Chisholm rates Colangelo's best moves
Old 05-06-2011, 05:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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3. Signing Anthony Parker and Jorge Garbajosa

July 13, 2010 and July 24, 2010

These two get lumped together because their situations and impacts were so similar. Both were highly coveted Euroleague veterans that Colangelo managed to convince to come overseas to finally try their luck at the NBA. Several teams had tried to get both to leave stardom behind to become role players in North America, but Colangelo was the only one who could get them on a plane. He inked both to modest deals (three-years, $13-million each), but both were absolutely crucial pieces to Toronto's turnaround in 2007. They both brought experience and savvy that helped offset the relative youth of Ford, Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani, they were the team's two best defenders and both were able to pass and hit threes, as well.

Sometimes the obsession with youth in the NBA makes people forget the value of having high-minded veterans to surround that youth with, who help by filling in the gaps in their games, making high-percentage plays and knowing where to be on the court and when. When a team just sends a bushel of young players out to fend for themselves what you end up with is a lot of mistakes at best, and at worst you get players picking up bad habits that will be hard to break down the line. Colangelo got his team strong (and super smart) veterans, he got them cheap and on short deals, and their presence was as important as any youngster's was in making the team competitive that season. When it comes to free agency, these have always been Colangelo's best moves; securing under-the-radar talent with highly economic deals. It's a strategy he doesn't employ nearly enough as he too often looks to bet the farm with four- and five-year deals for guys like Turkoglu, Jason Kapono and Linas Kleiza.

2. Trading for Amir Johnson

There was a point in the summer of 2009 that it looked like a certainty that Carlos Delfino was going to come back to Toronto after a one-year exodus in Russia. Toronto had retained his rights and Delfino had expressed a strong desire to return. However, in a very un-Colangelo fashion, Toronto's GM refused to grant Delfino the lucrative deal he desired. When negotiations hit an impasse, Delfino was signed-and-traded (along with Roko Ukic) for Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems. Johnson, at 22-years-old, had been groomed in the Detroit Pistons system and Toronto got him just when his tutoring was about to pay off.

What Colangelo got, then, was a humble youngster in desperate need of a club that would let him apply his learnings and play through his mistakes. Toronto provided that opportunity, and Johnson rewarded them with a career year. His intensity on the court made him an ideal backup power forward, he showed a remarkable ability to play within himself and he improved steadily as the season went along. Johnson is now a featured part of the Raptors' young nucleus and all he cost Toronto was the rights to a player that they knew they were not going to sign back anyway. Not too shabby.

1. Drafting DeMar DeRozan (9th) and Ed Davis (13th)

June 25, 2009 and June 24, 2010

Coming up with Colangelo's best move as GM of the Raptors is pretty easy. While some of the aforementioned moves gave the Raptors solid support pieces for various areas of the roster, drafting DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis gave the team two foundational pieces for the future of the franchise. DeRozan had a so-so rookie year but exploded in his second, going for 20 ppg after the All-Star break and putting himself in a position to make a huge leap in year three. His numbers and career trajectory track nicely in line with scoring wings like Rudy Gay and if he can improve his three-point average (up from the 0.9% he averaged this year), he could develop into one of the preeminent wing scorers in the NBA.

His counterpart here, Ed Davis, has only one year of experience to draw from, but what he showed over the course of that year was impressive. Like DeRozan, he battled through inconsistency with regards to his effort as a rookie, but he finished the season with solid 7.7 ppg and 7.1 rpg averages and looked every bit like the defender-rebounder type that the Raptors had hoped he'd be when he fell to them in the draft.

It's worth noting that as this relates back to Colangelo, both players have basically played above the level of every player selected after them, and in some instances have outperformed players selected well ahead of them (Jonny Flynn and Ekpe Udoh come to mind). It's exceedingly difficult to get someone better than a role player late in the lottery because most of the top-shelf talent is off the board and you're often left selecting from a group of unproven commodities or safe-but-unexceptional prospects. Teams like Seattle used to get hammered in this area by taking risks on the unproven talent like Saer Sene and Robert Swift, while guys like Brandon Rush, Jordan Hill and Wesley Johnson proved that ‘safe' doesn't always mean safe when it comes to the NBA draft.

Colangelo took two late-lottery picks (9th and 13th) and turned them into valuable assets, and in the case of DeRozan he may have landed a star if he can take the next step as a player in year three. The draft is a minefield and crossing it unscathed is exceedingly difficult but Colangelo did it twice in back-to-back years and has set the Raptors up well, if not yet exceptionally, for the immediate future. Whether or not he gets to remain in charge to finish the job is the most pressing question now facing the Raptors as they look to turn their young core into a meaningful basketball team.
LINK - TSN.ca
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What about Evans for Kapono?

Talk about getting something for nothing. Too bad Reggie keeps getting hurt.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What about trading Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa? That is arguably the best trade in NBA history.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What about trading Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa? That is arguably the best trade in NBA history.
If he didn't trade for Hedo in the first place...
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If he didn't trade for Hedo in the first place...
Hedo was a signing, not a trade. And at the time it was a good signing. Trading him for Barbosa is out of this world.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hedo was a signing, not a trade. And at the time it was a good signing. Trading him for Barbosa is out of this world.
Actually, Turkoglu was S&T to Toronto.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Barbosa isn't even likely to stick around. He's not in the long-term plans. The Evans move was nice, but he's not a big enough factor to qualify as being better than any of the top 3 listed here.
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Colangelo's draft record is actually quite impressive, he also found gems like nash, amare, marion late in the draft (although nash is a bit misleading since he wasn't all that good for a long time). And I still like the Bargnani pick, despite the way it turned out. Bargnani's potential was huge and in that weak draft, only a few players were projected to have a chance to be special.

The one place where colangelo didn't have success (at least here in toronto) is drafting 2nd rounders. While clearly nobody expects a star there, we've never even got a rotation player ...

as far as colangelo's best moves, I'd add trading CV for Ford, many people criticized that trade, but before the injury, that trade turned out to be gold for us. Hump for Araujo wasn't bad either and bellinelli for evans was pretty cool too.
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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and "drafting" jamario moon from the globetrotters was pretty shrewd as well.
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
What about trading Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa? That is arguably the best trade in NBA history.
That was pretty good too, but i think Phoenix got more for him than we did. Gortat and Pietrus was a pretty solid deal.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by moremilk View Post
Colangelo's draft record is actually quite impressive, he also found gems like nash, amare, marion late in the draft (although nash is a bit misleading since he wasn't all that good for a long time). And I still like the Bargnani pick, despite the way it turned out. Bargnani's potential was huge and in that weak draft, only a few players were projected to have a chance to be special.

The one place where colangelo didn't have success (at least here in toronto) is drafting 2nd rounders. While clearly nobody expects a star there, we've never even got a rotation player ...

as far as colangelo's best moves, I'd add trading CV for Ford, many people criticized that trade, but before the injury, that trade turned out to be gold for us. Hump for Araujo wasn't bad either and bellinelli for evans was pretty cool too.
Well, I tend to agree that he's done a good job drafting, I'm not too sure where you got some of your facts.

Amare and Marion were both top 10 picks and Nash wasn't good? He was playing behind Jason Kidd, Sam Cassell and Kevin Johnson his first two years in Phoenix. It's no coincedence that after he went to Dallas and was given more minutes, he showed what he could do.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Actually, Turkoglu was S&T to Toronto.
technically is was a S&T but everyone knows when you sign someone like that the "trade" part of the deal is kind of a throw in so the team with the player leaving gets something back, but its basically a sign
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i also like the tj ford for charlie v, it hasn't really worked out well for either of the players but ford was definitely the better of the 2 in that move
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Barbosa isn't even likely to stick around. He's not in the long-term plans. The Evans move was nice, but he's not a big enough factor to qualify as being better than any of the top 3 listed here.
I don't think it matters. It saved us paying Hedont alteast 50 million over 5 years. Barbosa comes off the books this offseason or next.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, I tend to agree that he's done a good job drafting, I'm not too sure where you got some of your facts.

Amare and Marion were both top 10 picks and Nash wasn't good? He was playing behind Jason Kidd, Sam Cassell and Kevin Johnson his first two years in Phoenix. It's no coincedence that after he went to Dallas and was given more minutes, he showed what he could do.
amare was 9th, don't know about marion - that's pretty late for players of their calibre. Nash was 13th if I remember.

With basically mid to late lottery picks he got a bunch of existing and (hopefully) all stars. Finding a gem by luck is not that hard, but getting multiple ones must equate to some kind of skill.
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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amare was 9th, don't know about marion - that's pretty late for players of their calibre. Nash was 13th if I remember.

With basically mid to late lottery picks he got a bunch of existing and (hopefully) all stars. Finding a gem by luck is not that hard, but getting multiple ones must equate to some kind of skill.
Stoudemire was also a lottery selection, as Phoenix took him with the 9th overall pick in 2002. Nash was the 16th overall selecton in a very good draft class. Marion was also picked 9th overall.

Getting good to great players in the lottery isn't that difficult of a task, but finding the right players for the right system is. Colangelo did this well in Phoenix but he has failed miserably in Toronto, as he hasn't stuck to a single plan during his tenure.
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Nash was also in the 96 draft with Kobe and Iverson. What, something like a 1/3 of the first rounders became allstars and 3 became MVPs. That would have been a tough draft to mess up.
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm a little surprised that the Amir trade made the list. It seems a little underwhelming to include it in a 'best moves' type of thing. I mean i like Amir and all.. i think he has good untapped potential and already playing pretty decently, but he still has a lot of room to improve and going the other way was Delfino who to me was one of the better wing players of the Colangelo era. It's a shame we couldn't have worked things out with Carlos to tell the truth.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm a little surprised that the Amir trade made the list. It seems a little underwhelming to include it in a 'best moves' type of thing. I mean i like Amir and all.. i think he has good untapped potential and already playing pretty decently, but he still has a lot of room to improve and going the other way was Delfino who to me was one of the better wing players of the Colangelo era. It's a shame we couldn't have worked things out with Carlos to tell the truth.
Can't disagree there. But to get Amir for a player they had no intention of bringing back was pretty nice. Giving up on bringing Carlos back was a headscratcher. That just exemplifies how much change there was for the sake of change, while Bargnani and Calderon were committed to a little too readily.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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i'm with moremilk. striking gold with those three picks is pretty impressive, but without say, credit should also go to the suns scouting department. although we've faired well over the past two drafts, he's been working with our old scouting lead from the GG era.

now that i've given him some credit, whether toronto or phoenix, he's stupid with handing out picks in trades.
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