So it is safe to say that your holiday weekend was better than Bryan Colangelo’s. Colangelo is out as G.M of the Toronto Raptors but in true MLSE fashion losing one job is not a firing but just the reassigning to another job. Just like Colangelo did with Jay Triano making him an assistant to himself in effect Bryan has become that for Tim Leiweke. A president in charge of nothing to do with basketball operations is his new job. A new G.M will report directly to Leiweke and have final say on all basketball matters. It all seems too comical but it is in fact the case. Leiweke expects to have a new G.M in place within 30 days and classified the search and already being underway. As for why this took so long Leiweke said he took two weeks to evaluate everything with the organization and Colangelo. I have 7 years of watching this but no one asked me. To be serious thought it is not that this is the wrong move being made here. I think it would be hard for anyone to defend that Colangelo has not been given a chance he clearly has. It is the fact that in true MLSE fashion this was done in a strange and odd manner that makes everyone feel uncomfortable.
If the Raptors land Masai Ujiri which has been the rumour floating around a lot of this will be forgotten. Still it makes you question how this organization does business. It is clear that Leiweke has a lesser opinion of the franchise and the job that Colangelo has done with it. He stressed again the importance of branding this team as a team for all of Canada. He stressed that up to this point they have failed in that.
Colangelo on the other hand is trying to paint himself much like Brian Burke with the Leafs. A guy that has laid down the foundation for success, despite his own removal from the G.M’s chair seems somewhat self serving and far from accurate when describing the Raptors. It remains to be seen but I would hardly class the Raptors as a team on verge of greatness. I would even have trouble classing them as a playoff team next year.
Whoever the new G.M is he will have a lot of Colangelo’s mess to deal with and also Colangelo still around on top of that. Even Leiweke admits this situation could be problematic but assures everyone that if it is he will handle it. Colangelo himself understands that if he interferes or gets involved without being asked he is likely out on his butt.
My question is so why do it in the first place. Colangelo is free to seek another job and it seems that while his loyalty to Toronto and Raptors was stressed by Leiweke and by him, it is only a matter of time until he moves on. So why not just fire him and be done with it.
MLSE remains to be a puzzle that makes no sense. Leiweke is expected to officially be on the job starting June 3rd moving that date up from July 1st. But he clearly is already on the job make decisions. That said his choices seem just as confusing and puzzling as the ones made by MLSE in the past.
If not Masai Ujiri any second choice would be pretty bad in my view. Ujiri clearly understands what he would be getting into coming back to his former employer and understands the challenges that Toronto faces. Leiweke still seems to think these issues can be overcome. He claims to have talked with players who say they love Toronto. That is great but till we see their names on contracts I have a hard time believing they love it all that much.
At the end of it all whoever is calling the shots will still have a huge mess left by the outgoing G.M and still president of all things not basketball related Bryan Colangelo. That is not going to be an easy puzzle to solve. Good luck to all applicants you are going to need it.