Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls

If you were already itching for another big Raptors-related trade rumour now that Rudy Gay is firmly in place and Pau Gasol is out for a while, ESPN’s Marc Stein dropped this on us Thursday evening…

In his actual report for, Stein writes that “other players with smaller contracts would have to be added to the deal to make the salary-cap math work should talks indeed progress to a more serious level. But sources told on Thursday that both teams have considered the move.

From a straight basketball perspective, replacing Bargnani with Boozer would be a significant upgrade for the Raptors, especially if this season is any sort of indication of the players in question. I’ve knocked Boozer before for being absolutely porous defensively, but generally speaking, going from Andrea to Carlos isn’t exactly that much of a defensive drop-off, and if it is, it’s certainly not enough of a drop-off to negate the offensive upgrade the trade would be for Toronto.

Sure, Boozer is four years older and is on the wrong side of 30, but other than a slight advantage for Bargnani in the blocks department, Boozer has been significantly better in virtually every statistical category – both basic and advanced – for as long as both have been in the league together.

Where the deal might become difficult for MLSE and fans alike to swallow is in the financial department, as the Raptors would be adding yet another expensive long-term contract (Boozer will make $32.1 million between 2013-14 and 2014-15) shortly after adding Rudy Gay’s max-money deal. Having said that, they’d also be ridding themselves of Bargnani’s inefficient contract, which still has over $22 million left itself between the two seasons after this one (unless they plan on using the amnesty clause on Bargnani, the Raptors have to accept that they’ll probably have to take back a bad contract to get out of Bargnani’s).

From the Bulls’ perspective, you could say what you want about them becoming a better three-point shooting team, but the deal would seem to primarily be a cost-cutting move on their part, as the payroll cut from Boozer to Bargnani would save them money in the luxury tax department next season, while potentially being the difference between being over the cap and under the cap in 2014-15. Cost-cutting aside though, I just don’t see how this potential deal of Bargnani plus filler for Boozer makes sense for a Bulls team that has proven to be a legitimate championship contender when Derrick Rose is healthy.

And that’s why the reported deal seems too good to be true for the Raptors, because personally, I can’t see the Bulls making this move without asking for Terrence Ross to be one of the included “smaller contracts” that Stein alludes to. Suffice to say, there’s no way in hell I part with Ross (or Valanciunas…obviously) just to acquire Boozer, no matter how tempting parting with Bargnani may be.

When it’s all said and done, if the Raptors can get the deal done by throwing in another cheap contract without giving up Ross or JV, then I sign off, leaving me with a lineup next season mainly consisting of Gay, Boozer, Lowry, Johnson, Valanciunas, Ross and DeRozan. After that, I amnesty Kleiza this July (assuming he picks up his $4.6 million player option for 2013-14), elect not to pick up John Lucas’ team option for next season, let Alan Anderson walk in free agency (if you don’t find a taker for him at the deadline) and potentially explore trade possibilities involving DeMar DeRozan (while addressing the point-guard depth), depending on how he and Gay look together in the final 30 games of this season.

That leaves you with what should be a surefire playoff team for a couple of years, with the development of Valanciunas and Ross likely being the difference between whether that core can evolve into a semi-contender or not in the East.


UPDATE: For what it’s worth, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune followed up Stein’s initial report by writing that according to a source, it was the Bulls that initiated trade talks, but that “another source suggested it’s unlikely the Raptors would take on Boozer’s contract.” In addition, Johnson writes that “the Raptors know the trade is available and could expand to include Nate Robinson and John Lucas III,” who enjoyed his breakout season in Chicago last year.

If the Bulls are actually offering Boozer and Robinson for Bargnani and Lucas and the Raptors aren’t aware of anything close to a better offer for their enigma of all enigmas, then sign me up.

Comments (88)

  1. If we get rid of Kleiza in the trade I’m for it.

    • All Kleiza has left on his deal is a $4.6 million player option for next season, and if he picks it up, the Raptors can amnesty him in July, which I assume is a legit possibility. Considering that and the fact that he’s not stealing minutes from the young guys right now, I don’t think moving him needs to be a priority.

  2. It does make sense on court, but I don’t think the money makes much sense. Boozer is owed 16mil over the next two years, with Bargnani only at 10 and 11 mil per year. Salary would have to go back to Chicago for it to work, imo. Bargnani could be a good fit in Chicago, IF he buys into their defensive system, if he doesn’t he won’t play, simple as that. His skill would mesh well with what they have though, especially with Rose back. I never really liked Rose/Noah/Deng/Boozer together, and always thought Boozer was the odd man out, so it would make sense to trade for a guy that can space the floor and shoot. Boozer would be a nice addition for Toronto on court, they’d give them a true PF, let Amir slide to the 5 until Big V is ready. A starting lineup of Lowry/DeRozan/Gay/Boozer/Amir isn’t bad in the East, but they are so far behind this year it’s probably a loss cause. Interesting rumour that’s for sure.

    • bargnani buying into a defensive system? I stopped reading your comment after that because that statement lost all of your credibility…

  3. I was saying Boo-zer.

  4. Boozer for bargs + fields is an good deal

    • That is about the only way I’d do it. If Chicago was ultimately taking on more salary than Toronto.

      Last 2 years Booze makes $32 million vs Bargs at $23 million. NO WAY is booze worth 9 million more than Bargs. BC must be in desperation mode trying to keep his job.

      If we can’t get a better deal for Bargs, just suck it up, play him for one more season, then he can be a valuable expiring the year after. Plus, if we staple his healthy ass to the bench a bit more, and keep him on the backup unit, we might see some of that magical 18 game effort from last year. We saw some of it last game.

  5. Add fields/kleiza in the deal or even Anderson and you got a deal. Just do it fast before bulls say no. lol

  6. I love this trade when adding in fields or Kleiza Raps finally get a low post threat that can score and rebound the basketball….huge upgrade lol, say goodbye to the primo pasta commercials

  7. I say get rid of bargnani as soon as possible. He was our number 1 draft pick and is a bust, he plays like an Italian soccer player. He has no heart to play the game it is sad for a 7 ft individual to average only 4-5 rebounds per game. He wants everything handed to him on the court after seeing him play various times live all he does is just stand and look for the ball at the three point line and shoots he has no hustle doesn’t play defense. NEVER DRIVES the ball in and draws contact. I don’t remember the last time he had a post move. I say if colangelo can get rid of bargnani for boozer. BARGNANI gave up on the team earlier on this season stating to an italian news reporter that Toronto Raptors are the worst team. Ever since he got injured we have been playing good basketball. We have young guys that want to play the game to actually win not to look pretty and eat primo pasta sauce at the end of the game. I think Bargnani should be traded as his habits may rub off onto Big V.

    • I understand your frustration with Bargs, but I’m not quite sure what you mean by “he plays like an Italian soccer player.” Is that supposed to be a swipe at Italians? For the record, other than Bargs, Italian athletes are known for being extremely passionate/emotional on the court/field/pitch,etc, so just remember that Andrea is the exception, not the rule.

      He’s NOTHING like Italian soccer players. They WIN and show emotion.

      • its ok people who talk about italians r just jealous its a proven fact!
        everyone wants to be italian at least once in there lifetime but there is no solution to that so just be urself
        forza italia!!!!!!!!
        p.s. 4 stars guaranteed better than what u got buddy so dont critisize

        • As an Italian, I’m not down with people using Bargnani to slag all Italians. But I’m also not down with any kind of superiority complex. This is the problem when one commenter decides to bring race into the equation instead of just criticizing the player.

    • everything you just said, is exactly the same thing i said , 4-5 boards a game for a 7 footer , he cant shoot , primo pasta and sauce commercial ahaha

  8. Anyone else find it ironic that this “report” came out the same day that the Bulls are playing on a national tv broadcast? Its just a way to stir the pot for viewership tonight. In any case, if BC does this trade, he needs to add Fields or Kleiza because the log jam on the wing is going to stunt Terrance Ross’ growth and motivation during the season.

  9. As long as no jv or Ross then yes

  10. Get Swirsky back in the deal

    • He is there for his family.

    • Oh yes, please, and send back Jack and Leo! And whatever broadcaster exec that can’t figure out that the score should go at the VERY top of bottom of the screen, and not disappear when free throws are being attempted.

  11. Maybe we can get a backup pg. Like Hinrich :) …well he can play a bit point, he can shoot which is what we need as well. I’d say 2nd round pick + fields + Bargs + Kleiza+ Anderson for Hinrich + boozer

  12. Boozer/Hinrich/Nasty Nate for Bargs/Fields/JL3/AA should getter done!! ;-)

  13. bargnani, hadaddi, kleiza, anderson for Boozer, hinrich & nazr… done deal

  14. This is not the piece that will push the team over the top it needs to me a top flight trade or free agency singing willing

  15. I agree with you. I think there’s a good chance Ross gets included in the deal. Same with Aaron Gray since the Bulls really lack size behind Noah.

    I think the trade ends up looking something similar to this:

    • BC would have to be on Bath Salts to offer that much for Boozer!!! Bargs is more then enough to get the deal done!! it is a salary dump after all!!

      • That’s what I’m hoping, that the Raptors offering to take Boozer off their hands means Chicago doesn’t ask for much more.

        • Raps aren’t offering, Chicago is asking.

          Just say NO BC! Unless you can get them to correct your Fields salary mistake as well. I don’t mind Fields on the team as the backup SF, if he was making 2-3 million. But at $5M to $8.5M, well, that is just nuts.


  17. Deport Bargnani.

  18. If the Raptors take Boozer and Robinson for Bargs, they will have acquired 2 of my 5 least favourite players in the NBA. Man, getting rid of the Itslian Stallion is expensive.

    • Is it cause Boozer lets out primal screams every damn time he dunks a ball? Even when there’s no one near him…can’t stand him either, but if it rids us of Bargnani I’ll be satisfied lol

  19. If you’re going to trade him, trade him to the Magic, Bobcats, or Wizards for some future 1st round draft picks…

    • Yes, because teams that figure to be in the high lottery for the next few years would want to give up said lottery picks for an overpaid, three-point shooting big man with an enigmatic history???

      If you want the Raptors to trade Bargnani, then you have to be realistic about the potential trades available to Toronto. NOBODY is giving up a first round pick for Bargs, and I doubt anyone would give up an expiring contract for him either, so the Raps would likely have to take an equally bad contract back to finally put an end to the Bargnani Era.

      • I have to disagree. The bobcats have been in the lottery for so many years. This draft isnt great outside of the top 5 pick. That said, Bobcats are not exactly giving up a “franchise player”. They signifcantly upgrade their three point shooting, and get a very nice stretch 4 to play with kemba, and add to their young core. So trading bargnani for their first round WOULD make sense to them.

        • If any team would be stupid enough to do it, it would probably be the Bobcats/Wizards, and this is a pretty weak draft class, but still, no, I maintain that no matter how weak the draft class is, no NBA team, let alone a high lottery team, is going to give up said lottery pick to pay Andrea Bargnani $22 million over the next two years.

          Not gonna happen.

  20. I wonder if the bulls would do bargs/derozan for booze straight up.

  21. Tom Thibodeau + Andrea Bargnani = Comedy. Boozer + Nate + Raptors = Even Better Tragedy.

    Who says no?

  22. No not Bargnani! I’m so tired of the Raps trading their lottery players and watching them break out on other teams!

  23. Boozer is definitely an upgrade on primo. However, is he worth paying the luxury tax and hindering all flexibility for the foreseeable future? Not sure about that. Pretty much, if the raps got boozer they would be the atlanta hawks of the past several years. Basically a 4-5 seed that can win a round in the playoffs maybe. Still, I guess its better than the shitshow we’ve been accustomed to the past 5 years.

  24. The money is worrisome, but there are ways to acquire talented players, despite being in the luxury tax.

    If we do this, then a starting 5 of

    Lowry DeMar Gay Boozer Amir

    Since I started watching the Raptors since 2003, this would be the first time that we’re above average at every position in our starting lineup (I do consider DD above average, but he is the closest to average in that lineup)

    • uhh Amir Johnson is closer to average than Demar Derozan is..

      • Amir has had a PER above 17 for most of his career. His only problem has been foul trouble, which hasn’t been an issue this year. Just because he’s not a big name doesn’t mean he’s not a good player.

        DeMar has a PER slightly below 15, meaning he’s technically below average, at least according to this system. I do see him getting above 15 now that Rudy is here though.

        Rudy this year has been under 15, but it’s most likely an outlier since he’s been above 15 for many years in a row.

        Lowry is around 20 this year.

      • Amir Johnson is a better and more effective NBA player than DeMar DeRozan right now. Amir’s a more efficient offensive option at his position, is a vastly superior defensive player, and is actually only a couple of years older than DeRozan.

  25. COUSINS ! Come on BC , his stock is way down , flash those pearlys and that sun bed tan and make it happen.

  26. I just don’t know…Boozer looks seriously old these days. He looks like he could be most NBA players’ dad.

  27. We don’t need hamaliton we already have wing players and hamaliton is just goin to stop t Ross from frowning cause we already have gay Derozan fields Alan Anderson which we need to let in free agency we need to to do boozer and Nate for bargnani and Lucas straight up and try to include fields now that we have gay Derozan and trying to devolp t Ross

    • We need to get boozer even if he cost money he plays d even tho it isn’t the best he scoores the same points as primo the raptors can’t loose he’s the pf that he raptors need if anything we need to try to get rid of fields we payed him to much money

  28. “I’ve knocked Boozer before for being absolutely porous defensively, but generally speaking, going from Andrea to Carlos isn’t exactly that much of a defensive drop-off,”

    ummm going from Bargnani to Boozer is an upgrade. A significant one. And not because Boozer is even remotely a good defender. Bargnani may well be the worst defensive big man in the history of the game.

    Everything is a defensive upgrade to Bargnani.

    • I regularly rip Bargnani’s help-defence and all around defensive effort, and there’s no doubt he is a very poor defender, but you’re grossly exaggerating. In fact, I’d argue that Bargnani is the much better man-to-man defender over Boozer (and the numbers have almost always backed this up), while Boozer is a much better help-defender. Neither is a good all around defensive big man, but Boozer is barely better than Bargs defensively, if at all.

  29. Nope, I’m having trouble with this one.

    I like Boozer, yet his contract considering his defensive limitation is just to much to swallow at his age.

    Bargnani has more chances of trending up and Boozer more chances of trending down. Unsure of this one (Pretty much the first time for a Colangelo move).

    • Well put. Boozer almost certainly will be a worse player the next two years than he is this year, while Bargs is still young enough, physically, that if he could get his head on straight, he could still have his best years ahead of him.


      If you do, you should be sacked.

      (take that whatever way you want to)

  30. I like the trade but it needs to include a point guard. Lucas does not appear to be a strong second option and we have too many forwards.

  31. I’m liking this trade because short term it could get us to the playoffs and have Rudy Gay pick up his option and stay. If we get nate boozer and give up primo (garbage), fields (overpaid) and jl3 (awful) then why do people even consider this a bad deal? Oh right because boozer is owed a lot of money, well mlse will pay tax if a trade is for the right acquisition and this sure is. No free agent besides big fat Turk comes to Toronto and so getting talent by trade makes a lot of sense and bc has finally woke up now that it’s his last year

  32. Boozer?! I hardly know her!

  33. I don’t mind this trade. You’d have 2-3 years with Gay + Boozer + your young guys. After that (even sooner, if trading Gay/Boozer as expiring contracts is an option) your salary comes way down and your young guys have 2-3 years of development. You will have a much better sense of what’s there in Ross and JV, and you’ll have reached the ceilings of DD, Lowry, and Amir. At that point you can decide what to do with those guys, but between now and then you’ll actually get to watch a playoff team.

    Still, the roster/coach synergy doesn’t seem like it’s going to be that great. Casey needs better defenders to maximize his strengths.

  34. I vote for getting Paul Millsap instead.

  35. Yes, Amnesty Bargs and just sign Millsap this summer.

    • I’d obviously rather have Millsap over Boozer, and if the Raptors can actually trade for him without selling the farm, I’d be ecstatic. But you’re assuming Millsap would then re-sign with Toronto.

  36. Just curious as to why a lot of posters are adding Fields to a potential deal thinking that the Bulls would take him…

    The Bulls want to reduce their salary. So why would they want Bargnani AND Fields who combined make about the same, if not more than Boozer…

  37. The article was pretty good til you said to trade derozan for a back up pg. Dumbest thing ive heard in my life

    • I didn’t say trade DeRozan for just a backup point guard, I said that trading DeMar could address the backup PG role, as in a backup PG could be part of the return package, not the centrepiece of the package.

      I also mentioned that I’d like to see how DeRozan and Gay play together for the last 30 games of this season before trading DeMar.

  38. I personally don’t get why the Bulls would want to do this, boozer is a huge upgrade from bargs, even with the dollar differences. If we could add in Kleiza, that would be even sweeter, as well as switching nate robinson and jl3.

  39. Personally, I think the Raptors just need a bit continuity. We have a core of young talent, who may not be of championship/playoff caliber yet, but I would argue that they have above average potential. How is a team supposed to gel and play well together if the team’s constantly changing, whether it be coaching-wise or the roster. I think the reason we don’t see our players develop to their potential is in-part due to the lack of stability. I’m not completely against this trade in particular but I suggest that the organization and fans take a patient approach to letting this team develop as a unit for a couple of years.

  40. Not sure how I truly feel about this trade. Bargs needs to go, and getting back a solid big man and a true back-up PG definately addresses the needs of the rators after the Rudy Gay deal. Saying that however, I am still not sold on this deal. I have NEVER been a fan of Boozer, I think he has taken advantage of playing with GREAT PG’s in D Williams and D Rose (with the exception of this year) and he has quite the pricey contract. You’re getting rid of a bad contract, for an even worse one. More money for longer term. If this trade does go through however, the raptors would have the following;
    Lowry / Robinson
    Derozan / Ross
    Gay / Fields
    Boozer / Amir
    JV / Gray
    Kleiza would likely be amnistied, and note 100% sure what we would with Anderson, but in the grand scheme of things, it wont really matter.
    Next year, that line-up is obviously good enough to be in the playoffs, BUT paying into the luxury tax to be what? A 4-6 seed, with little to no flexability? They wont be better than Miami, Brooklyn, Indiana, and we’ll see if the NYK can have another good season next year. Does it make them better than Chicago…*maybe*
    Not sure about the future direction this team is making, but I guess theres the potential to trade Boozer in the final year of his deal to sign someone in the off-season, but that all depends on the development of JV (who I personally think is going to be a STUD in a few years)

    Also – this deal makes NO sense for Chicago. Its not as if they are a small market. They’ve been close to making the finals, just falling short to the cHEATers a couple years back. What are you going to say to your fans when you’re essentially trading away any chance that you have at making a push for the finals, right when your MVP is about to return? Unless they are going to make a push for D12 this summer?

    sorry for the long post guys…

  41. As far as Bargs trades, there’s may be a continuum between getting good talent, and taking on lots of money, and getting crappy talent but better financial flexibility.

    I’ll take this trade as an example of the first kind of trade. There’s no doubt Boozer can still play, and his advanced stats are promising in a way that Bargs’ have never been.

    For the second kind of trade, I’m partial to my trade machine deal of Bargnani for Chuck Hayes and Travis Outlaw. It saves a few millions bucks a year, and gives us hot garbage in terms of Travis Outlaw, and Chuck Hayes, who is often.

    In general, I’d any trades that provide a talent upgrade will cost, and any trades that don’t cost will deliver poor talent. Groundbreaking, I know.

  42. If the trade is on the table … Go for it!

    Its only a two year commitment then he’s off the books … It would make for an interesting team to watch.

  43. i doubt barny is a better defender ? anyone who thinks that has the i.q of barny himself , boozer can boxout and rebound wich makes him automatically a better defender already then barny , hes avrg 19 and 9 on a team that rebounds well , if he comes to t.o his rebounds are going up just like gays points are going up . taking boozer for barny is like 3 to 4 mill extra per year . id rather pay that then be stuck with primo and no sauce . plus j.v can gaurd boozer in practice wich can only help him develop instead of gaurding barny , im sure barny does the same in practice lol stand at the 3 point line

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