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Sick, Wicked and Nasty! 01-29-2008 10:44 AM

Bryan's legacy.
Since the TJ Ford trade scenario has begun to surface again with Jose's improved play this got me thinking about the dilemna Bryan Colangelo will be in once Ford returns.

From the day he arrived or shortly thereafter Ford was slated as his starting guard...he's young, good friends with the franchise player and has oodles of potential to an already impressive slill set. Calerdon at the time was likely viewed as a serviceable backup with Ukic on the horizon likely to take that job.

Now the world has changed... Jose has improved more in the past two years than anyone on this continent could have predicted and while he still has defensive deficiencies, is finally learning really how to run this offense to produce wins on top of the impressive stat lines.

Whether or not you believe TJ Ford is or still can be the better point guard of the two it's difficult to argue that he doesn't have all star potential so it goes without saying there's some big decisions to make in the future.

Issues as I see them:

1. Both Jose and TJ are starter quality guards in this league.
2. Jose has played well enough to deserve this starter's job on Toronto but so did TJ before he got hurt, and most coaches adhere to the unwritten rule that you dont' lose your starting job because of injury....so when both are 100% who starts?(rhetorical, dont' answer yet).
3. Roko is making a name for himself in Europe and rumour has it he might be on his way here next year.
4. This team doesn't have room for a 3rd point guard to actually get minutes except during an injury state and we know Roko won't come over if he's not guarenteed minutes.
5. Trading Calderon will be easy after you give him more money... his value is high, teams need him and once he's making a good salary you can get good pieces in return.
6. TJ's trade value may or may not be as high... due to his health risk. Trading him might be more difficult i'm not sure but as a GM how do you rate potential vs potential injury?
7. TJ is not the type of personality to graciously accept being number 2 longterm.
8. Jose thusfar is that type of personality but will he remain so next year?

It's not in my opinion as easy as saying "trade TJ" or 'trade Jose". Both have asterisk's beside them, one for his injuries and the other his contract. Can they coexist next season? What about the 3rd stringer...we know Martin is done.

This will be the decision I think that will define BC's legacy in Toronto...at least in the early years. What he does will have potentially huge ramnifications and I'm glad i'm not the one having to make the decision.

Anyways, please dont' make this another TJ vs JOse thread...I mean this to be a thread about Colangelo and the future of our team. If you give an opinion on which way you think BC will go...dont' say things like Jose is better or TJ is the one with more potential...we've argued that to death and we dont' know how BC feels about that today. Look at it more from a business side please? :)

Benzo 01-29-2008 10:51 AM

Great post.

I think when it comes down to it, T.J's injury situation, will be like a big pink elephant in the room.

I think from a GM's standpoint, trading T.J is a no lose. If you keep him and he gets hurt/Jose flousish's, your an ass. But if you trade him and T.J flourish's you have an easy out. "The injury scared us". Can you get more back for Jose at this point?. Probably, but it would leave us at great risj at the PG spot...unless Roko is the next Jose in which case...get'er done.

Dr. J. Naismith 01-29-2008 10:57 AM

Nicely written SWAN. I for one do not envy BC in the slightest. Having a two-headed beast is wonderful but eventually its not going to sit well with one of them. So, that being said I think its a given that either Ford or Jose will not be on this roster next season. I don't believe long term the two can coexist here in Toronto. :(

At this point, Ford is damn near impossible to move with his health risk's floating in the background, but like Benzo said are you willing to take a HUGE risk in losing one of the best pure point guards in the game in Jose? Needless to say it should be interesting. ;)

Belsius 01-29-2008 11:12 AM

Well the thing is TJ will be playing really soon, and if we do a decent run in the playoffs, his value will rise again, he is an ambicious player and I bet he will be playing pretty well when his back.

Another thing is TJ being best friends with Bosh, that is important, but I have noticed that Bosh and Calderon chemistry is also pretty good. They always sit together in the bench and are always talking to each other. Also Calde is much more social (not saying TJ is a worst person, he is just more introverted), and has the european flavor this team likes, sharing same 1st lenguage with two other important players in the team.

I see Calde staying, with Ukic next year as a backup, TJs value rising again before the end of this season, and a trade involving him and maybe kapono in the summer.

fancylad 01-29-2008 11:22 AM

i can see both staying put. But if colangelo has to move one, he'll likely deal TJ.

I'd also say that we will really have to see how TJ performs when he comes back. If he's like the TJ of old, or possibly better, then i'd think things will get more complicated.

alseaf 01-29-2008 01:23 PM

Nice post SWAN.
If we were to keep only one of them, there is no doubt in my mind that Jose is the man that Colangelo will keep, for the simple fact that if he traded him, we have a starting PG in ford that can go down with a higher than normal chance due to injury and then what... we are royally screwed cuz noones left that can run the offense. I see it like this, Tj will come back and play well in backing up Jose and we finish the season strong.

Now comes the playoffs. This can ultimately be the deciding factor for Colangelo. Think of the possibility that, entering the payoffs, both our PGs are healthy. Opposing teams will have to adjust everytime one of them is subbed in due to their differing styles of play. PLUS in the playoffs if one goes down, we still got another PG that can run the offense at a high level. The advantages of keeping them both are staggering.

BballWatcher 01-29-2008 02:28 PM

Basically, I see Colangelo as a mastermind and his constant "he's my starting guy for the future" is mind games to get TJ feeling good about himself and other teams thinking he's the better guard on our team.

moremilk 01-29-2008 10:05 PM

I don't think at this point TJ would get his job back, even he wouldn't have this big cloud over his head. Jose was outstanding the past 2 months and he has a decent shot at being made an all-star, which would pretty much settle the case. Can you imagine Jose being considered the second best point guard in the east by all coaches BUT ours? What would that say about Sam Mitchell ...

LX 01-30-2008 02:45 PM

I came into this season just wanting to see both point guards continue with their development, and I've been very happy to see that both have worked very hard and in fact gotten better. I still don't think who starts is the essential issue, but yes, Colangelo has to begin to look at who will play what role in the future. I don't think he's necessarily cornered into letting one or the other go in a trade unless it becomes all to clear the one or the other will not be happy with their role.

I'm not convinced that a different role for TJ will spell the end for him. He is as aware of his health issues as anyone. Colangelo has said that he has gotten to know TJ really well since he's gone down with the injury. And he also talked extensively to Calderon over the summer when GM's all over the league were calling about him. And my overall impression is that BC likes having two top-ten pgs on the same team, and I think he can see that taking either one of them out of the equation makes things more difficult for this team, and puts them in constant danger of sinking right out of the playoff picture. With both of them here, the team has weathered so many injuries to so many players.

If he ends up going with one or the other, it will have to mean a guy like Roko proves to be more than just a steady backup, or they will have to settle for a steady backup, and retool the team's bench so that it can produce with a pg that does not play within the system the way that the starter does. That would mean that the ability to plug in versatile bench guys to make the most out of the team's depth would likely not be there, and instead the overall rotation would be tightened up. But right now there is just not the kind of reliable experience on this team to allow for that kind of gameplan. I just don't see consistent results from a starting five in a tight rotation from the current crop of players. Not yet. So to me that makes the roles of both point guards extremely significant. In another season-and-a-half that might change, or the results might make it that much harder to break them up.

The team's success is the ultimate barometer for me, as I would imagine it is for BC, and to some respect both players in question. But yes - the future course of the team does need to be chartered, with everyone buying into it. But I think that has already happened since Colangelo's arrival. I think that is why this team has turned things around thus far. I don't think that the improvement of any player is something that knocks a team off-course for their longterm plans. But a player's individual success could bring issues to the surface if the team's course is not furthered at the same time, and then a trade would make sense for the team and the player.

Now if this team is able to acquire an experienced player who can assert himself on both ends of the court every night, or even on one end of the court consistently, then that would change things dramatically, putting less pressure on the play of the pg over a full 48 minutes every time out, as well Bosh as the main option. There would be less of a need to plug in various role players off the bench to make things work. But even then I prefer having the two point guards, unless there can be some real certainty that one or the other can sustain a full season of play without tailing off at some point, or fighting through injury and fatigue. The two point guards can really do a job defensively at a time when containment on the perimeter is so important, while one guy playing more extensive minutes is not going to be able to contribute defensively to the same extent. You combine that with the fact that sharing minutes is going to lengthen the careers of both guys, and it's just not something I want to let go of. I think Forderon provides this team with a distinct advantage over other teams in this league, an advantage that will only gain in importance as they both continue to develop within this system. And that could mean years of success down the road, using a formula that hasn't really been used before, but one that fits well in this current era where the demands on guard play are at an extreme, and where defense on the perimeter is so essential as well.

Kuzzy 01-30-2008 10:44 PM

Colangelo said it himself, Calderon will be a raptor next year.
I think if we trade one of them, we'll trade TJ.
Calderon is just unbelieveable. Colangelo's in a tough position right now, 3 solid PGs keep 2 for a good price. I say Caldy and Ukic.
If TJ comes back and plays 25 games healthy and strong we can trade him.
Id do a sign+trade for Iggy
Calderon Parker Iguodola Bosh Bargnani :)
but yeeaa
somethings telling mee... just stick with TJ :eek:
but yeaa
just talking fantasy.

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