Rudy Gay Press Conference

We’ve been waiting for what we thought was imminent news on the job status of Bryan Colangelo for a couple of weeks now, and on Friday afternoon, some finally trickled through.

First, citing multiple NBA sources, Doug Smith reported in the Toronto Star that Tim Leiweke and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment have “hired a head-hunting firm to whittle down a list of possible replacements” for Colangelo.

In addition, Smith reports that the Raptors have until Monday to decide whether or not to pick up the 2013-14 option year on Colangelo’s contract.

Later on Friday, Michael Grange confirmed the news…

So there you have it. Whether it’s a deadline date that was already in the contract, a drop dead date that Leiweke came up with or Colangelo has asked for, or one that both parties have agreed to, Bryan’s fate will be decided by Monday one way or another.

I’ve held firm that Colangelo’s failures (a five-year playoff drought without cap space or a 2013 lottery pick to show for it) simply would have made it ridiculous to extend him, but I did think that from a stability standpoint and the fact that an incoming GM would have his hands tied by the current salary cap situation, Bryan’s option would be picked up and 2013-14 would serve as a make or break year for he and Dwane Casey.

Then, if Leiweke and the board wanted to go in another direction at this time next year, the next general manager would have a little more flexibility in initiating change. With these latest developments, however, it’s hard to imagine Colangelo being back for another stab in the dark.

I suppose it’s possible that MLSE concludes Colangelo is still the best option after conducting a search, but it seems unlikely, doesn’t it? Between the initial Phil Jackson rumours, the length of time it has taken for Leiweke to make a decision on Colangelo and the fact that MLSE is apparently already looking for a possible replacement, Bryan’s time in Toronto appears to be reaching its end.

Many Raptors fans will likely be encouraged by the potential change in direction, and that’s fair, but a word of caution I’d give you is that there’s no guarantee a Colangelo replacement would like/keep the same current Raptors you like or that he would look to move the current Raptors you assume anybody other than B.C. would move. In addition, while I do have a significant amount of blind faith in Tim Leiweke, this is still the Raptors we’re talking about, so until something actually does happen, don’t just assume it will.

For now, we wait…again.

I’ll be around to write about and react to any breaking Colangelo news over the next few days. Until then, enjoy the long weekend.


UPDATE: One thing I failed to mention above is that Smith wrote in his report that “Two names being tossed around NBA circles” are Kevin Pritchard and Troy Weaver.

Pritchard is the current General Manager of the Pacers (since last June) and served as Trail Blazers GM from 2007 until 2010, while Weaver is the current Vice President and Assistant GM of the Thunder, where he has worked under Sam Presti for five years.

We’re still too early in the process to know enough (and really, we don’t even know that Colangelo is finished yet), but at first glance, if those were the two names out there, I’d prefer Weaver. I’m not knocking Pritchard, saying that the Raptors have to hire a first time GM or saying that they should hire a younger guy, but I do think this perceived need for a “proven” NBA executive is wildly exaggerated. Do Masai Ujiri, Sam Presti or Daryl Morey look lost to you in their first full fledged GM jobs?

Exactly. It’s time to think outside of the box. I’d rather the Raptors try to find a forward thinking member of another team’s management staff than the average, recycled, run of the mill NBA GM.

Comments (19)

  1. This is hilarious – looking for possible replacements two days before colangelo’s contract is up..? What is MLSE – a university sophmore that forgot a major paper was due and crams over the weekend to get it done?

    A bit of a blunder, no?

  2. I’m not sure how having another year of a lame duck GM does or is going to provide stability. Also, implying that a new GM coming in and remaking the team/taking a step back is somehow worse than the shit we’ve been watching for the last 5 years is something I also disagree with, seems to be one of the go to arguments for Colangelo apologists over the last few years.

    Any sign of a plan even if it involves someone else coming in and trading players some fans have grown fond of is something I’m open to.

    Hopefully we get something concrete in regards to the Colangelo front in a couple of days.

  3. MLSE is a joke, who would even want the job with the way they handle stuff.

    Still feel they should pick up his option and go with a make or break year with him and Casey. Just add a couple players to strengthen the bench and let it ride. How happy will you idiots be if we get a new GM and he decides to blow it all up and rebuild again. Then it will be at least another 4 yrs before we even talk playoffs.

    It’s reported they are talking to the Pacers GM (why would he leave there to come here?!?!? Considering he just joined them in 2012) and OKC assistant GM (who was involved for the last 3 yrs and didn’t have anything to do with drafting Durant, westbrook, or any decent player they have – Quality GM material……..)

    Why do the Raptors need a head hunting firm? Shoudn’t Leiweke know himself who potential GM’s are? Why does he need a 3rd party finding him talent. Is he not connected in the league?

    • “How happy will you idiots be if we get a new GM and he decides to blow it all up and rebuild again. Then it will be at least another 4 yrs before we even talk playoffs.”

      Um, very happy actually. Rebuilding and securing a high 2014 pick is the best thing that could happen to the team right now.

      Also, setting a goal to simply make the playoffs is something that no team should ever strive for. Besides, how happy will you idiots be if we continue to get knocked out of the playoffs in the first round year after year.

    • This idiot would be tickled pink.

      • This team isn’t as bad as some of you think it is. It’s good enough to beat everyone except Miami, Indiana, Chicago(w/ Rose) in the playoffs. It’s not the same team that started horribly. Raptors have the second best 2 and 3 in the East, second only to Lebron and Wade. You can argue that that DD and Gay have similar skill set…….so does Lebron and Wade. How many 3′s do you see them taking. JV improved a ton from the guy who started the season. Amir was amazing and Lowry had the offence running.

        A training camp focused on D, with maybe 2 pieces and the team is top 5 in the East. A 5 point difference in the games they lost have them in that position.

        You want them to blow up the team and what…..become the Charlotte Bobcats!?!? Would u still watch or attend games if they dropped that low for the next couple yrs? Oh wait….all the big name free agents would REALLY want to come to Toronto if the team went that low.

        The draft isn’t an automatic ticket to success…..we could probably tank and still have the ping pong balls bounce so we aren’t in a position to draft Wiggins.

        • I agree with you J, this team is not that bad. With a continuous development of the defensive mentality over the summer, and with Amir, Demar, Jonas, Rudy, and Kyle on the floor (had a top 10 rating in defence) like shit, Defence wins championships. Sure it’s still early-ish days, and the team needs to develop consistency.. I mean we’ve got a new shape to look at since Rudy’s been here. Not including our 4-19 start (injuries to key players, lowry finding his feet, the horrible away schedule.. not excuses, but explanations) you could say growing pains. we’ve been 500 since then. 500, lost jose, ed davis, gained rudy. No one needs to do anything rash like fire Colangelo: he’s brought in Rudy Gay, Jonas Valancunis, Kyle Lowry… this team needs time to build comradare, familiarity, understanding, chemistry so they can play together, and start Winning together. I like the talks about having a legend come into Toronto , aka Phil Jackson, so hopefully if they make a decision about the GM it’s calculated and they have a good man who knows what direction this team’s going, and helps facilitate that growth. IMO though, give him one more year.

        • The “this team isn’t that bad” refrain is part of the problem. Many of us want a team that is more than “not bad”. Or at least has the potential to be very good. This team doesn’t have that potential. Not with the current roster.

          And unfortunately your statement that they can beat anyone in the playoffs except Miami, Indiana and Chicago is just an opinion. And one without any evidence to back up the opinion. They lost against Milwaukee both times they played them with Gay. They lost 2 out of 3 against the Knicks, with Gay. Also lost 2 out of 3 against Washington with Gay. Outside of the last handful of games, when teams were either resting their good players, or were already on cruise control in anticipation of the playoffs, the Raptors actually had a losing record after the Gay trade. There’s no reason to believe the Raptors will even make the playoffs, let alone vie for home court advantage in the playoffs.

          And the argument that they will improve, so obviously their record will only works if you assume most of the rest of the East won’t improve, which probably isn’t true.

          The team certainly isn’t bad, but the roster is full of mediocre, but vastly overpriced talent. That’s not something that generally ends up working out well for a team. The best thing that could happen to the Raptors is for a new GM to come in and blow this team up. I’d rather go through another 3-4 years of losing when there’s actually HOPE for becoming a contender, than watching this team hop on the mediocrity treadmill for the next decade.

          • “The best thing that could happen to the Raptors is for a new GM to come in and blow this team up”

            Tim thats an opinion too, based on no real evidence as well. The hope that this team will become a contender is the same hope that some have that this team will improve.

          • @ tee

            Yes, it’s an opinion, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that drafting is the best way to go for a small market team like Toronto. If you get high picks you give yourself the chance to draft some good players and build something meaningful down the road.

            On the contrary, the Raptors essentially have no hope for anything at this point since they’re capped out and have no flexibility. As Tim mentioned, there is not even a gaurantee that they make the playoffs next year. But even if they do, they’re nothing more than an easy first round matchup for a team like Miami. That’s also the fate for the forseeable future, so, again, what’s the point of that?

        • @ J May

          You’ve said this before and it makes no sense. How does DeRozan and Gay’s skillset compare to James and Wade?

          Two guys who have never even been on an all star team are comparable to two future hall of famers? No.

  4. i wonder what will happen to casey

  5. The whole “search firm” thing is smoke and mirrors, boys! Why would Lieweke hire a search firm to interview Pritchard? or the Assistant from OKC?…Search firms are designed for the “hidden market” to get the person hiring, the most qualified candidates that they can’t seem to find – the two names mentioned are known – to interview or consider them you don’t need a search firm – they are known and their body of work is known. TL is hoping BC quits, so he doesn’t have to fire him…..there is no search firm. I would caution Doug Smiths reporting, no creditably and no accuracy – he is more wrong than he is right!…. Remember how Doug Smith insisted that the Rudy Gay trade was not going to happen because his “insiders” told him so – and in his blog he insulted everyone who disagreed with him (he is the Mike Wilner of basketball) – the very next day BAMM!!! The trade went through!

    • @Dnnsndzb

      OK fine – key article, its just another reporter stating the same thing only he gives a name to the search firm that is supposedly has been hired by “sources” saying so – not Tim himself. I would also be interested to see hwta Tim’s relationship is with this company – he probably owns shares therefore he is boosting it’s creditably and further awareness as a industry leading search firm in a brilliant “branding-marketing” move….why not use this moment and opportunity to display this company in this media focused light…He is a business man first, lets not forget that…I still think it’s a PR move more then anything, as to why? I don’t know; yet!…but those are my assumptions – this just doesn’t add up!
      So, let me get this straight – Lieweke takes over a new position with extreme responsibly with billion of dollars and stake holders at risk – he needs a president (or wants a new one) for the basketball division of this empire. Knowing that this position is very very very important to everyone involved moving forward, he doesn’t trust his own executive assessment and evaluation skills to recruit the proper person himself, this is his first move of his tenure, so he hires this firm! TL doesn’t need a search firm to tell him who is available and who has the credentials he is looking for, for this position….does TL not know who Massi is? he needs a search firm to tell him that!??? Do you think TL knowing and having previously stressed how important the presidents job is, is going to take a “hands – off” approach and out source the responsibly???
      I am not asking for another piece of support that it has been said or noted by supposed sources – I want to know why?…why the search firm?…Until then, welcome to PR 101!

  6. The demise of Colangelo seems imminent, so I wish I would have prepared for his departure. Really, I should have purchased a 2L bottle of Presidents Choice Cola and left it out in the sun for 2 years. This way, when Colangelo gets placed on MLSE’s curb on executive trash collection day I could pour out a beverage that best characterizes Colangelo’s tenure at the Raptors – mediocre and 2 years past his expiration date.

    As some have written, I do hope some kind of tear down happens once Colangelo’s blueprint of capped out mediocrity is scrapped. The team, as it currently stands, is the equivalent of a mind condition Hyundai Pony. Sure, it may have some value, but in the end, a Hyundai Pony is still a Hyundai Pony, a not so great car. Amir Johnson and Valenciunas are saved from the analogy, as I don’t want to soil their good names.

  7. ugh

    *mint condition Hyundai Pony

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