Cold, harsh dose of reality for Raptors fans

In general, David Aldridge’s review is an unbiased evaluation of the transactions made by all 30 teams in the NBA, since the end of the 2007-2008 season, when the Boston Celtics were crowned League Champions.

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Ranking the off season moves
PROJECTION: If you think the oft-injured O’Neal has a lot left, the Raptors made a great trade. Pairing O’Neal and Chris Bosh down low gives Sam Mitchell a lethal inside presence, one that will pay off with open looks for the likes of Jason Kopono and Anthony Parker and Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, and make Toronto a force in the Eastern Conference.

If you don’t think O’Neal has much left, the Raptors aren’t going to do much better next season than they have the previous two-going out early in the playoffs-even though Calderon is ready to take over the point full-time and Toronto has shooters that many other teams would love to have.

The guess here is that O’Neal isn’t the player he once was, but may not have to be playing alongside Olympian Bosh. And if Bargnani, the former first pick who took a noticeable and decided step backward in his second pro season, doesn’t get back on track, whatever O’Neal has to give won’t matter much anyway.

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Although this corner does not agree with a number of Mr. Aldridge’s specific assessments … this ↑↑↑ entry is a ruthless slap in the face for mis-guided Raptors faithful who may think their team’s acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal, in isolation, was amongst the most substantial moves made this off season across the NBA.

Unlike the Boston Celtics [28] , San Antonio Spurs [27], Cleveland Cavaliers [23], Phoenix Suns [22] and LA Lakers [21] … generally considered to be included in the top tier of teams in the NBA … the Toronto Raptors finished last season with a .500 record and have been eliminated swiftly from the playoffs each of the past two years.

Given the quality of moves made by other outfits in the Eastern Conference this summer, in relation to the Raptors, it is simply not a given that the Dinos are going to make the playoffs this season, and be able to maintain their present status as one of the up-and-coming teams in the NBA.

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