Honey, We Lost the Franchise! What Now for the Toronto Raptors?
A day shy of the seventh anniversary of his first contract in Toronto, Bosh left the team he called his own for the bright lights and championship promises of the Miami Heat.
One could argue the Raptors still have pieces to compete, and potentially even catch the tail end of a playoff seeding but that is a shaky scenario for even the most optimistic Raptor fans.
Here is what Toronto are left with...
Andrea Bargnani is a guy that is not a pure center.
He is offensively gifted no doubt, and his inside game has improved, but his defensive woes are still a major problem until Ed Davis develops.
The Raptors would be smart to look into a legitimate center so Bargnani can be closer to his natural pre-NBA position at the 3 spot.
Hedo Turkoglu had no plans of returning to Toronto a few weeks back. He has changed his mind since, but can Toronto afford to keep an overpaid, inconsistent guy that has failed to prove his loyalty on a number of occasions?
The point guard situation is what it is with two guards that play incredibly different games.
With Calderon, the Raptors have a guard that is between the fifth and tenth best in respects to playmaking, but has become injury prone and a liability on defense.
Jack is a better defender and often looks for his own shot first (which became increasingly frustrating with low game clocks!).
But the biggest difference between the two is about $5 million dollars in salary.
Sure, Toronto have one heck of an exciting team with DeRozan and Weems and all, but what comes next into transforming Toronto into a winning team?
Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo done a good job on starting the transformation when he drafted Ed Davis out of UNC. The key, Davis is an absolute force when it comes to interior defense.
Some of the pieces put in place could very well stay; DeRozan, Weems, and Johnson have nothing but time to mature and blend into a newer more defense oriented Raptors squad and there is no reason for the Raptors to include either in a deal.
The rest of the team,however, is a different story.
Marcus Banks and Reggie Evans are both set to make more money than Jarret Jack in the upcoming season; am I the only person that thinks this is ridiculous?
If possible the Raptors could wrap these contracts up with any deal for Calderon or Turkoglu.
If the Knicks were interested in Calderon wouldn't it be lovely to see how a sign-and-trade for David Lee would work?
Wherever Calderon and/or Turkoglu are traded I will trust Bryan, but one thing I do firmly believe in is that the Raptors NEED to be involved in a sign-and-trade for Chris Bosh, if nothing else than to get a trade exception and the rights to the draft pick lost in Jermaine O'Neal deal.
This year could potentially get messy, so swallow your pride, give Bosh his money, and if the Raptors must go fully back into rebuild mode, they will be going in swinging.
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