Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What The 2010 Off-Season Moves, Really Mean (Atlantic Division pt.3)

Toronto Raptors
Drafted: Ed Davis
Key gains: Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza, David Andersen
Key losses: Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright

Time to rebuild yet again in the T Dot. This time they have no star player to build around and it's gonna be a total team effort. They do have some young athletes that will at least keep the Raptor fans excited. I know it was only summer league but DeMar DeRozan looks like the next start north of the border. He's not just a dunker, he showed the ability to get his own shot off and shoot with range. So by the time DeRozan puts it all together and is an All-Star or borderline All-Star he'll be looking to get out of Canada as well. The loss of Chris Bosh and Turkoglu leave the main scoring load on Andrea Bargnani, and it's time for the one time #1 pick to produce and be more consistent. Bargnani is a match-up nightmare for centers in The League because he has to be checked all the way out to the 3-point line, he's pretty much a WAY more athletic Mehmet Okur. If Andrea can put up 20 and finally start hitting the glass and be around 10 boards every night, the Raptors might be in the mix for a surprise playoff appearance.

Ed Davis also showed some promise in Las Vegas this past July. He was injured most of his sophomore year at UNC so his stock took a hit, but he can get it done in the post and might be Bosh 2.0, of course he needs to get stronger but he has a good motor and can finish strong in the post, he may be a better long term prospect than Derrick Favors. The Raps also had a sneaky pick-up by getting Linas Kleiza on his return to The League, he was huge off the bench for the Nuggets a couples seasons back, he's only gotten better, giving this team a legit inside/outside guy. They re-upped Amir Johnson who is a good run/jump big that can block some shoots and finish off from guard penetration. This leads to the second biggest question mark on this team, and that is the PG spot, is it gonna be Jarret Jack who has great leadership qualities, or Jose Calderon who seems to have fallen off. I think Jack should be the guy, and if you got Calderon, Kleiza, Davis and maybe Sonny Weems (also had a good summer league), you have a solid second unit.

In conclusion: Toronto took a huge hit by losing their most consistent player (Bosh), but maybe gained something by losing their most inconsistent player (Hedo). Now the young players can spread their wings and one will hopefully emerge as "The Man" on this squad. They most likely won't make the playoffs, but they'll be fun to watch and no push over in the improving East.

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