20/20 vision of the Toronto Raptors

When a noted blogger (i.e Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo Sports!) writes an article, like this:

Kindly leave Bryan Colangelo alone

it deserves, at least, a comment or two from this corner. 

To wit:

KD,

To condemn (Dave) Feschuk & (Michael) Grange for their articles on Bryan Colangelo’s perceived slippage from “Saint” to “potential Sinner” without also reviewing the context of the current situation in Toronto is silly on your part.

Bryan Colangelo was hired as the new GM for the Raptors in Feb/2006.

Prior to that Wayne Embry was the Raptors’ interim GM (he did a good job clearing cap space for his successor, by trading Jalen Rose to the Knicks and moving Eric & Aaron Williams from their roster), after replacing the fired Rob Babcock, whose brief tenure at the helm of the team was an ill-fated disaster, i.e. Toronto missed the missed the playoffs, was forced to trade Vince Carter, wasted a #8 (Overall) draft pick on Raffael Araujo (out of the League today), and finished with a 27-55 W-L record during the 2005-2006 regular season.

Despite the team’s poor W-L record, on the eve of the 2006 Draft, there were a number of positives already in place that SHOULD have ensured a gradual and steady rise through the ranks of the Eastern Conference over the next few seasons EVEN IF Bryan Colangleo had NOT been hired as the Raptors GM (i.e. Feb/2006), including:

* Chris Bosh (C) was beginning to establish himself as the cornerstone of the franchise & perennial all-star
* Charlie Villaneuva (PF) finished 2nd in the the balloting for the ROY
* Jose Calderon (PG/Spain) had a solid 1st season as a back-up to Mike James (arriveded from Houston)
* Morris Petersen (OG) had established himself as a more-than capable starter, as Vince Carter struggled
* Joey Graham (SF) was a solid 1st Round Draft pick
* Other trade assets (like Araujo & Matt Bonner) and significant Cap Space
* 2006 No. 1 (Overall) Draft Pick, plus a relatively high 2nd Rounder

which Colangelo promptly turned into a “too-good-too-soon-without-enough-quality-depth-and-too-little-defense-and-rebounding-or-grit” middle-of-the-road team in the EC by making the following array of moves:

[for 2006-2007]

* Not re-signing Mike James (PG)
* Tradng Araujo (C) to Utah for Kris Humphries (PF)
* Trading Bonner (PF) to San Antonio for Rasho Nesterovic (C)
* Drafting Andrea Bargnani (No. 1 Overall, C-?/PF-?/SF-?)
* Drafting PJ Tucker (G/F, 2nd Round, out of the League today)
* Trading Charlie Villanueva (PF) to Milwaukee for TJ Ford (PG)
* Signing European pro Anthony Parker (G/F)
* Signing European pro Jorge Garbajosa (SF/PF)
* Signing Darrick Martin (PG)
* Signing Fred Jones (G/F)
* Signing Luke Jackson (F)
* Acquiring Juan Dixon (G)

- 47-35 (W-L)
– Made the Playoffs (#3) & LOST to the NJ Nets (#6) in the 1st Round
– Sam Mitchell wins the COY

[for 2007-2008]

* Signing Jason Kapono (G/F, Miami)
* Trading for Carlos Delfino (G/F, Detroit)
* Signing Jamario Moon (F, Free Agent)
* Signing Maceo Baston (PF, Free Agent)
* Trading Dixon for Primos Brezec (C)

- 41-41 (W-L)
– Made the Playoffs (#6) & LOST to the Orlando Magic in the 1st Round

[for 2008-2009]

* Trading Ford + Nesterovic + 1st Round Draft Pick (#17, 2008/Roy Hibbert, C, Georgetown) + Baston for Jermaine O’Neal (PF/C, Indiana) + 2nd Round Draft Pick (#41, 2008/Nathan Jawai, C Australia)
* Signing Roko Ukic (PG, European)

Now your readers can judge for themselves whether or not what Grange & Feschuk wrote about the current state of the Raptors (and, IMO, their AVERAGE performing GM) is accurate or not.

(which is what was submitted by yours truly a few minutes ago)

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6 Responses to “20/20 vision of the Toronto Raptors”

  1. Calderon time + Defending Colangelo + Second round draft history « Arsenalist Says:

    [...] past couple years and suggest that Colangelo could very well be an average NBA GM (this of course set off khandor). I wonder how long Colangelo will milk that division title which we happened to win the year the [...]

  2. Linkage – July 1 Says:

    [...] – Khandor’s Sports Blog [...]

  3. Chutney Says:

    It’d help to address the main point of the article. He summarized it quite nicely in the last sentence:

    “…there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to find a nice middle ground.”

    I thought it was wrong of Dwyer to dump on Grange, since he’s been a very reasonable columnist for a while now. But Feschuck deserves all of that criticism and more. He’s writing articles about how Colangelo’s lustre is rubbing off, when he was one of the many guilty of piling on the compliments so thick in the first place.

    And, I’m not sure what to say of that hindsight other than to say its far too generous. Joey Graham never established himself as a solid draft pick. Araujo stopped being a tradeable asset once he stepped on the floor. Morris Peterson was a consistent starter for about a season before playing himself into Smitch’s doghouse. And Bosh staying with us past his rookie contract was no sure-thing.

    That too-good-too-soon, middle of the road team might have have disappointed us at the end of the past two seasons, but I give them a lot of credit for helping us show Bosh that we were legitimately trying to build a winning team. And it didn’t even tie up our cap space for a significant amount of time.

  4. khandor Says:

    Chutney,

    Thanks for your comment.

    We disagree about the value of Joey Graham, Hoffa Araujo and MoPete.

    Thus far, Graham has been mis-used by the Raptors organization. He remains, however, a talented athlete and a serviceable NBA player.

    The fact Araujo was traded for another serviceable player (i.e. Kris Humphries) verifies the opinion that he was also a player with some value on the open market in the NBA, whether it be in exchange for talent or simply cap space.

    MoPete didn’t become a worse player for Toronto the year after playing his way into the Raptors’ everyday rotation as their starting 2-man, in place of a struggling Vince Carter. MoPete fell into disfavour, in comparison to Anthony Parker, a free agent signee of Bryan Colangelo’s. On the whole, however, MoPete is a better NBA player than Anthony Parker.

    IMO, Chris Bosh was going nowhere other than re-signing with Toronto at the end of his Rookie Contract. Whether the Raptors were “good or not”, at that specific point in time, was irrelevant. Chris Bosh is a young man with outstanding character. He has no intention of leaving Toronto anytime soon, as long as the money is right.

    Money talks in the NBA, as long as clubs are loyal in return to their top players seeking ‘max’ contract extensions.

    Thus far, the Raptors, under the direction of Bryan Colangelo, have been an improved team, during the regular season, in comparison to their years of missing the playoffs completely but their upside is limited by the M.O. of MLSE … which continues to be COST/PROFIT, and not (long term) QUALITY, driven.

  5. Raps Fan Says:

    embry didn’t get rid of eric williams, he was bundled with bonner for nesterovic…i’m pretty sure.

    mopete was definitely not used properly. he has always played hard, but i admit, he was streaky, but definitely a starter in the league.

    i have to disagree on araujo. the guy was a late 1st rounder at best, not a lottery selection, which reflected in his production.

  6. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    Thanks for the correction on Eric Williams. :-)

    Araujo was a lousy player. Fact is, however, he was still a ccommodity with some value on the trade market, as was evidenced by the acquisition of Kris Humphries. Unlike what many others tend to think, getting Hump back in return for Hoffa was nowhere near a ‘steal’ for the Raptors/Colangelo, that’s all.

    2.5 years after taking over complete control of the team, it’s a joke that people still think that Bryan Colangelo is anything more than an AVERAGE GM in this League.

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