Shawn Marion: A Good Move In More Ways Than One
Total Pro Sports – At the beginning of this year, I thought how Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal could form a version somewhat like that of the twin towers in San Antonio, when the “Admiral” David Robinson and Tim Duncan dominated down low for quite a few years. As a writer it is often hard to admit when you’re wrong, but boy, I couldn’t have done worse than making that comparison.
When it was obvious that the so-called “second coming” of the twin towers was not happening north of the 49th, I wrote about how Bryan Colangelo had lost that swagger that won him back to back executive of the year awards, the “White Knight” who came and made everything good. Well, I believe it has come the time where Colangelo needs the Raptors more than they need him, for the first time ever. Colangelo needs to put this team in line in order to save his reputation as one of the best General Managers in the game. I am not trying to bash B.C here, because I really like him. I like the fact that Toronto has a General Manager who doesn’t sit on his hands and does nothing; he’s someone who realized he made a mistake and has tried to fix it as quickly as possible, someone who makes things happen. As Raptor fans we are lucky to have a GM like that.
In discussing the trade to bring in Shawn Marion, Raptor fans have to be excited, not for what it could do this year, because let’s face it, if we make the playoffs, were getting knocked out in the first round. What I like about this trade is what it can do for future years, and let me explain why.
Shawn Marion is a free agent this off season, entering the worst free agent period in a long time. The recession has hit basketball hard and many teams at the trade deadline were looking to dump salary. Just look at the Tyson Chandler trade that didn’t go through. The New Orleans Hornets, a contender in the west, was shipping a guy who helps them in the playoffs for two spare parts. Marion is having an off season and the Raptors should be able to sign him for a lot cheaper than most people think. If he is resigned, he solidifies the Small forward position for the next couple years, providing defence and a second or third option when it comes to scoring, but more importantly, rebounding.
Andrea Bargnani is blossoming at center, and with Chris Bosh playing Power Forward, this unit is solid down low. The point guard situation is now healthier with Marcus Banks on the team, even with his brutal contract. The Raptors have two positions that need to be filled this summer, 3 if Marion doesn’t re-sign. A solid shooting guard needs to be found. Anthony Parker is good, but not good enough to be starting. Ideally he moves to the bench and the Raptors are able to get someone whose superior at that position than AP is. The other position is the bench. From what I’ve heard Carlos Delfino is coming back to the NBA and he would be a solid guy to add to the bench. What else is needed is a very solid big man, who will rebound. He really doesn’t need to do anything else, other than come off the bench, provide 6 to 9 rebounds a game and some solid defence. By adding those two pieces as well as having Parker move to the bench would make the Raptors a solid team, and a much stronger starting 5.
The Bosh scenario involving his impending free agency after next season will not go away. In my opinion Bosh has not played like the leader he has in years past and looks like he wants to leave. If that’s the case, Colangelo needs to look at what he can get for him this summer. In the end the Raptors are better off now then they were before the trade, it’s unlikely they can make a playoff run this year, but Colangelo still has pieces to build this team for next year, it’s up to him to add the missing ingredients. His reputation is now definitely on the line.