Monday, the Toronto Raptors made the decision to relieve Bryan Colangelo of his general manager duties, thus ending an up and down period of questionable basketball decisions for the Raptors.While Colangelo’s tenure with Toronto wasn’t a total failure, it is checked with moves that have led to the Raptors continued presence in the draft lottery and CEO Tim Leiweke with a tough task on his hands.
Colangelo made a name for himself while assisting his father Jerry with basketball decisions with the Phoenix Suns from 1994 to 2006 before taking the Raptors position that same year. Colangelo was named NBA Executive of the Year for the 2004-2005 season, the same summer that brought Steve Nash to Phoenix and turned the Suns into a perennial playoff team.
He again won the EOTY award for the 2006-2007 season with the Raptors, the year Andrea Bargnani was selected first overall in the draft and T.J. Ford was acquired via trade. But since then, Colangelo’s days as GM have yielded more negative results than positive.
Except for drafted DeMar DeRozan in 2009, the Raptors don’t have much to show for the last few years of Colangelo’s tenure. The more recent questionable moves include trading Roy Hibbert to the Indiana Pacers just a week after drafting him and signing Bargnani to a contract that now appears to be more of a liability than an asset.
Toronto appears to be on the right track at this point, and credit for any immediate success they have should indeed go to Colangelo. But it was clear that the franchise needed to go in a different direction, and taking Colangelo out of the GM role was the correct decision.