If you were expecting a ton of excitement in terms of the Raptors signings you were not listening to Bryan Colangelo or thought he was lying. It is not that the Raptors moves were horrible but they were far from headline grabbing.
First on of the reported Pietrus trade with the Suns that is now not happening. The trade that would have seen Pietrus come over for the Suns for a conditional 2nd round pick is dead. Raptors had Pietrus in and he apparently is not healthy, some issues with his knee that Raptors medical staff felt could take a month or so to get right. So that was that in terms of that deal. Down the line if Pietrus gets healthy it would be no shock if Raptors re-visited this move. But in the short term it is dead and done.
Another deal still in the waiting to happen mode is for Gary Forbes. The Raptors have signed him to an offer sheet as a restricted free agent and with the new CBA rules an answer from Denver should be coming by today or tomorrow on if they will match or not.
Jamal Maglorie was all done and signed sealed and delivered. He was saying all the right things about being the first Canadian to suit up for the Raptors. It would be some solid PR if you forget the fact he consistently has turned his back on team Canada. That takes some shine off the feel good story of the hometown guy finally coming home. In simple basketball terms he will be a help to the Raptors maybe more as a teacher than a player in terms of defence. As I said his play peaked in about 2003 when the Hornets left Charlotte for New Orleans and went to the Western Conference. He was a little used Center for the Miami Heat. He will get more use here but one wonders if he can last under the grind of this gruelling lockout schedule.
If he can't never fear the Raptors signed Aaron Gray. Yes Aaron Gray. I will wait for you to collect yourself. Gray is every bit the journeyman Center that has had to many teams to mention. His most recent stop was in New Orleans. If the first adjective used to describe a guy is he is 7 foot whatever that is usually a warning sign. You can't teach height. But you also can't teach talent and Gray has very little of it. He is another body in the mix. But what this means combined with Maglorie is it looks like Andrea Bargnani has finally got his way. Yes Andrea Bargnani you get to play your natural position at the four. So now let's hear what the excuse will be if he can't do any better there?
The Raptors attempted to address another concern with signing Rasual Butler. He is a decent defender that can make a three point shot. The Raptors despite the likes of Calderon, Barbosa and Bargnani had one of there worst seasons from beyond the arc in the history of the franchise. Butler should help out with that as well as this defensive makeover.
There is talk that Raptors are still one of four teams in mix for Reggie Evans but it is hard to see where Reggie would fit in this group. The Raptors did also add Anthony Carter who would be the 3rd point guard. That has yet to be made official but whoever the third point guard is makes little difference especially if they go the veteran Derek Martin route.
It is hard to say that any of these signings change the Raptors outlook as individuals. Even as a collective group they do little to shift the bottom line. It will be the impact they have on the existing roster that will determine their worth. If they help establish a better overall team defence and get players to buy in. If Andrea Bargnani is able to thrive with the move to the 4 spot. But ultimately Bryan Colangelo said he was only looking for guys for the short term and that is what he got. Nothing flashy but the hope would be the Raptors added some substance. That remains to be seen.
I don't think you can be all that critical of the moves made. But at same time if any of these signings do much for interest in the Raptors I would be stunned. It also likely will not mean a major difference in terms of the team's ultimate outlook. When teams are lining up to fight for the likes of Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, the Raptors are signing Aaron Gray and Rasaul Butler it just doesn't measure up on the excitement scale does it.