NBA Toronto Raptors

Bryan Colangelo Era for Toronto Raptors

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Bryan Colangelo-era in Toronto

Bryan Colangelo-era in Toronto
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

In 2006 the Toronto Raptors won their first division title in franchise history. That was the first time a Canadian-based NBA team had won a division title. Around this time Bryan Colangelo was given the keys to run the franchise. What sort of upswing path did he put the Raps on? Let's take a look at the successes (mostly failures) of the BC-era.

This slideshow article is a look at the trades, drafts, free agency, and management hires/fires in the Colangelo-era.

When BC took over the franchise in 2006 there were likely 7 franchises in the entire Association that had a brighter outlook than the Raptors.

The San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavs made it to the NBA Finals (players like LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker all elite even then).

Detroit Pistons still had their core together from their 2004 Championship squad.

The Utah Jazz had Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur, Matt Harpring, and very young talent like Deron Williams/Paul Millsap/CJ Miles/Ronnie Brewer.

The Phoenix Suns had Amar'e Stoudamire and Steve Nash doing their All-Star thing, and young Leandro Barbosa and The Matrix Shawn Marion combining for 36 points per game.

Dallas Mavericks had Disco Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and young talent like Josh Howard and Devin Harris.

The Houston Rockets had Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady (remember in 2006 these 2 had significant relevance in the Association).

6 years later that list of 7 has grown significantly. 22 teams in the NBA had a better record last season than YOUR TORONTO RAPTORS.

The Raps are 209-278 in the Colangelo-era. The franchise's winning percentage prior to BC was .392. Of course the majority of those losses are attributed to the first few seasons when they were a lowly expansion team. Under BC the winning percentage is .432. So despite taking over a team on the rise, and despite being a decade away from being a expansion franchise BC has been able to add a measly 4 wins in every 100 games. Yikes.

The best Raptor in the BC era was Chris Bosh. BC did not draft Bosh, and of course he completely miss-managed the Bosh situation by not trading him when the value for return assets was there.

BC was humiliated numerous times by trades and FA signings he wanted to do that were ultimately squashed. To this day I find it unforgivable that BC did not know the NBA rules and thus the sign-and-trade of FA Matt Barnes was rescinded by the NBA. Ridiculous BC.

For me personally when BC gave 24 million in free-agent money to Jason Kapono a few years back I lost my faith in him right there. It was actually Chuck Swirsky who talked me off the ledge of creating a Fire BC campaign (like anyone would listen to me, but still!).

Now there is no way on that I would ever suggest that I know more about basketball than the Swirsk, but he gets to watch sensational b-ball these days with the Chicago Bulls while Raps fans play the role of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day - same lame roster moves over and over again by BC and his BFF Maurizio Gherardini.

3 playoff wins in 5 years. Not 3 playoff series wins (which still would be bad), but in fact 3 games.

Thank you for your read! Know a Raptors fan? Then please pass it on... for all of my Toronto Raptors articles. Follow me on twitter @Raptors_Rap

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Bryan Colangelo Free-Agent Signings

Bryan Colangelo Free-Agent Signings

Colangelo has been a swing-and-miss guy with free-agent signings. Check out this track record...

Anthony Parker...235 games for the Raps (226 starts)...11.9 points per game as a Raptor.

Jorge Garbajosa...74 games for Toronto (60 starts)...8 points per game as a Raptor.

Fred Jones...39 games (9 starts)...7.6 points per game.

Jamario Moon...132 games (114 starts)...8 points per game.

Maceo Baston...15 games (2 starts)...2.7 points per game.

Jason Kapono...161 games (19 starts)...7.7 points per game.

Hassan Adams...Will Soloman...Jamal Sampson...Pops Mensah-Bonsu...Quincy Douby...Do you see any contributors here? Me neither...

Hedu Turkoglu was the result of a historic blunder. Colangelo acquired Jermaine O'Neal and his expiring massive contract (a contract that was grandfathered to the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement so when it expired it was worth more that 1 entire max-salary. HUGE asset).

Colangelo was supposed to use that money when it came off the books to be a major player in the summer of 2010. You know, the summer where LeBron, Bosh, Amar'e, Carlos Boozer etc changed teams. Would any of them signed in the T-Dot? Unlikely, but the Raps would have been in prime position to be the needed 3rd team in sign-and-trades thus would have been able to add several assets.

Instead BC traded O'Neals contract for the Miami Heat for Shawn Marion (?) which set up the Raps as the big players in the 2009 summer. I think we know how Miami used that money to build their BIg-3, while the Raps used theirs to overpay Turkoglu so they could steal him from the Portland Trail Blazers. Yikes.

I have heard Colangelo remark that the franchise may never recover from that blunder.

Jarret Jack...95 games (56 starts)...11 points per game.

Joey Dorsey...43 games (9 starts)

Rasual Butler and Anthony Carter...Both waived almost immediately.

Gary Forbes...48 games for the Raps (2 starts)...6.6 points per game.

Jamaal Magloire, Aaron Gray, Alan Anderson are still authoring their Raps career, while Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields, and John Lucas III are about to begin theirs.


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Bryan Colangelo Trades

Bryan Colangelo Trades

Colangelo's trade history has a real hit-or-miss feel to it...

It started of brilliantly with the trading of Rafael Arraujo to the Jazz for Kris Humphries. Humph came off the bench 99 times for the Raps and he gave them 5.2 points per game. To get any NBA player in exchange for a non-NBA player like Arraujo was impressive.

Fan fave Matt Bonner was traded with Eric Williams (big piece of the Vince Carter trade) for Rasho Nesterovic. Rasho played in 193 games for the Raps. He averaged 6.3 points per game.

Charlie Villanueva was traded for T.J. Ford. Ford played in 126 games (97 starts) for Toronto. He averaged 13 points and 7 assists per game.

Carlos Delfino was acquired by BC and he came off the bench 82 times, averaging 9 points per game.

Juan Dixon was traded for Primoz Brezec. The big fella played a mere 13 games for the Raps, and added just 3.7 points per game.

Ford, Rasho, Baston, and Roy Hibbert were traded for Jermaine O'Neal. Brilliant move which set up a bright future once O'Neal's contact expired, but as we looked at earlier BC messed that up.

Patrick O'Bryant was acquired...ahem...

Kapono was traded for Reggie Evans. Evans was injured way more often than not and his Raps career never took off as a result.

BC traded for Marco Belinelli who played 66 games for the Raps (1 start) averaging 7 points per game.

Antione Wright was acquired, but lasted just 67 games (10 starts) while averaging 6.5 points per game.

Delfino and Roko Ukic were traded for Sonny Weems and Amir Johnson. Weems is currently in Russia, while Johnson is a legit contributor to the current Raps.

The trading (attempted anyway) of Jose Calderon has become an annual issue in Raptorland. Numerous failed trades became public which has of course worn on the team-first Calderon. Will 2012 see a succesful trade for Jose? Time will tell...

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Draft History of Bryan Colangelo in Toronto

Draft History of Bryan Colangelo in Toronto

Many Raps fans have been upset for years about Colangelo's drafts. I personally did like a lot of the moves (I am in the minority as I still like Andrea Bargnani and his upside). I am in the minority also when it comes to BC's drafting skills. I think several picks fell in his lap, but still there has been talent added through the draft in my opinion.

BC's first draft pick was Bargnani. Many fans wanted LaMarcus Aldridge, plus hindsight shows guys like Brandon Roy and Rajon Rondo were also available. As I mentioned I like picking Bargs. Dwane Casey will get him to be a better defender and rebounder to go along with his shooting and the Raps will really have a player in Bargnani.

P.J. Tucker played in a mere 17 games for Toronto (1.8 points per game).

DeMar DeRozan was still on the board at #9 in the 2009 NBA draft. BC snatched him at #9. Guys like Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Toney Douglass, and DeJuan Blair were available, but I like picking DD. The NBA has very few young up-and-coming SGs and DeRozan is one of them.

In the 2010 draft Ed Davis was still around at #13. Wow. He was projected to be a top-10 pick (possibly even top-5) if he entered the draft following his freshman season at the University of North Carolina. He waited until after his sophomore season to enter the draft and by then he had been out of b-ball for a few months because of a broken wrist so his draft stock plummeted (out of sight so several players were able to play their way ahead of him in the draft).

Davis was another guy who fell in BC's lap, but again he is a guy I am excited about. Injuries have slowed his development, but in 131 games (26 starts) he is averaging 7 points and 7 rebounds. Some development under Casey should see that grow to averaging a double-double.

In 2011 the Cavs reached significantly by taking Tristan Thompson at #4. That allowed the 7-foot Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas to fall in Colangelo's lap at #5. Many Raps fans were very vocal with their ire at this pick, but in the long-run this was a wonderful addition to the Raps (in my opinion anyway).

Every draft grade/analysis article that followed the 2012 draft listed the Raps taking Terrence Ross at #8 as a "reach". I really feel like DeRozan, Davis, and JV fell in his lap, but BC went out and got his guy in 2012. I agree with the premise that BC could have (even should have) traded down to acquire more assets while still having a chance to draft Ross, but once the Cavs took Dion Waiters at #4 BC decided to stay put so he could be sure to draft a wing player.

Quincy Acy was added in the 2nd round. This guy is Reggie Evans 2.0. Same effort and defensive ability Evans has, but better hops and better offensive game than Evans.

Thank you for your read! Know a Raptors fan? Then please pass it on... for all of my Toronto Raptors articles. Follow me on twitter @Raptors_Rap

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Bryan Colangelo Management Hires/Fires

Bryan Colangelo Management Hires/Fires

Here is a look at the management hires/fires in the BC-era.

Maurizio Gherardini...This guy is a legend in European basketball. He took over Pallacanestro Treviso (aka Benetton Treviso) and under his watch they became one of the most successful and reckognizable basketball teams outside of the NBA.

Benetton won the Italian League championships 4 times. They had 3 Italian Supercups. They made it to then the Euroleague Final Four 4 times, plus they won 7 Italian Cups. Just prior to his Raptors hiring Gherardini was honored as the Italian League's Best Executive.

He was interviewed for the Charlotte Bobcats GM job in 2003. At that time he became the first person ever to be interviewed for a NBA GM job who was not a US citizen.

Gherardini is credited with creating a unique and very effective way to scout European players. NBA teams were in contact with him any time they considered drafting an overseas player, or signing one as a free-agent.

The Raps have not seen a fraction of the success that other teams have had when Gherardini is part of player-personnel decisions.

Sam Mitchell...He was the coach in place when BC was hired.

Just over 1 year into Colangelo's tenure Mitchell became the franchises winningest coach and he had also been rewarded with a 4-year extension.

1 year later all of that success had evaporated and Mitchell was fired. At the time the Raps were 8-9 and many analysts and fans were vocal about their disapproval of firing Mitchell just months after he won Coach of The Year and just months after his 4-year extension.

The Raps were 156-189 under Mitchell for a winning percentage of .452 (well above the franchise's average winning %).

I am all for coaching changes IF there have been significant issues (the team was just 17 games into a 82 game season...How could BC get an accurate feel for how the season was going to go so early?) and I also am in favor IF there is a clear-cut imporvement available.

All due respect to Jay Triano, but he is not a NBA head coach. Firing anyone with Mitchell's track record in order to insert Triano to run your show is an absolute blunder. We will note as our lives go on that no NBA team will ever have him as a head coach again. He is simply not good enough, and shame on BC for not knowing that. The Raps were 87-142 under Triano for a winning percentage of .380. Yikes.

I think BC got it right with the Casey hiring. The Raps were a punchline on defense for years, but Casey addresses that. He was the equivalent of an NFL defensive-coordinator for the Dallas Mavericks when they won the championship.

In his first season at the helm Casey worked the Raps into the top-10 for opponents points per game, and for opponents field-goal percentage. He even got them to be a top-5 team vs opponents 3-point shots.

Adding Fields, Ross, Lowry, Acy, and Valanciunas is huge for Casey. There is a lot of defensive upside on that list.

Thank you for your read! Know a Raptors fan? Then please pass it on... for all of my Toronto Raptors articles. Follow me on twitter @Raptors_Rap

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Bryan Colangelo - Raptors GM

Bryan Colangelo - Raptors GM

Colangelo is under contract for this season and there is a club option for next season. It is entirely possible that his Raps career shot-clock is counting down.

MLSE has been clear that they (somehow) support the rebuilding process BC initiated about 1 year ago. The fact that the roster has declined so massively in his tenure is the reason the rebuild is required. That was BC that sent the Raps down this path, yet somehow it was BC that MLSE re-upped with last year.

I was as upset/underwhelmed/confused as any Rap fan out there, but the reality is the BC-era will last at least 1 more season.

Colangelo tried everything possible to land Steve Nash this summer. Many think he signed Fields just as a strategic move to hamper the New York Knicks and their chances of landing Nash. Personally I do not believe that, but the story is certainly out there and many peeps do believe it.

BC could not even overpay a Canadian icon to come and finish his career in his home country.

This tells me that A) BC was somewhat desperate to try to land a player that could add wins and save his job...and B) even Kid Canada did not want to be part of the mess that BC created in the T-Dot.

The Atlantic Division looks awesome this season, but even with that said I would think the 2012-13 Raps need to be a legit #6-8 seed contender (or narrowly miss the playoffs as a 9 seed) to have MLSE think that this is our guy going forward.

The improvement to the franchises winning % of a mere 4% in BC-era is not going to cut it. MLSE (and Raps faithful) will require tangible improvements to the W-L record this season in order to have BC continue to run the show.

One has to wonder if BC's success as a Phoenix Suns executive has earned him the seemingly long rope he has had in the T-Dot, but we are surely in a make-or-break season for the Bryan Colangelo-era. BC is annually ranked in the bottom half of NBA GMs (often as low as bottom 5-6).

I hope this article at least provided you with some food for thought about the Colangel-era in the T-Dot.

Thank you for your read! Know a Raptors fan? Then please pass it on... for all of my Toronto Raptors articles. Follow me on twitter @Raptors_Rap