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2014-15 NBA Team Preview: Toronto Raptors

Drake Rob Ford Toronto Raptors NBA All Star funny weird fatToronto was the surprise team in the East last season. Their corps of young talent blossomed. They even traded Rudy Gay mid-season, which shed considerable cap space. Toronto GM Masai Ujiri helped turn Denver’s franchise around when he was in charge. He has quickly done the same in Toronto.

Can Toronto upset Cleveland and win the East?

We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.

Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Toronto Raptors.

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2009-10 NBA Preview: Toronto Raptors

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

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A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.

The White Boy’s 2009 NBA Mock Draft

The most exciting part of the NBA season is this week, the NBA Draft. Don’t get me wrong, I love the playoffs and think it’s great, but the NBA Draft is a time where every fan can feel great about their upcoming season, unless your a Knicks fan. This year’s draft is perceived to be a very weak draft, but it is very deep at point guard. As many as 8 PGs could be taken in the first round. I would expect a lot of trade this year, since many of the teams at the top of the draft are hurting for money and would rather invest that money in a proven talent, rather than wait three seasons for the prospect to mature.

Here is my mock draft for the 2009 NBA Draft.

1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin (Oklahoma) – This is a no-brainer. Giffin is the best prospect in the draft and most think that he’s a lock. If the Clippers pick Griffin, they will find some way to turn him into Michael Olowakandi.

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio (Spain) – The Grizzlies would much rather pick Hasheem Thabeet here, but he cancelled his workout. If Memphis picks Rubio, expect a trade of Mike Conley Jr. or even Rubio. They will be loaded at PG and that is not what their need is.

3. OKC Thunder – Hasheen Thabeet (UCONN) – Thabeet makes Dwight Howard post moves look great. In OKC’s offense, he wouldn’t need to put in many points. He isn’t a strong rebounder, but the Thunder needs some defense in the paint. The Thunder would be a great fit for Thabeet.

4. Sacramento Kings – James Harden (Arizona State – The Kings need a scorer and Harden can put a basket in about anywhere on the court. They are re-building and need a star, something that Harden could turn into rather quickly.

5. Washington Wizards – Brandon Jennings (Italy) – The Wizards need a lot to re-gain their form, but Jennings will help them deliver the ball. He didn’t do well in Europe, but his ceiling is higher than most. I’m hoping that he is still sporting his Kid N Play flat-top; I would buy his jersey.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonny Flynn (Syracuse) – Flynn came out of nowhere during the last month of the season. He had a great Big East tourney and went on to have a great NCAA tourney as well. He has pure point-guard skills and would be an improvement over Sebastian Telfair.

7. Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry (Davidson) – Don Nelson’s days are numbered in Oakland, but Curry fits the mold of his type of player. He can score from all over the place and his point guard skills have tripled in just one season. Curry will be a great fit at Golden State, but look for a possible trade here.

8. New York Knicks – Tyreke Evans (Memphis) – If Curry is not on the board, Evans makes sense for the Knicks. He could either be an All-Star or become a very steady bench player in the NBA. He is young and can’t really put my finger on if he is going to be great. Evans had flashes of greatness at Memphis, but most of the season he played against sub-par talent.

9. Toronto Raptors – Jordan Hill (Arizona) – Hill has been climbing up draft boards over the last few weeks. Toronto needs to come to grips that Chris Bosh is heading out of town after this year. They need to rebuild their front-court and Hill would be a great start.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Demar DeRozan (USC) – The Bucks are a few pieces away from being a playoff team. DeRozan is tall (6’7) and is a physical guard. He struggled at times at USC, but Tim Floyd was his coach, that could have been the reason.

11. New Jersey Nets – Terrance Williams (Louisville) – Williams was great for the Cardinals last year. He led them through the Big East and is a great indicator of how he will do in the NBA. The Nets would love to get Williams at #11, they are hoping that no other team will take him earlier.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Henderson (Duke) – Henderson had a great workout and he fits the need for the Bobcats. Charlotte needs fans in the seats, by taking a local Dukie, it may help with attendance.

13. Indiana Pacers – Eric Maynor (VCU) – With Jrue Holiday and Ty Lawson still on the board, it would be ballsy for the Pacers to pick Maynor. Maynor is more of a pure point-guard than Lawson and Holiday at this point. VCU isn’t the best place to play, but Maynor made the most of his opportunities when facing top talent. His performance against Duke, a few seasons ago, helped cement his status of a future Lottery pick.

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.