It was a familiar refrain from Bryan Colangelo.

The Toronto Raptors president and general manager said Wednesday that he’s feeling good about the NBA team’s building blocks, has a plan is in place for the future and that player development remains paramount.

But there was one noticeable tweak to his annual pre-season media availability at Air Canada Centre. Colangelo has a new term to describe his vision for a team that’s coming off a disappointing 22-60 season.

"We’re not talking about rebuilding anymore," Colangelo said. "I’m stealing a line from coach (Dwane) Casey. What we’re talking about now is building."

Casey, who was named head coach in June, joined the GM at the availability with Colangelo’s new right-hand man, executive vice-president of basketball operations Ed Stefanski.

"It’s going to be about creating a new culture, a new system, implementing that system," Colangelo said. "And again, maintaining and sticking to the plan. But we’re past rebuilding, we’re now in the building phase."

What remains unclear is how long the process will take.

Toronto Sun

DeRozan, who met with the media on Wednesday after taking to the court just hours after arriving in Toronto from California, said he is eager to get working under a revamped defensive system.

“I love it,” said DeRozan, who averaged 17.2 points per game in his sophomore season — including 23.1 per in eight April contests.

Though new head coach Dwane Casey, the architect of Dallas’ title-winning defence is not yet allowed to meet with his new charges, DeRozan knows what to expect.

“I can’t wait to learn the system, see the schemes that he’s got going on. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for us and I think it’s going to be fun.”

That’s not to say the noted gym rat isn’t also looking forward to showing off his new offensive wrinkles, even against opposing defences that will now make stopping him a primary objective.

“I had to deal with (defences focusing on me) in high school, I had to deal with it in college, I’ve just got to prepare myself,” DeRozan said.

“I worked extremely hard this summer for whatever comes my way.”

Globe and Mail

With a team that finished low in the pecking order a year ago, with a 22-60 record, Colangelo has a lot of holes to fill, specifically at centre and guard positions.

But, the GM said, don’t expect the Raptors to go out and try to spend their way out of their problems, at least not this year.

“One thing I will tell you, we have a plan in place … and we’re going to stick to that plan,” Colangelo said during a briefing on the upcoming season with reporters at the Air Canada Centre, flanked by new head coach Dwane Casey and Stefanski.

That plan includes the ongoing development of core players such as DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis, along with Jonas Valanciunas, their first-round pick in the 2011 draft.

Colangelo threw cold water on a recent flurry of Internet reports that suggested the seven-foot Valanciunas was negotiating a buyout with his European pro team so he could join the Raptors this season. That’s not going to happen, Colangelo said.

Going forward, the GM said he will be looking to sign or trade for players – “system pieces” is how he referred to them – that have shorter contracts so as not to affect the team’s financial flexibility moving forward.

If all goes according to plan, Colangelo said he expects to have between $10-million to $20-million (U.S.) in salary cap flexibility to play with for the 2012-13 season.

Toronto Sun

Stefanski was in Latvia where Valanciunas dominated his own age group in the Under-19 world championships. Not only did he lead Lithuania to a gold medal in the tournament but he was an easy pick as tournament MVP averaging 23 rebounds 13.9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game.

Stefanski was also in Lithuania the following month where Valanciunas joined the senior Lithuanian team and helped them to a fifth-place finish that earned them a berth in the 2012 FIBA Olympic qualifier.

Playing against men this time around Valanciunas did not dominate but neither was he overmatched. Playing in 10 of the 11 games for his home country in front of his countrymen, Valanciunas played just under half as many minutes a game as he did in the Under-19 tournament yet still averaged 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds while leading Lithuania in blocks with 11 in those 10 games he played.

“You can see the kid has a chance but to have a 7-footer like that with his personality is unusual,” Stefanski said. “Usually 7-footers or big men are mostly reserved but this kid shows a lot of energy, is a good leader and on the court he plays with an intensity.”

Stefanski said his leadership was unmistakable at the Under-19 championships but even playing with the senior national team he more than held his own.

Having seen him prosper at both levels, Stefanski sees only positives in having him spend an entire season competing against men before coming over to join his NBA club.

“It’s not the worst thing in the world that he has to play another year over there,” Stefanski said.

Toronto Star

The Raptors plan to be tougher minded as a group. Casey spoke of instilling a “pack-it-in, zone-it-up” defensive scheme that amounts to building barricades up the middle. They promise to work harder, which is the sort of thing the last guy you want for the job is always promising.

Like developers holding waterfront property (which they sort of are), the Raptors are inviting fans to buy in cheap before the crowds start showing up.

The (rest of the) downside?

They aren’t holding out little hope of win-loss success. They’re holding out none.

Someone asked Colangelo to define what a “successful” season would mean to this team.

“To put ourselves in the position to hit the ground running the following season, that will be deemed a success,” he said in part.

You hear that sound? That was the sound of a dozen Christmas bonuses evaporating into nothingness at MLSE’s group-sales division.

Though he was precluded from talking specifically about additions to the thinned roster, Colangelo made it clear that there will be no surprise splashes on the Tyson Chandlers of the world.

Whatever human gristle is used to pad out this roster will be exactly that.

“To say that we’re going to race out and sign someone to a significant contract is probably not the case, unless it’s a one-year deal. We have contemplated a few of those scenarios, or acquiring a player in a trade with a one-year scenario,” Colangelo said.

Toronto Sun

If there was any debate about who is the glue on the Raptors’ 2011 roster, it ended yesterday when guard Leandro Barbosa walked into the team’s practice gym for the first time since last spring.

DeMar DeRozan, who seconds earlier had been busy running drills with teammates, broke away from the pack and made a bee-line to Barbosa, quickly engulfing him in a bear hug.

Then it was Jose Calderon’s turn, followed by Ed Davis, at which point Barbosa finally worked his way into the weight room away from prying eyes.

Barbosa may not like the cold temperatures here in Toronto — he swore it was the chief reason free agent and fellow Brazilian Nene likely wouldn’t consider the city in his future plans — but there is no question he is the heart and soul of the lineup.

Toronto Star

The Raptors are inching closer to adding their first Canadian player in franchise history.

While no contracts can be signed until Friday afternoon — and Toronto fans know better than anyone that no NBA deal is done until it’s signed, sealed and delivered — Jamaal Magloire is poised to join the team and give it some much-needed front court depth.

Magloire, the Toronto native about to enter his 12th NBA season, would be coming on a one-year, veteran minimum deal worth slightly more than $1 million a season as president and general manager Bryan Colangelo tries to maintain financial flexibility for a year from now.

National Post

Reports from both TSN and the Palm Beach Post have the Raptors poised to bring in Toronto-born Jamaal Magloire on a one-year deal. A source familiar with negotiations told the National Post on Wednesday evening that while the move remains a strong possibility, nothing could be done until Friday. It is believed the league will not allow player transactions to go through until Friday at 2 p.m. The new collective bargaining agreement must be ratified by both the players and the league first.

The Raptors have just 10 players under contract, and president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said on Wednesday that he would be looking to bring in a third point guard, a small forward and two big men, preferably all on one-year contracts. Magloire would qualify as one of those big men. It has long been believed that Magloire would not mind returning to his hometown. He does a considerable amount of charity work in the area.


I’m really curious to see if Jerryd Bayless can play extended nightly minutes and help you win as a point guard in this league. He showed me some good flashes at times last year. He can score – he’s kind of a 1 1/2, 1 3/4 type of point guard. He needs to show that he can run a club and make the necessary reads and adjustments on the floor and make others better and do it without losing his cool and getting baited by opponents. He’s a tough guy and competes – I like that. He has a chance to be a good player. He’s on his third pro team – it’s time to take another step and become a polished lead guard. I’m excited to see him grow and mature as a player.


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  • Gunnnn-04455

    Jamaal Magloire  ??????

    They probably will not resign Reggie Evans and Joey Dorsey

  • Thierry Bertho

    Dorsey is already out and Reggie should be traded anyways 🙂

    • Pesterm1

      Joey plays in Europe now. and Reggie is a Free agent…. 

  • Buschfire

    I hear a rumor that Boston was interested in Reggie. Idunno I wouldn’t mind having Magloire, Reggie, and Alabi this year at C. Then AB Ed and Amir can be at the PF position, we need somone to help out James Johnson at SF. and need a back up PG… hmm… should be an interesting couple of days ahead. I’m undecided on the Magloire signing, at least its only a 1 year vet minimum.

  • Harry S. Truman

    I had mixed emotions to hear Colangelo tell the media between the lines, “Yep, we’re pretty much gonna suck turds.” The die-hards are on board with another high pick and cap space for this summer, but I wonder how the casual basketball fans will react. 

    There will be a lot of empty seats in the ACC this season I’ll bet. Raps games will probably begin to resemble Hawks games for a while, especially if the Leafs keep streaking…

    • Buschfire

      with only 66 games this season we don’t have many home games, with the lack of supply that might increase the demand even though we may not be a great team now, we are an exciting team to watch and for the future.

    • Pesterm1

      There is only like 30 home games though… I bet your very wrong on this part. Plus raptors tickets have been discounted. I bet your very wrong. Once derozan starts dropping 20 ppg ppl will want to see him. Also all the bigger teams comming to town should have a good fan turnout.

      • news flash

        … and #7 starts droping 30 fans will turn out

  • Buschfire

    I’d like to see Shane Battier signed next!

    • Nilanka15

      I’d like a Battier signing too, but it doesn’t seem to align with what Colangelo said yesterday.

  • sleepz

    I wonder when Colangelo devised this plan of his that he plans on sticking to?

    When he refers to ‘building’ now, what is he specifically trying to build? A team that can make the playoffs here and again, a perennial playoff contender, an exciting team that plays a brand of basketball that fans will pay money to see, or a championship calibre team?

    • p00ka

      When? Why should anyone care? You can’t cure history, but you can affect the present and future, which he’s trying to do.

      What’s he trying to build? Every GMs ultimate goal is to build a championship team, but the Raps are not in a position to make that happen in the very near future with a move or two. It would seem pretty obvious that his plan is to build toward it starting with developing a competitive base of young talent growing together. I would think he doesn’t try to make any big splash moves until they’ve built that solid core and feel that a big move or two will put them over the top. That’s what the messages seem to indicate, and I can’t think of a better plan to go with under the current circumstances and within the league landscape.

      • sleepz

        I care of when because he tried to trade for Chandler prior to the start of last season. Not quite the staying the course kind of move I would expect. I care because he’s on a 2 year deal. How does management evaluate a GM knowing that the next 2 years are most likely going to result in many losses, regardless of JV and another lottery pick being on the team next year.

        Every GM’s ultimate goal is to win a championship? lol. The very nature of the NBA being a business first and foremost makes this statement hollow for me. His “solid core’ is ever changing and there are players as part of this core that he has held on longer to than many other GM’s would have.

        His messages imo have been consistent with whatever sounds appropriate at the time. I think his plan is never that far reaching and can deviate at anytime.

        • p00ka

          Whatever turns you on man. If focusing on the current plan moving forward doesn’t work for you, and whining about past moves that don’t fit into current plan does, have fun with that. Damn silly imo, but whatever.

    • news flash

      i think a team that wins about 50 reg.season games thats it

    • Theswirsky

      I pretty much figured that, much like last year, when things didn’t go as planned he was forced to change course.

      Last season he openly admitted to planning to make the playoffs until he it was obvious it wasn’t going to happen.  Thankful his (or his staff’s) inability to recognize talent worked in the Raps favor and they ended up in a position to draft Jonas.

      I’m betting that Chandler, Nene and Gasol not being affordable (or by the sounds of it with Gasol, weren’t interested) and that changed BC to stick with his ‘rebuilding’…. until ofcourse the next old/overpaid/vet comes along and BC thinks that will be enough to make the playoffs.

      • news flash

        is not “rebuilding” anymore it’s “BUILDING” get it right

      • p00ka

        “Last season he openly admitted to planning to make the playoffs until he it was obvious it wasn’t going to happen.”

        I sense there’s a critical point being made here, but can’t put my finger on it. What should have been different?

        “I’m betting that Chandler, Nene and Gasol not being affordable (or by
        the sounds of it with Gasol, weren’t interested) and that changed BC to
        stick with his ‘rebuilding’…. until ofcourse the next old/overpaid/vet
        comes along and BC thinks that will be enough to make the playoffs.”

        I believe you’re the guy that asks for empirical evidence to support statements. What part of this do you have any evidence of, or is it just rumours and theories, some of them your own? Just asking.


        • Theswirsky

          there is no shortage of media discussing the Raptors going after all those names.  If you actually took a step outside your isolated world you may actually discover things.

          But how about I play your game.  Prove to me that he DIDN’T go after those guys. 

          • p00ka

            lol, Can’t handle your own medicine, and call it mine. Precious!!

            “The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are
            cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand

            • Theswirsky

              Please note that I said there is no shortage of evidence available should you actually CHOOSE to do something.  Just check the RR forums, or any of the major sports sites.  I’m tired of doing your work for you…. its not like you will believe it even when its presented to you, atleast not if it doesn’t fit into whatever current opinion you’ve tied yourself to. 

              You should take more note of that quote. 

              And I’ll take this one to heart:

              “Never argue with an idiot.  They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”

              Peace out. 

              • news flash

                wow! an experient idiot

              • p00ka

                As in evidence, do you mean “according to sources”, as in anonymous sources? You can’t really be that much of a clown to be putting on this pompous display based on that right? You’re the one stating “facts”, so I believe it’s up to you to provide at least one of these numerous sources.
                Caught in your own BS medicine, peace man.
                Bertrand Russell was a smart man.

  • johnny555

    I’m all for tanking this season…Lets start learning a little defense, a new system which will take awhile for the team to adapt to, move some unimportant pieces around, hope Valanciunas develops well this season in europe, and hit the ground running next season with a good draft pick…2012-2013 with Valanciunas, bargnani, top 10 pick SF, derozan, calderon + splashing around in FA (those 5 players all will be fairly cheap so we’ll have cap room) and a decent bench under a defensive minded system actually sounds pretty good to me
    who cares about selling tickets this season, like someone already mentioned the games’ll sell when the big teams are in town, the tickets are cheap enough and there enough ball fans that they’ll sell a decent amount even when the bobcats roll in…personally i don’t care about mlse making $$, but i do care about us having a future and atm that future’s gonna be in gettin a good pick and then makin a decent FA splash next season

  • Nilanka15

    Did anyone hold even an ounce of confidence last year, in the dying minutes of a close game, that the Raptors would get the defensive stop they needed?  I certainly didn’t.

    Looking forward to seeing Casey’s impact on this team.  So far, he’s been saying all the right things.  Now it’s time to back it up.

  • news flash

    when bosh was here BC said bosh calderon and bargnani were the core now bosh is gone and BC said last night we are now “building” what i want to know is if calderon and bargnani are still part of the core since we are past the “rebuilding” and are now “building”

  • Lawson_mike420

    He says the same stuff every year. He expects to make the playoffs, have a team that competes every night…blah blah blah. People read way too much into what he says. Who cares what he says. Its all lip service. Bottom line is that we’ve been ditched by franchise players time and time again so he dose what he can to get good players here and thats all I can ask. Hes drafted well (of late) and found some good young players else where. Im tired of all the whining and complaning. If you dont like what hes done dont watch what hes done. I watch because they are fun to watch. They look like they are having a good time out there. After all, it is a GAME! Rebuilding/Building. Who gives a $#!T. Just watch and enjoy or dont. Just stop all the whining.

    • p00ka

      AMEN !!

  • BCGheradiniStefanskiGots2Go!

    BC, Casey & Stefanski must think that the majority of Rap’s fans are stuck on stupid after that presser… 
    BC with more of his bullchit- wow, still pissing on fans and calling it rainwater, shitting on supporters and calling it Kobe steak- continually insulting our collective basketball intelligence with every uttered word.
    I hope that Rap’s fans keep there hard earned money in their wallet and stay away from the ACC & Stern’s bullchit 66 game regular season as BC is trying to PR spin ie building not rebuilding, like a lying politician.
    After putting the fans through last season we don’t have anything to look forward to again (Bargnani is still on the roster this time as a PF some more of BC’s bullchit) as the roster is going to remain mostly as is with a Magloire (who I like as a vet reserve big) type of 1 yr signing here and there.
    We were young last season, will be young this season & will be even younger next season with the arrival of Val and another potential high lottery pick added to BC’s toxic mix of promises with potential.
    The D League is for development- are the Rap’s a D League type of team?
    Jose ‘The Human X Ray’ is still most likely the starting pg & Bargnani ‘Lazy Piece Of Shit’ is still the Franchise now at PF not at center player going into 2011-12. s-m-d-h
    I’d rather keep EDavis, AJohnson & JVal while trading away Bargnani plus Calderon & amnestying Kleiza’s contract.
    Casey, pack it in zone- really, protect the house ideology like Sam did?
    I say wide open 3s once again for Rap’s opponents.
    Shoot arounds as a practice- I say shoot around practices will not go down due to fatigue & travel. Rest is more important in a condensed season.
    The Rap’s will get blown out of so many games this season but the good news is that Bargnani isn’t good to go for 82 games anyways so 66 games may just suit him especially since he’ll most likely sit out games ala last season as the losses pile up for the Rap’s.
    Btw- I thought last season was for talent/roster evaulation??

    • news flash

      wait for this next season they’ll be telling us that #7 is small foward

      • cesco

        He is a natural SG except for the fact that his opponents can run in between his legs .

        • news flash

          good lord ! now he’s natural SG  HOLEEE GUY!!!! next he’ll be a pass first pure point guard it never ends

        • p00ka

          lmao,, good one cesco, he actually bit on it

    • Nilanka15

      Ahahaaaaa, you changed your name to include Stefanski

    • p00ka

      “Btw- I thought last season was for talent/roster evaulation??”
      Soooo, it shouldn’t be the plan this year? I think it’s an on-going every year activity, but in this particular case, quite necessary considering the youth, new coach, and limitations of the current playing field. What do you think the season should be for if not evaluation under a new coach with very different approach to the game? What should they do that makes more sense, all things considered?

      I know, you want Bargnani and Jose traded, but what trade scenarios do you know are available that make any sense?

      Pffffffffffffft, just another Andrea, Jose whinefest. There’s a certain miserable bunch around here that need an optrectumy to improive their shitty outlook on life.

      • cesco

        A lobotomy would be better .

  • news flash

    now BC should go out and sign MO PETE i rather see #24 jersey hanging in the ACC than #7 at the end of the day .