The statement made by the Raptors Front Office and the beginning of the year was wrong.
"This is the best team, on paper", Bryan Colangelo told the media in October before the season began. Clearly, it was not what was expected by anyone. A dismal 33-49 record was what the Toronto Raptors finished with.
To make matters worse, the Raptors were faced with another problem. Their franchise player was headed into his contract year, and arguably heading into his prime. Chris Bosh's contract with Toronto was up at the end of the 2009-2010 season. Similar to most players, of any sport, Bosh wants to win. And by NBA standards, winning isn't just games or scoring titles.
It's about the NBA Championship, the Larry O'Brien Trophy, the Finals. Chris Bosh wants to win, and he's going to go to the place where he has the best chance to win. After the season, it was clear that with the roster Toronto had, winning it all was nearly impossible.
The above is the story behind the offseason work for Bryan Colangelo. Changes had to be made and everyone working for the franchise knew it. To keep Chris Bosh, to keep fans, to make money, this team needed an overhaul.
And man, did Bryan Colangelo do that. It all began when the Toronto Raptors received the ninth pick of the draft. Truth be told, this was a weak draft class, not filled with superstars, but solid role players.
With the ninth pick, the Raptors selected DeMar DeRozan, freshman out of USC. Raptor fans were excited with this pick. They were getting an athletic wingman who had a decent mid-range game and didn't force shots. DeRozan was right down Bryan Colangelo's alley, as BC loves to draft athletic players with raw talent, just like Shawn Marion.
The next big move was the Hedo Turkoglu signing rumours.. Mediocre fans were huge on this rumour when the negotiations were going on. But more hardcore fans were speculating on this possibility. By signing Hedo outright, the Raps were left with almost no cap space, and had to give up their rights to Marion, Parker, and Delfino.
Somehow, Colangelo made a four-team blockbuster trade where the Raptors turned two benchwarmers in Kris Humphries and Nathan Jawai, and did a sign-and-trade with Shawn Marion, into a sign-and-trade Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright, Devean George, and the Mid-Level Exception. This gave Toronto the chance to sign free agents and gained yet another wingman.
And sign free agents is exactly what Bryan Colangelo did. He signed a great combo guard in Jarrett Jack, which is a phenomenal upgrade from Roko Ukic backing up at the point. Also, it's another option at the 2 spot barring any injury.
And Bryan "theMangelo" 's latest move is one that is minor, yet major at the same time. Bringing in former Toronto Raptor Rasho Nesterovic by using the Bi-Annual Exception, for a one year/$1.9 million deal is great. He loves Toronto and is an underrated defender. He's a steal for the Raptors and is a great backup.
Also, these moves make Chris Bosh happier, too. He was excited with the Hedo Turkoglu signing, and he was calling Turk encouraging him to sign aswell. Also, him and Jarrett Jack were teammates at Georgia Tech.
The offseason is not even half way over, and it's a safe bet that there will be a few more tweaks made by the Raptors General Manager before the Raptors first game. And it wouldn't be a surprise if another big signing was made either.
Colangelism: The Basketball Religion sweeping the NBA.