It has been made clear to fans that the chances of Chris Bosh staying in Toronto after his contract is up is slim. Despite this, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is doing all that he can to make him stay. Should recently acquired Sonny Weems stay with the Raptors and not go to a D-league team, they would have a full fifteen-man roster.
Out of those 15, only three are returning players from last season: Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon and recently resigned Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors had a season that ended up much below expectations last year with only 33 wins. Colangelo has done all that he can to change the image of this team, make them better, and to make sure Bosh remains a Raptor for years to come.
Bosh has been the face of the franchise ever since (the much-hated by Raptor fans) Vince Carter left Toronto in one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. In his career, Bosh has averaged close to a double-double with 19.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg.
In 2008-2009, Bosh had his best scoring year of his career and second best rebounding year. The last four years, he has had just over 22 points per game and has stayed consistent.
It has been rumored that he doesn't want to stay a Raptor because Toronto is a small basketball market, and he wants to go play in a larger, more winning market. The hopes of Toronto fans and Bryan Colangelo is that if the Raptors can put a winning product on the court and win a few playoff series, that Bosh will want to stay with the Raptors.
Out of all the changes made by the Raptors this summer, the one that is by far the most significant is the signing of former Magic swing man Hedo Turkoglu. Last season, Turkoglu averaged 17 ppg, 5 apg, 5 rpg and 1 steal a game. With the addition of Hedo, the Raptors found that playmaking wing player they've been desperately seeking since Vince Carter left.
Other significant additions include Jarrett Jack, a solidified point guard who can back up Jose Calderon; DeMar DeRozan, a high-flying rookie they acquired in the draft; Reggie Evans, a rebounding machine; and Marco Bellinelli, a young swingman with a great outside shooting stroke.
Although the Raptors have made a lot of changes, one worry of Raptor fans is that they didn't move forward, just sideways. They got a lot of new players, but did they necessarily get better players? Let's weigh the changes.
Key Aquisitions: Hedo Turkoglu, Demar Derozan, Jarret Jack, Reggie Evans, Marco Bellinelli, Rasho Nesterovic
Total PPG from last year: 48.9
Key Losses: Shawn Marion, Anthony Parker, Joey Graham, Jason Kapono, Kris Humphries
Total PPG from last year: 43.4
So based on last years stats, the acquisitions that they have made are better scorers then those of who they gave up, and that doesn't even count what DeRozan will score this year because there were obviously no NBA stats for him from last year since he is a rookie.
Personally, I think the Raptors have moved forward with these moves and will be a better team this year then they were in years past. This is the best Raptor team I have seen since the pre-Vince Carter Being A Baby Era, and I would not only expect them to make the playoffs this year, but possibly, if they are on a roll at the end of the season, to win a first-round playoff series.
Hopefully for the Raptors, Chris Bosh will see the effort Colangelo and the gang have put in to make this team a contender and will want to stay in a Raptors uniform. If he stays, the Raptors can continue to move forward while building their team around Bosh in hopefully becoming NBA champions in the years to come.
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