Understanding Bryan Colangelo’s method of operation (good & bad)

The Other Side of the Indiana-Toronto Trade, by David Berri, should be mandatory reading for those who still don’t understand the strengths AND PARTICULARLY the weaknesses of the Raptors’ current GM, who has (i) de-constructed one solid franchise (Phoenix I), (ii) built one regular season but not playoff great good franchise (Phoenix II), and is in the process of (iii) re-building a second one of a similar ilk today (Toronto I).

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Let’s summarize all of this by considering the recent big moves in Toronto. 

  • This year we have the O’Neal trade. When we consider O’Neal’s lack of productivity in 2007-08, the loss of T.J. Ford, and the loss of Toronto’s first round pick, it’s hard to see how this trade helps the Raptors.  
  • Last year the Raptors signed Jason Kapono, who produced -2.0 wins this past season.  Not Bargnani bad, but still not a level of productivity that helps.   
  • And then in 2006 the Raptors drafted Bargnani with the first pick overall.  Clearly this move hasn’t quite worked out either.

If we consider each of these major moves, it looks like the tenure of Bryan Colangelo has not been successful.  But then we consider the following names: Calderon, Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker, and Carlos Delfino.  Each of these players are above average talents who were acquired very cheaply by Colangelo. 

In sum – as I noted last January – Colangelo seems to have a knack for finding productive players who are also quite cheap.   It’s just the big decisions – trades, free agents signings, and the draft – that seem to cause problems.

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Do yourself a favour and read the entire article; it’s filled with pertinent information, if you’re a keen observer of the Raptors.

As with many people in Life, a strength is (simultaneously) also a point of weakness.

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Option 1: If the Raptors would have been able to acquire Jermaine O’Neal in exchange for Andrea Bargnani, straight-up, while keeping Rasho Nesterovic, then that would have been a solid trade for Toronto (if they wanted to try and win now and down-the-road), according to these eyes. Part II might have then involved trading TJ Ford (to Philadelphia) for a young, athletic and serviceable G/F, like Rodney Carney, and. keeping their #17 (Overall) Ist Round Draft Pick (i.e. Part III).

Option 2: If the Raptors would have been able to acquire Jermaine O’Neal in exchange for Andrea Bargnani plus TJ Ford, while keeping Rasho Nesterovic, then this, too, might have been a solid trade for Toronto (if they wanted to try and win now, plus down-the-road). Then, Part II would definitely have involved keeping their #17 Draft (Overall) 1st Round Draft Pick.

Option 3: What the Raptors actually did, though, is the one which presents the most risk (comparatively speaking) to the short & long term prospects for success of their team … when coupled with other cost-minimization decisions like (a) signing a low-end Free Agent for roster spot #12 (i.e. Hassan Adams) and early talk of signing only 1 more low-end Free Agent player, prior to the start of training camp, and going into the 2008-2009 season with a tighter playing rotation and a 13-man (NBA minimum-allowed) roster.

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In general, ‘activity‘ should not be confused with (actual) ‘accomplishment‘.

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11 Responses to “Understanding Bryan Colangelo’s method of operation (good & bad)”

  1. Raps Fan Says:

    if the raptors didn’t buy out garbajosa, and used him as trade filler (where indiana would just buy him out after) would have worked out as well. then you could have included tj/bargnani/garbajosa/baston and been very to having that outgoing salary match o’neanls incoming one.

    i still think this raptors team will struggle to score in the playoffs for a couple reason:

    1. i still don’t think smitch can call the right plays to maximize what this team is now – a half court team.
    2. there is no one on the wing who can create their own scoring opportunities.

    also, without the addition of a player on the wing (pietrus, artest) who can defend, and reduce penetration, things could be really bad for bosh and o’neal trying to rotate over to help. hopefully that gets addressed as well.

  2. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    There were any number of other trade options available for the Raptors, each one better than the one they chose to exercise.

    As I’ve said before … to these eyes:

    Sam Mitchell is a first-class man who is improving as an NBA head coach but there is nothing on his list of accomplishments to-date that suggests he’s a top notch practicioner in this League;

    Bryan Colangelo is a good man who is an average GM in the NBA.

    It will be very interesting to see how the 2008-2009 season plays out for each of these gentlemen.

  3. Toronto Raptors Player Roster 2008-2009 « Khandor’s Sports Blog Says:

    […] Understanding Bryan Colangelo’s method of operation (good & bad) […]

  4. Jim Stark Says:

    I don’t know what exactly are you saying? Are you saying that trading Andrea Bargnani for Jermaine O’Neal straight up would have been good? But didn’t the Raptors get Jermaine O’Neal without trading away Andrea Bargnani. So isn’t that good? It’s not like #17 pick (Roy Hibbert) would had helped the Raptors much. So it was worth trading for if they can get a chance at a all-star like Jermaine O’Neal.

  5. Jim Stark Says:

    Also Rasho Nesterovic sucks and I believe even an injured Jermaine O’Neal is better than him.

  6. khandor Says:

    Jim,

    Thanks for your comment.

    The Defense & Rebounding Nesterovic brings to the table every night at the Center position in the NBA, without having to score to be effective, is a valuable commodity … not to mention the attractiveness of his expiring contract to other GM’s.

    Getting O’Neal for Bargnani AND keeping Rasho (non-score; defender/rebounder) would have been a better fit for this team, IMO, than getting O’Neal for Nesterovic AND keeping Bargnani (3-Pt Shooter; non-defender/rebounder).

    As the 2008 Draft unfolded there were other good players available at #17, in addition to a solid Big like Roy Hibbert.

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  8. khandor Says:

    sandra,

    Thanks for your comments and welcome aboard! 🙂

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