The On Deck Circle

The unofficial home of Real Talk

Dixon Dealt to Detroit

Posted by Blake Murphy on February 21, 2008

Normally a deal of this caliber wouldn’t be worth writing about, but because it’s the Raptors and my boy Juan Dixon, I felt obliged. The Raptors have sent Juan Dixon to the Detroit Pistons for Primoz Brezec.

Dixon had quietly asked to be moved in the past few weeks, and for good reason. Dixon is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and spending time on Toronto’s bench was seriously hurting his earning potential. He has been a great addition to the team, averaging close to 11 points a game for us last season and being willing to try the move to point guard this year. Dixon has apparently been a great teammate and is definitely a likable player (since back in his Maryland days). I feel for Dixon’s situation, as he is a solid back-up 2-guard in the NBA, really capable of filling the basket.

Unfortunately, Detroit isn’t a place where he’ll be able to do much more. The Pistons have Rip Hamilton, Lindsey Hunter, Rodney Stuckey, Chauncey Billups, and Aaron Afflalo all sharing time at the guard positions, so minutes will be rare for Dixon. He is probably headed for a mop-up role similar to what he had on the Raptors. The key difference, though, is that Dixon has a shot at a deep playoff run, something that improves every player’s value. Dixon also seems to be a Piston at heart. I can’t describe why accurately, but he just fits in a Detroit uniform in my mind. Maybe it’s because he’s a scrappy blue-collar guy who does his thing quietly, I don’t know.

It should be a good move for Detroit and Dixon. Even if my gut feeling about them being a good match isn’t accurate, he provides them with outside shooting and depth, and Primoz Brezec wasn’t playing for them anyways, so they gave up nothing to get him.

Ditto for the Raptors. Colangelo had been working the phones all week to try and accommodate Dixon with a trade, and he finally scored right at the deadline. Colangelo was able to get a player in return that fits our system, though I’d hope Brezec is buried on the depth chart. While he is a 7-foot body (and European, which you know BC loves), he doesn’t provide the toughness or rebounding we need. Primoz is a homeless man’s Andrea Bargnani, with a decent mid-range game and that’s about all.

For the Raptors, though, it was a matter of helping a player out. Dixon had helped us out making the move to the point and sulking quietly, so dealing him was the right thing to do. Brezec is nice to get in return because he is a Slovenian friend of Rasho Nesterovic’s (I’m assuming, I don’t know this for sure, but why wouldn’t they get along). Brezec is decent big-man depth but won’t see much time unless there’s an injury.

The deal leaves Toronto a little thin at the point guard position, but the team has made the decision to move forward with Carlos Delfino as our emergency point guard behind Jose Calderon and TJ Ford. Delfino is a great ball handler and runs the point for the Argentina national team a lot of the time, so he has the experience. The knock against this decision is that Delfino tends to shoot too much, but I like the call – it gives us a strong offensive back-up, a lot of defensive flexibility when he’s on the floor, and it gets more minutes on the wings for Jason Kapono.

The salaries of Brezec and Dixon are almost a dead match, both expiring this season. Overall, the deal is just Toronto accommodating Dixon’s request and getting a cheap Colangelo-player in return on a short trial basis. Wow, today has had a lot of those “common sense” deals that seem to be all too rare.

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