Inside the Paint: Can The Toronto Raptors Become The Phoenix Suns of the East?

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2009

Bryan Colangelo may have accomplished something in Toronto: He may have duplicated his version of the Suns, according to the talents he has managed to assemble.

The new-look Raptors have added Devean George, Antoine Wright, Hedo Turkoglu, Demar DeRozen, Reggie Evans, and possibly Jarret Jack to a Raptor team suddenly looking like playoff contenders.

However, this team should not only be looked at as simply a playoff contender, but possibly a championship contender. The Raptors can play a much more uptempo style now that they suddenly have the athletic talent.

Gone are the players such as Kris Humphries or even long-gone Raptor favorite Matt Bonner, who were one-dimensional and static at best.

In comes the athletic Antoine Wright at the wing spot with rookie Demar DeRozen, Reggie Evans, and Devean George with their tough and defensive intensity (wasn't that a role Joey Graham was coveted for?), and the rest can easily fall into place.

You have a Raptors team that for the first time under Colangelo's tenure has the capability to play the offensive style of play reminiscent of the Colangelo/Steve Nash era Phoenix Suns.

Yes, Raptors fans can finally say the Raps are a team with the means and offensive talent to not only challenge for Eastern honors, but possibly become one of the most entertaining teams in the NBA.

Possibly toss in a Don Nelson as a coach and a few more talented wing players, and you have a team that now can excite fans for a long time to come.

Raptors supporters would have good reason to support this newly improved team. With the additions of Evans and George, and possibly Jack, the Raptors find themselves with three quality locker room guys with good defensive techniques and ability to bring in leadership and intensity.

You add in a play-making sharpshooter in Turkoglu along with Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, and Jose Calderon (with all three capable of combing for over 75 points a game), and you suddenly have a Raptors offense that could be one of the most lethal scoring combos in the league.

Let's not forget DeRozen, who is already being compared to former Raptor Vince Carter in terms of his athleticism. Wow.

DeRozen sure has the athleticism and the talent to do it all for the Raptors, but it will take time. However, scouts, pundits, and managers across the league believe that DeRozen could potentially be the biggest steal for the Raptors.

Only time will tell if this Raptors team can actually do what Colangelo has hoped his moves allows the team to do: Win, outrun, and outscore their opponents.