Wow what a summer so far for the Toronto Raptors! Seven new faces have been added to this Raps team. Although if you wanna get technical Rasho Nesterovic is returning after a year in Indiana.
The off season began with the trade of Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans. Not a whole to this trade but it is a good trade for both teams. The Raps get a player that makes them much tougher. He will mix it up and fight for rebounds. Exactly what is needed. The Sixers get a great 3 point shooter which they haven't had since Kyle Korver. Good trade for both teams.
Next was the selection of DeMar DeRozan in the draft back in June. Easily the miost athletic player available in the draft I'm excited for when this guy finds his NBA legs. Don't expect too much too early from this kid. Let him develop at his own pace. He was ranked as the 5th best rookie in summer league which is a good sign but let's not read too much into that just yet. But if he works out it will make for a dangerous back court with DeRozan and Calderon for years to come.
Next up was the re-signing of center Andrea Bargnani. He got a 5 year deal worth $10 million per season. I've been thinking about this since it happened. And truthfully I'm not sure how I feel about it. Has his play warrented this kind of a raise? Probably not, but has he shown some potential to make you want to keep him around for a few more seasons to see if he can reach his potential? Probably.
Then the complicated sign and trade sending Shawn Marion to Dallas and Hedo Turkoglu coming north and signing him away from Portland. Which is a big kudos to the city of Toronto. Along with Hedo the Raptors also received Antoine Wright and Devin George.
Toronto then went out and signed Jarrett Jack from Indiana to a 4 year deal worth $20 million. Another good signing. Jack can play the point or shooting guard positions. And if Calderon gets hurt this season Jack can step in and take over. Oh and he once played college basketball with a guy named Chris Bosh. So is this signing based purely on his skills probably not. I think it's also a show of good will towards Bosh to try and get him to stay.
Wow I'm getting tired but we're almost there. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo traded Devin George (from the Dallas deal) to Golden State and got in return Marco Belinelli, which is a guy he coveted and tried to get him in the draft. A guy that can create his own shot, shoot a good 3 ball but has questions about his heart. Hence why the Warriors got rid of him. Hopefully he works out.
Colangelo also signed Rasho Nesterovic for next to nothing. A good pick up as he loves this city and will be a good big to come off the bench. And finally rumour has it the Raps are still try to bring Carlos Delfino back from Russia. We'll see how much money they have left to do this.
Overal Colangelo gets an A for completly changing the dynamics of this squad. The team was terrible last year and he didn't stand pat. Now whether it works or not only time will tell but at least they should be more fun to watch.
My hopes: this team should be in the top 5 of the Eastern Conference. They aren't on the same page as the Cavs, Magic or Celtics but could find themselves in the 4th or 5th spot.
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Written by Tomas Cleary