Toronto Raptors: 5 Steps to Fix the Franchise

Sachin AroraCorrespondent IMay 12, 2011

Toronto Raptors: 5 Steps to Fix the Franchise

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 21:  Andrea Bargnani #7 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during a break in the action against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Raptors 123-90. NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    After the Raptors lost star Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat, many didn't know what to expect of Toronto's new squad, but it was narrowed to two paths by most: a push for the eighth seed or a season to tank for a high draft pick and let youngsters develop.

    At the beginning of the season, the Raps were in the thick of the pack in the playoff race, but then the injuries kicked in and hammered the team down to the third-best lottery chances in the league.

    There are a lot of things that will need to happen in order for this team to contend, but they are headed in the right direction.

    Let's take a look at five steps that need to happen.

1. Bye-Bye MLSE

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    TORONTO - NOVEMBER 29:   MLSE President and CEO Richard Peddie and Brian Burke attend a press conference announcing Burke as the teams new General Manager November 29, 2008 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty I
    Brad White/Getty Images

    New ownership is absolutely necessary for this franchise to succeed. MLSE has shown that the Leafs are the main priority, and this ends up with the Raps at the bottom of the food chain.

    Rumors say that Rogers could be taking over, but for now we still wince at the fact that the Raptors are owned by such crooks.

    I don't think there's a Toronto sports fan out there that wants MLSE to remain the owner of the Leafs, Raptors and TFC.

2. Keep Jay Triano

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  Jay Triano, Head Coach of the Toronto Raptors shouts instructions during the NBA match between New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors at the O2 Arena on March 4, 2011 in London, England. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowled
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Jay Triano's contract is up, meaning the Raptors are going to have to make a decision on him.

    If the Raptors decide to let Triano go, I doubt he will get another job as a head coach, but who am I to say that? Triano has a great relationship with the players, the rest of the coaching staff and the management, and I don't think letting him go is the best move at this point.

    Many people think letting Triano go is the best move because, among other complaints, he's soft and can't teach defense. But at the end of the day, Triano has a great basketball résumé and is a proven basketball coach with experience. Bring Triano back with a defensive assistant.

    If a new head coach is found, then Triano needs to be back as assistant coach.

3. Explore the GM Market

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    What has Bryan Colangelo done wrong? All the moves he's made have looked good on paper, but they never seem to pan out the way he projects them to.

    Colangelo has finally shown commitment to rebuilding, and he appears to be headed in the right direction, but then again, the way he talks makes it seem like he always is.

    The GM market needs to be explored to see if the Raps can land a better option. If nobody steps up to the plate, I don't have a problem with BC returning to Toronto.

4. Get a Real Center

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    BOSTON, MA - MARCH 09:  DeAndre Jordan #9 of the Los Angeles Clippers encourages his teammates during a time out in the final minutes of the game against the Boston Celtics on March 9, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Los Angeles Clippe
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Whether it involves trading Andrea Bargnani or moving him to power forward, it doesn’t matter. The man cannot play center, and as long as he’s at that five-spot, the Raptors will never be successful. Bryan Colangelo has addressed this and he realizes that a center must be acquired.

    This offseason there are many great free agent centers that the Raps can pursue with that chunk of cash they will have to use. There’s quite a bit, but to name a few: DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler, Greg Oden.

    The Bargnani decision will be huge going forward, because he is possibly the Raptor that has the biggest market value, and the Raps absolutely must test the market.

5. Luck out on Draft Lottery Day

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Arizona Wildcats during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Let’s face it, the draft lottery is pure luck. The Raptors will need some help from the basketball gods to draft a team leader, and a real first option.

    DeMar DeRozan could end up evolving into a first option, and then we draft a second option. Regardless, this was a painful season to watch and it will virtually be for nothing if the Raps end up with the 6th pick.

    The only players from this draft that I can see turning into all-stars are point guard Kyrie Irving and forward Derrick Williams and the Raps need to luck out to grab one.

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