As the trade deadline approaches, it’s important to take a look at some of the so-called tradeable assets on this Raptors team. What are the strengths and weaknesses of a player, looking at the current and future possibilities, and of course salary situations.
Salary: $4.5 million guaranteed through 2008-2009.
Strengths: A consistent meat-and-potatoes guard who is also the Raptor’s most consistent man-to-man defender. Has the ability to rebound and to make the 3-point shot. Displays some ability to shoot off the dribble and go to the basket at times.
Weaknesses: Not particularly fast or athletic, he is not often able to “save” a possession on his own, and often requires his teammates to create shots for him. Inconsistent on the offensive side at times, and definitely needs to draw more fouls. Displays some difficulties making free throws in clutch situations. 32 years old.
Comments: Invariably, there has to be some discussion about Anthony Parker in any trade the Raptors may make to upgrade their wing positions. It’s not a slight against Parker, but he’s got a very manageable contract while being a very effective contributor, and sometimes, it’s going to take something to get something in return. Most importantly, Anthony has shown some ability to be a club spokesperson and is a very well-rounded, well-traveled individual.
The one thing that has to happen though, is that Anthony Parker has to learn to use a pump fake to draw fouls on defenders. In fact, most of the Raptors’ best shooters need to improve in this area. There is some talk about AP needing to drive the ball more, but in the end, he can draw fouls from the outside just as effectively. I’ve brought Reggie Miller’s name up several times, but Ray Allen is yet another guy that you have to look at who is constantly able to draw fouls from outside the 3 point arc.
Is Anthony Parker an important piece of the Raptors puzzle? Yes he is. He will be the guy that saves the team some nights, and that makes him very valuable. Depending on the teams that talk to the Raptors, he could be a very hot commodity. There are few offensive threats in the league that can defend their own position effectively, and AP is just one of those few guys. The question is, how many more good years can we expect out of AP? He’s had a lighter Europe schedule for the majority of his life, so there might be quite a few more, but keep in mind he still is 32 years old. He and his family sound like they love Toronto as well, so I don’t believe will have an “Antonio Davis”-style departure. Nevertheless, if a team offers a slashing shooting guard, can the Raptors resist? There are already plenty of 3-point threats on this team, so subtracting one for a person who goes to the line consistently is not necessarily a bad idea. However, the Raptors should not be willing to trade AP for anything less than a verified starting guard.
Verdict: Not on the block, but probably available for the right price. The only question is if a team sees his worth the same way the Raptors do.