If there’s one thing Bryan Colangelo has proven in his run as Raptors President and General Manager, good or bad, it’s that he knows how to execute an off-season roster shake-up.

Well, BC was at it again this off-season (and by off-season I mean December 9-December 10), trading and un-trading for players while signing guys left, right and centre. Only this time, it’s a little different than the splashes he made in the summers of 2006 and 2009. No big-name free agents. No surprising blockbuster trades. Just a few guys that will fill out a probable lottery team’s bench…and that’s okay.

Here’s a basic summary of what’s transpired for the Raps over the last 24 hours or so:

- The Mickael Pietrus trade has fallen through after Toronto’s medical staff realized the Caribbean-born Frenchman will need another two-to-four weeks to recover from a knee injury. Pietrus and his $5.3 million expiring contract aren’t coming to T.O.

- Raptors sign 26-year-old restricted free agent Gary Forbes to offer-sheet (Financial details not yet known. Offer sheet expected to be a two-year deal with team option for third season. Nuggets have three days from Saturday to match Toronto’s offer).

- Raptors sign 32-year-old, nine-year veteran Rasual Butler to one-year deal (Financial details not yet known).

- Raptors reportedly sign 27-year-old, four-year veteran Aaron Gray to one-year deal (Financial details not yet known).

- Raptors reportedly sign 36-year-old, 12-year veteran Anthony Carter to one-year deal. (Terms of deal not yet known). Side note, I kind of wanted the Raps to put in a bid on Chauncey Billups just to spite him. He totally deserves it after his childish out-burst. In short, Billups is “tired of being the good guy.” It’s alright Chauncey, with LeBron trying to turn face again, the world needs more bad guys.

If the Gray and Carter deals are made official, here’s what the Raptors’ roster will look like come opening night:

Point Guards: Jose Calderon, Jerryd Bayless, Anthony Carter

Shooting Guards and Small Forwards: DeMar DeRozan, Leandro Barbosa, James Johnson, Rasual Butler, Linas Kleiza (recovering from micro-fracture surgery), *Gary Forbes (Denver has a ton of cap space, especially if they don’t re-sign Nene, so they may just match a cheap enough deal for Forbes)*

Bigs: Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, Solomon Alabi, Jamaal Magloire, Aaron Gray

It looks as if Colangelo achieved what he set out to do – fill out the roster with cheap veterans on short-term deals. Hopefully these vets can give Dwane Casey quality minutes when called upon and be guiding voices for some of the Raptors’ budding young players. That’s really all that should be asked of them.

With the additions of Magloire and Dwane Casey himself, the Raptors should be at least a bit better on the defensive end, which will hopefully prevent the usual 40-point blowout Toronto has averaged about once every couple of weeks in the last few seasons.

As I’ve stressed in my recent posts, if Casey can get this team to consistently compete on the floor and play a gritty style of basketball, the expected plethora of losses and unofficial tanking will go down a lot easier for Raps fans.

I hope those fans realize that while difficult to accept, these “non-moves” are actually the right moves for a team that wants to build a consistent winner in the future, not just a perennial .500 team for the present. No executive wants to be in a position where you’re just filling out a flawed roster with cheap vets while thinking about next season already.

But if you are going to find yourself in that position, you better recognize it early, before you make any moves that are going to set you back any further. With this flurry of minor transactions over the last few days, the Raptors have showed that they do recognize the position they’re in, and will remain patient and committed to a re-build.

It’s about time.

Comments (14)

  1. It’s not like BC had a choice, his hand was pretty much forced into this by Bosh leaving. Realizing that you have a piece of shit team on your hands doesn’t make you some sort of visionary.

  2. I agree with you PBI,

    Still, I’m glad it’s being done now. Veterans on one-year deals? I’ll take it. I’m pretty sure all of them will play hard as well, given that they will want to set up their next contracts.

  3. these vets can help young players like derozan, Bargnani,Jerryd Bayless, and others on this team learn the game better

  4. I guess Billups was the good guy when he whined himself out of Toronto back in the day… or does it not count because he was a rookie, and now he’s a veteran. I hope he retires because nobody wants him.

    I also like this FA strategy, though I’m disappointed Pietrus wasn’t healthy. That might’ve helped tap a francophone market in the area/country.

  5. The nice thing about a healthy Pietrus on a one-year deal is that we would have had the option to flip him to a contender before the deadline for any sort of asset we might like that they could offer – an additional draft pick and/or young player with upside, say.

    I don’t actually expect us to make a big splash during the 2012 free agency period, by the way; with Paul and Howard looking to be going places where they’ll resign/extend, there’s really no one free agent to get excited over. And if we’re not getting a franchise-changing player like Paul or Howard in 2012, we might as well hold off on bringing someone in until we’ve had Jonas and our 2012 draft pick with the team for a year, especially if we see significant improvement from within by the last half of the 2011-2012 season.

  6. Ok so…playoffs by 2014-15 then?

  7. Please trade Calderon and start JB

  8. Trade bargnani and jose, use amnesty on kleiza, get rid of shit europeans. keep drafting black american born players.

  9. Dave, that’s an incredibly uneducated remark. You must know that. Or are you being sarcastic?

    PBI, when will you be happy anyway? When the championship banner is hanging? Or will something still be wrong then?

    • I’ll be happy when BC is out of town. He had his shot to build this team into something mediocre and he failed so badly that now he’s actually trying to recreate the situation that he inherited in 2006 so he can start over.

      A championship isn’t a realistic option for this team in this market, I’d just be happy with rooting for a team with competent people in charge.

  10. The realities of the market and potential draftees are heavy; if BC wants to score in the draft there will have to be an extensive test of a draftee’s character (for lack of a better term). Like it or not, there are more Chris Pauls and LeBrands out there than Tim Duncans. The Pacers have done a good job in this free agent period, so the guys are out there.

  11. This team will win less than 10 games this season. in order to have a future you must believe that the man in charge will make good choices come draft day. Colangelo has proven that he is not capable of making the right moves. This franchise is doomed!

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