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Clamouring for Maggette

First of all, the article is from the Toronto Sun, where they speak British English.  Americans would of course be Clamoring for Maggette.

Hat tip to Citizen supac who included this link on Citizen John R's FanShot.  The gist: there ain't enough room in Toronto for TJ Ford and a re-signed, more expensive Jose Calderon, and the author mentions Maggette by name as a possible prize in exchange for Calderon.

A few things off the top of my head:

  • Depending on how this might actually go down, it's hard to imagine a better outcome for the Clippers this off-season.  I've never suggested this myself for fear of looking too much like an unrealistic homer.
  • It's not news that Toronto has a logjam at point guard.  T.J. Ford has been a starter the vast majority of his NBA career.  Meanwhile, Jose Calderon stepped into the starter's role when Ford went down and simply posted a PER of 20.73, 24th in the league and 4th among point guards behind All Stars (and MVP candidates) Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Steve Nash.  Oh, and Ford's PER of 20.59 ranks him 25th.  In a league with a dearth of quality point guards, they've got two.
  • Ford just finished the first year of a 4/$33M contract.  Calderon is a restricted free agent.  Yes, Toronto can match any offer, but are they willing to tie up $15M or $16M per year in a single position?  Are they willing to have a backup that's paid $8M?
  • What is news is that Calderon is being so open with his "I want to start" talk.  Still, it shouldn't really be a surprise.

I always assumed that Ford would be the one they moved, and they may well try.  But Ford has a disquieting injury history (to say the least) not to mention that Calderon is bigger (6'3" vs. 6'0") and a better outside shooter (43% from three vs. 29%) so there's little doubt that the Spaniard will bring more in trade.

Interestingly, although I've contemplated Maggette for Ford in a S&T, I've ignored Maggette for Calderon.  Like I said, I was probably afraid of being accused of wishful thinking.  But now that it's out there, it's a tantalizing thought.  For one thing, I've never really considered that Toronto might be 'clamouring' for the guy.  But on reflection, it is an awfully good fit.  Chris Bosh is the Raptors best scorer at 22.3 per game.  Their second best?  Anthony Parker at 12.5.   And Ford and Calderon are 4 and 5, so if you deal one of them you'd better get a scorer back.  No other team in the league has such an anemic second option (although Seattle comes close and the generic Clippers were pretty close too) - and the vast majority of teams have three or four players scoring over 13.  So yes, Toronto could use another go to scorer, pretty desperately.

Over and above that, while Bryan Colangelo has willfully built a team of shooters north of the border, it's time to consider the possibility that it's been a mistake.  The Raptors were 32-24 on 2/27, and fell all the way to 38-39 on April 5th, a dismal 6-15 during that stretch.  Only some gimmes in their last 5 let them climb back to .500 on the season.  At which point they were handled pretty easily (4 games to 1) by a less than stellar Orlando team in the first round of the playoffs.  So there's little question that changes are needed, and maybe a guy like Maggette driving into the lane is exactly what they need as an alternative to all those guys standing around the three point arc.  The fact that he actually made 38% of his threes this year helps a lot, since Colangelo is unlikely to ever renounce is penchant for shooters.

It's hard to know what Calderon will command.  I'm also pretty sure that both players will have base year compensation issues in any trade assuming they get the money they're looking for.  I suppose, in theory, having BYC players on BOTH sides of the S&T makes it easier to complete the trade, but it certainly complicates the situation for the purposes of a quick post on a blog.  My head hurts just thinking about it.

For the Clippers, it's hard to imagine a better fit.  A good shooter and distributor, who has decent size, and doesn't dominate the ball.  He'd be content to run the offense through Brand and Kaman, and able to stick the three if the defense doubles down.  Comparing Calderon to Ford from the Clippers' perspective it's not even close - even ignoring the injury history.  Ford is small, while the Clippers' only primary points from last season are both below 6'0".  Ford has no range, while the Clippers need shooters to spread the floor for their low post players.  Ford's most effective in a drive and kick offense, with a spread floor, while the Clippers want to play a traditional low post set and don't have shooters to kick to at any rate.

Having said all that, if the Raptors choose to keep Calderon and are determined to move Ford, I'd give up Cat Mobley for him.