Raptors bring back Colangelo
By RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency
|Toronto Raptor General Manager, Bryan Colangelo. (Mark O'Neill/QMI Agency)
TORONTO -- Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo is sticking around.
Colangelo confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the NBA's draft lottery that he has "agreed in principle" to a contract extension.
Colangelo's contract was set to expire on June 30 and though it was announced last week that he would represent the team at Tuesday's draft lottery, hid status had been unclear for months.
The Toronto Sun first reported on February 15th that: "While there is no timetable for an announcement," according to a source with knowledge of the thinking of the upper echelon of the MLSEL board, “It is 99% certain that (Colangelo) will be re-signed before the end of his current contract.”
It took a while, but that information proved correct in the end, though Colangelo had faced strong opposition from Glen Silvestri, a board member representing majority owner Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan and others.
However, Colangelo had the backing of other influential board members like CEO Richard Peddie, COO Tom Anselmi and Larry Tanenbaum, who owns almost 20% of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Ltd.
MLSEL had come under fire for letting Colangelo’s status remain unclear.
Last year, the Portland Trail Blazers allowed then general manager Kevin Pritchard to run their draft process, before letting him go shortly thereafter.
At his season-ending press conference, Colangelo strongly backed head coach Jay Triano, so it is likely Triano’s option gets picked up before the June 15 deadline.
Assistant general manager Maurizio Gheradini also needs to either be re-upped or let go before mid-June.
Colangelo told the Sun answers would be coming soon.
“Now that things are resolved, we will be addressing other important basketball matters in the coming weeks,” Colangelo said.
Colangelo has had mixed results in Toronto, guiding the team to the playoffs his first two years at the hem, earning a second executive of the year award (after first winning one while managing the Phoenix Suns) after leading the Raptors to an Atlantic Division title.
But he also erred in free agency, inking Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Kapono to massive deals, lost perennial all-star Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat and made a disastrous swap for Jermaine O’Neal and the club missed the playoffs for three straight seasons.
Despite his faults, the market is not exactly saturated with quality GM candidates and Colangelo has done well to grab promising youngsters DeMar DeRozan (9th) and Ed Davis (13th) late in the lottery the past two seasons, while picking up pieces like Jerryd Bayless and James Johnson for cheap.
The Raptors have gone 183-227 (.446) under Colangelo, far better than what they managed under Isiah Thomas, Glen Grunwald or Rob Babcock.
His biggest task this off-season could be determining what to do with enigmatic big man Andrea Bargnani, the man Colangelo picked No. 1 overall in 2006.
Last month, Colangelo had said Bargnani was “miscast” as a centre and indicated he would either attempt to find a true centre to pair with Bargnani, or look to move him.
With Davis and Amir Johnson already capable of manning the power forward spot, the Raptors clearly have a logjam to deal with.
Now we know Colangelo will be the one doing the heavy lifting.