Although the trade deadline is less than 48 hours away, it's possible the biggest trade we'll see during this season already occurred last month when the Raptors acquired Rudy Gay. Even so, general manager Bryan Colangelo is still exploring more deals, as he tells Sam Amick of USA Today. According to Amick, Toronto discussed Andrea Bargnani with the Bulls and with the Lakers, before Pau Gasol's injury, but haven't talked to the Bobcats or Sixers about Bargnani, despite reports suggesting otherwise.
Amick spoke to Colangelo about the possibility of a Bargnani trade, as well as his future with the Raptors once his contract expires this summer. Here are the quotes from the Toronto GM:
On whether the Gay trade changed the team's perception of Bargnani:
"All of a sudden the outlook and the presence of a guy like Andrea is entirely different now. He's not relied on as a No. 1 guy. He has never been paid like a No. 1 option, but people wanted to criticize that he couldn't handle that role. I've always felt like he's been slotted in salary-wise as a No. 2 or No. 3. Maybe he's kind of fitting in nicely now."
On the odds that Bargnani is moved:
"I would say (the situation) is fluid. There may have been an outright cry (to trade him) externally, whether from the media or the bloggers, to make a deal. But internally, we've always said that we recognized that a change of scenery may be helpful for him and may be beneficial for us. But we always recognized the talent, and I believe that – in some of the trade discussions I've had – the market recognizes the talent. And we didn't want to do something just to do it.
"If a deal presents itself that makes sense, we'll go ahead and move. I would say that, had he not injured himself early, it would've been much more likely that something would've happened. By virtue of him getting injured and returning with a handful games left prior to the trade deadline…there just may not have been enough runway prior to the deadline to get something."
On Colangelo's future:
"There's been no discussion. I certainly haven't brought it up. I think that we're, right now, transitioning with an ownership change of our own.... This is somewhat of a getting-to-know-you scenario for everyone involved, myself included. And I would like to think that at the end of the day, they look at my track record and my history and say that I'm the right guy. Time will tell. I have been consistent about one thing: I will always do what's right for the organization. It has nothing to do with me. If there's an opportunity to improve this team, I will do so. There's obviously always a balance in my position between short-term results and long-term results, or short-term outlook and long-term outlook.
On a specific instance when he made the right long-term choice for the team:
"Case in point was drafting [Jonas] Valanciunas knowing that he was not going to be here for a year, and that when he did arrive that he'd be 20 and would still be considered a project. But you have to carry out your job with integrity and do the right thing for the organization. That's what I've been hired to do and that's what I'm doing. Whether or not that pays off for me long-term, with an extension or just even my option year being picked up (for 2013/14), time will tell. But you can't lose sight of what the job is."