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: $1.8 million guaranteed this year with a qualifying offer of $2.7 million for 2008-2009.
Strengths: The best secondary defensive option after Anthony Parker. He is also extremely good at rebounding from the guard position. Attempts to take charges within games, and is able to make good defensive decisions within the context of most games. Has the ability to drive to the basket and hit 3-pointers
Weaknesses: Offensively, he is extremely inconsistent. Has the ability to disappear for quarters on end, and is prone to enter shooting slumps. Needs to drive the ball more, especially with his ability to play physically and finish around the rim. Fairly poor free throw shooter.
Comments: If Parker is a guy that Bryan Colangelo should be fine with parting with, where does that leave Carlos Delfino? First and foremost, Carlos at a price of a couple million is a bargain. However, it is invariably not going to be a price that the Raptors can resign him for. There are several reasons for this, but one of them is the fact that Carlos gives off the feeling that he believes that he can handle a bigger role on most teams and can demand a higher salary. His comments in Detroit as well as his off season comments also indicate this fact, not to mention his unwillingness to sign an extension in the previous off season. However, if Jorge Garbajosa is healthy, does Carlos Delfino start ahead of him?
The biggest problem with Carlos Delfino is his inability to drive consistently into defenses. He can do it, and has shown it in spurts, but being consistent seems to be the main need from this Raptors team. The second biggest problem (a 1a) problem, if you will) is that when he does get around the rim and does get fouled, he’s not a very good free throw shooter. At just under 70% career, as a guy that has the potential to be at the line at least two or three times a game, it’s not a very encouraging number. As a result, do you want him driving if he’s not going to make his free throws? It’s also important to note that while his three point percentage is up this year, he has traditionally been an under 35% 3 point shooter and has gone into long streaks of missed threes for games at a time.
So at a price of $2 million and with the Raptors pushed up against the salary, the question is if Carlos is a guy that has value? Yes he does for sure. Without any guarantees about his future with the team, Carlos is a very attractive piece for a team with some defensive difficulties. He’s a great guy to have on the Raptors when he’s on his game, but there has to be a question about losing him for nothing in the off season. The Raptors undoubtedly get the feeling that he’ll be asking for around the mid-level exemption, but I doubt that Bryan sees his value at that price. For those that forget, Bryan did offer him an extension already at the beginning of the year, but it never panned through. He’s not an absolute essential part of this team, and that inconsistent play is a bit worrisome. I think all the world of Delfino, but if some team wants him, I’m definitely not losing sleep over losing him. After all, I’d rather trade him for something, rather than lose him to free agency for nothing.
Verdict: Definitely available. Would not move heaven and earth to protect him, and an uncertain free agency future makes him a reasonable tradeable commodity.