Toronto Raptors: Shaping Up for Next Season

Sheldon BrownContributor IApril 16, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16:  Jose Calderon #8 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles downcourt against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 16, 2009 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. (Photo by: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

This year, the Toronto Raptors had a disappointing season to say the least. With high expectations, the Raptors just couldn't get into a proper rhythm to make the playoffs.

But this year is over, and now it's time to look ahead.

For the Raptors to get better, they are going to need to address some issues, like their 2-3 spots, as well as inserting some toughness into their team.

I'm going to throw out some points that could help the Raptors this offseason:

Jay Triano

I think the Raptors should try and keep him on. He is a good coach and is good at developing the players. Under Triano's watch, I've seen great improvements in the Raptors' play after timeouts, as opposed to when Sam Mitchell was coaching.

The Draft

What the Raptors need to do is draft an athletic small forward in the mold of Shaun Marion, since I doubt he will be returning.

The Raptors should definitely take a look at Demar Rozen of USC.

The could also try and draft a scoring shooting guard, someone who can break down the defense and create his own shots like Willie Warren of Oklahoma or Tyreke Evans Of Memphis.

Chris Bosh

Right now, I'm feeling split on Bosh. It's not clear if he is leaving in 2010 or if he is going to re-sign with the Raptors.

I like Bosh. He is a great player, but he's not in the same category as franchise players like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, and Dwayne Wade. He is a great second option, but not the go-to scorer the Raptors need.

If Toronto can get a decent return for Bosh—high draft picks, young talent, decent veterans—then the Raptors should make the deal.

Otherwise, they should keep Bosh and see what they can do before 2010.

Andrea Bargnani

All I can say about him is watch out. He is slowly becoming what Toronto thought it would get for a No.1 draft pick.

Bargnani is learning to play inside and his outside jumper is still silky smooth. As long as he keeps developing his game, the Raptors have a superstar on their hands. Not to mention, he's only 23.

Wait 'till he hits his prime.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu

I don't know what it is about this guy, but I like his game and the energy he brings. He is definitely a keeper, as well as a significant upgrade over Kris Humphries.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.