Since last summers highly anticipated free agency period many topics have enticed us NBA fans. We witnessed LeBron James unexpectedly leave his home state for bigger, brighter lights, and we also saw Amare Stoudemire’s ego take true form as he headed for New York City with dollar signs on the brain. One story line however went unnoticed by the naked eye. DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems have developed a special bond with each other that has been facilitated and strengthened by non other than Twitter itself. The young Raptors are constantly tweeting back and forth to each other about places they visit and/or things they do together. Now I am not insinuating anything is happening beyond the basketball court so don’t get any funky ideas. As the Chris Bosh saga ended last season in Toronto it was clear that DeRozan and Weems were ready to expand their role on the team. Both players are extremely athletic while also interchangeable at the shooting guard and small forward position. If you are a Raptors fan this is a nice problem to have but with a combined total of two years under their belt it’s unfair to expect relevancy from Toronto in the near future. It will take some time for these two to develop into franchise players however the foundation has already been laid. Sonny and DeMar both have a good head on their shoulders and have not bought in to the egotistical way that so many other young NBA stars have. They possess great chemistry together, (as seen in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League) and are willing to accept the “team first” attitude. This is no doubt the correct formula for future success but just how long will we have to wait to see results (making the playoffs)
Unfortunately for optimistic Toronto Raptors fans this on-the-court romance will likely end in bittersweet tragedy. While DeRozan and Weems are poised to improve on last season’s totals, the Raptors are still headed towards bottom feeder status in a stacked Eastern Conference. Hopefully we see their bond continue to grow on the court and have a positive effect in the win column but without a scorer in the post these two are in over their head. As the duo continues to progress and find their niche on the court one key factor will be working against their success: Bryan Colangelo’s addiction to trading players and over hauling his roster. Colangelo is like the jealous kid who always received the “cool” toy right on the cusp of it going out of style. In 3 years the Raptors identity has changed from wanting a strong post presence with Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh to Euro ball with 9 out of their 15 players being international to young and athletic which is the current trend. Colangelo’s bipolar tendencies will continue to haunt the Raptors until he is let go.
Toronto has what many teams want: two young, athletic wing players with gobs of talent, good attitudes and a solid work ethic. With enough time Sonny and DeMar can turn the Raptors into a solid Eastern Conference team, however time will be their biggest enemy. After successful upcoming seasons Bryan Colangelo will decide to trade one of the two (most likely Weems) without giving them enough time and leeway to become an effective tandem. This exciting plot will end prematurely due to negligence and impatience by the GM. Sonny Weems and DeMar DeRozan’s friendship will tragically end forever after this season . . . Ok that’s a bit of a stretch but the Sonny and DeMar era in Toronto is not bound to last very long.