Just when you think all is quiet in Raptors-land, you hear a big bang. That bang is Bryan Colangelo and it’s the sound of his collar popping. While his collar pops with a loud bang, it’s his swagger that sifts ever so softly through the darkness of the night. This is now the second time this off-season that he’s made a deal at a time when most are in bed.
Late Wednesday night, Colangelo traded Minneapolis native Devean George, who was picked up in the four-team trade that brought the Raptors
Hedo Turkoglu, to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for 23-year old shooting guard Marco Belinelli. The Raptors
also sent cash considerations to the Warriors to cover some of George’s contract; this doesn’t count against the cap.
This deal is a no-brainer in terms of what team came out as the winner.
Toronto gets a player who is young and has been a Colangelo favorite since prior to being drafted 18th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by Golden State. He was close to being acquired for Joey Graham prior to the deadline this season.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will now more than likely give Belinelli’s minutes to Anthony Morrow.
This wasn’t even a salary dump by the Warriors, which makes it even more ridiculous to these eyes. Belinelli is scheduled to make $52,360 less than George this season and gives the Raptors
added flexibility the next couple years. There’s a team option of $2.38 million for 2010-11 and a qualifying offer of $3.38 million for 2011-12.
It’s definitely one of those “WTF” moments. How can you give up on a player going into his third year who showed legitimate signs of progression last season, albeit faced some injury concerns.
If there’s any doubt what Golden State fans think of this deal, look no further than here: RealGM Forum topic two weeks before the trade and comments on this post at Golden State of Mind.
There is a case to be made that the Raptors
are now worse defensively and they lose George’s leadership, but it’s not a big one. Belinelli essentially replaces Kapono on the perimeter except he’s much quicker, which is key when on defense. The Raptors
don’t have a “shutdown defender” per say, but that’s going to be something new Assistant Coach Marc Iavaroni is going to have to look at and make sure it’s not an issue going into the season. If anything, they need to play solid team defense.
Leadership wise, sure it does suck that they lose in that aspect of the trade, but you can’t get everything you want, although Colangelo has been getting pretty close this summer. This is where Chris Bosh
has to be the “leader” he’s been pegged as for the past few seasons in Toronto. You don’t become a leader just because you scream, yell and moan, but he has to be able to control the dressing room this season and make sure no cliques are formed. The team seemed pretty united last season and the off-season additions all seem to be great people, but you never know during an 8 month NBA season.
depth chart now breaks down like this:
C: Andrea Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic, Patrick O’Bryant
PF: Bosh, Reggie Evans
SF: Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright
SG: Belinelli, DeRozan, Quincy Douby
PG: Jose Calderon, Jarett Jack, Roko Ukic, Marcus Banks
That leaves one roster spot, most likely being one of Carlos Delfino or Pops Mensah-Bonsu.
This trade definitely gives Colangelo leverage in the Delfino negotiations because Belinelli is a similar type of player and younger. Delfino is better defensively and if he was signed to a deal, probably no more than one season due to next year’s cap implications, it’d bump DeRozan even further down the depth chart. Being a rookie he needs playing time to grow and develop his skills, you can practice all you want but you grow most as a player when making in-game decisions.
Mensah-Bonsu can also be had for much cheaper than the $4-5 million it’d take to sign Delfino. He wouldn’t take up any of DeRozan’s minutes either and would be a great boost of energy off the bench, being a fan favourite also never hurts.
There will be tons of signs at the ACC this season pronouncing Bryan Colangelo for Prime Minister as he’s turned a lottery team into a team that will be taking a serious run at home-court advantage this season.
Once again, Colangelo proves he has more magic than Harry Potter and because of this Raptors
fans are announcing July 30th, 2009 as #BryanColangeloDay on Twitter .
While it was the Toronto Blue Jays of the MLB that were supposed to be the busy Toronto sports team going into the week, the Maple Leafs and Raptors
have clearly not gotten the memo. This town deserves a better class of general manager (totally stole that line from The Dark Knight) than what the Blue Jays have, thank goodness for Colangelo and Brian Burke.
It seems as if Colangelo is sitting on his couch playing NBA 2k9 and taking whatever players he wants from other computer controlled teams because of stupid AI. Either that or he’s walking around the ACC listening to ‘I Run This Town’ by Jay-Z ft. Rihanna and Kanye West.
Sure, Torontonians may not have seen the sun often this summer, but they are in for some sunny days this winter.
It’s the off-season where brilliance shines and hope reigns supreme.