Here are the 5 Off-Season Needs that have to and I'm sure will be addressed by President/GM Bryan Colangelo and his staff. Colangelo is a passionate guy who got the Raptors
to the playoffs in his first two years and I'm sure you're not going to find a GM in the league right now who is going to work any harder than this guy in the off-season. He knows his teams flaws and will do all he can to address as many as he can.
1. TOUGHNESS/DEFENSIVE MENTALITY
: Need some players that will bring a level of toughness on a day-to-day basis to practice and games. Need some nasty competitors that absolutely LOVE to get after it and hate to lose. With that said -- players like that take a lot of PRIDE in what happens on the defensive end and get ticked off when they and/or their teammates get exposed and scored on.
A tough defensive minded group will help the offense improve by getting some more misses/rebounds and turnovers forced to increase the pace of the game with the running game.
2. WING POSITIONS:
Simply put, the play at the 2 & 3 spots this year was spotty and inconsistent on both sides of the ball. That needs to change. An upgrade is necessary. Need some people that can create their own shots and put pressure on the defence with the dribble and can create scoring chances for themselves and others. Hopefully, solid three-point shooting is part of the equation as well.
Have to be able to guard their own position a lot better. Most explosive scorers in the league are at these spots and you must have folks who can guard their own spot and not constantly need help which weakens the overall defensive scheme. Lots of decisions here with the free agency of Joey Graham, Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion.
3. BACKUP POINT GUARD:
Yes, I'm still a fan of Roko Ukic and I think in time he'll become a solid to good NBA player. He needs to have a huge summer of growth by tightening up the mechanics of his shot and must be alot better and more decisive as a pure play maker with his decisions as a lead guard.
I think the Raptors
need to bring some insurance in here. When Jose Calderon
wasn't right, the team struggled big-time. A veteran point guard who can run a team, guard his own position and create off the bounce and get teammates easier shots would help bridge the development time for Ukic.
Overall, it's important to remember the concept that 'You're only as strong as your weakest link'. At some point in an NBA season, everyone gets a chance due to fatigue, sickness and injury to play and help a team win. Your second unit must be able to both hold the fort for you and steal you a game now and then. The overall backup scheme I'm sure will be looked at extensively with a fine tooth comb to make sure the reserves are the right fit and fit the price range worthy of their skills and impact on the overall team. Bargain/value players are a need.
5. CHRIS BOSH/FRONT COURT:
Need to constantly monitor the on-going potential free-agency next summer of Chris Bosh
and evaluate how he fits into your plans as it pertains to the future of the Raptors. It's a two-way street. Everyone is all worked up about what Bosh
will do. I look at it the other way. He's the employee and you're the employer -- does he fit what you want both on the floor and how it pertains to your future cap management.
Bosh is a wonderful player who plays hard and produces and this is a delicate process for both sides that impacts decisions made throughout the rest of the roster and in particular how the front court is put together. No right or wrong answer here. Just a major decision that is lurking in the shadows that has to and I'm sure will be managed in a first-class and professional fashion on both sides. The impact on how this develops/works out in the coming months will impact the team big-time.