I know this news was bundled towards the end of this article, but I really think this deserves its own post.
Also gone in the Stefanski purge are long-time scout Jim Kelly, pro scouting director, vice-president of pro scouting Dave Pendergraft and two regional scouts. One source also said Maurizio Gherardini, who has been working on a yearly contract as the team’s face in Europe, will also be gone after the weekend housecleaning.
The fate of former Raptor Alvin Williams, who moved from the front office to a scouting role last season, is undetermined.
Aside from Kelly, who first joined the organization under Isiah Thomas before the team had even held its first training camp, all the men let go on the weekend were hired during the seven-year Colangelo era.
Many a night I have spent wondering just what purpose this man served with the Raptors. He usually reared his head right before draft time and spoke after every player workout, and never quite said anything that you couldn’t find on the first paragraph on Draft Express. What value he added remains a mystery, possibly a greater one than just how he managed to stick around since the inception of the organization. From a scouting point of view, the only “hidden gems” the Raptors were able to find were Jorge Garbajosa and Jose Calderon, and beyond that the scouting department failed to add any real tangible value.
For a guy who isn’t even in Toronto, Ujiri sure is cleaning the house out and seeing Kelly go is just as cathartic as the moment Bryan Colangelo got ousted, and possibly even more than when Andrea Bargnani gets shipped.
I feel as if the gangrene that had spread on this organization is slowly being cured. Mind you, I have little sense of what Ujiri will bring, but so far he seems to be his own man making moves left and right. I like it.
While we’re talking, here’s a trade the Raptors could pull:
Rationale: We need to find more shots for Jonas Valanciunas, and the only way anyone will swallow Bargnani’s contract is if something of value is packaged with it. DeRozan is that guy, unfortunately. You purge Bargnani, get back an All-Star level player, and create a front-line that could content for being one of the best in the East.