Should Colangelo be calling on Arenas, Okafor and Brand?
With the Toronto Raptors looking to unload Hedo Turkoglu, they have to look around the league to teams who also have players with ‘bad contracts’ when trying to make a deal, as Hedo’s value is at perhaps, an all-time low. There have already been rumours of a potential discussion about a Hedo for Andres Nocioni swap, who when coming in at a $6.85 million dollar price tag does very little for the Raptors. There are other contracts around the league G.M are similarly looking to unload, such as those of Elton Brand, Emeka Okafor and Gilbert Arenas.
Elton Brand is feverishly trying to be unloaded by the Philadelphia 76ers who feel that the team plays better with Iggy at the 3 and Young at the 4, which meshes perfectly with their plan to draft super-prospect Evan Turner at shooting guard. The Raptors have a hole at the 5 and are in the market for a big man as they have all but resolved to draft a wing unless one slips. Elton Brand, has been a disappointment the last couple of years even though he is still paid like a ‘max’ player. He seems to have regained his health and now just needs the right opportunity to show that he is back close to his old form. The Raptors would be a perfect stage for Brand to accrue some trade value for a subsequent trade.
Would Philly do this trade?
To be quite honest, it doesn’t make much sense for Philadelphia 76ers unless they can make a subsequent deal to unload Iggy. The 76ers do need a playmaking 3pt shooter at the 3 and Turkoglu would be a nice fit, provided Iggy is traded and they are willing to take on that hefty price tag. However at this time the 76ers are probably looking to get younger and acquiring Hedo doesn’t make much sense unless they are serious about making the playoffs next year.
With that said rumours have persisted that the 76ers are looking to unload the #2 to any team willing to take on Brand’s contract, we are just not sure a Hedo machination would work for the 76ers. A mutli-team deal as RD discussed here would probably go over better with Philly management.
Gilbert Arenas. Now while the Wizards are not having a fire sale on Arenas or selling him for pennies on the dollar, they will be listening to all reasonable offers. They likewise have a hole at the 3, and jettisoning Arenas, though not their public stance; is top priority in Washington.
Gilbert Arenas would be a perfect fit for the Raptors who are in search of a franchise point guard and also for some scoring punch from their backcourt. Now he comes with health risks and the obvious baggage from his gun incident with Crittenton, but he is a warrior and would probably have a bigger chip than ever on his shoulder for feeling like he got exiled to Toronto.
He might also keep us Bosh.
Would Washington do this trade?
The Wizards obviously need to surround John Wall with some playmakers and Hedo would be a good fit at the small forward position due to his 3 point touch. Blatche and McGee would man the 5, while Al Thornton would play his more natural 4 slot. The Wizards, would be well advised, if they really want to rid themselves of Arenas, to take the best deal they get by draft night, as you really, really, don’t want the enigmatic Gilbert Arenas poisoning the young point guards mind. The last thing the Wizards need is another head case and pairing these two together would undoubtedly cause some of Arena’s good…and bad traits to rub off on John Wall. While other contracts would have to be involved, the Wizards should take this deal.
Okafor and Darren Collison
This is the home-run scenario Raptor fans have been waiting for and is the best possible deal of the three analyzed today. A franchise center and a franchise point guard in one deal in unheard of, thank god for salary dumps!
Emeka Okafor would fit an obvious glaring need at the 5, and would quickly endear himself to Raptor fans with his hard-nosed playing style. Darren Collison showed flashes of brilliance when Chris Paul went down with injury and is the franchise point guard the Raptors have been looking for.
Constructing a deal that the Hornets would take may be the more difficult issue to navigate. Would they take on Hedo since they have a glaring need at the 3? Do they want expiring contracts, such as those of Belinelli, Reggie Evans and Marcus Banks? Or do they prefer a straight salary dump where they clear immediate space (in which case the Raptors would not be in the serious running). It is probably the latter, but Hornets management undoubtedly understands that they may be able to flip the expiring contract they may get from to Toronto into a key piece later in the season when they are more concerned with making the playoffs than shedding salary.
Would the Hornets do the deal?
If, we could come up with the right package, whether it be expirings or Hedo; than yes. However it is not yet clear if the Hornets want assets, or just a salary dump. This is what we have Bryan Colangelo to find out. Someone let Colangelo know that this is the deal that might save his job….and his legacy.
Which option is best for the Raptors?
The Philadelphia deal is the best, but is the least likely.
The Arenas deal is the most interesting due to an All-Star coming to the Raptors, but is the riskiest.
The Hornets deal comes with zero risk, and all upside.
Raju Byfield is a Senior Sports Writer for Raptors Digest.
Raju Byfield also writes for Win My Fantasy League as a Senior Sports Writer/Fantasy Sports Analyst.