A bunch of topics to cover today, so let’s get started.

Thank you, Mr. Leiweke

Bryan Colangelo maintaining his role as president of the club does not, for a minute, take any joy away from his firing as the GM of the club.  The man was flat-out incompetent in his role as continually pointed out by this space since the last four years, and it took Tim Leiweke about five minutes to see through the roster, the “organic growth”, and the marketing material that the organization and media had bought into.  For that I am very thankful.  The interview is below, but here’s a couple great quotes:

First and foremost, we have to figure out consistently and how to win long-term.  I guess I referred to it earlier today as being a Seven Eleven.  Good enough to maybe be in the 7th or 8th spot and maybe make the playoffs, but never good enough to win.

I do like the fact that we’re going to have a GM with a fresh view of the world, with a fresh view of the world, with a fresh view of this roster, with a fresh view of what it is we need to do to be competitive long-term.

This was the essence of building under Bryan Colangelo.  He might’ve even gotten us into the playoffs next year, but just like in 2008, it doesn’t mean anything because you’re stuck in doldrums.

Obstruction for new GM

Retaining the business-specific role in the organization is makes no matter, and can only benefit the Raptors.  The only negative I can potentially see coming from it is if the incoming GM is uncomfortable working with him.  It’s a distinct possibility, but given the clarity with which Leiweke has defined Colangelo’s new role and the explicit nature in which he’s stated the new GM’s authority puts me at ease.  Simply put, if the new GM feels Colangelo is hampering him, Colangelo will be fired from his new flimsy role as well.  Fear not.  Leiweke made no secret of saying that if he had to draw it up from scratch, this is not the ideal structure:

This is based, in part, on timing, this is based, in part, on the option that he had. This is based, in part, that he’s here already…Is this the way I’d draw it up on a piece of paper if we’d started fresh? Probably not, but that’s not an option.

Direction of Team

As Leiweke has stated in the interview below, he wants the new GM to come in with a “fresh perspective” and evaluate this roster for what it is, not what it is sold to the fans as.  The salary situation, lack of a draft pick, and the questionable roster talent does not make this job easy, and the only course of action is to go there with an unbiased mind and do a keep or cull based on impartial analysis.  It’s Step 1.  Everything else comes after.  The good part about this situation is that this keeping/culling will be done by a man who, as Leiweke explicitly said in the interview below, does not hold players in high regard just because they’re the ones who brought them in.

I have a bit of a disagreement on the current status of the organization and this roster. I guess I don’t think we’re right there. I don’t think we’re a piece away, I think we have work to do. I think in the last five years we’ve made mistakes. We’re a team knocking on the luxury tax that has zero draft picks this year, and we have to improve on this roster but we don’t have a lot of resources to do it. I find it ironic that people think that that, at the end of the day, would give me a high degree of comfort. That said, Bryan has a different opinion and I respect that opinion, but somebody had to make a decision and someone did.

We got to find somebody that is extremely good and rational at looking at this roster and reaching the right conclusions about who’s going to work and who’s not going to work. Sometimes you got to find a new set of eyes and a new opinion in order to judge a roster and not be personal about a player because you chose him. Or you used the first pick in the first round to pick a player. Sometimes it’s easier for a guy coming in that doesn’t have that loyalty, and doesn’t have the burden of being the guy that made that decision, you reach better conclusion at times on how needs to stay and who needs to go.

We want someone that is not afraid of making trades, we want someone that is not burderend by ultimately saying, ‘God, I feel bad about making this move because I brought this guy into the organization’.

Refreshing stuff, eh?

Masai Ujiri back in Toronto as the new GM?

Couldn’t care less that the Raptors let him walk away and now may want him back. Remember, not valuing him was Bryan Colangelo’s decision and most basketball decisions he made were bad.  I like the way the Denver team is built and even though his track record isn’t extensive, it’s filled with moves that accumulate to something, rather than blindly running into walls. Also, he did well on the ‘Melo trade.  Right now, I have faith that Leiweke will make the right hire.

Don’t be fooled by the search firm

The firm the Raptors have hired to look for a GM should not be read as the firm picking the GM, or even suggesting a candidate.  It’s due diligence being done on the part of MLSE so they don’t look like Leiweke’s bringing in a pre-handpicked candidate.  Think of it as analytics for GM hiring, you need someone to crunch over resumes, do filtering based on transactions and come up with a “statistically” relevant list of candidates.  This is speculation, but I find it very hard to believe that Leiweke doesn’t have someone very particular in mind for the role.  I mean, if Phil Jackson wanted the job, he’d have it no matter what the firm thought.

The 13th pick is available, the Raptors should select Dennis Schroeder

DX :: YouTube He’s a good-shooting point guard that can change speeds, read the defense well, and get teammates involved. I project him to be a better version of Aaron Brooks, and if things go well, a Ty Lawson type player.  He’ll address the dire three-point shooting need which was made worse by Calderon leaving, and can up the tempo without being erratic.  You might be wondering where we get this pick from, well, Dallas is looking to off-load theirs.

I would not be surprised if the Raptors acquire a pick, and Leiweke as much stated the importance of the draft:

We need somebody that understands drafting and development well, we cannot make bad decision with our draft picks going forward. The great organizations maximize their good draft picks when they get him, and if you don’t want to be drafting in the top of the first round each and every year, you better make sure you do a great job when you’re there and get out of it. There’s a lot of organizations like OKC and San Antonio that I have a lot of respect for because when they had those high picks, they used them extremely well and they weren’t back in that position for a long period time. That’s what we need to do.

TSN Radio is better than the Fan 590 (or whatever they call it now)

Both teams can’t be bothered to given an NBA update, but all in all, the hosts on TSN Radio is, in my opinion, are superior, more objective, and frankly better than what the Fan offers.  Particularly, I’m a fan of David Naylor in the evenings and do give him a listen now that my free XM Radio period has run out. Good stuff.

 Tim Leiweke Interview Audio

Again, this is from TSN Radio.

The interview is on iTunes and you can also download the file (12:48, 12 MB). Or just listen below:

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  • Paul Stevens

    Can’t help but feel excited for the Raps moving forward. Leiweke is saying all the right things and saying them as if he believes them. He seems to have a very real grasp of the Raps current situation and knows exactly what kind of a GM he wants to put in place. Cool,cool, cool time to be following this team.

    • Bendit

      Dont mean to disparage but that is exactly how I felt when Colangelo was hired….meaning, lets just wait and see awhile…his first decision (to retain BC as a non-functional president) was not exactly inspiring.

      • CJT

        I certainly understand the frustration that BC has caused fans of the team from a personnel standpoint, but I don’t think his business acumen has ever been questioned or his passion for seeing this team successful. He has faults without question but I think he is in the perfect role for his skill set now and with another strong basketball mind making the personnel decisions I don’t see his retention as a negative at all.

        • Bendit

          Afraid I must disagree. Business acumen to myself means handling cap issues well. The team has given out inflated stipends (eg. Bargnani, Fields & Derozan) in term and amount and is in cap purgatory alongwith being against the luxury tax limit with a mediocre personnel complement. I am confused why the business kudos are deserved in a basketball sense. Re other ancillary revenue/expense matters I thought Tom Anselmi handled those. Glad handling advertising partners and dealing with charities alongwith the new project of erecting a practice facility is probably all the business stuff left for him to do. I think that is insulting really and dont see him staying very long.

  • Tunacanpeen

    With every organization – whether in sports, business or politics – there is a need to manage perception and performance. Colangelo is a master at managing perception. His charisma and personality allowed him to frame every move against a bigger picture vision that, at the end of the day, was not a sound vision. He often let vanity, pride and personal relationships cloud his team-building judgement. At the end of the day Colangelo has the skills and tools to be an excellent team spokesperson for an organization but does not have the wherewithal to competently construct a team. In business we often find these type of people; they rise so quickly in an organization but are the first to find their ceiling of incompetence when they exceed their capability.

    I, for one, am happy there is someone like Leiweke in place now who sees through the smoke and mirrors and appears to realize that there needs to be a balance between perception and performance. Colangelo can still be a spokesperson for the organization, can still be a strong business leader, can still offer input into the team but has been removed from the final decision making process. This is a good move.

  • thegloveinrapsuniform

    I’ll just wait and see. I think every off-season there’s a rejuvenated enthusiasm because of either new management, new players, new coaches, etc etc.

    As long time Raptors fan, I’ve come to a point where I’m mostly hoping rather than expecting.

    • arsenalist

      Agree, but this is completely different. This is root-level change, not just brushing things up on the surface to pretty things up just to sell something.

      • Rubuntech

        The emphasis of change is at the ownership level – going from a teacher union majority owner who only cares about the bottom line without a vision of growth to the 2 main media giant majority owners who can win by default within their media assets by building a sustainable winning basketball team. The new guard is much more than the re-assignment of BC. There is a new bottom line that now includes media revenue as well as basketball revenue. Relevance of the Raptor basketball team is key to the new revenue model. It is early stages but winds of change feel very real. As a loyal Raptor basketball fan in Nova Scotia, I feel a great sense of optimism with what Leiweke’s comments – gotta believe it is much more than usual executive spin.
        We were heading into the most drab off season since 1995 (no draft picks, capped out, unmovable contracts). This could turn out to be one of the best. Fingers crossed.

      • FLUXLAND

        Root level change? The ownership the same, nothing has changed at all.

        “People want change? Give it to ’em…at least pretend to give it to them” – Commodore Kaestner

        The man himself said he kept BC due to orders.. what does this tell you?

        • arsenalist

          1. Teachers replaced by Bell/Rogers
          2. Peddie replaced by Leiweke
          3. Colangelo replaced by ___

          That’s pretty big change, sorry.

          He mentions explicitly why BC was kept, and it’s not hard to believe that BC might actually be decent at running a business/marketing initiative. I mean, he sold 90% of the fan base on what he was cooking the last five years.

          • FLUXLAND

            1. Still owned by a (big) business.
            2. Who is/what has Leiweke done in the basketball world?
            3. Who cares, I guess? 1 still hasn’t changed.

            It’s change for the sake of change, not actual regime/philosophy change.

            Oh I read why BC was kept, I also read that he said it was not his decision to keep him.”…but that’s not an option”. I’d even argue he was kept due his name/ perception in the L if he was actually “fired”. Either way, he’s here and Leiweke didn’t make that decision. Again I ask, what has changed? Perception?

            • bigstar

              i think you need to do your research first before responding.

              Not responding is probably Arsenalist’s subtle way of saying – WTF are you talking about?

              • FLUXLAND

                I think the question is WTF are YOU talking about?

                And I need to do MY research? Peddie was replaced by Tom Anselmi, after Peddie retired.

                I’m not subtly telling you to stay in the sandbox and keep it down while grownups are talking.

            • arsenalist

              I’m at a loss here to understand what you’re complaining about. Do you want the Raptors to be owned by a Mom and Pop store? If they were owned by a smaller business, then we’d complain about not having money to spend.

              Leiweke helped build a $10 billion (or whatever billion it is) business at AEG, and in terms of basketball knowledge, his evaluation of BC and the Raptors so far has been spot-on. I mean, do you think Peter Holt knows basketball at a deep level, or is it more likely that he just made a good decision in hiring a GM and let him do its thing?

              Listen man, you and I have complained about BC for years. I was soured by BC when he made the Kapono deal, and I know you and I have pretty much agreed on everything (even back when RR didn’t exist and we talked on arsenalist.com), but I really have to disagree here that what has transpired over the last few weeks isn’t good for the organization. The two guys that I felt held the Raptors back (Peddie and Colangelo) are both gone, that is good enough for me.

              BC still sticking around in a different role can be explained simply in terms of numbers – he is a good business man who can help make MLSE money. That’s it. That money doesn’t necessarily have to come from him GMing but doing other things. OR, maybe the decision was made due to contractual issues, legal issues (e.g., not letting him know about his option till too late), or things you and I don’t even know about. Leiweke openly said that this is not his most desired structure, and it takes some balls to admit that openly.

              • FLUXLAND

                I’m not complaining – as usual, I am observing.

                While I am not ignoring the obvious restructuring and shuffling, I am still seeing zero changes that should instigate talk of this being change for the “better”. I only wish there was some basketball related history in his background to lean on and feel as if changes on the court will happen as well. The GM hire will speak volumes, because all I am reading out of his evaluation is that he’s looking for yes man. Enter Ujiri? I mean let’s face it, did we need him to get hired to get a proper evaluation of this team? This is about what he can change on the court, not tell us what we already know.

                Agreed, there may be some legal issues with BC staying on, that did cross my mind, but I am convinced it was more out of a image control with the L angle than anything else. And I certainly won’t argue MLSE is in this to make money, as is Bell/Rogers (and to increase their exposure) Everyone is going to make money, franchise values have done nothing but go up, and ultimately I don’t think MLSE has lost money, so keeping BC is not some make it or break it financial move.

                The questions, for me, are related to wins and losses on the court – again, nothing has happened thus far to believe changes will occur there, I’m certainly not encouraged by Leiweke “making” billions for his employer, as impressive as that may be from a bottom line point of view.

                Sure, change the sheriff, change the mayor – but Nucky Thompson is still running the show and the corruption is abound.

              • FAQ

                So… will the Raps with Ujiri have a lock on 8th place at least in the East… RR tribal honking fans want to know ….??

            • Guy

              By saying ‘It’s change for the sake of change’ you’ve taken a giant dump on any credibility you think you had. All a person has to do is listen to Leiweke to realize this isn’t even close to what you suggest.

              • FLUXLAND

                Right. I’m guessing you are one of the people that was “listening” to BC. And the best part – you think they are saying different things.

                • Guy

                  There is absolutely nothing about this situation that represents a ‘change for the sake of change’ opinion. By continuing to assert that it is, you’re only succeeding in making yourself look more & more out to lunch. Congratulations.

                • FLUXLAND

                  How’s that Kool AId? Is the new salesman telling you it’s new and improved? This would be more fun if you could come up with some irrefutable rebuttals backed with evidence of TL’s success on the court, his history of turn franchises around or attracting high level executives. Or do just go with the last guy to win the EOY? At the very least I can see they are both first and foremost salesmen, while you keep thinking there is “nothing” that represents much of the same we’ve already seen. – I also see that the “on paper” talk has already begun and the overpayment for suspect talent is still a staple.

                • Guy

                  What’s absolutely beyond comical is the fact you actually suggest anyone that believe’s Leiweke’s hiring is a good thing, is drinking the Kool aid. A comment like that makes me seriously wonder how you can find your front door.

                  Naturally there are similarities because both Leiweke & Colangelo are businessmen. But if that’s what you’re hanging your hat on as evidence nothing has changed, then you’ve got less to say than I thought because that would be the same with any executive. You may as well say it’s more of the same because they’re both male.

                  If you take a look at Leiweke’s resume, which you clearly haven’t, you’ll see he ran a company(AEG) considered one of, if not the most significant of its kind. He was on the board of the Lakers, who have no shortage of titles, & was highly involved with the LA Kings & LA Galaxy, both of which won titles recently. In his 17 years running AEG he celebrated 11 championships. Considering that record, it’s utterly baffling how you can ask for evidence to be pointed out of his successes & seriously wonder about his ability to hire quality executives. If it’s really more of the same, perhaps you can point out all the team success Colangelo brought with him to TO & how much there’s been since.

                • FLUXLAND

                  I clearly haven’t? Hmmm. Well, I think our difference in opinion lies in how much you think he had to do with the success of those teams. You seem to think he was instrumental, whereas I do not. That’s the evidence I was asking for. By your logic, if they hired the his secretary you would argue the same. Just because he was affiliated with those teams in some fashion, that doesn’t mean he was the one pulling the strings.

                  The point about them being businessmen, we agree on, yes. My (unclear) point was that it would be easier to hold the belief that you do, if his background was more basketball related and he was more hands on about those teams you mention. Being on a board is not something that holds much clout with me.

                  You are free to think things have changed, but just because I disagree doesn’t make me out to lunch as you have implied. Stay baffled I guess, soon enough we will see if he’s the saviour the majority believes him to be.

                • Guy

                  Given the celebratory nature that surrounded the Raptors when Colangelo was brought in and how it never yielded the success we had hoped, I appreciate the reluctance to embrace the Leiweke hiring until there’s some actual evidence he’s making a difference. That said, the hiring of Leiweke has a different feel to me. Difficult to adequately explain but there’s a ‘seriousness’ about Leiweke & what he wants to do that I never felt with Colangelo & think has been missing from the organization. Not sure if that makes sense, but ….. If it all falls down, then I guess the joke’s on me.

                  Either way, I’m hoping this time next year we’ll all be feeling more optimistic & debating who TO will be taking in the draft.

                • Got It Right

                  Leiweke was the greatest hiring in my opinion ever made by MLSE. Winning starts at the top, this guy is a proven winner. Good bye teachers pension and Peddie, neither cared less about winning.

            • Matt52

              I can’t see how you don’t see the change in ownership. OTPP was not a big business, they were a pension fund who only cared about returning as many profits to their owners as possible. Bell/Rogers are coming in looking at a bigger picture than the bottom line of the Raptors. They are looking at the bottom line of their corporations. Winning teams increase interest, viewership, ad revenue etc. etc. The Raptors being owned by Bell/Rogers could not be more of a polar opposite than previous ownership. They want to win and they need to win to truly reap the rewards of ownership.

              • FLUXLAND

                OTPP was probably worse than a big business, fair enough. I just personally do not think Bell/Rogers is in it to win at basketball, they are using this as a marketing tool.

                And I’m aware of what winning can provide, but suffice to say winning or losing has not affected the Raptors bottom line, dare I say, ever? My qualm is in corporate ownership – the teams that win/have won chips… owned by individuals, no? Everyone wants to win and make money, the difference is in the order of those goals.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  As usual, you’re just complaining/criticizing for the sake of complaining/criticizing. You’re point about individual ownership of chip winners is meaningless, considering only 8/30 teams have won chips in the last 30 years, and the vast majority of teams are owned by individuals, your point is rather moot.

                  One could just as accurately say that almost all non-winners of chips are owned by individuals, or that the much greater majority of teams owned by individuals haven’t won anything. None of it proves a damn point except that most teams are owned by individuals.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Meaningless, because you don’t agree, p00ka? You do realize this not just an NBA phenomenon, right?

                  The point is not moot at all, the point is individuals are typically more concerned about/vested into winning, corporations have stakeholders to appease. Any way you want to put it, the bottom line is teams owned by individuals have won it all.

                  And as usual, you complain/criticize the writers and people commenting, while inferring they are not entitled to an opinion because they are not privy to the same information as a GM. What’s entirely meaningless is your contribution to any discussion, because as evidenced above, all you attempt to do is dilute the discussion to “how do you know, provide a source/link directly quoting what you just said” or deems something not realistic, because you don’t agree. Once again, we don’t live in your world, sheriff.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  lol, your hissy fits are something to behold, but ya gotta try and come up with a new one to copy and paste over and over. It’s become both quite comical and annoying at the same time.

                  Try and stay focused on the topic little grasshopper. Once again, your defense is to babble about stuff I’m not saying. You try hard to come across as some intellect with superior knowledge of the business of basketball, but demonstrate that you’re nothing but a babbling clown needing attention. I never said anything about agreeing or disagreeing about any opinion. I stated some facts, that are akin to your fact, and every one of them is moot.

                  I’ll try and simplify the point for you then. Focus now, little one. As a counterpoint to your twisted, manipulative logic: The vast majority of individually owned teams have never one a chip. Would it be fair to use that fact to try and prove some point? Naw. If you want to add some substance to the meaningless point you blurted, have at it, but try and get over defending yourself with babbling about your hurt feelings of what I said months ago.

                • FLUXLAND

                  “You try hard to come across as some intellect with superior knowledge of the business of basketball” – that’s only your interpretation, not a claim I have made.

                  Your “counterpoint” of “the vast majority of individually owned teams have never one a chip” still doesn’t dismiss the fact that the ones that have, are individually owned, nor does it change the fact that a corporate one has not. Moot? Hardly. But, as usual, leave it to you to spin things to suit your argument in an attempt to dilute someone else’s. Diluting at it’s finest. Kind of like when you compare the Raptors to another mediocre outfit, instead of measuring it up to a championship caliber one. Or when you rendered rebounding meaningless, because the team was “winning” – I suppose that’s just you showing us your superior knowledge of the sport of basketball?

                • ItsAboutFun

                  “Diluting at it’s finest”

                  Well, as the old expression goes, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck………… If your argument is deluded,,,,, or is that diluted, (,,,,,, awww, both), to begin with, it’s not the person pointing it out that has a problem, but the squawking duck who deludes himself in coming on as a diluted swan trying to sing a tune that sounds good.

                  “Kind of like when you compare the Raptors to another mediocre outfit, instead of measuring it up to a championship caliber one. Or when you rendered rebounding meaningless, because the team was “winning” – I suppose that’s just you showing us your superior knowledge of the sport of basketball?”

                  LOL, so now you’re going to switch gears from your common irrelevant (to the matter at hand) hissy fit, to your other common tactic of spouting gross misrepresentations of things I said 6 months ago, again irrelevant to the topic at hand. I used to think you were just irritating, but you really are quite comical, apparently without knowing it.

                  “”Arrogance……..Blind certainty – a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.”~David Foster Wallace

                • FLUXLAND

                  My argument is not diluted at all, and I see no rebuttal in your comment about it – talk about switching topics or not switching at all for that matter – all you want to do is turn this into a personal assessment, as you do with all your post. It’s rather obvious you are incapable of staying on topic without baiting people into a character discussion. Like a true paid shill.

                  Scroll up and read your 1st reply commencing with your interpretation of my commenting form. You just can’t take what you dish out, then accuse other of throwing hissy fits, that’s all.

                  As for switching gears, that never happened – I was merely pointing out your tactics are applicable to all the comments you make. What was that you were saying about a duck?

                  Arrogance? LMAO. Tell us, do you read your posts, oh blind one?

                  “There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” – LDaV

      • raptorspoo

        Don’t like how he mentions he’s getting advice from BC in picking a new GM.

        Of course BC’s going to recommend a buddy – one who might even continue or be pressured to continue his work.

        On a side note: Us going after Ujiri is like going after another BC. Yes the guy has exec of the year but I believe BC got that at the beginning of his Raptors tenure, no? He was schooled by BC. Denver has not shown success in the playoffs. It’s like a bad dream happening all over again.

        I little ray of light is Tim’s statement that we are not a piece or two away and that we have to build through the draft. Does this mean tanking (or trading our ‘stars’ away – for those who hate the term tanking) next year? I certainly hope so.

        • raptorspoo

          In hindsight, after making this comment, I thought to myself… if we’re bring in Ujiri to make Melo like moves and trade all our supposed ‘stars’ for picks and young pieces than woohoo! let’s do it up~

  • duncan

    we shud trade bargs for that pick and a vet foward/good shooter, amnesty kleiza and then well be rollin. see if we cant add someone like carl landry too

  • DG88

    Agreed with you Arse, I want Dennis Schroeder badly he’s gonna be a stud with his speed, quickness and handle.

  • ibleedpurple

    After listening to Tim’s interview I feel a refreshing sense of hope regarding the Raptors. Irrespective of how the team plays this season it seems that a foundational change is on the horizon, which will hopefully result in a complete overhaul of the team and its league wide perception. I’m a lifelong Raptors fan and will continue to be one regardless of wins/losses or playoff position. I do feel we have some strong pieces, specifically JV, with whom the franchise can build its future. I’ve seen the game enough to know that the best NBA players all share some common characteristics which include determination, intelligence and a burning desire to win. JV embodies these characteristics they’re plainly written on his face any time he’s in the game. We need to pair him with a high quality power forward and a traditional point guard. I know a lot of people don’t like Derozan but I actually think he’s developing well and seems to have a strong understanding of which areas to improve on. Rudy Gay and Bargnani need to go and we need to develop a deep bench which could potentially be anchored by TRoss but for that we would need to get much much stronger. Toronto needs to stop acting like some kind of second rate team. We’re the fourth largest market in North America, the city continues to gain recognition along multiple platforms and we have a fan base second to none. Lets hope Tim can deliver.

  • Bendit

    Interesting that Leiweke says that the decision to retain BC was in part due to his contract option. Hmmm. That BC is surely a wily one….probably to get paid whether he was retained or not….the golden parachute. Wonder what’s Leiweke’s like.

    • smh

      Leiwke’s golden parachute would dwarf many a lotto super 7, I’m guessing

  • smh

    Would Dallas want’t Lowry for the pick?

    • Dallas is trying to cut salary, not add it. They want to trade the pick in order to get more cap room to sign Howard or Paul.

      • arsenalist

        Yup, if I’m not mistaken, the Raptors would simply have to buy the pick for $3M or whatever it is.

        • Matt52

          Two problems:

          1) Any purchase would have to wait until after July 1st as Raptors reportedly used their $3M on Gay.

          2) Dallas and an international draft pick/player can sign an agreement allowing the player to stay overseas for one season. This signed agreement will take the cap hold off their books until next season. **However, must be said that Dirk is reportedly open to take a pay cut after this year to help Dallas field a winning team. That is to be part of the recruiting pitch this season to free agents, reportedly**

  • Brandon

    I’m not going to bother reading the article linked to on the right — “Colangelo has faith in Bargnani” — That’s exactly why BC should have been moved out of the picture before he could re-sign Bargs to that absurd contract.


    You don’t really believe Ujiri “built” that Denver roster, do you?

    • arsenalist

      No, his transaction history will tell you that much.


      My faith here is more in Leiweke. I like how Leiweke has come in and evaluated the situation. I have some faith that he will, a) make the right hire, b) hold that hire accountable.

      • FLUXLAND

        Yeah, they are credited to him due to his title, but I’m hard pressed to believe he was the one making those decisions. To wit: “A league source indicated Denver’s new general manager, Ujiri, is merely a messenger to the team’s real decision-makers…”

        Although I am in understanding of the Leiweke fascination by everyone, this is all very reminiscent of the Colangelo hiring – he talks the good talk, his record on the other hand..

        • jjdynomite

          FLUX, I hear you but I agree with Arse. We finally have a *senior-level* executive who holds his reports accountable. Peddie did not hold Burke or Colangelo accountable, which is why they produced garbage results yet were able to stick around so long.

          The only reason Colangelo is still in the picture, clear as day, is because he is buddies with Tannenbaum, and Leiweke reports to him/ownership, much like he reported to Anschutz in LA. So this Colangelo figurehead deal was quid pro quo to his new boss(es). But it’s pretty clear in his various radio interviews and columns about him that Leiweke has hiring and firing power in MLSE to those under him:


          • FLUXLAND

            Great, he holds people accountable! Even if so, that’s not the point – I’m more worried about him employing the right (basketball) people, not worried about him being able to “fix his mistakes”/firing people. Firing people can be a reflection of the one hiring them, not the people themselves.

            • ItsAboutFun

              Well, he hasn’t come to the hiring steps yet, never mind seeing how the new hires perform, so it seems you’re worrying about nothing.

              • FLUXLAND

                Oh pOOKa, is this like last off season when I said the defense and culture change ship have sailed, before the season started, and you said Coach was a nice guy?

                You’re right, I shouldn’t be worried – Leiweke should. He just threw his no.1 fall guy under the bus and took on the role of franchise saviour.

  • smh

    Holy crap @ 8:58 … talking about BC and Bargnani. Awesome

  • FAQ

    AAAW, FLUXO …. Ujiri is heading towards a $3 Mil per year contract for 3-4 years… and soon Liewike will be proclaiming the Ratpors will likely be a playoff team next season under Ujiri’s management… and after landing (buying) a magnificent trade pick. (Gotta put season ticket bums into ACC seats and eyeballs on TV games… oh, and unis for the non-athletic crud delusional fans!)

    Of course the tribal honking fans will celebrate their playoff team vociferously and the media wags will be explaining how and why the Rats are definitely a playoff team in the Eastern Conference… and everything old becomes new, again … remember??? {{{SHUDDER}}}



      Next season is going to shape up like the Titanic Division year, methinks…. with a loaded draft, teams will assess where they are after 20 games and tank accordingly to jockey for position. Playoffs won’t be a surprise at all.

  • John Boehme

    Great piece – agree with the positive vibes coming out of Leiweke. Loving his frankness, although I find it a little worrying that he and Colangelo have such widely divergent views about what BC’s role will be moving forward (in BC’s interviews he’s been insisting that he has “something to offer” on the basketball side, while Leiweke has been openly threatening him if he interferes). The Colangelo family and their close ties to Larry Tanenbaum will ensure that the corporate soap opera continues.

    Also, a quick note on the third party search firm, I think there is a legal dimension as well, as a head hunting firm can approach potential candidates without receiving consent from their employers.