Before the season started, the talk in Toronto was a team that could reach 50 wins. Forget just making the playoffs, it was about hosting a round, advancing to the second round. It was about starting to look and act like a threat in the East.
Frustrated, disappointed and heartbreaking was the talk at Bryan Colangelo’s end of season press conference. Those were Raptors general managers own words.
“It’s never easy to look at a team that you feel underachieved or underperformed,” he said.
The Raptors have several goals this summer but only one really matters in the short term — to keep Chris Bosh. Colangelo said the Raptors will try to “maximize” the chances that he stays in Toronto. If going over the salary cap and spending more is what it takes to keep Bosh and put a good team around him, the Raptors will do that, he said. This has to be their main goal, there is no good Plan B for losing your superstar.
When pressed, Colangelo did say the Raptors would consider a sign and trade if they could not keep him. But he didn’t really want to talk like that.
Colangelo also emphasized the Raptors are not starting from scratch. There are the makings of a good roster here, he said, noting the team did go 25-11 over one stretch.
“It’s an inconsistent team to end up with 40 wins, but it’s not a bad basketball team,” Colangelo stated.
So why didn’t the Raptors do something at the trade deadline?
“There were things we could have addressed at the traded deadline. We didn’t do that because the team was playing very well at that moment,” Colangelo said, referencing the 25-11 streak. He sounded like a man who had regrets after watching the team finish out the season.
This team doe have some good young talent — Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems, DeMar DeRozan, to name a few. Look for the Raptors to do something at point guard, as he said the team needed more consistency there, a direct slap at Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon.
Colangelo said he was “disappointed” in Hedo Turkoglu and that he expects the fans’ favorite whipping boy to play better next season. He expects Andrea Bargnaini to continue to improve.
But at the end of the day, it’s about Bosh, who said in his exit interview he has not made any decisions about his summer yet. The Raptors have some pieces and can put some other role players on this team, ones that are a better fit, but the hardest part to find is the transcendent talent. There are not a lot of Chris Boshs available. To have one and let him slip away would set this franchise back much farther than simple inconsistency.