It's been an exciting off-season for almost anyone connected to the NBA, and the Toronto Raptors are right in the thick of it. Toronto's playoff hopes seemed to be shot with the departure of star forward Chris Bosh, but as of now, things are starting to look positive.
With an imminent trade with Phoenix and Charlotte to get Leaondro Barbosa and Boris Diaw north of the border, Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo has strung together a bunch of moves to push the Raptors in the right direction.
Let's break it down.
Raptors lost/losing: Chris Bosh, 24 ppg and 11 rpg in 2010, and (tentatively) Hedo Turkoglu, 11 ppg and 5 rpg.
Raptors Acquired/Are acquiring: (tentatively) Leandro Barbosa, 10 ppg and two rpg, (also tentative) Boris Diaw, 11 ppg and 5 rpg, two First Round picks from the Heat, and First Round pick Ed Davis from UNC, who averaged 7 PPG, 7 RPG, and two blocks per game.
The Raptors have also signed Linas Kleiza to an offer sheet, and unless the Nuggets make an offer by Saturday, the Lithuanian forward will join Toronto.
In short, Colangelo is staying true to what he said in his letter to the fans, and moving past the Bosh era in Toronto and planning for the future.
Both Barbosa and Kleiza would be great in Toronto and would really help to open up the Raptors' offense. Also, seeing how Colangelo and the Raptors have finally learned how to draft, those two picks could turn out to be some great future players.
With all these recent moves, Colangelo is proving to Toronto fans that there is a bright future ahead even without Bosh, and it doesn't look like he's ready to slow down.
There are still some solid role players available in free agency who could really give the Raptors that little extra push that they need.
For next year's starting lineup head, coach Jay Triano can mix and match Jose Calderon, Jarret Jack, Demar Derozan, Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, Ed Davis, and Andrea Bargnani (tentatively).
That's a pretty solid group of guys considering the Raptors are now in the post-Bosh era.
Things are looking up in Toronto, and there's still plenty of time left in free agency. Don't worry Raptors' fans, even if we don't land all these big names, we know we're still better than Cleveland!
**Breaking news! The Raptors have also traded Jose Calderon in a three-team deal that lands them Barbosa, Diaw and Tyson Chandler. They gave up Calderon and Turkoglu and some unwanted contracts just for kicks. Things just keep getting better and better in Toronto.**
**Newest Reality: Tyson Chandler is one his way to the Mavericks, and now the Raptors are only discussing the straight-up trade of Turkoglu for Barbosa. Did we speak too soon? I hope not...**