Toronto Raptors: Building a Future Dynasty

Stephen BrotherstonAnalyst ISeptember 1, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16:  Head coach Jay Triano of the Toronto Raptors watches his team in action against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 16, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  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 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Unless Brian Colangelo can pull off yet another amazing magic trick (oops, meant trade), it looks like this version of the 2009-2010 Toronto Raptors has now been set.

All 15 rosters spots are filled and the only outstanding discussions seem to be about trading third string players that no one expects to see any meaningful minutes this season. 

The only real argument about the Raptors rotation should be; can Amir Johnson steal minutes away from the veterans Reggie Evans or Rasho Nesterovic. While it’s not impossible, Johnson will face an uphill battle unless someone gets hurt.

And if Johnson actually can take minutes away from one of these veterans, the benefits will accrue to the Raptors as a team!

Based on last year’s player statistics and projecting forward, what should we expect from this year’s rotation?


Point Guards

Jose Calderon should compete for all-star status like he did two seasons ago and his backup Jarrett Jack should continue his strong production at the same pace as last year.

Calderon: 32 minutes:  14ppg;  3 rpg;  9.5 apg;  1.1 stl;  0.1 blk;  1.5 to

Jack: 16 minutes:  6.5 ppg;  1.7 rpg;  2 apg;  0.5 stl;  0.1 blk;  1 to


Shooting Guards

Expect the rookie DeMar DeRozan to start as indicated by both Jay Triano and Brian Colangelo, backed up by Marco Belinelli, followed by some key minutes allocated to Jarrett Jack.

DeMar DeRozan:  20 minutes;  7 ppg;  2.5 rpg;  1.5 apg;  0.5 stl;  0.5 blk; 1 to

Marco Belinelli:  20 minutes;   9 ppg; 2 rpg;  2 apg;  1 stl;  0 blk; 1.2 to

Jarrett Jack:  8 minutes;  3 ppg;  1 rpg;  1 apg;  0.3 stl;  0 blk;  0.5 to


Small Forwards

Hedo Turkoglu is getting his chance to be a team leader again and all indications are he will step up. Antoine Wright will fill in as a capable defensive backup to Hedo.

Hedo Turkoglu:  36 minutes;  17 ppg;  5.5 rpg;  5 apg;  1 stl;  0.2 blk;  2.5 to

Antoine Wright:  12 minutes;  3.5 ppg;  1.2 rpg;  0.7 apg;  0.3 stl;  0.2 blk;  0.4 to


Power Forwards

With Chris Bosh entering the biggest contract year of his career and over $100 million at stake, expect big things from CB4 this season. Reggie Evans is one of the premier rebounders per minute in the league and there is no reason why that isn’t going to continue.

Chris Bosh:  36 minutes;  23 ppg;  10.5 rpg;  2.5 apg;  1 stl;  1.5 blk;  2 to

Reggie Evans:  12 minutes;  3 ppg;  4.5 rpg;  0.3 apg;  0.5 stl;  0.1 blk;  0.8 to



Andrea Bargnani took huge strides since the start of 2009 and that improvement isn’t going to vanish now. Rasho Nesterovic is essentially the same steady veteran he was for his earlier two seasons with the Raptors.

Andrea Bargnani:  36 minutes;  19 ppg;  7 rpg;  1.5 apg;  0.5 stl;  1.5 blk;  2 to

Rasho Nesterovic:  12 minutes;  4 ppg;  3 rpg;  0.8 apg;  0.2 stl;  0.3 blk;  0.6 to


Team Totals

Rotation Players:  240 minutes; 109 ppg;  41.9 rpg;  26.8 apg;  6.9 stl;  4.5 blk;  13.7 to


Team numbers taken from a group that hasn’t yet played a single game together only provide an indication, a direction from which one should expect this team will go.  Brian Colangelo has put together a group of offensive minded players who like to share the ball. That type of team is what we should be expecting over the course of the season.

If Colangelo has succeeded in finding pieces that will gel into a cohesive team, then the Raptors will be a top team in scoring, a top team in assists, a top half team in rebounding, but a bottom half team in steals and blocks, and an average team in turnovers.

The Raptors should be a scoring juggernaut that could face defensive issues.

It will be up to Jay Triano and his coaching staff to implement an effective team defense in order to take advantage of their superior scoring ability. 

The Raptors could become an exciting team like the Warriors that loses many high scoring games or an explosive team like the Suns that never achieves their full potential.

But if Brian Colangelo and Jay Triano have got this just right, this Raptors squad could be the starting point for Toronto’s first pro dynasty team in many years. 

But let’s just get to the playoffs first!