The Raptors went out and made a splash this off-season by signing Hedo Turkoglu. They paid him a lot of money, but are they expecting to win now? Will they move Chris Bosh before the trading deadline or reach an agreement on a new deal? Can the new Raptors lead this team to the post-season? Here is the 2009-10 NBA Preview for the Toronto Raptors.
Additions/Subtractions – The Raptors were able to sign the best free-agent in this year’s weak class, Hedo Turkoglu. He left Orlando for Toronto because of money and the international feel of Toronto. I don’t know if that is why someone who sign with a team, but Turkoglu’s wife made the decision. Jarrett Jack was another off-season addition to this team, he adds depth at point guard and has played at a high level in the NBA for a few years. DeMar DeRozen was their lottery pick and he should help this offense out, but he could be a year or two away from being any help on the defensive end of the floor. He could become the star of the team after Chris Bosh leaves after this season.
2009-10 Expectations – Jay Triano took over after the first month of the season last year and went 25-40 as the head coach last year. The Raptors are expecting big things from this team, since they went out and signed Turkoglu and this could be their last year with Chris Bosh on the team. He’s a free-agent after this season and he has dropped hints that he is bolting after this season. If the Raptors somehow end up out of the playoff race before the trading deadline, you could see Bosh being sent to a contender for something in return. If you are Toronto, you can’t afford to let him walk without getting something back. Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon are expected to live up to their potential this year. Bargnani had a good year in 2008-09, but he has yet to live up to the #1 overall pick status. He needs to prove that he can be the star this franchise needs and become a legitimate big man in the NBA. If the Raptors have a rough year, expect Triano to get fired and for them to go after a big name.
2009-10 Prediction – The Chris Bosh distraction may end up being too much for the Raptors to handle. The addition of Turkoglu and Jack should add wins to this team, but I expect Toronto to move Bosh at some point this season for young talent or draft picks. This team will regress this season and miss the playoffs again.
2009-10 Win Total – 30-52