The Toronto Raptors are in the midst of another mediocre season. As the trade deadline approaches rumors are swirling about where Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani will end up. General Manager Brian Colangelo has decisions to make and I am sure his phone is ringing off the hook.
No one really understands or agrees with what the Raptors can get back in return for either Calderon or Bargnani. Colleague Tony Ramsey believes Rudy Gay is the answer: NBA Rumors Memphis Grizzlies Looking Like Geniuses For Trading Rudy Gay. Another colleague, Dan Parzych, thinks the same: NBA Rumors Will The Toronto Raptors Acquire Rudy From The Memphis Grizzlies.
One thing is for certain, they both won’t be in Toronto next season. What complicates any trades is whether Bargnani is still injured and whether Calderon is a starting or back-up point guard on a good team. There is another valuable body on the roster who would bring back pieces for the future. That player is Alan Anderson and the Raptors better get what they can before his stock drops.
Anderson, a two guard or swing man out of Michigan State, bounced around Europe and the Developmental League before catching on with the Raptors at the end of last season. He is the prototypical first guy off the bench player. Coach Dwane Casey also uses him as a starter when others are injured. He can score inside and outside. He can defend the opposition’s go to guy and is always on the court during crunch time. He has that don’t cross me attitude and doesn’t back down from anyone. Just ask the Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard that question.
Anderson is 30 and doesn’t fit into the Raptors’ future plans. The Raptors aren’t going anywhere this season and he just takes minutes away from rookie Terrence Ross. Anderson would be a perfect fit coming off the bench for a playoff team. Imagine him in an Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs uniform. He reminds me of many other Gregg Popovich projects.
Many Raptor fans remember Jamario Moon. He had the same early career as Anderson, bouncing around until he found he stride in Toronto. He even competed in the dunk contest. The team wasn’t going anywhere, so the Raptors did the right thing. They packaged him and Jermaine O’Neal in a trade with the Heat for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. In the end, the trade didn’t amount to much, but at the time they got something in return for a player who had one good half season.
Anderson and Moon are like many players looking for their shot. They had decent college careers but just weren’t and aren’t good enough for the NBA, so it takes them a while to get to the show. They make it, sign a contract and then fade into basketball history. If Anderson was that good, why didn’t he get drafted out of college or even stick around after signing a contact with the Charlotte Bobcats? There must have been a reason for his long journey and that’s the reason that will lead to his slow demise in Toronto.
The Raptors have to make the right moves. I agree with trading both Bargnani and Calderon: NBA Rumors Toronto Raptors Jose Calderon To The Boston Celtics Does not Make Sense. Colangelo needs to trade Anderson as well and get something for the future in return. Why have a 30 year old on your roster when the team is going nowhere? It would be much easier to trade Anderson and most fans would not lose any sleep with the move.
Shahab Khan is a Columnist with Rant Sports focusing on the Toronto Raptors
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