To The Bucks:
- Rights to SG/SF Carlos Delfino
- PG Roko Ukic
- Forward Amir Johnson
- Guard/Forward Sonny Weems
When you consider the Raptors are doing basically a sign and trade for Carlos Delfino, was not like he was ever on the roster. This basically becomes a trade about Roko Ukic.It seems pretty clear that the Raptors felt much like myself that Roko had not developed at a rate they were happy with. That is why they went out and signed Jarrett Jack and it is why they considered drafting Jonny Flynn. So it makes sense to see Roko on the move. I was asked on the first DNB Radio if I saw any trade possibilities for Roko or Marcus Banks. My response was that I saw it as unlikely. However Bryan Colangelo was smart enough to package Roko with an asset he had, but had no intention of using in Delfino. Coming back the other way is Amir Johnson who was on of those young players on that Pistons bench that was suppose to be the the future. He is someone who perhaps could bring something to the table. Weems I will admit I am not all that familiar with but he is 6 foot 6 and will be a depth player at both shooting guard and more importantly small forward. He comes from a solid college program in Arkansas. Basically these are 2 guys that may be something or may not. This is not a trade that is going to shake the foundation of what has already been constructed by Bryan Colangelo. The deal speaks to me more about where Roko was at than anything else.
This also would put an end to any speculation of a return of Pops Mensah-Bonsu or Joey Graham until further notice. There is an outside chance that Marcus Banks could be bought out to open up a roster spot but that would seem unlikely at least not to just bring back Joey or Pops.
I heard someone on the Fan 590 today just in a full rage about the fact the Raptors would trade Roko and give up on him so soon? He used the example of Calderon. See that is your problem right there. What Jose Calderon did from year 1 to year 2 is the exception and not the rule. I watched Roko play in all 5 summer league games and he really had not shown any huge signs of growth or development. It was basically the same Roko. He also brought up his numbers with Croatia being improved. What people do in FIBA Basketball does not translate over to the NBA necessarily. Steve Nash did take his time with team Canada and used it as a spring board to his NBA Career but again that is rare and not the rule.
What both Nash and Calderon did was special and truly Roko beyond the odd flash of brilliance has never been that "special". This was a guy drafted by Rob Babcock. He was a projected first round pick that fell into the 40's. These things do not happen by accident. Rob Babcock does not have the best draft record in the world in his brief and destructive term as Raptors GM. Charlie V I would class as his only true solid draft choice. The rest have been variations of the word "bust". Could light come on one day and Roko will become a good point guard in this league? You can never say no for certain but the odds are highly in favour of the house on this one. Doug Smith on the same fan 590 said he doubts Roko is better than a 3rd string point guard for the Bucks. Who have according to Raptorblog's Scott Carefoot (and I don't disagree) the worst starting point guard in the league in Luke Ridnour. How can you really question Colangelo shifting things around and adding some depth at small forward and perhaps power forward in the case of Johnson.
So please don't shed any tears for Roko Ukic, or for Pops or Joey for that matter. This off season was about erasing all that went wrong last season and the addition of now (if this deal does get finalized) 9 new faces that mission has been more than accomplished. It also gives Jay Triano a fresh canvas to paint on in his first year as head coach full time. This was something that had to be done for Jay to have a good chance at being successful in my view. The only question I have is for Bryan Colangelo...are we done now? I doubt he will have time to answer as he is likely on the phones trying to trade Marcus Banks for someone. If Bryan can do that he truly will have nothing left to do but sit and wait for the season to begin.