Before we get to anything basketball I just wanted to wish all the best to everyone in the Toronto Area impacted by the flooding. I hope everyone is safe, dry and well. Living just down the highway it was amazing to see all these pictures yet looking out my window and barely seeing rain. So just hope all my friends and readers made it through the storm so to speak.
As for me I have not been stuck in a flood or anything other than taking a bit of a break and trying to organize some things for next season in terms of the blog. The Raptors off-season beyond the Bargnani trade to this point has been uneventful to this point.
The Raptors lone signing to this point is Julyan Stone an oversized point guard who most would consider an interesting third option to have. The trick is it would appear the Raptors plan is for him to be the back-up point guard. He comes not shockingly from the Denver organization where he was signed undrafted by Masai Ujiri. We all saw are share of former Suns roll through Toronto over the years in the Colangelo era.
The rumours continue to suggest the Raptors are looking to tank but no move they have made to this point confirms that desire fully. Stone as a back-up certainly is not a move that would be deemed an upgrade at this point. That said it is more a risky move than a move that on its own says tank from my point of view.
Raptors have still not really addressed the coaching staff other than it was reported that Micah Nori is taking an assistant job with the Kings. Guess he saw the writing on the wall for his future with the Raptors or was told as much. The coaching staff for Casey does need changes and it would be nice to see what those will be.
Marcus Camby no shocker as already talked to the Raptors about getting bought out or being traded. This was reported in the New York Post. This is while Andrea Bargnani through his PR people expressed his joy to be heading to the Knicks for next season.
It may all seem disappointing but it was never going to be easy to blow the Raptors up or build them up based on the way Colangelo left the team. As days go by I remain less convinced the Raptors are going to go into full tank mode. It might be hard to top the tanks that have already declared to be unofficially in the battle for Andrew Wiggins. When you decide to tank it does not always land you the prize which is the fatal flaw in the tank philosophy. The Spurs didn’t blow up their squad to get Tim Duncan. They just saw their star player get hurt and from the worst possible odds won the NBA Lottery.
While Colangelo has made this team a mess for next couple season in terms of cap it is not a long term investment. Ujiri was praised for his slow and tactical approach to the Carmelo Anthony situation. He might just be taking the same approach to his re-building of the Raptors. Which if Andrew Wiggins, a local product and Canadian was not looming in next year’s draft would not be as big a deal for a lot of people that he is.
No one promised an exciting off-season and you did get Colangelo kicked to the curb and his untouchable first overall pick gone. So it is not fair to say nothing has happened. Also Colangelo when he came in had the advantage to watch this team perform for half a season before he started to dismantle it. Ujiri could want to see what he has in certain players before he throws the baby out with the bath water. If this was just about tanking their was an offer on the table from Detroit that would have fit that bill nicely with Charlie V and Rodney Stuckey being offered for Rudy Gay.
In the end as much as this time of year is a frenzy of activity it is important to remember the season is still a long way away. If this team looks fairly untouched by say the trade deadline next season than maybe that is time to ring the alarm bells with some concern. It just makes following the team in the off-season pretty boring to this point.
So really I missed some days but why did I come back again? Just kidding it is good to be back and Summer League is just around the corner and that should be important for the Raptors more than a lot of other teams with Jonas, Terrence and Quincy all second year players in the mix for the Raptors.