So Richie and I have been having many discussions about potential deals that the Raptors could make. I am going to outline our 2 favorite deals (one I like, and one he likes). Both of these deals are based on previous media reports of either Raptor or counterparty interest. Also, both deals have been put through the ESPN Trade Machine to ensure that all salaries, trade restrictions, and BYC factors have been calculated. Note, I am not saying either deal WILL happen, I am just saying they are the 2 most deals that make the most sense given the Raptors overall cap structure, desire to win in the short term, and maintenance of cap flexibilty with an eye towards 2010.
Deal Number One: Richie's Dream Come True
Raptors trade Andrea Bargnani and Jamario Moon to Golden State for Brandon Wright, Anthony Randolph, Marcus Williams, and Marco Bellinelli.
Rationale: Well Wright and Randolph inject instant athleticism into the Raptors lineup, and Bellinelli gives them another shooter that they can roll out there since AP is fossilizing before our eyes. G State has been calling BC about Bargnani since last season, and its clear that Nellie LOVES the idea of trying to turn Andrea into the next Dirk. Now, you could argue that Wright and Randoph is a very high price for Andrea, but also keep in mind that Nellie hasn't played either, and Andrea gives them a legit 3 pt shooting PF to play with Monta, Capt Jack, Maggette, and Ivan Drago. As for the Raps, this trade turns Bargs into some big time upside pieces that let's them turn up the volume and pump up the jam on the 1st and 2nd units. While, this trade doesn't address the immediate need of a SF for the starting lineup, it does allow the Raps to play Joey and Kapono in the starting unit, while allowing AP, The Laptop Thief, Brandon Wright, and Bellinelli to provide the Raps with a serious 2nd unit. As a plus, with Roko on the roster as well, we can thankfully never ever have to watch Will Soloman on the court again.
Deal Number Two: Billy Bee's obsession comes true
Trade: Raptors trade Jermaine O'Neal to the Miami Heat for Shawn Marion, Joel Anthony, and Dequan Cook.
Rationale: Look, I love JO as much if not more than most of you. However, I think its safe to say that the Raps are probably only going to be a .500 with the given talent. Getting Marion let's the Raps transition to a more wide open style, and Andrea has shown just enough to throw him to the wolves at center again. Marc Stein on ESPN has reported several times that BC is focused trying to acquire Marion from the Heat. JO fills a huge hole for Miami in the middle, and trading Matrix let's Baez step into the starting lineup.
Trading season begins in earnest in 3 days. Let's hope BC has some tricks up his sleeves better than what I just proposed. Apparently, there is a rumor going around that the Raps are probably going to get Caron Butler. I have heard this from a couple different people, so it can't be completely insane. If Butler ends up a Raptor, this will be the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER, and BC is more powerful that Santa Claus!!!!!