With his Raptors officially eliminated Sunday from playoff contention, Raptors coach Jay Triano still has six games with which to conduct inventory.
Don't expect Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon to suddenly be coming off the bench. The starters will still start but the rotation patterns may be adjusted to get a longer look at some, but the ultimate goal remains winning despite what the standings say.
Also, there is the presumed arrival of former Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni to join the Raptors staff for next season.
The groundwork for such speculation was laid a few weeks ago when Iavaroni turned up at a practice as an "observer."
Well, the "observer," according to some reports, has since become a slam-dunk addition to Triano's staff next season as an assistant with Triano remaining head coach and GM Bryan Colangelo supposedly behind all this.
Turns out the Iavaroni cameo at Raptors practice had nothing to do with Colangelo.
Iavaroni and Triano bumped into each other earlier this year when the Raptors were visiting Philadelphia and Iavaroni was in town to get together with members of that 1982-83 championship Sixers team that he played on. Triano, who attended a big-man camp for coaches in Italy with Iavaroni a few years ago asked what else Iavaroni was up to these days and was told he was visiting various teams to stay sharp with coaching philosophies and the like.
He was planning on "hanging out" with four or five teams to accomplish this and Triano invited him to Toronto to do the same.
Iavaroni expressed concern that this might be awkward for Triano, who has yet to have the interim tag removed from his own position. Triano quickly waved that off at which point Iavaroni said he would clear it with Colangelo first.
"I did not feel threatened at all," Triano said yesterday. "Marc and I have a relationship ... nor do I feel threatened by the fact that Dave Smart from Carleton (University in Ottawa) who won another Canadian championship just recently is coming in later this week. Coaches do that. Coaches always want to help other coaches because it can be a pretty tough world."
More concerning for Triano is finishing up on a high note this season. With six games to play, three against playoff teams, Triano said there is still some judgments to be made on personnel.
He would like to get point guard Roko Ukic as much experience as he can, but he feels pretty confident he already knows what he has there.
"We've seen what he can do and I think he has a pretty bright future," Triano said. "He seems to be a quick learner."
Newcomer and fan favourite Pops Mensah-Bonsu will be watched closely.
"So far we have seen great bursts of energy and then there have been times when he's made a few mistakes out there," Triano said. "But the effort has been consistent. We want to make sure that remains the same and see what transpires from that."