Found January 17, 2013 on Atlantic Twine:
The Toronto Raptors have arguably been one of the worst NBA franchises in the past decade finishing fourth or less in the Atlantic Division six times since they joined the 2004-2005 seasons and averaging a 0.407 wining percentage. Currently, the team is in last place in the Atlantic division with a 14-25 record–11 games back from first place. Fans have criticized Toronto’s management, led by Larry Tanenbaum and general manager Bryan Colangelo, for not spending the money in free agency to build a team that could be successful. Prime examples of this would be the failure to sign or re-sign intriguing free agents including Steve Nash, Tyson Chandler, or Chris Bosh. So far this year, Toronto has made a few improvements to lay down a foundation on what to build a good team around. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America They added a complimentary guard to Jose Calderon in Kyle Lowry, who Toronto acquired from the Rockets. Lowry is the far more dynamic player than anyone else on the team. He’s fast, an accurate shooter, and has the athleticism to drive the ball strong to the hoop. The Raptors are an aging team and the addition of Lowry will help give the Raptors a faster style of game in the near future. Another key move that the Raptors made was signing the swingman DeMar DeRozan to a four-year, $38 million extension. General manager Bryan Colangelo even called DeRozan:  “A significant part of the building process here in Toronto…We view DeMar as a young, athletic and talented basketball player whose character fits what we are putting together.”  The 6-foot-7 guard adds versatility and defense to the Raptors front court. DeRozan currently leads the team in steals (1.10 spg) and points (17.7 ppg), and is third on the team in rebounds behind Ed Davis and Amir Johnson. Lastly, the addition of Mickael Pietrus adds depth to the defensive side of the ball. Off the bench Pietrus’ athleticism allows him to match-up against the NBA’s better scorers on defense. On the offensive side of the ball, Pietrus’ three-point ability provides spacing on the floor and creates lanes for the guards. With the NBA free agency period ending in 5 on Feb. 21, the Raptors need to address two issues with the team. They need a physical defensive threat who can add to the fast-paced offense they are trying to instill, and they need to find a way to unload Andrea Bargnani, who is set to make $23 million for the next two seasons. For a while, rumors have been going around the league about the Raptors going after Rudy Gay. He is not the problem solver. Although Gay is having a breakout season, he would cost the Raptors too much, and a pure scorer is not what the team needs. The Raptors need a big versatile forward or center that can be an enforcer on offense or defense. A player who can run the floor and keep up with the fast pace offense that the Raptors are obviously trying to install in the upcoming season.  Josh Smith- On the Raptors page of bleacher report, a great case was made for a trade to get Smith. The long-time Hawk would be a great fit for Toronto. Smith is still young and has the athleticism to rebound and be a highlight reel threat in the fast break. Smith, one of the members of the 2010 NBA All-Defensive second team, would also be an exceptional help to the team’s defense as he is a tremendous shot blocker and turnover machine. The Hawks would also be an interesting team to trade with because they would have a lot of use for the sharp shooting Italian forward/center Andrea Bargnani. Danny Granger – Another reliable big name player. The Pacers could also be in need of a player like Bargnani, who would free up millions in cap space for the Raptors. With the emergence of Paul George in Indiana, Granger has become a bit more affordable for the Toronto Raptors, who most likely aren’t willing to break bank for any player or trade. However, if they can figure something out, Granger is an all-around stud and has been the reason for the Pacers’ recent success. Like most NBA superstars, Granger isn’t a diva and his team-first mentality will fit in well with Toronto. The thought of Granger, Calderon, Lowry, and DeRozan on the floor is an exciting prospect. All of them are over .400 fg shooters; And like DeRozan, Granger averages over a steal a game. The Raptors also need an unselfish player who can run the court and get numbers out of pure hustle. Possibilities for this role could include Thadius Young, Paul Millsap, or Boris Diaw. Thadius Young – Young’s unique because he’ll consistently get his numbers off rebounds and fast breaks. His season averages of 14.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game are remarkable due to the fact he never gets his own designed plays, he just creates his own opportunities. Young would also be a good fit for the Raptors because of his ability to guard on defense. His versatility and arm length allows him to guard small forwards to power forwards. This will permit the Raptors to use him in small team sets and have successful match-ups either in the post or on the wings. Paul Millsap – Some articles online suggested that Al Jefferson would be a good target for a trade, but Millsap is more realistic. He is much more affordable. His enforcer mentality is just what Toronto’s team desperately needs. Millsap’s body strength would instantly allow Toronto to run an effective pick-and-roll game that would free up their knock down shooters like Calderon and Pietrus, and let players like DeRozan and Lowry flourish in wider driving lanes. In the paint, Millsap is a punisher for smaller players for lingering in the paint and can outwork heavier forwards and centers. Even with his size Millsap has been an effective fast break player for Utah over the years. Mishap might not always score on fast breaks, but what he does do is move bodies out of the lanes when he runs the floor creating more opportunities for the accurate shooters on the team.  Boris Diaw – Diaw might be in his ninth year but as Bill Walton would tell you, he is a player that can do it all. Bringing in the versatility of Diaw would be a great addition to the team for the new transition game. Off the bench, the Frenchman brings the speed and agility to run the floor. He also can find the open man of the rebounds for outlets or second chance opportunities with his tremendous offensive awareness. Similar to Granger, he brings a team-first attitude and would be a great role model for the younger big men on the team.

Terrence Ross with a ridiculous put-back jam

Tweet Raptors rookie Terrence Ross has proven on multiple occasions this season that he has some world-class hops. On Tuesday night against the Nets, he decided to just remind everyone of that once again. An in-game reverse dunk would have been sick. An authoritative put-back dunk would have been really cool. But putting the two [...]

Kevin Durant: "Believe it or not, I wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors"

posted by Romy AquinoDon't get mad Raps fans.  Kevin Durant was on the Dan Patrick Show today and a little Toronto Raptors shoutout came up in the interview.  Apparently, when asked what team he wanted to play for growing up, it was the Toronto Raptors.  Why?  Mostly because of Vince Carter and because he liked those jerseys.  Yep, those old school purples with the red dinosaur...

"AIR GRAY" - Aaron Gray throws it down on the Brooklyn Nets

posted by Romy AquinoSooo.....the Raptors have lost three straight including a close one against the Bulls, the Bucks and another tough loss against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.  Aaron Gray got the start against the Nets and the centre who averages 2.1 ppg....threw down a vicious dunk that got the Raptors bench to geek out hard.  Check it out.We love this dunk so much.....

Toronto Raptors: Trade Ideas

The Raptors are having an incredibly disappointing season and look as though they will miss the playoffs, once again. They were expected to fight for the 8th seed in the playoffs after a solid draft, starting the new season healthy, adding point guard Kyle Lowry and getting last year’s top five pick, center Jonas Valanciunas over from Europe. However, horrible defense, injuries...

Casey: Raptors Pondering Trade Possibilities

The Raptors are mulling trade possibilities as the Feb. 21 deadline approaches.

Calderon Keeping Himself Insulated From Trade Rumors, Won't Consider Future Until Offseason

Jose Calderon has not made any decision where he wants to play next season and will evaluate the situation when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Raptors Terrence Ross with a sick reverse put back dunk against Nets

Raptors rookie Terrence Ross only had four points in Tuesday night’s match up against the Brooklyn Nets. But the reverse putback dunk that was responsible for a pair of those points, was a thing of beauty.   Whose in this year’s dunk contest? Gerald Green? Paul George? WOuld Terrence Ross be someone you want to see on the “All-Star Saturday Night” stage?   video via NBA

Luol Deng Hits Game Winner Over Raptors, Announcer Freaks Out (Video)

The Toronto Raptors erased a 19-point deficit to the Chicago Bulls in the second half of last nights game to tie it up at 105-105.  With 8.7 seconds left on the game clock, Bulls forward Luol Deng got the ball and took it into the lane to hit the game winning jump shot with 3.3 left on the clock.  The announcer went wild after the shot fell screaming, "Loul Dangerous does...

76ers 108, Raptors 101, OT

Jrue Holiday had a career-high tying 33 points and 14 assists, including all 12 of Philadelphia's points in overtime, and the 76ers overcame a 19-point second-half deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors 108-101 on Friday night. Thaddeus Young added 27 points and 14 rebounds while Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen had 12 apiece for the Sixers. Ed Davis had 18 points and 10 rebounds...

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Toronto Raptors 106, Brooklyn Nets 113 - The 'Brooklyn Way' Edition

posted by Mike MasayaPOUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.FINAL SCORE:   RAPTORS 106 - NETS 113    SEASON RECORD: 14W-24LPOUND THE ROCK STAR #1: KYLE LOWRYLINE...

NBA Admits Refs Made Wrong Call In Raptors/Bulls Game

With one second remaining in overtime of the Chicago Bulls-Toronto Raptors game on January 16, officials called a foul on Chicago’s Joakim Noah as Toronto’s Amir Johnson gathered the ball while driving to the basket. The officials ruled the foul was on the floor but upon review at the league office, the video replay confirmed that the foul should have been called a shooting foul...

Bulls 107, Raptors 105 (OT)

TORONTO -- Carlos Boozer scored a season-high 36 points but despite leading by 19 points during the third quarter the Chicago Bulls needed overtime to defeat the Toronto Raptors 107-105 Wednesday before a crowd of 18,674 at Air Canada Centre. Luol Deng hit an 18-foot pull-up jumper with 3.3 seconds to snap a tie and give the Bulls their hard-earned win. But not until the Raptors...
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