Toronto Raptors should be one of most improved teams in NBA

raptors cheerleaders

The Sports Bank will be counting down to the opening tip of the 2012-13 NBA season with team by team previews starting with the worst and working our way to the title contenders.  There is no lockout this time around so let’s get going.

The Toronto Raptors added four quality pieces in the off-season and should be one of the most improved teams in the Eastern Conference; certainly possessing enough talent to earn a spot in the playoffs.

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What the Toronto Raptors can do to improve this off-season

raptors dancers

Year two of the Toronto Raptors’ post-Chris Bosh re-building effort yielded a similar result as year one.  The Raps once again finished well out of the playoff picture and now enter the off-season in need of an influx in talent.  They will Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas, their 2011 first round pick, but what else can Toronto do to improve their roster and get themselves back as a relevant Eastern Conference team?

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Applying the Allan Houston Rule to NBA Atlantic Division Teams in 2011

allan houston knicks

One of the topics expected to be discussed during the pending NBA Lockout is the possible revival of The Allan Houston Rule.  When a new CBA was agreed upon in 2005, it allowed NBA teams a one time opportunity to waive a player and not have his contract count against the luxury tax teams have to pay if their team salary exceeds a pre-determined amount set by the league.  The released player becomes a free agent but his salary still gets paid and counts against his former team’s salary cap.  Ironically enough, Allan Houston was not a victim of The Allan Houston Rule.  The Knicks instead decided to waive Jerome Williams.

If the new CBA once again invokes this clause, most teams will probably take advantage since it would save them possibly tens of millions of dollars.  To keep up with the times, we will change the name of this from “The Allan Houston Rule” to the “Rashard Arenas Rule” since Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas easily have the two worst contracts in the league.  Allow me to break down each team and who would end up being the casualties of this rule.  Here is the Atlantic Division.

By: David Kay

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Toronto Raptors’ Re-Building Effort Continues This Off-Season

Like we are currently seeing in the NFL, the 2011 NBA off-season is up in the air with a lockout looming.  Free agency could be delayed and completely restructured depending on the new agreement reached by the owners and players.  Still, The Sports Bank will break down all thirty NBA teams over the next six weeks to see what areas they need to address in the off-season.

The Toronto Raptors will continue their re-building, one summer after losing Chris Bosh which was a major hit on a franchise that struggles to attract marquee talent.

By: David Kay

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Post-Bosh Raptors Will Reel in 2010-2011

Chris Bosh

David Kay’s NBA season previews continue north of the border where the Raptors begin life post-Chris Bosh.  The re-building effort enters year one with Toronto figuring to be one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference.

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Raptors Preparing for Life Post-Bosh

Bosh Raptors

Barring a crazy turnaround or some impressive convincing on management’s part, Chris Bosh will not be returning to Toronto next season.  Now, the Raptors will have to replace their star player in what will be a critical off-season for the franchise’s future.

By: David Kay
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NBA Power Rankings: #11 Toronto Raptors

Thunder Raptors Basketball

By: David Kay and Paul M. Banks

2008-09 Season Summary:
Last year was a rough one for “Canada’s Team.” The Toronto Raptors front office thought they significantly improved a playoff team this last off-season when they made a blockbuster trade for Jermaine O’Neal. Despite O’Neal’s arrival and much improved play from former #1 overall draft choice Andrea Bargnani, the Raptors were bad. They started 8-9 which cost Coach Sam Mitchell his job. Replacement and long-time assistant Jay Triano (who was already given a three-year extension since the season ended) tweaked the starting line-up, but the Raptors fell to 21-34 by the All-Star break. In a move mainly to help Toronto shed some salary, the dealt O’Neal and Jamario Moon to Miami for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Still, the Raptors were eliminated from playoff contention with seven games left.

Check out the complete Raptors season preview, other NBA previews, and power rankings.