Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan gives us glimpses of very bright future: Kelly | Toronto Star

Colangelo saw something in DeMar DeRozan. He drafted him. He vouched for him. He re-signed him a year before he had to. And if Colangelo was wrong about some things — OK, a lot of things — history has proven him entirely right on this score.

Raptors on their own March Break, just don’t ask the coach to like it | Toronto Sun

“I just told the guys. Don’t get in the vacation mindset,” Casey said following Sunday’s win. “This is an NBA mandatory players association deal. I wouldn’t, if I had my druthers, I’d rather not have it but I do know we have some nicks and cuts that we need to get corrected and mixed up. But we can’t have a letdown. We can’t get in the vacation mindset — well, we can relax — because Sacramento took us to the woodshed at their place last time. Took our guys out, fed ’em and then beat ’em the next night. So we owe them something coming in here and we can’t go into these two days off that we got, that we gotta have — mandatory, not because I wanted to give it to ’em — and then come back with two good days of practice before we play Sacramento.”

Armstrong: Five thoughts on Vasquez, Iverson and more | TSN

Has been sensational for the Raps in the past few weeks. His confidence in his three-point shooting and his ability to make difficult shots in the lane have been huge. He runs the team well and plays with wonderful enthusiasm. Major pick-up as a back-up point guard and he’s finally settled in to his role and comfort level in Toronto. Really fun/upbeat personality who loves the game and plays with a swagger. Fun to see it all coming together for him.

The Canadian College Basketball Dynasty You’ve Never Heard Of | Grantland

Canadian players have long dreamed of playing in Division I, but more and more, Division I coaches dream of signing Canadian players. The reasons behind Canada’s rise are varied and complex, but a few driving forces stand out. The Toronto Raptors and, to a lesser extent, the now-departed Vancouver Grizzlies, brought the NBA up north when they were added as expansion teams in 1995. Scrubb and his brother Thomas, also a starter for Carleton, grew up in British Columbia rooting for Shareef Abdur-Rahim and the Grizzlies. Churchill’s childhood in Toronto featured regular trips to watch Vince Carter with the Raptors. “People around my age,” says Churchill, “if they grew up in Toronto, there’s a good chance they grew up as basketball fans. Vince Carter just drew people into the sport in a way that no one else ever had.”

  • Marz

    From first glance, it seems Colangelo was good at evaluating talent he had (the resigning of Johnson and DeRozan), but bad at evaluating talent outside the administration (in the form of free agent signings and trade acquisitions, see Kapono, Fred Jones, Hedo). Or we’re his FA signings fine but just a very bad fit?

    • Ds

      Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

      This is DeRozan’s first year as an above-average player in the NBA (PER over 15) and Johnson is what he is. There wasn’t/isn’t a mystery to his game, and he’s compensated well for what he brings. The jury is still out on Ross/Valenciunas (although both look promising). The rest was 1 big clusterf*ck. He had a fascination with signing the big name (O’Neal, Turkoglu, Gay), team chemistry be damned, when he had the blueprint right in front of him from his first year here.

      • Marz

        I’d contend that several people thought the Johnson contract was terrible “for what he brings”. Ask around now, and the contract is either reasonable or a steal.

        I don’t think the fascination was necessarily with the big name, but rather the “blockbuster” that would lead to success. Similar to what Ainge did with the Celtics, or what Colangelo did himself in Phoenix (blockbuster signing/over-paying of Steve Nash, stealing him from Cuban).

        Still, if DeRozan continues to improve or even stays at this production level for his contract, $9.5M/season is a fantastic contract, in my opinion.

      • rick

        I wpuldnt call him a blind squirrel, I just think colangelo was a top notch talent evaluator, ( yes, even o’neal turned out to continue to play well until this day, even bargnani had a lot of potential, go through than all), he was just terrible at putting the pieces together to build a team with even a minimum level of chemistry.

      • tweed8

        Colangelo would have been a better GM, if he had been willing to squeeze the trigger sooner on obvious bust players, didn’t chuck barrels of cash at every player that came along and if, rumours be true, he did less meddling with his coaches. Looking back at his years as a GM now, he really seemed like a man that didn’t understand how to help cultivate team chemistry.

      • Tee

        Does a blind squirrel find executive of the year awards?

        You guys love to hate bc.

        Its a bit embarrassing when you look at the knowledge of the media and fan base & their constant view with blinders on.
        People wanted him stoned when he signed demar last year & He was 23 at the time!

        Admitting that someone has admirable qualities or talent is a sign of maturity.

      • Bo4

        Colangelo getting Amir & Kyle was no great feat. They were both proven vets. However, he lost Bosh for essentially nothing. His drafting of DeMar, Jonas & Terrance were not bad, although the time needed for them to become above average was so painful. Getting Bargnani was a disaster. His trading for Gay was, too.

        What Masai has done in his short time here is amazing. Patrick was as good a pickup as Amir was. Grievis may still play well enough to be included here. So we have our 1st round pick for the next 5 yrs + the Knicks 1st rounder in 2016! To replace John this year, Tyler in 3 yrs. (Hopefully, Kyle and) Grievis in 4 yrs, & Amir in 5 yrs. That’s stability for you!! AND we can afford to make one or two mistake during that time!!

        • moe

          no, we got our first round pick in 2011 back for both (drafted JV). so we didn’t give him up for nothing. also he was a goner either way so good riddance

          • Bo4

            Thanks, Moe. So far, Heat got the best of that trade, by far. However, those results will be reversed someday. Would I trade to get Chris Bosh back, giving up Jonas Valanciunas? No. Our team will be better in the future …

  • asifyouknow

    Greivis Vazquez:
    Pre all-star game: In 21 min…. 38% FG….30% 3P….7 ppg
    Post all-star game: In 23 min….54% FG….48 % 3P….13 ppg

    Kyle Lowry:
    Pre all-star game: In 36 min…..43% FG….38%3P….17 ppg
    Post all-star:In 38 min….34% FG….31% 3P…. 18 ppg… and putting up a ton of shots.

    A question for all the experts: