Colangelo on a mission
Old 01-03-2012, 11:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Really, interesting piece. It's long, so click on the link.

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Bryan Colangelo hardly uttered a word when Chris Bosh left the Raptors for the Heat in the summer of 2010. The Toronto general manager did not follow the lead of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who lambasted LeBron James for his “Decision’’ to join Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami.

Colangelo instead has decided to rebuild, hopefully using the draw of Toronto as a premier international city and plenty of salary cap space to lure a major free agent to Canada. That’s the plan, and until it pans out, the Raptors will try to entertain their rather diverse and neophyte fan base with young talent and the promise of better days.


The Raptors looked green and lacked chemistry in their two preseason games against the Celtics, but they rallied to win the season opener against the Cavaliers, perhaps an indication that they won’t be the worst of the Eastern Conference’s lottery-bound teams.

The Raptors have drafted their share of talent in Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Bosh, but they haven’t been able to keep any of them long-term. They are still searching for an identity, and Colangelo feels they are close, despite the constant rebuilding.

“Obviously when I first got to Toronto [in 2006], I felt like the roster needed to be overhauled and we did that,’’ said Colangelo, the son of former Phoenix executive Jerry Colangelo. “And having a centerpiece like Chris made it easy to kind of get competitive quickly and that’s what happened.

“We went from 27 wins to 47 wins and made it back to the playoffs for the first time in five years. The following years didn’t work out so well because although we tried to bridge the gap with additional pieces, it just didn’t seem to come together to the extent that we were competitive enough.’’
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Casey was the de facto defensive coordinator with the Mavericks, and his system contained James and Bosh in last year’s NBA Finals.

“You can see it, watching it every day, you can see that things are starting to change,’’ Colangelo said. “It feels different. There is a little bit of a bend toward defense, obviously. We’re working on laying the foundation for the ramp-up and the ramp-up probably begins in earnest next year.’’

That’s when Valanciunas will arrive in Canada along with another projected lottery pick, and Toronto will have an estimated $20 million to spend on free agents when Leandro Barbosa comes off the books in the summer. So Colangelo will try to sell a major free agent on Toronto, something that has yet to be accomplished in the franchise’s 16 years.

Waiting for all that, said Colangelo, “is really the only thing to do right now. It’s a deep draft and we’re going to get a quality player coming in. I really feel like we’re poised well for the future - just maybe a couple of bumps in the road here over the next four months.’’

Why Toronto has never attracted a major free agent is puzzling. The city is considered one of the best in the world for quality of life, it’s a short flight from the East Coast cities, and the Air Canada Centre is one of the league’s most sparkling arenas. But there remains a stigma to playing in Canada - that you’re playing in front of hockey-crazed crowds that view basketball as more of a novelty.

Bosh had never indicated earlier that he would leave Toronto.

“Chris left in what I would call a very unique set of circumstances,’’ Colangelo said. “It was a free agent frenzy. It was an unprecedented moment in this type of activity and he ended up going to be part of a rock-and-roll band in Miami. And it’s probably a decision nine out of 10 guys would make. And Chris again probably felt like that was the best thing for him.
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Colangelo did not hide his belief that Bosh is not an elite player or franchise cornerstone.

“Even if there was an open market similar to what’s gone on with [Carmelo Anthony] last year and Chris Paul this year and Dwight Howard, he’s not that caliber of player,’’ the general manager said. “It’s just that simple.


“I never had an opportunity to move him for the kind of haul that some of these other deals are producing. But for us to end up with a couple of first-round picks, it was a nice way to segue toward the future.

“As long as we weren’t strapped with a $126 million contract and the inability to really build around the player, we feel like this is probably the best thing that could have happened to us.’’
http://articles.boston.com/2012-01-0...ndrea-bargnani
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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And some analysis:

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Had Bosh stayed, the Raptors would likely still be looking at a core of Bosh, Bargnani, Calderon and DeMar DeRozan for the next few years, with little help coming in the form of very high picks or big money acquisitions.

Without Bosh, the Raptors now have a future-oriented core of DeRozan, Ed Davis and Jonas Valanciunas, with a high pick in a loaded draft class expected this season and $10-20 million in cap space expected for next season. Those content with mediocrity might choose the first option, but smarter basketball people with an eye to the future would almost certainly choose the second.

Whether Colangelo haters or Bosh fanatics want to admit it or not, the fact is that ridding themselves of Bosh and being given the opportunity to truly rebuild for the first time in years was the best thing that could have happened to the Raptors.
The last intriguing Colangelo quote from the Boston Globe interview is this: “We’re working on laying the foundation for the ramp-up and the ramp-up probably begins in earnest next year.” I think a lot of fans have kind of wondered what the actual plan in place is for the current rebuild in terms of a timeline, and Colangelo sheds some light on that question with this quote.

Does expecting this team to start the real climb towards excellence next season go against the very rebuilding project we’ve all been praising, or is Colangelo right in assuming that the additions of Valanciunas, another draft pick, cap space and a full season under Dwane Casey’s wizardry will finally turn this franchise around long-term?
RaptorBlog | Blogs | theScore.com
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The future looks bright for the raps. With Bosh we wouldn't have gotten a good draft pick and would have just stuck around that 8th seed especially now with some western conference talent moving over to the east. No one wants to watch an 8th seed get nowhere in the playoffs and I will gladly take these couple years of tanking for a much higher spot in the playoffs and a possible championship in the future.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Meh. I've grown tired of BC peddling his "oh poor me there was nothing I could do bc Bosh was going to leave and I couldn't get anything for him" shtick.

You built a flawed team around the one star that you had and it didn't work out.

Admit your mistake and move on. Learn your lesson and make sure you get it right this time around.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TORaptor4Ever View Post
Meh. I've grown tired of BC peddling his "oh poor me there was nothing I could do bc Bosh was going to leave and I couldn't get anything for him" shtick.

You built a flawed team around the one star that you had and it didn't work out.

Admit your mistake and move on. Learn your lesson and make sure you get it right this time around.
+1

Idk why BC's so popular in Toronto... I'm not saying he's a poor GM, but he certainly seems to be having problems understanding how a championship team is built. And going all-in on Bosh is a testament to that.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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+1

Idk why BC's so popular in Toronto... I'm not saying he's a poor GM, but he certainly seems to be having problems understanding how a championship team is built. And going all-in on Bosh is a testament to that.
So getting a defensive minded coach who's building a defensive mentality for this team, building talent throughout the roster with draft picks, and having enough cap space to sign a max player this offseason isn't how a championship team is built? Hmm, please tell me how.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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He tried to bridge the gap with additional pieces? Like Jason Kapono?

I'll happily move on if he does.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I absolutely LOVE the fact that so many people leave Bargnani out of the "core". he's only the leading scorer, leading re bounder and most talented guy on the team this year, and like what...25? Ya, he's no core player...now ED DAVIS, there a guy that will really win you games.

Awesome.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TORaptor4Ever View Post
Meh. I've grown tired of BC peddling his "oh poor me there was nothing I could do bc Bosh was going to leave and I couldn't get anything for him" shtick.

You built a flawed team around the one star that you had and it didn't work out.

Admit your mistake and move on. Learn your lesson and make sure you get it right this time around.
He did, and had many times.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I find this piece a little confusing. It begins by saying that BC hardly uttered a word a couple of summers ago, but then what he says to the Boston Globe is exactly what he said then. Is he hardly uttering a word now?

I'm wondering what Colangelo is trying to do. He's travelling with the team. And It looks like he is getting the word out among the American press, regarding the team's situation. But to what ends? Is he making sure he gets some facetime in case he finds himself looking for a job? Is he trying to swing deals? Is he trying to plant some ideas in the minds of the free agent class of next year?

I find this part of the piece a little telling.

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Colangelo fired the friendly but overwhelmed Jay Triano to take a chance on Casey, whose first head coaching stint ended rather unfairly five years ago in Minnesota.
It's becoming more and more obvious that Triano was not suited to coach an NBA team. It might even be questionable as to how he could have been picked as an interim coach when he was. And I'm not wanting to shit on Triano. Everyone in the franchise appears to be doing that already, and I guess he's supposed to be happy that he has a job. But doesn't his fairly lengthy tenure seem to be a case of gross negligence on the part of the GM and the rest of the top brass? Shouldn't it be more important to find the best possible coach for this team, or someone with definite potential to become that, rather than a convenient choice that is likeable enough? This is the kind of thing that I hope can never happen again under new ownership.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I think its a bit of column A, and a bit of B LX. You know I love Jay Triano, but he wasn't perfect, not by a long stretch.

Its seems that he was very easy to put a bad years progress upon, instead of the GM or management. Seems now, Colangelo has to pick up the blame a little, hence he has taken the protection away from is little darlings Bargnani and Derozan. Casey should fare better, and it buys Colangelo more time to work under the facade of positivity and popularity.

As for his "plan", your guess is as good as mine man.... who knows, but I don't think it will be a simple one.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It's becoming more and more obvious that Triano was not suited to coach an NBA team.
Well, I find that extremly hard to believe. Nash loves him and Team USA is all over his nuts.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I've been saying it during the Bosh years and I will say it again - noone could have built a championship team around Bosh as a centerpiece. Chris is a good, even great (sometimes) player whose skills are simply not there to serve as a franchise player. He doesn't even dominate his own position night in and night out, let alone being able to affect the whole team/game the way a super-star should. As such, Colangelo was trying to achieve the impossible - build a contender around a non-franchise-level star in an undesirable location for top free agents (deservedly or not). Bosh's decision to bolt has indeed solved a lot of problems for our GM, problems that otherwise would have been very hard to solve without losing a lot of face with fans and players.

Now, at least, we are going to hopefully have a chance to draft a franchise-level performer while already having some nice youngish pieces and some serious cap room. But, alas, it all once again hinges on our luck in this upcoming lottery (I hope they won't make the playoffs) and on BC's drafting acumen. This is his chance, and he better not blow it!
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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good post mike
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I would just hope that not everything hinges on the concept of a franchise player. There is the possibility of having enough really good pieces that could grow together and become a well-balanced and deep team, particularly under a coach that looks more than capable of defining roles well. That situation could allow for free agents to see this as a desirable location in a hurry as well.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I would just hope that not everything hinges on the concept of a franchise player. There is the possibility of having enough really good pieces that could grow together and become a well-balanced and deep team, particularly under a coach that looks more than capable of defining roles well. That situation could allow for free agents to see this as a desirable location in a hurry as well.
agreed, but there are so many teams in this league that when the raps look desirable there is always another US team that looks equally desirable.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I would just hope that not everything hinges on the concept of a franchise player. There is the possibility of having enough really good pieces that could grow together and become a well-balanced and deep team, particularly under a coach that looks more than capable of defining roles well. That situation could allow for free agents to see this as a desirable location in a hurry as well.
totally agree. I'm not big on the whole top guy thing either.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I would just hope that not everything hinges on the concept of a franchise player. There is the possibility of having enough really good pieces that could grow together and become a well-balanced and deep team, particularly under a coach that looks more than capable of defining roles well. That situation could allow for free agents to see this as a desirable location in a hurry as well.
There is no real evidence to support such hope, I am afraid. Aside from Detroit's and Dallas' short-lived championship runs (and both of those, arguably, were aided by the circumstances surrounding more traditional contenders in those years), no NBA team in modern history has won it all without having at least one mega-star, and in most cases multiple ones. I concede that a good team could be built without a franchise guy or two, good enough to reach playoffs with consistency and perhaps even get out of the first round every season. But to win a conference, let alone the rings, or to at least have a well-grounded hope of doing so, you need at least one super-star, surrounded by the good team you were writing about and coached by a good coach capable of harnessing the star power and defining roles at both ends of the floor everyone would buy into. Of these three required ingredients we, perhaps, have the makings of the latter two. The first one is still missing, and has been missing throughout the short history of our franchise. So far.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I've been saying it during the Bosh years and I will say it again - noone could have built a championship team around Bosh as a centerpiece. Chris is a good, even great (sometimes) player whose skills are simply not there to serve as a franchise player. He doesn't even dominate his own position night in and night out, let alone being able to affect the whole team/game the way a super-star should. As such, Colangelo was trying to achieve the impossible - build a contender around a non-franchise-level star in an undesirable location for top free agents (deservedly or not). Bosh's decision to bolt has indeed solved a lot of problems for our GM, problems that otherwise would have been very hard to solve without losing a lot of face with fans and players.

Now, at least, we are going to hopefully have a chance to draft a franchise-level performer while already having some nice youngish pieces and some serious cap room. But, alas, it all once again hinges on our luck in this upcoming lottery (I hope they won't make the playoffs) and on BC's drafting acumen. This is his chance, and he better not blow it!
Hogwash.

Is this is the part where you tell me that BC did a good job in surrounding Bosh with complimentary pieces? Like Kapono, Hedo and a broken down JO?

In the 7 years that Bosh was here we NEVER had a strong defensive C.

Or an all-star calibre wing player (since VC left when Bosh was a rook).

Or any players who cared a lick about playing defense on a regular basis.

You don't win when your team is entirely dependent on 1 single player. Ask T-Mac when he was in ORL. Ask KG when he was in Minny. Ask Kobe when he was on his own in LA. Ask Wade before the other 2 stars got there.

What do you think our team would have looked like if VC had stayed to be paired with Bosh? Or if we had acquired a player like Chandler or Okafor or Camby to man the middle and kept Marion at the 3 instead of filling the 3 and 5 spot with redundant jumpshooters?

I'm sorry, but there's ZERO evidence to support the claim that Bosh is "impossible to build around" because the Mavs just won the title last year building around a guy with similar skills.

As for the claim that he "doesn't dominate his own position".... ummm... what exactly have you been watching the past 8 years or so? Did you miss him shred the Bulls (with one of the best defensive frontcourts in the league)? Did you miss the games where he torched the Lakers? Were you absent when he avgd 24 & 12 in his last season here?

C'mon Mike. You know as well as I do that BC dropped the ball on this one. Don't make excuses for him.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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There have been teams where superstars became superstars thanks to their growth together, playing in well-defined roles. The multiple in your post means a great deal Mike. The more guys that can make the sum greater than the parts the better, and eventually you might have some great parts where any of them singularly might amount to "franchise" players in need of support. I would say that multiple assets can also allow for longer stretches of competitive seasons and the ability to tweak rosters in order to keep the window open.
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