Inside the Paint: the Raptors Could Be the Most Entertaining Team In the East

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2009

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 19:  Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates after making a basket against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 19, 2008 in Miami, Florida. The Raptors defeated the Heat 101-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Bryan Colangelo has remade this team for the long haul. By the time the season starts in October, the Raptors could have as many as eight new faces in the locker room.

Not to mention an entirely new coaching structure and a new style of play that will emphasize tough defense with a more fast break style of play.

What excites Raptors fans most is the amount of positive change that has transpired over the last few weeks during the summer.

It is welcome news for Raptors fans that Jarret Jack, Antoine Wright, Reggie Evans, and Rasho Nesterovic, all character guys with good locker room qualities, are happy to be in Toronto, but more importantly, that the core of the Raptors is still intact.

Chris Bosh would be wise to re-sign for Toronto next season, but if not, then the Raptors know that they can either sign and trade Bosh in the offseason, or hope to swing a deal or make a push for another coveted high quality player.

The Raptors now look like a team capable of winning anywhere between 45 to 50 games in a season, but more importantly, have a ton of depth at the 2, 3, and 4 positions that they lacked last season.

Players such as Marcus Banks, Patrick O’Bryant, and Roko Ukic would possibly be third stringers on the team, but at least compared to most third stringers around the league, the Raptors may boast depth at the strings as well.

Colangelo is known for wanting his teams to play the fast break, and players like DeRozan, Belinelli, Wright, and Turkoglu can spread the floor and shoot the ball, not to mention Bosh, Calderon, and Bargnani all capable of scoring at least 60+ points a night as a trio.

It’s a wonderful ploy for first-time full time head coach Jay Triano, who hopes to continue on the success his team gained towards the end of last season.

Triano knows he would have to utilize the offensive output in his newly assembled squad, but also find a way to accommodate everybody who wants his share of the ball.

He would have to emphasise the importance of teamwork and unity, defense surely would be the focus coming into training camp, and Jose Calderon may finally have a worthy point guard challenger in Jarret Jack, who comes across as the team-first type of player, and locker room personality.

The Raptors could finally reach the mark of being a 100 point scoring team in the league, but all of that would depend on the shoulders of Bosh, Calderon, Belinelli, Turkoglu, DeRozan, Bargnani, and Jack.

In other words, the Raptors could give teams such as Phoenix, Lakers, Golden State, Knicks, and the Mavericks a run for their entertainment value money.