Grasping at Straws?


With details still being sorted out regarding the rumoured Hedo Turkoglu deal, Franchise touches in quickly with some thoughts...

The new era of "journalism" can certainly be frustrating at times.

At one end, it's possible for blogs like ours to break news almost immediately after it occurs since social media platforms like Twitter allow for almost immediate access to new information.

However it also means an almost 24 hour media watch, and often, false or incomplete reports that get bandied around prior to any actual confirmation.

Such was the case around midnight last night.

Just when I was preparing to pack for my annual Vegas Summer League trek, news broke via Arizona Republic writer Paul Coro that a deal was in place that would see the Toronto Raptors send beleaguered forward Hedo Turkoglu to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Leandro Barbosa and a trade exception.

I was obviously ecstatic, even when the deal was updated a few minutes later to include little-used forward Dwayne Jones.

After posting an update on the site when it appeared that things looked legit, suddenly, the new word was that Toronto was moving Jones and part of their trade exception obtained via the Chris Bosh deal, to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Boris Diaw.

Say what?

Now before I get into my initial thoughts on such a plan, suffice to say that it made for a very late and confusing night.

As of the time of this post, there's still no official word from any of the local sources, although Michael Grange tweeted last night that the deal was "quite complex" so I'm guessing this may take the better part of the day to figure out.

Now...some quick thoughts.

If the Barbosa part of the deal is correct, I love it.

In fact, I started to wonder if maybe my recent anti-Colangelo tirades may have been a bit misplaced.

The deal would mean getting rid of a major team cancer for starters, but would also trim about $2.5M per season off Toronto's books over the next two years, and then Hedo's entire salary after that.  Barbosa has one year and a player option left on his contract (which I'm sure he'll exercise given the impending CBA) so I'm not sure how this can be viewed as anything but a huge win at face value.

Yes, Barbosa then joins the current log-jam at the 1-2 spot along with DeRozan, Weems, Calderon, Jack, Banks, etc.  However contract aside, his other huge plus is his skill-set; he's a lightning quick guard who can light it up and change games, something this Raptors' club desperately needs.

Considering the word was that Toronto was also getting a trade exception to make the deal work financially (making up about $2M in change) then I was about to call Pizza Pizza and have my own party.

Unfortunately then the Diaw rumours came down the pipe...

...and I felt sick to my stomach.

If Toronto is indeed acquiring Boris, I'm a bit at a loss here.

Why move one soft, overpaid 3/4 for another??  How does Diaw make sense on a team that just made an offer to a similar yet cheaper and more physical player in Linas Kleiza?

A move like this is the exact type of decision that I wanted Colangelo to avoid this off-season, using the newly acquired player exception to grab someone that has little upside, or tangible skill-sets that the team desperately needs.

Diaw like Hedo was out of shape all last season, posted numerous career lows, and finished with a whopping PER of 12.8.  To give you an idea of how poor this was, players like little-used Shelden Willimas posted higher marks, the league average is 15 and even Hedo posted above 13.

And most importantly, how does Diaw, a soft rebounder considering his size (his career average is 5 a game), and not exactly a noted defender, fit next to the likes of Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan?

I just don't get it.

I know BC is against a rebuild effort and wants to make a splash next year, but doesn't this feel a bit like grasping at straws?  Especially since counting Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, BC has now made an attempt to put four of his previous Suns on this Raptors club.

As one of our SB Nation bloggers tweeted last night:

"Does Bryan Colangelo think this is 1996?"

I'm not sure.

And as previously discussed, who knows, maybe these are just rumours and the final deals end up looking much different.

But from where I sit, this re-cycling of previous players he was high on (remember, he almost grabbed Hedo when he was in Phoenix but was out-bid by Orlando) reeks of desperation.

Unless of course BC grabs one more of his former Suns compadres...

...a certain Mr. Steve Nash.

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