Mo Money, Mo Insurance

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.

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9 thoughts on “Mo Money, Mo Insurance

  1. I’m not sure that this puts the nail on the coffin of Mo Pete just yet. While it would appear that way I’m not sure that the Raps are going to keep Joey Graham around past draft night. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team like Phoenix deal one of their first round picks to the Raptors for Graham as he has a rookie deal and his contract expires after this upcoming season. Phoenix wants to shed some contracts – much like Detroit did with this deal – so I could see them biting on Graham.

    Why aren’t people talking about Delfino as a SF option? I chatted with Natalie from Need 4 Sheed via email about this deal and she mentioned that Delfino was Prince’s primary backup last season. I would assume with his height (6′6″) he could play the 2 or 3 and possibly starting for the Raptors depending on what moves BC makes this summer. Personally, I like the idea of a starting five next season of Bargs, Bosh, Delfino, AP and Ford.

    If Peterson leaves town, and this is a big if as I’m not sold on him leaving, then I think BC will get some draft picks in exchange. So in a way that would mean we traded Mo Pete for Deflino and cap room. While I’m a big Mo Pete fan this “deal” would make a lot of sense as it helps with our cap (I think Peterson makes around $5 million per season while Delfino’s deal is less than $2) and helps us get younger. What’s not to like as a Raps fan? If the Raptors find a way to deal Joey Graham and keep Peterson than I’ll be grinning ear-to-ear.

  2. Well, cause I don’t think he’s the right size to play the 3. Not enough strength or height, but I haven’t tracked his game that much either, so I dunno about his jumping ability. If he has a breakout season due to the move, then yeah, I could see him at the 3, but I think Sam and the Raptors are enamoured right now with a Bargs, Bosh, Garbo, AP, Ford starting five. I can see Garbo being displaced by someone else other than Delfino (via trade), but unless Delfino can really work some magic and dazzle people, I think he’ll come off the bench behind AP, cause he has to take Garbo’s position away from him, and I just don’t see that happening.

    As for later on in the season, if Delfino emerges, well.. He might be in the starting lineup. Who knows? :p

    I just don’t know how the Raps will move Graham, and get a suitable replacement for what he brings in terms of contract and (inconsistent) effectiveness. There are some positives to be taken from his play this year, in that he’s been more Good Joey than Bad Joey (and I think the playoffs coloured our view of him way too much…) and he’s been improving as far as getting good Joey out more consistently. I’m not saying we should keep him at all costs, but I’m kind of with Doug Smith on this one… There’s not much you can do to replace what he is on the Raptors squad, and it costs them almost nothing to keep him.

  3. His jumping ability is through the roof – just do a good You Tube search and you’ll see a ton of his dunks. Plus, Natalie assures me he was Prince’s primary back-up last season so I feel confident as him as a 2 or a 3 next season for us.

    While I love the idea of Garbs as our starting SF I’m worried he may not be physically healthy by November. If anything, because of that I wouldn’t be surprised to see your prediction flip and Delfino start early in the season and by the All-Star break Garbo regain the starting spot (much like what happened with Fred Jones and Morris Peterson last season).

  4. BC is still going to find an athletic SF who can score and defend as a restricted (quote BC & SM) free agent for the MLE or sign and trade MoPete.

  5. Ryan – Yeah, I remember seeing a couple of his dunks, but his overall stats don’t really amaze me. Right now, from what I see and hear, he may not be any more better than a more confident Fred Jones… Which is why I’m not sure he’s our starting SF right now.

    John – Definately. Delfino doesn’t really address the issue completely. it won’t surprise me if we see another two SFs being brought in, with Dixon and or Graham being traded. One SF that’s been banded about is Grant Hill, who would be a pretty good back up, allowing Garbo to slide back down to the 4 position. But this trade just underscores that while everyone throws out suggestions as to who the Raptors might make a run at, Colangelo will figure something out that we don’t quite see coming.

  6. As a life long Pistons fan living in Toronto please allow me assure you that Delfino can play the 1, 2 and 3 but he’s most effective at 3… not 2. Seriously people there is a REASON you were watching Lindsey Hunter try to take all of Cleveland 1-on-1 from the SG spot in game 5 this year… it’s because Carlos isn’t a very good guard offensively. From the 3 spot, he can cut to the rack and take a pass for a shot which doesn’t expose how poorly he drives to the rim with the ball in his hands. Defensively he’s above average, but at the 3 usually has to play against superior starters. I guess what i’m saying is you got a good back up 3, an average at best back up defensive 2, and a 3rd string PG.

    All in all, fair deal… virtually nothing lost for 20 mins of decent sub per game.

  7. You guys should know that there are those of us who are not please with Delfino going anywhere. We knew that with enough court time he was going to shine. I think he will be starting at SF next season for the Raptors and I’ll be watching.

  8. First, I’d like to point out, because I haven’t tracked Delfino, I don’t know a lot about his game. I do know where the Raptors are though, and where he may fit. That’s about it, so thanks for all the insight and information from the Pistons fans.

    There are a couple things that I’d like to point out as indicators to why I am a bit cautious about Delfino. The first being that Fred Jones was supposed to be a slashing guard who could get to the rim, but he never managed to get his game going. Delfino, whether he’s at either the SF or SG position, shouldn’t change his game from his strong points. At least, that’s what I hope the Raptors staff are advising him. When it comes down to it, we have two inside players that are 3 pt threats, a skinny rebounder guy who’s also our star player and a couple of slashing point guards who can take outside shots. There are a lot of people on our team that don’t really fit “traditional roles,” but they do their best when they play their “natural” game. Hopefully, Delfino will do whatever he can, at whatever position he plays.
    The other thing, is Delfino’s attitude, which has been suspect. Sam’s mellowed out quite a bit, but he’s also not afraid to bench or change his starting lineup, or tinker. It’ll be interesting to see how Delfino reacts to this coaching style, as Sam learned from the feet of Flip in Minnesota in the first place.

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