As mentioned from my previous posting about my attendance to the breakfast small group gathering with Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo, I received some of your questions that you want me to ask him. I asked some of them and here are the Q & A that happened during the breakfast session.
New Raptors head coach Duwayne Casey and new Executive Vice President Ed Stefanski were also on hand for the Q & A:
1) Bryan asked the fans to be patient this year as they are in a “building” mode this year. Not “rebuilding” but a “building” mode with the young pieces
2) He said #5 pick Jonas V. Is a valuable centre and he is tall, big, aggressive and with unique personality. It was too hard to pass up on a big guy at the 5th pick.
3) He will not exercise the Amnesty clause (waiving player without counting to the salary cap) this year b/c he thinks it’s better to use it next year or later on as they can only use it once. If he exercises it next year, they will have at 24M of cap space to sign free agents
4) Jose will be staying to provide leadership and they will like to see how Jarred Bayless flares as a point guard, they want him to drive in more and dish out the ball more to the other players
5) Linas Kleiza and Ed Davis are healthy again and they want to see Ed complementing the defensive deficiency of Andrea Bargnani
6) Don’t expect much moves from the Raptors as they want to see how the core group of players work under the new coach’s system
7) Coach stressed “defense” and he will implement alot of “zone defense”
8 Bryan said getting another high draft pick isn’t such a bad idea at all
9) Coach said they may not win many games but he makes sure the players play hard every night
10) Coach was surprised by the development of centre Solomon Alabi
11) Coach may want to play small ball with Jose, Bayless and Barbosa shifting to the 3 and Derozan playing the 4 at some time in the game
12) They don’t know the mid-level exception is right now and will have to wait for the numbers
13) They will not overpay any free agents unless they are reasonable price. They don’t mind a stop-gap centre such as Tyson Chandler until Jonas V. Is ready from Europe.
14) They are exploring a defensive minded small forward such as Shane Battier of Memphis.
One funny situation, the new EVP Ed Stefanski was the former GM of the Philly 76ers. He came in and shook hands with everyone. When he shook my hands, I said to him “I still like Allen Iverson”, he was so happy and excited and talked about how tough Iverson was a player. No one knew who he was until he saw me.
Be sure to check out my photos at the event attached.
Vernon (aka MoVernie)