So, Bryan Colangelo is no longer General Manager of the Toronto Raptors.
And while the incoming GM will have complete control over basketball decisions and report directly to Tim Leiweke, Colangelo is staying on as President of the Raptors, but will not have any say on basketball decisions.
If you’re a little confused about how this will work, you’re not the only one. Cathal Kelly, of the Toronto Star, wrote an interesting piece talking about some of the confusion. Meanwhile, Doug Smith is already sucking up to Wayne Embry, calling him the Babe Ruth of basketball (or something to that effect) and actually recommending he and Ed Stefanski stay on to run the team. Keep in mind that Embry is 76 years old and was the guy that traded Ron Harper and two first rounders for Danny Ferry and Reggie Williams, thus ending Cleveland’s march towards being a contender.
But I digress.
Now, I actually think that Colangelo would be very useful to an NBA team. While I don’t think he was a good team builder (or judge of basketball talent), his business acumen has been excellent. He kept the Raptors in the black despite constant losing, and certainly knows how to run a company.
I just don’t think he should be useful to THIS team.
Keeping him on just makes things way more complicated than they need to be. The roster is already a mess, with one of the highest payroll in the league and lowest performing team. They have more bad contracts than good, several of which might prove very difficult to even move. And they don’t have an All Star on the roster. Oh, and they either won’t have a lottery pick this year (after winning just 34 games) or next year, which is predicted to be one of the best drafts in the last decade or more.
It’s not as if the team situation is going to entice very many potential GM candidates.
In fact, I’d say the only team in a WORSE situation than the Raptors are the Nets. But at least they play in New York.
Add the fact that the old architect of the team is going to be staying on, and this might turn off a lot of people. Yes, I know that TECHNICALLY Colangelo will have no say over any basketball decisions, and I don’t doubt that is true. But how would you feel if you had to come in and fix a situation knowing that the guy who screwed it up will be standing there watching?
While I think Colangelo does have something meaningful to contribute, I just don’t think it’s worth the trouble keeping him on, quite frankly.
But this kind of screwed up situation has become the norm for the Raptors. Is it any wonder that the only two teams with fewer playoff appearances over the last 17 years than the Raptors are the Golden State Warriors, whose current situation looks lightyears better than the Raptors’, and the Charlotte Bobcats, who have been in the league eight fewer years?
I was as optimistic as anyone when Leiweke came on board, but so far, it’s the comedy of errors we’ve come to expect from MLSE and the Raptors. Maybe things will turn around for the franchise, and maybe this is where it starts, but it doesn’t look very good so far.
EDIT 2: Saw this Tweet: “@WolstatSun RT @bruce_arthur: Last thing: I was told this was not what Tim Leiweke wanted. It all seems very weird.”
So, keeping Colangelo on might not even have been Leiweke’s choice, which is VERY troubling. Leiweke was supposed to be in charge, but now that’s in question. Even more troubling is that Colangelo still has allies on the board. I don’t see this ending well.