Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Toronto Showroom

I'll be completely honest - I haven't been able to figure out why the Raptors are starting T.J. Ford over Jose Calderon at point guard. Calderon is the more efficient and effective player and the Raps have been better with him at the controls. In fact, their winning percentage seems to be directly influenced by how many minutes he plays.

So why is Ford logging such heavy minutes?

A) I'm failing to comprehend something that Ford does for this team that Calderon does not.

B) Sam Mitchell has rocks for brains.

C) Toronto is trying to shop him.

Now, A and B are entirely plausible. I've failed to comprehend many things and Sam Mitchell has proven that he has rocks for brains (see: the 2007 playoffs). However, I think C is the likely answer.

Toronto has over $24 million committed to Ford for the next three years, yet promises to match any offer made to Calderon, who is a restricted free agent this summer. It is hard to see how a point guard platoon that will likely be worth close to $16 million per year is good for this franchise, so that means one of them has to go.

As recently as a month ago, Calderon was the only Toronto point guard with any trade value whatsoever and he had a ton of it. But now, with Ford back out there showing off his lightening speed, we've seen the return of some of his trade value. This is a great thing for Toronto.

If the Raptors can turn Ford into a rebounding big man or superior wing player and open up the financial room to sign Calderon, they will make themselves better at two positions in one move.

And since the East looks to be a two (maybe three, if you believe in Orlando) horse race, perhaps the Raptors see more valuable in turning their playoff appearance into a T.J. Ford Showcase than in actually trying to win. I can't say that I blame them.

1 comment:

stacks said...

dude. the reason TJ Ford is starting is because he was dogging it coming off the bench. as a bench player, he hogged the ball, and at an orlando game in the fourth quarter, literally did not pass for 8 straigth minutes.

calderon agreed to move to the bench to accomodate tj ford. ever since, he's been playing better.