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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 30.03.11
Uncertainty surrounds Raptors going forward
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
There are a few certainties within the organization, like the fact that DeMar DeRozan will be back along with rookie Ed Davis. Even the return of Andrea Bargnani is now in question with at least one published report stating the Raptors are open to trading the former first-overall pick.
Of course how can a report like that be believed when the GM himself has a contract that expires June 30th and to date the team has not announced an extension.
In any event, here is a quick look at the questions that face the Raptors as the season crawls to an end.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd’s controlling power the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund is in the process of selling its 66% share of the corporation. This means new ownership for the Raptors unless MLSEL chairman Larry Tanenbaum, who owns about 20% and has first right of refusal on the sale of any stake in the corporation can come up with a group to buy the for-sale shares. How much the basketball team would be affected by new ownership is anyone’s guess. Published reports have at least one member of the seven-person MLSEL board opposing the idea of extending GM Bryan Colangelo’s present contract. Either way, an ownership change is at the top of the uncertainty list for the Raptors.
Wouldn’t even hazard a guess on something as complex as a potential $1.3-billion sale.
Colangelo’s deal expires June 30th. For the better part of the year the thinking has been that the team would extend Colangelo before the year was out. That hasn’t happened. Whether it’s the MLSEL board holding this up or some other reason only the board, and perhaps Colangelo, knows for sure. Neither is saying. But the idea to replace Colangelo only makes sense if someone within MLSEL has a candidate in mind to fill the job. Absolutely no alternatives have been mentioned.
Saner heads prevail and Colangelo gets his extension. We’re not saying he completely deserves it, but unless there is a viable option, it makes no sense to leave the team rudderless even with a lockout looming.
THE HEAD COACH
Jay Triano is in the final guaranteed year of his contract with the team holding an option on the 2011-2012 season that must be acted upon by mid June. He has been given a vote of confidence by Colangelo, but of course that’s only significant if Colangelo is back himself. A 20-win season on anyone’s resume does not look good, but the circumstances — first year after losing the franchise player and the fact that it was a rebuilding year — have to be taken into account.
So what happens
If Colangelo returns, as we are expecting, Triano comes back too. If Colangelo does not return, Triano is likely gone as well.
Raptors’ Reggie Evans ready for anything
On, he’s a sneaky little fellow, as my Grandma used to say.
I’m standing in the doorway out of the practice facility yesterday as the players are filing out and perhaps I’m blocking the exit just a little bit.
Reggie Evans, he being a joker and all, kind of bumps into me on the way out and gives me one of those joking “excuse me, pardon me, didn’t see you there” lines as he goes by.
No big deal, kind of funny, and as he gets in the alcove leading to the outer door, he stops, turns around and comes back. He’s got in his hand my notebook, which he’d pilfered unbeknownst to me from my back pocket.
“Just because I’m in the NBA doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten things.”
Oh, he can be a sneaky fellow.
Toronto vs. Milwaukee
Reggie Evans averages four points a game and has been known to air-ball the occasional free throw. So the sight of him launching jumpers for the last 30 minutes of Tuesday’s Toronto Raptors’ practice seemed somewhat odd. Most found a soft landing in the net.
“It ain’t like I’m looking forward to doing it in the game or nothing like that,” he said Tuesday, “but I’m always working on new things just in case I’m in that predicament.”
It’s unlikely Evans will find himself with many wide-open shots Wednesday night, when the Raptors will rely on their veteran rebounder to do what he does best: outmuscle his opponents, chase down loose balls, and grab enough rebounds to keep the Milwaukee Bucks off-kilter.
The Raptors return home following a 1-4 trip that ended with Saturday's 94-90 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Toronto, which fell behind by 40 points in defeats to Denver and Golden State during the western swing, dropped its fourth straight Saturday after leading by 10 with 8:27 left.
"We're not moving the ball that well," coach Jay Triano said. "... Teams are going to play zone against us, so the ball has to go inside and side-to-side. We're a team that sometimes holds the ball. And when you do that, the zone can match up."
Toronto could find it even more difficult to create offense if leading scorer Andrea Bargnani sits a second straight game with a sore right ankle.
Rookie Ed Davis, though, has shown steady improvement since missing the first 17 games of the season following knee surgery. He posted his second consecutive double-double Saturday with a career-best 21 points and 11 rebounds.
"I'm still fresh because I missed training camp - it's only my 56th game," Davis told the Raptors' official website.
Davis could see plenty of time against Bucks center Andrew Bogut, averaging 22.7 points and 13.0 boards in his last three road games. He had 24 points in the Jan. 28 victory in Toronto.
Milwaukee has won six of eight versus the Raptors and now looks to win three straight in the series for the first time since the 2003-04 season.