Friday Rotation

So another week in the books and another Bryan Colangelo move that makes you say...WOW. Just the norm for this off-season. It came so close to being a complete disaster had the Raptors and Colangelo not been able to work that complex 4 way trade. So let's review who is signed sealed and delivered for you 09/10 Raptors barring another Bryan Colangelo trade.

Jose Calderon (PG)

Jarrett Jack (PG/SG)

Roko Ukic (PG)

Marcus Banks (PG)

Antonie Wright (SG/SF)

Demar Derozan (SG/SF?)

Marco Belinelli (SG)

Quincy Douby (SG)

Hedo Turkoglu (SF)

Chris Bosh (PF)

Reggie Evans (PF)

Andrea Bargnani (PF/C)

Rasho Nesterovic (C)

Patrick O'Bryant (C)

Raptors have said they are going to add perhaps one more player to make the roster 15. If not that would leave an open roster sport that would provide some flexibility down the road.

So what might a Raptor 10 Man Rotation look like?


Chris Bosh

Jose Calderon

Hedo Turkoglu.

Andrea Bargnani

Demar Derozan

Jarrett Jack

Marco Belinelli

Antonie Wright

Rasho Nesterovic

Reggie Evans

Outside Rotation Looking In:

Patrick O'Bryant

Quincy Douby

Roko Ukic

Marcus Banks

It is a pretty impressive roster and rotation on paper is it not? Definitely good enough to be a playoff team in the East. But the real question will become if it is good enough to get this team beyond a first round playoff series? It would look like if things hold to form that Raptors would be looking at playing the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. A very athletic team that could cause the Raptors headaches. But that is looking way far into the future.

But it seems that when the Raptors hit camp it is going to be more about establishing rotations rather than the actual rotation itself. I don't think anyone can build a solid case for the 4 guys I have left out of the rotation can you?

So really Jay Triano in his first training camp is going to have a little less to worry about. Word on the street is the Raps will be heading back to Ottawa. So that should be funny for folks up there. I know a few of the DNB readership is from the Ottawa area. Enjoy the weekend no matter where you are checking in from. I am doing the radio in Montreal on CJLO late night. Still working out on when that will be. But at some point between 12am and 2am. I will be on there talking ball.


Pasta For 2?

Things had become a little blah in Raptorland. But when Bryan Colangelo is your G.M that is just a phone call away from changing. Colangelo never allows himself be satisfied with what he has done. He also seems to have strong feelings about certain players and does not seem to rest until he lands them. That all being said if you have not heard the latest move of the "Super Genius" that is Colangelo here it is.

Marco Belinelli To Toronto

Devean George and $$$ To Golden State

I truly scratch my head as to what is in this deal for Golden State. Anytime you trade a player past his prime to get a guy that has yet to reach his potential is a good move. Not unlike the signing of Jarrett Jack this also offers a friend for Andrea Bargnani to have on the roster. Clearly things did not work out for Marco in Golden State after he was drafted he had tore up Summer League and looked to have a very bright future.

Here are his career numbers from NBA.Com. The Raptors also save a minor amount of cash in the deal. Belinelli has a year remaining on his rookie contract. While George is set to be a free agent after this season. Just another weapon to add to the mix for Bryan Colangelo. There real is nothing to lose and a lot to gain in this deal.

This has been a heck of a summer in which Bryan Colangelo has re-established himself with the fans and perhaps his superstar in Chris Bosh. Clearly even Bosh has to admit that Colangelo has done all humanly possible to improve this team. What this will mean in terms of filling out that last roster spot is unclear. It may allow Raptors to sign Carlos Delfino. However it might also give them some leverage to negotiate with Delfino as he would now be a luxury and not a requirement.

But for now yet another Bravo for B.C it has been a heck of a summer.

Update 1pm

Here is the official press release from the Toronto Raptors on Belinelli trade. They also confirmed the signing of Rasho Nesterovic and his return to the Raptors.


Playoffs In July?

First off today there was an issue that occurred in early morning hours that rendered the Jack Armstrong Interview unplayable. I have fixed the problem and apologize to anyone that was not able to listen to it. You can hear it now here is a link to it.Thanks to a number of readers that made me aware of this problem. It has been a big couple days for the blog and thanks to all of you that have made that happen.

I have no guest today it is just me. Maybe I should interview myself? That would be odd wouldn't it? Something you might see in say the WWE? I admit that I totally forgot about Shaq hosting Raw on Monday night. But I was able to see the highlights yesterday. It was classic Shaq and I got some chuckles but WWE is not what it use to be. But the line of the night was not said by Shaq. It was said by Chris Jericho.

Jericho- " When I heard we were having the most dominant player in the NBA(As guest host of Raw) I naturally assumed it was Kobe Bryant "

Shaq could only respond by calling Jericho... Christina. That was pretty old and dated. WWE writers have gotten old and predictable. Same might be said for Shaq himself. No doubt the big man will be in the spotlight playing Robin to Lebron James as Batman. Will it work? That is one of the bigger questions heading into this NBA season.

In fact all top 4 teams in the East have made moves that they hope will upgrade their talent. Orlando has Ex-Raptor Vince Carter. Who I was reading the new NBA Live 10 when it comes out will get booed by Toronto fans in video game as well. Truly EA tries to live up to there motto of "If It's in the Game, It's in the Game". Rasheed Wallace is going to be a Celtic. Boston has had a number of trade rumours still buzzing so it is clear Danny Angie is not done. The Atlanta Hawks also have added Jamal Crawford to the mix. I think it is safe to say all 4 of these teams make the playoffs again unless something goes drastically wrong.

So that leaves 4 spots that last season were held by Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit. All of which have done very little in terms of getting better this off-season with exception of Detroit. Philadelphia has a new coach in Eddie Jordon. But they have lost there point guard Andre Miller. Miami has not exactly been loading up to keep D-Wade happy have they? Chicago lost Ben Gordon to the Pistons and he was a big part of what they did in the playoffs. Gordon along with Charlie Villianeuva are now Pistons. But really will this help the Pistons be better? The are former teammates at UConn.

Bottom line of all of it is for Raptors to make playoffs it takes one of these teams to fall back for them to get in. Truth be told you could make a case that all 4 of these teams could miss the playoffs. If I was going to rank who is most likely going to miss out it would go like this. With most likely team at top and least likely at the bottom.

Philadelphia (Sorry Jason Kapono and Eddie Jordan)
Chicago (Sorry Chuck Swirsky)
Detroit ( Joe Dumars prays I am wrong)
Miami ( D-Wade on his own can save the Heat )

I could see easily that 3 of the 4 may not make the playoffs. If that is true who the heck moves into those spots? Well here are my 3 picks to fill out the playoff field.

Toronto Raptors ( Seriously with all the moves if they don't it is a disaster of an epic nature)
Charlotte Bobcats ( Young and up coming Bobcats. Tyson Chandler might push them over top)
Washington Wizards ( Subject to Gilbert Arenas making it to opening night )

So what will it look like (Subject To Change)

1. Cleveland
2. Boston
3. Orlando
4. Atlanta
5. Toronto
6. Washington
7. Charlotte
8. Miami

Remember when people laughed about the the Southeast Division? 4 teams in the playoffs can that be right? It could be. Washington and Charlotte have a very small margin of error for me. Detroit and the Bulls should be teams right there if they should slip. This is just a snapshot thought and things can change. As for the Raptors being 5th? It seems the right place for them. They are not better than any of the top 4. Atlanta maybe is the closest with the other 3 miles ahead.

If I change my mind on this over the summer I will let you know. If you want to doubt this hey by all means. Predictions are subjective. I will point out though that I did predict the NBA Finals last year prior to the season. Not to many folks had the Orlando Magic playing the L.A Lakers did they? I got to brag about it now because really can I successfully call it 2 years in a row? That would have some long odds I am thinking.


Jack Armstrong In DNB..But On Twitter?

It is always great to have Jack Armstrong come visit us here at the Dino Nation Blog. Who better to follow up having T.J Ford than one of my favourite guests in Jack. The last time Jack joined us I believe was prior to the NBA Draft. A lot has changed since that time and we go through a lot of the changes. As well we talk about Chris Bosh and his future this season and long term. Demar Derozan, Hedo Turkoglu, Jarrett Jack and others are all talked about. We also address something that a lot of people on Twitter want to know. When will Jack Armstrong be on Twitter? I talk with Jack and give some creative ideas on how we might be able to get Jack Armstrong to join the Twitter Universe. I would not have even tried if I did not feel it was something the people wanted. I also would not have tried if I had not known Jack would have some fun with it. But regardless of if he makes it on to Twitter or not I am always happy to say hello to him and talk basketball. Which is the majority of what we talked about. But I gave it the old college try at the end of the interview to give some ways for Jack to consider joining Twitter. I should have mentioned to him the Jeff Van Gundy is on there. Anyway it is always great chatting with him so hope you enjoy this latest visit from Jack Armstrong.

Hope you enjoyed that interview. Jack is truly a great guy and I consider it a privilege to have him as a guest. He may never get on Twitter but regardless of if he does or does not people will always love Jack. I think that is why so many would like to see him on there in the first place. But he will hopefully always be a guest here on the Dino Nation Blog cause I love having him.

Tough Enough? Got Oak?

Bryan Colangelo made a clear and bold statement after this season. He declared what had been said in the fan base for a long time. This team was not tough enough. So he has gone about changing that this off-season. The most obvious of those moves was his first move in bringing in Reggie Evans for Jason Kapono. Jason had that laid back almost surfer dude approach to life. While Evans is a guy that brings his lunch box to work everyday. I would not expect there is sushi or anything you would find on the menu in the corporate seats at the ACC in that lunch bucket. What defines, what Reggie Evans is all about, is a game where he snagged 20 rebounds and recorded 0 points. Evans knows his role and accepts it freely.

Colangelo would also continue to add some toughness with his draft pick Demar DeRozan. He also was able to bring in Antonie Wright as part of that trade that brought in Hedo Turkoglu to the Raps. Jarrett Jack also was signed and is an upgrade in defense and toughness at the point. This was very lacking last year. Not to mention the Raptors welcomed back tough and gritty former point guard Alvin Williams. He was a selection of Jay Triano to add some toughness to the coaching staff as well.

But with the news a couple days ago that Charles Oakley wants to coach in the league that got people talking. Oakley for years has been the poster boy for when the Raptors were tough. He was the guy who was not afraid to speak his mind about anything. From his belief that 75% of the league were marijuana users, to calling out the team's star at the time Vince Carter. He also once famously popped a guy at a shoot around. Oakley is probably one of the most loved all time players for both both Raptors and Knicks fans.

Jeff Van Gundy in an interview once said that Oakley was the smartest player he has ever coached in the game. High praise from a guy that does not just hand out complements. It is also proof that he just might make a heck of a coach. It sure makes better sense than appearing on the Spike show Pros vs Joes. I can't help but feel sad for any player I see appearing on that show. I think that is like hitting rock bottom in your sporting career no matter what the sport.

Mark Cuban has taught us that there is no limit on the number of coaches you can have. There is no cap to worry about in terms of coaches. I found it so curious why the Raptors seem to have no interest. Why not? If the goal in to get tougher, be better on D, and have some accountability does Oakley not address all of that. He did as a player. Could he not do the same as a coach?

The word is that the Knicks maybe where he wants to land. However why not make a pitch to get him back in Toronto. People don't seem to like when I mention the concept of PR. But there is no question it is a slam dunk in that aspect. However based on all of the that I have said above it may make solid basketball sense as well.

Would Toronto not welcome Oakley back with open arms? MLSE can not really use a tax or a cap and an excuse not to get this done. Sadly it looks like it will not happen. Just another chapter to the Charles Oakley legend in Toronto. What if we had brought in Oakley as a coach? I have no doubt that Oakley could develop into a very good coach. The toughest thing for him to learn will be how to tone down his over the top personality. If you thing Sam Mitchell was over the top at times. Imagine what a Charles Oakley presser might look like after a bad loss? Oh the entertaining possibility much more entertainment than a Terrell Owens reality show or a Starbury Ustream that never ends.

Just want to thank everyone for what was a big day for Dino Nation Blog yesterday. It is really cool when the blog does something big like that. Anytime that happens I get a lot of folks that offer me some praise and get to chat with a lot of my readers. The support of you folks that have found and come back on a daily basis is humbling and greatly appreciated. If you found it through Facebook, Twitter or on The Score.com or somewhere else does not matter. The fact that you read each day and show me both kindness and love is, it also is motivating to keep me working hard not just for myself but for you.

Someone who has shown me a lot of kindness is going to be my guest in the Starting 5 later this afternoon...The Coach...Jack Armstrong. I will be talking with him late this afternoon so you can expect to see that interview up and posted sometime this evening. We have a ton to talk about with all the changes made by this team. Looking forward to it.


T.J Ford Visits The DNB

This is by far the biggest starting 5 ever. I have never hidden the fact this guest is one of my favorite players in the NBA. The two years he had as a Raptor were a great personal treat for me. I have been a fan of him even back to his days as a Texas Longhorn. Which is actually part of what we talk about. T.J along with some of his fellow Longhorns have put together a site called Texas 360.com. It is a site that is going to feature a lot of former Texas players and let fans get to see them in new exciting ways. We also talk about some NBA stuff as well. He talks about his two now former teammates in Jarrett Jack and Rasho Nesterovic. We talk about his return to Toronto and his thoughts on his time with the Raptors. This is a big moment for the Dino Nation Blog and hopefully it is only the start of bigger and better things for the future. Just like with all the guests we have it takes them willing to take time out to talk with me. I want to thank T.J for his time and wish him the best of luck in this upcoming NBA season and with his new venture with this website.

So hope you enjoyed that as much as I did doing it. The Dino Nation Blog has brought me a lot of cool experiences in the almost 2 years I have been doing it. This ranks right at the top of the list. So if you are still a T.J Ford fan like me go check out his website and show a former Raptors some love. Sign up and become a member on Texas 360.com. Other guys already on board include Kevin Durant, D.J Augustin, T.J Ford and many other former Longhorns. Hook'em Horns!!!

Oh and if you want to follow T.J on Twitter(If you don't already) he is @tj_ford


Rasho Return A Done Deal

According to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star the Toronto Raptors will be getting back a familiar face in that of Rasho Nesterovic. After a year in exile in Indiana Rasho has returned to the birth place of his first child to play for the Raptors once again. Nesterovic is said to have signed for the for the Bi-Annual Exception which is basically about 1.9 million dollars. If the talk was correct, it is very likely Rasho left money on the table to return to Toronto. It was said that other NBA teams were looking to sign the veteran big man. It was also said he could have taken several offers in Europe. So this likely means the Raptors roster is just about complete. The Carlos question remains or if not the Raptors would have to sign someone to a veteran minimum contract. Which at this point I would favor given what we know about the Raptors cap and the likelihood the NBA Cap number is expected to dip.

But start the parade cause on of the nicer guys who has rolled through Toronto is back where he belongs.This Raptor Roster is looking pretty impressive on paper. Rasho struggled at times in a reserve role in his time with the Raptors. However in Indiana by the end of the year he was back in a reserve roll playing behind "Raptor Draft Pick" Roy Hibbert.

Here is a link to the story from Doug Smith(Toronto Star)- Rasho Deal Is Done

Chris Bosh also just Tweeted this-
@chrisbosh Welcome back Rasho. To which The Dino Blogger total agrees.

Fun For Friday

First off the top if you are home late tonight and want to listen to be online on the radio you can check me out on Off The Bench on CJLO. Should be on at 12:15 am. We will talk about the week that was for the Raptors and the NBA.

If you don't follow the blog on Twitter now is a good time. @dinonationblog on Twitter. Seems I had a bunch of spam accounts following me. My followers dropped by like 200. I was like what the heck did i do to offend 200 people? Oh well I still have over 500 real followers(Thanks Tweet Followers) . But there is always room for more.

I have noticed that a lot of Raptor fans are excited/restless for the season to get going. But there is still all of August to get through. There is no rush is there? Not that I would not mind hitting the fast forward button myself. It is not easy to come up with ideas to keep writing a blog each day with very little new to go on. But some how I manage to do it as do others on a daily basis. But after awhile you run out of ways to say that Bryan Colangelo is a pretty smart dude. There is only so many times you can debate the last 2 spots on the roster. You can only rave about Demar DeRozan so much. I mean it is true he has yet to play a game in the NBA. There are only so many Marcus Banks jokes that any one person is capable of.

I suppose we could talk about the WNBA but really do many people pay attention to that league at all. Realistically would it even still exist without the support of the NBA. The fact the Shaq is the guest G.M of WWE Raw to be honest is more exciting to me. The WNBA is in reality much like NFL Europe in terms of it is a league that could not stand on it's own 2 feet. I mean when have I paid attention to the WNBA? Let me think about it. There was that pathetic display when they had a dunk and stopped the game. That was a few years ago. I did watch the debut of Candace Parker. I also watched the outdoor game they held last season. But I admit, the fact Johnathan Coachman was calling the game was more interesting to me, than the game itself. Oh and we had that brawl last year between the Sparks and some other team. I think it was Detroit? They are the Shock right? Not exactly a great set of events to get me to watch is it?

You know what would be cool actually? A Video Game League of NBA players going at. A lot of players are into it and I would watch. T.J Ford is involved in a website of former University of Texas ballers called Texas360now.com. He took on fellow Texas Longhorn Kevin Durant as the two went to battle playing NBA 2k9. Check it out.

Find more videos like this on Texas 360 Now

Sadly looks like T.J took the L. But I think it be a hoot to see a series of NBAers going at it through out the summer. EA makers of NBA Live have had in the past held a 8 man tournament at all-star weekend. There is also a similar style even the NFL puts on for NFL players. From the Raptor prospective I remember when The Score's Cabbie took on CB4 at a game of Madden and was soundly thrashed. Cabbie lost a bet the two had made and had to be a ball boy at Raptors game wearing the old school short shorts.

It's clear baseball is not the answer as the Jays have not been a contender and by the looks of things won't be anytime soon. I personally watch the CFL but here in Hamilton there has not been much to cheer about in years. But hey the Ti-Cats are 2-2 after losing to Montreal last night.

I could throw out the idea of a Canadian Basketball League that could run through the summer months. However let's face it in a good economy would that idea have a snowballs chance of working? In this economy clear there is no chance at all. Hamilton once had a team in some lesser league of basketball called the Skyhawks. I have no idea what a Skyhawk is? I mean is there some form of hawk that does not fly that I am unaware of? Anyway that was short lived. To be honest as much of a basketball fan as I am never even attended a game.

Once Summer Leagues ends you really understand that the dog days of summer are here for the NBA fan. People tend to be so basketball starved that Summer league itself gets overblown. However I am not to the point I was willing to cough up 15 bucks. I know it is tough economic times and all but the NBA charging for that really did not make a ton of sense to me. Thanks to the TSN 2 mess last season most Raptors fans have learned that there are ways to find these things without having to pay the piper so to speak. That will be the first and last time TSN 2 gets thanks in this blog.

Looks like Brent Petway will only be a Raptor for the Summer League. He is taking his game to Europe to play in Athens Greece next year. But I am going to be talking with him for the Dino Nation Blog to get his take on Raps Summer League and his own career.

Got a number of guests coming for the blog coming up. Working on getting bunch of interviews booked. What I do know is Jack Armstrong should be stopping by sometime next week. There has been a demand for him to sign up on Twitter. I doubt I will convince him too. However there is a heck of a lot of lot of Raptor moves to talk about with him. Also going to have Eric Smith coming soon as well. Those are the ones I know for sure. Some others are being worked on as well. I am going to really do my best to load up on guests for August. After all like this whole blog has talked about there is not a lot going on. So that always makes a good time to hear from others and get their thoughts and opinions.


Canada Heavy Edition Of DNB

After a heck of a lot of action, the quiet calm of the off-season is setting in today. Jay Triano is in Vegas working team U.S the next generation through it's paces. I always find that to be sad. Triano who I may have questioned the idea of him coming back as head coach of Raptors. There is no question to me that he should still be the coach of team Canada. He did a fantastic job with the national team and it never made sense to me that he was let go. The fact, that U.S.A Basketball trusts him to be running a camp for their future stars should be proof of that. It also is a good thing for the Raptors in a small way by him getting the chance to work with a lot of talented players. You never know when that might come in handy in the future.

Think there is little question that Bryan Colangelo has given Jay the tools to be successful. Jay will also get that training camp that everyone said was so vital for Jay to get a fair shake. I am hopeful he is able to be a success. The fact he is Canadian and coaching the only NBA team in this country is something special. There is no doubt that Triano has had an impact on the futures for Canadian coaches. Much like Steve Nash he has done a great deal of good for his profession in this country. Should he have success that impact will only grow.

It seems to be a slow time for the NBA in general. It has been a very active off-season and a ton of changes. Maybe that is why this Lebron James dunk tape got so much attention. Really does it matter? So a college kid dunked on Lebron James. Demar Derozan threw down on Kobe Bryant I have been told. Was there a big deal made about that? Did you even know that until you just read it? Lebron James has taken a lot of shots of late. I really don't get why people feel the need. I am sure Lebron James is not a perfect person. However that being said he is a tremendous talent and the fact we live in an era we get to watch him is a treat. But people better stop picking on Lebron or Shaq will come and get you. Also interesting that a couple Ex- Raptors could be part of that mix in Cleveland. Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon. Parker is signed and sealed and Moon has signed an offer sheet and it is up to the Heat to match.

Speaking of Miami they have 2 more Canadians than the Toronto Raptors. They re-signed Joel Anthony and Jamal Maglorie to contracts. I often wonder why more people have not been talking about Anthony as a future Raptor. I mean it seems for decades there has been talk of Jamal Maglorie becoming a Raptor. For almost the same amount of time there has been talk about Maglorie suiting up for team Canada. That talk has heated again as of late. Personally if it were up to me I would not bother. How many times has this guy rejected a chance to play for his country. Meanwhile, Joel Anthony was out on the floor busting his but for his country last summer. There has also been talk about Ex-Raptor Matt Bonner and his desire to play for Team Canada. I will be much more excited if Matt Bonner suits up for team Canada. When Maglorie was an all-star level talent in the NBA where was he? Steve Nash as much as I really think he should have continued playing for Canada he at least put in some time wearing the red and white. He also still is active in helping Canada basketball in many ways behind the scenes.

I have always wanted to see team Canada have some success. There has been a lot of success lately on the junior levels of the program let's hope it can translate to the senior level. Last summer was a real low point with the whole Sam Dalembert situation that became very public. I had a chance to meet Sam last summer in Hamilton. He is a fantastic guy and in our conversation he seemed very committed to the program and making it successful. What happened and who's story you believe is up to you. It just seemed so odd that the guy I talked with less than 3 weeks before the incident in Greece could have had that much of a turn around is beyond me.

Leo Rautins is no doubt under the gun to get some results. He has I believe one year left on his contract with an option for a second. If Canada can not qualify for the next World Championships that should be the end for Leo. Let's be honest if this was the Canadian National Hockey program it would be unlikely that Leo would still have a job. If he was in the same spot in Hockey terms. However the challenges to floor a competitive basketball team as opposed to a hockey team are great indeed. The first and foremost issue is on of dollars and cents. Canada Hockey brings in a ton of money where Canada Basketball struggles to find support and funding.

So with lack of Raptor news I hope you enjoyed this VERY Canadian Edition of the Dino Nation Blog.


It Costs A Lot To Look That Good

Yesterday, was a basketball junkies delight in the Toronto area. The Jays did not trade their star pitcher and The Leafs did not sign some 4th line guy that can win a hockey scrap. So that made the Raptors signing of Jarrett Jack get a lot of love. Colangelo still has a few thing left to do. It will be interesting to see what he does. I am not on board with signing Carlos Delfino for some stupid amount of money. Yes 5 million for a guy that is coming off a season with injuries in Russia is to much. The Raptors could afford to spend that much cause they have the room under the tax threshold, along with the Bird Rights to Delfino. However, Colangelo did make reference to the expected decline in the cap next year. Which would also mean a decline in the tax threshold as well. Which may mean the Raptors will not use the full space available.

Carlos Delfino for my money has grown in stature by being away for a year. Not saying the guy is a bum or anything. However is he really a vital piece this team can not live without? He was said to be that grit that was missing from the Raptors last year. However has Bryan Colangelo not already done a fine job of addressing that issue? Reggie Evans, Wright, Jack and DeRozan. That is a quarter of the Raptors dressed roster on a given night. He is a streaky shooter and a better than average defender. I would be happy to welcome him for the right price. However just because we hold his "Bird Rights" is not reason to over spend on him. If he is concerned about money he can go back to Russia and have it. I think it was fairly obvious that he did not enjoy his time in Russia.

The Raptors could still sign someone at the veteran minimum and I would be just as happy. Brent Petway who was on the summer league roster is more athletic and is a solid defender as well. He does not over the versatility of a Delfino nor the shooting skill in comparison. However we are talking about a player that would be on the back end of the rotation. If not Brent I am sure there are lots of other options you could bring in for that veteran minimum contract.

There is also the talk of Rasho Nesterovic coming back after a year in exile in Indiana. Rasho has a soft spot for the city and his first child was born here. The talk would be that Raptors could use the Bi-Annual exception to land him. That is 1.9 million more or less. In NBA terms chump change. A far cry from the large contract he had when he was here before. There is far less room to negotiate with Rasho. If he wants to come back to Toronto he can for that amount. He does like Delfino have options in Europe at likely a better pay rate.

The bottom line for me on both is sure it would be nice to have both back. It also seems pretty clear that is these are the first options for Bryan Colangelo as well. However if they do not come back it is far from the end of the world. The major work on the turnover of this team has been done. If the Raptors go elsewhere to fill out the roster it would not mean a heck of a lot. In terms of Delfino to over pay for him would have long term impact on the cap that may not make it worth the bother.

Even though I am happy with what Bryan Colangelo has done. 53 Million and 50 Million for Turkoglu and Bargnani are both risky contracts for me over the long haul. I will say, in terms of Bargnani it could look like a steal as well, it is all up to Andrea. Some say even the number for Jack is on the high side as well. I am not among those. If you have not understood how vital the point guard position is after last year, there really is nothing more that can be said to convince you. But the point is the Raptors if they stick to the MLSE credo to remain under the tax threshold they are walking a very fine line. If this team is successful people will not worry about these things for the next few seasons.

There is also the reality the Chris Bosh will need to be addressed and it seems clear that he should command somewhere close to a max deal. If he has a season that is on par or better than his career numbers. So enjoy the present but always remember that there is a future to deal with as well. No one expects the Raptors to win a title this year do they? It is about growing over seasons and building to that level. The key thing that Bryan has done in terms of re-signing Bosh or not... 4 of the 5 starters for the Raptors are locked in stone for the next 3 years at least. If Bryan Colangelo wants it to be.


T-Dot Is Now "New" Jack City

I mentioned this in the live blog this afternoon. New Jack City is one of my all time favorite movies. I use to own the video tape and loaned to to friend when he was going on a road trip for football. Sadly it was lost and not returned. Wesley Snipes as Nino Brown was just one of the best roles Snipes has ever done. Ice-T is also one of my favourite all-time in Rap music. So I guess this makes the theme song for the Raptors this year New Jack Hustler?

There is no doubt this team is going to have more hustle and fight to it. From the first move of the summer adding Reggie Evans to the move today that brought Jarrett Jack to T.O. There is a new attitude and look to this Raptor team. Demar Derozan is tweeting daily about the work he is putting in. Jarrett Jack spoke about pushing Chris Bosh beyond to get to new levels. Not to just be happy with being a gold medalist and a multi time all-star. But to reach the brass rings of winning titles and M.V.P's. Having someone that is a good friend may just be able to do that. We all have people in our lives that can say stuff to you and that you will take to heart and act on it. Something they would say if said by someone else may not have the same impact as if said by that person. I mentioned that friend who borrowed my New Jack City tape. He was the star on the high school football team I played on. In being that a lot of people would tell him how great he was. I was one of his closer friends and I never did that. Instead I would always offer solid advice and never pump up his ego. I figured he had enough people to do that. I think he counted on me to be real with him and give him the honest truth, not just what he wanted to hear, but sometimes what he needed to hear.

I have no more insight into the relationship of Jarrett and Chris than anyone else. However if their relationship is anything like the one I had with my friend in high school it could be just what Chris Bosh needs. To stay motivated to win and not just win but win here with his friend. It seemed pretty clear by Bosh being in attendance for the press conference that this was something different. Sure he was excited about Hedo signing but he was not there for that. Now he was in town shooting for his DVD. However I think that was just a happy coincidence but regardless I think he would have been there. Jack said when he called Bosh and told him the news that Chris though he was pulling a prank. But it was very real.

Also you are hearing a message from Chris of late as well. This team has to get better at all positions including the 4 and that is me. He posted a couple clips of his workout on Twitter today. Although there is a fun side to Bosh with all the tweets and making DVD's and all of that. He does work hard at his main craft of being a basketball player as well. I think that point is lost on people. Chris Bosh wants to win and that has not changed.

Sure he is a much different guy from the some what shy introverted guy that first arrived in Toronto. However at the core of it all he works hard at everything he does. People may focus on his off court endeavors and some look at them with hate. I see a guy that is just flat out smart and knows how to have success beyond what he does on a basketball floor. He is a pioneer in a lot of things he has done. One of the first athletes that has truly understood how to take this new technological based world we live in and use it to his advantage. What is that expression don't hate the player hate the game. But the truth of the matter is that he has been at the front of creating a whole new game with Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and his own website. There is a real true genius about it all. However I think Bosh understands that at the end of the day it is how he is as a player that is what drives the whole thing.

Whenever I see comparisons of Vince and Chris it just makes me sick to my stomach. In this latest move bringing in Jack people have again brought in the Carter comparisons. But C.B never demanded that Jarrett Jack be a Raptor. Bryan Colangelo was just smart enough to see the benefit of it. Jarrett Jack as I have been saying in the past few days would make a good fit regardless of Bosh. However for all the reason stated in what has been written here, there are some obvious benefits to this. Chris is not anything like a Vince Carter. People in Orlando may find that out the hard way this season.

Jack is a tough minded guy and you could hear that in some of his words today. There have been a number of failed matches with Chris over his time in over his time in Toronto. However maybe the one that he had when he was the ACC Freshman of the Year and became a #4 selection in the NBA draft was always the best one.

This may not be New Jack City. However there is a new attitude and swagger back in T-Dot. Not sure if it matches the swagger of a NIno Brown or a Gee Money. However let's hope it is not because if you have seen the movie it does not end up so good for them. Bryan Colangelo has successfully changed the script in Toronto and now it is up to Jay Triano and his staff along with these players to get it done. Still a few more additions to be made but the foundation has been set.

Can this movie have a happy ending that sees Chris Bosh remain a Raptor? That is the ultimate question that this season is going to determine.

Jack Presser Live Blog

The Dino Nation Blog is JACKED to announce this latest LIVE BLOG EVENT. So if you are on facebook, Twitter or where ever you may be tell a friend and let's make this the BIGGEST DNB LIVEBLOG ever. After all Jarrett Jack is a Raptor. You know Chris Bosh is happy about that. So let's share in the joy together. Come back here at 2:15pm and be part of this latest live blog. If the press conference is not online or on Raps T.V we will still have a kick butt Raptors Chat for you to enjoy. It is Tuesday Afternoon did you really have anything else to do?

So see you at 2:15 pm looking forward to having fun with all you folks that support the Dino Nation Blog.


Reunited and It Feels So Good?

Word coming from Larry Bird the president of the Pacers that indeed the Indiana Pacers will not match the offer sheet of the Raptors for Jarrett Jack. So let the Georgia Tech reunion happen. Chris Bosh was the A.C.C Freshman of the year playing along side Jarrett Jack at the rambling wreck of Georgia Tech. I always liked the Yellow Jackets if for no other reason there cool logo and mascot. Michigan will always be on the top of my list for favourite college though. But now Bosh and Jack have reunited officially here in Toronto. I always thought it was a marriage that made sense. I even thought in Jack's draft year the Raps should have jumped in and got a late first round pick to select him. But that never happened. However better late than never. Timing is everything and many will question the true motives of this move. But as much as it is an added bonus that Jack and Bosh are friends this move still makes sense. Roko Ukic may never be what people had hoped and made it clear in summer league he is no where close to being a legit back up point guard in the NBA. People myself included felt it was necessary for the Raps to address the back-up point guard position. After many( Myself not included) said that it did not matter if the Raps had a legit back up point guard last year. That turned out as I said it could to be a huge mistake. There was no way the Raptors could afford to enter another season in that situation again. O.K..Time out!!! for a You Tube Intermission.

That was Buzz the Georgia Tech Mascot. Jack is expected to be in town tomorrow to make this all official "Official". I will be doing a live blog of the press event if it is indeed covered on Raptors T.V. If not it will end up being another Raptor Chat. But just to prepare you all should try to get this next little number from You Tube down if you would like to welcome Jack to T.O in a good way.

It is no Hail To the Victors..that is the Michigan Fight Song if you did not know. I will dig that up when we have Brent Petway back in the blog. But for one day I think T.O will all have a lot of Yellow Jacket Love.

Raptors Get Their Man- Pacers Will Not Match On Jack

The Indiana Pacers made an offer to Earl Watson and that was a sign that Pacers had decided to let Jarrett Jack go. This is likely a move that will be welcomed by Chris Bosh who as it has been mentioned many times over played with Jack with Yellow Jackets. In fact Jack was regarded as his best friend on the team. After a season in which the Raptors had a point guard situation that was far from ideal. They now have a great one, two punch as they did with T.J Ford and Jose Calderon. Ironically Jack as Calderon had the season before, out played Ford to get his starting job.

Mike Wells in the Indy Star reports that the Pacers with the addition of Earl Watson will not match. Chris Bosh is in town working on his DVD. So I would expect we might here some reaction from him tomorrow. But it would seem obvious that this is a move that he would endorse and may have had a hand in. It was made public knowledge that he was involved in the recruitment of Hedo Turkoglu and I would suspect he has a involvement here as well. This is just a few signs that Bosh is sure looking like a guy that is not ready to say good bye to Toronto. His future is still a question mark. However if actions speak louder than words it sure seems like Bosh is looking like a guy that plans on staying in Toronto rather than leaving it as has been widely speculated.

Just a note the blog might be a little late tomorrow as I have some stuff to get done. But there will be one just later than you are use too.


The Long Wait Begins

So Summer League is over from the Raps perspective. It is now the start of the long wait till training camp. Last season that wait had some Olympic Basketball to fill the void. Canada was trying to qualify to Olympics. We would then have the Olympics themselves. In this gap of time there will be lots of time to talk about the Raptors and the season to come. I will also do my best as always to line up guests for the Dino Nation Blog's starting 5. I am working on a number of interviews that I hope will come together. Some will be with the regular guests you have come to expect here at the Dino Nation Blog and as always I am trying hard to bring more guests into the mix.

When we have this down time it sometimes makes it easier to get guests and sometimes a bit harder. After all it is the off-season for a lot of our guests as well. Hopefully you got a chance to read my recap of yesterday's game. Holly Mackenzie filed her recap as well on The Court Surfing Blog on Score.com...Check it out.

It seems people like Holly here at the Dino Nation Blog. She is the most searched person or item on our search engine you can find on the right. You can also find a link to the blog's Facebook fan page. I have let things slip in updating it, but I am going to get back in the habit of doing so.

My weekly radio appearance on Off The Bench is now on Friday Night's from 12:15-12:45 am on CJLO. So if you are up late and home on a Friday night give me a listen here. I am always looking for chances to get on the air and do my thing. I am much more comfortable doing that kind of thing. My vocabulary in conversation tends to be better than it is in the written form.

I keep telling myself I am going to take some kind of mini-vacation from working. I always say it but who knows if I actually will do it. If I do probably might take a few days in August to chill. I am going to take the weekend and chill out unless something comes along. Best way to keep tabs on the blog is to follow me on Twitter @dinonationblog.

My 3 Stars of Raptors Summer League

3rd Star- Brent Petway- Hey I admit that I was pulling for him from the start and he did deliver. If I was being fully objective maybe Patrick O'Bryant could slot in here. But I think Brent earned his spot. Let's just hope he makes the league be in Toronto or somewhere. 14 put in work on the Raptors roster. He also was nice enough to thank both the organization for the chance and the fans for the support. Classy guy and a Wolverine what is not to love?

2nd Star- Quincy Douby- Lot's of jokes from me about the motivation of going to Memphis and what it can do to someone. But whatever the reason Quincy Douby was on a mission. Would have been nice to see him pass some more as was suggested by some. But he did score the ball well and made a clutch shot to close off summer league. He did well and deserves praise.

1st Star- Demar DeRozan- When you are a first round lottery pick you sure hope that you are sitting in this spot. Demar Derozan started off slow but once he got his feet wet he was off and running. Derozan looks to be a guy that wants to work hard and will no be content. In his post game interview yesterday he talked about watching film and looking for ways to improve on what he can. Sure there is room for that but it was a great beginning for the guy I am calling "Heir Canada". Not my nickname but saw it and love it and I am keeping it. Demar proved he is a keep as well.

Keeping it short on a Friday...Enjoy the Weekend Folks!!!


Smile...The Future Is Bright

If you have been not watching summer league you have been missing out on the birth of Heir Canada. That young man smiling in the photo is Demar Derozan after a Raptors 85-84 win. The photo is from @_Chaun(one of my followers on Twitter) who happened to snap the moment as Demar was being interviewed post game. Get to know that smile and that face Toronto because this kid has some serious game. The highlight of the day for me was an amazing put back thrown down that left me jaw on the floor. He also had a dunk that many didn't see live as the feed was down for the first half of the game. Chuck Swirsky who is Vegas tweeted that Demar is the real deal. He even gave him a "that was sick wicked and nasty" tweet. Chuck still keeps tabs on the Raps and he was impressed along with pretty much everyone in attendance. It was another 20 points for the young and talented DeRozan. But it would be Quincy Douby, who under the radar has been having a great summer league, who would hit a shot with less then 2 seconds to go.

My Man #14, Brent Petway was putting in work as well with some solid plays on D. One block set Demar Derozan up for the easy score on the break. It was a nice play. Brent thanked Raptors and the fans on Twitter and there is an outside shot he may end up in Toronto but will see what happens. He was happy to get a chance to show his skills. Something that by his tweet did not happen with the Grizzlies last year. I hope for Brent it is enough to get him in the league. I would prefer with the Raptors but just hope he gets a chance somewhere.

So that is all for summer league, will break it down more in next few days, but basically the guy smiling at the top of this stole the show. The other person smiling is Bryan Colangelo and along with him soon should be every Raptor Fan. This from the fashion file 10 jerseys in Black,Red and White are going to be all the rage in Toronto this fall. You can take that to the bank.

Boxscore- Raps 85 Bucks 84

One last thing the Bucks prior to this game were a perfect 4-0 for what it is worth.

Love Is In The Air

Chris Bosh (Dallas Morning News)"But I love Toronto. And Toronto loves me." -For the rest of the article click here.

Raptor fans might have hoped for next line to read. So, I am staying in Toronto and I am going to be a Raptor for life. It did not say that but it seems that Chris Bosh is very happy with things these days. He has his Bosh Twitter Army that is now 50,000 strong. The team Bryan Colangelo is building around his star is looking pretty solid as well. On Monday we should know if Jarrett Jack his college teammate from Georgia Tech will be on board. According to David Aldridge on NBA.com it is not know if the Pacers will match as of yet. Given the state of economic of the Pacers and the fact they signed Jones it would seem unlikely.

The Raptors next one Demar Derozan had a game high 20 points to help the Raptors even their summer league mark at 2-2. Holly Mackenzie was in the house and checks in on The Score with her recap. I tried to live blog this one and it was not a shining moment for the Dino Nation Blog. Technical issues and a pretty awful game even for summer league did not help. But if you came out for that or the live chat yesterday afternoon thanks to you. Roll the highlights courtesy of NBA.com. Note the "HEIR CANADA" Reference!!!

Raps vs Suns- Boxscore

So the Raps close out vs the Bucks today. If you have not been adventurous in hunting down feeds or paying 15 dollars U.S to NBA.com. Raptors T.V is starting to re-air summer league games. I personally have said this for years that Toronto should have coverage the Knicks get at summer league through MSG. They do summer league right. No reason that MLSE can not do the same for us Raptor fans. Yeah it costs money but they have money let's go. If they use the economy as the excuse what was the excuse 5 years ago?

Carlos Delfino according to some reports wants 5 million? No thanks I will pass if that is true. Get Von Wafer, Matt Barnes or Kleiza on the phone. There is an advantage in resigning Delfino as the Raptors hold his restricted free agent rights but that does not mean they should feel they have a gun to their head to re-sign him. If Carlos does not like that he can try his luck with Memphis,Clippers or Charlotte. Ask AI how much fun an option that is. There are also reports that Delfino may not be at 100% with some issues with his shoulder.

Raptors close out Summer League taking on the Bucks @1pm Vegas time, 4pm Local T-Dot time. If they get a win the Raptors will close summer league with a winning record of 3-2. Sure it is only summer league but it is nice to hear winning record and Raptors in the same season.

Speaking of Nice to hear. Alvin William was on the Fan 590 last night on Prime Time Sports. Here is that link to that interview with "Boogie" Williams. Here is a link to that.

Lots of warm and fuzzy feelings in Raptorland. It is great to have some positive vibes around the Raptors these days. It sure is a lot better than the summer I expected.


Raps Chat 12:55 pm

I don't have a lot to say today. So maybe you do? I am going to find out. Come hang out and let's talk some Raptors basketball. Congrats out to Chris Bosh who did as of 3am this morning win his Twitter battle with Charlie V. So Jarrett Jack, CB4 or Demar Derozan. Whatever you got bring it to the chat.

Will have coverage of Raptors and Suns tonight as well from Vegas Summer League maybe we will do it in a live chat form like this as well. So tell a friend and see you in an hour or so.


Summer Dog Day Thoughts.

So the Raptors get a win in Summer League and keep hope alive of having a winning record. However really that is not the point. It is about seeing what players can do against players on the same level. It is also about pulling for guys like a Brent Petway to make it into the league. When you consider there is only 30 guys drafted in the first round and only 30 more that get no guaranteed contract in the second that is not a lot. There are so many players in the NCAA that play each year that it is easy for some to fall through the cracks. Even guys that played at major programs like Brent.

You also have the guys like a Jamario Moon that went to a school no one ever heard of. That just kept playing ball and never let there dream die. The evolution of the NBDL is a place for all of these guys to keep playing and stay connected to the NBA. I don't know this for a fact but Brent Petway likely ends up on Raptors Summer League roster at least in part because of Nathan Jawai. Nathan Jawai went down to the Stampede the affiliate of the Raptors this past season. Petway played there and has for 2 seasons and likely got noticed. He also has been in the NBDL Dunk Contest for a few seasons winning the first one they ever had.

When people love the game enough to keep playing and trying to make it to the next level you should respect that. I will never know what it is like to be able to dunk and fly like Brent Petway. I played defensive line in high school and my vertical leap is less than a ruler or close to it. There are lots of these stories every summer. So if you follow college basketball try to keep tabs on these guys and still root for them.

There is also the actual elite guys that do get picked in the first round that are getting there first taste of the next level. Demar Derozan being the latest example of that. Admittedly a lot of NBA fans do not watch a ton of college basketball and that is even more true here in Canada. It has come a long way but for the casual fan they may see a guy in the NCAA Tournament and that is all. So you truly get to know a players game and see it for yourself. Prior to that you are just basing your opinion on what people say from various sites and networks.

I find it kind of funny that people already are debating if Derozan can be better than Vince Carter. I had a comment yesterday that said there is NO WAY the Derozan will ever be as good as Vince. Can anyone know that in reality? I am not here to tell you if he will or won't be. However, I will say this much in the short time that Demar Derozan has entered into the Raptors mix, he seems to be a much harder worker than V.C. Carter as many have said is truly gifted and highly talented. However things came very easy to him and I think people would question how hard he truly works at it. To be truly great is the combination of having the ability but also to have the work ethic to go along with that. It appears on the surface at least the Derozan has a much higher level of that.

Heir Canada may never live up to Air Canada. However it is far to early to be certain one way or the other. That being said I am excited to watch this guy try. He grew up as a fan of V.C and just like V.C he cares about is mother and is in the NBA in part to ensure she gets the best medical care possible. She suffers from Lupus and Demar said to help her was part of his decision to jump to the NBA. The whole idea of the nickname "Heir Canada" at least for me is the acknowledgment of Raptor fans that there can be a next one. To leave V.C and his era in the past where it belongs. Demar does have a shot at creating his own legend and story.

In closing today I wanted to mention the Chris Bosh vs Charlie V battle on Twitter to get to 50 thousand followers. I know some people do not like it and see it as silly and childish. Personally I just see it as something fun and take it as such. It really isn't hurting anyone. I think part of the appeal of Twitter in general is the fact that we get to interact with people that if not for internet and the evolution of it we never normally would. I don't think the fact that Charlie and Chris are battling for Twitter supporters has stopped them from working on their games. It is just a fun thing to promote themselves but have some fun with it and get others involved in it. Perhaps it has gone a little further than some think it should. But at the same time in a summer day in July is there really much else going on?

Raptor fans on Twitter tried to get Bryan Colangelo Day to be a trending topic. Is that not pretty much the same thing? Was it a bit silly and fun. Absolutely it was. However as much as we talk about basketball being a business and it is. We still all need to have some fun, be we NBA Superstars, Bloggers or fans. So the Dino Nation Blog is happy to throw it's support behind Chris Bosh in his Twitter battle with Charlie V. Follow @chrisbosh on twitter if you don't already. While your at it follow me to @dinonationblog .

I just think the world we live in is pretty cool. There was no way when I was a kid, to interact with sports stars that I loved as a kid like there is today. Chris Bosh for me has been on of the more intelligent guys and has been at the forefront of using technology to build up himself but also make him accessible to his fans. I have seen people take shots at Chris for all his extra stuff he does with his videos and what not. I just think we have a world that is changing and Bosh is a pioneer in that way. I guess the message of this blog today from the beginning in pulling for a guy like Brent Petway, to the future of a Demar Derozan and Chris Bosh having fun on twitter is don't forget what it was like to be a kid.

Have dreams, have fun and enjoy basketball. It doesn't always have to be so serious and life and death. It can also be just pure fun and joy. Just like it was when we were kids.


Raps Win First Hedo Turkoglu Bowl In Vegas

The Summer League Raps were playing in what the Dino Nation Blog has claimed to be the Hedo Bowl. They would come out on top as they did in getting Hedo Turkoglu on their Roster. Demar DeRozan had 15. He looked good and not out of place a bit. Holly Mackenzie caught up with Demar prior to the tip of this one check out her 1 on 1 with HEIR CANADA!!! Why Heir Canada? It was one of the nicknames Demar tweeted for fans to decide on. He was a Vince Carter fan. Just like we all once were. But it is time to bury V.C and let Orlando worry about him. So the Heir to the Air Canada throne is here. Besides I was listening to a business report Air Canada could use the mention.

Quincy Douby lead the Raps in scoring for the 3rd game in a row. This should prove to all that if you are threatened to be traded to Memphis it can be highly motivating. We should have done that to Joey Graham 2 years ago. Oh well you live and you learn. Raptors win it 92-87. Oh and if you thought I was going to write about summer league and not mention Brent Petway...You have not been reading lately. I am really happy a lot of you have become fans of Brent. He really makes it easy to cheer for him. The dude is talented. He scored 11 and was 5-7 with a steal. Almost tore down the rim to end the half. Air Georgia is a new age version of the human highlight reel as a dunker. Which was one of his idols coming up in Georgia. For all the Rest check the boxscore.

Raps 92 Blazers 87

On the down side today also proved just why the Raptors NEED Jarrett Jack. Roko is just not consistent enough to be trusted and at least for me has not shown the type of progress I would like to see. What Jose Calderon did from year 1 to year 2 is rare and as you watch Roko stumble along you realize that.

So RAPTORS WIN RAPTORS WIN !!! I am GOING TO PIZZA HUT!!! I mean Pizza Pizza don't want to pull a Brock Lesner.

Vegas Jack 15

It seems that Raptors may just in fact land their guy in Jarrett Jack. Mike Wells writes in the Indy Star this "I'd be shocked if the Pacers matched the offer because they have no intention of going over the league's $69.9 million luxury tax next season." Here is a link to the full story. So it is looking good for the Raptors according to someone that follows the Pacer beat. I personally thought the Raptors should have explored jumping into the draft and getting Jack back when he came into the league. I have no idea if the Raptors considered that back then but doesn't matter now. I am just saying that this idea made sense to me even back then.

So what is next for the summer of B.C? Well you would think once the final verdict on Jack is known the Raptors will move fast to complete the picture. Rasho Nesterovic should be a solid bet to come back home after that terrible trade to the Pacers. Perhaps a player on the summer league roster could get a look? Early returns on that front would say Smush Parker or my guy Brent Petway. I would not hold my breath even if they rock the house the rest of the way. There are 3 more Raptor games left in summer league Today on the menu is the Hedo Turkoglu Bowl as the Raptors take on the Portland Trailblazers. The Raptors are 0-2 after a 1 point loss to the Lakers and 4 point loss to the Pistons. This will be the debut for the Portland Summer League entry.

So that is a 5 pm start for those of you that paid the 15 dollars(U.S Funds) to have the right to watch Summer League. For everyone else if you look around the Internet you may just be able to find it for free. The fact the league is charging for Summer League is really bogus. They showed the Orlando Summer League for free. Although based on the commentators they had they really should have paid you to watch it. But the point is Summer League is same be it in Orlando, Vegas or Utah. It all is the same. This is just another sign of the league maybe being desperate to make a buck. However why take it out on your hardcore fan base by charging them to watch Summer League. The answer is simple because they can.

I will be back later today with some form of recap from the Hedo Turkoglu Bowl. I doubt Hedo will be in attendance in Vegas. Still this could be the first win of summer league for the Raptors. Will see if they can pull it off. Win one for Hedo!!!


Jacked About A Loss!!!

So, who is with me, that it is funny as hell that Quincy Douby who was on verge of being traded has lead Raptors in scoring first 2 games of summer league. Memphis can be a lot of motivation and the fact you don't go there...Priceless. I remember hearing Colangelo on Toronto radio, talking glowingly about the progress Douby was making in Vegas(He works out there not now). However I took it as just talk. But maybe as Bryan said in an interview during the game, telling the truth in the best thing to do, because people think your not. He was saying that in reference to having expressed his interest in Demar DeRozan early on. Today was another step for DeRozan and he scored 20 in a 4 point loss to the Pistons. But it is clear although there is work to be done DeRozan is all that was advertised. Having a guy like Brent Petway and some others that can challenge him in practice should only help matters. Forgot to mention Douby had 21 to lead the Raps.

But what might be the biggest news of all did not happen on the basketball court. During the broadcast, it was mentioned that Jarrett Jack former Georgia Tech team-mate of Chris Bosh, may be coming to the Raptors. Now unconfirmed reports that Jack has in fact signed an offer sheet. Tricky move by B.C to feel a need and add on more piece to the puzzle to convince Chris Bosh to stay. Jack and Bosh had a close relationship in college and I suspect still are friends you would have to believe. It is just another move that might make Chris bosh pause for a second and look towards Toronto. But to suggest that Jack would be coming here just as bait to keep Bosh is not fair to him. He in his own right in a pretty solid option at the point guard and can play some 2 as he did with T.J Ford. So Jackron is coming to the Raptors? Or is it CalderJack. Whatever it is could be very good. Roko Ukic at least in my eyes has not made the amount of progress you would want to see.

Story on Jack Rumour

More From Doug Smith In Toronto Star

Raptors did fall to the Pistons by the way 91-87.

Boxscore Pistons/Raps

So despite an 0-2 Record there is still LOTS TO BE JACKED UP ABOUT. Be it Demar DeRozan, Jarrett Jack and yes my guy Brent Petway who but in another solid day of work. No jaw jacking jams but doing all the little things kind like an A.P would do. Bryan Colangelo is quickly climbing back to the lofty status of sainthood in Raptor land. Pacers could match this over but it is another brilliant and bold stroke. If anyone is unclear. Let me spell it out for you. Bryan Colangelo is doing everything on God's green earth to keep Chris Bosh. That is the plan and it seems pretty damn obvious. However if for some reason he should fail he still is adding a lot of quality parts that would make Toronto and attractive option. There is that old expression it is always darkest before the dawn. Well I may just believe that Dawn is fast approaching after what just weeks ago seemed like a very bleak and hopeless outlook for the Toronto Raptors.


Got to show some love for the Home Team being the lovely and talented Holly MacKenzie from The Score who in on scene in Vegas. I am sure you will agree her game recap is ACES!!!

Holly MacKenzine In Court Surfing Blog

Raps Lose Close One To Open Summer League

Toronto Raptors lose a close one the L.A Lakers to open Summer League in Vegas. I have been telling you about Brent Petway. He shows you why I am so excited about him in this highlight package courtesy of NBA.COM...ROLL IT!!!

Ironically Quincy Douby,who was removed from the big 4 way trade, end up leading the Raptors in scoring with 16 points. Rookie Demar DeRozan had 10 points and 5 rebounds in his debut. Here is the rest of the numbers in the boxscore.

Lakers 85 Raptors 84- Boxscore

Also Holly Mackenzie was at the game and here is her recap of it from The Score Court Surfing Blog. She also caught up with Demar Derozan after the game check out her interview.

Raps back on the floor 4pm Toronto Time as they take on the Pistons.


It Was Beautiful Day

I can not remember a day like yesterday in a long time. There was a real joy and excitement in Raptors online community like I have not seen. There was even an attempt to make #BryanColangeloDay a trending topic on twitter. The 4 team masterful trade made Bryan Colangelo, the reason for that. At the press conference Bryan was giving credit to everyone but himself for this trade. But in reality Bryan Colangelo is back to being a rock star again in Toronto. Scott Carefoot wrote a very funny piece on what he thinks B.C was thinking. The reality of things is Bryan Colangelo now has options and has according to him about 12 million to spend. That would include bringing back Carlos Delfino, the Mid Level Exception and Bi-Annual Exception. But he said that it is unlikely he uses all of that. He points out the fact of the decline to come in salary cap and the new contract of Andrea Bargnani as reasons why.

I was disappointed that Nathan Jawai was a last minute replacement in the deal. A year ago at this time I was doing research on Nathan and getting to know lots of great folks in Australia. Nathan also was interviewed here in the Dino Nation Blog. I personally wish him the best. I also thank all of the people that have checked in from Australia to the Dino Nation Blog over the last year. But let's face facts Nathan was not going to stop this trade from happening. The stakes were far to high for Colangelo to not do this deal.

I have done 2 live blogs on back to back days had a great turnout and got help from some ladies that blog about basketball. So check out Payal in Raptors Central and Nat from Heels on Hardwood. Another talented lady that covers ball is in Vegas the lucky girl. Holly MacKenzie will be in the house at Thomas & Mack to see the debut of Demar DeRozan. She will also get to see what will be high end entertainment in the warm-ups. Brent Petway AkA Air Georgia and Demar DeRozan should be quite the dunk off. Both are fans of Vince Carter and can truly sky and jam. Brent was a high school, NCAA and NBDL Slam Dunk Champion. If you don't know who he is check out YouTube and prepare to be amazed. He was interviewed here in the Dino Nation Blog. It was part of the stuff I did with the Idaho Stampede of the D-League. Being a Wolverine fan I have always known who Brent is and he is amazing. The chances are always long to crack an NBA Roster out of Summer League but I hope if not with the Raptors that somewhere Brent gets a shot. You can follow both on Twitter @Demar_Derozan and @AirGeorgia. It is follow Friday on Twitter so why not here too. The ladies I mentioned @Raptors_Central , @Nat77 and tweeting from Vegas @stackmack

The Raptors will be kicking off the Summer League by taking on the Lakers the defending champions. But there will be no Ron Artest or Kobe in this one obviously. Another obvious point that Demar Derozan will get a lot of the focus of the fans. But the person that most people should have there eyes glued to is Roko Ukic. I am sure Bryan Colangelo will because depending on what he sees he might feel the need to get some insurance for his point guard spot. However early buzz I have heard is that Roko has been doing well. The time to prove that will start tonight in Vegas.

Going back to where we started with Hedo yesterday. He seemed to want to deflect questions about the city and say that is was as much about the team as it was the city. He said that he didn't not have any friends in Toronto but that is going to change fast. I have never seen a buzz like this before in Raptorland. I am not sure if I am as hyped as the next person. However I am happy that everyone seems to be more happy and positive. The crazy thing of all of this is that it can be traced back to V.C

As one of the guys at Raptors Republic pointed out if not for V.C going to Orlando thanks to Otis Smith the Orlando G.M. Isn't is funny how everything always seems to trace back to Vince. Speaking of which Hedo will wear #26 and not #15. Although the folks at Raptors.com did jump the gun and turned the Magic 15 jersey into a Raptor one. I am sure V.C loved that. Magic and Raptor games are going to be a lot of fun this year. I think with the addition of Hedo, and the small history of a playoffs series, and now V.C as well, The Orlando Magic are now perhaps the newest rival for the Raptors. Sunshine vs Snowballs. Whatever it is seems like a fun environment fan bases of both teams.


Live Blog- Hedo Pizza Party 3:45PM

This is what you have been waiting for...

Special thanks to Cuzzy from Cuzoogle this live Blog is in no way shape or form sponsored by Pizza Pizza. But hopefully it will be as fun as yesterday's event. Tell a friend and see you soon.


Note on Trade: Nathan Jawai has now replaced Quincy Douby in the trade and it is official!!!

B.C Doing WORK!!!

So when you went to bed last night depending on when you did. You went to bed with A.P, Hump, Quincy Douby and Shawn Marion were Raps or FA's. Well Not anymore. There are new Raptors too but let's explain where the old ones are going. A.P is the easiest as he just signed on his own with the Cavs. One of the classy players in the history of this organization best of luck to him. Now the trade that was 3 teams that became 4 teams. The Raptors have traded for Hedo Turkoglu. What? Yeah that's right Hedo comes via sign and trade. Shawn Marion goes to Dallas Via sign and trade. Quincy Douby and Jerry Stackhouse go to Memphis. Also Hump goes to Dallas as well. Raptors get back Wright and George from Dallas and yes the all important MLE is back which means so to could be Carlos Delfino. Have you got all of that? If not perhaps ESPN explains it better than me.

Marc Stein on Marion Deal - ESPN

In short Bryan Colangelo is pretty amazing. I had said that you could not truly judge a half painted picture a few days ago. Well Colangelo as truly added some masterful Michaelangelo type strokes to his Raptors canvas. The Raptors have gone from DeRozan and Douby. To Wright, Delfino, DeRozan and George. That addresses the wing spot. About the only thing he could not manage to do in unload Marcus Banks. Had he done that as well there may well have been a Bryan Colangelo parade today in Toronto.

Suddenly, Chris Bosh wakes up to having a team build around him that is pretty good and has some options at pretty much every position. Hey the roll B.C is on maybe Bosh will sign and extension as well.That is not likely to happen but the odds on Chris Bosh coming back have greatly increased in the last 48 hours. The combination of the info on the cap, The Raptors making massive change. The future of Chris Bosh has become a lot brighter to stay in Toronto.

In the end that is what matters the most. That is why all of this has happened in a lot of ways. However even if Bosh were to walk the Raptors are much better prepared for that as well. I still have concern over some of the contracts in terms of Andrea and Hedo. Having a team with some depth makes me a little less worried about that.

People had said B.C was not done. I was sure that he was not done trying. But I wondered if he could pull anything off. Well B.C did that no doubt about this. Even with all of this the Raptors still at best are the 4th team in the East. Still who was thinking that or saying that as a best case even a week ago?

I still have a wait and see approach to all of this. However the big difference is I can't wait to see instead of dreading the rest of this summer. Will this finally put an end to all of you that were thinking/hoping Chris Bosh would be traded this summer?

I am hopeful this will be enough to convince Chris Bosh to remain a Raptor. I truly hope that he can play his career as a Raptor and one day see a #4 hanging in the A.C.C. I feel like, as I am sure most Raptor fans do, that we have all watched Chris grow as a player and a man before our eyes. That is why I am a card carrying member of CB4 Nation. There are some guys that I will always root for their entire career. Bosh is on that list. I just would prefer I am doing it with him as a Raptor.

I want to close with some thoughts on Anthony Parker. He has been one of the most classy and professional people in his time with the Raptors. He finds himself in a situation where he should have an excellent chance at winning a championship. Can you think of a person more deserving of that then him? It would be a short list. So I am extremely happy for him. I also think we are all better off at getting to know someone of such high character and classy. So best of luck to A.P. Here is a list of truly nice guys from Raptors history. They all had varying degrees of talent but all were people that made me smile and hopefully you as well.

#5- Matt Bonner AkA The Red Rocket.

#4- Dell Curry

#3- Muggsy Bogues

#2- Anthony Parker

#1- Morris Peterson.

There were others that you could add to this list. If you have some you want to include or have your own list feel free to make a comment.

Yesterday I decided to do a live blog of the Andrea Bargnani Press Conference. The numbers and turn out for that was fantastic. So if you came out for that thanks a lot. It went so well that I will be doing another one for the Hedo News Conference and I am going to consider some form of a weekly Chat/Live Blog. I really love interacting with folks as you can probably notice if you follow the blog on Twitter (@dinonationblog). So if that presser happens today look for a live blog to be posted here on the site.

I suspect the majority of Raptor fans will be happy today and after last season you have earned that right to be so. Bryan Colangelo took a large step back towards the super genius that got a standing ovation when he came to town.