On Feb. 27, 2006, Bryan Colangelo left the Phoenix Suns organization. A day later, he took over as president and general manager of the Toronto Raptors.
His time in Toronto has seen more ups than downs.
In his first season with the team, the Raptors had their first Atlantic Division title and he was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year.
In 2008, the Raptors again qualified for the playoffs but took a slight tumble in the standings, finishing second in the Atlantic Division and starting the playoffs with the No. 6 seed.
Since then, the Raptors have not qualified for a playoff spot, Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach and the current team is floundering near the bottom of the standings.
With today being the sixth anniversary of Colangelo’s reign in Toronto, it seemed like a good time to look back at some of his more notable moves with the Raptors.
JUNE 8: Acquired forward Kris Humphries and centre Robert Whaley from the Utah Jazz for centre Rafael Araujo.
What a way to start! Stealing Humphries for draft bust Araujo was welcomed with open arms by Toronto fans.
JUNE 21: Acquired centre Rasho Nesterovic and cash considerations from San Antonio for forwards Eric Williams and Matt Bonner, and a future second-round draft pick.
There is no way the Raptors take the 2007 Atlantic Division title without Nesterovic. It was a shame to see the Red Rocket leave town however.
JUNE 28: Selected forward Andrea Bargnani (first overall) and forward P.J. Tucker (35th pick) in the NBA Draft.
It was a really weak draft year but Colangelo made the most of it. Bargnani appears to finally be making strides at the defensive end. You could argue that LaMarcus Aldridge, who went with the second pick in the draft, would have been a better choice.
JUNE 30: Acquired guard T.J. Ford and cash considerations from Milwaukee for forward Charlie Villanueva.
T.J. Ford played the best ball of his career in Toronto. Again, there is no way the Raptors make the playoffs without him.
JULY 13: Signed free-agent guard Anthony Parker to a multi-year contract.
Picked him up out of Europe and he provided a nice shooting touch as well as decent defence on the wing.
JULY 24: Signed free-agent forward Jorge Garbajosa to a multi-year contract.
Was a tough and solid starter for the Raptors before injuries derailed Garbajosa’s time in Toronto.
JUNE 15: Acquired guard Carlos Delfino from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a second-round draft picks in 2009 and 2011.
The draft choices became Kyle Singler and Jonas Jerebko. The former Duke star Singler is out of the league and Jerebko has turned into a solid rotation player. Delfino only played a single season for the Raptors but where he averaged 9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. A wash really.
JULY 10: Signed free-agent forward Jamario Moon to a multi-year contract.
Picked up off the scrap heap, Moon started 75 games for the Raptors in his first season in Toronto. He had his moments but his playing time underscored Toronto’s weakness at the position.
JULY 11: Signed free-agent forward Jason Kapono to a multi-year contract.
The three-point specialist spent two seasons in Toronto. Kapono was a decent role player with nice shooting touch but his defence was shall we say… suspect.
JULY 9: Acquired centre Jermaine O’Neal and the draft rights to forward Nathan Jawai from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for guard T.J. Ford, forwards Rasho Nesterovic and Maceo Baston and the draft rights to centre Roy Hibbert.
The Raptors almost had to trade Ford in order to keep Jose Calderon. Ford was never the same after leaving Toronto but the team still has a gaping hole behind Calderon. Hibbert was a raw project when he was drafted but the way he has developed for the Pacers has been remarkable. O’Neal only lasted 41 games in Toronto before his massive contract was jettisoned..
DECEMBER 3: Relieved Sam Mitchell of head coaching duties and named assistant coach Jay Triano head coach on an interim basis.
This move may have happened two seasons earlier if not for a surprise run to an Atlantic Division title. The Raptors began the season with low expectations and Mitchell paid the price.
FEBRUARY 13: Traded centre Jermaine O’Neal, forward Jamario Moon and a conditional draft pick to Miami for forward Shawn Marion, guard Marcus Banks and cash considerations.
If only Marion had stunk around this deal would have been highway robbery. As it was, Colangelo had to take on a bad Marcus Banks contract but at least the team was able to shed O’Neal’s monster contract and got Marion’s cap space in return.
JUNE 9: Acquired forward Reggie Evans from Philadelphia in exchange for guard/forward Jason Kapono.
Another solid deal by Colangelo. He got a strong rebounder in Evans for Kapono, who never really found a home in Toronto.
JUNE 25: Selected forward DeMar DeRozan ninth overall in the draft.
The jury is still out on DeRozan. In his third season with the Raptors, his scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage have all dipped. He should eventually develop into a decent NBA player but the Raptors are still waiting to see if he is one of the team’s building blocks. Had he stayed in school, he would be a senior in college this winter so he’s still young.
JULY 9: Acquired forward Hedo Turkoglu in a sign and trade with Orlando, plus forward Devean George and guard Antoine Wright from Dallas as part of a four-team trade. Dallas received forward Shawn Marion, forward Kris Humphries and forward Nathan Jawai, plus guard Greg Buckner from Memphis. The Grizzlies received forward Jerry Stackhouse from Dallas and a future second-round draft pick from Toronto. Orlando received cash considerations from Toronto.
The biggest disappointment of Colangelo’s reign has to be adding Turkoglu. The crazy thing was, Turkoglu was coming off his best season in Orlando and looked to be the perfect fit with the Raptors. The back end of the contract was a little scary given his age, but Toronto looked poised to make a run to keep Bosh in Toronto after adding the Turkish forward.
JULY 21: Signed free-agent guard Jarrett Jack to a multi-year contract.
The belief was adding Bosh’s former college teammate would help to keep him happy in Toronto. And that he would fill the back-up point guard role behind Calderon. One out of two wasn’t bad.
JULY 30: Acquired guard Marco Belinelli from Golden State in exchange for forward Devean George and cash considerations.
Was a decent deal for the Raptors although Belinelli wasn’t around for very long.
AUGUST 18: Acquired forward Amir Johnson and guard-forward Sonny Weems from the Milwaukee Bucks for guard-forward Carlos Delfino and guard Roko Ukic.
This looks like a steal for Milwaukee. After he spent a season in Europe, the Raptors weren’t willing to pay the price for Delfino. He blossomed in Milwaukee. Ukic and Weems were throw-ins while Johnson, although overpaid, has been reliable in Toronto.
JUNE 24: Selected forward Ed Davis 13th overall in the draft and acquired the draft rights to centre Solomon Alabi from Dallas in exchange for a conditional second-round pick in 2013 and cash considerations.
Seems a little early to say how this will turn out. Looking at the players selected behind Davis, the Raptors could have done much worse. He’s a young player who still has time to develop into a useful rotation player for Toronto.
JULY 8: Re-signed forward Amir Johnson to a multi-year contract. Signed forward Linas Kleiza to an offer sheet.
Kleiza has played well when healthy for Toronto. Might not have been the best fit for a team that has had problems with perimeter defence. I still believe the Raptors paid too much money to keep Johnson.
JULY 9: Acquired two 2011 first-round draft picks and a trade exemption from Miami in a sign-and-trade for forward Chris Bosh.
Making the best of a bad situation although it would be fair to argue that the Raptors should have moved Bosh before it came to this.
JULY 14: Acquired guard Leandro Barbosa and forward/centre Dwayne Jones from Phoenix in exchange for forward Hedo Turkoglu.
Ditto about the bad situation. Turkoglu wanted out of Toronto and Barbosa has provided some pop off the bench although he needs to get his teammates more involved. Barbosa still may be dealt to a contender at the deadline.
NOVEMBER 20: Acquired forward Peja Stojakovic, guard Jerryd Bayless and cash considerations from New Orleans in exchange for guard Jarrett Jack, guard Marcus Banks and centre David Andersen.
Four seasons into his NBA career, Bayless just can’t seem to stay healthy. Stojakovic was bought out quickly. Jack and Anderson have been serviceable for the Hornets. If Bayless ever hits his full stride this could be a steal but that remains a big if.
FEBRUARY 22: Acquired forward James Johnson from Chicago in exchange for a 2011 first-round draft pick.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the jury remains out on this one. Johnson at times this season has looked great but he just needs to find some level of consistency.
JUNE 1: Declined team option for head coach Jay Triano. Retained Triano as a special assistant to the president and general manager.
Triano needed to go and the team needed a defensive coach behind the bench.
JUNE 21: Named Dwane Casey as the eighth head coach in team history.
At times, Casey has looked like the answer but he has rarely had all of the tools in his toolbox to work with. The Raptors bench boss may need to ease back on the throttle on his team this year to prevent more injuries during this shortened season.
JUNE 23: Selected centre Jonas Valanciunas fifth overall in the NBA Draft.
With his big numbers in Europe this season, Raptor fans are salivating over Valanciunas.
DECEMBER 9: Signed centre Jamaal Magloire. He becomes the first Canadian to sign with the Raptors.
Too old to be of much value on the floor, but the Canadian centre has added a veteran presence to the locker room.
DECEMBER 10: Signed forward Rasual Butler to a one-year contract.
Not much value here. Just a roster filler who has been missing way too many open jumpers.
DECEMBER 11: Signed Centre Aaron Gray to a one-year contract.
Gray is a decent big body who has the potential to be a solid back-up.
DECEMBER 12: Signed guard Anthony Carter to a one-year contract.
Carter was brought in to help bring some veteran leadership but his shooting has made Rasual Butler look good.
DECEMBER 14: Signed forward Gary Forbes to a multi-year contract.
Forbes can’t seem to get any playing time in Toronto despite all of the injuries. Not much to get excited about as the forward is still a work in progress at this point.