Extreme makeover

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

There was a nice present for Jay Triano when he came back to the office this week -- new building blocks.

And with Italian swingman Marco Belinelli topping the set after general manager Bryan Colangelo completed the trade with the Golden State Warriors yesterday, there is potential for seven new faces at training camp, with an outside chance that shooting guard Carlos Delfino comes back, too. Coach Triano, who was forced to over-tax those such as rookie point guard Roko Ukic last year, suddenly is awash in new players who bring experience, physicality, utility and attitude adjustment to a team that lost its way in 2008-09.

"Depth was one of our issues," Triano said yesterday at the Raptors Basketball Academy at Humber College. "We had a lot of money tied up in Jermaine O'Neal. When (Colangelo) made that trade, he addressed that we're going to have cap space to bring new players. We've been able to keep the core with Jose Calderon, Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani and we've built around that.

"Antoine Wright, Jarrett Jack, Reggie Evans and Rasho Nesterovic (the 7-foot free agent centre re-signed as expected yesterday) are guys who are going to make the (starters) work hard every day. If they don't, they're going to get embarrassed."

Calderon will work the point, backed up by Jack and perhaps Belinelli, while Wright, first-round pick DeMar DeRozan or Belinelli will play out of the shooting guard. Hedo Turkoglu is in the three spot with Bosh and Bargnani at four and five. Reserve big men include Nesterovic and Patrick O'Bryant.

DIVERSE PLAYERS

"We'll have a little bit higher intensity, a little bit quicker turnover of players coming in and out of the game," Triano said. "We'll give everyone a fair chance at camp (in October in Ottawa). Injuries happen throughout the year and you have to be ready to play. I like the fact we have so many diverse players. The biggest thing will be trying to find enough guys the opportunity to stay on the floor."

Belinelli, acquired for forward Devean George and cash, currently is on the Italian national team with Bargnani.

"I won't read too much into that," Triano said. "I don't even know if they're friends. The most important thing is that they're teammates. It'll be nice to have someone to talk to and show you where restaurants are, but for the most part we've got a great team. They're all friends by the time the games are over."

Triano praised his boss for working the phones in the middle of summer when other GMs in the NBA have shut it down. Triano says Colangelo might not be done, even though the Belinelli deal seemed to put an end to Delfino talks.

"There are 14 guys under contract and we have room for one more and a little bit of money," Triano said. "But I'm not sure where the fit is right now. (Delfino) is the guy we'd like to have, but I'm not sure if that will happen."


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