If Bryan Colangelo is looking to make a minor move ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, he's got an underused guard who'd welcome it.
Juan Dixon, who has become little more than a spare part on the Raptors
this season, would be open to a deal, a league source said last night.
Dixon is in the final year of a contract that pays him about $3 million this season and his diminished role in Toronto could make him less marketable as a free agent this summer.
A chance to go somewhere and be productive – just as he was after joining the Raptors
almost a year ago – could allow him to restore his reputation as a solid scorer.
The source said Colangelo is aware of Dixon's desire to be moved but there is nothing concrete on the table. The president and general manager is thought to be reluctant to pull off a move that would add any significant salary to his payroll because the Raptors
need to re-sign both Jose Calderon
and Carlos Delfino this summer.
Dixon, 29, has lost any significant role in Toronto over the course of the season. The Raptors
signed Jason Kapono and dealt for Delfino last summer, making a commitment to two players who do much the same job off the bench as Dixon does. And when T.J. Ford went down and missed 25 games with a neck and back injury, the Raptors
tried to make Dixon into a backup point guard, a hit-and-miss proposition that further eroded his place on the team.
Just what Toronto might be able to get for Dixon is unknown. Because his salary is relatively low, he won't fetch a big name in return but, for instance, if he were packaged with the expiring contract of Darrick Martin, it could net a player in return who makes close to $5 million a season.
Over the course of his six-year career, the 6-foot-3 Dixon has averaged almost nine points a game, primarily in a backup role. In 2006-07, after being obtained from Portland for Fred Jones, he averaged 11.1 points and 26.3 minutes a game for the Raptors. This season, he's averaging only 4.3 points and 11.9 minutes per game.