Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Toronto Raptors 2009-10 Season Preview

After another abysmal season and rampant rumors that star forward Chris Bosh could bolt after this season in Toronto, it was clear that Bryan Colangelo needed to do something big in the offseason that stir some excitement and positive feelings about basketball in Toronto heading into the 2009 season.

Enter Hedo Turkoglu, who the Raptors brought in from the Orlando Magic to help rejuvenate the franchise. After nearly signing with the Portland Trailblazers, Turkoglu changed his mind and decided to make Toronto his home at the last minute. He helped the Orlando Magic make it all the way to the NBA Finals last season, and has plenty of big game experience that he can pass on to his new teammates. He is an excellent scorer and creator.

He has a good enough handle at 6'8'' to get to the lane and score, find open teammates, and make the right decisions. He is also a solid outside shooter, and hit plenty of huge shots late in ballgames over the past couple of seasons, both during the regular season and during the playoffs. While a lot of NBA experts feel that he might be a little bit overpaid compared to what other guys in the market were getting, he should make a big difference in the Raptors fortunes.

Of course, however, Chris Bosh is still the man, and he is one of the best players in the NBA. He is excellent both on the block and at the elbow, and can hurt you in a variety of ways. He has gotten better every year since being in that vaunted 2003 draft class. He is also in the last year of his deal, and there is a lot of speculation that he could leave the Great North for a place like New York or Miami, bigger markets where he would be seen more.

Rounding out the big 3 is Jose Calderon, one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA. Since taking over the offense full-time after the departure of TJ Ford, he has been very steady. He's a great shooter from the outside, and one of the best assist men in the NBA. He won't ever be a star in the NBA, but he is a very good player, a PG that you can definitely win with. He should be able to find the scorers often, potentially making Toronto a potent offense.

While Toronto does not have enough to challenge the elite of the NBA's Eastern Conference, they should have enough talent with the acquisition of Hedo Turkoglu to be strong contenders to make it back to postseason play.

What are your thoughts on Toronto?