I’ve been asked this a lot lately … so … I’ll give ya my two cents …
Who will start this year?
Well, I will preface this by saying that there are still two months to go until Training Camp (let alone the pre-season) so take this with a grain of salt. I retain the right to change my ‘picks’ at a later date
PG - Jose Calderon
SG - DeMar DeRozan (*tough call … but bring him along slowly with the starters as a possible 5th option on the floor? There might be less pressure starting than there would be if he was coming off the bench and being looked at as a spark plug each and every night*)
SF - Hedo Turkoglu
PF - Chrs Bosh
C - Andrea Bargnani
Assuming no other major deals are done in the next 7-8 weeks, the second unit would be comprised of: Jarrett Jack, Marco Belinelli, Antoine Wright, Reggie Evans and Rasho Nesterovic.
Roko Ukic could still see some minutes as Jay Triano plays around with Calderon
and Jack at the two. But given the fact that Belinelli and even Turkoglu can handle the ball as well … that COULD cut into Ukic’s time as that 3rd PG.
Patrick O’Bryant, Quincy Douby, and Marcus Banks would appear to be “filler” right now. However, keep in mind, Triano is a coach who will reward hard work. If, for example, O’Bryant or Douby are working their tail off in practice and out-performing someone ahead of them on the depth chart, don’t be surprised if Triano switches up his rotation from time to time.
And, of course, you can never really account for injuries. A major injury to the starting five - or to the core of your second unit - could totally throw things outta whack.
SPEAKING OF …
Doug Smith reported in the Toronto Star the other day that Banks MAY be bought-out by the Raptors.
Though that kind of transaction would mean eating a big chunk of money for MLSE … it might just be the best move for everyone involved.
The Raps would clear a roster spot … which could be valuable in a 2-for-1 trade, or for roster flexibility later in the season … when Bryan Colangelo may be interested in adding another piece via free agency or with a 10-day contract.
And Banks can (hopefully - for him) find a team that wants him / can use him. I just don’t see a fit here in Toronto with Calderon, Jack, and Ukic.
WHICH WOULD MEAN …
If Toronto did cut/waive/buy-out Banks … here’s how the Jermaine O’Neal trade worked out:
O’Neal and Jamario Moon for Shawn Marion and Banks.
Marion was then dealt in a package that included Kris Humphries and Nathan Jawai … for Hedo Turkoglu, Devean George, and Antoine Wright.
George was flipped for Marco Belinelli.
So, in the end, if the Raps did get rid of Banks, you could say that the Raps traded O’Neal, Moon, Humphries, and Jawai for Turkoglu, Wright, and Belinelli.
Or, if you wanted to take it one step further … you could look at it this way:
(1) Toronto traded TJ Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, and (Roy Hibbert) for O’Neal. But …
(2) O’Neal and Moon were traded for Marion and Banks. And then …
(3) Marion was traded and *Banks was cut (??). (And Miami let Moon walk too). So …
(4) None of the players you got back in the Ford/Rasho/Hibbert deal are left on this roster. Thus …
(5) You have to look at what you have left when all the dust has cleared. And that means …
(6) For all intents and purposes, Ford/Nesterovic/Hibbert/Humphries/Jawai/Moon were traded for Turkoglu/Wright/Belinelli.
You could even argue that had the Raptors
not moved Marion in that 4-team, sign-and-trade deal … they would not have retained their Mid-Level Exception … which was used (in part) to sign Jarrett Jack. Thus, Jack could be included in “the trade”. ANNNNND … Nesterovic ended up back here (a year later) as a free agent. So you could look at the trade like:
Ford-Hibbert-Humphries-Jawai-Moon … for Turkgolu-Jack-Wright-Belinelli … plus a re-signed Rasho.
I think I am.
I gotta go give my head a shake now.