Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets swing five-player deal

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The Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Hornets pulled off a five-player trade on Nov 20th as Toronto acquired young 22-year-old guard Jerryd Bayless along with 33-year-old forward Peja Stojakovic. In return, the Raptors gave up guards Marcus Banks, and Jarrett Jack along with forward David Andersen.

Stojakovic is in his 13th NBA season and also playing out the final year of his contract. He’s not having his greatest season as he’s only averaging 7.5 points a game and 14.8 minutes of playing time. He’s a bit of a sharpshooter though and has shot 11 three-pointers so far this season in 11 games, which now makes him the leader in that department with the Raptors.

Toronto could use all the help it can get as they’re pretty bad at shooting from distance as they’re third worst in the NBA in percentage and makes. Stojakovic should help out as he’s a three-time NBA All-Star and ranks fourth on the all-time list for three-pointers. Bayless is a 6-foot-3 inch scoring guard with some speed and appears to have some potential.

Bayless, a star with the University of Arizona, should see his playing time increase in Toronto. He’s in his third NBA season and also strengthens the club’s backcourt as he joins a pretty young and solid core of players including DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis, Sonny Weems, Andrea Bargnani, and Amir Johnson. Bayless is an excellent free-throw shooter and has a career percentage of 82%, going 297 for 362 from the line.

With the trade, Raptors’ Jose Calderon should become a starter at point guard. It was previously rumoured that he may be headed out of town, but this trade should put an end to that speculation as he’s now the club’s best point guard. The trade also opens up a roster spot in Toronto.

Some fans aren’t too happy with the deal because Jack was a starter and Andersen was a good performer and they’ve been moved for two players who probably won’t be regular starters. And by losing Marcus Banks, Toronto is now pretty weak at point guard.

The move does give Toronto some flexibility with their salary cap down the road though and it’s quite possible they’ll be making some more deals in the near future. The Raptors edged the Boston Celtics on Nov. 21st, but are still off to their usual slow start. They sit third place in the Eastern Conference with a 5-9 record. They’re 4.5 games behind Boston, but have now won three in a row.

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