Morning Coffee

Toronto Raptors Morning Coffee April 29

What the Raptors want has absolutely nothing to do with the process. It’s what Bosh wants. Bryan Colangelo is Bosh’s pawn right now, nothing more.

Toronto Sun

With the NBA regular season over rumours about Chris Bosh’s future are flying. Will he end up in New York, Miami or stay in Toronto? Raptors reporter Mike Ganter discuss just where Bosh may end up.

Toronto Sun

Bosh’s stated preference is to max out, which can only be achieved by staying put in Toronto or helping the Raptors in a sign-and-trade scenario.

If he’s true to his word, there seems to be no scenario that will land Bosh in Miami, unless a third team is involved.

Beasley’s name has been bandied about in past rumours, but a defensively deficient jump shooter is precisely what the Raptors don’t need.

Chances are the Raptors will explore every conceivable trade route to acquire a creator from the wing position.

Given the scarcity of such players, it’s more than likely that Bosh will be gone and then it’s up to the Raptors to figure out if a sign and trade makes sense from their end.

With president/general manager Ed Stefanski directing the search, they have – again, according to a source – identified Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey, Boston Celtics associate coach Tom Thibodeau and San Antonio Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer as potential candidates. All three are still involved in the NBA playoffs. Casey was the runner-up for the job last year. Thibodeau was interviewed last year, but was not granted a second meeting.

The Sixers could request permission from the respective teams to speak with any of them or wait until their postseason is done.

The Sixers also have talked internally about former coaches Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Fratello, both working as TV analysts, and are considering contacting former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell.

Toronto Sports Media

Arthur and Mccown (who are good together)laughed about this, suggesting that it was true that there was at least a few members of the Raptors who didn’t want to make the playoffs only to get destroyed by LeBron and co. Mccown and Arthur hinted away at who the player(s) in question were and the show ended.

I am assuming they were referring to Bosh. Other Raptors gurus, tell me am I wrong? Is that the school of thought out there? If so wow! What a bunch of losers !


Hmmm…aren’t the Cavs the ones who played James almost 36 minutes against the Raptors when Mike Brown, in a pre-game interview, referred to the contest as a "high level practice," only to rest him in a national TV game two nights later against the team that Toronto was battling with for the last playoff berth?

Shall we question integrity?

It even caused the league to scratch its head and look at maybe making adjustments so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. True, if Toronto takes care of its own business, it’s all a moot point, but remember fellow conspiracy theorists, Toronto, even as the fourth-largest TV market in North America, does not register on the ratings scales in Uncle Sam’s ‘hood. So who do you think it would be better to have in the playoffs against the Cavs? Toronto, or the third largest market in North America, Chicago?

Just asking. I know, I sometimes see ghosts where there aren’t any, but LeBron and his comments, are making me think.

Bleacher Report

No one could make a convincing argument that Toronto would have fared any better against Cleveland in the end.

But James’ argument that Chicago was going to give them a better series isn’t supported by the facts.

Of course, securing first place overall with over a week to go in the schedule does give a team the opportunity to play with their opponents’ playoff futures.

And Toronto was still in control of their playoff destiny after the game in Cleveland.  The loss to the Cavaliers merely kept the door open for the Bulls.

But, Raptors fans should still be steaming in the big smoke.

Mitchell paid his dues as an assistant with the Bucks, Bobcats, and Raptors before being named Toronto’s head coach. His first Raptors team missed the playoffs with a 33-49 record, but his up-tempo offense yielded a scoring average that was 14.3 points higher than it was the previous season, the third-highest one-year jump in NBA history.

A team with Chris Paul running the show should play at an up tempo and score a lot of points, making it entertaining for the fans and difficult for the opponent.

Mitchell’s second team also missed the playoffs, slipping to 27-55, but under Mitchell’s coaching, forward Chris Bosh blossomed into a star and the Raptors won the first division title in Mitchell’s third season. Toronto lost in the first round of the playoffs as it would a year later, when it finished 41-41 and second in the Atlantic.

Mitchell was fired early in the 2008-2009 season after the Raptors got off to an 8-9 start and the front office panicked. His young team had developed under his guidance and it seems as though the plug was pulled way too early.

This guy deserves a close look.


Q: Will Toronto’s insistence on a sign and trade ruin our chances of getting Bosh? Can it work out in Miami’s favor? — Kevin.

A: It has nothing to do with what Toronto wants. The Heat simply can sign Bosh into its cap space. Bosh then can go back to the Raptors and say, “I’m going to the Heat, but I can earn more if you want to get something back in a sign and trade.” What the Raptors want has absolutely nothing to do with the process. It’s what Bosh wants. Bryan Colangelo is Bosh’s pawn right now, nothing more.

The Score

I know a lot of you are pissed off that he admitted this because it lends weight to the conspiracy theory that LeBron played against the Raptors and not against the Bulls near the end of the regular season because the Cavs were trying to manipulate the playoff race so that they’d face the Bulls in the first round. While it’s certainly possible that’s the case, think about how crazy this sounds: This would mean that the Cavs were intentionally trying to make it so they’d face a tougher opponent in the first round of the playoffs.

“But that’s exactly what LeBron said!” some of you are exclaiming right now. No. No, it isn’t. He’s claiming that, in retrospect, it was better that they faced the Bulls because it helped the Cavs get in “playoff mode” by facing a more worthy opponent. That’s not the same thing as suggesting they manipulated their lineups to make this matchup happen.


What’s interesting and a little amusing about these numbers is that there’s a little something for everyone, depending on who is your favourite Raptor. Strictly from an offensive perspective, the TS% of Andrea Bargnani, Hedo Turkoglu and Antoine Wright are all higher than their overall TS% (Wright’s was a full .119 higher) while Chris Bosh, Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon were less efficient scorers in the clutch. Bosh was a very good rebounder and passer in clutch situations, while Bargnani was a very effective shot-blocker — finishing third in the NBA in that clutch stat behind Brendan Haywood and Andray Blatche.

Raptors Rapture

Today’s player analysis focuses upon the year put up by the savvy veteran Rasho Nesterovic. 2009-10 marked Rasho’s second stop in Toronto, as well as the first time since his rookie season that Rasho did not see action in at least 70 games – a 10 year span. Obviously slowed down by age, Rasho still stands as a valuable veteran asset to any club both on the court and in the practice facility. Let’s take a look at what Rasho managed to do in his limited use:

Raptors Digest

A lot of mock drafts believe Chris Bosh is most likely on his way out of Toronto and that the Raptors will look to the draft to immediately fill his role. It is a valid argument, but the argument could also be made that the Raptors already have their Chris Bosh replacement and his name is, for better or worse, Andrea Bargnani.  Bryan Colangelo has stated himself that Andrea will be the one to take over and slide into the vacated PF slot, if Chris Bosh does in fact choose to leave the Raptors.

Based on team needs the point guard position and the center position are our greatest areas of need. Amir Johnson who is still only 22 (birthday May 1st) has the makings of a legit starting NBA center, especially if he can cut down on his fouls. With the Raptors said to be getting ready to offer the MLE, or an MLE sized contract to Amir Johsnon, a big man is not our biggest need. This fact becomes even more evident when you consider that Amir Johnson is only 19 days older than Ekpe Udoh, a big man prospect from Baylor who has been heavily linked to the Raptors.

Raptors Digest

As for his assertion that we were possibly tanking…I don’t buy it, the Raptors were playing hard and battled it out in some close games, the Sunday loss to the Bulls effectively ended our season.

With Chris Bosh being out the rest of the season, I was a strong supporter of not making the playoffs, as making the playoffs meant giving up our 1st round draft pick to Miami (which we dealt to acquire Shawn Marion/get rid of Jermaine O’neal). Now that the season is over for the Raptors, Raptors fans all agree that having this draft pick with Chris Bosh possibly on his way out is an invaluable resource which will help us to develop internally; before the season was over missing the playoffs equated in many peoples minds to Chris Bosh bolting.  I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: the way Chris Bosh season ended may have been a best-case scenario for the Raptors…he knows we would have likely made the playoffs if he was healthy, we get another prospect to add to our roster to hopefully help entice him to stay and if he leaves we have another lottery pick to hopefully build around alongside Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan.

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