The Raptors Stay Competitive While Rebuilding

Ian McDonnellContributor IJuly 13, 2010

CHARLOTTE - APRIL 24:  Forward Boris Diaw #32 of the Charlotte Bobcats looks to pass during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Orlando Magic during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 24, 2010 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.  The Magic beat the Bobcats 90-86.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

I am an optimist when it comes to the home town team. You have to be an optimist when Toronto is the sports city you live for.

My optimism allows me to look at the (in the works) trade for Tyson Chandler, Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa and say “I can dig it.”

A franchise could crumble when it loses the player of focus. However, in Toronto, that happens every six or seven years.

It will happen again.

Chris Bosh leaving was no surprise. Everyone saw it coming. It was anticlimactic in the end.

You can thank LeBron James for easing the trauma by giving us a look at a full fledged kick in the nuts. Compared to “The Decision,” Bosh’s exit was tame. We can move on.

With Bosh gone, something needed to happen. The Raptors had two choices. Rebuild or re-tool.

Mr. Colangelo is coming to the end of his own contract. He decided to re-tool.

Assuming the proposed transactions go through, these are the players departed and acquired.


Hedo Turkoglu

Jose Calderon

Reggie Evans


Tyson Chandler

Boris Diaw

Leandro Barbosa


The remarkable thing with this deal  is that the Raptors have freed up a considerable amount of money for the future. Take the extra cash and the two first round picks we got for the sign-and-trade with the Heat, and all of a sudden the future isn’t looking so bad.

Even though the Raptors are re-tooling to compete next season, they are doing so with big expiring contracts that allow the team to rebuild much sooner than they could have with Calderon and Hedo’s heavy contracts on the books for the next half decade.

This is a great consolation prize if the Raps eventually end up missing the playoffs again (which has a good chance of happening. I’m not that much of an optimist.).

I don’t really have the patience to do the number crunching.

Getting a legit center to play beside Andrea and a proven (if not streaky) forward to replace Turkoglu for the cost of an overpaid PG in Calderon, beloved as he is, was a good deal.

If Chandler leaves after this season, so what? His contract goes with him.

Chandler and Diaw won’t hinder the developments of Ed Davis and Solomon Alabi, not with Evans and Turk leaving.

Andrea can move to the five whenever they need him to and Davis will get his minutes.

As for Alabi, he will be wearing a suit until someone goes down. Alabi has potential but he is just too raw to see considerable time next season.

No one needs to talk about the Turkoglu trade. He had to go.

Barbosa gets paid a little too much as a spark off the bench. His contract only has two years left and is still less than Hedo’s. I like it.

Call me crazy. I like the new line up.

Bosh left. I thought I would care more. I don’t.

This team could win 40 or more games and there are still moves to be made.

These moves will keep the team competitive without compromising the future. This team is going to be young and have a high ceiling next year with the fresh talent coming in.

If nothing else, at least we won’t have the worst defense in the NBA anymore.



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