This is a kick to the stomach:
The Toronto Raptors acquired guard Carlos Delfino from the Detroit Pistons on Friday.
In exchange, the Pistons will receive second-round picks in both the 2009 and 2011 drafts.
The native of Argentina was a first-round selection by Detroit in 2003. He played in all 82 games this past season, posting career highs of 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
"Carlos is a talented basketball player that should thrive in our system," Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo said. "Like many international players that come to the league, he has much more professional experience than his NBA resume suggests."
The way I see it, this has to be a precursor to another move, be it moving up in the draft or clearing salary to sign a free agent. But still, anyone who's read this site over the past couple of years knows that Delfino has been something of a patron saint to DBB -- this is a sad, sad day. More to come later.
(Thanks for the tip, Matt G., even if it did ruin the start of my weekend)
Update: I just posted a few thoughts over at the FanHouse, and I see Keith Langlois had this on Pistons.com:
The move clears almost $2 million in room under the NBA’s salary cap and would appear to make it even more likely that the Pistons will have a roster spot available for Alex Acker, a 2005 second-round draft choice who spent last season in Greece after playing his rookie year with the Pistons.
There is also a very good possibility that the Pistons will draft a perimeter player with the 15th pick of the June 28 draft, given the way the draft is shaping up. Among the possibilities there are small forwards Al Thornton of Florida State and Thaddeus Young of Georgia Tech, shooting guard Nick Young of Southern Cal and combo guard Rodney Stuckey of Eastern Washington – all players who would have competed with Delfino for playing time.
Roster spots are scarce in Detroit, let alone rotation spots, so if they really wanted an incoming rookie to play, I guess moving Delfino was inevitable. I'm just disappointed the team doesn't anticipate taking a backup PG with the No. 15 pick, which was certainly a position of need.
Update: OK, some of your comments below have already made me feel (a little) better about this trade, especially this one by Michael Noveck. I dislike the fact that Delfino will probably get the chance to reach his potential on another team, but he is entering a contract year, and there really was little to no chance that he'd want to re-sign beyond this year.
Also, while the idea of a second-round pick (or even two of them) doesn't jump out at me, there's really no telling who might be the next Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer, Memo Okur, Rashard Lewis, Michael Redd, Manu Ginobili, Monta Ellis, Paul Millsap, Zaza Pachulia ... or Amir Johnson. Besides, second-round picks have a chip on their shoulder, which I think we all want to see more of.