bryan-colangelo
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Sunday , Jan , 29 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Toronto Raptors to trade Jose Calderon?

That doesn't mean he's poised to ask for a trade -- "I don't think so, that's not me, that's not my personality," Calderon said -- but the 30-year-old left the undeniable sense that he wouldn't oppose a move away from the rebuilding Raps if the opportunity materializes.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The struggling Toronto Raptors must do something -like finally parting with point guard Jose Calderon.

The Spaniard doesn’t fit with the Dinos. After all, the Raptors are young, cheap, and defensive-minded, while Calderon is 30-years old, expensive, and can’t get stops.

There’s a bigger issue: Bryan Colangelo could be in trouble.

The former Executive of the Year has failed to right the Raptors, and maybe running out of time, especially with Rogers/Bell buying the NBA property from the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund.

So moving Calderon would provide a distraction, albeit a short one, from the real issue for Colangelo.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Jul , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Raptors pick Jonas Valanciunas can play

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Bryan Colangelo was on the hot seat. Until now.

The Toronto media attacked the Raptors' lead executive for drafting a little-known Lithuanian named Jonas Valanciunas fifth overall in the 2011 draft.

The thinking was simple: Valanciunas, at 18, can't step in and help the troubled Raptors, who need immediate help.

Then the Euro' tag came up. The critics, myself included, wondered why Colangelo had selected another foreign talent from a newly formed nation on the other side of the Atlantic.

Had we not seen this act before?  Had we not seen this act fail -miserably?

It seems the Raptors knew something we did not. Valanciunas can play. The five-man recently led Lithuania to the gold medal at the U19 World Championship, averaging 23 points and 14 rebounds per game.

Watch the video and tell us what you think of Valanciunas in the comment box below?

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jun , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Colangelo finally admits ‘Euro’ vision failed by hiring Casey?

Colangelo certainly paid attention as the 54-year-old Casey has been thrown the keys to the Raptors broken-down car, being affirmed on Tuesday as the new head coach of the NBA franchise. Casey, who signed a three-year contract, will take over from Jay Triano of Niagara Falls, Ont., who was relieved of his coaching duties earlier this month, in the aftermath of a frustrating 22-60 regular season.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Hiring Dwane Casey is the closest Bryan Colangelo will come to admitting he was wrong.

When hired, Colangelo had a vision for the Toronto Raptors. They’d be the NBA’s ‘Euro’ club. They’d emphasize scoring and skill. They’d collect players from every republic, federation, principality, and semi-autonomous region in Europe.

Most importantly, they’d win.

On the surface, it made sense. Americans were hesitant to come to Canada, even if it meant playing in a world class city such as Toronto.

So Colangelo did his best with what he had. Problem was, it didn't work.

Defense still wins championships. Drafting and re-signing Andrea Bargnani and having Jose Calderon at point guard made the Raptors vulnerable at point guard and center.

Slowly but surely, Colangelo has changed course. Bargnani, the player he drafted first overall, is at a crossroads with the organization. Calderon is more of a platoon player.

The new Raptors are young, athletic, and raw. The new Raptors are Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, and James Johnson. 

This collection of talent needs help in their own end, which is Casey’s speciality. He was the brains behind George Karl’s defensive sets in Seattle, had Minnesota running at 20-20, and helped Rick Carlisle’s Dallas crew win a championship.

For now, Casey is the Raptors’ only off-season change. His hiring represents Colangelo changing course from offense to defense.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , May , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bargnani, sort of, asks Raptors for trade?

Asked in a feature interview where he’d like to play if he could rub a magic lamp and transport himself to another NBA city, Bargnani told Italy’s Sky Sports: “I want to stay in Toronto, at least this is the politically correct answer. If (I am) to go somewhere else, I’d like a warm climate city and a team where I can actually play in my role.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s time.

It’s time for the Toronto Raptors to trade former first overall pick Andrea Bargnani. The Italian basically asked for a trade and publicly criticized Bryant Colangelo, the club`s lead executive and his boss, to the European press.

Colangelo no longer needs to justify taking Bargnani first overall or re-upping him to the tune of five years and $50 million.

He has his own multi-year extension, courtesy of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the NBA’s northern team.

Besides, the Raptors are now  defensive. They no longer have, or want, a European from every country, breakaway republic, and semi-autonomous state.

They’re better with Amir Johnson and young Ed Davis down low, while DeMar DeRozan and others could pick up the scoring slack.

Where exactly does Bargnani, a finesse post, fit?

Of course, there’s a personal element to this. Instead of expressing his frustration behind closed doors, Bargnani called Colangelo out. This will do irreversible damage to his relationship with the organization.

So Colangelo may just give Bargnani his wish: a trade. Perhaps this was Bargnani`s plan all along.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ricky Rubio to sign with Minnesota, Jonny Flynn to Toronto?

If Rubio does indeed sign as expected, point guard Jonny Flynn's days in Minnesota are numbered. Sources also indicated to HOOPSWORLD that Flynn is almost sure to be traded in that case with the Toronto Raptors being one of the most probable destinations.
 

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Whenever Ricky Rubio crosses the Atlantic and joins the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jonny Flynn becomes very available.
 
Sources say Rubio’s migration will happen this summer –and sooner rather than later.
 
Unfortunately, Flynn’s stock is at an all-time low, so the Timberwolves won’t get much for the sixth pick in 2009. Hopefully, executive David Kahn reflects on how he wasted this asset.
 
For instance, Kahn could have traded the lottery pick two years ago for an established pro, young asset(s), draft picks, or cap relief.

He could have drafted a player at another position like Stephen Curry (and used him at off-guard), DeMar DeRozan, Tyler Hansborough, James Johnson, or even Taj Gibson.
 
If Kahn was absolutely determined to have another table-setter, he could have drafted Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, or Darren Collison.
 
Just not Flynn, who has underperformed. Now Kahn has the unpleasant task of trying to get something for his underperforming asset.
 
The above report cites Toronto as a likely home for Flynn. The former Syracuse star had expressed interest in suiting up for the Raptors.
 
Perhaps this happens. However, MLSE, the wealthy and dysfunctional holding company that owns the Raptors, has bigger fish to fry, specifically executive Bryan Colangelo.
 
Colangelo’s contract expires next month, and there has been no indication on whether he’ll be extended or let go. Instead, he twists in the wind.
 
Under such circumstances, it’s hard to imagine Colangelo acquiring Flynn. He’d have to trade veteran Jose Calderon and make a call on youngster Jerryd Bayless.
 
And he probably doesn’t have authorization to do anything except focus on the draft.
 
So the Rubio saga will continue when he lands in ‘The Frozen Tundra of Sota’. Only his presence will create a stir with Flynn.

Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Mar , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Colangelo and Raptors finally open to trading Bargnani?

Despite Toronto losing Chris Bosh and making little progress this season, team president Bryan Colangelo is returning to run the team, according the several league sources. That could be good news for D'Antoni, whose offense has been a bad fit for Anthony.

D'Antoni, who worked under Colangelo in Phoenix, might be out of a job if Walsh leaves the Knicks at season's end. For now, the Raptors plan to bring back coach Jay Triano, despite their awful season. But if D'Antoni becomes available, Triano could be jettisoned. Whether it's D'Antoni or Triano, the Raptors want to build around rookie big-man Ed Davis and second-year guard DeMar DeRozan. They're said to be open to moving Andrea Bargnani, who has been anything but an impact player since entering the league in 2007 as the No. 1 overall pick.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would appear Toronto Raptors’ GM Bryan Colangelo is finally ‘being somewhat real’ about Andrea Bargnani.

Bargnani is a nice offensive player, with a skill-set that can create mismatches. That’s it, though.

Bargnani is not the next Dirk Nowitzki. Bargnani is not an All-Star. Bargnani is not, and never will be, a competent rebounder or defender. And Bargnani was not worth the first overall pick in the 2006 draft.

Face it: Colangelo’s experiment has failed. Miserably.

It’s only now with the cover of an extension that Toronto’s Former Golden Boy will admit making a mistake.

The Raptors gave Bargnani every chance to succeed. They had to. They had to justify drafting the Italian ahead of LaMarcus Aldridge or Brandon Roy –despite the swing’s recent injuries.

Returns on Bargnani were mediocre, but Colangelo still rewarded him with a 5-year, $50 million extension in 2009, despite being a year away from free agency.

And Bargnani still started and logged heavy minutes, even though his finesse game wasn’t a fit in Coach Jay Triano’s system.

Bottom line: Bargnani isn’t an asset. He’s a liability. The team is far better developing Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, James Johnson, and franchise face in waiting DeMar DeRozan.

Bargnani’s isn’t a bust. His game is simply better suited to being a sixth-man than a superstar. Similar to Danilo Gallinari with the Denver Nuggets, he could excel as a scorer off the bench.

That can’t happen in Toronto, though. Expectations will always be sky high and unrealistic because of management.

Look for Colangelo, a master of the deal, to cover himself by finding a taker for Bargnani. And when that happens, he’ll again spin the situation in a well orchestrated press conference.

After all, Colangelo can’t be totally real in a media hot-bed such as Toronto. With three national sports channels, two national radio stations, five daily newspapers, and demanding fans, he can only concede so much.

Such is life in Toronto, especially with a mistake like Bargnani.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Dec , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bryan Colangelo: Jarrett Jack and/or Jose Calderon had to go

But they couldn’t get along, and Colangelo moved Jack to New Orleans last month. Very rarely are general managers so brutally frank about player relationships. We credit Colangelo for detailing why he wanted to trade the productive Jack — because he was the most marketable commodity. Calderon is a liability defensively and is a better 3- point shooter than 2-point shooter. “We came to the conclusion last year that one of either Jose or Jarrett had to go,’’ Colangelo said. “And I made that proclamation that I would trade one of the two, if not both.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Give Bryan Colangelo his due. If something doesn’t work, he moves on.

For instance, Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack couldn’t share point guard duties for his Toronto Raptors, so he dealt Jack.

It didn’t matter that Colangelo signed Jack to a four year, $20 million contract in July of 2009. And it didn’t matter that The Former Golden Boy of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment hailed Calderon and Jack as a formidable combo at the one-spot.

It wasn’t working. And Jack was recently dealt to the New Orleans Hornets.

Fair enough. However, Colangelo discussing the situation with reporters isn’t good.

Why open up about Calderon and Jack’s relationship weeks after cutting ties with his former back-up point guard?

Last summer Colangelo exchanged public barbs with Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu, even though both had left the Raptors.

Part of this is doing business in a media center like Toronto. There are three national sports carriers, talk radio stations, and five major newspapers in the city.

Part of this is loose lips. Colangelo would be wise to remember the NBA is small. Players talk. And he doesn’t want to give the talent another reason not to sign in Toronto.

Colangelo should move players. And then keep quiet.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Oct , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Hedo Turkoglu on Toronto Raptors’ struggles: it’s not the players

Hedo Turkolgu was predictably booed in his first return to Toronto on Sunday.

“People have to realize it’s not always the players,” said Turkoglu. “People just got to see what’s really going on and make a judgment after that. I’m not a random guy. Chris (Bosh) was an all-star. Other guys, all-stars, too. You have to ask them what was the reason that they left. Then people will realize . . . instead of just going after the players. (Vince) Carter, Tracy (McGrady), whatever. I know (Bosh), I hope he doesn’t get booed. He gave a lot of good stuff for this organization. I think he deserves to be welcomed in a nice way.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Hedo Turkoglu is right.

Ultimately, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is at fault for the miserable state of the Toronto Raptors. The wealthy sports property owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, MLS’ Toronto FC, the Air Canada Centre, and the Raptors.

This company prints money. Hand over fist. Despite the Maple Leafs’ strong start, winning comes second.

Fans know this. They hold MLSE accountable. They criticize GM Bryan Colangelo and the organization while sippin` double-doubles with cream at Tim Hortons, by the water cooler at work, over Molson Canadians at the pub, and during 3-on-3 runs at the playground and ice rink.

However, Colangelo doesn’t play the games. Turkoglu does.

Colangelo, for all his errors in judgment and misgivings about assembling a team of Euros from every semi-republic on the other side of the Atlantic, punches the clock and is professional. While in Toronto, Turkoglu’s effort and professionalism was, well, mediocre.

With a $53 million contract and skills to burn, the Turkish swing became a target. Five daily newspapers, three national sports channels, and some of the game’s most loyal fans went at him.

It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it became personal. Toronto and Turkoglu had no choice but to part ways this summer.

Hard feelings still exist. They’ll always be there, too. So Turkoglu should expect Toronto fans to boo. Instead of complaining, Turkoglu would be wise to accept his share of the blame.

After all, the organization didn’t arrive at training camp fat and happy. The organization didn’t go through the motions all year. And the organization didn’t skip a game with the flu and hit up the clubs just a few hours later.

Turkoglu did.

The sooner he accepts this, the better off Turkoglu will be. As for MLSE and the Raptors, they may be beyond help.

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Aug , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Bosh: ‘Nobody wanted to make the playoffs more than me’ in Toronto

Chris Bosh has again insisted that he never quit on the Raptors during his time in Toronto. "Nobody wanted to make the playoffs more than me," Bosh told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

"Nobody else wanted to make it more than me, trust me. I put in the work to be successful. I had a turned ankle and I had a broken nose that I had to stay in the hospital for, and I played through it. I know what I put into that organization and what I put into it was everything I had every night."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Chris Bosh has said his piece. The Toronto Raptors have said their piece. All involved must move on.
 
Nothing is gained by Bosh repeating his stance that he never quit on the Raptors and played hurt. And nothing is gained by the Raptors repeating their stance that he didn't play through pain and had 'checked out'.
 
Both look petty. Both look bad. And both have bigger fish to fry in 2011.
 
Bosh is public enemy number one in Miami with fellow Kings LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while GM Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors must focus on fielding a competitive team.   
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Monday , Aug , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bosh, Colangelo, and Turkoglu should shut up and take the high road

“People have to realize something is wrong with that organization and nobody wants to go there anymore,” he said in a phone interview from Turkey. “It’s not just the players who see this.”

Bryan Colangelo recently accused Chris Bosh of quitting on the team during the second half of the 09-10 season.

"It’s funny that people will talk behind your back,” Turkoglu said of Colangelo. “If he was feeling this way, why not have the guts to say it during the season? Why not say it to Chris? Now that Chris has left, it’s not nice to say those things.

“Chris has been a franchise player and he did a lot of good things for the Raptors. I don’t think Chris is the type of player to quit on his teammates.

“I just don’t understand why you would say these things,” he added. “Like I said, that organization has problems.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They've all moved on, so it's time for the high road.

This spring and summer, Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo and former players Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu have exchanged words through the media.

If you're keeping track, here's a recap:

After seven years in Toronto, Bosh signs as a free agent with Miami. The way he leaves, tweeting constantly and smiling on television, alienates Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors.  

Colangelo unofficially suspends Turkoglu at the end of last season for unprofessional behaviour. Turkoglu requests and receives an off-season trade to Phoenix.
 
End of story, right? Wrong.

In late July, Colangelo tells the Fan 590 radio station that Bosh 'checked-out' on the Raptors after the All-Star game. Bosh responds angrily. Turkoglu slams Colangelo and the organization.

Got all that?

The above saga resembles a junior high tiff between tweenie Twilight fans, and not the inner workings of a professional sports organization or professional athletes.

The key word is professional. Professionals don’t initiate nonsense. Professionals don’t get caught up in nonsense. Professionals are busy with their jobs.

Perhaps Bosh, Colangelo, and Turkoglu should just remember the ancient law of Omerta, where to quote super agent Arie Gold 'silence is golden`.

All involved may not be familiar with The Godfather or Entourage, so we'll try another route. They should remember the saying: 'if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all'.

Their mud slinging has made a bad situation worse. Thankfully, Colangelo now gets this and had little response to Turkoglu's recent comment.
 
"I still consider hedo a friend in this business and wish him well again in Phoenix, " he said.
 
Unfortunately, the damage is done. All three have taken a hit.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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Sunday , Aug , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No Way Jose: Why Colangelo and Toronto can’t trade Calderon

"My future will be known when Toronto and my agents make a decision," Calderon said. "They are working daily for the best solution for me and the franchise. Now, there isn't anything new to say."

Calderon is Toronto's highest-paid player with the departure of All-Star Chris Bosh. He'll make $9 million this coming season, but his contract increases to $9.7 in 2011 and $10.5 million in 2012.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: One man's junk is another man's, well, junk.

It's no secret Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is having difficulty trading Jose Calderon and the remaining three-years and $30 million on his contract.

After all, Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats exposed Colangelo and Calderon when 'His Airness' pulled an audible in mid-air and cancelled a trade to acquire the Spanish point guard in July.

For a variety of reasons, Calderon could be staying put:

1) The recession is lingering. A lockout is coming next July. In this economy, few teams have the resources or desire to assume Calderon's big-ticket.

2) The teams that can afford Calderon want better value. For instance, he's earning star money but - with his poor defense and health - is really a reserve.

3) The league is stacked with point guards. Last year, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Eric Maynor, Ty Lawson, and Darren Collison entered the league, and proved they could start or come off-the-bench.

Two years ago, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, George Hill, Mario Chalmers, and Goran Dragic were drafted and have also shown they can play.

These young table-setters, who are tied to cheap rookie contracts, have killed the trade market for expensive veterans like Calderon.

4) Calderon thrived when Toronto played an up-and-down system. Back then, offensive basketball was enjoying a brief renaissance.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns aside, the renaissance is over. Defense is in demand, which means Calderon - the NBA's worst perimeter defender - is not.

So Colageno could be stuck with Calderon, a player he supported, paid, and has turned on. Things could get awkward if Calderon is in Toronto for 2011.

All will be noted by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors, when Colangelo's contract expires next summer.

And the organization will not have any of these difficulties cutting ties with their underachieving executive.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Tuesday , Jul , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Bryan Colangelo: Chris Bosh ‘checked out’ on Toronto Raptors

When it came to a Monday radio interview, Bryan Colangelo "chose his words carefully," but didn't leave many bullets left in his pistol. Colangelo intoned that Bosh took a long time to return from injury even though he had been medically cleared and that he started thinking ahead to his future at the expense of the Raptors. "Despite limited swelling and any excessive damage on an MRI, he felt like he needed to sit for six more games ... I'm not even questioning Chris' injury. I'm telling you he was cleared to play subject to tolerance on his part, and the tolerance just apparently wasn't there and he chose not to play," Colangelo said. ... Colangelo went on to elaborate: "Whether he was mentally checked out or just wasn't quite into it down the stretch, he wasn't the same guy. I think everybody saw that, but no one wanted to acknowledge it."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo may be right.

Perhaps Chris Bosh checked out on the club during the second half of the 2010 season. Perhaps he had already decided to partner with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in South Beach. And perhaps, he should have played through the pain.

Colangelo, however, was wrong to trash Bosh. Dead wrong.

Good organizations don't insult former players who left three weeks ago. They move on. They replace them. They sell fans on the coming season.

The two-time Executive of the Year knows better. He was schooled by his father, a well tenured NBA executive and minority owner who now runs USA Basketball.

Colangelo's perspective was understandable, though. Bosh showed Toronto no respect during free agency. His constant tweets and film making alienated Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors.

His confidence and self-assured smirk must have had Raptor fans wondering what happened to the humble kid they embraced seven years ago.

So Colangelo may have been right. He should have resisted temptation and continued with the high road.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Making sense of the Toronto Raptors` makeover

While executives with the Raptors or the Charlotte Bobcats have yet to confirm the trade, multiple media outlets and even some of the players involved have said Toronto is putting together a multi-team deal that will see last year’s free agent signee-turned-disappoinment Hedo Turkoglu sent to the Phoenix Suns while Jose Calderon will be sent to the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Raptors would get guard Leandro Barbosa from the Suns, along with a traded player exception worth $2.7-million (all currency U.S.), while Charlotte is sending both Boris Diaw and center Tyson Chandler to Toronto.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is making moves like he’s on a home makeover show.

Except he’s changing centers, forwards, and guards. Not blinds, wall colors, and furniture.

In one week, Colangelo remodelled a Raptor squad that missed the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, and made a habit of imploding down the stretch.

Out is superstar Chris Bosh, 2009 free agent prize Hedo Turkoglu, and platoon point guard Jose Calderon; in are former Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa, defensive stud Tyson Chandler, and former Most Improved Player of the Year Boris Diaw.

Colangelo also drafted power forward Ed Davis, re-signed Amir Johnson, and tendered an offer to restricted free agent Linas Kleiza.

How the new parts fit together is unknown. However, the Raptors have improved in three areas: defense, attitude, and cap flexibility.

Chandler, Davis, and Johnson instantly add a get-stops attitude. Of course, this is also an addition by subtraction situation; Calderon is the NBA’s worst defensive point guard.

With better interior defenders, the skilled Andrea Bargnani can slide from centre to power forward, his natural position. This will help the Italian on both ends of the floor.

Turkoglu was a problem all year. He arrived out of shape, underperformed, and spent too much time socializing before requesting a trade. And now he`s gone.

Meanwhile, Bosh gave his all and, with the exception of the last ten days, behaved like a professional. However, the losing took a toll. He and the club both needed a change.

Best of all, the Raptors gained cap space. For instance, Turkgolu has four years and $40 million remaining on his deal, while Calderon is on the books for three years and over $30 million.

Coming back is Chandler’s expiring pact for $12 million, while Barbosa and Diaw each have two-year contracts for a combined $32 million. This financial flexibility can be used to sign free agents or retain in-house talent.

Toronto will certainly be different in 2011. But will Colangelo’s latest remodel job and improvements lead to more wins and a post-season birth in a revamped E»astern Conference?

-- Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Jul , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Toronto sending Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix for Leandro Barbosa?

The Suns would send seven-year veteran guard Leandro Barbosa and late-season addition Dwayne Jones to Toronto for Turkoglu, a 6-foot-10 forward from Turkey with versatile skills to shoot from long range and be a playmaker.

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HoopVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would be a mutually beneficial trade.

Simply put, the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns must pull the trigger and make the Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa rumor a reality.

After all, Turkoglu was a disaster for Toronto. The prize of last summer’s free agent class arrived at training camp with a belly and attitude. He never got fit – partly because he spent a sufficient amount of time enjoying the city’s nightlife - and promptly requested a trade.

Worst of all, he has four years and $40 million remaining on his contract. Staying with the Raptors isn’t an option. Fans and media would eat him alive.

Enter the Phoenix Suns and Leandro Barbosa.

If healthy, the Brazilian blur would provide Toronto with offense either as a starting shooting guard or off-the-bench. He’s quick, exciting, and likeable. Fans and media would instantly take to him.

The money would make sense, too. The Raptors would escape from under Turkoglu’s big ticket and only be responsible for the remaining two years and $15 million on Barbosa’s deal.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a one-sided affair.

Phoenix has always had interest in Turkoglu –dating back to his run with those glamour teams in Sacramento. His scoring and basketball IQ would fit Seven Seconds Or Less perfectly.

Turkoglu, a laid back individual, would be happier in Arizona. Frankly, the point forward underestimated the intense glare of Toronto’s five daily newspapers, talk radio shows, and fan base.

So Raptors GM Bryant Colangelo and Suns owner Robert Sarver must make this happen.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kleiza offer sheet latest example of Colangelo and Raptors’ flawed vision

The Raptors have signed Nuggets restricted free agent forward Linas Kleiza to a four-year, $20 million offer sheet, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Gee, get the impression Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is desperate?

The former golden boy of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will either get nothing or Mario Chalmers and a trade exception - which is pretty close to nothing - from the Miami Heat for superstar Chris Bosh.

Instead of regrouping and developing a cohesive plan, instead of laying out a clear vision going forward for the Raptors, Colangelo is doing the opposite. He’s reacting.

Case in point: today’s news the organization is tendering a pretty fair contract to restricted free agent Linas Kleiza, a skilled Euro’ scorer, who believes he is above getting down-and-dirty on defense.

Haven’t the Raptors seen this song and dance before? Don’t they already have a couple of finesse swings who believe getting-stops is for the hired help?

So what’s Colangelo thinking? Simply put, he's not.

For years, there’s been a serious disconnect between the style the Raptors want to play and the skill-set their players have. And this is the two-time Executive of the Year’s fault.

For instance, the club has talked publicly of wanting to be a get-stops, defensive-minded club. This was Sam Mitchell’s mandate. Ditto for Jay Triano.

However, Colangelo too often drafts, signs, or trades for soft foreigners, who simply can’t get it done in their own end. His go-to is the skilled Euro from a tiny, unpronounceable republic across the Atlantic Ocean.

Last year, the club started Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Hedo Turkoglu. All are skilled Europeans. All are below average defenders.

Kleiza is a nice player, but more of the same for Toronto, which is a problem.

It’s time for Colangelo to start thinking clearly. Or it’s time for him to follow Bosh out the door.   
 
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Monday , Jun , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Timing terrible for Colangelo and Raptors to unload Calderon, Jack, and Turkoglu

Meanwhile, the Raptors are not just sitting around. Rather, Colangelo is shopping Hedo Turkoglu, Jose Calderon, and Jarrett Jack with an eye toward making trades before July 1. The same source told me that a Turkoglu trade was already in the works and could happen by the draft.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call ... Bryan Colangelo, the Toronto Raptors' GM, has a unique skill: he admits mistakes and takes action.
 
The two-time Executive of the Year doesn't bother with should have, could have, or would have; he simply cuts his losses and moves on.
 
This management philosophy has worked before. While working as the Phoenix Suns' head suit, Colangelo quickly realized Stephon Marbury was a time bomb and traded the troubled guard and his max' contract to the New York Knicks for cap space. He then used that cap space to sign Steve Nash and Seven Seconds Or Less was born.
 
Other times this approach has been a wash. A couple of years ago, Colangelo acquired Jermaine O'Neal. However, it soon became evident the former All-Star wasn't regaining his past form, so O'Neal was dealt to Miami for Shawn Marion, who was mediocre in a half season in Toronto.
 
There are other examples, but you get the idea. Colangelo doesn't waste time when things sour.
 
Well, this summer he doesn't have a moment to waste. Literally. Reports indicate the Raptors are looking to get several mistakes off their books at once.   
 
This is the closest Colangelo will come to admitting his vision for the Raptors was flawed and has failed. How else should fans interpret the news he wants to part with Jose Calderon, Jarrett Jack, and Hedo Turkoglu?
 
Weren't these the GM's guys? Weren't these the players to turn Toronto into an Eastern Conference contender? 
 
Calderon was Colangelo's pick to start at point guard. The organization overlooked his defensive limitations and fragile body, signing him to a five year, $45 million pact.
 
When Calderon couldn't handle the load, Colangelo signed Jack, the competitive combo guard to a five year, $20 million contract. 
 
Of course, his biggest blunder was Turkoglu. Months after leading the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals, the Turkish swing was handed a five year, $53 million package by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors.
 
Turkoglu's year in The Big Smoke was a disaster. He arrived at training camp looking like a Euro' version of Oliver Miller, played poorly all year, and was more interested in clubbing than basketball. Then he demanded a trade.
 
Clearly, Colangelo must put in work. Only his timing couldn't be worse.
 
After all, the era of big ticket contracts is gone. In this economy few teams can afford to trade for eight figure problems. And the ones that can are hoarding cap space to sign free agents.
 
And this is also the summer of 2010. The organization is supposed to be consumed with one thing: Chris Bosh's highly publicized free agency.
 
Colangelo has to bring back his franchise face or score the best possible package in a sign-and-trade. Either option won't be easy. And either option will affect Toronto for years to come.
 
Yet, he's instead investing considerable time and energy on cleaning up his mistakes: Calderon, Jack, and Turkoglu.
 
Colangelo must right things this summer. Or the powers that be within MLSE will, perhaps, consider his hiring a mistake.
 
Got thoughts on Colangelo and the Raptors? 
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Thursday , Jun , 10 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nocioni for Turkoglu?

"I openly told the Kings that I wasn't going to stay. They told me they were OK with it and that they were going to try to trade me to a competitive team, probably on draft day ... I have to wait. Toronto is not a bad option, but I don't want to talk about rumors." -Andres Nocioni, Sacramento Kings.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Andres Nocioni for Hedo Turkoglu?

For days, this rumor has been making rounds in Sacramento and Toronto. Nocioni and Turkoglu both requested a trade, so the Kings and Raptors should consider swapping problems.

On the one hand, this would make sense. After all, the money is close. Both Nocioni and Turkoglu have long-term pacts, but the Raptors would need to take back another role player to match up contracts.

The Kings might have interest in Turkgolu -if he turns back the clock to 2009, while the Raptors could use the Argentine's aggression,

On the other hand, things are complicated for both teams. The Kings are young and may be weary of adding the Turkish swing's big ticket and attitude. Of course, the Raptors want to cut ties with Turkoglu, but are unsure of what assets to seek with Chris Bosh's pending free agency. For instance, if Bosh leaves, GM Bryant Colangelo may want pieces to rebuild with. If Bosh re-signs, Colangelo may prefer a veteran, perhaps, like Nocioni.

Nocioni is right: 'Toronto is not a bad option', but he'll have to wait and see if a trade materializes.

What do you think of Nocioni for Turkoglu? 

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Sunday , May , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The problem with Turkoglu wanting out of Toronto

"When the circumstances turned against me, I lost my enthusiasm for this city. My lawyers have talked to the front office recently. Honestly, I do not want to go back to Toronto," Turkoglu told his Turkish interviewers.

"My lawyers talked to Mr. Colangelo and I hope that they will come up with a solution soon. During this process I talked to [Raptors head coach] Jay Triano several times. I promised him that whether he starts me or not, I will do my best on the court. However, if I had a more temperamental personality, I would have left the team. Yet, I did exactly the opposite. I did my best. I told him that I have no problems with him. I am not a young player, so it's not a big deal for me to come off the bench," said Turkoglu.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: He arrived at training camp out of shape, played poorly all season, and, in general, showed a lack of professionalism.

Of course, just one year ago Hedo Turkoglu picked the Toronto Raptors as an unrestricted free agent, signing a controversial $55 million, multi-year deal.

There are two issues with his change of heart. First, the Turkish swing made his bed with the Raptors and must lie in it. In this economy, a trade or buyout isn't happening.

Second, Turkoglu, like many free agents, took the most money without fully considering his situation. Simply put, Toronto isn't an easy market. Media and fans will call players on their you-know-what.  And airing grievances to foreign reporters isn't the answer, either.

Turkoglu and Toronto are stuck together. It's time for the player to swallow hard and fulfill his end of the bargain.

Got thoughts on Hedo's comments? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.