The New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors have agreed on a five-player trade that would send Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless to the Raptors for Jarrett Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks.
The deal was close to being completed Friday night, but had been held up over the amount of cash the Hornets would send to the Raptors in the trade, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In order for the deal to pass muster under league rules, it actually would be executed as two separate trades to get around a restriction preventing Bayless from being included in a multi-player deal prior to Dec. 23 — two months from the date the Hornets acquired Bayless from Portland.
Strange trade …
Let’s start off by looking at the players involved
Jack has improved wonderfully over the past year since joining the Raptors and has established himself as one of the best role player variety point guards in the NBA.
A capable starter or a wonderful backup.
Andersen is a good third string center who has a nice jump shot and is a below average but serviceable rebounder + poor defender. A finesse player who lacks physical presence in the paint.
Not a rotation worthy player.
Banks is a serviceable third string point guard. A good defender but lousy at just about everything else.
Peja came out earlier in the season and during the summer saying that he has felt healthier than he has in two years. We’ve heard that before though, same song as last season, so who knows whether it’s true or not. I haven’t seen him play enough this season to tell.
What I can say is that based on his performances last season, Peja is no longer a rotation caliber player in the NBA. He is a defensive liability and an atrocious rebounder who adds very little offensively outside of his marksmanship from the perimeter.
That shooting ability makes Peja a good end of the bench type role player. A situation sub. So he is still a useful NBA player but likely not a rotation worthy player anymore.
Here is a quick recap of what I wrote on Bayless a month ago when New Orleans acquired him from Portland
A slightly inefficient scoring point guard who cannot run an offense, is a limited passer/playmaker, is a so-so rebounder and is at best an average defensive player. Very good athlete but lacks length.
Very good penetrator who can get to the rim, is a solid finisher and gets to the free throw line very well (plus hits his FTs). Poor shooter from distance in the pros (eFG% of 39% on jump shots) in contrast to college days (hope for improvement?). Explosive scorer, highly focused on posting large scoring numbers.
In summation, Bayless is a one-dimensional scorer with a dodgy jump shot and an inability to run an offense who plays average defense. He uses a large number of possessions for someone who adds so little to a team overall.
Bayless fulfilling his potential would be turning his weak jump shot into a very good weapon + learning to run an offense at an adequate level. That addition to his arsenal would make him a very efficient 20ppg threat with average defense. The result being a very effective scoring PG.
Bayless was a very good shooter in college but he has struggled badly since joining the pros. After two years in the pros where he played for a top coach and in a great situation for a player with his skill-set (read: Brandon Roy), and given his performance to date … I think the chances of Bayless becoming this player are very slim.
While I am not optimistic about him reaching the ceiling I thought he had coming out of college, I do think Bayless will continue to improve as a shooter (becoming serviceable to average) and that that improvement (along with some improvement as a floor general) will solidify him as a quality rotation player. Most likely as a scoring change of pace backup PG and possibly some short stints as a starter on a team that is short of firepower or talent at the point.
New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets acquired Bayless in exchange for a first round pick. So they basically swapped Peja’s expiring contract and a first round pick for Jarrett Jack and a one year rental of David Andersen.
- Improved their talent level. Upgraded from low level backup Jerryd Bayless to one of the best backup PGs in the NBA in Jarrett Jack. New Orleans now easily have the best 1-2 punch at the PG position in the NBA.
- Also added some depth up front with David Andersen. Ideally not a rotation player but a useful end of the bench guy. Considering the Hornets lack of frontcourt depth, a decent addition.
Talent wise, I thought the Hornets were a 45-47 win team prior to the season beginning. This improvement should put them in that 48-51 range.
New Orleans has played excellent defense to begin the season. I’m not convinced that holds up but if it does they’d be up in the 55 win range. Not good enough to compete for a title though.
This is yet another example of New Orleans failing to take advantage of their trade assets + draft picks.
- The trade of their lottery pick for two late first round picks in a salary dump to get rid of Mo Peterson. One of those picks has already been traded to bring in Willie Green and Jason Smith. So one late first round pick is what they have to show for their lottery selection.
- The trade of highly regarded young point Darren Collison (19ppg, 8apg as a starter for half a season last year) for role player Trevor Ariza.
- The trade of their largest and hence most valuable expiring contract in combination with a first round pick / prospect to bring in another role player.
If New Orleans played those three hands differently, they might have built a Title Contender caliber team.
Again, the result is the increasingly likely scenario that Chris Paul will ask to leave New Orleans next summer or the year after when he can opt out of his contract. The continued failure to surround him with top tier talent and a title worthy roster will make it very difficult for Paul to decide to stay.
- Weakened their team with the downgrade of Jarrett Jack to Jerryd Bayless
- Jose Calderon should now assume the starting PG role (28mpg) with Bayless playing twenty minutes a night as his backup.
- The presence of undersized explosive two guard Leandro Barbosa could restrict, or will hopefully restrict, Bayless’ playing time further. Otherwise, Toronto’s hugely undersized backcourts could create a lot of problems They also lack size at the three and on the interior.
- The departure of David Andersen will also create more playing time for Ed Davis and Amir Johnson. Or possibly Joey Dorsey.
- Added a very valuable trade asset in Peja Stojakovic
- Added a solid prospect in Bayless … who, presumably, the Raptors rate very highly.
One word: Patience
Armed with the expiring contract of Peja Stojakovic and the Traded Player Exception (TPE) from the Chris Bosh sign and trade … the Raptors now have two large trade assets to bring in some quality talent.
Does Bryan Colangelo let that opportunity fly by? Or does he try to move those assets and bring in some talent? Thereby hurting their draft position, rushing their rebuilding process and fail to rebuild properly and thoroughly … creating yet another midlevel basketball team. One that isn’t able to compete at the top of the league and isn’t bad enough to pick up top draft picks. A team trapped mid-table.
Colangelo can wait until the summer to move his TPE, but, if he wants to trade Peja, he’ll need to do so before the February trade deadline.
Colangelo also has the Andrea Bargnani situation to watch. If Toronto suffers this season, Bargnani could become another big trade asset that Colangelo looks to wield.
On another note, Leandro Barbosa and Linas Kleiza would both have good trade value to contenders. The Raptors could pickup an expiring contract + possibily a first round round pick in exchange for each one of them. If they blew up their roster properly, they could pickup quite a lot of assets for the future.
The Raps also have Reggie Evans’ expiring contract. Around $5 million I think is.
Plus, they have two young wings, especially DeRozan, who could be valuable sweeteners if used in combination with the large expiring contract of Stojakovic or the TPE … if a major talent was made available.
Trading either Amir Johnson or Jose Calderon would likely still prove difficult. That may change by the end of the year if both were given starter’s minutes though. Especially Calderon. Amir may still be a tough sell.
Potential buyout on the horizon. The combination of:
- Kleiza, DeRozan and Weems
- Plus the Raptors likely use of undersized backcourts with Bayless, Barbosa and Calderon
- The Raptors poor talent level and likely place near the bottom of the league
Makes it likely that Peja Stojakovic will either request or be offered a buyout at some point this season. Probably not right away but maybe after the trade deadline. Someone like Miami or Boston will likely move to pick him up.
Odd Note: Hedo Turkoglu
Hedo Turkoglu as a ball-handling passing wing player would have been great for a scoring PG like Jerry Bayless. Anyway, Hedo’s contract wouldn’t have fit in with rebuilding so it’s just as well he’s not there.
It just would have been nice to have seen the two play alongside one another. They could have complemented one another well.
Strange to see Bayless traded so quickly after New Orleans paid a high price to bring him over from Portland. And then to be traded for Jack for a second time (draft day), odd coincidence.
Anyway, not a lot of talent changing hands despite the five player deal with each team giving up almost $15 million worth of talent / contracts.
The Hornets upgrade their backup PG position while the Raptors trade a proven commodity at the point for a prospect at the point.
I dislike the trade for New Orleans because I thought they should have received more talent for Peja’s expiring contract … or at least been patient and waited until February to explore the market thoroughly before settling on this move as their best opportunity. Premature move.
The verdict on the Raptors is less clear. How do they use Peja’s expiring contract? How does Bayless develop in Toronto? Potentially, it’s a good trade for Toronto but it could easily backfire. A wrong decision with that expiring contract could create long term problems + the odds of Bayless surpassing Jack’s current level of play in the future are not encouraging.