For now, the Raptors don’t have a point guard controversy. Jose Calderon is the starter and Kyle Lowry comes off the bench. We can debate which player should play what role, but for the most part, Dwane Casey rolls with the hot hand at the point down the stretch of games, and both Lowry and Calderon seem content enough when manning the bench.

Controversy avoided, for now, but that also means that with no clear definitive answer at the point, both Raptors point guards are going to be the subject of rampant trade rumours over the next three and a half weeks leading up to the February 21 deadline, and the speculation has already begun in earnest.

On Friday night, we had Ken Berger reporting that according to league sources, “the Raptors are far more amenable to trading Kyle Lowry” instead of Jose Calderon. On Saturday, Ryan Wolstat tweeted that “there is a split in (the) organization between Lowry and Calderon.” With Rajon Rondo’s season-ending injury discovered on Sunday and uncertainty surrounding the Celtics’ present and future, many seem to assume that Danny Ainge will likely pick up the phone and at least inquire about both Raptors point guards.

As I mentioned in Saturday’s pre-game Raps/Cavs thread (ugh…Kyrie), the Gasol/Bargnani trade Berger speculates about has been out there for a while, with the obvious twist being that Berger throws Lowry in whereas the early season Gasol rumours all paired Calderon with Bargnani (Sam Smith reported in December that Toronto might be leaning towards trading Lowry). Anything’s possible with Bryan Colangelo technically in a contract year, but I personally can’t see the Raptors giving up on Lowry and subsequently diminishing the role of their young bigs like Ed Davis for a year-and-a-half of an aging Gasol.

Then there’s Wolstat’s tweet, and to me, the most intriguing tidbit of all. Who is the organizational split over Calderon and Lowry between? Is it between management and the coaching staff? Colangelo and Ed Stefanski? Is ownership involved?

With respect to the Celtics, Calderon would provide a stabilizing veteran presence who can run an efficient offence on a large expiring contract, while Lowry’s defensive potential, low-risk contract and youth could help the Celtics this season and in the future if they really are considering blowing things up in Boston. My issue with the Celtics rumours is that Boston doesn’t exactly have a bevy of young players to entice the Raptors with, and before you all scream “Jeff Green,” I’ll remind you that including a player option in 2015-16, the 26-year-old forward is owed nearly $28 million over the next three seasons after this one.

Other than perhaps Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger, no one on that roster really jumps out at me as a valuable asset for the future. A first round pick from Boston, however, which very well could be lottery bound this season and beyond, could surely sweeten the pot.

Then there is the theory that a lot less people are talking about, and that’s the possibility that the Raptors trade Lowry and Calderon, or trade Lowry and still let Calderon walk as a free agent in the off-season, turning the tables and going in a completely different direction. While there aren’t any actual rumours or reports indicating this potential outcome, nothing would surprise me at this point with respect to this franchise’s point guard dilemma. Could the Raptors cut ties with both Lowry and Calderon and then make a run at a guy like Brandon Jennings, who will be a restricted free agent this summer? Obviously throwing Jennings’ name out there is just an example, but the point is that there are options out there outside of the two guys currently in the fold.

Suffice to say, while there might not be a point guard “controversy” brewing right now in the purest sense of the word, there is plenty of speculation and a whole assortment of possibilities as to how this latest chapter in Toronto’s never ending point guard saga might end.

Depending on how well or poorly the Raptors play between now and then, how far they are from the East’s eighth seed and how external forces such as Rondo’s injury play into things, you can probably expect the roller coaster ride of rumours and the carousel at the point to keep spinning for the next few weeks.

Comments (35)

  1. I would really like Lowry to be both playing a lot better and fitting in a lot better, but like other Raptors fans I’m starting to wonder if his potential is more enticing than his production and if that is the reason his previous two teams decided to (basically) give up on him.

    It would be spectacular if the Raptors could get a first round pick out of Boston, even with the weak draft. Also, who doesn’t want to see Jose play with KG? Awkward much?

    Lakers rumours have to be tempered by the fact that they are probably aiming to keep cap space to take a run at Lebron when he becomes a FA. That would likely rule out a Bargnani acquisition.

  2. we want lowry, trade jose & resign him in the offseason at 4 or 5 million, no way hes worth 11mill he makes now! and trade bargnani for a ball & a head ban! let ross dunk

  3. I personally think a trade with Boston makes a lot of sense for both teams. I think Boston would be willing to give up their pick for one last run at the playoffs. Green’s salary is bad, but the pick being a potential lottery pick makes it worthwhile.

    Calderon for Green + Melo + first round pick

    Lowry + Gray for Green + first round pick.

    I’m pretty sure the split has to do with Colangelo wanting Lowry, and Casey wanting Calderon. I’m hoping that ownership likes Calderon too, only because maybe it’s a conflict of interest situation that MLSE could use as an excuse to fire Colangelo and finally rebuild the right way.

    • no wayyy boston gives up green melo and there first for calderon put your self as a boston fan or danny ainge would you part ways with green who would fill a huge hole in the raps line up, melo a shot blocking 7 ft’r with potential and a first rounder possibly lottery for a point guard who could walk at the end of the season, calderon would be a great fit in boston but if there only going to use him as a rental i dont see boston giving up that much specially now that they might be on the verge of rebuilding or retooling. if the raps do get a deal like that im up for them trading either guard to a divisional team anything less i would prefer to see them in the west, possibly lakers or dallas

      • If I’m the Raptors, yes. If I’m Danny Ainge, still yes.

        I think Boston would do it simply to get out of that awful Green contract. Adding the pick might be the only way to do that. Plus, this is the type of trade that allows Boston to stay in the playoff hunt, while also giving them the option of blowing it up this summer. I only added Melo to make salaries work. But I also don’t think he’s got a high enough ceiling that they wouldn’t consider trading him.

        You’re right, Calderon may only be a rental. But I could see him sticking around as a backup if he’s on a playoff calibre team like Boston.

  4. Why on Earth would you trade Lowry and not Calderon? We just gave a up a first rounder to get Lowry and his youth/ desire to win is exactly what this lacklustre team needs. Calderon is again and his contract ends this year, plus his value has never been any higher due to good does this make sense? Please someone, explain this to me..why Lowy (the younger player with more potential) and not Calderon- whose value has not been any higher and who won’t be coming back to the Raps next year after his contract ends?

    • Can you stop with the myth that his value has never been higher? Calderon is one of the most consistent PG’s in the L. His number have been almost identical the last 4 years. That’s the beauty of having a PG like Jose, you know exactly what you’re getting night in and night out. He will not give you anything more, or less. And for that reason, I’m all for keeping him and trading away Lowry. He’s exactly the PG you need to surround the young guys like Demar, Ed Davis, Jonas, T.Ross and even someone like Amir Johnson who’s really benefited from Jose’s play this season.

      If you’re going to trade anyone, please trade Lowry. I’m not saying he’s not a good NBA player, I just don’t think he’s the right PG for this team and this specific bunch of players.

    • Because Calderon runs a way better offence, he’s proven that, Lowry hasn’t. And just for the record, Calderon has a desire to win too. ;)

  5. What do people here think of Derozan compared to Jeff Green for the Raps…?

    They’ve got similar contracts, we have Terrence coming up quickly behind Demar (I’m sure many agree with me in saying that it already appears T-Ross has a higher ceiling than DD) and we’d have a starting SF to feel relatively comfortable moving forward with. I like Green’s game and fit here, personally. Yes, he’d likely be overpaid as many here will argue Demar also is — but would this not fit our team better positionally, going forward with Jeff and Terrence as our wings with Alan (for this year) and Landry off the bench? Let’s not rule out the possibility of Alan being traded to a contending/playoff team before the deadline either, though.

    Obviously one of our PGs would likely be involved, and I don’t know if Demar entices Boston at all, but it’s just a thought.

    • Now that I think of it, Doc Rivers has had high praise for Demar recently so the Celtics may be high on him.

      • they dont need to trade wings at the moment they desperately need point guard play and if there calling the raps its strictly for jose or lowry not to mention green can play 3 postions for the C’s, demar for green doesnt make much sense for the celtis they already have courtny lee and avery bradley at the 2 spot. colangelo just signed demar to a 4 yr ext why would he be looking to trade him to a team in their division, if i was the raps i would consider doing that trade though, we do like to play small and green being so versatile playing multiple positions would fit instantly in our line up

      • I would like the team to trade DeMar.

        But like steve o said, Colangelo just signed him to the extension. So, it’s hard to see Colangelo being the one to trade him so soon. I don’t think he’s going anywhere as long as Colangelo’s here.

        • Good points. If history shows anything it’s that Colangelo has a ton of pride/shows a lot of stubbornness with “his guys” (hey, Barganani). Probably wishful thinking on my part… Guess I’m still having a hard time getting over Demar’s contract, with Ross showing pretty good development at the same position and for a fraction of the cost.

      • Celtics need a point guard right now. It would have to be Lowry or Calderon in some sort of package deal. Plus, I think Demar is our best perimeter scorer right now. Watch for Ross though, the kid has unbelievable up-side.

  6. I think BC has been trying to trade calderon for years but nobody wants an overpaid backup pg. The fact that the celtics are more interested in lowry despite the fact that calderon’s salary comes off the books this year tells you all you need to know as to who is the better/more valuable player. Especially when you consider rondo will be back some time next year presumably so what do you do with lowry? Might as well get a cheap place holder at pg in the offseason till rondo is ready. Anyways including lowry in a trade for gasol would be insane. Calderon, sure and it saves the lakers $. The only player supposedly on the trade market that I would consider trading lowry for is demarcus cousins. Whatever happens, I just hope bargnani and calderon will be gone by feb 21 and lowry stays unless raps get a big talent back.

  7. Listen, I will tell you whats going on and who should be traded. I am more than a basketball fan. Ball is who I am. No one has been more critical of Jose Calderon more than I since he has arrived in Toronto. Why you ask? He dribles the rawhide off the ball (well synthetic leather). It takes him roughly 9-10 dribbles to bring the ball up and initiate the offense (yeah I count them). With the Raptor personel, he should be pushing the ball up to Derozen, Ross, Anderson, to take advantage of their athletic ability andf avoid having to execute a half-court set. However he is in the top 10 in 3pt FG % right now, and he is being more selective. Keep it up Jose! Lowry needs to go. Why? It is obvious that the other players aren’t getting along with him. He had locker room issues in Houston, and has been more evident as this season goes on. His shot selection has been poor, and he really hasn’t been the defensive presence needed at the PG spot. Trade Lowry and Mr. Primo Pasta and Sauce.

    Seriously speaking

    • Agreed that both players are flawed – but I still like Lowry’s potential and think the team needs time to gel with him at the point. It’s lIke playing with Russel Westbrook – teammates will have to adjust to play off an attacking PG.

      Totalyl disagree with the frequent criticism of Jose “pounding the ball.” He’s dribbling away seconds at the top of the key because he’s always waiting for the play to develop, guys to run off screens, etc. His assist numbers are great and the team has a top 10 offensive rating. Also, this team has looked miserable during the stints when Casey tried to get them to push the pace. In spite of having a couple athletic wings, they’re much better running sets in a half-court offense.

      • Lowry has a chance to turn it around so we’ll see I’ll give him time. Westbrook is also makes many questionable deciscions. A true point guard adjusts to his team, not the other way around. Stephon Curry should be in the All-Star game instead of him, but that’s another story. Also don’t forget, Casey was trying to get Calderon to push the ball , when Bargnani, Kleiza, and Valanciunas were on the floor(one of his only errors ths year), wrong personnel. When you have Ross, Derozen/Anderson on the floor with Davis and Johnson (which is the core of the team right now and they are playing much better). They can still run sets off the break by initiating the offense much earlier. Why settle for a one and done when you get a couple good looks per possesion? Throw it up to the Wings, let them see what they have, if nothing it goes back to the point(and then the trailers ofcourse). Keep the pressure on opponents, and look for quick easy baskets.

  8. You all seem to forget that calderon was traded and sent packing already if it wasn’t for Jordan saying no I believe we would have been able to keep chandler as well had it gone okay. If boston was to take any pg it would be calderon because lowry would be bad for boston once rondo comes back calderon would be a perfect back up. Calderon for garnett works and he could play center and mentor our bigs he would have to agree to the trade but it work outs equally for both teams

    • There is no way Boston would trade their emotional leader and defensive anchor just to get a rental point guard that will just be Rondo’s back up next year. Garnett’s play off experience alone is more valuable than anything Toronto has to offer.

    • They wouldn’t trade Garnett, and Garnett would never want to play in TO,

  9. Trade Lowry to Boston try to get a first rounder and a lower end guard, then trade calderon and possibly bargnani to LA for Gasol. Allow gasol to take a rest this season and get his body back to health. Atleast coming into next season the front court would be set, TO would finally have a true Big that can compete with the best, while not hampering with the development of davis, Big V etc. in the Offseason resign calderon at a manageable price,hopefully pick up a game ready guard in the draft who will actually work well with calderon for once and weve got a team with a good mix of youth and experience that could compete into the playoffs and maybe get lucky.

    • …ok so you want our starting point guard to be john lucas….. and you do realize that we’d have to take the some sort of salary back.

  10. no one is touching pastaBargs on his own – so you need to package a deal and as much as im not sold on lowry being that guy with jose’s salary and if the team wants to go in young direction and grow together then its best to let jose go with bargs – BC tell Ainge take the 2 of them and send us rondo in return……since they keep saying they’re gonna trade rondo and blow it up.

  11. Trade Bargnani for a bowl of Primo Pasta.

  12. well written piece joe

  13. The raptors will NOT trade Bargnani. You read it here first.

  14. Green is enticing, production will increase with minutes and trust, but he is not super young, going to be what he is. Too much money tho, Derrick Williams for example has identical stats (9 and 4) in a few less mins per game. Dwill shoots the 3 better aswell, same size, maybe more athletic, he’s 21 and makes half the salary. Take the risk.

  15. No Jeff green please fire bc of that happens even if its for Jose

    • No kidding. Jeff Green’s contract was probably the only one worse than Fields’ last offseason. The only reason Green ever put up somewhat decent stats is because he was allowed to play 37+ minutes per game. He’s a below-average player getting paid a ton.

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