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Oh Brother Swingman, Where Art Thou?

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8 Million copies sold?  How about finding 1 swingman?

8 Million copies sold? How about finding 1 swingman?

Did you know that the soundtrack to the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou " has sold over 8 Million copies?

Yep, while perusing the updated "RIAA certifications" at Billboard.com the other day I saw that just this past month, the album hit the 8 Million mark.

EIGHT MILLION?

That’s right.

To really put that in perspective, that’s like saying that almost one of every three Canadians owned this masterpiece.

Of course I’m not sure what percentage of Canadian sales made up that 8 Million, but it’s safe to say that I don’t know a single person who owns this album. In fact, this album has always boggled my mind as it’s one of these "top sellers" that no one seems to own.

For instance, Il Divo has sold millions of records in North America. Know anyone who owns one?

How about Enya, who has sold over 26 Million?

Any takers?

Didn’t think so.

Finding people who actually own these types of albums is akin to finding an option at the 3 to placate us ravenous Raptors’ fans; there just aren’t very many options.

Well…not quite true.

There are lots of swingmen out there, but finding one that might be available, and one that can be acquired for spare parts is no easy task. However after Wednesday night’s loss, Howland and I got to work throwing some ideas around.

Me: "Outlaw would be perfect here, any way we could grab him?"

Howland, while checking the ESPN.com Trade Machine: "Tough, Moon and Hump for Outlaw works financially …but what’s the chance of Portland actually doing that?

Hmmm…how about slim to none.

After throwing around various other improbably scenarios we reached a few conclusions.

1) If BC is going to make a trade to garner a significant player, he’s either going to have to include Bargnani, Kapono, both, and/or a first-round draft pick.

2) If Colangelo doesn’t want to give up either Bargs or Kapono, he’s going to have to appeal to a rebuilding club, one that is looking perhaps to clear some space and acquire more young talent. (Hence the first-round pick.)

3) If the Raptors’ GM doesn’t want to give up any of the three, he’s going to need to target players who have been underperforming so far in their careers, and hope that a player like Moon or Humphries has enough upside for another team to make a deal.

Confounding things for Colangelo is that other GM’s are going to know that he’s desperate and due to his luxury tax situation, is quite limited in terms of the few moves he CAN make.

So what’s a Legomaster to do?

Well here are some suggestions from the HQ; three teams with which Bryan Colangelo may want to have some discussions and an explanation why.

1) Minnesota.

Let’s face it, Minny is trying to rebuild. They have a few nice pieces in Love, Jefferson and Foye, but still need an influx of talent. They have three picks in the first round, although two of them are very late (27 and 28) and not likely to offer the talent they are eventually seeking.

In addition, the Wolves have two intriguing swingmen who have been flying under the radar so far in their careers; Corey Brewer and Rodney Carney. Could the Raptors reach out to old friend Rob Babcock and try to get something done?

Toronto deals Jamario Moon, Kris Humphries and a first-round pick to Minnesota for Corey Brewer, Calvin Booth and the 27th or 28th pick.

This trade wouldn’t quite address all the issues at the 3, Brewer’s ball-handling is as suspect as Moon’s, but he’s longer and a better defender. And on Minnesota’s side, Moon and Hump aren’t exactly going to take them to the NBA Finals, but paired with another first round pick, even if it figures to be in the middle of the first round, might seal the deal considering how disappointing Brewer has been.

While highly touted as a possible Andre Iguodala type, the former Gaiter has hardly lived up to expectations, especially on the offensive end, and there have already been rumours of the Wolves shopping him around.

On top of this, Hump is a Minnesota native and Moon’s athleticism might be a nice trade-off for the loss of Brewer. Booth would be a throw in to make the deal work and give some depth up front.

As mentioned, there are some other options with this deal as well including replacing Brewer with Rodney Carney. His contract ends this year so it would be a relatively risk-free move and he’s a much better offensive player at this point. His salary is less so the deal would have to be re-jigged, but it would also mean giving up less on the Raptors’ side.

2) Memphis.

The Grizzlies are another team on the rebuild. However they seem to be on a faster track than the Wolves thanks to the savvy acquisition of Marc Gasol, and the scoring prowess of Rudy Gay and now OJ Mayo. However much like Portland, the team has so much youth at certain positions that it can’t give all of them a fair shake. Enter the Raptors.

Toronto deals Kris Humphries and Joey Graham for Javaris Crittenton and Greg Buckner.

This is another move that’s hardly flashy, but hopefully kills at least two birds with one stone. Crittenton would be the main target in this deal as he’s currently buried behind Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley at the 1, and behind OJ Mayo and others at the 2. He still has tremendous upside and while not a 3, is a extremely athletic and in his rookie season actually ranked sixth among shooting guards in free-throw attempts per field-goal attempt. Crittenton then could play the 1 or 2 for the Raptors and inject some much needed aggressiveness into the roster. Greg Buckner would provide some much needed defensive help at the 2 for Toronto and would help ease the Grizzlies’ salary burdens as they continue to try and retool around Gay, Conley, Gasol and Mayo.

For Memphis, this deal is more of an addition by subtraction however both Graham and Humphries would be upgrades off the bench over players like Antoine Walker and Marko Jaric.


3) Oklahoma City

Finally, we head to one more "rebuilding" club; the Seattle…er…the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder are without a doubt the bottom of the NBA barrel currently so they too are looking to get rid of bad contracts and gain assets.

Toronto deals Kris Humphries and Joey Graham to Oklahoma for Desmond Mason.

This would be a fairly low risk move for both clubs. Mason just isn’t getting the minutes with the future of the club in the hands of players like Durant and Green. He’s also quite capable of getting to the rim when given the minutes. He could easily be slotted into the 3 spot beside Parker and Bosh and would get a chance to play major minutes on a solid club.

The Raptors would give up Graham, who would return to his old college stomping grounds, and Humphries to make things work salary-wise. Both Graham and Mason expire at the end of the season so if things don’t work, no harm no foul.

So general thoughts on these three ideas?

Not great, but the point beyond bringing up some ideas for discussion, is to illustrate just how tough it’s going to be for BC to make any moves prior to the new year. Added to the problems of salary matching and the Raptors’ current lack of depth, is that many players can’t even be included in trade talk until part-way through December because they were recent off-season acquisitions!

Yep, tough slogging.

The Raptors of course could try something smaller, a Moon for some other rookie with upside (ahem, CDR), but realistically, it’s hard to say that that’s no more of a leap of faith.

For the next little while, the best bet is that Sam Mitchell tinkers with the current line-up to see if he can coax something out of this group.

Maybe a little Hassan Adams?

Maybe some Anthony Parker off the bench?

Who knows.

But if I know Bryan Colangelo, he's not sleeping very well right now and mulling over some of these same ideas, no matter how small they may seem at face value. This is after all the guy who turned Hoffa into Hump. (Ok, not quite water to wine but not bad.)

However if by Christmas there's no sign of improvement, the team could be in full hunt mode, and it won't be George Clooney they're trying to track down.

FRANCHISE