By: Bill Ingram
Earlier this summer the Charlotte Bobcats and Toronto Raptors were very close to making a trade that would have sent point guard Jose Calderon to Charlotte and forward Boris Diaw to Toronto. The deal was nixed at the last minute, supposedly by Bobcats owner Michael Jordan. Now, according to multiple reports, the trade talks between Toronto and Charlotte are back on.
There are two things going on here that are important to note. First, the Raptors would hate to see division rival New Jersey land Carmelo Anthony in the much-rumored trade talks between the two teams. One key part of that trade involved the Bobcats and Diaw, so if the Raptors can land Diaw themselves it makes life a little more difficult for the Nets as they supposedly pursue Anthony. Second, the Bobcats are desperately in need of a starting point guard, and their involvement in the rumored four-team deal for Anthony had them landing point guard Devin Harris from the Nets. If the Bobcats were to land Calderon it would further gum up the works for the Nets, though it would also address Charlotte's need at the point.
We never found out officially why the Bobcats backed out of the trade in the first place, though it's fairly easy to speculate that Calderon's contract was the primary factor. He's owed roughly $30 million over the next three seasons and he's had issues with injuries for the past two. The Bobcats didn't want to match Raymond Felton's offer from the Knicks, which starts at $7.7 million; why would they pay a player with similar stats 25% more?
It seems as though the Raptors are overly optimistic in their hopes of rekindling a deal with Charlotte, but necessity is sometimes a powerful persuader. If the Bobcats get into preseason and can't find a sure starter at the point, they might reconsider their stance on Calderon. He's not a great option, but he is an option, especially if it only costs them Boris Diaw, who they're shopping anyway.
It would seem to me a much better choice would be a healthy and motivated TJ , with an expiring , then a bloated contract for a non defensive playing, consistently hurt Calderon