the trade

Every Raptor fan has heard about this one already, I am sure. Toronto is set to trade malcontent T.J. Ford, along with Rasho Nesterovic, Joey Graham and last night’s draft pick Roy Hibbert to the Indiana Pacers for Jermaine O’Neal.

When I first heard about the deal, I had mixed reactions. Five years ago, if I was to create a list of my top 5 non-Raptors, JO would have been on the list [along with KG, Pierce, Steve Nash and … I can’t remember the fifth]. He was a lack for a 20-10 season and was a defensive force as well. Since then, he has been plagued by injuries and was suspended for a huge chunk of games for the brawl, making him a shell of his former self. Having already played for 11 seasons in the NBA, making him an old 30, and being owed $44 million over the next couple of years, I was skeptical about this deal. I was hoping they would swing a deal for a 2 or 3 like Magette from the Clips.

Now, I’m of the mind that this deal might work for Toronto. Ford was a goner, and everyone knew it. Jose is the man at PG going forward. To get a big name like O’Neal for Ford [also with his own injury issues] and some spare parts is pretty nice, actually. Word is that O’Neal wasn’t pushed too hard last year, and his injuries may not be as serious as they appeared to be by his not playing. In terms of salary, his $20 million + for next year matches up with the salaries being traded, and his salary for the second season can either a) be traded or b) will come off the books in time for some sweet FA’s in 2010.

Best case scenario: Bosh and O’Neal become the next Duncan and Robinson, average 40-20 between the two of them and lead the Raptors deep into the playoffs.

Worst case scenario: O’Neal gets hurt, hardly plays, the Raptors regress, grab a lottery pick next year and trade his contract for some good young players.

What is apparent is that Colangelo’s honeymoon in Toronto is ending. His early moves have largely been accepted without [much] questioning, but this could be a risky one. I hope he has a plan for bringing in a swingman, because the Raps desperately need one [*cough* Brandon Roy *cough* Bargnani *cough* oops *cough*].

And hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with my beloved red, black and white [formerly purple] while in Aberdeen.

  1. My best case scenario is Antropov from the Leafs going to a Raptors game and O’Neal beating him senseless. I hate Antropov . . . I don’t really know why, I just hate him!

  2. i appreciate that sentiment, although i would prefer to keep this blog a leaf free zone!


    but seriously.

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