Word around the twitterintertubewebnet is that the Raptors are trading sharp shooting Jason Kapono to the 76ers for the paint banging hustle of Reggie Evens.
If the deal is straight up, then the Raptors will be trading $12m in salary over two years for $10m in salary over two years. Not only will the deal net the Raps $2m (unless there's other components involved that we don't yet know about) but it gives the Mighty Dinos of the Great White North the interior toughness they are severely lacking. The 76ers get a shooter that they desperately need as well.
But who cares about them. What's in it for the Suns?
All summer I have been using my soap box to push for the Suns to stand pat with their core players with the exception of Jason Richardson.
He's not a good fit on this team for two obvious reasons: He's a sub par defender which the Suns can't afford to have in the back court with Nash and he needs the ball a lot to really be effective offensively. It helps that the Suns have Barbosa who can play either 1 or 2 and has been improving defensively.
With the Raptors losing the outside shooting of Kopono they have an even bigger hole at the two guard position.
Last season they mostly ran with Anthony Parker who's a nice defensive 2 but did not deliver enough of a punch from the wing. Plus, he's an unrestricted free agent. That leaves the Raptors right now with back court of Jose Calderson, Roko Ukic and Mr. Marcus Banks.
This team NEEDS Jason Richardson. JRich and Caldron are a great pairing with Jose's naturual inclination to distribute the ball and JRich's natural inclincation to shoot the ball and Jose is a better on ball defender then Nash so JRich wouldn't be as exposed playing with the Raps.
Best of all, the Raptors have $8m to $10m in cap space so they can trade for JRich without having to give up any players. The Suns in turn don't have to take back matching contracts so they can clear a lot of salary with a move.
There are a lot of combinations available here. How about:
- JRich and the #14 for Joey Graham and the #9 (my favorite)
- JRich for Marcus Banks and the # 9 (scary huh but think about it)
- JRich for Graham and Nathan Jawai
There are several ways to slice it that end up sending Richardson to Toronto where's he's a much better fit and freeing up salary for the Suns to sign a lower cost defensive oriented shooting guard to play behind Barbosa.
For an up to the minute look at all the team's salary situation, check out the Salary Tool from Wyn at Canis Hoopus