Trade? No way, Jose

Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has made it clear that Jose Calderon will remain a member of the club,...

Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has made it clear that Jose Calderon will remain a member of the club, despite rumours he is trying to trade the backup point guard. (Sun File/Stan Behal)

STEVE SIMMONS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

Bryan Colangelo would like to put a rumour to rest: Jose Calderon isn't going anywhere.

Not today. Not tomorrow. Maybe not ever.

Despite reports to the contrary -- and this is, after all, the silly season -- Colangelo, the Raptors president and general manager, has no interest in trading Calderon and is not shopping the nifty point guard.

But window shopping is happening around the National Basketball Association and a whole lot of teams out there have a whole lot of interest in the engaging Calderon.

"All the rumours are false," Colangelo said. "I can tell you that the story that I'm shopping Calderon all over the place (reported in New York) is absolute nonsense.

"I can tell you this: I'm getting calls from about half the teams in the league asking about him. Nothing has got even remotely close to making a deal.

"We put a very high price on his effectiveness as a player, we put a very high price on his role as a backup to T.J. Ford, we put a very high price on his relationship with (Jorge) Garbajosa and inclusion of other players in our group. Does that mean there's no deal we could consider trading him in? No. Anybody can be traded. But there's nothing remotely close (with Calderon)."

Fielding the Calderon calls -- and there have been many -- has been one of the ways in which Colangelo has remained busy as he heads toward the NBA draft tomorrow night without a pick in hand. The contrast from a year ago is startling.

"I remember walking into Orlando for the pre-draft camp, right on the heels of being hired, with the first pick and the reputation that I was going to move quick to shuffle the deck," Colangelo said. "I walked in and everyone was looking at me. I felt like the prettiest girl at the dance. It was amazing.

"This year, with no pick, it's completely different ... It's unusually quiet but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Usually, you're in the draft or in the game of lining up potential trades. We're not really doing either right now."

The Raptors may not have a first pick in the draft but they figure they already have made their selection. Colangelo views Carlos Delfino as a better player than any addition they might have drafted with the 22nd pick.

"He's an interesting piece for us," Colangelo said. "He's the same size (as Morris Peterson), a better defender, he'll get to the foul line more, and he's kind of a streaky shooter."

Translation: For now, Delfino is in, Peterson, a free agent and possibly Utah-bound, is out.

Peterson is not exactly high on the Raptors' free-agent wish list. At the top of the list -- within affordable price ranges -- are players such as Andres Nocioni of Chicago and the legendary Grant Hill. But that might be wishful thinking on Toronto's part. Realistically, Colangelo may be looking with interest at one of Matt Barnes of Golden State, James Posey of Miami, Luke Walton of the Lakers, Mickael Pietrus of Golden State and Sasha Pavlovic of Cleveland.

"If we carry out everything we want to do, we're dangerously close to being a luxury tax team," Colangelo said. "No matter what, our salaries are going to be up about $18 million from last year to $65 million. We don't have a lot of flexibility in what we can do until we get Alvin Williams' salary off our books."

But it sure is different from a year ago.

There will be no early pick, no rookie to debate, no summer league team.

Tomorrow night, the Raptors will set up a war room possibly for no reason.

"Who knows what will happen?" Colangelo said. "We'll monitor the draft, we'll jump on the phone afterwards and pursue players we liked that got passed over. Who knows? Last year, we had our first conversation about the (Charlie) Villanueva for Ford deal on draft night. You have to be prepared for anything."

Even an offer for Calderon? An offer, yes. A deal, no.


Videos

Photos