Listening to Bryan Colangelo’s comments as part of the Raptors/Clippers broadcast on Sunday afternoon, it sounded like the Raptors’ President and General Manager might have been pointing the finger at head coach Dwane Casey.

After all, if the team’s 4-16 start (as of Colangelo’s comments on Sunday. Now, the team is 4-18) isn’t a talent issue, but has more to do with focus and attention to detail, wouldn’t you say that sounds like a coaching issue? There was also a random Colangelo comment about how he hoped Terrence Ross would have got more playing time in the pre-season.

Nonetheless, Colangelo shot down any thoughts of a coaching change while making the media rounds on Monday, and on Tuesday, Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY reported that Casey isn’t in danger of losing his job “at the moment.”

Citing “two people with knowledge of the Raptors’ thinking,” the report also states that “the more relevant question is how long it will be until Colangelo makes a roster move that helps his own situation.”

If Colangelo is being honest and the reports are true about Casey being safe for now, I’m actually happy about it. Don’t get me wrong, Dwane deserves his fair share of blame in this horrendous start and I haven’t exactly been pleased with what I’ll call disappointing coaching, but I also feel that he’s so much better than what he’s shown so far this season and can’t be used as the scapegoat after 22 games with an obviously flawed roster. As Colangelo himself said on TSN Radio last night, Casey has “earned the right to see this thing through.”

Having said that, there are reasonable limits to people’s patience – including ownership’s – and if this team loses another 10 games in a row or is sitting at 5-30 or something ridiculous along those lines later in the season, it will be hard to argue against a decision to let Casey go. In addition, as I’ve said recently, if a new general manager were to take over and decides to bring in his own hand picked coach over Casey after due process, I’d understand and wouldn’t argue with the decision.

But again, I just don’t feel that Bryan Colangelo should have the right to fire Casey when his own job should be on the line first. As Oliver has stressed, sports executives aren’t usually given enough leash to go through four coaches in six or seven years.

If Colangelo is indeed first in line on the chopping block (Casey is under contract for next season, whereas Colangelo reportedly only has a team option for 2013-14), then my question is how bad does it have to get for B.C. to be let go mid-season? I still think that he’ll be parted with in the off-season if the situation doesn’t drastically improve, but I’m sure that like Casey, there are certain limits on Colangelo. If this season continues to slide deeper and deeper into embarrassing depths, might we see Bryan suffer the same fate Rob Babcock suffered in the middle of the 2005-06 season?

Before this depressing road trip started, I said that the Raptors likely had to come out of it at least 6-16 to be in a somewhat manageable spot. I also mentioned that a winless trip and 4-18 record when they come back home would realistically eliminate any hope for the current season and would make the next 60 games more about playing for individual jobs, mainly Casey’s and Colangelo’s.

Well, we’re now at that point.

***

For what it’s worth, the same USA Today report reaffirms that Colangelo is dangling Andrea Bargnani as trade bait, and adds this interesting nugget: “Jose Calderon has made it clear that he would like to be traded, and Colangelo continues to explore the possibilities there as well,” before stating “A Raptors trade of some significance, more than likely, is on the horizon.”

Comments (25)

  1. COLANGELO HAS NO CLASS HE PUT THIS TEAM TOGETHER AND NOW HE WANTS TO BLAME COACHES AND PLAYERS…..LOOK IN THE MIRROR FIRST….WHAT OTHER GM IS MAKING ROUNDS THROWING HIS COACHES UNDER THE BUS….NOT EVEN WASHINTON IS DOING THIS…ONLY IN TORONTO WHAT A JOKER!

    • I didn’t hear anyone throwing anyone under the bus, and you don’t have to SHOUT about it.
      The team’s record dictates that everyone involved should be in the hot seat, Casey included.
      But I think BC should be let go first.

      • FIRST OF ALL I AM TYPING NOT YELLING… YOU DON’T LIKE CAPS TO BAD STOP BEING SO SENSATIVE…AFTER COLANGELO GOES YOU SHOULD GO! I GUESS YOUR ANOTHER HOCKEY FAN WHO THINKS HE KNOWS BALL!

  2. The Raptors organization needs to jettison our team president right now. Mr Colangelo, it’s really not working, and it’s been getting even worse.

  3. What worries me is what Colangelo has planned to try and save his job.

    Bottom line, if MLSE has made a decision already and he’s not going to be the GM after this season, get rid of him now before he makes the situation even worse for the next GM.

    • I gotta agree with you on that.
      We have got two decent assets in Bargnani and Calderon’s contract. What’s to be done with these should no longer be in BC’s hands.

  4. Fire Colangelo is fine. Who is going to replace him?

  5. Absolutely no way Casey should be fired. 7 years, 3 different coaches, but 1 GM and the same core players? There should be massive trades and a Colangelo firing before there’s even talk about firing the coach.

  6. Poor guy Sam Mitchell got fired because of a 8-9 start and casey still has his job from this start? I don’t see the logic. Sam actually knew how to get us to the playoffs and recent coaches jay triano and casey just don’t know how. This is just another reason why the raptors should fire colangelo

    • So by your logic, Casey should be fired simply because Mitchell was fired with a better record? As I recall, the 9 losses under Mitchell were mostly blowout losses where the team lacked any kind of effort or intensity. At least most of the losses under Casey (including last year) have been by a fairly close margin.

    • And it was the same kind of problems, the team just couldn’t compete on the west coast road trips. Casey’s record looks worse cause most of our games have been on the road this season so far. It’s ludicrous to point the blame at him and talk about firing ANOTHER coach, when it’s been the same GM and (mostly) same core players throughout.

    • CORRECTION STEVE TRIANO IS NO COACH……HE WAS A PAWN!

      • WHO DA EFF IS STEVE TRAINO??? YOU THINKIN OF STEVE JOBS???? THIS AIN’T NO APPLE CONVENTION FOR DA IPOD DIS IS DA NBA!!!!!!!!! FIRE BC AND STEVE

  7. Sad thing about it all is that Yes they have lost close games even games they werent supposed to be close in they have fought through, but when things go wrong they go wrong. Fact Jose shoots too much and cant play D, Andrea cannot post up play D all he does is take wired looking shots. but these are the guys playing a chunk of the time when they are down 4 or so and the lead ballons cuz Amir JV and the rest of em just come in and foul. Coach is to blame for sure, Ive never seen Casey yell or take a technical for his team not even once all he does is sit and mumble. Get Tough Casey

  8. It’s better to try a solution now, while the season is still young. Raptors need to do something and I’m not even talking about the numbers. Changes need to be made for sure.

  9. I don’t believe Casey should be blamed for the lack of talent on the team. I understand Lowry was injured and Fields is a complete bust so far.. but the team doesn’t gel, DeRozan takes BRUTAL shots, Bargnani is one of the softest players in the NBA. Calderon is a turnover machine. I could go on. I won’t.

  10. Casey finishes the season IMO.

    What I think is that Colangelo is let go mid-season (if ownership go that route), January-February-ish.

    The off-season is to late with the draft right around the corner and the last thing we’d want is another Babcock/draft fiasco resulting from a late hire.

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