NBA Trade: TJ Ford – J. O’Neal?

According to ESPN, the Raptors and Pacers have held discussions about a possible trade involving Jermaine O’Neal and T.J. Ford. The Raptors want to make Jose Calderon their starting PG and move Ford. I like Calderon and he is one of the best per minute PGs out there right now, but I’m a big fan of T.J. Ford. Why? Take a look:

T.J. Ford – “True Point Guard”

In the right system, TJ Ford can wreak havoc. If it wasn’t for his health, he’d probably be even more reckless driving to the hoop. He can score around the basket, jump over your house, drive to the hoop and create…and so on and so on…plus he can do this:

…and this…

Jermaine O’Neal was a great player a few years ago. He was a lock to be a 20-10 guy for the rest of his career back in 2000. From 2000-2005 he averaged a ridiculous 19.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Only injuries can stop a guy like him and that is exactly what happened.

O’Neal: 04/05 44 games – 05/06 51 games – 06/07 69 games – 07/08 41 games.

T.J. Ford got his fair share of injuries as well, but people tend to forget one thing about him: he is only 25 years old. Yeah, I know what you are saying, CP3 is younger, Deron Williams is younger…of course he ain’t CP3, but he isn’t Travis Diener either. He is still coming into his own and back in 06/07 when he played 30 minutes per game, he averaged 14 points and 8 assists.

Will the trade help both teams?

Guess so. O’Neal has a big contract, but he is a better player than Boris Diaw (there are several trade rumors about a Ford for Diaw trade). Do you see Diaw drawing a double team somewhere down the road? Me neither, but he can pass the ball like only a few big guys and that would fit in the Raptors style. Do they need more ball movement? In my humble opinion, they need somebody to bang bodies and push people around in the zone so I’d prefer to see O’Neal and Bosh wreak havoc in the east.

T.J. Ford would be the best guard on the Pacers roster with Tinsley coming in a close second (I’m pretty sure he is going to be traded soon, because of off the court issues). Moving O’Neal would make Danny Granger their new go-to guy…the Pacers would be a young, athletic running team with no real big man (unless you count Ike Diogu)…they would be a poor man’s Atlanta Hawks. Is this an upgrade? Yes, it is. Getting rid of O’Neal’s big contract is the first step to rebuilding.

I like the trade way more for the Raptors. O’Neal down low with Bosh is scary. Even if he has to battle some injuries, the Raptors won’t die…they have Bargnani and Brezec (who actually is a poor man’s Bargnani) to go with Bosh. They won’t lose much depth, because they have Calderon, Anthony Parker and Delfino. They basically trade a guy they don’t need anymore and get good value back – way to go.


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