Bryan Colangelo Press Conference 12PM EST – Live Blog

40 mins read


  • Triano will be back. Coaching staff will be reevaluated, didn’t say anybody will be back for sure.
  • Doesn’t look like Turkoglu is on the block, says he’ll be better next year.
  • Open to trading one of the PGs. Probably will is what I got out of it.
  • Bosh rejected an extension during the season. Will not re-sign by July 1st, wants to test market.
  • BC is banking on Bosh to do a sign-and-trade. Really hoping that the extra money will be too much to pass up for him.
  • The team missed Anthony Parker. He was a bridge between the Euros and the North American players.
  • Wants to sign Amir Johnson.
  • Will likely cross the tax (MLSE ok with it), some scenarios have him crossing it by $3M, some by $7M and some even more.
  • Salary cap number was good news.
  • Everyone from management team will be retained.
  • Says Bargnani will not entirely replace Bosh if that ever comes to. Says Bargnani’s contract is a very good ones and his peers agree. Says he’s neck-and-neck with LaMarcus Aldridge.
  • There was conflict between Turkoglu and Triano.
  • Turkoglu was out-of-shape and it hurt him.
  • The Raptors have tradeable pieces and that people have inquired about them.
  • Reggie Evans’ injury will be reevaluated and he could be back.
  • Could’ve made a move at the deadline but didn’t since the team was playing well. In hindsight, says he probably shoudl’ve.
  • Blames Bosh’s injury and missing 12 games.
  • Says he’s averaged 40 wins in four years, previous regime averaged 29 so that’s good.

We had to suffer through Adnan Virk and Sherman Hamilton for a good 10 minutes, not cool.

Colangelo’s making Cleveland Brown jokes. Also not cool.

BC thanks everyone for coming, says he won’t be providing all answers pertaining to free-agency, trades etc. so don’t hold your breath. Wants to acknowledge the basketball fans, season-seat holders etc. He “appreciates the patience and support” of everyone. Mine’s running quite thin but whatever, he says that the “patience will be rewarded with some of the things we have planned”.

Called the season “frustrating”, “disappointed”, it’s not anything less than “heart breaking to sit here and talk about the off-season”. He says he feels the team “underachieved and underperformed”.

Compared the season to a game – first quarter was good, middle two quarters were good and the fourth we couldn’t “finish the job”. Says he “didn’t expect to win 50 but wanted to win 50”.

Excuse time: says we fell short by 10 but it’s important to acknowledge that a team with 29 wins at the All-Star break (franchise high) is not a “bad basketball team, it’s an inconsistent basketball team”. He’s totally discounting the easier schedule before the All-Star break.

Says it’s not all “doom and gloom” as some paint it out. He’s already gone through an “assessment” of where we fell short, what the areas of improvement are. Says we’re farther along than what some people think. Says “we have a core of players that are very talented”, we had “very good young basketball players that continue to develop and emerge”. Talking about emergency of Weems, Johnson and DeRozan and the “continued evolution of Andrea Bargnani” (notice he didn’t say improvement).

Says we have “marketable and tradeable players” because there were calls made at the trade deadline. Says he has “multiple assets on this team” that will either “continue to play for us” or “be part of things to address concerns”. Curious, who has the best trade value on this team?

“Perhaps, we fell short at the trade deadline because there were a few things we could’ve done or addressed at or near the trade-deadline but we didn’t because the team was playing very well at the trade deadline”. Again, he totally ignores the easier schedule pre-All-Star break. Says he can’t look at “shoulda coulda woulda” at this point pertaining to the trade deadline but there were deals available.

What happened after the All-Star break?

“Our entire team came back from the All-Star break as a different team and a different mentality”. Says the Bosh free-agency discussion and rumour mill definitely took a toll on the locker-room. “We came out of the All-Star break with 29 games, in the first game back Bosh got hurt and ends up missing 12 games which is a significant amount…it was injury related and a host of other things that affected the psyche of our team…it was a collecting spiraling of issues”.

Are you still inclined to build around Chris Bosh?

“It’s the biggest unknown in our situation right now. I would still embrace the notion and fully intend to talk about him staying a Raptor and talk about the things that might happen with this thing should he stay. And talk about the possible success we can have here and why Toronto’s the right place for Chris Bosh. That will happen in due time, but that’s the big unknown…he negotiated for the flexibility and he got it, they’re going to take their time. One guy might dictate what the next guy does and so on so forth, Lebron might be the big domino but Chris is a big piece for us to determine what we do. There are certain things we’ll be pursuing in the coming months that might address things on our team with or without Chris. We remain Chris Bosh’s best option to maximize his contract potential” (referring to sign-and-trade)

“We have agreed that regardless of whether or not he stays, we’ll be working together and talking. We’ll be assessing what options we have but it’s not often that a young athlete walks away from a significant amount of money and that’s the difference between him working for us and…doing a sign-and-trade. There are no answers until after July 1st”

Is Bosh a franchise guy?

“Comparing and contrasting, there are probably only three or four guys in the league that you could say are franchise guys worthy of max-contracts. But if you look at the books, there are quite a few more that receive maximum contracts. Chris Bosh is our max-guy, he’s the guy that is considered the cornerstone of this franchise or the franchise player…it’s the same reason he’s considered a top free-agent, if he’s not top three, then he’s top five. If you can secure that asset, you keep that asset. Replacing him is going to be difficult…and we might not get dollar for dollar but I’m not sure we’d ever get that even if we traded him a year or year and a half ago when there were discussions amongst the media. He’s till an asset whether he has an expiring contract or not. Contracts are not always justifiable in sports but it’s a situation that Chris Bosh is considered a maximum contract player for multiple players and he would be that if he stays here.”

Can Bargnani replace Bosh as the franchise player?

“I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to replace Chris fully but he’ll have the opportunity to assume a much bigger scoring load. He’ll have an opportunity to emerge as a dominant or pre-dominant scorer on this team. There are times he gets a little bit lost in the offense and he gets a little anxious when he does touch the ball. You’re talking about a 7-footer who’s 24-25 years old, he’s gotten better every step along the way and despite the constant, constant criticism of the contract, it’s a very good contract and a lot of people around the league agree with us. It’s a very good contract for a kid with that kind of potential and production where he currently is. For another $15M you can get another 1 point and 2 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge. Arguably they’re in the same category, maybe it’s neck-and-neck right now, maybe LaMarcus is a little bit ahead but you’re talking about guys in equal talent area and it’s a very good contract and there’s a lot of value there and there’s a lot of interest in him. He’s going to have a chance if Chris leaves, if Chris stays then we’ll work with him to get better. You could say rebounding is a concern, he’s gotten a little bit better but not good enough. Defnesively, he’s one of our best post players. He averages over 1 block a game, he’s become very effective at that. Is he a good weak-side defender? No, he needs to work on that instinctively, he needs to be collectively a better group defensively because we don’t have solid man-on-ball defenders especially if there are straight-line drives coming from the top….there are areas of everyone’s game that need to be addressed., Andrea will have an opportunity to grow”

He’s now talking about Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani being good fit because they create mismatches. Makes sense to me too on paper, not in reality.

Jose Calderon, what happened?

Missing first free throw was a bad omen.

“The combination of Jarrett and Jose needs to be looked at and it’s something we’re talking about. They both want to be here, they have both professed to not care about starting but clearly there was some sort of disconnect there and we need more consistence at that position. It’s just that simple and it’s probably an indictment of both of them but it’s also an acknowledgement that we have two very talented players that are capable of playing and starting and leading the team…we need to truly ascertain whether they can truly play together and co-exist and if we come to that determination that something needs to be done, we’ll possibly make a move. That’s something we’ll heavily scrutinize this off-season”

What’s’ the plan?

“The plan is to win basketball games at whatever cost. The board is fully committed to doing whatever it takes to put a winning team on the floor, that includes signing Chris Bosh, that includes crossing exceeding the tax-limit. We did get some favourable news that day [salary cap], the cap and tax figures will not drop as much as originally thought”

Cross the tax?

“I would say when you plugin Chris Bosh, the possible re-signing of Amir Johnson, plugging in a few other positions on the roster…we’re probably going to exceed the tax, not probably but very likely. The question of exceeding the tax and to what degree will be determined by what’s in front of us. The outcome of the Chris Bosh thing will determine quite a bit, if he comes back a the number, we know what that number is…if he goes away in S&T, depends on what we net back…if we stay above the cap which is likely the case, we’ll have the mid-level exception.”

There is no talk of blowing everything up, expect more bandaids this summer.

Amir Johnson situation:

“We intend to bring him back, we want to bring him back. He wants to come back. The salary cap will determine what the number is.”

He’s hinting at signing him with the MLE.

“I could paint a scenario where we could be a $3M tax-team, a $7M tax-team or even higher. That is yet to be determined”

How much change do we have to make to get to a 50-win team?

“I don’t think a whole lot, but there are clearly things we are going to address to make sure we get there. And the biggest variable is Chris. If Chris is here, we got a certain team to address, if Chris is not here, depending on what comes out of that Chris Bosh scenario, it’ll determine what needs to be address. So, it’ll take some time but you know and understand and have witnesses that we’ll do what is necessary to make those changes”

Do you believe in the core of this team?

“I don’t think we’re as bad as the picture as being painted. We might not be as good as we had hoped but we’re not as bad. We have the knowledge of the value of the players, we have the knowledge of the talent of the players, we see the interaction of these players on a daily basis and it’s something you have to trust that we’re going to turn this into a 50-win team”

Hedo Turkoglu?

“Hedo had a tough year, there’s no way to sugar-coat that, he acknowledged himself, he struggled. I really appreciate the fact that he acknowledged that and not only acknowledged but apologized for some of the things that took place this season. He remains a talented player, he made some progress down the stretch with the relationship with the coach. Perhaps a common ground was met on a few things and perhaps late, we addressed some issues that needed to be addressed. He’s a solid basketball player and can help this team win games. He needs to be more prepared next year to do so”.

This is confirmation that Triano/Hedo didn’t get along. Kinda late to be working things out in the final 10 games, though.

Jay Triano and your contract?

“I am under contract, I want to be here, I am committed to being here, I am committed to making this team a winner and I believe the ownership group is committed to me to allow that to happen. With respect to Jay, he’s under contract and I look around the league and I count as few as 6 and as many as 9 possible coaching vacancies. I have no intention of making this one of those 9. Jay obviously learned a lot this year, this was a learning year for all of us. We learned about the players, we learned a little more about the coaching staff, Jay probably learned a little bit more about coaching in the NBA as an NBA head coach. As he acknowledged, he’d probably do a few things differently and those are things that he’s brought to my attention or he’s brought to me over the course of the year. Given a chance, he will address those things going forward and be a better coach. He’s young in this business and every coach deserves an opportunity to learn. He acknowledged to all of you what some of those areas were.”

Hedo and Jay problem? Who’s that on?

“Probably a combination of’s not a relationship issue per say. It’s more of a ‘Did we use him right?’ and ‘Did he take advantage of the opportunity given to him?’ And ‘Did he handle himself appropriately?’…It’s a combination of things, you bring nine new pieces together and a coach that’s in his full first year as a coach, we learned a lot. If we do nothing other than come to training camp with the exact same team, we’ll be a better team, but you know we’re not going to sit around and wait for that to happen. I don’t think the relationship was necessarily fractured, it just wasn’t as good as it could have been”

Did you over-estimate Hedo?

“I think we over-estimated the ability to potentially bring nine new faces together and make such dramatic change and have it all come together and rightly or wrongly, he never got himself into the right kind of condition to compete like he had done the previous year. He worked hard, he just never seemed to recover and as soon as he started making forward progress he was set back. An illness to his mother, he got hit in the face. Twice. Played with a busted nose, mask or no mask. He’s frustrated, he’s disappointed, he’s embarassed, he doesn’t feel good about things and I’d say the chapter’s not over there. It’s not, you’ll see a better Hedo Turkoglu next year.”

How do you account for the great stretch in the middle and the collapse late-on? (somebody needs to look up our record against teams over 500)

“It’s maintaining and sustaining the consistency, that’s where we fells short. Not to mention, you hit stride and your best player goes down with an ankle injury. It completely threw us in a downward spiral an when we got it back, if at all, it was tough to recover from, now we find our way to making a transition without Chris, then he comes back and we got transition our way back with Chris….Chris is a dominant scorer which makes others play the game differently and when he’s not on the court it’s…different. The first go around Andrea Bargnani wasn’t ready…the second go-around he got hit and we played better…..Your best player is out of the lineup for 12 games.”

Reporter gets a little snarky.

“Your best player misses 12 games down the stretch of the season. You’re making adjustments to him being in the lineup and out of the lineup and the team wasn’t performing well as a whole. We were not playing consistently. Where am I not communicating that?”

Was starting DeMar a good decision?

BC says that it was, player development is important and it’s not the reason for our W/L records. It was a collective failure than an individual failure.

Value of Anthony Parker:

“Getting 14 individual to work together is maybe where we failed…One thing that goes unnoticed and unwritten, we really failed at bringing some of the relationships per say in the locker room. There may have been a guy like Anthony Parker who did a great job of understanding what the international and North American player were going through. We didn’t have that glue-guy that made that happen. I can’t say that enough because he was such a vital part and stable force in that scenario and whereas this year we didn’t seem to have that.”

Do you anticipate any changes to the coaching staff?

Says he’ll sit down with Jay and discuss. Nothing in stone yet.

Will he try to sign the next AP?

“Probably need to find something or challenge someone in the locker-room to take on that kind of role”

Reggie Evans? Was this team tough enough?

“Reggie is a guy that probably could have and was acting out a certain role for this team and was a factor in practice every day. He looked like the kind of guy that was going to carry that role, that tough guy, that defender out. But he had a very, very significant injury and one that he never quite recovered from fully. He never regained his stride, never recovereed fully, there was still soreness up until the last game….that injury was a significant blow to the make-up of this team. Is Reggie capable of recovering from the injury? We’ll sit down with the doctors…and see if he’s going to be capable of coming that and if that’s a possibility, we’ll welcome him back and if not, we’ll address it..the toughness, the rebounding…”

Is this a guard-driven league?

“Do we have that player that can score 20 points a game from the guard position alongside Chris Bosh? Yes, but not with consistency. You’ll see the 20 point night out of one of the guards, DeMar, Jose, Jack, someone is capable of that but right now our second 20-point scorer is a PF/C with Bargnani, he’s a guy that can put up 20 points a game night in and night out. If we need to address some of the guard-play, that’s something we’ve already talked about needing to address? The two PGs, are they good enough, are they good enough together?..You want your starting PG to average 10asts….we’ve got to figure out if we can both play but if you take one and make a move with the other, is that guy capable of running the show?”

“For everyone to find me a 20-point scorer, they’re not falling from the sky, Kobe’s not available. We set out to potentially find that drafting DeMar DeRozan who has shown flashes…his off-season will entail working on his handle, his shot-creation but you can see the positive development that has been with him and Weems. A year ago Weems wasn’t able to crack a roster..he’s capable of doing things…he can really defend the wing position…he’s versatile too, he can guard 1s, 2s and 3s. That’s developmental and that’s the work the coaching staff put into these guys…development is key and the off-season is where these guys get better…One of the reasons we drafted DeMar is because of his character and drive, he wants to be good and wants to be considered one of the best. We’ll see where it goes.”

Will you make a move before July 1st?

“If a deal is available and makes sense for us, we’ll make the deal”. – big long drawn out response, generic response to a generic question. Says it’s better to wait till the playoff team are ready to deal too.

Do you have the personnel to play D?

“It’s safe to say we need to improve in that are. We need to get better at formulating and executing a defensive strategy and using the personnel that we do have available and I think we can all be better defenders and we lost sight of it at times. Our defense was really good at times but it seemed to feed off our offense. It’s an area of improvement, no sugar-coating, we need to get better defensively and we need to demand more of the players”

What’s your take on the draft, are you inclined to keep the pick?

“It’s likely that by May 8th [date players can pull out of draft] we’ll know just how deep the draft is and I’ll be able to give you a better read then but…it looks like we’re going to get a nice player. We’ve been all out all year on the scouting scene.”

Also says we could trade the pick in a deal if it’s a good one.

Do the Raptors look at advanced stats enough like other NBA teams?

“You don’t need to react what others are doing. We need to get better defensively”. (basically didn’t answer the question)

“We’ve got our own models, we don’t go on popular websites to discuss the statistical component, we are investing significantly in the quantitative data analysis that is going on throughout the league. Jay has embraced it in a big way and to a lesser extent, with data that’s available, we’re applying that as well to our draft selection criteria. As it relates to simple things as +/- and points and rebounds, we’re will beyond that. Any trade target, any free-agent target..we’ve got all sorts of information to make an educated decision”

When will you reach out to Chris about an extension?

“We’re in a unique situation because we can have a conversation with our own player about a contract extension…those conversations have been ongoing throughout the year. There was an extension offer made during the year that was, at the time, turned down on the premise that they decided last summer when we first started discussing the situation that they’d wait till the end of the year to let this thing play out so he could have this flexibility and be wooed and all those things. And also assess where we were. No extension was offered last summer because we got the answer before even asking…It’s unlikely that he signs an extension before July 1st…we may look to bring things to a head…”

What’s good value for Chris Bosh in a S&T?

“It’s an impossible question to answer. I know what Bosh’s value is on the market over the course of the last year and a half…but since those conversations are necessary relevant or real-time, it’s safe to say that there are dealing with space enough to sign Chris outright. On the premise that Chris is probably not willing to walk away from a significant amount of money and security, we can be looking at those teams and identifying possible targets and scenarios to consider….there are teams who are over the cap that could be interested in Chris Bosh.”

Goes on to say if Chris leaves, he could give us a list of teams to play for and then we’d target players on those teams. Says the Raptors “will maximize our opportunity”.

Reporter asks what the “sell job” to Chris is and what the “sales pitch” will be.

“Depends on what he is looking to achieve out of free-agency. There’s been talk about him wanting to be a #1 guy, we have that. If he’s content being a #2 guy, well, there are other options for him. This city has grown fond of him and I think he’s grown fond of as well. The unknown of moving to a new city, and the pressures that come with playing with a max-contract etc etc. are all things that he’s going to have to consider. This is a unique opportunity for him to market himself to an entire country instead of just the city of Toronto and for all the talk about marketing opportunities and new situations out there, sometimes it’s ‘be careful what you wish for’….more time that is spent away from the game is a drain physically and you might make-up a few dollars but suffer the consequences. The game is the most important aspect of it and he’s got an opportunity to be the #1 guy, he’s got a franchise behind him, the ownership behind him, willing to exceed the tax-limit, willing to do whatever it takes, he’s got a management team behind him and relationships within the organization that hopefully are long-standing. And there’s a loyalty that’s being built up both ways.”

“As the league continues to evolve, what we’ve done, I know it’s nothing to be proud of, over the last four seasons we’ve averaged 40 wins a season. The previous four years we averaged 29, we’ve made a significant jump, now it’s time to take the next jump and that’s part of the evolution of this franchise. We want to get to the 50-win plateau on a consistent basis and continue to build from there. We flirted with it, we got to 47 and won the divisions and after that things didn’t work out for whatever reason. We’re a significantly better organization since Chris signed the extension.”

Do you feel you need to re-iterate to Chris your attributes?

“I’m not going to sell myself, I’m going to sell the organizations, the city and the opportunities he has here. His agents know what my track record is, his agents know what my history is in terms of trying to make things happen. He knows himself personally where my passion lies and where the rest of this organization is in our commitment to winning.”

Do you think your reputation has suffered?

“I’m not going to grade myself, you guys have done a pretty good job of that. Reputationally, if I listen to people, I hope they’re not blowing smoke but they think we’ve got a good basketball team and a chance to be solid every year because we have a committed management team and a dedicated management team and a passionate group that’s putting this thing together. And a knowledgable one. We’ve got good people in place to make the right decisions, sometimes things work out sometimes they don’t…I think we spoiled you guys a little early…we got from 27 to 47…this business is not easy and you continue to move and you continue to evolve and out-work the people you’re competing with. I’m not proud of averaging only 40 wins and only making the playoffs twice, I’m just not.”

Will the management team change?


This is funny, he says:

“We were on pace to win 50 games for almost half a season. For 35 games we won 70% of our games for almost half a season”

Luckily he goes on to say that “almost is not good enough” but once again, he’s completely ignoring SoS during the win streak.

Reporter asks basically whether he feels the fan’s frustration.

“I understand their frustration, I think they’d be less frustration if there wasn’t such a frenzied movement. We are addressing the areas of concern of our STH with added-value elements all the time. More accessibility, entertainment, character, giving back to the community…”

“We cannot be swayed by the angst of a vocal minority that wants us to be someone we’re not. What we are is a solid organization, one of the best run organizations in the NBA and professional sports, top to bottom, I’m talking about hockey, basketball, soccer, real-estate, everything, television. It’s a company that will do in it’s power to answer the fans’ concern. Do we feel it and are as frustrated as they are? Yes. 100%. But certain things are in your control, certain things are out, the one thing we do control is our intent and effort to make it happen”


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