At the Euroleague, Raptors vice-president Maurizio Gherardini held court with a few Euro-based media outlets and basically said what many had been anticipating, sharing his thoughts on the changing landscape of the team.
“My impression is that we will have four or five new players for the next season” he said.
This past season, the Raptors added nine new faces, or at least nine pieces that weren’t with the club at the start of training camp the previous year.
The core, which involved Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani, remained in tact on a team that finished 40-42 and out of the playoffs for the second straight season.
Bosh is all but gone, while Calderon may also be looking at a new destination.
It would shock many if Bargnani is dealt, while Hedo Turkoglu’s contract and underwhelming first season in Toronto makes him virtually untradeable.
The scope of change hinges on what possible sign-and-trade scenario presents itself with Bosh, but that won’t happen anytime soon.
“Bosh? We hope he will stay with us,’’ Gherardini said. “But now it is too early to talk about it. In June, Raptors will know his final decision.”
Now this part would be just guessing as the Bosh scenario could play out in a dozen ways. But then if you were the Bulls, you’d be in position to offer the Raptors a sign-and-trade of Hinrich, Taj Gibson, a No. 1 pick and the rights to Omer Asik for Bosh, and you figure they’d have to give that serious thought. Even if you can add Johnson and keep Hinrich, Gibson and Luol Deng, that’s a heck of head start on the future. And it doesn’t seem so improbable.
13. Toronto Raptors – Hassan Whiteside
Whiteside offers something the Raptors are lacking severely, a defensive post presence. He is still raw and needs to bulk up and with the likelihood of Chris Bosh going elsewhere, adding a young piece to build with like Whiteside only makes sense. Toronto is about to go into another long period of rebuilding and Whiteside could be a very solid piece to their team, perhaps another Marcus Camby.
But hopefully this time they don’t trade him. Or he at least will want to stay.
Bosh’s Toronto Raptors narrowly missed the playoffs, but the general feeling is that he did all he could do, despite limited help. It is believed that if he gets with the right team, he can help lead them to a championship–much like Garnett and Ray Allen did for the Boston Celtics.
Any reasonable person should believe Hedo Turkoglu was embarrassed by what happenned this past season in Toronto and that there is no possible way that he would permit such unflattering circumstances to reoccur again next season. If he has anything, Turkoglu has pride.
And most professional athletes have pride. And most recover from an bad season to return to more typical production the following year.
Turkoglu isn’t washed up. He isn’t that old. The now 31-year-old is still in what should be the prime years of his career. If the Raptors were to “force” another team to take Turkoglu as part of a sign and trade package with Chris Bosh, the odds are it’s the Raptors who would look stupid next season.