Recaping the Trading Day moves

A week has passed since teams hindered by cap restrictions tried to tool up for a playoff run. Some big names changed teams, including Chris Webber and Twoine Walker. The Raps made no moves, and perhaps that was the best move Babcock will make this year.

Many writers, including Feschuk, blasted the Raps GM for not unloading Donyell Marshall in an attempt to get some new talent in to the Teedot. I'm not sure exactly how much talent Donyell was going to fetch for the Raps. He is a free agent at the end of the year, and has been vocal about leaving the city. Sound familiar? A player wanting to leave the Raptors? After the fallout from Cartergate, I'm surprised writers are blasting Babcock for not unloading a player for less in return. This may not be news to everyone else, but apparently the writers can't fathom that other GMs know if a player is happy, and factor it into the trade offers. As well, does trading Donyell to an Eastern conference team and weakening the Raps paper thin rotation really help?

The two players that were on the trading block (Donyell and Jalen Rose) have been the best players on the Raptors since the break. The Raps defer to Jalen in the 4th, and Donyell has been playing his best basketball of the year. With either of those two players gone and two or more young players pushed into their roles, the Raptors are left with Bosh taking every shot. In a time where fan excitement is as important as wins, will hockey starved fans really want to see the Raps throw out a make shift, undertalented lineup every night? They may not make the playoffs, but keeping the fans interested and wanting to come back next year is just as important as making a playoff run. Maybe Feschuk took time out from reviewing old Davis Cup footage to see that Jalen and Donyell led the Raps to a huge victory over the Kobe Bryant Lakers. The ACC was louder than it had been all year, and even despite Kobe's superhero antics, and Chucky Atkin's clutch shooting (yes David, the Lakers defer to Kobe, but the Bulls did the same thing to Jordan and so has every other team with a legit unstoppable superstar, but it seems to me that the run the Lakers made was when Kobe was setting screen to let Atkins shake Rafer and hit jumpers), the Raptors came back in the 4th and out played and out toughed the Lakers. Victories like these one will make people come back to the ACC next year, not some mid-level 3rd year player with a low cost, long term deal.

Sure, teams in the Atlantic made some moves to get better. The Sixers picked up C-Webb, and the Celtics picked up Twoine. Two moves that involve players that are perceived as superstars, even if in reality they have fallen off and are living more on reputation and solid stats. Webber is mostly ground bound, and is playing with two legit allstars, where as Twoine is playing on a team that let him shoot every shot he wanted. Both ideal situations to get your numbers. Most other teams made salary cap deals to pick up role players. Would it have been smarter to pull a Knicks and give up talent for more long term hinderances and become a weaker team? I don't think so.

Toronto is full of role players. In fact, that is one area we can hold our own. Would trading for Van Horn really have made the Raps better? Or for an injury prone Baron Davis? How about for Big Dog, or Nazr? Maybe, but if it didn't work (ala Hakeem), Toronto would never let the Raptors brass forget it. People still talk about the Hakeem debacle. The Raps need their draft picks, and don't have the talent to draw in superstars in a package deal. No one wants Mo Pete to make a stretch run. People are looking for bangers and missing pieces of their own puzzle.

So I for one, am glad the Raps kept the talent they have. Sure Jalen's contract is huge, but as he has shown since he was first mentioned as trade bait, so is his heart.


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