View Full Version : Sources: Toronto Raptors looking to deal away Carlos Delfino

08-17-2009, 12:59 PM

There could be yet another deal swung by the Toronto Raptors in perhaps the most active offseason in franchise history.

NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com on Monday that the Raptors are actively trying to move swingman Carlos Delfino in a sign-and-trade arrangement.


One option that has materialized, sources said, is a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks on a swap that would send Delfino to the Bucks for power forward Amir Johnson, which would require Delfino to agree to terms on a new deal spanning at least two years.

The Raptors retained Delfino's rights while he played in Russia last season, which gives them the ability to sign-and-trade him. It's believed that Delfino prefers to return to the NBA as opposed to staying in Europe, but Toronto has acquired three other players this summer who play at shooting guard or small forward: Marco Belinelli, Antoine Wright and lottery pick DeMar DeRozan.

Johnson was acquired by Milwaukee in late June as part of the three-team swap with San Antonio and Detroit that routed Richard Jefferson to the Spurs and was briefly projected as the Bucks' new starter at power forward after Charlie Villanueva left in free agency to sign with Detroit.

But Milwaukee was able to sign Hakim Warrick to a one-year, $3 million deal earlier this month after the Grizzlies unexpectedly withdrew their qualifying offer to Warrick, turning the restricted free agent into an unrestricted free agent.

The proposed trade with the Raptors, if completed, would signal that the Bucks consider fortifying their depth at shooting guard and small forward -- which Delfino would address -- as more vital than keeping Johnson to Warrick.

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Striking a Delfino deal would enable Toronto to add to a contingent of large newcomers that already features Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack and Reggie Evans in addition to Belinelli, Wright and DeRozan.

Turkoglu arrived via sign-and-trade, Evans and Belinelli joined Toronto in separate trades and the Raptors also signed former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani to a five-year, $50 million contract extension early in free agency.

Johnson, 22, was drafted by Detroit out of high school with the 56th overall pick in 2005, when Bucks general manager John Hammond was still working with the Pistons as Joe Dumars' top front-office aide.

He's entering the final season ($3.9 million) of a three-year, $11 million contract extension he received from the Pistons in the summer of 2007 despite barely playing in his first two seasons as a pro on a veteran-laden team.

Johnson started 24 games last season and averaged 3.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 14.7 minutes per game. In summer-league play in Las Vegas with the Bucks, Johnson averaged 10.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks as Milwaukee posted a 4-1 record.

Delfino, 26, has averaged 5.8 points and 17.1 minutes per game in four NBA seasons. His only season in Toronto in 2007-08 was Delfino's best season stateside, as he averaged 9.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game.

In speaking to Toronto-based reporters last week, Raptors president Bryan Colangelo conceded that the likelihood of re-signing Delfino had diminished after the drafting of DeRozan and the trade for Belinelli and acknowledged that a sign-and-trade was a possibility.

"The likelihood that he's going to sign here is less," Colangelo said then of Delfino. "Not only is he going to be leaving some money on the table in Europe, but one of the things that was attractive about coming here was that he'd have ample opportunity to play and maybe start. And that doesn't appear to be as open now."

After a disappointing 33-49 season in 2008-09 that included the February trade of Jermaine O'Neal -- its marquee offseason acquisition a year ago -- to the Miami Heat, Toronto has reshaped its roster aggressively this summer partly in hopes of convincing 2010 free agent-to-be Chris Bosh to resign with the Raptors.

Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.

08-17-2009, 01:34 PM
That's interesting. Johnson would end up buried on the bench, but never hurts getting something for nothing. It would be a solid move for the future, as Evans and Nestorovic are both getting along in age. Although it seems smarter to trade for, say, a pick and an expiring SF.

08-17-2009, 01:40 PM
Evans and Amir can split time behind Bosh/ Bargnani at the PF. Rasho would be good for use against big bodies that require his 6 fouls (Howard/ Shaq/ Perkins).

definitely a move for depth and useful players (roko was not going to get minutes and Delfino thinks too highly of himself ) and maybe for the future is they can resign him to a cheap 3 year contract extension

08-17-2009, 04:31 PM
I can't believe the Bucks are picking Warrick over Amir.

08-17-2009, 04:49 PM
i cant believe you guys are calling Delfino "nothing"

08-17-2009, 05:37 PM

08-17-2009, 06:19 PM
i cant believe you guys are calling Delfino "nothing"

Only because he wasn't going to play for us anyways. I like Delfino but there isn't room for him anymore.

08-17-2009, 06:29 PM
hornets could use delfino

Raps18-19 Champ
08-17-2009, 06:31 PM
Cool. I'd like Delfino and Ukic for Alexander though.