymore?

    What are your thought’s on Barg’s progression this year? Small Sample? Turned the corner?

    • @Statement

      I haven’t said much about Bargnani for a couple of reasons. The main one is that it’s only a 13 game sample, which, as you mention, is just too small to make any judgements. It’s encouraging, but I am amazed at how overboard people are getting with his improvement. He’s definitely improved, but he’s still below average defensively and on the boards, just not as much as before. I’ve never been one to rush to judgement, so I’m going to wait on him for a while.

      As for Raptors Republic, a mixture of getting fed up with things, and just not having enough time. Then I was glad to not have it take up my time.

      @Tinman

      Yes, it’s putting a lot of eggs in one basket, but getting Davis could be the difference between the Oklahoma Thunder and the Philadelphia Sixers. The Sixers are a very good team, but they’re never going to go anywhere in the playoffs, because they simply don’t have that elite player, or the All-Star talent to push them beyond the second round. And that’s if things go really well. Otherwise it’s the Milwaukee Bucks.

      The Raptors desperately need a franchise player if they want to contend. As a Raptor fan, I’ve been through WAY too much mediocrity to be content with continuing to play it safe. If they don’t get the first pick this June, then they can figure things out from there, but at least they tried.

  4. Tim W: Detroit Pistons anybody? (About the Sixers having no elite man).

    As for Davis, I honestly thought he was a large guard looking at him the first time. The kid is amazingly mobile for a big.

    I like JJ a lot at SF. Sure he’s no killer, but he makes winning plays. Shoots the 3 well, attacks the basket, and can defend a large range of players.

    I’d go for Davis and see if ED or AJ can fetch you a good young PG to replace Calderon.

    • So if you have a multiple defensive player of the year, one of the best clutch players of all time, a starting five of All Stars and a PF who can score inside and out, pass, defend and rebound, and you happen to peak during a lull year when the best teams are either contenders who are in their twilight years, or are self destructing, then you can be a team without an elite player and win a Championship. Quite frankly, you’ve got a better chance of finding a franchise player than of duplicating the Pistons success.

      I also like James Johnson. It’s funny because I was completely against drafting him at the 9th spot when the Raptors were apparently thinking about it, but getting him for a late pick last season I liked. And I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far from him. He has the potential to be a very good utility player who can basically do everything on the court. And he’s been A LOT more consistent this season.

      As for Davis, watching him, it’s not surprising he was a guard just a few years ago when he was about 8 inches shorter. If the Raptors are able to draft him, I would be over the moon, but I think both Bargnani and Ed Davis have to go. Davis, because I simply don’t see him being happy in a long term backup role. Bargnani because there’s simply too much chance of him regressing if he’s asked to play a reserve role, which he eventually would be.

      I think Amir is the perfect third big man because he’s very low maintenance and will play the same way whether he plays 20 minutes or 30 minutes.

      Personally, I’d like to see if the Raptors can keep Calderon, trade Bargnani, Davis and Bayless for another first round pick and a young veteran at the position the Raptors don’t draft (either SF or PG). My ideal scenario would be for the Raptors to get Anthony Davis, Rudy Gay and either Myck Kabongo or Kendall Marshall. I think the Raptors would be a contender in 3-5 years with that team.

  5. The way the draft is shaping up, they are some gems to be had in the late first round. I like Tony Wroten Jr. of Washington. He’s 6’5″ tall and can play and defend both guard positions. My issues with Myck Kabongo and Kendall Marshall is that neither are ready for the NBA IMO(below-average shooters, suspect defence). While both have been rated higher, I think that Wroten is more ready for the NBA now and should turn out just as good or better. It’s better for PG-needy teams if either declare, but both will serve themselves better if they stay in college longer. Hopefully both players improve their weaknesses, but right now I would not draft either in the lottery.

    Another player who hopefully could enter the draft is Tomas Satoransky. 6’7″ tall from Czech Republic, can play point guard and shooting guard. He currently plays for CB Sevilla in Spain. He is my favourite potential late-first round prospect. Yes, I know that I said much of this in another post, but I felt that it applied here just as much.

  6. @Tim W.

    “Personally, I’d like to see if the Raptors can keep Calderon, trade Bargnani, Davis and Bayless for another first round pick and a young veteran at the position the Raptors don’t draft (either SF or PG).”

    100% agree with trading for another first round pick.

  7. Hi Tim, good article.

    Agree on just about everything here. Wilson Chandler would be a good move if they were already a contendor. Him going to a rebuilding Toronto team, mid-season, seems like a panic move to win back the casual NBA Fan IMO. No use signing him, even for a small contract when trying to get a #1 pick.

    If the Raptors get #1, Davis is absolutely a no-brainer, like you said. Davis-Valanciunas would be a nice 4-5 rookie combination. Although, what do you think of Bargnani being the 6th man if that were to happen? Speaking strictly for trade value. Do you think he’d even bring anything reasonable back given his insanely high contract? Valanciunas might need the backup too, seems to foul a lot. I think the trade value would come more from a Calderon + Ed Davis trade.

    Also, check my site of you have time. Just put up an NCAA tournament preview, if your interested and have the time. http://bpsports.webs.com/

    • @BP

      A front line of Valanciunas and Anthony Davis would make me as giddy as a school girl.

      I don’t like Bargnani as a backup simply because he’s too high maintenance and has had a history of struggling when asked to come off the bench or play limited minutes. That’s why I like a guy like Amir as the backup. He plays the same whether for 15 minutes or 30. On paper, Bargnani would be good because of his scoring, but reality, I think, is quite different.

      And I would love for the Raptors to re-sign Aaron Gray because I think he’s the perfect backup to Valanciunas. His size and strength would make up for Valanciunas’ slight build and he could defend the Dwight Howards and Andrew Bynums in the league.

      And I think Bargnani’s contract is fine, for what he produces. I have a trade scenario with him that I’d love to see, but would have to wait for after the draft, and for a couple of things to happen.

      Checked out your site. I like it. Good writing.

  8. Tim, what do you think of a front line of Valanciunas and Drummond? Not as intriguing as Davis-Valanciunas, but I think could be the 2nd best draft scenario for them if they got the second pick. They may even get to snag him 3rd overall if MKG or Barnes go 2nd.

    Move Jonas to PF, and have Drummond play C.

    Would leave them in pretty good shape to have a lineup of Calderon-DeRozan-Johnson-Valanciunas-Drummond.

    Of course, that also leaves the possibility to trade Calderon + Ed Davis for a better point guard, or even Bargnani.

    • I’m not sure about Drummond. For a guy so physically gifted, he’s been completely underwhelming in college, so far. Maybe it’s the system and his game will be better suited to the NBA, but his mediocrity in college is a big red flag for me.

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