TORONTO,ON–The NBA trade deadline is approaching, and although the Raptors have made some moves thus far, they could very well pull off another trade before deadline day.
The Raptors are in full-blown rebuilding mode and have a few pieces of value that could be used as trade bait. Most noteworthy of those pieces are Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans
Jose Calderon might scare possible suitors off with a contract that stretches into the 2012/2013 season with over $20 million owed. His defensive liabilities are also well scrutinized, however, he can still help run an offence. Calderon is averaging 10.1 points and 8.8 assists per game, while shooting % 44.1 from the field and % 81.8 from the line. During the offseason, Charlotte almost acquired Calderon, in a trade that would have sent Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler to Toronto. It was not to be as Michael Jordan vetoed the trade at the last minute.
Any possible trade for Evans is dependant on his return from injuries, and how many games he plays before the deadline. Evans has started practicing for the Raptors, but might be not be ready to start playing before the deadline.
While Reggie Evans hasn’t played a game since November 26th, and assuming Evans will be ready before the trade deadline, any team looking for a formidable PF/C should inquire about the Raptors’ big man. In 15 games this season, Evans was averaging 4 points and 12 rebounds a game. The bonus is that Evans’ $5 million contract comes off the book at the end of this season.
Like Calderon, Reggie Evans was supposed to be involved in the Charlotte trade previously mentioned.
Aside from the players that could be involved in trades, the Raptors also have a $16 million trade exception they received in the Chris Bosh trade. In addition, the Raps possess two draft picks in the upcoming draft, (their own pick, which is looking like it will be top 5, and the Heat pick which is looking like it will be bottom 5.)
With all of these potential pieces trade pieces, expect the Raptors and GM Bryan Colangelo to make a move or two before the NBA trade deadline. Although I don’t see them being involved directly in any blockbuster trades, the Raptors do have great pieces that can help facilitate a blockbuster trade. They have the financial flexibility to take on and unload expiring contracts, they would be willing to trade for or trade away a draft pick (Miami’s pick,) and they have a PG in Jose Calderon that some teams might be interested in.
There have not been many rumours involving the Raptors so far, but GM Bryan Colangelo has always played potential trades close to the chest. Colangelo has many options in front of him, it all depends what he wants to do as this rebuilding process continues.
Photo Courtesy: NBA.com