According to a report by Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Toronto Raptors will be/have been actively shopping their #8 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft in hopes of acquiring an established wing player/small forward.
With the teams first-round pick in 2011 Jonas Valanciunas coming overseas to join the roster next season, the Raptors are hoping to add an elite scorer at the 3 spot to help Valanciunas and his transition into the NBA rather than have one more rookie (boom or bust) thrown into the mix.
I still can’t come to grips with how the Raptors believe they can acquire either Gay or Iguodala (or any other elite wing player for that matter) with the assets they currently have.
As far as I know, Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan are untouchable. GM Brian Colangelo believes that both players are huge parts of the Raptors rebuilding process and long-term future. Neither player is going anywhere anytime soon as far as he is concerned.
Would that package be enough to land Rudy Gay? Absolutely not. First of all, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley recently announced that Gay is not on the trade market and that the team has no intention of trying to get rid of him. Even if he were available, a package of the 8th pick, Jose Calderon and Ed Davis more than likely wouldn’t be enough to entice Memphis.
At a price tag of $53 million over the next 3 years, Rudy Gay isn’t worth it. The Raptors would have $86 million tied up in Gay and Bargnani if Rudy somehow found his way across the border. Those 2 aren’t worth the financial strain.
As far as Andre Iguodala goes, I just don’t see what all of the fuss is about. Is he really the missing piece that will take the Raptors to the postseason? He’s a tremendous player with a lot to offer both on offense and defense, but he isn’t the man to take the Raptors to that next level.
I understand why the Toronto Raptors are eager to make a big splash and acquire themselves a superstar wing, but sometimes progress takes a bit of time. If we’ve learned anything from the Oklahoma City Thunder, it’s that a losing franchise can one day find themselves on top of the basketball world just by having solid drafts and picking quality players. The rookie the Raptors would take at spot #8 may never be that franchise-defining megastar, but he will certainly be a huge part of the Raptors future moving forward if all pans out.
My advice would be to keep that #8 pick and keep rebuilding through the draft. A core of Valanciunas, Bargnani, DeRozan and the player selected 8th overall is something Raptors fans can be excited about.
Going after Gay/Iguodala just smells of desperation.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports