Friday, January 9, 2009

Raptors Game Day - O'neil for Marion?

Over the past five games Andrea Bargnani has averaged 22 points, 5.8 reb and 1.8 block per game)as the Raptors starting center.

Many have wondered if it's the consistent roll as a starter that he's been given that has contributed to his success.

I believe that while Bargnani is the type of player that will thrive once the Raptors stop jerking him around. I still don't know if he can average the numbers he has been putting up.

That said I would still like to see him be given the chance.

I mentioned way back in early December that the best move for this team was to trade Jermaine O'neil.

I maintain this stance even though several others have now jumped on the bangwagon.

It is truly the only way to improve this team before the 2010 season when Bosh can leave as a free agent and lets not kid ourselves here HE WILL leave if they don't improve. As much as he says he loves the city I cannot imagine a scenario where he would get the chance to play with Lebron in the biggest market in the NBA and say no especially if the raptors are as awful as they have been this season.

That said, I've thrown around a lot of scenarios here lately. All of them to this point have basically been pipe dream best case scenarios.

But to make a trade the deal has to work for both teams (unless of course you're Kevin Mchale).

What the Raptors need to do is find somebody that is paid close to or as much as O'neil that makes sense for BOTH teams and then make that deal.

So after scanning the NBA rosters I believe that there is only 1 player that fits that bill.

Hello Sean Marion.

Why Marion? The answer is three fold

1. He is making 17 million a season and expires after THIS season
2. He has a history with Colangelo so he'd know what he was getting.
3. He plays the position they covet most right now. Marion can start on the wing right away and give them some of the things they need.

Marion isn't the ideal candidate that is for sure but he gives them just enough that the deal would work for the raptors. He can't create his own shot but I think working with Jose in pick and rolls will open things up for him a bit.

Why would Miami do this?

Miami gets a starting center to put with D wade right away thus helping them continue their push to the playoffs. We ALL remember what happened the last time the Heat paired Wade with a legit Starting Center. Not to say that I'm comparing O'neil with... well... O'neil, but he is better than what they've got now.

Also Marion's contract expires at the end of THIS season while we all know that O'neils doesn't expire until the season after. Regardless the deal works for both teams cap wise because the Heat will have cap space for 2010 and the Raptors will get it this off season.

We have to be honest with ourselves and realize that the Raptors, even with a tonne of cap space were never really going to be major players in the 2010 Free agent frenzy. So I ask why not take the 17 million this off season and spend it on guys to surround Bosh with?

Realistically with the 17 million in cap space they could do so many things. For example they could bring back Delfino for 4 million a year. They could resign Rasho (who LOVES toronto) as a backup center for 2 or 3 million a year and STILL have 10 million to sign a starting wing and a backup Point guard if Roko can't do the job next season. The 17 million doesn't even take into consideration Anthony Parker's 4.5 million expiring contract which they can use to either resign him or get another SG.

This to me seems like a no brainer. I'd make the deal today and let Bargs finish the season at center sink or swim.

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