Tag: Bryan Colangelo

dwane Casey

NBA Season Preview: Toronto Raptors

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Last season: 22-60. It was even uglier than it sounds.

Head Coach: Dwane Casey, who will finally get another crack at a head coaching gig. Casey seemed to be unfairly typecast as an assistant over the last few seasons, but the Raptors have brought him in on the strength of a championship-worthy defensive system. Casey’s man-zone hybrid defenses were a big reason why there was a parade in Dallas this past summer, and the Raps are hoping to instill the same kind of innovative defensive structure.

Key Departures: Sonny Weems, Reggie Evans, Julian Wright

Key Additions: Rasual Butler, Jamaal Magloire. Oddly enough, this is not a bad thing.

Best case scenario: The Raps take full inventory of all of the various pieces in their collection, decide on a true core for the team, and find a few bites on the trade line. There’s no rush of any kind in Toronto; Bryan Colangelo can explore every single possibility out there, while Casey slowly gets the young guys (Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan, et al) up to speed on their defensive fundamentals.

For that to happen: The Raps need to continue doing exactly what they’ve been doing. It’s almost strange to say it at this point, but credit Toronto for not seeing this season as some critical launch point, and credit Colangelo for electing to fill out his roster with low-salary, low-risk players. Many basketball fans have an instinctive, adverse reaction to any team signing Jamaal Magloire, but at this particular juncture, he legitimately makes sense for the Raptors. Toronto is taking aim for next season — when prized draft pick Jonas Valanciunas will make his way to the NBA — giving little reason to invest or trade for alternative center options. Magloire isn’t good, but he’s cheap…and Canadian, which certainly doesn’t hurt. He’s not the answer, but he also won’t be any kind of problem.

This isn’t a team trying to scrap toward 35 wins with the books as forfeit, but a team being mindful of its future as it attempts a slow rebuild. It can be an arduous process, but barring a Draft night home run, it’s what must be done.

More likely, the Raptors will: See above. There’s only one direction for Toronto to go right now, painful as that might be for Raptors fans.

Prediction: 18-48, but hopefully with a brighter future.

Raptors being sold to Canadian media companies


The Toronto Raptors may have made as big a move toward respectability as any team in the league last week… no, not signing Rasual Butler.

The Raptors are about to have new owners. Which is a very good thing.

The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan owns the majority of the Raptors but they are about to sell to Canadian media giants, according to the Toronto Sun.

Sources have told QMI Agency that a deal worth as much as $2 billion is close to being settled with telecommunications behemoths Bell Media and Rogers Communications, who have been rivals in the past for the much desired 79.5% shares of MLSE.

Bell and Rogers represent TSN and Sportsnet, the No. 1 and 2 sports broadcasting powers in Canada, but they will call a truce and split the shares with so many lucrative deals to be spun off their union.

To most people in Toronto, what really matters is that the NHL’s Maple Leafs will also be sold as part of this deal. Also in the mix is the Air Canada Centre and Toronto’s MLS franchise.

The Raptors ownership (which includes a few minority owners as well) always seemed confused and often at cross-purposes, with some odd personal vendettas thrown in for fun. Ideally this change will give Bryan Colangelo a green light to make some serious changes. There are few more passionate (and large) fan bases in the NBA as the Raptors, their fans deserve better.

Report: Raptors close to hiring Stefanski for front office

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The whole thing went down like the plot of some terrible Hugh Grant romantic comedy. It was on. Then it was almost off. But now it is back on again.

We will see if Ed Stefanski and the Toronto Raptors can live happily ever after.

The two sides are close to a deal to make Stefanski the team’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, a deal that should be finalized in the coming days, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo on twitter.

Stefanski was the GM of the Philadelphia 76ers but was pushed aside as part of the new ownership change. In Toronto he will work with Bryan Colangelo, the GM and the guy still ultimately calling the player/personnel shots.

Toronto is in a rebuilding mode right now and Stefanski had mixed success with that process in Philly. He did draft or bring in Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams and Marreese Speights, plus he kept Andre Iguodala as a cornerstone. All good moves. Except he overpaid Iggy and the Elton Brand deal has not worked out well (despite a bounce-back season last year Brand is remains overpaid, although that doesn’t mean you should throw him out).

Toronto, which has a history of overpaying underproducing big men, should be a good fit for Stefanski that way.

We’ll see if he and Colangelo can have a happy marriage in Canada.

Report: Raptors’ talks with Stefanski ‘stalled’ as Sixers GM looks to Blazers

Allen Iverson Press Conference

Remember how Ed Stefanski was going to be the next Raptors GM, essentially working under Bryan Colangelo in what would largely be an assistant role since Colangelo is the guy who runs the show? And how it was a done deal and all that?

Yeah, not so much.

Yahoo! Sports reports that the deal has “hit a snag” and is now considered “stalled.” What that “means” is that Stefanski has “found” another job with better money and/or perks and is trying to get an “actual job” that involves “actual responsibility.” Where, might you ask? And who’s going to take the Raps job, then? Take it away, Wojster!

In the past several days, sources said, this development has caused former New Orleans Hornets GM Jeff Bower to re-emerge at the forefront of the search.

It’s unclear what caused the talks between Toronto president Bryan Colangelo and Stefanski to come undone, but several sources said what seemed inevitable a week ago – the hiring of Stefanski – has been derailed. Stefanski is trying to become more engaged in the Trail Blazers’ search, sources said.

via Raptors still looking for GM – NBA – Yahoo! Canada Sports.

The whole Sixers thing is bizarre. Thorn is brought in despite Stefanski’s presence, then new ownership comes in and obviously spooks Stefanski into pursuing other options. Meanwhile, he’s turning down a cushy job up north so that he can go and be the next in a long line of Blazers GMs who get canned because their owner is moodier than that chick I dated in college who said the Cure was her favorite band.

And then there’s Jeff Bower…

Yeah, no clue what to say about that.

This whole circular structure of NBA GMs is really confusing sometimes. Have we mentioned Kevin Pritchard still doesn’t have a job?

Raptors close to hiring 76ers Stefanski as general manager

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Ed Stefanski, the 76ers general manager who has basically been a lame duck in Philadelphia since the ownership brought in Rod Thon to run the show, is close to landing a new gig.

He is in “advanced talks” to become the GM and No. 2 guy with the Toronto Raptors behind team president Bryan Colangelo, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo.

Stefanski also has been mentioned as a person of interest in the restarted Trail Blazers search for a GM.

Stefanski has had mixed success in Philly. On the plus side of the ledger has been Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams and even Marreese Speights (who can be a solid center in the league), plus he has kept Andre Iguodala in house. The problem is he overpaid Iggy and he signed Elton Brand, who despite a bounce-back-to-solid season last year still has been the deal that killed the 76ers financial flexibility. Basically, he’s got a nice young roster but no way to really build on it for a couple years.

Toronto, on the other hand, is a major rebuilding project right now.