2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest

With the Draft behind us and free agency negotiations set to begin next week, we’ll have plenty of rumours and reports to sift through and discuss over the next little while, and the first one comes to us from ESPN’s Marc Stein, who writes that the Raptors “have joined the Orlando Magic at the head of the list of known suitors for Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe, according to sources close to the process.”

Stein goes on to write that while talks are only said to be in an “exploratory stage” right now, Toronto’s interest in Bledsoe is “significant.”

As for which Raptors players could be involved, the Raps would obviously hope to include Andrea Bargnani, while the Clippers would likely want DeMar DeRozan, with Stein adding that “Some rival executives believe the Raptors are prepared to part with DeRozan.”

Bledsoe is an intriguing point guard option who everyone seems to believe will blossom into a star once given a starting job outside of Chris Paul’s shadow, but he hasn’t done enough (yet) to fully convince me of that or to convince me that he’ll be a better lead guard than the equally defensive minded Kyle Lowry. Though having said that, the report doesn’t mention anything about Lowry, so I suppose it is possible that the Raptors could be interested in a point guard duo of Lowry and Bledsoe next season.

The real interesting part of this to me is the potential inclusion of DeRozan in a deal for Bledsoe, and DeRozan’s reported availability in general. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone when you consider that a General Manager as prudent as Masai Ujiri probably wouldn’t want to pay the combination of DeRozan and Rudy Gay over $27 million in a salary cap world.

Regular RaptorBlog readers know that while I was impressed with his play making improvements last season, I still don’t think DeMar is worth $38 million over the next four years, and I also think that the significantly cheaper Terrence Ross, who is more fundamentally sound than DeRozan in nearly all facets of the game, can more than fill DeRozan’s role in Toronto if given the development time.

So on that note, I have absolutely no problem with DeRozan being a trade chip for Ujiri this summer. The question though, is would a move for Bledsoe be the best Masai can get from dangling DeRozan, and what other Clippers would the Raps have to take back, as Bledsoe is only set to make about $2.6 million next season?

For what it’s worth, Bledsoe can also become a restricted free agent next summer if he isn’t extended before the season starts.

Let the off-season madness begin!


UPDATE: Stein updated his post later on Saturday night, writing that the Raptors have “pitched a trade scenario in which L.A. would receive both Bargnani and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan,” but that Doc Rivers wants to hang onto Bledsoe and that “sources say the Clippers actually prefer Bargnani to DeRozan because of the Italian forward’s ability to step out and stretch the floor.”

Regardless of how willing the Clippers would be to trading Bledsoe to Toronto or not, my question is what other contracts would be coming back in return in the Raptors’ proposed trade to make the outgoing/incoming salaries match? After all, DeRozan and Bargnani are set to make over $20 million between the two of them next season, while Bledsoe is set to earn just over $2.6 million in 2013-14. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are obviously off limits, so that leaves us with DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler and Jamal Crawford as the only other Clippers set to make big money next year.

One trade that could work if completed before DeRozan’s significant raise officially kicks in is DeRozan and Bargnani for Bledsoe, Butler and Crawford. Butler will have an expiring contract next season, while the final two years of Crawford’s contract (after next season) are unguaranteed, so if Ujiri is looking to acquire Bledsoe while creating much more financial flexibility after next season by including DeRozan and Bargnani, that could be the offer.

Stay tuned.


UPDATE 2: Stein keeps giving us the goods…

Now we’re talking. I would love this trade for the Raptors. Not because I think Butler would be crucial to any sort of immediate or future success, but because the Raps would shed Bargnani’s contract while taking on an expiring contract (worth $8 million), and would then still have the amnesty option in their back pockets to use on Linas Kleiza.

Trading Bargnani for an expiring contract like Butler’s and then amnestying Kleiza could save the Raptors over $7 million this season while being the difference between being capped out next summer and actually having roughly $10 million of space. If Bargnani for Butler is actually an option, it should be a no-brainer for Toronto.

Comments (71)

  1. Dd and primo traded in the same deal??? Yes please.

  2. great piece. I too strongly believe terrence ross could supplant derozan if given the time, but I think you’d have to trade lowry, given his history of poor attitude displayed towards anyone trying to uproot his starting position.

  3. We could try to get someone like Jamal Crawford back.

  4. They can get more then Bledsoe for DeRozan! Primo Pasta and Lowry will be dealt together

  5. Probably have to take Caron Butler back – 8 milliion 2years

    • can butler play SG ahead of landry?? if not he would be a sick back up to rudy …. and we could play small ball with rudy at the 4 if need be. It seems like it would be the first of many moves.

  6. Bledsoe Lowry Landry jv Amir!!!!

  7. “Bledsoe Lowry Landry jv Amir!!!!”…what???
    You have, 2 – 6’1 point guards in the back court
    A small forward who can”t shot or hit three’s…who is gonna score in your proposed starting 5?…how will they defend with the back court being so small with your proposed starting 5?

    • If you trade Lowry for a power forward you could end up with:


  8. Other moves would have to be made – who is your starting PG with this trade?
    How does this give us a foundation for building a championship team?
    by the time EB needs to be signed he will get just as much or more then DD – sideways move.
    Ujiri should be moving Bargnani – a move for Bargnani, Lowry and second rounder for Butler and Bledsoe makes more sense to me.

  9. Only thing I take out from this trade is that the Raps are planning to tank next season

  10. I’d rather see us trade Gay then Derozan. Gay and Derozan are practically the same player so why not try and keep the cheaper one? plus i like Derozan’s attitude and work ethic far more then Gay’s. If given the opportunity I’d trade Gay for Bledsoe and Butler. I’d only give up Derozan if it also involved Bargnani leaving town.

  11. Are the Raptors really prepared to part with the 18th highest scorer in the NBA (5th amongst guards last year) in DeMar DeRozan to get Eric Bledsoe and then figure how to reconcile the inevitable Lowry-Bledsoe PG controversy?? Wow..ok good luck with that.

    Raptors fans often lament the premature departure of McGrady yet are slurping the kool aid on the “trade DeMar’ bandwagon. DeMar is on the exact same trajectory as McGrady for his age but hey what the hell? We’re Toronto! We’re not going to wait to see one of the most promising young tosters in the league grow together!

    Eat hockey pucks you retard Canucks.

    • In now way does this trade make any sense.. DeRozan is our second leading scorer averaging 18PPG . Eric Bledsoe ( and Butler(8.5) average 15 points COMBINED.

    • There’s no way you can compare DD to young Tmac. Young Tmac was a stat stuffer… he was proficient at everything. Since he wasn’t being asked to shoulder the scoring load in Toronto, he was able to focus on the smaller things like defence, rebounding, assists… In fact, people forget–in his last year in Toronto, he was 10th in the league in blocked shots–not just for wings, but ALL players, including bigs!

  12. I would like to see the Raptors tank so bad that Cleveland wouldn’t be able to pay the first pick. Andrew Wiggins = franchise player.

    • You can give up those illusions right now – the Celtics have already laid down a Columbus-esque claim on Wiggins as the first pick.

      • Really? Last time I checked, the worst team was only given a 25% chance at number one.

        • You must be the kind of guy who likes a lottery ticket with his pack of cigarettes because hey who knows what could happen?

          • lol. is thislongenoughyetblahlbalhblahlblahalliwantedtosaywaslolanditsmakingmetypeallthisfuckinshitfornoreasonlolololol



  13. If the Raptors can get Bledsoe in a deal involving both Bargnani and DeRozan, it would be a steal.

    Although, I just hope that he’s committed to a complete rebuild and tank next season, and not just trying to make a few upgrades and continue to build on the team we already have here.

    • A steal? You either dont watch basketball or ur just being sarcastic, derozan is 10 times better than bledsoe. Pasta boy is even better then bledsoe raptors would make the stupidest decision to trade derozan and they could get someone way better for bargnani

      • This comment is a joke, right?

        • Bargnani or DeRozan for Bledsoe, assuming a Lowry deal is already planned, is ok. Bargnani and DeRozan both for Beldsoe and filler, with no decent Lowry deal already on the table, is idiotic.

          • @ craptor

            Um, not really. Do you realize how easy it would be to move someone like Lowry? Not very difficult at all.

  14. Yeah Bledsoe is the man to build around for a championship – that-a-boy BP!

    • Tell me where I said that we need to build around Bledsoe? I actually said I hope that Ujiri is committed to a rebuild, not just trying to build on what we have.

      Try reading it next time, Jerry.

  15. No, do not give up Derozan

  16. I was giving props to magic for going after him but if my raps get bledsoe, name Masai king of Toronto

    • why?
      can you explain using basketball numbers how this makes sense?
      I dont get it.

      I think demar gets twice as many pts and rebounds.

      Lowry is just as good on defence
      Plus EB isnt very durable i think he averages 18 mins a game.

      • Bledsoe has chance to a elite pg maybe superstar, while DD will not live up to his 38 mill contract, Ross is fundamentally better than dd in every way which is sad since ross is a rookie and DD has so much more weight than him.

        • So in other words you have no basketball numbers just speculation and hope based on potential?

          ok cool
          My biggest worry is can bledsoe play 40 mins a night?

    • I agree. I think Bledsoe is a good young player to try and go after.

      Plus, if they can get out of both the Bargnani AND DeRozan contracts at the same time, and still get Bledsoe, even better. I don’t know why so many people are against a trade like this.

  17. I’d take Bledsoe all day for Derozan. I can see Bledsoe being a Jrue Holliday caliber pg. Im also comfortable with seeing what Ross is made of in a rebuildish year.

    • Bledsoe-Derozan is one thing, but the Clippers would have to throw in a sizeable contract or two to make the salaries match.

      Also, how much of an improvement over Kyle Lowry is Eric Bledsoe? Is that jump worth Demar Derozan?

  18. Unless this were followed up with more moves, it would be a sideways transaction at best. You’re exchanging redundancy on the wing (DD, Gay) for redundancy at the point (Lowry, Bledsoe). Unless the real motive is to get cap room sooner, in which case the throw-in contracts with Bledsoe would make or break the deal for the Raptors.

  19. Also to Tee; Derozan never gets those numbers on a team as good as the Clippers. Face it , he’s been a first option on a shit team for the last couple years. And he’s a decent rebounder for his position, should be way better considering how athletic he is.

  20. Unless this were followed up with more moves, it would be a sideways transaction at best. You’re exchanging redundacy on the wing (DD, Gay) for redundancy at the point (Lowry, Bledsoe). Unless the real motive is to get cap room sooner, in which case the throw-in contracts with Bledsoe would make or break the deal for the Raptors.

  21. As a Clippers fan, I generally find myself as the crazed, delusional fan. Here I find the opposite. Particularly with Doc as the chief decision maker of personel, why the hell would we want to part with Bledsoe for an overpaid player that is absolutely not on the same trajectory as a McGrady despite some prior commenter’s claim?
    Bledsoe is overrated in his own right. The clippers were just barely a 500 team with him at the helm and that was quite honesty thanks to some insane early Jamal Crawford nights. Everything considered, I would absolutely do DJ and Bledsoe for JV (and maybe Ross if the raptors were desperate to move on from Lowry) with the accompanying salary matching, but that’ll never happen because it’s just as ridiculous a trade as Caron and Bledsoe for DD.
    The Raptors are going to need to make a
    drastically better offer than the Magic’s Afflalo package in order to bring in Bledsoe. I don’t think the Clippers are looking to have Nick Young Deluxe for the next several years as they try to win their first title.

  22. But really, I will fucking have a protest in front of staples center if we take on Bargnani.

  23. How is Ross the same as DD?? He has a better 3, but that’s about it. He can only catch and shoot with no ability to create. Ross also is a terrible team defender which is why he was on the bench most of the season. Of all the rookies, he improved the least from the start. He should be in the D League to be honest till he shows he’s NBA ready.

  24. im just putting this out there to see what people think? Do you think we should go for someone else like idn Rondo? Cause I heard they are shopping him and rumors of a rondo for dirk somethink like that you think we can get him? Just wondering.

  25. No not do this trade. Eric is an unproven pg, DD could be an all star even this season, plus he likes living in Toronto. Just buy out Andreas contact and then use that money to sign someone this offseason. The new raps gm has to understand that MLSE has boat loads of cash and are willing to spend. Also I would not tank for Wiggins I would sign him as a free agent at 25…just like heat did with LeBron etc. That’s the only way he is going to end up a raptor. Build a strong team around him till that time.

    • Buyout? Why would Andrea agree to that when he has guaranteed money, if anything he’d get amnestied and then raps still pay a good chunk of his salary.

      Bledsoe is somewhat unproven but he’s an amazing defender and athlete at the PG spot. I’d move DD for him all day. I think it creates redundancy at PG and something would have to be done with Lowry but I would like to see raps move that DD contract

    • That’s exactly what we should do about Wiggins, I think he’s a raptor fan and similar to melo, he probably would want to play for his hometown, and besides he’d be polished player by then. As for bledsoe he could turn out to be a star, just like James harden when he was given his chance. If we try to get back a guy like Crawford and give up bargs then suddenly the deal doesn’t look too bad.

  26. Plus cap space!!!

  27. I would trust ujiri if he thinks bledsoe will turn into a starting caliber point guard. He is great at predicting how good a prospect could become but I would not trade demar if Crawford is not included in the deal. It’s a big risk to just trust ross and bledsoe even though they could both turn out great, it’s still a huge risk. But I would do a Crawford Butler Bledsoe deal for demar barg, and some others to make the numbers work. But the question is can we get more out of a trade including both demar and barg.

  28. Totally excited about Bargs for Caron possibilities.
    Just noticed that Duhon was released. IF it were doable, would he be worth vet minimum for a backup spot? Assuming he doesn’t have better offers and feels like accepting a minimum because of what the Lakers are already paying him.

  29. Oh, hey, I would certainly accept a Bargnani-for-Butler trade, provided they’re not expecting any draft picks from us to allow the deal to go through.

  30. the latest I have read came this morning – Source ESPN:
    “The Raptors and Clippers continue to have “exploratory” talks about a deal involving Eric Bledsoe, but so far L.A. has been resistant to their offers.
    The Raptors would reportedly rather give up DeMar DeRozan than Andrea Bargnani, and they’ve even “pitched a trade scenario in which L.A. would receive both Bargnani and … DeRozan.” So far the Clippers haven’t budged. The Magic and Pistons are also known to covet Bledsoe”.

  31. “The Knicks appear to be close to acquiring Andrea Bargnani in exchange for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and two draft picks, according to Howard Beck on the New York Times.”

    Could it be? Could we finally be free?

  32. I usually dont post links, but it looks like we are almost free of Andrea and for a less controversial trade than Derozan.

    found on sports illustrated. if this is remotely true then I will be estatic. We finally have a sick bench SF. We will have depth at the SG and Fields can float between the SG and SF.

  33. talks now about the knicks wanting barny for novak camby 1st rnd and 2 rnd pick . thats a a good deal ! getiing a 1st rnd pick for pasta sauce is a steal . let alone a 2nd pick and novak can shoot solid range . idk i like it

    • I don’t. I’d rather a first rounder from a non playoff team without the 2 other bums. If that’s all that’s out there, just keep the guy for the bench.

      • Do you seriously think a non-playoff team would give up their first round pick for Bargnani?

        • No not like a lottery team. I’m not braindead. But a bubble team maybe. Knicks will be probably be near end of the first round. Pretty much a 2nd rounder with a guaranteed contract. Does nothing for me if the only players are Camby, who probably would find a reason to not want to be here at the end stage of his career, and Novak, who can shoot 3s and do nothing else whatsoever. Wouldn’t really be getting much back in the end. If it’s just to cut him, then I understand.

          • Anyways sounds like it’s done. Only time will tell if it works out for the best.

  34. I’ve watch a lot of basketball over the years. A healthy and fit Lowry is probably a better player than unproven Bledsoe. At worst they are equal. Changing Lowry to Bledsoe will hardly impact this team.

  35. What about these NYK rumours? Personally, I’d even rather Bargnani as a 6th man than trade him for old and uselss Camby, one dimensional Novak and what would be a very late first round pick. Or just trade him to the west. But to the Knicks, in our own division? Even the chance that he refinds his form and ends up haunting us for years will be too hard to take. It’s no guarantee that he’ll ever be good again, but the chance is too high for that worthless package. I do not like that rumour that’s out there at all.

    • Not a rumour, it’s done.

      The pick is a 2016 first rounder by the way so could be a great pick.

      Great job by Ujiri, thought for sure they’d have to amnesty him.

    • If you think a first round pick, two second round picks, Novak, and Camby isn’t a good deal for Bargnani, I honestly cannot conclude anything other than you are severely stupid. I know personal attacks on blog sites are terrible, and I hate getting them, and doling them out is even worse. But I just can’t help it dude. Your perspective on this trade is so off-base I am concerned for you in life. I am not trying to be funny or mean. I seriously think you should be seeing someone to help you reason and think logically, in life in general.


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