Colangelo top executive

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo will be named executive of the year today by the NBA.

The announcement will mark the second major award won by a member of the Raptors organization this season. Sam Mitchell was named coach of the year last month.

It will also mark the second executive of the year award for Colangelo, who also won in 2005 after guiding the Phoenix Suns to the third-greatest turnaround in NBA history during the 2004-05 season.

Colangelo joined the Raptors on Feb. 28, 2006 after 15 years in Phoenix. He rebuilt a moribund squad that won 27 games during the 2005-06 season into a team that won 47 games in the 2006-07 season, while capturing a division title for the first time in team history. The Raptors also qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign.

After touching down in Toronto, Colangelo made three key trades to help transform the club into a playoff contender, acquiring point guard T.J. Ford from the Milwaukee Bucks, forward Kris Humphries from the Utah Jazz and centre Rasho Nesterovic from the San Antonio Spurs.

He also made two huge moves by looking overseas, signing European free agent forward Jorge Garbajosa and shooting guard/small forward Anthony Parker, an American who starred with the Maccabi Tel Aviv team.

Colangelo also took a flyer in drafting Italian forward/centre Andrea Bargnani with the first pick overall in last summer's NBA draft. Bargnani, whose play improved steadily as the season progressed, until he went down with appendicitis, finished second in Rookie of the Year voting.

Colangelo also convinced the club's all-star forward Chris Bosh to sign a long-term extension with the club.

Colangelo's job in rebuilding the franchise was helped immensely by Raptors senior basketball advisor Wayne Embry.

In his capacity as interim GM prior to Colangelo's arrival, Embry created significant cap room for the team by trading Aaron Williams to New Orleans/Oklahoma City and Jalen Rose to the New York Knicks.


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