Now that’s been an offseason!
And it may not be over, but really just how many more magic tricks can Colangelo have up his sleeve.
The Raptors have added 9 new faces to the roster since the end of last season (Hey, I lost count!), not including the 3 new faces from mid-season last year.
It’s time we had a proper introduction to the group.
We can throw in Matt Carroll at the end, just in case Colangelo convinces Dallas that Marcus Banks fills their need for a third string point guard, the same way Matt Carroll could fill the Raptors' need for a third string small forward.
Not exactly earth-shattering but might just happen.
As the Raptors sit today, the depth chart looks something like this:
Point Guard: Jose Calderon, Jarrett Jack, Quincy Douby, Marcus Banks.
Shooting Guard: Demar DeRozan, Marco Belinelli, Sonny Weems
Small Forward: Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright
Power Forward: Chris Bosh, Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson
Center: Andrea Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic, Patrick O’Bryant
When introducing the Raptors, it would be nice to have some perspective as to how they compare to other players in the NBA at their position.
To help this along, here are some baseline stats to keep in mind.
Real average measurements by position estimated from information provided by Draft Express. (when entering the draft)
Point Guards average: 6'2" tall in shoes, weigh 184 lbs, standing reach 8’
Shooting Guards average: 6'4" tall in shoes, weigh 202 lbs, standing reach 8'5".
Small Forwards average: 6'8" tall in shoes, weigh 213 lbs, standing reach 8'8".
Power Forwards average: 6'9" tall in shoes, weigh 235lbs, standing reach 8'11".
Centers average: 6'11" tall in shoes, weigh 251lbs, standing reach 9'2".
Shoes on average add 1 inch to height and measurements should consider the shoes worn on pre-draft measurement day as they can range from 0.5 inch to over 1.5 inches in extreme cases.
The NBA provides statistics on players by position for each year. Last year, the median stats by position were:
Guards: 7.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.1apg
Forwards: 7.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.9 apg
Centers: 4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.6 apg
The median stats are not a target or a goal but merely the statistics that half of the players at that position achieved or bettered.
Of course, having a personal stat below that number means more than half the players at your position had a better statistical performance than you did.
The NBA does not break guards and forwards into PG/SG and SF/PF.
Following are the new players' measurements and stats and including some subjective commentary.
So who are these new Raptors?
First acquisition this offseason.
Projected backup power forward.
6' 8.5" in shoes, 250 lbs, standing reach 8' 11.5".
Evans was acquired from Philadelphia in the trade for Jason Kapono.
Evans fits the mold of the typical power forward, albeit a little heavier and stronger than average.
Last year he averaged 3.3 ppg and 4.6 rpg in 14 minutes and while his historic numbers have been better with more time (5.2 & 7.6 in 23 minutes the previous season), Reggie has stats more like a center than a power forward.
Evans is best suited as a role player with a defensive focus.
A solid veteran, tough and gritty, and an excellent rebounder.
His offensive game is best described as having hands of stone.
Reggie fits the role the Raptors have for him perfectly.
Drafted 9th in the 2009 NBA draft by Toronto.
Projected starting shooting guard.
6’ 6.5” in shoes, 211lbs, standing reach 8’ 6.5”.
DeRozan’s measurements put him squarely in the middle between SG and SF.
As a rookie, coming into the league after only one year at USC, there are no NBA stats for DeRozan yet.
College Stats: 13.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 52% shooting.
NBA Summer League Stats: 17 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 49% shooting.
Coming into the NBA, DeRozan is considered to have a very high ceiling.
Excellent athlete, good lateral quickness, good size, and strength. He rebounds well, has strong mid-range game, and is an excellent finisher.
Many are already pegging Demar DeRozan as the next Vincent Carter.
Remembering that he is only a rookie, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
A free agent acquired from Orlando in a complicated 4-team trade this summer.
Projected starting small forward.
6' 8" to 6' 10"*, 220lbs.
Hedo looks like an average power forward when one sees him on the floor, so 6’ 9” looks to be a reasonable estimate of his true height.
This makes Hedo a big small forward.
Last year his stats averaged 16.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, and 4.9 apg in 37 minutes. A career 38.5% 3-point shooter who attempts about 5 per game.
He was third in team scoring for Orlando in both the regular season and the playoffs. Turkoglu is a legitimate top-25 scoring forward.
Turkoglu is a good ball handler, excellent shooter from range, and runs the pick and roll especially well.
He wants the ball in crunch time and can either facilitate the big play or take the shot himself.
Fitting in perfectly to the Raptors' style of offense, Turkoglu looks to be the missing offensive weapon from previous seasons.
(*Draft Express lists Turkoglu at 6' 8" however prior to 2000, accurate and complete measurements are not always available. NBA & ESPN list Turkoglu at 6' 10".)
Acquired in the same trade that brought Turkoglu to Toronto.
Wright is the projected backup small forward.
6' 6" in shoes, 203lbs, standing reach 8' 8.5"
Antoine’s measurements put him in between SG and SF, but his standing reach suggests he can play taller than his height. Also, ESPN suggests his weight is up to 215lbs.
Last season in Dallas, Antoine averaged 7.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, and 1.2 apg in 24 minutes.
Not known for his offensive game, Antoine comes close in scoring and boards to the league’s median guard, but his assists are closer to half the median.
Wright was drafted as a defensive player and has stayed in the league as a defensive specialist.
Able to effectively guard wing players with good lateral movement and decent size. We’ll just have to excuse that non-foul call against Carmelo that “cost Dallas the series” versus Denver last year.
Reports have stated that the Dallas coaching staff thought a lot of Antoine Wright’s contributions to their team last season.
Wright should fit in well as an effective backup to Hedo Turkoglu or to cover tougher defensive assignments at shooting guard while the young guys develop.
A free agent acquired from Indiana.
Jack is the projected backup point guard.
6' 3.5" in shoes, 198lbs, standing reach 8' 4"
Jack is a big point guard with shooting guard size and reach.
That’s a good thing as Colangelo has indicated Jack will see time at the backup SG spot as well.
Last season in Indiana, Jack averaged a career best 13.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and 4.1 apg in 33 minutes.
By the end of last season, Jack had taken the starting point guard duties away from the veteran TJ Ford.
And by a measure of points, rebounds, and assists, Jack would have been the NBA's 21st best point guard last season.
Jack was not considered good point guard material early in his career, but his strong pick and roll game, ability to force his way to the hoop, above average defense, and rebounding make Jack the ideal backup guard for Toronto.
Acquired in trade from Golden State.
Belinelli is the projected backup shooting guard.
6' 5", 200lbs. (Pre-draft camp measurements unavailable)
Marco Belinelli is the prototypical size for an NBA shooting guard.
Last season he averaged 8.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.1 apg in 21 minutes over 42 games.
Averaging nearly 40% on his three-pointers, he did manage to provide slightly better than median stats for a guard in limited minutes.
Belinelli had what looked to be an excellent season going in Golden State before he was injured and couldn’t find his way back through the maze of wing players Golden State has amassed.
Known for his sweet shooting stroke, Belinelli has been highly coveted by Colangelo.
Scouting European-based talent is something the Raptors are known for.
This year, we’ll get to see what Colangelo and staff were so excited about.
After only one season away tolling for Indiana, Rasho returns to his familiar role of backingup/mentoring Andrea Bargnani at center.
Height 7', 255lbs.
Rasho is a legitimate 7-foot center who uses his size to effectively clog the lane.
Last year was typical for Rasho; 6.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, and 1.6 apg in 17 minutes.
At this stage of his career Rasho is the ideal backup and will provide better than median stats for his position.
Nesterovic is an above-average defender who can block shots and provide an effective mid-range game.
Don’t expect anything explosive, expect a dependable, effective veteran presence while he’s on the floor.
Acquired from Milwaukee in trade.
Projected to fight it out for backup power forward minutes with veteran Reggie Evans.
6' 10", 204lbs
Rumored to be still growing.
Johnson has the height but is decidedly underweight for power forward or center.
Last season he racked up 3.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 1 block in 15 minutes.
Amir’s offensive game is still considered very raw and his basketball IQ should be considered a work in progress.
However, over the past 2 seasons, Amir has shown the potential to be an explosive defender with the ability to affect a game with his rebounding effort and blocks.
If Amir can show progress in his game, it is possible he will displace Evans as the primary backup power forward.
Acquired in trade with Johnson.
A 6' 6", 203 lb shooting guard who barely played last season with Denver. A 2nd round pick last year, Toronto is his 3rd team.
It is rumored he may be released.
Weems would provide a "project" wing player to use in practice and see if he develops. A minimum salary player who comes off the books at the end of the season anyway.
Acquired near the end of last season in trade.
A legitimate 7' center who has intrigued GMs since he was drafted in 2006.
O’Bryant’s contract expires at the end of this season.
Another “project” player, Colangelo seems to think O’Bryant has potential.
Career numbers of 2.1 ppg and 1.5 rpg suggest that if Patrick doesn’t figure it out this year, he won’t get another chance.
Acquired as a 10-day trial player towards the end of last season.
Drafted in 2006, the 6’ 3”, 175 lb Douby never made it past his rookie contract before being released.
Considered a shooting guard, the Raptors have converted him to the 3rd-string point guard spot.
Based on his play towards the end of last season and during Vegas summer league play last month, Douby beat out Roko Ukic for the 3rd-string point guard duties.
Douby finished 2009 with 4.4 ppg, 1 rpg, and 1.7 apg in 10 minutes.
Acquired with Shawn Marion last season, Banks, a point guard, is not expected to play for Toronto this year.
For the moment, Banks highest and best use is the proposed trade with Dallas for Matt Carroll.
Matt Carroll at 6’ 6”, 212lbs would provide Toronto with a needed 3rd-string small forward.
As Carroll is an effective scorer and 40% 3-point shooter, he would provide a nice compliment to Wright for the SF backup spot.
We’ll see in the coming weeks if Banks is still with the team, or not.
The remaining 3 players on the Toronto roster are Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, and Chris Bosh.
But everyone already knows the guys who’ve been around for at least 3 seasons!
Please say your goodbyes to:
Shawn Marion, we hardly knew ya.
Joey Graham, we’ll miss you.
Pops Mensa-Bonsu, glad Houston (anybody) signed you, it was fun.
Kris Humphries, it was a nice run.
Nathan Jawai, we never really got to know you.
Roko Ukic, best of luck in Milwaukee.
Jake Voskul, bye.
Jason Kapono, we will miss cheering for you during all-star festivities.
Here’s hoping I didn’t actually forget about someone already. (I can't believe I did)
Anthony Parker, a great Raptor and a favourite of my wife. We wish you well in Cleveland, I hope to get to watch you in the Q this season!
Now that’s a lot of new faces to introduce at training camp!