Back after a couple days off. It is becoming a growing belief that the Raptors would be better off without Bargnani. Unlike when Chris Bosh missed games down the stretch last year the Raptors are actually winning the odd game without Bargnani. That didn't happen down the stretch when Chris Bosh was out with his busted face last year. Raptors are beating some unlikely teams as well. The Thunder twice, The Magic twice for a team with 55 losses that is beyond odd.
Jose Calderon also has been missing of late as well and Jerryd Bayless has been playing out of his mind in the last two games over this weekend. This is causing people to say give the keys to the car to Bayless and ditch Calderon. Also the Raptors could draft the best point guard in college on the National Champion UConn Huskies. Kemba Walker won the Bob Cousy award that goes to the top point guard in college basketball and his team in a truly ugly contest beat Butler in the national championship.
Here in the Dino Nation Blog it has been my belief that having Bargnani and Calderon on the floor together is toxic to the Raptors defensive effort. I hate hockey references in basketball but it is like giving a team a power play in terms of defence. Most fans answer is trade both and build around DeRozan and Davis with the rest of this young core. It would work easily on NBA2k11, I know because I have done it. But to trade both in reality might not be as easy a task for Bryan Colangelo. There is also a strong belief he would never trade Bargnani his number one pick.
But let's first talk about trading Calderon first of all. He is a capable offensive player. At times can border on brilliant. But as we have talked about for what seems like years now he is a horrible defender. He is perhaps the easiest point guard in basketball to set a pick on and take out of a play. He also is limited in foot speed and to stay in front of the growing crop of speedy point guards in this league on most occasions is beyond him. Those facts alone might make him impossible to trade. Then when you add in the fact he is injury prone and has a history of injuries to his hamstrings mostly along with some other injures along the way. The Raptors struggled to try and move him last summer and almost had him shipped off to Charlotte. Nothing this season has happened that will make the task of moving Calderon any easier.
Bargnani is a different case though. It has always been believed that he has never been in play for the Raptors to move him. Some will say that it isn't now. But it seems clear this fan base at least has made up their minds on in him and the general attitude is they would like him gone. While on offence Bargnani is very talented and even with Bosh gone and more double teams coming his way he has still been able to score. Bargnani is always going to be a scorer in this league that seems clear. But what also seems increasingly clear is that he has no desire to improve as a rebounder or a defender. He just doesn't show any type of effort and offers little in terms of hope that this will change. But the offensive talent is something that will appeal to a team. Bargnani as a second or 3rd option on a team on offence could be lethal. To make up for his lack of defence the team that takes him on will need a Dwight Howard type presence to back him up. They would also be wise to move Bargnani to the 4 spot. Bargnani is not a center in the NBA he just isn't. But the point is there will be teams willing to gamble on Bargnani. The price they will pay might be the sticking point. But there will be offers if Colangelo puts him out there.
I will close by saying this though. A lot of people are getting excited by what some guys are doing of late. Yes it is good to see. But let's not forget the Raptors are a 55 loss team and other teams could easily over look them. It happens and if the Raptors get off to a solid start these teams can end up in a fight they didn't expect to have. You need to judge people based on the whole 82 games or however long they have been here.
Today would normally be are NBA feature the NBAZ in 7 Dayz. But I am taking over that feature for the time being as Danielle has decided to move on from the blog and we wish her well. So I may move the day for that feature to fit my schedule. For now will do it once a week on Thursday. But later today we will have a preview of the Raptors and Knicks. I am sorry I took a couple days for myself but I am back now and it is business as usual.