Now that the dust is starting to settle over the Lakers’ coaching crisis with their hiring of Mike D’Antoni, it behooves D’Antoni and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak to examine their roster and determine how their personnel fits within D’Antoni’s spread pick-and-roll system. One of the keys to an effective pick-and-roll offense is having a big man who can step out and make three-pointers. Pau Gasol isn’t really that type of player, and Antawn Jamison appears to be essentially washed up. This means that Gasol could very well be available in a trade if the Lakers are able to acquire that shooting big man and bolster their weak bench.

You probably know what’s coming after the jump, but prepare to be outraged or delighted anyway by my proposal for a Lakers-Raptors trade that could benefit both teams.

My proposal: The Raptors trade Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon to the Lakers for Pau Gasol and Chris Duhon.

Why the Lakers agree to this trade: Bargnani would be an excellent fit in D’Antoni’s system with his passing ability and three-point shooting range. He’s not as good of a passer as Gasol and there’s obviously a downgrade in the rebounding and defense departments, but it’s long been established that Dwight Howard is the ideal big man for Bargnani to play next to because Howard will grab the bulk of the rebounds and Bargnani’s poor help defense will become much less of a concern. With the open looks Bargnani would get in this system and with those teammates, it wouldn’t shock me if he regained the shooting touch that enabled him to make over 40 percent of his treys in 2008-09.

As for Calderon, it seems like I’ve been trying to figure out a way to trade him to the Lakers for years, and it makes sense now more than ever. The Lakers’ bench is deplorable and Calderon would be an upgrade at backup point guard and a quality sixth man who could play off of Nash in small lineups with Kobe Bryant at small forward. Plus, Nash will need to have his minutes limited during the season so he’ll be fresh for the playoffs, so the Lakers would benefit from Calderon’s skill with running the pick-and-roll when Nash rests.

Why the Raptors agree to this trade: Well, that might depend on whether Bryan Colangelo is the Raptors’ GM or I am. I don’t know if Colangelo would be willing to part with Bargnani in this or any other package, but I’d be all over this like Honey Boo Boo on cake.

I’m not even going to pretend that I’m being entirely logical with this idea. I simply want Bargnani and Calderon off this team and I feel like this is the best package the Raptors could conceivably get in return. I recognize that Gasol is on the downside of his career, but at 32 years old and with one more season on his contract after this one, I still think he can provide a near-All-Star level of play on this team. Plus, I like the idea of him setting an example to Jonas Valanciunas of how to play solid defense without fouling all the time.

I recognize that switching Calderon with Duhon means a dropoff at the backup point guard position (offensively anyway — Duhon’s a much better defender), but this team isn’t sniffing the playoffs if Kyle Lowry isn’t healthy for most of the rest of the season, anyway. Right now, I’m staring at the possibility that the Oklahoma City Thunder could end up with a lottery pick in the single digits (from the pick they acquired from Houston via Toronto in the James Harden trade) with the way the Raptors is playing, and that fills me with fear and loathing. If this team is doomed to miss the post-season even after this trade, I want them to get as close as possible to a playoff spot so that draft pick is in the 12-14 range.

There are those of you who would prefer to the Raptors to go straight into “tank mode” so they can possibly grab one of those protected top three picks in the next draft, but that’s simply not realistic. This team is not going to finish in the bottom three in the standings — Dwane Casey and Lowry won’t allow it. I could see them finishing fifth or sixth from the bottom, though, and then we’ll all get to agonize over the 20-30 percent chance that the Raptors climb into the top three in the lottery so they can keep their pick. I’m not crazy about those odds.

Another thing I like about this trade is the $22 million in contracts that will expire in 2014 when Lowry will be an unrestricted free agent. Even after just four regular season games as a Raptor, most of you would probably agree with me that Lowry is looking like a near-max-contract player — and he might be worth a max contract if it wasn’t for his recurring health issues. I want to ensure that there isn’t a luxury tax situation that will prevent MLSE from giving that man his money.

Ultimately, this trade is about enacting a culture change on this team. The Bargnani-Calderon combo has haunted and hindered this franchise for over six seasons and I’ve had enough. I wish them no ill will and I’d be happy for them if they won a championship in L.A., but I’m ready to hand this team over to the Lowry-Valanciunas-DeRozan trio moving forward. And, oh yeah, Pau Gasol is a pretty damn good player too, for at least a couple more seasons.

Comments (52)

  1. Playing Nash and Calderon together in the backcourt, even if only occasionally, would create incredible LOLs defensively.

  2. My name is Matthew, and I endorse this message.

  3. please delete this “article”…..so useless and a dream…..espn trade machine? HA!. …. more like dream machine….do you have nothing better to write about!

    Shout outs to matty D! let the new kid write something…this is just useless

    • You’re an absolute tool. The Raptors seriously need to explore the possibility of trading Calderon and Bargnani and this would be a great return. Shut up and go jerk it to one of your posters of your boy matty D. I’m sure we will see him breaking down some terrible canadian college football in the near future.

      • haha

        or some sick Bet Night Live.

        • Real morons!

          Beacuse a championship squad will take some rusty suck names andrea…you guys are retarded to even think this woudl ever remotely happen!

          More like trade bargs for a sub par wash from your sister with and new camo jerseys! lol

  4. I’d welcome ANY trade of Bargnani and Calderon at this point.

    But I also don’t think that the Lakers will do anything major until they get a contract with Dwight Howard that keeps him there long-term.

  5. If the raps arent close to contending though, whats the point in sending some of the last of the tradeable assets for a 32 year old who most likely wont be here when we are ready to complete? Also, is the pick we traded to Houston lottery protected? Was pretty sure it had atleast some protection in it. Exploring deals for Andrea and especially Jose at this time though is probably the right idea.

  6. As a Lakers fan (Queue the boos from the rest of you now), I’m pretty sure the Lakers can get a better deal for Gasol…especially if Morey in Houston still has a hard on for him.

  7. captain obvious is obvious.

    between this blog and raptorsrepublic it’s amazing to me how long it takes these self-styled basketball experts to recognize the actual state of this team.

    for YEARS i’ve been pointing out just how flawed BC’s approach to hiring coaches and assembling teams has been. For YEARS i was calling for Bargnani to be traded.

    Now this landry and derozan signing ridiculousness. sigh. BC has got to go.

    • Demar has been playing great as of late and he’s growing. But about landry you’re right i just wished we signed oj mayo and played demar as the 3

    • I would say that ever since DeRozan signed that contract he’s been living up to it at least…let’s see if he continues his improvement. BC does still gotta go though

  8. Why is it assumed that Lowry will resign if the raps continue to suck?

    • Agreed. Hard to see Lowry wanting to stick around with this mess in two years with the way things have been going. Can’t really blame him either.

  9. Media seems to hype up all of Colangelo’s trades. I’ve supported him because offensively when bargnani is on a roll no one can stop him. Over the years I’ve realized this is true with EVERY basketball player. You can’t win games without defense. Calderon and Bargnani both have to go. Both good guys and are great on offense. Up with the best of them but too soft on the defensive end. Both can be great players on superstar stacked team. But they are not players to build around with. BC needs to go. I hope that this can happen soon before the season is over.

  10. I’d like to see this go through just so I can see Mamba give Bargs the dreaded dual stare of death and disgust.

  11. Whoa, slow news day?

  12. This would be a great trade for the Raps. Maybe we get greedy and try to get Steve Blake instead of Duhone in the package.

    Either way, I agree. I wish no ill will on Jose or Andrea but I think it’s time to move on. Pau Gasol would be huge.

    • Too bad the Lakers wouldn’t do this deal, as constructed, though.

      • never! why would they?

        to get worse?

        worst article

        • no one is forcing you to read it…

        • The Lakers are more likely to pull off this deal than the Raps. D’Antoni loves offensive players and I completely agree that they fit well in LA.

          Raps won’t do it because Colangelo has a hard on for Bargs.

          Good article. JumbiVideo is an idiot.

  13. Before this year I would have said no chance and getting gasol is a bad idea. Now, im not so sure. Things change. I cant stand watching bargnani play anymore. He is SOFTER than gasol. Also, the “fit” on dantoni’s team is interesting. As constructed, i cant see this deal happening. The lakers dont get enough in terms of D. However, if we throw in Ross they might be very tempted no? Plus, ross’s best skills are shooting and D. Its pretty clear the raps dont think highly of ross if they’re not even playing him and allowing him to develop. Another stupid BC draft pick, ugh.

  14. All trade talk should be put on hold until they fire BC … let the new GM sort out who goes and stays … BC has had a fair amount of time to build a good team in Toronto although, it has not worked out … time to move on to the next Raptor GM

  15. I concur that this scenario is pretty much wishful thinking, but I also concur that the two need to be moved if this team is to move forward. I’m all for the Raps trying for a few weeks of healthy Lowry playing with Bargnani, but I can’t see for the life of me these two creating the necessary chemistry to become successful. There are options, and Colangelo better start laying the groundwork for a trade if this team is to make the ‘offs this season.

  16. Outstanding Prognosis!! I couldn’t agree with you more. To properly effect change on this Raptor team the specters of Bargnani and Calderon must be removed so that things can move forward. Not hating on em….just saying….KenyP!

  17. I agree with your general point about getting Bargnani/Calderon off this team but that could have been made without the suggestion of that ridiculous trade.

    Only us moron Raptor fans have been programmed to believe that Bargnani has a lot of value around the league. The Lakers would laugh in over faces.

  18. I love this trade, but it will never happen.

  19. It’s very simple. Calderon and Bargnani have been two-thirds of our CORE for 6 years. It’s time for the Raptors move on from both of these players. If they get better, it wont be in Toronto. Lowry/DeRozan/Gasol for 2 years and then hopefully Jonas develops into a good enough player to be swapped for Gasol in that trio should give Raptor fans a lot more realistic hope than what we’ve seen. The Lakers however, have 5 PGs on their roster, and while Calderon is an upgrade, do they want to take on Bargnani over an all-star veteran who’s been a part of 2 of their championship teams. I think the Lakers say no long before the Raptors do.

    • Financially, lakers should yes because for a big man barg is a bargain at 10 mil and jose’s contract is expiring. Besides gasol doesnt have a good contract

  20. Tank and get Wiggins in 2 years goooooo

  21. Kobe will bitch slap Bargnani with Primo Pasta

  22. I was thinking of this exact scenario two days ago except a bit different in players. What I came up with was:

    Toronto Receives: Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, Andrew Goudelock, Earl Clark
    LA Receives: Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, Linas Kleiza, Amir johnson

    Toronto gets an upgrade at PF, get a capable back-up PG, and get two fillers, Goudelock who’s 3 point shot is intriguing.

    LA gets more depth, and that big guy who can space the floor. They also get a pass first PG who I think could run D’Antoni’s offense no problem and be great at it, Linas Kleiza is an upgrade from Earl and can score in bunches, and Amir Johnson who can back-up Bargs and play defense. Granted LA would have to include their trade exception to make it work but it seems fair to me. Also a line-up with JV, Pau, (SF), DeRozan, and Lawrie sounds above average to me.

  23. Scott’s trade was the only one that made at least some sense. This is an improvement on that I think for everyone. All teams would accept.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=b4xypem

    Lakers- Bargnani, Calderon, Ross
    Knicks- Pau Gasol
    Raptors- Stoudemire

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