Bryan Colangelo had his year end session with the media. It was interesting but not sure if it provided any answers but it did give lots of lines to read between. A couple things that seem a little more clear than most were these:
Jay Triano is going to have every chance in the world to remain as the head coach of the Raptors. Colangelo would say that he has talked to no one about the coaching position and he did confirm that people have inquired. However he stated that he will sit down with Jay and talk about everything. He also suggested that he would like the coaching issue to be dealt with quickly. He said that he feels it is important to have a coach in place to be part of the process in moving forward and looking at the draft and trade options. It all seemed to point that unless Jay Triano were to show up with a lamp shade on his head in his underwear the job is likely his. The one thing Bryan would say is that the coaching staff is going to change regardless of if Jay is hired as head coach or not. That would make what everyone has been saying about Mark Ivaroni as the lead assistant to Triano seem likely as well. It could also mean the end of the line for Alex English and Mike Evans. We will have to see.
The other thing that you can almost guarantee is that Carlos Delfino will be bringing sexy back to Toronto next season. Colangelo almost talked about Carlos as a part of the existing member of the Raptor roster. Which technically he is as the Raptors still hold his restricted free agent rights. It seemed very clear that he will be returning. He even made reference to a conversation he had with Jose Calderon about what was missing without Delfino this season. He suggested that Delfino was part of the grit that he admitted was lacking in this roster.
In fact he said flat out that he felt this team as a whole was to nice. He said that he will address that in some way. Perhaps if Shawn Marion does not return Ron Artest would add that tough attitude that Colangelo is said to be searching for. I am saying that of course Bryan could not say anything close to that cause that would be tampering. He said of Marion that he would like for him to return but it will be a case of the market determining if that will be possible. However he suggested there is always the option of a sign and trade that can be explored with Shawn Marion and his agent.
As for the draft. Colangelo suggested that not only the Raptors will more than likely keep their pick he is in the market shopping for perhaps another first round pick. That is something that should make people happy who are looking for the Raptors to get some help. It seems Colangelo would not be opposed to looking at a point guard and a swing man on his draft wish list. He clearly stated that there is really only one sure thing in this draft which would mean Blake Griffin. However he pointed out that even if the Raptors remain at where they sit you can find some good players. He mentioned his own picks of Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudamire as well as the selection of Paul Pierce at 10 for the Celtics.
He kept saying a few things. That he feels the core of this team is solid with Bargnani Bosh and Calderon. However he would not go as far as to say the core will remain. But he said it was likely it would. He said that he could not publicly say that he opposed to Jose Calderon playing for Spain. However he did about everything but saying that it would not be is Jose's best interest to do so for him and his career. He also talked about Roko Ukic and how they were hopeful about his development but suggested that team may look to address the issue in the off-season. He compare the Raptors situation to that of Boston at the point guard position. Rajon Rondo if he went down they did not have many options. He failed to even mention Stephon Marbury in talking about it. That may speak to his feelings on Marbury or the lack of performance by him. But it seemed clear he would not be opposed to adding to the depth at the point guard position. He also failed to mention Marcus Banks at all. So that may suggest that a buy out of that contract could be in the mix for the Raps? It may be the case. It seems unlikely the Raptors would carry 4 point guards.
Steve Nash was also mentioned with out being mentioned. Colangelo would not rule out the option of a Nash. He of course did not refer to him by name but did say that a veteran to mentor Ukic was one way the Raptors could go. They were talking in 2010 in this conversation however I am convinced that the conversation about Nash may happen sooner than that. I have said it for along time. When you consider all the things in play it points to Nash. Triano set to return as the head coach, Shawn Marion an option the Raptors want to explore. It all points to Steve Nash. You also have the whole Bosh drama to deal with. Yes there was talk of that as well.
Chris Bosh is still the cornerstone of this franchise. That is what Colangelo said. He said that he is not looking to move Bosh. He said that Bosh and him had a good conversation but did not talk about the future. He seemed that he was not concerned in having to move Bosh. He flat out said that he was not going to be pressured into moving Bosh for the sake of moving him. He said the only way Bosh would move is if it was a deal that would make the team better. In referencing him as a top 10 player in the league it would seem that would have to be a heck of a deal. He pointed out the fact that Raptors have the advantages of being able to sign him to a max deal and even could do that as part of a sign and trade should Bosh decide to play out his current contract. There is a window in which Bosh could sign a 3 year extension but that seems very unlikely. The bottom line of it all is Colangelo did not seem in any hurry to be moving Chris Bosh. So while Stephen A Smith is looking to get back on T.V can someone please let him know that.
It was a Colangelo that was clearly frustrated by the team and it's performance. However he feels that the team is not as far away as everyone in the media and the fan base may think. He was as confident as ever. He was asked if it upset him that people were being very hard on his job performance. He said that it did and it fuels him to prove people wrong. I like to hear that. I have some issues with some of the things that he has done. However I still have faith in him and know that he is a guy that hates to lose and there is no way he will sit still. The Raptors will look different next year and Bryan Colangelo seems to think that the road back to the playoffs is going to be a challenge but it is not as far off as some may feel. I think if you like Bryan or you do not you hope that he is right. There is no doubt this will be the most important off-season of his time in Toronto.