"There were limited sign and trade scenarios available, but acquiring Amir Johnson in this deal gives us another long, talented young big man whose best basketball is ahead of him," Colangelo said in a statement released by the Raptors.
The 6-foot-9, 210-pound Johnson spent his previous four seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
Last season, Johnson appeared in 62 games, making a career-best 24 starts.
His .595 field-goal percentage led the Pistons. As a starter, the 22-year-old Los Angeles native averaged 4.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.04 blocks.
So based on last years stats, the aquisitions that they have made are better scorers then those of who they gave up, and that doesn’t even count what Derozan will score this year because there were obviously no NBA stats for him from last year because he is a rookie.
Personally, I think the Raptors have moved forward with these moves and will be a better team this year then they were in years past. This is the best Raptor team I have seen since the pre Vince Carter being a baby era and I would not only expect them to make the playoffs this year, but possibly if they are on a role at the end of the season to win a first round playoff series.
Johnson is a big man that spent the past four seasons with Detroit before landing in Milwaukee in the three-way deal that sent Richard Jefferson to San Antonio. The good news is he blocks shots and rebounds well. The bad news is he never really found any consistent minutes with the Pistons despite opening last season in the starting lineup. As for Weems, I have no idea what he brings to the table, other than a name that sounds like it’s out of a ’50s sitcom.
You have to admire the guts of Colangelo here. He’s morphed into some sort of odd combination of long-term development manager and “WIN NOW, WIN HOWEVER YOU HAVE TO IN ORDER TO KEEP BOSH” disciple. He invests in Bargnani, who no one likes right now because he doesn’t rebound and that 10 foot leaner in the lane doesn’t look invaluable yet. But that investment signals a long term commitment to the youth bedrock of this team. He lands Hedo, saying “we’re going to get the very best in order to win now.” He lands Jarret Jack and creates options in the backcourt. He trades Delfino and Ukic, abandoning projects that take a long time to develop. If you’re not good once the cork is opened, you’re not to be left on the table to breathe.
But the summer’s biggest free agent move was Toronto going all-in for Turkish point forward Hedo Terkoglu (five years, $53 million), who helped drive Orlando into last season’s NBA Finals.
The Raptors were 33-49 last year, missing the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, but will splashing the most free agent cash ensure their return to the postseason?
The Raptors now look more like a team capable of at least competing for fifth or even fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon, and Andrea Bargnani will suddenly find themselves abound with an impressive group of talented players who can offer support, something that hasn’t been seen in Toronto for quite sometime.
Whatever transpires with Toronto from here onto training camp, observers would surely agree that Colangelo has stuck to his word and made the moves necessary to change the culture and makeup of the team.
6. Toronto — I’m conflicted about Toronto. I like their roster, like their relative youth. Their coach, not so much, and if things start poorly, will the prospect of Chris Bosh immigrating to the US in the summer of 2010 ruin their season? I think this ranking is best-case scenario. Hey, at least I was feeling optimistic when I sent in these rankings.
9 new faces and only 3 players remain from the opening night roster from last season. Considering how last season unfolded, change was imminent. Bryan Colangelo has been bold with his moves but I am concerned about the team coming together with so many new parts. Another concern is the too many cooks syndrome, not always a negative, but in this case there may not be enough minutes in the game to keep everyone happy. Scary part? Colangelo may not be done yet…
–Raptors get Marco Belinelli from Warriors for Devean George, cash: Belinelli may not be a starter in the NBA, but he can be a rotation guy. And it just so happens the Raptors are pretty much bereft of two guards. That alone should get Belinelli on the court, and from there he’ll certainly help at various junctures. As for George, who knows if he’ll be healthy and who knows if he’ll be able to crack the Warriors’ rotation if he is.
With Bryan Colangelo’s latest shake-up, here at the HQ, two more new faces will be part of the Raptors’ line-up next year.
And while everyone knew about Hedo Turkoglu, and most knew names like Jack and even Belinelli, Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems (especially Weems) are admittedly less familiar to most.
To that end we decided to send three questions to both MotownStringMusic.com and ArkansasExpats.com to discuss Johnson and Weems respectively. Here were the results: