Fire Sale on Raptors Point Guards
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I want to point out that I am not yet ready to start talking about the Cavaliers’ offseason. We’ve still got a Championship to try to win.
Ok, now that you’ve had your morning comedic relief, lets get to the story at hand…
This is simply too big of a story to pass up. The Toronto Raptors’ excellent young point guard Jose Calderon, who is a restricted free agent, is making big waves as he has basically told the Raptors that if they don’t promise him the starting PG spot, to not even bother trying to bring him back. You see, Calderon is splitting time with the Raptors’ other excellent young point guard, T.J. Ford. Both guys put up 20+ PER seasons at the point for Toronto. They split time, and they split stats. Both guys averaged 11+ points and 6+ assists per game while shooting above 46% from the field and 88% from the FT line. Calderon’s official line was 11.2 ppg, 8.3 apg, 1.1 spg, 51.9% FG, 42.9% 3P, 90.8% FT. The guy is one of the best kept secrets in the NBA.
So what does this have to do with the Cavaliers? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. It’s no secret that the Cavs have been longing for an elite PG since the day they let Andre Miller walk out the door. They’ve tried guys like Kevin Ollie, Eric Snow, Jeff McInnis, and Larry Hughes. Even Daniel Gibson got some starts at PG this year and didn’t do too well. Which brings us to Delonte West. Delonte will be a restricted free agent this season, just like Calderon. The Cavaliers will have some decisions to make. Is West their guy? Should they try to go after Calderon? Do they have the assets to get Calderon? That will be the tricky question.
I promise to look into this more once the Cavaliers season is over, but looking at it with a quick glance, I’m not sure. Some websites are saying its the Raptors’ best move to try to trade Calderon in a sign-and-trade. Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun writes,
“Sign-and-trade scenarios are possible and teams conceivably can clear space, factors that could lead to a more lucrative offer for Calderon.
But the fact remains that one of Calderon or Ford must go.
There is no market for Ford, while teams privately covet Calderon, who would make both a playing and cultural fit in markets such as Miami and Los Angeles.”
If Calderon really does hit the trade market, I think Danny Ferry HAS to be involved and see if he can work something out. The Raptors are, predictably, saying that they will match any offer, and with the Cavaliers limited cap space available anyway, it would be impossible for them to just sign Calderon. The Cavaliers realistically probably don’t have the assets to get Calderon in a trade. Sure, the Cavs have expiring contracts, but the Raptors are a playoff team. They don’t need cap space, they need impact players. Could the Cavs trade their own restricted free agent Daniel Gibson, along with maybe Anderson Varejao, to Toronto to entice them to move Calderon? It’s possible something like that could be done, but I’m not sure where exactly either guy would fit into Toronto’s rotation.
Anyway, like I said, I haven’t looked at this thoroughly yet, because I’m still focused on this current season. But once the Cavaliers are knocked out of the playoffs, er, I mean, win the NBA Championship (I’ll give you a moment to finish laughing……………………………………………………………….ok), we’ll look closer at the Cavaliers options in this offseason. The one thing I can tell you is this: after last season’s brutally silent offseason, things are going to seem much more hectic this offseason, between actually having a first round draft pick for once, key restricted free agents in Gibson and West, and expiring contracts to consider trading. Stay tuned…