With the NBA trade deadline now just 10 days away and some big names reportedly on the market, you can expect quite the bevy of rumours and “reports” between now and the 15th. Given that the Raptors are supposed to be in full rebuilding mode or just “building” mode, as Bryan Colangelo would say, you would expect that any rumours involving Canada’s lone NBA team would reveal them as heavy sellers at the deadline.
It’s quite surprising then, and might I add perplexing, that the Raptors are reportedly one of the teams interested in trading for Trail Blazers guard and NBA journeyman Jamal Crawford, according to Hoops World. While the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year does have a very fair, if not valuable, contract at just $5 million this season and still averages nearly 15 points per game in Portland, Crawford will be 32 later this month, and the same report states that the Blazers are “concerned” Crawford will not exercise his $5 million player option for next season and will instead opt for free agency.
If the Raptors were planning on trading Leandro Barbosa before next Thursday’s deadline or anticipate losing him one way or another at the end of this season and Crawford was locked in at $5 million next season, I’d support this rumour. But given that Crawford is expected to go the free agent route and that his age doesn’t really fit with Toronto’s current rebuild, I would be against such a move. Plus, if the Raptors traded for Crawford, what would they have to give up to bring him in?
If they’re going to trade for and then sign Jamal Crawford, I’d much rather they just hold on to Barbosa. Hopefully this rumour is nothing more than a team, agent or player rep adding unwarranted teams to a list to drive up their client’s price, and nothing more than that.