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.