NBA Roundtable

Update – 2009 Cap Space: Toronto

In Free Agency, General NBA, Trade Talk on June 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Update from the previous post, to take into account the Jason Kapono-Reggie Evans trade and a better knowledge of what slot the Raptors will draft at this summer.

Toronto Raptors Salaries

Let’s start off by looking at who is currently on the Raptors books for next season.

Here are the contracts over five million dollars

  • Chris Bosh — $15.8mil
  • Jose Calderon — $8.22mil
  • Andrea Bargnani — $6.53mil

That totals $30.6 million spread across four players. Bargnani will be entering the final year of his contract in 2009, while Bosh has a player option following the 2009/10 season and is expected to opt out. Kapono has another season following the next one, and Calderon has four years left on his deal.

Now let’s have a look at the rest of their contracts

  • Reggie Evans — $4.96mil
  • Marcus Banks — $4.55mil
  • Kris Humphries — $2.9mil
  • Roko Ukic — $1.35mil
  • Nathan Jawai — $740k

These contracts add up a little over $14.5 million. Jawai will be entering the final season of his contract, but the four others will all be on the books in 2010.

That brings the Raptors total up to $45.1mil for 8 players.

Other costs

  • Lottery pick — The 9th pick in the draft will have a cap hold of $1.9 million.
  • There’s also a cap hold on Joey Graham but I am not going to count that against these Raptors for the time being. That cap hold would be a smudge less than $7.5mil, and just large enough to take away the Raptors entire cap space. Anyway, it’s largely immaterial because the Raptors would have to rescind the rights to several players including Graham to get to their best cap figure — they quite simply will not rescind the rights to Joey Graham in order to create an improved cap situation, without also rescinding their rights to Shawn Marion. Once again, this figure is not included in the number just below.
  • Patrick O’Bryant has a partial guaranteed contract. His contract is worth $825k, with $500k guaranteed. If the Raptors keep him, it removes one of the open roster spot cap charges, if they waive him they’ll pay the $500k plus the cap charge for the roster spot –more than O’Bryant’s contract, so if they waive him, it’ll be after they’ve spent their cap space money. Ergo, I’m going to include him for the full $825k.
  • There is a roster charge for the two open slots amounting to $950k.

That extra $3.675 million takes the Raptors up to a final total of $48.8 million.

The Cap

We don’t know where the cap will end up being.

  • If it holds steady, it’ll be at $58mil.
  • If it increases it could go up to $60mil but that is the most unlikely of the three possibilities.
  • If it decreases, then the cap could fall to say $56mil which is a figure which has been mentioned in some press stories. This is the most likely event, but holding steady is also a strong possibility.

Raptors Cap Space

So if the cap holds steady, the Raptors will have $9.2 million to spend.

Side Note: That extra $1.2 million saved from the Kapono-Evans trade comes in handy here. It gives the Raptors a much better chance at stealing away a good free agent.

If the cap decreases to $56mil, then the Raptors would have $7.2 million to spend. That’s about $1.5mil more than the MLE.

Raptors Free Agent Targets

It appears the Raptors first choice plan is to re-sign Shawn Marion and a few other of their free agents – some combination of Anthony Parker, Carlos Delfino, Joey Graham. This plan would give the Raptors the best chance at building some immediate depth at the club.

Are there any better alternatives to this plan?

Sure. This question needs to be phrased differently.

Are there any better options in how the Raptors can spend their cap space this summer?

Ehh, I doubt it.

  • Here’s a link to a 2009 Free Agent List to help give us some ideas
  • Also, let’s be hopeful and say the cap holds steady because this series of posts is only interested in contracts above the MLE, since the MLE puts the Raptors in the same boat as 20 other teams.
  • Colangelo seems committed to building around a core of Bosh, Bargnani and Calderon. He would need to part ways with one of these players to make it worthwhile to sign either a point guard or a big man. Obviously if he’s willing to do so, that opens up a lot more options for the Raptors. However, until he shows that intent, let’s assume he’s looking for a wing to go along with his core.
  • So you’re looking for a player from this group — Shawn Marion, Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza, Marvin Williams, Linas Kleiza.

Remember, if the Raptors choose to jettison Shawn Marion and spend their cap space on someone else, they would also surely lose the following — Anthony Parker, Joey Graham and Carlos Delfino.

So the option of re-signing Marion, should be considered Marion plus potentially those three plus the possible use of the MLE against the one $7.2-to-$9.2 million signing.

In that light, is a Ron Artest worth losing those four players and the MLE? No, not at all, especially since Ron-Ron isn’t a dependable building block and the Raptors have a long difficult road ahead of them.

Therefore, the Raptors best option is to re-sign Marion, and, consider re-signing some of their other wings, and, consider using their MLE?

No, but it’s their best play if they choose to spend their cap space this summer.

It gives them the best chance of winning in the immediate future (next season only) … but will likely prove harmful to their long term future.

  1. I’m thinking that Colangelo should at least float a few balloons to see what he could get for Calderon who is still young, has demonstrated talent (especially for a half-court oriented offense) and a reasonable contract. I know others think Bargnani is the “core” piece to trade and understand why from a talent (i.e. rebounding) perspective but my gut tells me no one is going to give back much for Bargnani. Too many GM’s would get absolutely killed by fans and in the press if they gave back too much for Bargs, a real risk seeing as he is an incomplete player at the moment (albeit with some pretty impressive upside if everything works out for him). Calderon, on the other hand, has less upside but he won’t get you killed down the road. I’ve repeatedly touted a Calderon for Baron Davis trade but I’d bet there’d be other deals out there worth thinking about, including ones that get the Raptors a higher pick this year along with a decent player or soon-to-expire contract. Would Sacramento give up the 4th pick and a player useful to the Raptors?

  2. Hey Sam,

    I’m fine with trading Jose Calderon. He’s a good player but replaceable.

    Sacramento and the fourth pick for Calderon? Yes, possibly.

    It doesn’t look like they’re overly enamored with anyone at that draft slot so I could see them making that trade. If Rubio dropped, I think they’d pass on the deal, but otherwise I can see them being very interested in Calderon. I’m not sure what more they could include to sweeten the deal without making it one-sided in the Raptors favour, Donte Greene maybe?

    If the Kings were to make that trade, do you think there’s a player available at the #4 pick that adds more value to the Raptors than Calderon?

    I don’t watch college basketball except for the odd occasion so I don’t really know who’d be able to offer more to the Raps than Calderon.

    Some Other Calderon Trade Ideas

    (1) The Blazers would give up anyone outside of their big three to get their hands on Calderon. If one were a Rudy Fernandez fan, there’s a good chance you could get Rudy and Travis Outlaw for Calderon?

    (2) Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia?

    (3) Josh Smith from Atlanta?

    This one is a bit of a stretch, but they’re looking to move him, and they’d rather someone younger than Bibby to run the point for the next five years. It’s a stretch, but a possibility.

    (4) Rajon Rondo from Boston? I doubt Boston do this but their front office and coaching staff are fairly shaken right now at how teams are defending him, by making his jump shot a liability. His contract extension is around the corner too, and he’s going to get more money than Calderon. Small chance of them being willing to do this, but worth a phone call.

    (5) Gerald Wallace from Charlotte. Larry Brown would love to get his hands on a point guard like Calderon.

    (6) Rodney Stuckey? If the Raptors took on another salary, say Maxiell and/or Amir Johnson, to allow the Pistons to keep their cap space. A halfcourt maestro like Calderon, alongside Rip and Tayshaun, plus a huge dollop of cap space. That’s a nice place to build a team from. Calderon’s shooting and floor leadership would be a great fit in that Pistons team.

    (7) Scola and Brooks? No idea how the Rockets would respond to that one.

    (8) Calderon for TJ Ford and Indiana’s lottery pick? I think Larry Bird pulls the trigger on that one.

    (9) Kevin Love from Minnesota? Hard to get a read on what their new GM is interested in.

    (10) D’Antoni would love him in New York. Perhaps for Gallinari and Jeffries? Calderon’s contract would need to be offset by Jeffries’ deal, in order for NY to keep it’s 2010 opportunities open.

    Anyway, there’s a few ideas to ponder. I think Calderon has good trade value.

    Trading Bargnani

    I disagree that the Raptors couldn’t get good value for Bargnani in a trade though. I think they can get a very good player in return for Andrea.

    Remember the Josh Howard-for-Andrea Bargnani trade rumours from mid-season? I think that’s a good ball park for Bargnani’s trade value. A borderline All-Star who is either in his prime or just before his prime. Or someone even more talented who’s older.

    That type of player, a borderline All-Star, would be a very valuable addition to the Raptors.

    There could be double value in this type of trade for Toronto too, because it would allow Shawn Marion to play his best position at power forward. That would make Marion’s next contract one of the best bargains in the NBA and a huge asset for the Raptors.

    A core of Calderon – Howard – Marion — Bosh and a solid supporting cast would win the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference next season. That’s a vastly improved version of the Raptors squad we figure to see.

    In 12 months time they’d have $15 million in expiring contracts to float in the trade market, to find that final piece of the puzzle — either a wing, or by combining one of Calderon/Howard/Marion plus the expiring contracts for a major talent — The Raptors would also have their lottery pick from this season. That’s a very good place for Toronto to be, a core that has a solid chance to become a legit contender.

    I think they could build a balanced starting five full of star players, like Detroit did, except unlike Detroit they’d be a running team instead of a grind it out type of ball club.

    Side Note — Bargnani’s Trade Value

    One of the dangers of hearing so much criticism about a player on the team you follow, is to lower that player’s trade value.

    For example, when you listen to all the Chris Bosh bashing that happens on Raptors sites, you’d swear nobody would pay him max dollars and think teams are mad for wanting him. But that’s completely untrue, one look around the league and you can see he’s perceived to be the third most valuable in that free agency class, and that dozen or so teams and huge numbers of fans across the association are drooling over the possibility of signing him to a max contract.

    Bargnani is a similar case on a smaller scale. He’s a seven footer who scores 19 points per game. That’s something only 20-25 players do in the NBA, and only 3-4 centers. He does it with impressive efficiency, and in way that garners a lot of attention. He was and is considered a very good prospect, and over the last 6 months most of the league has stood up and took notice that he’s finally fulfilling his potential.

    Anderea Bargnani has very good trade value … hugely more trade value than actual on-court value, and that’s what makes him such an important trade asset for the Raptors.

  3. That Blazers deal looks like good value for Calderon as does Thadeus Young, although I think Stefanski would be insane to make the deal since I think Young has superstar potential. If Johnny Flynn were available at #9 in the draft, I’d make either of those deals and see if Orlando were willing to take Humphries and a bit of filler for Raefer Alston to start while Flynn learns the hardest position in the league. That latter deal makes a bit of sense in terms of need (a backup big who can rebound) and money for Orlando.

    I agree with you about a Josh Howard for Bargs trade but I think that rumour was total bs. At most Dallas floated it to leverage other trade talks they were having. How does Bargs make sense for Dallas? Dirk plays his natural position, and is way more efficient. Bargs, so far, is at his best as a starter rather than instant offence off the bench. I don’t think you get back a Howard-type player for Bargs. Most GM’s are smart enough not to take a decent half season over a borderline all-star with a reasonable contract and his best years ahead of him, even if that player is a bit of a head-case (which Howard may or may not be).

    And besides, if Bargs works out this year – i.e. produces as well or better than he did in the last half of last season – I would be inclined to keep him. That kind of production plus my belief that Bargs has a better head and heart than Bosh, makes him a potential core player worth holding onto unless you’ve got an all-star wing coming back.

  4. Hey Dave,

    Excellent article as usual. I have posted some thoughts of free-agents signings for the Raptors on my blog. I would like some of your input.

    I agree though, the Raptor’s long-term future (next 5-7 years) looks bleak.

  5. Dino Gunner,

    It need only be bleak if they make the wrong move, yet again.

    There are sound voices who are telling all in Raptorville that this team should trade down in this draft and acquire a number of solid players who are available this year.

    If they refuse to do that and, instead, hold onto the No. 9, in order to select either DeRozan or Evans, and decline the opportunity to deal marketable players like Marion and/or Bargnani … when the situation at-hand calls for precisely that … the good people who run MLSE will have no one else to blame but themselves, again.

    The Raptos had an opportunity to become VERY good:

    1. When they had possession of Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Doug Christie, et al.; then,

    2. When they fired Glen Grunwald and hired Rob Babcock; then,

    3. When they first hired Bryan Colangelo; and, last but not least,

    4. Right now.

    Unfortunately, they keep on shooting themselves in the foot with a series of highly questionable personnel decisions involving GMs, Support Staff, Coaches and Players.

  6. Khandor, I agree with the fact that the Raptors threw away a very good shot at being very good. I also see the merit in trading down, considering that the players after the top 2 or 3 are around similar pegging and we can accumulate assets which would help the Raptors go forward.

    I, unfortunately, do not think BC will trade down. Also, I don’t think he will trade Bargnani, throwing away two chances to better his team make-up immediately. Regarding Shawn Marion, I do not think the Raptors will extract much value in a sign-and-trade noting the return of 1 first round draft pick (and a trade exception) for Rashard Lewis.

    What I meant by bleak was the number of long-term contracts constraining the front office (brought upon by themselves) and the inevitable rebuilding stage afterwards. I do not think the Raptors will win a championship in the next 5-7 years.

  7. Dino Gunner,

    I agree with your take on that, i.e. no NBA championship for the Raptors in the next 5-7 years.

    There reason being, however … not because the legitimate opportunity wasn’t there to be seized upon, but … the failure of the organization to make the proper moves at the proper time, thereby wasting the resources they’ve had on-hand.

    If Bryan Colangelo doesn’t trade down in this draft … that is just another sign of his mediocrity as a GM, IMO.

    Jerry West made a h*lluva pick when he chose Kobe Bean Bryant in the draft after several teams had passed him by.

    By contrast, Jerry West is/was a prime example of a Top Notch GM in the NBA.

    Top Notch GM’s capitalize on chances like THAT … not throw them away, repeatedly.


    On another board, there are individual comment contributors who are criticizing my putting forth of Marcus Thornton/OG and Derrick Brown/SF [in addition to Taj Gibson/Dante Cunningham] as possible draftees this year who could well step in and help an NBA team almost right away. All I’m going to say, at least, right here, is for you [and others] to keep your eyes on those names I’ve identified [as well as someone like Danny Green/OG-SF] in the years to come in this league … as my personal history suggests strongly that I am very rarely wrong when it comes to evaluating NBA talent with a high degree of accuracy.

    Unfortunately, when I hear and read names likes Tyreke Evans and Demar DeRozan and Jonny Flynn being bandied about by others as viable players for the Raptors to add from this year’s draft … in pursuit of re-signing Chris Bosh next summer AND possibly contending for a League Championship down-the-road … it simply makes me LOL. Which is not to say that each of those players isn’t good in his own right, just that in the grand scheme of how the NBA actually works … they are not the sort which which will accomplish those specific goals/objectives, IMO.

  8. Dave,

    There is so much good stuff in this comment of yours [18 June 2009 at 6am] it’s almost downright ridiculous! 🙂

    It’s taken me a while to get through it and provide my input for you and those who might be interested in hearing my opinion.

    To wit:

    1. Calderon is definitely replaceable, IMO … but, only, if the right deal comes along.

    2. I think someone could get Rudy Fernandez from Portland but not Travis Outlaw. IMO, Outlaw/PF-SF is much more valued by Nate McMillan than Fernandez/SF-OG-PG. Fernadez for Calderon doesn’t improve the Raptors.

    3. Thaddeus Young is intriguing … because I like him a great deal … but, I do not think the 76ers would be willing to part with him just in exchange for Jose.

    4. Josh Smith … is a player who I also like a great deal, but he is someone who … should be traded in exchange for Andrea Bargnani, IMO, not Jose Calderon.

    5. Rajon Rondo … the Celtics will not move him for Calderon, IMO, as RR is simply too mulit-dimensional in comparison.

    6. Gerald Wallace … yes, Larry Brown would love Calderon but not at the expense of a ‘cat’ like Wallace, IMO, with a solid young player like Augustin [PG] on his roster already.

    7. Rodney Stuckey … will not be traded by Joe Dumars, at this time.

    8. Scola & Brooks … Morey will say, “No, thanks.” Morey knows just how valuable Luis & Aaron are to a cost-conscious team like his Rockets. What they bring to the dance is very hard to replace at their salary levels, if not impossible.

    9. TJ Ford & the Pacers’ Lottery Pick … Larry Legend will say, “No, thanks.” Larry knows how important Lottery Picks are in the grand scheme of this league, as well as just how important it is to have a “change-of-pace” back-up PG, like TJ Ford, on his roster, now playing behind a bigger PG in Jarrett Jack.

    10. Kevin Love … is another solid player, but he is a poor fit beside Bosh [or Bargnani], IMO. That move would take the Raptors backwards.

    11. Gallinari & Jeffries … IMO, Gallinari has the makings of an outstanding player in the NBA, who Mike D’Antoni will not gie up in exchange for Calderon. Once/if the big kid can get over his back injury … which is by no means a given, at all … look out! He is going to be a marquee player in the NBA for years to come. [the Knicks are keeping their fingers crossed behind their back, big-time 🙂 ]

    12. re: the value available in a trade for Bargnani

    I agree with yor take, 100%.

    13. re: the under-valuing of Chris Bosh by certain [a lot of?] Raptors fans

    I agree with your take, 100%.

    Frankly, it is rather comical to read what these types of commentors have to say sometimes, re: their impressions of CB4, and how wildy inaccurate they are when compared to his ACTUAL Value & Perception amongst the knowledgeable people in the Association.

  9. Excellent article. Looking over the list of free agent wings, I think BC’s best plan of action, given the recent Vince Carter trade is to rescind the rights to all of their free agents and offer Hedo a 3-4 year contract in the 8-9 mil/year range. I would then try and sign Marquis Daniels (starting SG) and Joey Graham (backup SF/SG) for the MLE.

    Our starting five would be:
    Bargs, Bosh, Hedo, Marquis, Jose with our backups being:
    Jawai, Evans/Hump, Graham, DeRozan/Douby, Ukic/Banks.

    I believe that the above lineup is better than our predicted status quo of Marion at SF, Delfino/Parker at SG.

    The big weaknesses with the above scenario is the awfulness of the second unit. With the status quo plan, BC could spend the full MLE on upgrading parts of the second unit (ie. Centre & PG).

  10. Thanks rayroy, and welcome to the site!

    I’m a fan of going after Hedo Turkoglu too. I was talking about this over at Raptors Republic yesterday, and this is why I like him:

    However, Hedo does do a lot to open up the offense.

    Last season the Raptors only had one player capable of beating his man off the dribble and creating for himself or others, and that was Jose Calderon. Clearly, Jose is too passive to be the only player with these abilities on the team, and would be better served as the second or third best player in this regard.

    The Raptors are going nowhere without more dribble penetration, more perimeter scoring, and more creativity (too predictable currently), and wings who can actually dribble and pass the basketball.

    Hedo Turkoglu gives that option to the Raptors and fixes, or at least partially fixes, this area of need. Wings who can both pass and score at a high level or a rare breed (about 10 wings scored 15+ points and handed out 5+ assists over the last two seasons), and very difficult to acquire as a result. Who knows when the next opportunity comes around to get a guy with his skill set.

    I’m a big fan of Hedo Turkoglu’s and think he could make a difference for the Raptors.

    I think the biggest problem facing the Raptors is fixing the above flaw. The team cannot succeed with Calderon being the best scorer/passer and most creative player on the team. They desperately need a wing who can come in and do these things, and allow Calderon to be the second best player at creating with the ball in his hands. That would change the entire team.

    MLE or Cap Space, Can’t Have Both

    There’s one problem with your plan.

    Teams may only have cap space or the MLE/LLE, not both. So if the Raptors plan to use their cap space, they’d lose the MLE. So if they go out and sign Turkoglu, they’re stuck to minimum contracts for the rest of the summer.

  11. Dave,

    I disagree with this perception, re: Jose Calderon

    The team cannot succeed with Calderon being the best scorer/passer and most creative player on the team. They desperately need a wing who can come in and do these things, and allow Calderon to be the second best player at creating with the ball in his hands. That would change the entire team.”

    THE problem with Jose Calderon … is Andrea Bargnani.

    It is the exact thing re: Chris Bosh.

    The Raptors problems regarding the play of Jose Calderon … as well as CB4 … disappear when you:

    A. Remove Bargnani from the roster completely via trade.

    Go ahead and plug in beside Calderon and Bosh any comparable asset[s] which the Raptors could get in return for Bargnani … and the team which will then take the floor will be superior to the one which contains Jose, Chris and Andrea starting together.

    B. Shift him into the role of a back-up for Bosh.

    Go ahead and plug in Bargnani as a back-up to Bosh and then see what the Raptors’ possible line-ups look like, for example, with:

    STARTERS: Calderon + DeRozan + Player X [e.g. Turkoglu] + Marion + Bosh

    KEY SUBS: Parker + Player Y [e.g. Carlos Delfino or Joey Graham or Jamario Moon or James Singleton or Derrick Brown? or Sam Young?] + Evans + Bargnani

    The Raptors’ biggest problem remains Andrea Bargnani … if the team plans to stick with Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh, each of whom is a proven commodity in the NBA.

  12. Khandor,

    I want to see the Raptors reduce Calderon’s role offensively. I don’t think he’s assertive enough as a scorer, or to a lesser extent as a playmaker, to be the main guy who’s needed to create offense for the team.

    The second best guy? Good fit. Calderon next to a guy like a Joe Johnson, that’s great floor balance.

  13. Dave,

    IMO, Calderon would be a terific PG for a coach like Jerry Sloan or Pat Riley or Jeff Van Gundy … who specialize in a lot of set plays with screens taking place off the ball, in addition to a highly structured and varied Pick & Roll/Pop game.

    He would also be very good with a coach like Phil Jackson, orchestrating the Triangle Offense.

    He is also very good, IMO, playing PG with Bosh as the Center, a solid rebounding #4/PF and at least two more shooters who can stick the 3-ball with regularity [e.g. like J-Garbajosa, A-Parker, and M-Peterson].

    Defensively … he needs to be able to “Trap with the Defending Big vs Picks”.

    He is plenty good enough to win with in the NBA.

  14. Khandor,

    I think Calderon is good enough to be a the starting point guard on a title contending team.

    I just don’t think he’s good enough to be the best perimeter player (PG, SG, SF) on a contender. As the second best perimeter player I have a lot of interest in him, otherwise I think he’s out of his depth.

  15. Dave,

    Couple questions,

    Based on your assertion that you believe Jose best position is as the second best perimeter player, then i would think he would fit mighty fine alongside Brandon Roy, based on your Joe Johnson suggestion. I really like that Outlaw + Rudy for J.C., do you think a 1st round pick in addition would be too much? I think the Raps somehow need to get their hands on at least 1 first round pick in next years draft, a very deeeeeeep draft.

    K.P. has a number of different possibilities he can go to and you really never know what hes going to do, but as far as i can tell they are after a small forward, as they are being linked heavily to both Hedo and Ariza. Is their some disenchantment their with Outlaw, as i know in the past, Nate hasn’t been too thrilled with him on some occasions. Also, as they are also being linked to Hinrich out in Chicago, they are after a starting calibar point guard, in fact i’ve read that Hinrich believe he will be ending up out in Portland.

    Secondly, I’m not too sure of your familiarity with Ricky Rubio, but do you think you could do a possible Ricky Rubio rundown, or is a little early in the game for that? His future, trade possibilities… but more so on his potential, is he a steve nash meet pistol pete? does he justify the hype and what do you think can pry Kahn’s hands off him? Just taking a quick look at the roster, they have 0 centers, 10 forwards, a sg and 3 pg’s now, their’s a lot of hole in that roster.
    You could probably address this in a future post as it is a big topic…
    Khandor as your sure to read this, i wouldn’t mind your opinion on how just his game, potential… etc


  16. Hey Simon Says,

    I’m not a fan of a Calderon for Rudy + Outlaw + 1st round pick trade for the Raptors, but that’s largely because I’m not as big a fan of Rudy Fernandez or Travis Outlaw’s games as most people. I think it would be a great deal for Portland.

    I think Kevin Pritchard would be interested in that type of trade. It’s hard to say whether he’d do it or not though, because he values Rudy Fernandez ridiculously high, so he may not, but he would strongly consider the trade. Pritchard would love to have a point guard like Calderon, he’d value him very highly.

    I think there’s a lot to that Kirk Hinrich rumour, and consider the Blazers the frontrunner to land him in a trade. The Bulls will want to receive something valuable going back the other way, instead of a straight salary dump, which may hold up the deal or even kill it if Chicago’s demands are too high … but I think there’s a lot to that rumour, good chance of happening.

    Ricky Rubio

    I haven’t seen him play a whole pile. I only saw him play a couple of games in the Olympics last season. I’m looking forward to seeing him play more against NBA competition, I’d love it if he came over from Europe this season but that’s looking unlikely now.

    I don’t think Kahn will be willing to give Rubio up for anything less than a sure fire All-Star. I don’t think position or need are important to Kahn right now, so he’s not looking for anything type of player in particular, just overall talent.

    Rubio’s Game

    Good defender with excellent defensive potential. Very good rebounder for a point guard. Very good floor general, he runs his team’s offense well, keeps the ball moving, makes sure the right people get the right touches at the right time int he right place. Very good playmaker (creating shots for others), good penetrator. Very good ball handler. One of the most creative players in the world today, perhaps the most creative player.

    Rubio is a mediocre scorer and has a poor jump shot. He’s also turnover prone. These are his main flaws.

    Rubio’s intelligence is what sets him apart from the rest of the pack. Every so often we find a player with an incredible level of intelligence on one end of the floor, but it’s oh so rare to find a player with that IQ on both ends of the court. He reads the game phenomenally well, and reacts to the game very well, sees things that other’s don’t and takes advantage of them.

    Good size at 6-4 (measured 6-5 in a pre-draft workout), excellent hands, superb balance + agility. Very good athlete. Nice change of pace too.

    Ricky Rubio is a going to be a good player from day one, someone who helps their team be better, but he’s unlikely to be a star from the start. Right now, he figures to be a near-certainty to become an All-Star or borderline All-Star player. In order to become more than that, to join Chris Paul and Deron Williams at the top of the point guard pile, Rubio will either have to (1) improve his scoring and shooting to higher standards (2) improve the rest of his game from very good to excellence [like a Kidd or Rondo]. Rubio’s ceiling is higher than anyone else in this draft.

    Ricky Rubio is underrated. There is no way in hell that he should not have gone #2 to the Grizzlies, or #3 to the Thunder, or #4 to the Kings.

  17. Simon,

    If I’m Portland, I would not trade Outlaw + Fernandez for Calderon. I like Outlaw & Fernandez too much in exchange for what Calderon brings to the table … given that I already have multiple players who can succeed at the PG spot for my team.

    If I’m Toronto, I would also not trade Calderon for Outlaw = Fernandez … given that:

    1. I don’t have another legitimate PG on my roster at the present time; AND,

    2. I’m stuck with a number of non-elite level Bigs like Andrea Bargnani [C], Reggie Evans [PF], Kris Humphries [PF], Pops Mensah-Bonsu [PF], Nathan Jawai [PF] and Patrick O’Bryant [C] … several of whom happen to play best at the #4/PF position which is the same spot at which both Shawn Marion and Travis Outlaw just happen to excel.


    re: Ricky Rubio

    Basically, I agree with Dave’s take.

    At worst, Rubio should have been taken with the #4 pick in this draft by Sacramento. He is a player with “superstar” ability.

    There are good reasons why certain teams win in the NBA and others wallow, seemingly, forever.

  18. Dave,

    If the Knicks were, in fact, willing to do a Sign & Trade involving David Lee and Andrea Bargnani, as the key principals, what would be necessary from a financial standpoint to make the deal a go?

    When I check on ESPN’s NBA Trade checker, it seems only to have last year’s financial information available. Thought you might be more up-to-date than that. 🙂

    e.g. Lee + Robinson + Crawford = Bargnani … but with Lee’s expected salary increase, how much salary would the Raptors actually need to give back to NY to make a deal involving Bargnani work?

    [hopefully you can catch my drift]

  19. Khandor,

    David Lee would be a BYC (Base Year Compensation) player, like TJ Ford was prior to that trade last season, so he’d only count for 50% of his contract value next season in a trade. So say he earns a starting salary of $9 million, he’d only count for $4.5 million.

    Bargnani costs $6.5 million so it would very easy to match up those numbers. The trade needs to be withing 125% plus $100,000, so the contracts coming back to Toronto need to be between $5.15 million and $8.26 million.

    The Knicks would need to include a small makeweight, like a minimum contract, in order to to make the numbers work … well dependent on where Lee’s first year pay ends up. If he’s paid more, say $11 million, there is no need for a makeweight contract. It would be easy to match up those contracts.

  20. Dave,

    Thanks, as always. 🙂

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