On Thursday night, I wrote about where the acquisition of Kyle Lowry leaves the Raptors. The major component of that post was a look at the point guard situation in Toronto, where Lowry joined Jose Calderon and restricted free agent Jerryd Bayless.

So much for that, as on Friday, the Raptors pulled their qualifying offer (roughly $4 million) to Bayless, officially making the 23-year-old guard an unrestricted free agent. The biggest difference, of course, is that the Raptors no longer have the option to match any offers for Bayless. If he and another team come to an agreement on a contract, he becomes an ex-Raptor.

Based on his youth, his upside, his performance when healthy last season and his competitive drive, you would have to figure that there’s at least one team out there with their eyes on Bayless. And now that those teams don’t have to worry about offer-sheets and everything that comes with them, someone can probably land Jerryd Bayless on a very team-friendly contract.

Scott, Oliver Macklem and I discussed Bayless’ expected departure at length in the latest edition of RaptorBlog Radio, so I won’t go into too much detail right now, other than to say that I was a big supporter of giving Bayless a chance to start at the point for an extended period. When given the minutes, Bayless put up some very impressive numbers (18 points and six assists per 36 minutes last season, while shooting over 40 per cent from deep) and produced at a rate comparable to guys like Lowry and Goran Dragic. And remember, Dragic is going to make $7-8 million per season for the next four years.

Unfortunately for Bayless, Lowry (who also has a team-friendly and very reasonable contract) plays a similar style, albeit in a much more polished form, and Jose Calderon’s game could be very complimentary to Lowry’s, especially with Jose coming off of the bench. Regardless of what you think about Jose, he would be a solid point guard option off the pine, and his $10 million-plus payday this season is actually a nice trade chip as a large expiring contract.

With Lowry and Calderon, the Raptors now have a very formidable combination at the point, and if you were hoping that the acquisition of Lowry meant Calderon’s days in Toronto were finally coming to an end, you were sadly mistaken:

With that, I’ll say that Linas Kleiza and Amir Johnson better up their games in 2012-2013, because the amnesty bulls-eye is now pointed squarely at them.

In closing, I’ll share this tweet from @gourmetspud from a few days ago, which hilariously and perfectly captures the mood right now:

Comments (20)

  1. A sign-and-trade is still possible isn’t it?

    But why not just keep the QO, and possibly have him signed him for next year if he doesn’t get an offer. If he gets a ridiculous offer that they don’t want to match, then they don’t have to match it, and just let him walk. IMO, they missed out on having two very tradable players with expiring deals. Another mistake by Colangelo.

    Jerryd Bayless to Dallas, anyone?

    • Ya I dont get this unless there’s a sign and trade involved bc Bayless’s QO wasn’t expensive to the team and there are some desperate teams for a PG so why put him out there for nothing. I still hope he comes back and they move Calderon.

      • i believe that when you give a QO, you can’t use that money to sign other free agents… that $ amount is removed from available cap space and is in “limbo” until you either: pull the offer, match an offer from another team, or don’t match and allow the RFA to walk. **I THINK that’s how it works**

        If I’m right, that would indicate that Colangelo is probably thinking of offering some money to another FA. Keep in mind, he has money tied up in “limbo” with the Landry Fields offer too.

        That keeps GMs from just offering contracts left and right to whomever they please and then pick and choose from those that are willing to accept.

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  2. BC is an idiot and seriously needs to be fired after next season. JB will thrive with another nba team that gives him good minutes and isn’t overlooked.

    • Read what I said to Don MacKinnon.

    • I agree with JDS Colangelo is an idiot. Fans love Bayless, he can score and loves Toronto. Have the time I have no idea what Jose is saying or doing. Hes past his prime. Lowry then Bayless is much more formidable than Lowry and Calderon. Calderon is not worth 10 million Bayless is worth 4 million. Just another poor and mean choice by the Raptors to not sign JerryD. Even KiDDAA Magazine agrees.

  3. Jerryd Bayless might be a pretty good starting PG in 2 years. I think it is a mistake to not keep him. I would had rather trade Calderon (even if I really like him) because he is older and more expensive and score less than Bayless.

  4. All the talk about building for the future and Bayless is still very young, why is Toronto dumping him? He competes hard every night, he obviously hates to lose, he plays great defence, and he can shoot the three. As a starter his assist numbers were pretty good. He is going to be a very good point guard in the near future. The decision to drop him is very suspect.

    • Basketball IQ too low to run point, struggles to know a good shot from a bad shot.

      • Ok but he is still young and he can improves that with more experiences. It was too early to release him considering his potential.

  5. Still a chance they keep bayless. They have his bird rights. I hope they can work something out. He would be very good as a backup playing 20-25 mins a night. Plus, good insurance if lowry gets injured. If he really wants to stay in toronto maybe they can agree to a cheaper deal? Regardless, I think calderon’s time as a raptor is numbered. He was a good player but not good enough unfortunately.

    • No, they have rescinded the qualifying offer, meaning Bayless is an unrestricted free agent and the Raptors no longer hold any rights when it comes to Jerryd. If he signs with another team, it’s not an offer-sheet that the Raps can match. It’s just a new deal and he’s an ex-Raptor.

  6. Very strang move. Not sure why you wouldn’t keep the much younger Bayless and move Calderon so you can get something back. You may not get a superstar for him, but at least you could get a decent player to help now and maybe a pick. Seems pretty much the opposite of what you should do, unless of course the Raptors see something in Bayless that they really don’t like and have no faith in his ability to step his game up to the next level.

  7. Somedays I wonder, why the Raptors are the Raptors…then I realize, they have done some of the most ludicrous management decisions and as you all mention, this will haunt the Raptors.

    • Then I suppose you believe that extending Andrea Bargnani was a great management decision, or that the Timberwolves and Grizzlies are such horrible franchises for not issuing qualifying offers to Michael Beasley and OJ Mayo respectively.

      Bayless is an attack-and-score type of guard, but he lacks the IQ and court vision to be a consistent floor general. Why do you think Jose Calderon has still been starting as the point guard after so many other guards managed to shake, but ultimately be shipped out of town without moving him?

  8. Well I hear the Rockets recinded their offer for Aaron Brooks! Send him Bayless’ offer BC!!!

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