Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brian Colangelo, The Savior?

We all of course we remember when BC, aka the architect, agreed to come to Toronto. The city once again had a non alcoholic related buzz about it, people were talking, someone of consequence, was coming North. With half the team removed, a leafs team scrambling to d o anything, a #1 pick and a Canadian themed uniform, it was safe to believe this was the time for the Raptors. We can reinvent the culture, forget the 81 point nightmare, it was finally time for the Raptors to matter.

Uncharacteristically, we were right!

With the arrival of "Il Mago" and the signing of TJ. Ford, and the development of Bosh, our core was set. The Raptors stormed through with an NBA best rivaling home record and were blessed with our second banner, a division title. Fans were inspired. "BC for PM!" signs read in the stands. The town was talking. Jesus Christ, aka Bryan had come to save us, to rescue us from the dark. As we stormed to third place in the league, people wondered what we could really do in the playoffs. How far away that seems now.

The sea of red. How nice of us to make the Nets feel welcome. But lets not harp about allowing someone to average a triple double. Hell, lets skip last season and not complain about allowing someone to average 20 and 20. Lets just focus on now and what's left of BC's legacy?

I think Solomon deserves to be here twice.

But what was left from Mr Embry?

The first pick

Given that the first pick was handed to him to choose, how many great pieces has he really brought here. For the most part, we seem to have accumulated an astounding number of limited players, whether they be scrubs, athletically challenged, intellectually challenged or what have you. Take out whoever would have been our first pick, and it looks more like we used all our cap space on an undeniably talented but risky player, and the rest we can barely give away, let alone trade away. Looking at what Wayne Embry left us, yes he made his mistakes, but for the most part, the players we move forward, are his. Yes I would keep Graham, I still believe once he knows his role, he can be a solid rotation player.

Looking back at this, should we be surprised? I don't know why we should be. To me, BC has always seemed like a great builder, but not fine tuner. People seem to remember Phoenix as always having Nash, but look a bit further back and you'll see a not so fabulous team. In fact, you would probably notice a team a lot like the raptors, destined to get to the first round at best. But lets not even look at those years of mediocrity and lets focus on the Suns of success. Within one year, BC pulled off a serious of moves highlighted by the arrival of Nash. They took off, but to me, that highlight of a season was their peak. I still don't think they are better today than with that lineup of Nash, Johnson, Richardson, Marion and Stoudemire. BC traded Johnson for a bunch of scrubs buried on an Atlanta bench and the team never was able to get over the hump. He was never quite able to fine tune that team and I don't see it changing any time soon.

I don't doubt for a second his ability to shed contracts, and rebuild from nothing, but I do question his ability and willingness to take risks, to gamble and as I've said many times now, fine tune. In the off season, I was hoping we would be able to use Rasho and TJ as separate pieces believing that there was no fix it all player. BC took a gamble and it's clearly not paying off now but I do commend the risk he took. Hopefully this has not turned him off risk taking and next year, if all signs point towards another sinking ship next year that he has the courage to pull off a move that can restore some pieces, give us some depth, and perhaps allow the raps to at least maintain, mediocrity.

It is undeniable that in his first year, with the arrival of Parker, Bargnani, Ford, Garbo etc. that we were on the right track. But what can we say of his moves after our cloud nine season. Quite frankly, Kapono being our marquee signing, and giving up all our assets for one player doesn't quite cut it for me. As we swallow another loss at the hands of one of the more recent BC import's, one must wonder, with our core largely from a pre-Colangelo error, how much has he really done?


  1. I dream of that first FULL year BC came and gave a face lift to the Raptors, delivering us nine new players including Garbajoa and Delfino. My God I miss them. I hope BC can turn this around, for his own sake and because he really was our saviour - a couple of years ago at least.

  2. Two critical gambles have turned out very poorly. Imagine the team with Charlie Villeneuva and Roy Hibbert, would we have the same rebounding challenges?

    With respect to TJ and Jermaine, BC would be wise to avoid the home run trade and concentrate on trying to build a winner, slowly, with the intent at progress through the season and ending the year with an improving team.