Well… If that didn’t put the nail in the coffin…
Signing Carlos Delfino effectively secures our backup 2 spot, adding an Argentinian into the mix, and giving us Raptors fans, yet another player in the guards rotation. In fact, right now, it’s pretty crowded with Juan Dixon, Luke Jackson, Anthony Parker, and in a pinch, Joey Graham, and Jose Calderon (who’s played the 2 every once in a while, but we all know he’s a PG at heart).
So, what does this mean for Mo’ Pete? It’s pretty obvious now, that his tenure as a Raptor may be coming to an end, but I’ve seen stranger things happen. Mo Pete, as we’ve seen for some of his career, can also play the SF position. In fact, this year, when everyone was expecting us to have a great defending team with Mo Pete and Anthony Parker on the floor at the same time, we probably had pencilled in Mo Pete at the 3 spot. In any case, we can still match any contract out there, and anyone that remembers what happened the last time Mo Pete was on the market, we did just that. The advantage for us, though, is that we now have a choice and insurance, which seems to be the mantra of a Bryan Colangelo team.
Some fans though, will undoubtedly try to paint this as mortgaging the future for a player that we have now. (2009 and 2011 are draft years beyond Bryan Colangelo’s current contract with the team, ironically, for you conspiracy theorists out there). We are giving up two 2nd round picks in years way down the road. But as we go on in the future, we should realize that a draft pick is never a certain thing. That’s part of the excitement of every draft; to get something for cheap and watch it blossom beyond everyone’s expectations. However, good teams only need to be in the draft if they are on the decline, or getting too old. In our case, we have an extremely young team with only 5 players above the age of 30 (Darrick Martin, Rasho, AP, Jorge, and Mo Pete) and only three that played significant minutes in the previous season. It makes sense to do this trade.
For one thing, I’m happy that it’s a guy that’s been on a team that has implemented some defensive schemes. It means that we’re getting a player who will work on the defensive level because he’s used to it. Another thing is that Delfino is 6-6. He is quite a ways taller than Juan Dixon, but hasn’t got the range. That’s fine. We still have plenty of 3 point threats. Our biggest problem is a matchup problem on the defensive end when we go to our bench. As plenty of you know, I have not been happy with Juan’s performance as a Raptor since he arrived. Yes, he’s made shots, and he’s made good drives to the basket, but he just doesn’t have the skills to guard that 2 spot, and it leaves a heavy load on Anthony Parker; a guy that isn’t a spring chicken anymore. Oh yeah. We get another guy that gets zone, and can attack zone. I’m seeing good things for Delfino in a Raptors uniform.
I’m glad that this trade was done as it provides us insurance, a workable piece in Delfino, and it didn’t cost us much in the end. Oh yeah, we can expect some good Argentinian cheering next year, bringing in another one of our major communities into the Raptors organization. Good times, good times.