The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and, much to the chagrin of many Raptor fans, Andrea Bargnani remains in Toronto.
As I predicted yesterday, it was a quiet deadline day for Bryan Colangelo and the Raps, who added depth at the point in the form of Sebastian Telfair and nothing else. In exchange, Raps fans had to say goodbye to the never-arriving Hamed Haddadi and a conditional second rounder (the terms of which I haven't been able to find anywhere).
That the conditional second is the most important element in the deal tells you all you need to know about the trade's significance. Given that Telfair's $1.6 million contract expires at the end of this year and reserve point guards will be a dime a dozen in free agency, the streetball legend (yes, the franchise's second after Rafer Alston) is likely to be a two-month rental. The conditional second, therefore, is the only part of the deal that stands to potentially be a long-term asset (and we already know about Toronto's checkered second round draft history).
In the short term, Telfair helps provide insurance behind Kyle Lowry and eases the burden on John Lucas III, who has been the only secondary ball-handler on the roster since Jose Calderon was traded. The 27-year-old had been quietly enjoying a productive, consistent campaign in Phoenix, averaging 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17.3 minutes as the primary back-up to Goran Dragic (Kendall Marshall now moves into the role).
Here are the two other deals with Raptor tie-ins on a quiet deadline day:
- The Milwaukee Bucks (currently No. 8 in the East) improved, although perhaps not as dramatically as they had hoped. After being in the mix for Josh Smith for most of the day, the wound up settling on JJ Redick and Gustavo Ayon, whom they added in a three-way deal that cost them Tobias Harris, Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih's expiring deal. While it's unclear how Redick, Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings co-exist, you can't argue that they didn't improve on Thursday.
- Can you be an NBA journeyman without having ever played in the league? Deadline day saw the rights to Georgios Printezis, which were once acquired by Toronto for the pick used to select Dragic, moved on to a sixth NBA team when Portland traded his rights to Oklahoma City for Eric Maynor. Knowing the Thunder and their can-do-no-wrong GM Sam Presti, wouldn't it be so fitting if he wound up making the jump to North America and turning into a huge, overseas success? If, you know, he could get playing time.