Colangelo's arrival to Toronto immediately breathed fresh air into a decaying organization and his experience with the Suns filled the clubs desperate need for legitimacy. We happily gave him free reign to blow up and remold the franchise in the manner he saw fit.
Either by acknowledging Toronto's inability to sign marquee African American talent or by recognizing the exponential improvement in the talent of overseas players, Colangelo made a deliberate decision to break from the mold and go in another direction.
He drafted Bargnani first overall (also the first European player ever picked first), signed Anthony Parker, Jorge Garbojosa and traded for Rasho. Combined with improved play of Jose, the Raptors went on to win the Atlantic and Colangelo won Executive of the year.
Fast forward a couple years and now we have traded for Marco Belinelli, locked up Jose long term and now signed Hedo Turkolu to a five year deal.
Garbo is out of the league, Parker is specialist on the Cavs, Jose is the highest paid back up point guard in the league, Marco can't hit a shot and Turk is mired in the biggest slump of his career.
Would it be fair to call the European revolution a failure?
I admire Colangelo for trying something new in a league that continually recycles ideas, players and coaches and is often terrified of innovation, but the writing is on the wall.
You can win a title with European players in your core, but they can not be your core. The league has gotten too fast and too athletic for a team of slow white guys to realistically compete in the games up tempo pace.
Separately Jose, Bargs, Marco and Turk offer up a valuable skill set that any team would be lucky to have. Combined thier weaknesses outweigh thier strengths and their defensive inadequacies are exploited instead of hidden.
Colangelo's revolutionary thinking caused us to overpay for Jose/Hedo. Now in the biggest fleece market in NBA history, premier wing players are being sold for flea market prices. Shouldn't he have anticipated this? I know we had to try and contend early to limit the Bosh paranoia and I know hindsight is 20/20, but here we are in a buyer's market with nothing to sell.
I like our team and still think we can get better. Going forward I hope BC has a couple cards yet to play, I just pray they don't go by the names Darko or Z.