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2013 Toronto Raptors

Team Needs, Free Agents, Season Preview

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Toronto Raptors (Last Year: 34-48)

2012-13 Season Summary:
The Toronto Raptors made a massively aggressive move during the season by trading for Rudy Gay and his monster contract in hopes of finding a go-to scoring option. That move, combined with the acquisition of point guard Kyle Lowry during the offseason, added quality veterans in an attempt to accelerate the team's post-Chris Bosh rebuilding efforts. Gay was his typical productive self on the offensive, and while Lowry didn't wow anyone with his play, allowed Toronto to deal long-time Raptor Jose Calderon for Gay.

Jonas Valanciunas' arrival was much anticipated, and while he struggled with injury and the early transition to the NBA game, he played very well down the stretch to prove his potential is plentiful as Toronto's big man of the future. His expected frontcourt mate, Andrea Bargnani, once again battled the injury bug and when healthy, had his worst season in five years. Bargnani's name popped up in trade rumors throughout the season, and it is beginning to become more clear that his future is not as promising as it once was.

Fresh off his contract extension, DeMar DeRozan was the team's top scorer until Gay arrived, and the duo provides a lot of athleticism and scoring punch on the wing. Newly acquired Landry Fields didn't make the impact that Toronto had hoped when it signed him away from the Knicks in the offseason, but rookie Terrence Ross did show enough potential to reportedly make him "untouchable" in any trade scenarios.

With all of the moves the Raptors have made and new pieces they have added in the past twelve months, there is going to be some time needed before the pieces all mesh together. It is now the job of Ujiri and Dwayne Casey (assuming he is retained as head coach) to get the new-look roster to end the organization's playoff drought.

2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Jonas Valanciunas/Marcus Camby/Aaron Gray

PF: Amir Johnson/Steve Novak/Quincy Acy

SF: Rudy Gay/Landry Fields/Linas Kleiza

SG: DeMar DeRozan/Terrence Ross

PG: *Kyle Lowry/John Lucas III

NBA Offseason Transactions:

The Raptors acquire C-Marcus Camby, SF-Steve Novak, a 2016 first-round pick, a 2014 second-round pick (via the Thunder) and a 2017 second-round pick from the Knicks for PF-Andrea Bargnani.

NBA Free Agents:

SF-Mickael Pietrus (UFA)

SG-Alan Anderson (UFA)

PG-Sebastian Telfair (UFA)

2013-14 Team Salary: Approximately $70.6 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Trade Bargnani: Bargnani is still on the books for $23 million for the next two seasons, and while his trade value is at an all-time low, Ujiri might be willing to give him up for 10 cents on the dollar if it will help create some cap space. On paper, Bargnani's ability to stretch the floor with his outside shooting would be a terrific complement inside to the bruising Valanciunas. Nevertheless, Ujiri would likely pull the trigger on a deal if it can help the team's long-term salary situation. Amnestying Bargnani could be another option for the new GM if a trade is not possible.

2. Point Guard: Lowry has a $6.2-million team option on the final year of his contract that the Raptors would be moronic not to pick up. With that being said, Lowry had a bit of a roller coaster first season north of the border, battling injury, clashing with his head coach, and not playing as well as he did in Houston. Toronto could look to move Lowry this summer, but even if he is back on the roster for 2013-14, finding another option outside John Lucas III at the point would be a smart move.

3. Hire George Karl: After Ujiri left Denver, Karl was surprisingly fired as head coach of the Nuggets. That pair obviously did good things together in Denver, so why not let go of Casey and make a serious run at Karl, who has helped mid-small market teams like the Nuggets and Bucks reach their potential. I'm not sure how enticing it would be for Karl to take the Raptors' head coaching job - especially when there are better openings out there - but with his experience in finding ways for a team to jell, why not make a serious run at reuniting in Toronto?

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Sondi 01-04-2014 01:00 am (total posts: 1)
2     3

Th'tas the best answer of all time! JMHO
Dashing 01-02-2014 01:28 am (total posts: 1)
3     2

I've seen lots of gorgeous women with bald guys. How about Demi Moore and Bruce Willis? That's just one exlpame, but there are lots more. Seal (not only has a shaved head, but not fantastic looking at all) and Heidi Klum, to name another couple.Just don't do the comb-over. Yuck. That beyond doubt wouldn't do well!
Pelicans fan 06-17-2013 11:27 pm (total posts: 1)
6     8

I think the raptors should go for trading Bargiana and their pick and put Bargiani on a certain contender while getting back a 4 who can play or a 5 who forces Val to the 4 since Aaron Gray and Amir Johnson/Quincy Acy won't cut it if they want to contend.
Geiger 10-18-2012 11:43 am (total posts: 1)
11     10

I think the Raptors will be one of the biggest improvements throughout the NBA..they upgraded in all the positions they needed to and Derozan will have another year of experience behind him. Toronto wont compete in the playoffs, but getting there shouldnt be a problem.
haha 05-27-2012 09:54 pm (total posts: 1)
46     24

get rid of aron gray keep bayless use calderon n draft pik to get higher pik, draft bradley beals pray to god jonas is as good as everyone says n AB will have a 26 point 7 rebound season get my asia boi linsanity in a raps jersey n yes nick name jonas the valanciraptor!!!! :D
Janine 11-02-2011 04:15 pm (total posts: 1)
22     22

A mtinue saved is a minute earned, and this saved hours!
Dave 06-26-2011 11:32 am (total posts: 1)
26     27

An excellent selection.

With Bayless and still having Calderon we need a PG like a hole in the head. Hopefully after Calderon is traded for a pick we can target Torontonian MYCK KABONGO PG in 2012 and have another 1st rounder to go after a SF (John Henson?)

Alongside Kanter, he is the best Center this year and next and was a very intelligent choice. Forget nationality and skin colour, Center has been a need for the last decade
Big Val 06-24-2011 09:11 pm (total posts: 1)
28     27

Of the high upside, unknown foreign bigs-- Jan Vesely has quickly become popular because of his Birdman-like highlight reels and smoking hot girlfriend and Bismack Biyombo may be the most fun because of his name, but Lithuania is a basketball factory and the kids that come up there know how to play the game. The only issue is developing physically and adjusting to the more rugged NBA style of play. I like Big V's chances better than any foreign big man down the road but it will take some time to happen.
mpr 06-24-2011 10:28 am (total posts: 1)
28     26


IMO, unless there's a stud PG like Rose, Wall, Paul, etc., available, it's always a good idea to go big. Skilled bigs are a rare commodity and Valanciunas offers the skill set to complement Bargnani, or even make Bargnani potential trade bait in a deal for a PG. I like Kemba Walker, but I don't think he'll find it as easy to get his shot off on the NBA level. I'm not saying he's the next Mateen Cleaves, but he and Knight were overrated going into this draft due to teams' desperation for quality PGs, IMO. The Raptors didn't reach and made the correct (albeit BORING) pick.
John From Toronto 06-24-2011 01:05 am (total posts: 1)
25     39

Suprise! Draft time again and the Raptors draft a European big man. Thought this was a nice opportunity to draft a potential point guard of the future like Brandon Knight.

Although Valanciunas sounds like he has a lot of upside this is certainly not a pick that the Toronto fan base can fall in love with nor will it pay immediate dividends in the win-loss column. More empty seats at the Air Canada Centre. Yawn...when is the Leafs season starting...
Raptorized Dan 06-23-2011 10:21 pm (total posts: 1)
524     28

New nickname: The Valanciraptor.
Northern Charge 06-23-2011 10:14 pm (total posts: 1)
31     28

Oh man. Another white, European player. Surprise! I'm starting to think it's because they have been scared off by all the American studs they have had that didn't want to play there. Europeans aren't as picky.

It'll be a year or two before he is even able to come to Canada to play, and by then DeRozan will have demanded a trade out of town.

Book it.
huja wang 06-23-2011 09:02 pm (total posts: 1)
27     30

this is an awful pick it should have been kemba walker or brandon knight
Walter 06-21-2011 05:19 pm (total posts: 1)
26     25

First comment... we're going to have comment boards like this all over the site soon. We're still working out the kinks, so this is not the finished product.

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