Raptors continue to shuffle the deck off the court, but we wait and wonder what will happen as far as on the court matters go. Alvin Williams former Raptor and has worked with the organization in a number of roles off the floor was relieved of his scouting duties and is no longer a part of the organization. This move came straight from the top from Tim Leiweke according to an article by Doug Smith in The Toronto Star.
Alvin is no doubt one of the most beloved Raptors of all time and sure it does suck as Smith suggests in his article. I don’t seem to be as outraged by this move as Smith seems to be. In that same article it suggests that the coaching staff could be getting a shake-up as well. I think this is long overdue in my opinion. If you want to give Dwane Casey another shot I am all for that. This does not mean I am in favour of giving the entire staff a free pass. In this blog I have suggested the idea of changes to the staff being something that could be done instead of just getting rid of Casey altogether. In my view first on the chopping block should be Jonny Davis who has been primarily responsible for the Raptors on the offensive side of the ball.
While all of these changes will have an impact the true changes that will have the most impact have yet to be seen. That is to this roster itself. As the NBA Finals will draw to a close either on Tuesday or Thursday this should get teams to be ready to make moves as the NBA Draft and Free Agency are both rapidly approaching.
While you may feel for Alvin Williams, Ed Stefanski or any of the assistant coaches that end up out on the street without a job it is the moves on the floor that most will be focused on. Front and center is what becomes of Andrea Bargnani, who was listed as part of the roster that will play for Italy this summer. What Bargnani does there however, may not have a barring on his future one way or the other. This is if the Raptors are committed to finding a deal or ultimately amnestying him. The deadline to do that would fall far before any game Bargnani would play for Italy.
The larger question is what Ujiri’s ultimate plan is in terms of this roster. Is this a case of the demolition of it and starting yet another rebuilding project? If it is than safe to say no one on this roster would be safe in terms of trades or moves with perhaps the exception of Jonas Valanciunas. If not and the Raptors are looking to tweak the current roster and try to endure the next two years with contracts Colangelo has left them with it could be very difficult.
One way or the other the summer is fast approaching and Masai Ujiri will be on the hot seat as he stated in his opening remarks to the media in Toronto. It should be interesting to see what direction he goes. He stated in that same press conference that it would be fairly obvious to everyone. To this point the Raptors have just been doing some internal house cleaning.
For those who thought George Karl might have been a possibility to coach that became very clear as to why that will not happen last week. Karl in a story in the Denver Post seemed to suggest there was a divide between him and management last season. It seemed pretty clear that Karl was not exactly thrilled with how things went behind the scenes in Denver.