Not even two weeks after acquiring Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies, the Toronto Raptors are back at it again, discussing a possible trade that would send Andrea Bargnani to the Chicago Bulls for Carlos Boozer. Marc Stein of ESPN reported both teams were in “exploratory trade talks”.
Marc Stein -
From Chicago’s perspective, sources said, Bargnani’s arrival could help address their glaring lack of 3-point shooting and brighten the overall look of its payroll, given that the Italian forward makes $5 million less than Boozer this season. Despite his well-chronicled defensive deficiencies, Bargnani would figure to be an effective pick-and-roll partner for Derrick Rose, once Rose makes his expected return from knee surgery after the All-Star break….
Although Toronto’s desire to upgrade its front line is an open secret — as confirmed by their long-running interest in trading for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol before Gasol’s foot injury this week — it’s believed the luxury-tax implications of trading for Boozer could ultimately dissuade the Raptors from such a deal, even if Chicago proved willing.
There is also a possibility that Nate Robinson and John Lucas III could be part of a potential deal. However, the Toronto Raptors are hesitant to add Carlos Boozer’s contract, as he will be making $9.1 million more than Bargnani over the next two seasons.
If this trade were to go through, it would definitely shake things up in the Eastern Conference. The Toronto Raptors would become a very dangerous team in the Atlantic Division, and could become a playoff team if this trade was made. Toronto would have their scorer in Rudy Gay, their inside presence in Carlos Boozer, and a young, athletic guard in DeMar DeRozan. That version of a big three could propel the Raptors into the playoffs, and next season maybe get them past the 1st and 2nd rounds.
For the Chicago Bulls, it’s understandable that they want to dump Boozer’s salary, but he’s having a great season averaging close to a double-double with 15.7 ppg and 9.4 rebounds. With Derrick Rose returning soon, this year is Chicago’s best shot at winning the title and it would make no sense to ruin that.
If this trade does go through how does it effect the Boston Celtics? The Raptors would become a nightmare to matchup against and would likely become an immediate threat in the East. This will definitely be worth keeping an eye on as we get closer to February 21st. Right now it’s just talk, but in the NBA, trade rumors can go from nowhere to being completed in a matter of hours.