Raptors trade for Bulls James Johnson

The Chicago Bulls have sent James Johnson to the Toronto Raptors for a draft pick, the team announced Tuesday.


ESPNChicago.com Bulls blog

The latest news from Bulls reporter Nick Friedell. Blog


The pick is the Miami Heat‘s first-round selection this year, which is owned by the Raptors.

Johnson was selected in the first round of the 2009 draft by the Bulls out of Wake Forest, but the 6-foot-9 small forward has averaged career totals of just 3.8 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.

“It [stinks],” Bulls center Joakim Noah said. “I consider J.J. a little brother. But he wasn’t playing a lot, and I wish him nothing but the best. And I hope that he gets an opportunity to get out there on the court and show what kind of player he is.”

The Bulls face the Raptors on Wednesday.

ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher first reported the move.

ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell contributed to this report.



RE:RE: Proposal: Thabeet + Mayo for Bargnani

Original Post: https://raptorsmatchup.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/proposal-thabeet-mayo-for-bargnani/

Reply Post: https://raptorsmatchup.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/scrap-that-re-proposal-thabeet-mayo-for-bargnani/

It looks like I’ve been accused of having the worst proposal ever apparently. So lets look at SeanB’s arguments for a second.

First off, I wanna say that although I’m not a Bargnani fan, I not saying trade him for the sake of trading him. I’m looking at the long term implication of keeping him and his team leading salary (10mil over 5yrs, not horrible) in Toronto.

Oh and in case you hadn’t noticed, this is a bottom feeder team for the foreseeable future. Having Bargnani here or not will not change that fact, thats why it’s important that decisions about his future be made now while this team is still in the rebuilding phase.


Now for SeanB:

1) When you make a theoretical proposal and you’re name is not Brain Colangelo, you’re only interested in the main aspects of the trade. Bargnani/Mayo/Thabeet. The fact that theres a 3 million dollar balance in the trade is nothing. Memphis send you alittle cash or you send back a shit player no one cares about to cover the balance. I didn’t even mention draft picks to make it as simple as possible, and I do think the Raps deserve alittle more compensation coming their way.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, I’m pretty sure the Raptors are NOT over the cap, as ESPN has them listed with Peja (15mil) still on the roster. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, ITS A STUPID PROGRAM! Gee ive never seen a Lebron for Caron Butler and Beaubois trade work in NBALive2010 right?? Why not try Pau Gasol for Crittiton and Kwame Brown and Araon Mckie see if that works…

2) “Mayo still has a lot of potential but needs to go to a team like Minnesota”  Hello? This is Minnesota. Same record, same problems, same rebuilding phase. If Mayo came here without Bargnani, he gets a shot at being #1 scoring option. Derozen moves back to his natural SF spot with his new found SG skills, and allows the better shooter Mayo to take the bulk of the shots and Derozen to mold its a Batum type player.

Mayo avg. 18.5ppg his rookie year without Zach Randolph. He avg. 17.5ppg with Randolph and Gasol and Gay and Conley all improving offensively. Bargnani has avg. 15ppg and 17ppg the last two years respectively as the #2 option with Bosh at his side. Hes up to 21ppg as the number #1 scoring option. Theres no reason not to expect Mayo not to have a similar jump in points as the number #1 option on a Raptors team.

3) Memphis is happy with Marc Gasol. Hes a a good center and deserves the minutes. Thabeet is on a rookie contract, so if they’ve decided to move on with Gasol, well then this is a good time to cut they’re loses as his value and salary are still intriguing at this point. Thabeet is still an incredible physical package. Jim Calhoun called him “one of the most dominant players in the history of college basketball.” How different is his game really to Tyson Chandler outta highschool and Roy Hibbert outta college?

Telling teams you have Alabi and Ajinca as your backup centers may cause extreme doubling over laughter. Ajinca is a decent project as a 12th man for now, but Alabi should not to rostered.


I’m not trying to the jeopardize the growth of the Raptors. This team has a lot of good young talent and I’m simply looking to add to that regardless of who the player is and whose toes I may be stepping on.

Proposal: Thabeet + Mayo for Bargnani

Maybe I’m undervaluing Bargnani. Maybe overvaluing him
Maybe I’m undervaluing Thabeet + Mayo. Maybe overvaluing them.

To be honest, I don’t know. I’m not really sure what the consensus is about Bargs around the NBA. I assume it’s much like my friends and I, some love him some hate him, although I think anyone reading this blog probably knows where I stand on the subject…

Mayo is more or less in the same boat. Talented young player but has been inconsistent for the most part in his career. He would give the Raps a deadly shooter for Calderon/Bayless to hit off screens who might thrive with alittle more spotlight put on him offensively. Getting Mayo, would also allow for one of Calderon, Barbosa or Weems to be sent packing.

Thabeet has largely been ineffective so far since coming out of the University Connecticut, but he has the main components of what the Raptors need at the center spot. An intimdating shot blocker and rebounder. I dont see why with a little work Thabeet cant become a cross between Tyson Chandler and Greg Oden.

Losing Bargnani is significant for the team, but in my estimation, a step in the right direction. His points can be made up by guys like Bayless, Barbosa, DD, Ed Davis, and thats about all that needs to be accounted for.

Why would the Grizzlies do this?  Well, this trade probably can only happen assuming they move Randolph like people think Memphis will.   That allows Bargnani to step in at the PF spot and spreads the floor for Gasol to work in the post and opens lanes for slashers like Gay.  The Grizz also get cheaper and younger.

The Under Appreciated Combo Guards: Barbosa and Bayless

Combo gaurd.

Its a word that gets thrown around alot and has a somewhat negative connotation surrounding it. We’re talking about your 6’3 and under shooting gaurd who doesn’t quite have the size to matchup on the NBA level but has enough ball handling and passing skills to maybe play alittle point gaurd. GMs squirms at the thought of drafting them, coaches wonder how to use them and the media love to critize them.  So who needs these guys?

The Raps are fortunate enough to possess two of such players.
To many people, Barbosa and Bayless are simiply decent scorers that can be used as tradebait. To me, they are the best players on the team. Ok thats not saying much on a team with a 15 and 40 record, but considering how underused they are, its a bit of a bold statement.

Barbosa can flat out fly. We all know that. More importantly, he’s a great decision maker and he’s the guy you want with the ball at the bottom of shot clocks and at the end of games (yes I’m fed up with Bargnani taking the game winning shot and either not getting it off or barely touching iron….). People will argue he doesn’t pass enough, while true, his shots and drives are rarely bad ones thanks to his speed that is second to none. He’s also no Corey Maggette black hole and years of playing alongside Nash have improved his vision.

Bayless on the other hand is still a bit of a unknown commodity. Traded to New Orleans this past offseason, I assume N.O wanted him to be their 6th man scoring punch in the JR Smith mold. For whatever reason it didn’t work out and now Toronto is blessed with his presence. His passing has gotten significantly better from his rookie season at Portland. His drives and finishes at the rim are highlight reel worthy on many a nights, and he has a solid shot with 3 point range. He truly has become a capable point gaurd if a coach wants to use him that way. His 14.5pts 7.5ast 46fg% as a starter may be an eye opener to some.

Not alot of teams have two guys who can create their own shot, shoot a good %, make smart plays and get shots for others. Combo gaurds rarely work out quite as well as Iverson, but what Toronto has is worthy in it’s own right.
I say run with Bayless at PG, Barbosa at SG. Dump Calderon and his awful defense somewhere, have Derozen at SF and Weems off the bench replacing Barbosa or DD if a matchup problem exists on defense.

Why the Raptors should trade for Omri Casspi

Surprise surprise!  Someone is suggesting the Raptors trade for an international player!  Did you forget that Amercians don’t want to play here because like Bosh says “it doesn’t feel, smell or look the same.”

No thats not why I’m suggesting Casspi would make a good fit.  In fact, if you ever have to consider the fact that you might trade for a guy who doesn’t want to live here, you’ve been looking at the wrong player all together obviously.  This is the NBA.  Playing professional basketball is a job and a privilege, players who can’t accept where they’ve been dealt or the team their playing for dont have the right mentality to play an up and down 82gms NBA schedule.

Anyways, back to Casspi.

I dunno why he supposedly on the block for Sacremento other the fact that they have a big log jam at the SF spot.  Garcia, Green, Casspi, Landry(sometimes). All pretty capable players in their own right.  But Casspi brings something special other than skills.

Passion. This guy gets pumped up.  He basically has Bargnani’s game but at 6’9, can rebound rather well for his position and brings alot fiestyness to the team.  He’s even hit a bunch of clutch shots to my amazement even when he comes on off the bench cold.  That shows me hes got alot of confidence in his game, regardless of how many minutes hes been playing or what his shooting % is.

As you know, the 3 spot has been rather inconsistent with Weems and Kleiza at the helm this year.  Weems is still a good project, but his shooting and decision making need time to season.  Casspi can step in right away and inject some energy in the lineup and crowd while providing a good spot up 3 point shooter.  No he probably wont be a franchise player, but this guy has the potensial to be an allstar if hes groomed properly.

What would it take to get him here….I dunno.  Toronto has a big enough jewish community right?

Hibbert for B. Lopez (fantasy talk)

So my fellow blogger, Sean Brownie, proposed the above deal in a standard 8 cat roto league.

Hibbert is ovbiously the x factor with the new coach. There is clearly the intent to get him the ball often on offense but I’m not sold he can matchup against all type of centers, especially mobile ones.

Lopez can score and he does that quite well. Shoots a good clip, fts too. Rebounds rebounds, where for art thou rebounds. His abysmal rebounding is a major turnoff. Hibbert should be reasonably productive even if the points aren’t there, and as I said below, points are overated.


Put Bargnani on the block….trading block that is.

This is my last plea to BC. I’ve had it. Points are highly overated commodity in basketball (fantasy basketball too), but size and range has value.

Bargnani’s value will never be as high as it is today. Never. At some point, there will be another good player in Toronto and Bargs will fall into the background. Even Triano admitted recently that Bargs and Derozen would never be playing this many minutes if the team wasn’t so anemic scoring wise.

He’s soft. Guys like Asik dunk on him at will.
He doesn’t rebound more than a 2 guard. We have to play Evans beside him for balance.
Poor decision maker. 35% shooting last 10games.
Intanglables. Non existant.

Yes bashing Bargnani is very popular and has been done to death, but atleast he has value this time round.