DeMar DeRozan photo shoot video
With Iavaroni on staff, the Raptors should be better defensively, and when I say ‘better,’ I mean there is a greater chance that they will display a much improved team defense philosophy, in lieu of a couple of lockdown defenders.
I have high hopes for the Raptors on the defensive end this year with the addition of Iavaroni and Evans. Any improvement from Bargnani from a rebounding or defensive standpoint will be an added bonus; he’s still young and can improve greatly in those areas.
Mensah-Bonsu was a linchpin of his George Washington University team and, after graduating with a psychology degree, had spells with the Dallas Mavericks before playing in the NBA with San Antonio Spurs.
He now plays in front of a home crowd of 20,000 for Toronto Raptors and is known as "Big Daddy" – his full name is Nana Papa Yaw Dwene Mensah-Bonsu.
He is at the centre of a bidding war between his club and the Houston Rockets in the world’s richest professional sports league, where players earn about £5.5million annually.
Russian runner-up Khimki lost two of its biggest signings from last season. Jorge Garbajosa and Carlos Delfino left the club, each of them for differente reasons. The Spaniard forward at 32 is decided to return to his home country to end his career there and is very likely to sign with Real Madrid in the next few days. The Russian club already found a replacement in Lithuanian Paulius Jankūnas.
As for the Argentinian, it was the outcome of a troubled season which included injuries, misunderstandings with the coaching staff, lack of payment and subpar performances. The recent "lack of communication", as mentioned by the player, sealed the fate of the guard. Delfino will now look for a club and returning to the Toronto Raptors is a possibility, while speculations put him in Real Madrid as well.
As a fan, who has seen Bargnani play, up close, 40 times a season over the past 3 years, the “soft” label has been thrown around far too easily and with little regard for just how hard this young man plays. Least anyone forgets, the decidedly not soft Dwight Howard was dominated by Rasho Nesterovic in Toronto during his first 2 seasons (Dwight figured Rasho out in the playoffs, unfortunately). Young big players come into a league and face men on the other side of the ball. Experienced veterans who like nothing more than playing against boys with less experience and no respect from the referees. Toughness comes as much from experience as desire, now going into his 4th season, expect a tougher young center to show up.
Are Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Ray Allen better than the Raptors best three? Yes, but they Celtics do not have the depth the Raptors have. Toronto drastically improved their backcourt by adding Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack, Antoine Wright, DeMar DeRozan, and Marco Belinelli this off-season. The Raptors were supposed to be good last season and will battle Philly for 2nd place in the Atlantic Division this upcoming season.
Tags: andrea bargnani, Antoine Wright, basketball, carlos delfino, Demar DeRozan, Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack, Marc Iavaroni, marco belinelli, NBA, pops mensah-bonsu, Rasho Nesterovic, Reggie Evans, toronto raptors