Sebastian Telfair trade: Raptors give up pieces to get 3rd point guard


The Toronto Raptors traded a future draft pick to bring in a third point guard in Sebastian Telfair. Was that really necessary?

The Toronto Raptors needed an extra point guard after trading Jose Calderon to the Detroit Pistons in the three-team Rudy Gay deal, and they got it by acquiring Sebastian Telfair for Hamed Haddadi and a 2014 second-round pick.


Telfair has settled in as a mediocre backup point guard over the past couple years, and he'll compete with John Lucas III for backup minutes behind Kyle Lowry. But I still wonder why Bryan Colangelo needed to trade for a third point guard instead of just signing one off the waiver wire.

The upside of dealing for Telfair is that it costs less money, but the difference appears negligible. If the Raptors didn't make this trade, they would have likely negotiated a buyout or waived Haddadi, which would have cost $1.3 million pro-rated this year*, then signed a veteran or youngster, which could have cost another few hundred thousand, pro-rated. Alternatively, the Raptors could have waived Mickael Pietrus for half the cost of waiving Haddadi. This way, rather than sacrificing close to $2 million, pro-rated, on Haddadi and a replacement, they pay Telfair $1.5 million, pro-rated. So ... the financial difference is very small.

*: Not originally included in this analysis: Haddadi also has a $200,000 buyout for next season.

For that trade-off, they potentially get a better player in Telfair while sacrificing a decent future second-round pick. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Suns will receive the lowest of the Kings or the Raptors' own second-round pick in 2014, provided it's not in the top 36. The Kings are unlikely to make the playoffs, and the Raptors, while harboring hopes of making a jump next season, are certainly not locks. This could very well be a high-ish second-round selection in the 40-45 range. That's not much, but it's an asset that was needlessly given up.

I guess the Raptors think that Telfair is that much better than a point guard off the scrap heap, but I'm not so convinced.



Telfair had lost his backup job to rookie Kendall Marshall, so his presence wasn't needed on the roster. In return, they got a useful future second-round pick. That's not bad for a third-string point guard.


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