Perhaps the Raptors do have a plan

- July 15th, 2010

I had been giving the Raptors and Bryan Colangelo grief recently for refusing to rebuild. It looked like they would do the usual MLSE thing and eschew a rebuild in favour of giving their all just to make the playoffs for a very brief period.

But on the FAN 590 today, Colangelo talked a good game and actually made it apparent that the team just might be going about things on the right track after all.

Here’s a transcript of some of the notables that were said,  the highlights being: it is unfortunate the way Charlotte handled the apparent Calderon trade; there is interest in Calderon but if he comes back he will be OK with it; the team is building around youth and wants to keep as much cap flexibility as possible; spending into the luxury tax is highly unlikely right now, but they can spend $11-13 million before they get into the tax.

Bryan Colangelo notables:
There are some things you don’t talk about and I think the safest answer is deal’s not done until it’s done but I’m obv a little disappointed that it didn’t go through. Felt like we were moving down that path, in fact further than just moving down the path  to the extent that  unfortunately I had some communication with Jose’s agent that something was going to take place and it’s unfortunate that it happened that way.

Fortunately, we were able to keep the other part alive which was moving Hedo along. That was the result of somthing just not panning out. Made some moves last year to put some pieces around Chris. Had some success before the all-star break than the wheels fell off. He just didn’t seem like he was in the right mindset to come back to Toronto and make it right.

We have greater cap flexibility moving forward, which is never a bad thing to have. A year or two out we’re looking at sig cap space assuming we don’t do a lot to disrupt that. Whether or not we find the right pieces we still have some tools to use here with respect to some of the exceptions tat have been acquired to go out and fill ot the roster.
Positive youth movement. Right now we’re the buzz of the summer league out here in Las Vegas and there are 20 teams represented. We’ve got some young talent. We’ve got a bright future. Got a major trade exception and ust picked up another $2.75 exception in the deal. Have got major cap flexibility a year or two out.

I’ll reserve comment other than to say it doesn’t hurt us in negotiating, fence mending that needs to be  (done). I don’t think Reggie is going to have a problem last year of contract. And Jose is in a similar situation, he kind of knew what was on the wall us talking about some decisions late in the season. We respect Jose as a player, very solid player, there is a lot of interest in him.

Trade call isn’t done until it is done. Part of the business and it happens, so we move on.

Luxury tax: The board is willing to do whatever it takes to win but going into th etax has to be justfiable from both a business and basketball perspective. They were more than willing to accept the tax scenario, but that was under different circumstances (Chris Bosh returning). We were going to go for the pieces that would help us support and build around Chris to make that happen. Big statement on the board’s part to make that statement. Now we’re two weeks into the free agency period. Puts us in a different situation. Have roughly $11-13 million of flexibility under the tax. It would be a pretty hard thing to justify right now going into a tax picture unless there was some unbelievable trade available to us that would improve our trade. With Chris gone, this is somewhat of a different strategy. Have young players, have draft picks, have trade exceptions. If the right piece comes along, we’ll (look to add it) but now you want to keep flexibility.
Not just going to utilize this to get a bad contract. Have a chance to surprise people this year. Young talent is an important thing.

Look at this picture now without the handcuffs of a $106 million dollar deal. There was a question is he that max guy, or does he need somebody next to him like a Kobe or a LeBron.
It’s A perfect situation for him now and he’s probably going to thrive.
Need to move on and find our own identity without him. Going out and spending into the tax may not be a prudent thing to do.
I could use pretty much every dime of the Bosh trade exception and still stay under the tax.
By virtue of Denver siging Harrington, makes it more likely we have Kleiza.

So many various balls in the air right now, so many new opportunities.

There’s a lot of things going on. I’m in the gym with 29 other general managers, it’s a little bit of a free-for-all. We’re sitting back, being patient, digesting some things.  (Turkoglu) deal put us in a different situation. If we can create more flexibility, that’s something I would like to do (so we can be a bigger player a couple of years out).

Also, just wanted to let people know that the fifth annual All-Star Charity Shootout Clash of the Charities goes Saturday at York University. It will be a chance to see some excellent GTA players. Here’s a list of the participants. The event includes a barbeque and live entertainment with all proceeds going to War Child Canada and the Pinball Clemons Foundation.

Categories: Basketball

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