Morning Coffee

Toronto Raptors Morning Coffee April 25

Is there a single playoff team Jose Calderon could start for?

Raptors Rapture

Today’s player review will be focused upon the Toronto Raptors 1st overall pick in the 2006 entry draft, 7 foot center Andrea Bargnani. In his fourth full season in the league, Bargnani once again took several strides in developing every facet of his game on both ends of the floor. Although Bargnani is still quite a few steps away from being a part of the league’s elite, he truly is beginning to show that he can be an instrumental part of any organization. Let’s take a look at Il Mago’s stats over this past year:

Always Miller Time

Yes, Raptor fans, Chris Bosh will be leaving Toronto. He’s done a lot there and I know you probably will miss him. But Bosh needs a team that can take him to the playoffs. I know Toronto was close, but face it, he’s leaving.

If Bosh wants a team to take him to the playoffs, the 2010 NBA Free Agency is where he should look into. And for him going to the Thunder, it’ll be the perfect fit. A lot of things can happen with Bosh in OKC.

First of all, he’ll play in an important role with Oklahoma City, who consists of skilled players like Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, and of course Kevin Durant. Bosh will just be the key to unlocking a team that has sure bet into the playoffs.

The Thunder made it this year with over 50 wins.

They can reach for 56-60 now with acquiring such a player like Bosh. Bosh can score from a lot of places, he’s fast, strong, and somebody you can rely on. He’ll be a happy man in Oklahoma.

Not so sure on Toronto, though.

Toronto Star

The seven charities analyzed by the Star – the six NHL club foundations along with the Toronto Blue Jays foundation – all rely on events-based fundraising to bring in charitable dollars.

Most hold game-night lotteries such as 50/50 draws, gala fundraising events and golf tournaments featuring celebrity athletes.

While such events do bring in big dollars, they also cost big dollars. And that eats away at the money left to accomplish their charitable missions.

“Events are certainly more costly,” said Alebon. “If that’s what you’re doing, your costs are going to be higher.”

Kevin Nonomura, treasurer for MLSE’s Team Up, said his organization is looking to find alternative fundraising techniques to offset its high event-based costs.

“We’ve always been event heavy,” he said. “With golf tournaments, for example, we’re paying for the golf course, food and beverage, gifting.”

And in a slumping economy when charitable donations are tight, relying on glitzy events becomes risky, he says.

“You can’t decide not to run it for a year and it’s a struggle getting people to attend it. And if you’re the Raptors and you’re not playing well, now you’ve also got team performance that can be an issue (in terms of drawing people to events).”

Danielle Robinson, president of the (Ottawa) Sens Foundation, says about half of her organization’s revenues are lost to fundraising and administration because 80 to 85 per cent of its activities are events-based.

Toronto Sun

A few parts of Bryan Colangelo’s lengthy post-mortem need to re-addressed: 1) He said Jay Triano is still learning on the job. But since when did professional sport become a training ground for coaches?; 2) He joked that he spoiled the people of Toronto by his early success here. True, he had early success. But not playoff success. Not making the playoffs in a very weak Eastern Conference two years in a row has little to do with spoiling anything but his own reputation. Should he miss a third year in a row, his wrap-up press conference should coincide with his dismissal.

Can’t say I buy the business about the Raptors partying too much in a league where everybody parties too much. Overall, the Raptors seem to be more settled than most … Is there a single playoff team Jose Calderon could start for?


The Biggest Meltdown after All Star Break:
The award goes to the Toronto Raptors. They were well in the playoff hunt and then they just fell off the face of the Earth questioning Chris Bosh’s future.


In other words, negotiations for Bosh could drag as the Raps try to finagle the best offer out of teams hoping to take him on. Who gives up the better draft picks? Who gives up the better young players? Teams like Houston and Chicago already are pretty publicly interested in Bosh and could make something work, but there’s always Miami and New York and the Clippers, too. Almost all of those teams could make pretty interesting offers to Bryan Colangelo that would soften the blow of losing their lone All-Star. But none of those teams is just going to sign Bosh outright. It’s just not going to happen.

The same will be true for James, Wade, Johnson, and Stoudemire should similar situations arise. Even guys like Carlos Boozer, Rudy Gay, and David Lee could arrange sign-and-trades with their current teams, though those players are less likely to break their franchise’s hearts should they just up and leave.

The bottom line is that this summer’s free agents won’t necessarily provide the quick fix that fans seem to be expecting. Teams are going to have to give to get, and that’s not necessarily how free agency has worked in the past. But like we’ve already said—we aren’t dealing with free agency this July; we’re dealing with free sign-and-trade-gency. And that’s a whole other animal.

USA Today

"You have to have guys that have the personality that look at it in a bigger picture," Wade said. "You can’t have two guys or three guys, whatever you call it, that (all) want it to be, ‘This is my show.’ You’ve got to want to share it and you’ve got to look at guys and say, ‘Are these guys team players or individual players?’

"Myself and LeBron are team players. I think we’ve proven that. I don’t think you can say that about everybody."

Wade’s approach with the Heat is similar to the one James has with the Cavaliers. Both are obviously dynamic scorers, and both are among the league’s best at setting up teammates for points as well and in turn, that softens defenses so teams can’t constantly throw double-teams their way.

So would he share the spotlight with James, especially since both are used to being the absolute go-to guys on their respective teams?

Wade didn’t hesitate.

"I don’t have a problem sharing," Wade said. "That’s what this summer’s about: Sharing. I’m going into the summer with the thoughts that I want to share next year. And whomever those players are, they know that would be my mentality."

Saving The Skyhook

Obviously they’d love to add him to the front court from an offensive and rebounding perspective. But are there drawbacks?

The Thunder have made significant progress on the strength of their defense, one that Collison and Serge Ibaka anchor up front. Oklahoma City ranked 11th in the league at 97.9 points allowed and ranked seventh with an opponent’s field-goal percentage of 44.8.

Bosh isn’t exactly known as a tenacious defender, so will throwing him into the system detract from the team’s success on that side of the ball? It depends on whom he replaces. Collison’s a solid defender, but Krstic isn’t elite there. If Bosh joins the team and starts at center for Krstic, Bosh is probably a defensive upgrade, to be truthful.

More importantly, though, will adding a star of Bosh’s caliber quash the team’s chemistry that has been key to Oklahoma City’s success? The Thunder already have one star in Durant, but he’s so reserved and calm that he doesn’t have any problem fitting in to the team picture. After all, he quietly put up with two seasons of mediocrity before this one without so much as an inkling of negativity.

Bosh, however, has been less than private about his dissatisfaction with the Raptors organization. He could easily sour a flawless locker-room situation in Oklahoma City, jeopardizing that ever-so-valuable chemistry.



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