toronto-raptors
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Tuesday , Jul , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Must have: Colangelo and Raptors can`t lose Barnes

Matt Barnes announced on Monday night that he is going to sign with the Raptors. However, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that Orlando's limited sign-and-trade options may scuttle the deal, according to sources.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Before they sign the contract, before they shake hands, before they profess their love for each other in front of reporters, there is business to attend to.

Yesterday, Matt Barnes – a coveted free agent – announced via twitter he had signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.

His tweet omitted that Toronto and his old team, the Orlando Magic, have yet to work out a sign-and-trade. Unless Barnes restructures Toronto’s offer, a sign-and-trade is the best option because both teams have limited cap space.

Once again, the Raptors’ plan has hit a snag.

Last week, they thought they had a deal to send often injured point guard Jose Calderon to the Charlotte Bobcats for forward Boris Diaw and center Tyson Chandler.

But Bobcats owner and executive Michael Jordan got cold feet. His Airness suddenly called off the trade, pulled out his blackberry, and took the Dallas Mavericks’ package for Chandler.

Now there’s a complication with Barnes.

Look for GM Bryan Colangelo to pull out all stops to complete a sign-and-trade with Orlando. After all, Barnes would inject the right quota of nasty into an all too docile Raptors squad.

For instance, last season no teammate stepped to the Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce after he dunked on and kneed franchise-face Chris Bosh. No teammate challenged Pierce, and, with Bosh on the ground in agony, Coach Jay Triano had to confront Pierce.
 
  
(Triano forced to play tough guy because no Raptor defended Bosh.)

This play surely influenced Bosh’s decision to depart the Great White North as a free agent for the warmer pastures of South Beach and the Miami Heat.

Consider what would have happened if Barnes was a Raptor last year. He would have gotten in Pierce’s grill; he would have taken revenge on the next Celtic to drive the lane; and - for good measure or, perhaps, his own enjoyment - he would have talked smack on-line.

Such an edge is rare. And Barnes developed his nasty streak floating on the fringes of the NBA for several years. As a result, he plays each game like it’s his last; nothing is taken for granted.        

So Colangeo and the Raptors can’t take for granted that they have Barnes. Too much is at stake not to. 
 
--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
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Friday , Jul , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade: ‘LeBron James didn’t quit’ on Cleveland

"He's not a quitter," Wade said. "He didn't quit."

"LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, guys like that understand what Boston's defense was about," Wade said. "Their defense was built on not letting one player beat them. You either settle for the outside shot or you pass to your teammates. LeBron had one bad game in the playoffs. Other than that, he did what he could do with the defense all watching him."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call ... The Miami Heat's three superstars must do exactly this: they must have each others' back.

After their free agent coup, South Beach's basketball team will be public enemy number one, sporting a bulls-eye the size of North America all season on their black, red, and white uniforms.

So Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade have to support each other because the pressure will be intense. Night-in, night-out, the Heat will face a motivated and energetic opponent.

These three will also understand the scrutiny each will face in specific markets. For instance, Bosh and Wade will get the backlash LeBron will experience when Miami is in Cleveland. Both will face - to a small extent - something similar when Miami rolls into Toronto and Chicago.

Bosh, James, and Wade are close friends. They'll need this friendship next year.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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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.


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

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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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Friday , Jul , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Toronto sending Bosh to Houston for Ariza, Battier, and Scola?

The Houston Rockets would like to snag one of the top free-agent power forwards, such as Chris Bosh or Amar'e Stoudemire, but it would have to do a sign-and-trade deal in order to get under the salary cap.

Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears has learned from his league sources that the Rockets are offering Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier, and free agent Luis Scola to other teams in hopes of getting such a deal done.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It may be the only way the Toronto Raptors salvage a bad situation.

After seven years with the Raptors, Chris Bosh is leaving the organization. He's tapped the mat twice and is out. CB4 and The Big Smoke are no more.

Just one question remains: will Bosh ink a new contract with Toronto as part of a sign-and-trade or will he - and he alone - pick his new home?

The answer is significant for both player and team.

If Bosh and Toronto can arrange a sign-and-trade, he could add an extra year and $30 million onto his contract, while the Raptors could get back compensation.

However, if Bosh selects and signs with his next team, he would have to take a shorter term for less money, while the Raptors would get no compensation.

And Houston has the best legitimate sign-and-trade offer. Consider that this trio of Rockets would instantly transform the Raptors into a more defensive and balanced squad.

Ariza and Battier are first-class stoppers. And Scola is a gritty and skilled international star who would love a multi-cultural city like Toronto -without falling prey to the nightlife like last summer's big ticket signing. 

Of course, the choice is Bosh's. But Toronto must convince him to do a sign-and-trade. After all, getting Ariza, Battier and Scola would be far better than getting nothing.

-- O.Sandor

Got thoughts? Get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Jun , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

True or False: Toronto trading Bosh to Miami for Anthony, Beasley, and Chalmers?

ESPN's NBA contributor Dan LeBatard reports that the Raptors are poised to complete a sign-and-trade deal with Miami that would see Bosh go to the Heat for power forward Michael Beasley, point guard Mario Chalmers and forward Joel Anthony.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Right now, this is a report. Nothing more.

And LeBatard broke this via twitter, so draw your own conclusions; however, the ESPN scribe is typically on point with the happenings of the Miami Heat. 

Still, TSN and The Globe and Mail - which are both based out of Toronto - also have a strong relationship with key people in the Raptors' front office. They've both disputed LeBatard's report. So, again, draw your own conclusions.

Some will hope this report is baseless for the Canadian dinos. They'll argue Bosh is a frontline superstar, and the club has to get more than Anthony, Beasley, and Chalmers.

Perhaps.

Of course, CB4 is an unrestricted free agent. On July 1st, he can walk and the Raptors would get nothing back. Some compensation is better than no compensation.

Still, the next few days will be interesting. Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat, and the Toronto Raptors will be in the middle of the action.

Fact or Fiction? What are your thoughts on this report that Bosh has been traded to the Heat? Come back to HoopsVibe News for more this developing story!

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Wednesday , Jun , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Stay or Go: What’s Carmelo Anthony’s future with Denver Nuggets?

The Nuggets are pressing Carmelo Anthony for a long-term commitment, because if he declines a three-year, $65 million contract extension now on the table, the team must consider trading its leading scorer.

Trade Melo? Would the Nuggets really part ways with a 26-year-old forward in the prime of his NBA career? Denver might not have any choice.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Denver Nuggets are fearful of the Chris Bosh syndrome occurring with Carmelo Anthony.

For instance, 'Melo could pull a 'CB4' and leave 'The Mile High City' as an unrestricted free agent next summer to join a star-studded contending team.
This is the current trend in the NBA. The creme de la creme of players are in constant communication, scheming on building Dream Teams and trying for multiple championships.

So the Nuggets don't want to lose Anthony and getting nothing back. Their franchise face must quickly decide if he's in or out? Is he committed to Denver or looking to test the free agent waters? 

If he won't decide, the club, it seems, will decide for him.

Got thoughts?

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Tuesday , Jun , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Raptors offering Bosh and Jack to Lakers for Bynum and Odom?

"The Raptors would like to get something in a sign-and-trade for Bosh, but they likely won’t deal him in the East. The Lakers are expected to offer Andrew Bynum, a legitimate low post center, and Lamar Odom, and take back Jarrett Jack, whom the Raptors would like to move."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: All they can do is make the best of a bad situation.

After all, franchise face Chris Bosh seems destined to leave the Toronto Raptors as a free agent when the market opens July 1st. Executive Bryan Colangelo admitted as much at a recent press conference.

There's no easy way to lose a 26 year old superstar. However, there's an easier way.

For instance, if Chris Bosh joins fellow free agents LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade in Miami or Chicago, he'll likely leave a year and $30 million on the table. And the Raptors will get nothing in return.

If Bosh inks a deal with the Raptors as part of a sign-and-trade, he can get the longest term and most money available. And the club can get something back, which is better than nothing.

Enter the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time defending champs are offering Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom for Bosh and Jarrett Jack.

Such a deal would achieve two things. First, Bynum is a legit five-man. His length, size, and ability to plug the middle would transform the Raptors into a more defensive side. And skilled post Andrea Bargnani could slide to the four-spot, his natural position.

Second, Bosh would be out west. He wouldn't be in the same conference. He wouldn't drop into Air Canada Centre several times a year with his new superstar teammates. He wouldn't win championships with the the Bulls or Heat. And all of this would allow the Raptors to save face.

Of course, the ball is in Bosh's court. As an unrestricted free agent, he holds most of the cards.

All Colangelo can do is offer a sign-and-trade. Joining Kobe Bryant and the NBA's best team may be enough for Bosh to re-consider his plans to partner with James and Wade, especially if he gets the maximum term and money.

This is the Raptors' only card, so Colangelo better do everything to play it.

Got thoughts?       

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Sunday , Jun , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

NBA Executive: Bosh and James to Chicago is ‘a done deal’

An NBA executive told The New York Times that, based on discussions with other team officials, he believes that LeBron James and Chris Bosh have already decided to sign with the Bulls.

In that case, James' meetings with teams this coming week would be merely a formality.

"I think it's a done deal," the executive said about James departing Cleveland for Chicago and taking Bosh with him.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Chicago Bulls have recently surfaced as the favourite to sign superstar free agents Chris Bosh and LeBron James.

After all, the Bulls have budding stars in blue-collar post Joakim Noah and point guard Derrick Rose; cap space to offer a pair of maximum contracts; and Chicago is a desirable place to live and a large market.

Being the favourite is different than having 'a done deal', though. Circumstances can quickly change. For instance:

1) There’s still time for other teams to pull a rabbit out of the hat and make a trade to increase their available cap space. 

2) And Bosh and/or James could decide they don’t want to leave money on the table, which would force Toronto and/or Cleveland to sign both to a six-year maximum contract and arrange a trade. This would complicate signing as a duo in one city.

3) Finally, Bosh and/or James could decide they like having their own franchise. This would mean re-signing and staying long-term with the Raptors and/or Cavaliers.

These circumstances are unlikely, especially with the July 1st deadline fast approaching. Time is running out. And after the Kirk Hinrich trade, Chicago is suddenly the team to watch.

Got thoughts?
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Thursday , Jun , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rudy Fernandez: ‘New York, that’s where I want to go’

Rudy Fernandez was telling teammates last season, " New York, that's where I want to go."

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The Spaniard won't end up in The Big Apple -even if he has a New York state of mind.

Two points on Rudy Fernandez and his current team, the Portland Trail Blazers. First, the energetic swing and coach Nate McMillan don't trust each other. And second, their relationship will be tough to repair.

However, the New York Knicks have little to offer Portland when compared to other teams. For instance, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly offering their lottery pick for Fernandez.

And the Vulcan group - the holding company that own, control, and, at times, micromanage the Trail Blazers - never give away assets without getting back something close to equal value.

So Fernandez shouldn't hold his breath about the NYC. It's unlikely he'll be donning a Knicks uniform anytime soon.

Got thoughts? Get at us in the comment box.          

 

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Saturday , Jun , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cleveland gets Bosh and Calderon from Toronto for Hickson, Jamison, and Williams?

The Cavs happen to have a very attractive package to entice the Raptors with. They could package up Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, and J.J. Hickson for Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh, which would be a hard deal for anyone else in the league to top.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Cleveland would be pulling highway robbery if this rumor became reality.

Acquiring Chris Bosh would provide the Cavaliers with two options. First, with Bosh in the fold they'd be well positioned to re-sign LeBron James, their top priority this summer. Second, if King James did leave they could rebuild and regroup around CB4. 

For Cleveland, it's a no-lose situation. However, it makes little sense for Toronto -other than getting rid of Calderon's considerable contract.

Whatever happens this summer, whether Bosh stays or leaves, the Raptors must find an identity and stick with it.

When Bryan Colangelo first took over in the front office he acquired a skilled Euro from what seemed like every semi-autonomous region on the other side of the Atlantic  Ocean. The goal: become an offensive machine, the Phoenix Suns of the Eastern Conference.

This vision failed. And Colangelo had little choice but to try and make Toronto a more defensive-orientated club. Unfortunately, he had several players on the books - like Andrea Bargnani and Calderon - who were unable to fit the new gets-stops approach.

While Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams are talented, they wouldn't help the Raptors develop an identity. Neither is strong in their own end. And neither can carry a team.

Worst of all, both have long-term deals for big ticket money. Jamison is on the books for two years, $28 million, while Williams has two years plus a player's option for 2012-13 at $27 million. And this cost would neutralize any upside Hickson has.

Don't expect this proposed deal to materialize. Cleveland will likely have to do better if they want to acquire Bosh from Toronto via a sign-and-trade.

Got thoughts on this rumor?    

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Tuesday , Jun , 15 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Should Sacramento trade for Hedo Turkoglu or Tayshaun Prince?

The Kings are looking for a small forward and Detroit's Tayshaun Prince could be a viable option.

The Pistons are looking to make some changes and it is believed that either Richard Hamilton or Prince will be dealt.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This is more like it.
 
For weeks, reports have tied the rebuilding Sacramento Kings to Hedo Turkoglu, the disgruntled three-man with the Toronto Raptors.
 
Turkoglu had a poor year in Toronto: he arrived out of shape; had little interest in playing basketball; displayed a lack of professionalism; and demanded a trade.
 
The Kings - despite having the Turkish swing for the first five years of his career - are probably hesitant to deal for Turkoglu. His attitude leaves something to be desired. And he has four years and over $40 million remaining on his contract.
 
Prince would be a better fit. The lanky wing has credibility after winning an NBA championship with Detroit and helping the Pistons become a model franchise. And Sacramento's youngsters will respect Prince's experience, work ethic, and quiet, statesmanlike approach.
 
Best of all, he's an affordable mentor. His $12 million per year salary expires at season's end. 
 
For many reasons, the Kings would be better off with a 'Prince'.
 
Got thoughts on this?        
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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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Tuesday , Jun , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Toronto sending Turkoglu to Sacramento?

The Kings need a small forward with an ability to put the ball on the floor and general manager Geoff Petrie drafted Turkoglu and shepherded his development into one of the NBA’s more versatile players. League executives believe Sacramento would need Toronto to minimally take forward Andres Nocioni and the two years, $13.5 million left on his contract.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Oh, how times have changed.

Last year, Hedo Turkoglu was the best player on the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic. Around the league, his stock was sky high. And with free agency pending, he had more suitors than Brett Michaels on Rock of Love.

Like Michaels, Turkoglu cashed in, signing a five-year, $53 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.   

However, 2010 was a disaster. To recap: Turkoglu came fat and happy to training camp, struggled all year, and, on several occasions, displayed poor professionalism.

Now he wants out, requesting a trade via the media. And the Toronto Raptors would be happy to accommodate him. Is Sacramento a fit, though?

Well, the Kings drafted and nurtured Turkoglu, so both sides know each other well. And the Kings - after spending years stockpiling good, young talent - have cap space to burn.

But would financially prudent Sacramento want the remaining four years and $40 million on Turkoglu's big ticket? And would they want a veteran with a questionable work ethic influencing their youngsters?

Yes, times have changed for Turkoglu. And moving him will be difficult.

Would the Kings want Turkoglu? Let us know in the comment box below.

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Monday , Jun , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Mo Williams for Jose Calderon?

-- If the Cavs decide to trade Mo Williams, one possible destination could be Toronto in exchange for Jose Calderon. Williams is a more dynamic scorer and Calderon is more of a distributor. Both are great free-throw shooters, but neither player is a good defender.

Their contracts are similar in amount and length. The Raptors would like to move Calderon and swingman Hedo Turkoglu.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It would be an exchange of problems. Nothing more.

Calderon with his porous defense, fragile frame, and expensive contract has fallen out of favor in Toronto, while Williams' statue-like 'D', score-first mentality, and big ticket  is expendable in Cleveland.

But Williams wouldn't be much of an upgrade for the Raptors; same with Calderon joining the Cavaliers.

The only thing that works are the contracts: Williams and Calderon make similar money and the term matches, too.

Both teams are probably putting the feelers out and testing the trade market before Chris Bosh and LeBron James hit free agency on July 1st.

Expect all kinds of changes in Toronto and Cleveland this summer. Only it won't be Calderon for Williams. 

Got thoughts on Calderon for Williams?

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Tuesday , Jun , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Vince Carter needs a dose of honesty

 I twice asked Carter if he would evaluate his postseason performance.

“I don’t do that,” he said.

You don’t assess and evaluate your own performance? Really?

Carter shook his head.

“I don’t.”

Meanwhile, the Magic paid him $17 million this season, and are on the hook for the same figure next year, unless they can unload him on a team that would like to get his expiring contract.

Link

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: This is typical Vince Carter.

He always accepted the perks of superstardom, but never accepted the responsibility that goes with such status.

In Toronto, he took the money, fame, and courtside seats for his entourage/mom; however, he never put the work in to turn the Raptors into a contender. Too often, he was injured. Too often, his effort was questionable. And too often, he refused to grind on defense.

After forcing a trade to New Jersey, Carter publicly admitted he didn't always try his hardest for Toronto. With the Nets, he became a perimeter player and last year in Orlando was a bust.

Along the way, there has been a consistent theme: Carter won't hold himself accountable. This may change.  After all, 2011 is a contract year for the eight-time All-Star and the all mighty dollar has a strange way of motivating.

Should Carter be honest with himself? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box.

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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.

Link

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.

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Friday , May , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

The ‘Twitter’ break-up: Chris Bosh and Toronto Raptors discussing sign-and-trades

"Chris Bosh's agent has told the Toronto Raptors that he's narrowed his list of preferred teams to five, two sources told ESPN.com's Chad Ford at the NBA draft camp.

The list of five teams -- Toronto plus the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks, sources said -- were given to Toronto management in case the Raptors want to construct a sign-and-trade deal (assuming he doesn't re-sign with Toronto)."
 
 
HoopsVibe's Call: Chris Bosh will not come back to the Toronto Raptors. And the NBA's sole international team shouldn't want him to come back.
 
Bosh claims to be about winning and this summer is his chance, his sole opportunity to partner with LeBron James or Dwyane Wade and win a championship. After all, The Big Three, Bosh, James, and Wade, have already admitted they'll hatch out a plan over a sitdown dinner before the July 1st deadline.
 
How can Toronto compete? Frankly, Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, and Hedo Turkoglu can't.
 
Perhaps, the Raptors would prefer to cut ties with Bosh.
 
Fair or not, the team never had much success with the lefthanded post as the franchise piece. And Toronto management must have been disappointed when Bosh recently tweeted fans asking their opinion on whether to re-sign with the Raptors or leave the only pro team he's ever played for.
 
While this wasn't exactly Gilbert Arenas flipping a coin to decide between signing with the Los Angeles Clippers or Washington Wizards in 2003, it does show a lack of professionalism. 
 
For years, Toronto has been paying Bosh max' money to lead. But max' money players don't embarrass themselves and their team by discussing their future on twitter like a second rate reality television star.
 
Toronto and Bosh should agree to part ways and focus on a sign-and-trade. This would be best for all involved, especially if it doesn't involve twitter. 

Got thoughts on Bosh's future? Get at us in the comment box below.