Monday, June 14, 2010
Raptors Cleaning House?
By Chad Ford
The past few weeks I’ve been calling around to every team in the league gathering draft info. Out of all those conversations, one thing that is becoming clear: The Raptors have been the most aggressive team in the league this summer in seeking out all sorts of trades. At this point it’s conceivable that the team could end up trading three of its five starters this summer.
Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo, as we reported in May, is open to a sign-and-trade should Chris Bosh tell him he wants to sign somewhere else on July 1. Obviously the Raptors would like to keep Bosh, and, according to a Raptors source, they are attempting to clean house now to show him they can surround him with a more competitive team. The source told me that there’s been little movement on the Bosh front and that won’t change until they hear from him on what he wants to do.
Meanwhile, the Raptors are not just sitting around. Rather, Colangelo is shopping Hedo Turkoglu, Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack with an eye toward making trades before July 1.
The same source told me that a Turkoglu trade was already in the works and could happen by the draft. While the source was confident something would happen, the source didn't disclose the potential destination(s). The Calderon and Jack discussions are moving more slowly, but over the past few days the Raptors have been pressing forward on those fronts as well.
At the same time, the Raptors appear to be closing in on a trade for an additional first-round pick. Colangelo has called every team with multiple picks looking for something in the 20s, according to sources. He’s offering cash (the team can pay up to $3 million for a pick) to any team that doesn’t want to make a three-year commitment to a late first rounder. A few teams, including the Thunder and Nets, have said no. But teams with multiple first-round picks (like the Grizzlies) or teams trying to save cash or a luxury tax hit (see the Orlando Magic) are in Colangelo’s sights.
The team is also in a critical point in workouts. They had in Daniel Orton, Ekpe Udoh and Cole Aldrich in last week for workouts and will have in Hassan Whiteside and Solomon Alabi in early this week. There’s no question the team would like a center so that, if Bosh leaves, head coach Jay Triano can move Andrea Bargnani to his more natural position at the four.
However, the Raptors believe that they’ll get a big in any sign-and-trade for Bosh, so team need isn’t limiting their options in the draft right now. Later this week the Raptors will look at potential replacements for all both positions. They’ll have Eric Bledsoe, Paul George and Xavier Henry in for a workouts. All three players are in the mix at 13. Avery Bradley was also scheduled to be in the workout but an ankle sprain forced him to cancel the workout. Sources say Bradley may be the Raptors pick at No. 13 if none of the Top 10 players in the draft slip.