Toronto Raptors History
Next season is already looking good for the Toronto Raptors. Despite finishing with a losing record, 27-55, the Toronto Raptors learned a great deal about themselves. In a Atlantic Division with mostly losing teams, Toronto finished next to last in front of the New York Knicks. Ahead of them in the conference were the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the New Jersey Nets, the only team to make the playoffs.
The Toronto Raptors started the season on a bad note going 1-15. By getting off to such a horrible start, any chance the Raptors had at making the playoffs were eliminated before Dec. 1. It took them months to recover and, while there were some highlights in the middle of the season when they played near .500 ball, it wasn’t enough because the start was just too tough to overcome. The situation didn’t get better when Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers dropped 81 points on the team in January. It was the most points scored in a game since Wilt Chamberlain and his 100-point game.
It seemed as if the only positive highlights to come from the Toronto Raptors were witnessing the development of Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva. Bosh was voted as an All-Star this year and was selected to Team USA in the Olympics. Villanueva also had a positive rookie season silencing critics who questioned his work ethic and suitability in the NBA. On top of that, he was voted on the All-Rookie First Team receiving the second most voted behind New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets’ guard, Chris Paul.
Even with another losing season, the Toronto Raptors are on the rise. During the season, they named Bryan Colangelo team president and general manager. He was previously with the Phoenix Suns and is responsible for the arrangement of the team and its run-and-gun offense. Chris Bosh also added to the good news as he signed a contract extension keeping him there for another six season removing the chance for the Los Angeles Lakers to sign him.
To top it all off, the Toronto Raptors claimed the first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft giving them numerous options to fill needs on the team. Colangelo and the Toronto Raports selected Andrea Bargnani from Italy. For days he was locked in as their guy as they also signed his team manager from Italy. Now only one question remains, he has been compared as a smaller Vladimir Radmanovic, but can he live up to the hype and be the next Dirk Nowitski, or another Darko Milicic.
Because the team traded Jalen Rose for Antonio Davis, over $10 million was saved for free agency. The Toronto Raptors have room to make some moves but will likely go through the draft first and see what other holes they need to fill.
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