Bryan Colangelo has officially hit the reset button for the Toronto Raptors. A year after boasting one of the most prolific offenses in the league in conjunction with one of the most abysmal defenses, Colangelo has effectively blown up the roster, unloading a hefty amount of salary in the process.
The previously reported Hedo Turkoglu-for-Leandro Barbosa trade has apparently been expanded to a three-team deal, with the Raptors reportedly shipping José Calderon and Reggie Evans to the Charlotte Bobcats in return for Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer and Yahoo!'s Marc Spears.
For Toronto, these moves are simply about erasing a series of bad contracts on an ill-conceived team that figured to "suck" after Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach, as sage NBA analyst Charles Barkley so eloquently put it recently. Moving Turkoglu, Calderon and Evans offloads about $78.1 million in long-term salary from the Raptors (with $54.3 million of that coming after the 2010-11 season), with only $45.3 million coming back -- and all of it in the next two seasons.
So Colangelo managed to rid Toronto of a pair of onerous long-term commitments on a team going nowhere, in return for generating a ton of cap space two seasons from now, when the Raptors will only have Andrea Bargnani, Demar Derozan, Jarret Jack, Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza and Ed Davis under contract. And on the non-financial side of the ledger, Chandler is a more than useful defensive center when healthy, something that the Raptors have been in desperate need of the past few seasons, while Barbosa should be an adequate replacement for Calderon. In short, this convoluted three-team deal is a coup for the rebuilding Raptors, who suddenly have some hope of being something other than bad-to-mediocre over the medium-term.
As for the Bobcats, Calderon gives them, an admittedly pricey, alternative to the recently departed Raymond Felton, who just signed a two-year deal with the Knicks. Diaw and Chandler were more or less expendable for Charlotte with the re-signing of Tyrus Thomas to a five-year deal, making this a decent move for the Bobcats.