Is Bryan Colangelo gearing up for a franchise altering off-season?

Earlier today I caught up on some of the Raptors-related news and notes worth talking about over the last week. Now we can all begin looking ahead to the off-season, and what an off-season it might be in Toronto.

I mentioned in the aforementioned post that Bryan Colangelo sounds to be all but done with this rebuilding process. That was pretty much confirmed to us when Colangelo mentioned in his year end news conference that the short term pain was over.

With money to spend, young assets and the right coach in tow, only one guaranteed season left on his own contract and after two seasons of rebuilding, you would have to assume that any general manager or basketball executive would be “raring to go,” as Colangelo put it last Friday.

Colangelo is not just any general manager though, and we’ve all seen what he can do and is willing to do over the course of one summer when he sees the chance to vastly improve his team. This off-season should be no different.

Perhaps the greatest sign comes from a letter, addressed to season seat holders by Colangelo, in which he thanks seat holders and welcomes them to follow along forĀ  “what should be an exciting and active offseason.”

An average off-season to Bryan Colangelo is an active off-season to the average general manager. An “exciting and active” off-season to Colangelo, when you look at some of the off-seasons he’s had here in Toronto, leaves a lot to the imagination of Raptors fans.

This is a team that not only has a large amount of cap space to be used in the summer, but also has as much cap flexibility as any team between now and July 1, and based on Colangelo’s comments, you can probably bet he’ll be trying to utilize that space sooner, rather than later.

Colangelo’s not the kind of guy who creates expectations that he doesn’t believe he can ultimately live up to, so the fact he’s putting himself out there and going on the record as saying he’ll be active this off-season, and the fact that he mentioned last week that playoffs will be the goal next season should tell you all you need to know about how grand his plans are between now and the beginning of 2012-2013.

I’m not saying to expect blockbuster after blockbuster, and I understand the risk in a GM making moves just for the sake of making moves, but B.C. sounds more excited to get to work than he has since his first off-season here, when he transformed the Raptors from a 27-win team into a 47-win team.

With the chance to finally do something significant again, we might be in for one hell of a summer.

Comments (54)

  1. Just want to mention BC hasn’t been rebuilding for 2 seasons. His ‘rebuilding’ efforts didn’t begin until part way into the 2010/11 season when he traded Jack for Bayless. He admitted as much in last years post season talk.

    So in reality he has only been ‘rebuilding’ for 2 part season, 1 offseason and 2 trade deadlines…. over which course what he did amounted to “doing nothing” player wise.

    Quite the rebuild…

    He still has a chance to fix this by trading Bargnani and Derozan and actually starting a rebuild.

    • I agree that Colangelo hasn’t been as aggressive as possible in this rebuild/build/whatever, but I really fail to see how trading DeMar DeRozan ties in with a “rebuild,” unless you’re trading a 22-year-old for an even younger player or trading him for a player with a higher ceiling, in which case why would the other team do it? I’d imagine that most teams who would want DeMar would be looking to get rid of veteran players, which would only hurt the Raptors’ rebuild.

      As I’ve stated in a couple of RB Radio episodes, people have given up on DeRozan far too quickly. I don’t believe he’s a franchise player, but that doesn’t mean he’s a waste of time either. You can be valuable to a team’s future without being a superstar.

  2. I’m not a supporter of spending the money on free agents just because you have it to spend.

    If it comes via trade, and you take on salary get a better draft pick out of it, then fine. But I don’t think signing free agents at this point is what the team really needs to finish off a rebuild. That’s something you do when you’re already a playoff team and looking to get better.

    He’s only going to hurt the development of the team’s young players and likely waste the current rebuild by paying for talent thats going to be declining very soon.

    Really, the team is still about 2-3 years away from the point where it should be spending money on free agents. Way too soon at this point. The best bet would be to continue with what you have. And more importantly, figure out what you have in players like Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, Jonas Valanciunas next season.

    • I agree that spending money just to spend could be devastating to the rebuild, but BC never said he was going to spend in free agency, just said he’ll be “active.” Could mean big time trades, could mean draft moves, who knows? Based on the free agents out there this year (and obviously assuming the Raptors don’t have a chance in hell at D-Will), I’d definitely rather them be active on the trade front than the FA market this year.

      • True, but either way, I still think it’s the wrong thing to do. Signing free agents or trading away young, unproven players who haven’t been given a chance for declining talent is not the way to go.

        I see why though, it’s definitely a last resort type tactic for him. He’s probably feeling the pressure of needing to make the playoffs or else he could lose his job.

        Which is good for the present, but detrimental to the team’s future.

        • BC is all about the future hes not gonna make a mistake by trading away a young asset, if he was worried about keeping his job he would of drafted a player who could come in and help the team right away instead he goes and draft the # 1 prospect in Europe who will help this team out in the future..at the end of the day BC is going to have to spend money and use the cap space that he has if he doesn’t than hes not doing his job lets just hope that he makes the right moves!

          • It’s hard to think that ownership isn’t giving him pressure to win now, or else he’s gone. It’s obvious that a lot of fans have already lost confidence in BC over the last few seasons, and it would only make sense that upper management is starting to as well.

            What’s likely coming this off-season is a trade, or a free agent signing, or even both to help this team get to the playoffs for next season. Which, like I’ve said is going to be a huge mistake looking into the future. Any asset they acquire to help them get to the playoffs will probably cost them one of either Bayless, DeRozan, Davis, J Johnson, and this year’s pick.

            I think if BC was more concerned about the future, Calderon at least would have been gone by now, and perhaps even Bargnani as well.

    • You are on the money. Well said.

  3. I’m definitely nervous.
    While BC COULD pull some amazing moves and remake the roster into a competitive one, I mostly expect that any offseason activity would lead to at best a few playoffs with early exits.
    I want to build a real winner, or not bother. That means doing a proper rebuild, trading away assets for ones with more upside/control/whatever. Obviously you can’t do that forever, but they screwed the tank this year, which makes it difficult. Generally speaking this would be a risky time to go all in, because there’s no clear franchise player on the roster (JV included). But with 2 potentials (with a higher draft-pick), and a few more young and decent supporting players that could all grow together, that would be an exciting mix.

    I’m in the wait and see, but I’m pessimistic.

  4. I forgot to include something along the lines of…
    If BC doesn’t pull off a heist/miracle or at the very leas something pretty amazing then I don’t see the team reaching championship potential. If that’s the case it’s almost not worth doing.

  5. What do you think some of the possible moves are that BC could make. Given he has a chance to trade up with the draft, he could do that, but that’s just another building block. What could he do to make the team a “playoff team” other then some more young unexperienced players. Still a couple of years away. Throw some names out there if you have some in mind for trade and signing possibilities.

    • Well said. People make it seem like the raps have so much young talent lol. Best players on the team are Derozan and AB? Maybe Calderon. Only chance the raps get better soon is if we hit the jackpot with the lottery. Even then, it might take a few years.

      • Not only that, but how many game changer type players are there? We could all probably name 5 – 10 in the league today, but beyond that most are pieces in a bigger puzzle. Look at Boston and Miami, all of those “stars” realized that if they truly wanted to win, they were not going to be able to carry the load on their own. I agree with you guys, trades, FA’s, picks are all building blocks to get betting in steps.

  6. Two major things that Colangelo will need to do is secure both Jerryd Bayless and James Johnson. Those guys played huge for the Raps with Jerryd exploding in march before he got injured for the rest of the season and Johnson leading the team in both steals and blocked shots per game. He may want to ship off Jose Calderon to open more minutes and the starting PG spot for Bayless, however. Jose’s time is done, it’s time for him to move on. And BC may also want to decided whether he wants to continue with Ed Davis and Amir Johnson on the roster. Both players saw drastic dips in their production and seemed to overlap one another. Neither one of them had any real offensive instincts and looked more like rotation players rather than building blocks of a franchise.

  7. i say dont pick bayless’s contract, and get d-will that would make things intresting in T.O.

  8. A half assed rebuild that has accumulated/developed no great talents let alone an elite talent followed by franctic patch work in a wild attempt to finish .500.

    This won’t end well.

  9. BC could draft Beal and move DD to the 3rd and keep JOse and sign some keys players . The raps will be 35+ win team if choose not to tank next season. Rap fans need to be optimistic they are in better states than most teams in nba that include the Hawks. Beal is being compared to Ray Allen he can rebound play defense and shoot the 3 some key problems raps had. I do not want raps to draft Barnes.

  10. Raps should draft Henson from NC and trade Bargnani & DeRozan to NYK for Carmelo.

  11. Isn’t half the problem for Toronto always been trying to get players to come play in Toronto? My other question would be to ask which players would be looking at Toronto as the place for them?

    • Honestly…they had that chance when Vince Carter & Chris Bosh was here. That time they also had the chance to hire Julius Erving aka DR.J as the new GM 8 years ago. That would have truly attracted players to come here. But MLSE chose Babcock instead so that is why nobody wants to play for the Raptors. Because of bad ownership by MLSE. As for Colangelo….he can’t be trusted no more. He is all talk and no action. Bring in Kevin Prichard or Dennis Lindsey and the Raptors will be much better.

      • Not that I don’t think Babcock was a horrible hire (and thought so at the time), but what qualifications did Julius Erving have exactly? If being a great NBA player and Championship rings was enough, then why did Bill Russell, Kevin McHale, Michael Jordan and others fail so badly.?

        As for who you’d hire now, this is the same Pritchard that drafted Oden over Durant, despite serious concerns about his body and desire AND the same Pritchard who gave a massive extension to Brandon Roy despite being aware his knees were pretty much shot.

        As for Lindsey, how did he suddenly become the guy all fans seem to want? What exactly does anyone know about him outside of working for the Spurs? Didn’t Danny Ferry also work for the Spurs before being a disaster in Cleveland?

        • Pritchard would actually be my first choice, you cannot hold Oden against him, 29 other teams would have made the same decision (so should all other 29 gms be considered bad), he was regarded as a “can’t miss” player. Same with Roy, he was already a 2-time all-star, every other GM in the league would have locked him up.

          Another thing I hear about Pritchard is how he was butting heads with the ownership, however, they fired Rich Cho a year later, so something smells fishy with their ownership.

          The one quality I really like about Pritchard though, is that he is the draft-night master in acquiring additional picks.

  12. Rebuilding my A**.Ever since BC was d GM for this team,he’s been acquiring cheap and S2pid players wos been training with d team with no good output and stays lousy on the court.If TO get rid of BC, this team might be good team.

  13. I bet BC is shopping for another slow soft EURO players right now.Sam 1 wos cheap and can be trainable for 5years.

  14. ya i agree with sandhu if we get the chance to draft beal move demar to the 3 spot or even have beal come off the bench and be like a james harden type player who brings instant offense..if the raps do draft beal, BC should go after nic batum for the 3 spot hes young athletic can defend and has length he’s 6’8” and could even move to the 4 spot if needed…as far as the team goes i like who they have i hope they keep aron gray hes a 7 footer who does the dirty work i dont like him starting but everytime you have a 7 footer coming of the bench its always a bonus if i were BC i would try to trade amir and make room for ed davis on the depth chart…the raps should not trade barnani give him one more season, before he got injured he was 6th in the league in scoring and was playing at an all star level not to mention coach casey had him playing defense..like a great wine it only gets better with age!

  15. I can’t see BC doing anything but spending every cent they’ve got trying to sign the biggest FA or FAs he can convince to come. Trades and even the pick is secondary to that. That’s my guess.

  16. bargnani/calderon for amare

    nash signing

    wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    • bargs and calderon for 2 really old, beat up players who want/need huge money?. i don’t know much about basketball but i see there’s someone who has even worse ideas.

    • Amare? Really? You want another scoring big man who isn’t a good defender? And who’s injury prone?

      I’m amazed at how many people are quick to criticize Colangelo but then come up with some of the absolute worst trade proposals.

    • And this is why you aren’t the GM of the Toronto Raptors. You’re gonna trade Bargs (who played at an All-Star caliber until injuries slowed him down) and Calderon (who has improved drastically from last year on the defensive end. Wasn’t amazing, but a big improvement from last year) for Amare Stoudemire (a player who’s been in so many injury that he is uninsurable and know for playing bad defense). I think I proved my point. Although I wouldn’t mind signing Nash, since I want to see him retire as a proud Canadian Raptor, but it’s not in the best interest of the Raptors who are getting pieces to make playoff contention for the long run.

      • im not the GM of the raptors, because well, nobody on this blog is… not because of my horrible yet genius trade ideas.

        what have calderon and bargnani accomplished in their tenure here (their nba career). ab-so-lutely nothing. i am tired of them. bargnani has his moments but he’s also a perennial injury concern, plus he’s not that good. calderon is old hat. but they would both fit well on the knicks, actually.

        we’ve got plenty of young talent to continue to develop- Derozan, Johnson, Davis, JV and whoever our pick is. I don’t think that’s an issue. our issue (IMHO) is that if we keep this current group together and just add pieces, they are just going to continue to lose, for ever and ever… so if we’ve gotta give up a little cap space for a couple years in order to shake things up and be relevant, so be it.

    • i wanna put this out there but AB is gona b a allstar nxt yr n will b waay better than amare lol he was picked number one fora reason also if u didnt notice raps had a better record when he was on the floor his d got tremendously better so guys give the man a break n watch he will be great also the raps need a 3 not another 4 :D

  17. time for Toronto to take its place as a large market team and buy its way into the play-offs and eventually a championship. Builing through the draft is for small markets, that will eventually lose their players to the big market teams. We are a big market its time to stand up, act like one and attract players to this city. One of the most progressive cities in the world and all we have is second class sports team. Enough already

  18. rebuilding is done…….its time for some renovations!!!!!……a trade or 2, and a key free agent signing, no overpaying & were good……5th place in the east next year

  19. sign steve nash, trade bargnani,calderon and the first pick, to dallas for dirk

    • So basically, you want the Raptors to grab two over the hill players whose best years are behind them, and who were never good defensive players in the first place, in hopes of making them somewhat competitive over the next couple of years.

      • better than finishing dead last for in the division for another 5 years
        while tanking and hoping for high draft picks
        even the clippers figure out this year they’ve had enough of that

        • I’d rather go through 5 years of losing in order to build a legitimate contender than build mediocre team after mediocre team, which is what the Raptors have been doing for just about their entire existence.

          • with the recent draft history and talent judgment this team has, I wouldnt put too much hope on that…

          • Colangelo hasn’t made one poor first round pick while with Toronto. Probably his worst pick was Bargnani, but it’s not as if he completely blew the pick, either. DeRozan was a decent pick and no one below Ed Davis has shown to be better than him.

            And Valanciunas looks like a great pick.

            Colangelo’s biggest problem seems to be where and when he’s picking, not who he’s picking.

            I mean, would the team be much better off with LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Jennings, and Patrick Patterson?

    • Dallas trading Dirk? Not going to happen.

      Trading Dirk for Bargnani and Calderon and a first rounder? Come on, are you serious? Why in the world would Dallas do that trade?

      • just hoping for a miracle, and mark cuban bad trade (steve nash to phoenix),
        i guess you could add 2 or 3 more raptor players on the list and the value would still not be close to equal

      • what I think we should do with Calderon right now since he is an expiring contract is take a high pick with a high-paid loser like Andray Blatche.

  20. I have to say there are more horrible ideas in these comments than the Clippers could come up with in an entire season.

  21. If the raptors are lucky enough to get the first pick (it is possible they have similar odds to the cave last season) they should draft Anthony Davis (Duh? But wait the raptors already have lots of PFs) they should trade them all. The optimal return would be a Danny Granger or Rudy Gay esc SF the raptors without Barnagni need a scorer. Period. They would keep DeMar DeRozen at the 2 for a second option or maybe third IF: it may be possible with the extremely hyped Anthony Davis, Rudy Gay/Danny Granger/ maybe even Carmello Anthony (I don’t think the pacers or grizzlies are looking to change much so Melo may be easier to acquire) that D-will may decide Toronto is a fine option, if he does then we could potentially rig a sign and trade with the nets sending them calderon and maybe Barnagni (if we still have him). Then the raptors line up would look like D-will, DeRozen, SF, AD, JV pretty good right?

  22. Tony Parker!! He is 3 months younger then nash was when B.C signed him 7 odd years ago. what we give up???? …..
    this will happen.
    plus he is a euro.

  23. BC can promise all he wants but ultimately this comes down to whether the Raptors move up in the lottery or not. Sure signing a big FA would help, but unless that’s paired with a great draft pick, it’s .500 for a few seasons and then rebuilding again.

  24. wat raps need is to keep AB,DD,JJ,ED,JV,JC n start making moves on everyone else like i said b4 AB gona avg 22 and 6r soon watch since casey came alot things changed on this team n he didnt even hav a summer camp or alot of time to practice with his team at all cuz of the lockout this team will b a playoff team with the rite draft pik (bradley Beal or robinson plz! :P) n sign some quality players, hey we hav the cap space im seeing a great team in the making ive been watching raps for yrs n this yr i feel like there is some hope for this team go raps! go canada!

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