Calderon will be costly

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Medi

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

While there's no point in debating the merits at the point position, at least for now, the Raptors will, however, be faced with a pivotal question.

Talk to people in the NBA and they will tell you, off the record, of course, that the Raptors can't afford to have both Jose Calderon and T.J. Ford on the same roster come next season.

The bottom line is the bottom line with Calderon becoming a restricted free agent on July 1.

The Raptors have already stated they will match whatever offer is presented to Calderon, who is enjoying a break-out season, even at a time when his game has suffered in recent weeks.

Ford will make $8.3 million US next season. Calderon earns $2.5 million this year, but many believe he's in line for a raise that could quadruple his salary next year.

Besides the money, insiders insist Ford will not accept a long-term role as a backup.

MASKING HIS FEELINGS

To say Andrea Bargnani is going through a frustrating time is to state the obvious.

When he stepped on to the ACC floor last night, the second-year forward was sporting a protective mask.

During Monday's loss in Utah, Bargnani took a shot to the nose courtesy of teammate Jamario Moon, whose hand struck the Italian's beak after a made basket.

X-rays on Bargnani proved negative, but he did not return against the Jazz.

Earlier this month in a road game against the Heat, Bargnani was sent hard to the floor on an Alexander Johnson flagrant foul, a foul that was later upgraded to a flagrant two and an automatic one-game suspension.

For last night's tip, at least, Bargnani didn't seem unfazed by the mask, going 4-for-6 from the field to score nine points in the game's opening 11 minutes.


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