Thursday, December 11, 2008

Raptors Recap - The "we needed that/trade O'neil" Edition

Not much to say after last nights game. The raptors needed a win and they got one. They played well enough to win shooting just under 50% from the field. Jason Kapono had a very nice game starting in place of the injured Anthony Parker. Jamario Moon had one of those games where you remember just how much he can help this team. His put back dunk on JO's missed jumper in the second half was almost unbelieveable.

All that said what does this win really mean?

I say nothing. They beat a very bad Pacer team that has had very few bright moments this season. They held the pacers to 35% shooting but most of the missed shots were open looks. Danny Granger who has had a very nice season thus far was a putrid 9 for 25 from the field YUCK. Most of his misses were open looks but the raptors who boast 3 big men were STILL out rebounded 52 to 47. Had this been a team that could make shots the raptors would have been blown out again. Calderon won his first battle against TJ. Jose had a fantastic game (11 pts, 14 assists, 5 boards, 3 steals). Ford was pretty much a non factor all night. Toronto now shifts its focus to getting some revenge against VC and the Nets in Jersey on Friday.


I was a little bit surprised to see the Suns trade Diaw and Bell for Jason Richardson. I was hoping that the Raptors could somehow make a deal with Phoenix for Bell or Barbosa but that's clearly not going to happen now.

All that got me thinking of what the Raptors could do to improve. A trade is obviously required to do this. Everyone I talk to and everything I've read suggests the Raptors have very little that other teams would want. But then I got to thinking why not shop O'Neil?

My reasoning is this.

For the most part he has lived up to the expectations of what Colangelo brought him in to do. He's rebounding the ball and playing tough D in the paint. His scoring is down but he's also not the first option on offense. So he's doing all of this and the team still isn't winning. There are other major gaps that this team needs to fill and so why not try to package him for a couple of players. There has to be some teams out there looking for cap space in 2010. I highly doubt the raptors will be in the running for any big name free agents that summer and if they can make a deal now that improves the wing position and maybe gets them a backup PG or even an ok big man at the same time. Would you not make that deal? I know I would.

I'm not suggesting this will be easy. Colangelo basically has to find a team that wants to be a player in 2010 and needs a big man. I know Tyrus Thomas and Ben gordon are unhappy in Chicago. Maybe you make a deal for them and spare parts (Larry Hughes contract makes it work). Or to Charlotte for Gerald Wallace, Nazr Mohammad and spare parts. This is not an easy task and isn't likely to ever happen but all I'm saying is its worth a call.

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