2009-10 NBA Season Preview: Toronto Raptors



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




Toronto Raptors (Last Year: 33-49)

Depth Chart:

C: Andrea Bargnani/Rasho Nesterovic/Patrick O'Bryant

PF: Chris Bosh/Reggie Evans/Amir Johnson

SF: Hedo Turkoglu/Antoine Wright

SG: Demar DeRozan/Marco Belinelli/Sonny Weems/Quincy Douby

PG: Jose Calderon/Jarrett Jack/Marcus Banks

Head Coach: Jay Triano (2nd year)

2009-2010 Team Salary: $68.2 million

Projected 2010-2011 Team Salary: approximately $43.7 million



Off-Season Grade: Passed

No team improved more this offseason that the Raptors. Convincing Hedo Turkoglu to come to Canada rather than Portland was a major get as it gives them a much-needed playmaker on the perimeter. First-round pick Demar DeRozan fits that category as well and should provide some welcomed athleticism and explosiveness to the wing.

Toronto also brought in Jarrett Jack, Reggie Evans, Marco Belinelli, Amir Johnson and Rasho Nesterovic in their roster makeover, all of whom should be nice role players coming off the bench.



2009-2010 Outlook:

I would be shocked if Toronto didn't drastically improve their 33-49 record from a year. While the Raptors made all the right moves this offseason to become a better team, they are still not in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference. If it all comes together, they could potentially finish as high as fourth in the East, but it is more likely they fall in the 5-8 range, yet still make the playoffs.

It will also be interesting to see what happens with Chris Bosh. If Toronto underachieves and do not appear likely to re-sign Bosh, there is a chance the big man could get traded rather than risk losing him next summer and getting nothing in return.



Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

Next summer entirely hinges on what happens with Bosh. If he decides to opt out of the final year of his contract, which is very likely, and signs elsewhere, Toronto will be about $10 million under the cap, but with a massive hole to fill in their frontcourt. Bosh has not been very interested in talking extension this summer but has to feel good about the improvements the Raptors have made this offseason to become more competitive in the Eastern Conference. I still have a hard time believing he will stay in Toronto after this season, but you never know.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 11th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




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Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

Next summer entirely hinges on what happens with Bosh. If he decides to opt out of the final year of his contract, which is very likely, and signs elsewhere, Toronto will be about $10 million under the cap, but with a massive hole to fill in their frontcourt. Bosh has not been very interested in talking extension this summer but has to feel good about the improvements the Raptors have made this offseason to become more competitive in the Eastern Conference. I still have a hard time believing he will stay in Toronto after this season, but you never know.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 11th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com








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