Just when the shadow of Hedo Turkoglu had lifted from the Raptors they acquire the likes of another aging one-deminsional player. Peja Stojakovic has been traded to the Raptors from the Hornets along with Jarryd Bayless according to an ESPN report. In exchange Toronto will send Jarrett Jack, David Andersen, and Marcus Banks to New Orleans.
Stojakovic is in the final year of his contract in New Orleans and is earning $14.25 million this season. He has appeared in only six of the Hornets eleven games this year and has seen his numbers steadily decline each of the previous four seasons.
Due to a contract restiction, Bayless, the third-year backup point guard in New Orleans, will have to be traded seperately. His contract stipulates that he cannot be part of a multi-player deal until after December 23.
Jack has been operating as Toronto’s starting point guard although he has been splitting the duties with Jose Calderon. It is not known whether the point guards will continue to see evenly split action on the Raptors but it is likely that Calderon will move into the starts role.
The Hornets have obviously heard Chris Paul loud and clear. This summer Paul demanded a trade from the team after seeing other players move around the league dramatically altering its makeup. This is the second move New Orleans, who are an NBA best 10-1 on the season, has made since Paul’s haphazard demand. They brought in Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli before the season started.
The acquisition of Andersen gives the Hornets more depth at the center position as, until now, the only backup to Emeka Okafor was D.J. Mbenga. Banks is in the last year of his contract and has only appeared in three games this season.
For the Raptors, this trade can be seen as an effort to continue to rebuild and free up salary for next season after Stojakovic’s contract expires. Bayless will make a nice addition to the “Young Gunz,” as they have been coined, who are made up of DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems, and Amir Johnson. If Toronto is smart, they will try and move Stojakovic before the trade deadline as his contract is large enough to fetch a talented player or two with the icing on the cake being that it is an expiring contract. What the Raptors need to look for is more depth in their frontcourt as Solomon Alabi finds him self as the sole true center on the team with Andersen’s departure. It would also be wise if the invested in a big man with considerably more defensive prowess than Andrea Bargnani.