When Bryan Colangelo talks, you always have to try figure out what he is saying to an extent. Let's do the best we can to translate what Bryan Colangelo had to say post trade deadline. First, the move he made sending Barbosa to the Pacers. It appears his main motivation was not the 2nd round pick he got in return for Barbosa. It was more about getting the 7.6 Million that Barbosa is making this year off the Raptors books. Colangelo claims this will give the Raptors 11.5-12 million in cap room heading into the draft. Which according to him is the most of any NBA team heading into the draft. Why this is important is it gives the Raptors options to make trades prior to the draft once the season concludes on April 26th. As Colangelo taught us with his trade for Reggie Evans and sending Jason Kapono to Philly NBA Teams can make trades from the moment there season is over. So all non playoff teams would be options after the 26th of April. As teams are eliminated they are added to the pool of teams the Raptors could do business with.
Colangelo also now has two second round picks that he can dangle in both trades and perhaps to move up in the draft. Given the Raptors overall history in the 2nd round and Colangelo's nature to move second round picks it is highly likely the Raptors don't hang on to these picks at the end of the day. That is me adding my two cents not something Colangelo said. What Colangelo didn't say but seemed to infer was that Barbosa could actually return to the Raptors, or at least they would be open to the idea. What Barbosa could get on the free market is up for debate, but safe to say it will be far less than 7.6 million he banked this season. Barbosa likely knows that too as he took his option for that amount to remain with the Raptors. Barbosa has also expressed that he has had a positive experience in Toronto and has a long standing relationship with Bryan and seemed to enjoy the Toronto fan base. Also the Raptors pick up a TPE as part of this deal that will kick in for the 7.6 million. Some see this as big deal and another added element of flexibility. These are likely some of the same folks that said the same thing about the Bosh TPE that ultimately the Raptors did little with for a far larger amount. If the Raptors use it then it can help if they don't it means nothing.
What about Jose Calderon? Bryan said many teams did inquire about him. However he stressed how happy the Raptors were with him and how he has played with this roster. He basically said that until the Raptors have an answer to replace Calderon he would likely not be moved. That said he also mentioned the ability to use amnesty clause. Calderon would be due 10 million plus in the final year of his deal. It seems unlikely you would use it on him. Linas Kleiza who has had an up and down season would be another option but with the coming of Jonas Valanciunas it would make sense to keep Linas around beyond basketball reasons. Bryan did of course not miss an opportunity to brag about Jonas stating that in his view had he been in the upcoming draft he would be the 2nd pick overall pick behind just one player, that he could not name but safe bet he was talking about Anthony Davis from Kentucky the consensus number one pick heading into the NCAA Tournament starting today.
If the Raptors were to not act prior to July 1st and do not use the Amnesty clause according to Colangelo that would give the Raptors roughly 20 million dollars of cap space post July 1st. Keep in mind the Raptors would have to sign both their draft picks in Jonas and whatever they get from this draft as part of that. According to NBA T.V today there are 5 teams with over 30 million of potential cap space. The top of those in the 35 million range. Also worth noting one of those teams is the Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban who will be active you can count on that. If you are a betting type I would suggest Colangelo will exhaust all trade scenarios rather that try to get in the Free Agent market. The Raptors have obvious issues at convincing top talent to come to Toronto. Not to mention the Raptors recent ventures into the Free Agent market have been pretty awful with signings of Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Kapono. Still his J.O trade was no bed of roses either. Colangelo did state that if the Raptors go shopping regardless of how they will be looking to do it, will be for several additions not just one big home run swing. In other words Deron Williams is likely not in the Raptors wheel house as an example. Not that he ever was, but a big name, big money guy is not on the horizon.
He alluded to several young players being out there on trade deadline. He mentioned as he often does about having conversations that do not lead to trades today, but are used as a base to further conversations in the summer. If the Bucks pairing of Ellis and Jennings is not a roaring success, I would not be shocked if Brandon Jennings is on the Raptors radar. That would be the point guard that helps you move Jose Calderon along. Colangelo has in the past expressed a desire to have a point guard for the future for this young group. He also would be a nice piece to pair with his childhood friend Demar DeRozan. Prior to the Bucks move Jennings expressed a desire to look at big markets when he is a on the market, which normally would not include Toronto. However he likes Toronto and has someone already here that knows it well.
Is that an option? I have no idea, but what is fact is this has to be "The Summer Of Bryan" and if it is not than Colangelo is dead. He and this organization have preached for patience and pointed to this summer where they will have all of these tools to improve the team. Raptor fans have been treated to a season that in many ways has meant nothing from before day one. While it has been great to see the job Casey has done in changing the mentality of this team. Making defense a priority not just something people talk about. Still this team has never been designed to win and the fact people want it to lose and tank is not exactly a positive experience to live through. The time is up and the Raptors have to stop with the positive spin talk and the hyping up of their draft pick that has yet to play a game and ultimately deliver a team focused on winning and heading towards the playoffs and beyond. Raptor fans have heard enough talking for a life time since Chris Bosh decided to bolt for South Beach. Regardless of what the Raptors say they dropped the ball and blew it when it comes to how they handled the Bosh situation. While people will show them some form of sympathy and allow them some time to turn the page. The time is up after this summer.