According to Peter Vescey, the Raptors are using Andrea Bargnani as trade bait as they attempt to fill the backup point guard position.
Vescey's most recent tweets state:
Spoke 2 guy unaffiliated w Raptors but has inside knowledge of management mindset. Says definitely trying 2 deal Bargnani. ? is, can they?— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 6, 2013
Found it interesting TR r trying 2 get pure point back as part of package. Someone like Calderon who gets ball 2 people in position 2 score— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 6, 2013
@fortunateshev Bledsoe appears unavailable. Surely T'Wolves would give up Williams & Ridnour. Can't have more than 1 or 2 Americans on Minny— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 6, 2013
A name like Derrick Williams immediately jumps out to Raptors fans, as the former No. 2 overall selection out of Arizona has failed to find his niche in the NBA thus far.
A backup point guard like Luke Ridnour would also make sense for the Raptors going forward.
Williams has averaged 9.1 PPG and 4.5 RPG in only 20 minutes a night this season. He has lost plenty of playing time due to the resurrection of Andrei Kirilenko, who has returned to the NBA after spending some time in his native Russia.
Ridnour, on the other hand, has averaged 11.8 PPG and 4.0 APG in just over 30 minutes a night. I don't mind Ridnour, but to me, he's another no-defense playing point guard who will get torched by better and faster point guards. He's similar to Jose Calderon in that regard.
With Kevin Love out for another two months or so due to injury, the Timberwolves could use the size up front. However, the Raptors could also use another big to help out Amir Johnson.
If there's a deal with the Timberwolves, I suspect it would involve a third team so Toronto could get a power forward or center out of the deal. Teams like the Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks immediately come to mind since they have an excess of perimeter players and a lack of quality bigs.
A package that includes Bargnani and Alan Anderson for Williams and Ridnour would likely make the most sense for each club going forward. It would ensure the Raptors have quality depth at nearly every position except for center—a position that seems to be on the outs in the NBA.
With just over two weeks before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, February 21st at 3:00 PM, the Raptors are working hard as they try to get their roster just right for a playoff push.
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