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Its been an eventful 12 months for the Toronto Raptors. The team got nailed by injuries to start last season and ended up dropping 19 of their first 23 games. Then another injury actually turned things around. Andrea Bargnani went down with an elbow injury and the Raptors won eight of their next 10. Next came a major in season trade as the Raptors sent much loved point guard Jose Calderon and young big man Ed Davis to Memphis in exchange for Rudy Gay. Gay instantly became the go-to guy in Toronto and the Raptors actually went .500 (18-18) after the trade to finish the season 34-48 and tied for ninth in the East. The in-season changes were nothing compared to what has happened since though. Off-season of change When Tim Leiweke was hired as the new president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment it didnt take long to realize that he was brining sweeping changes with him. For the Raptors it meant saying goodbye to Bryan Colangelo, the man who had led the team for the past seven seasons, the last five of which involved missing the playoffs. The Raptors lured up and coming executive Masai Ujiri away from the Denver Nuggets to take over from Colangelo as GM. Its fitting that the first major move made by Ujiri was to ship Bargnani, whom Colangelo selected first overall in 2006 and failed to build the team around, off to New York. And not only was Ujiri able to move Bargnani and his bloated contract, he actually got something in return. THe Raptors received Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and Quentin Richardson in the deal as well as a 2016 frist round draft pick and two future second round picks. The team waived Camby and Richardson, but Novak gives the Raptors some much needed three-point shooting and the draft picks will be najor assets as the Raptors look to rebuild. The Raptors also amnestied Linas Kleiza while adding Tyler Hansbrough, Austin Daye and D.J. Augustin to the fold for this season. The team certainly isnt ready to be considered a contender just yet, but its a brand new era in Toronto. And with Ujiri at the helm, the future looks bright. The Good The Raptors have turned the page on the Bryan Colangelo-Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors future is in far better hands with Masai Ujiri at the helm and building around Jonas Valanciunas. Toronto actually has a pretty strong starting lineup with Valanciunas flanked by Amir Johnson and Rudy Gay in the frontcourt along with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in the backcourt. That lineup actually outscored opponents by 85 points in their 343 minutes together last season. Valanciunas especially looks to be a real bright spot for the Raptors and could be in line for a breakout season after dominating in summer league. A full training camp for Rudy Gay should also prove big for the Raptors. He led the team in scoring after joining them in February, averaging 19.5 points to go along with 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists. The team will look for him to be even better, and far more efficient, in his first full season in Toronto. DeMar DeRozan is another player that could be in line for a breakout year. His offensive game is continuing to develop and he is also improving on the defensive end. The team has the offensive firepower to compete night-in, night-out and could actually be in the running for a lower seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. And more importantly their future growth is in good hands with Ujiri who is widely regarded as a terrific talent evaluator. The Not So Good Dwane Casey emphasizes defence in his coaching, but the team actually struggled to stop opponents last season. Raptors opponents scored 104.7 points per 100 possessions last year, ranking the Raptors 22nd in the league in that category. Their starting five project to be a pretty stout unit, but Valanciunas, Lowry and Johnson all tend to be foul prone and the defensive depth behind them isnt great. Theyll need their starters to stay out of trouble if they want to keep opponent scoring down. Kyle Lowry is also proving to be a fairly injury prone player which could be problematic given the lack of point guard depth behind him. Luckily heavoided a more significant finger injury to his non-shooting hand in a presseason game against Memphis but will still have to wear a splint on the finger for the first six weeks of the season. He has averaged 13.5 games on the sidelines over the last four years though and neither Dwight Buycks, nor DJ Augustin looks capable of handling starters minutes. Another potential stumbling block for the season (not necessarily the long-term though) is the fact that Lowry and Gay are both in the final year of their respective contracts. Ujiri may decide may decide he wants to buld elsewhere and look to move one or both players. Any such move would drop the players out of playoff contention and into the lottery. In the long run that may not actually be a bad thing as the 2014 prospect pool is loaded and the Raptors are probabyl targeting 2016 for when they truly want to compete. What To Expect As long as the Raptors dont blow things up and trade Lowry, Gay or any other starter for future assets, this will be a team that is in the hunt for the playoffs. They should be flirting with the .500 mark all season long and if they get there it should be enough for a low playoff seed in the top-heavy Eastern Conference. They would soundly thumped in the first round by any of the top teams most likely, but for a fan base dying to get back into the playoffs, that might be enough for now. Of course, if Ujiri does decide to do some wheeling and dealing, the team would fall out of the playoff hunt and into the hunt for a high pick next year. Either way, there is reason for optimism in Toronto. Cheap Air Max 270 Free Shipping . She was 30. The former British No. 1 died peacefully surrounded by family and friends, the Womens Tennis Association said on its website. The Kyiv-born Baltacha, who represented Britain at the 2012 London Olympics, was diagnosed with the illness in January, two months after retiring from tennis and only weeks after she married her long-time coach Nino Severino. Wholesale Air Max 270 China .com Tour title, closing with a 6-under 64 for a four-stroke victory. The 22-year-old former North Texas player finished at 12-under 268 at Panama Golf Club and earned $112,500 to jump from seventh to second on the money list with $171,500. http://www.discountairmax270.com/. Viewers in the Canadiens region can watch the game on TSN Habs at 7:30pm et/8:30pm at. Cheap Air Max 270 Wholesale . Ashton scored a hat trick -- giving him 13 goals in 16 AHL games this season -- to power the Toronto Marlies to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters in AHL action on Sunday. Air Max 270 Cheap Online . Right-hander Todd Redmond took the loss. Jose Bautista hit his second home run of the spring. Here are a handful of tidbits from around camp: Hutchison impressive The Blue Jays are being cautious when talking about their young arms but internally, excitement is building over the way Drew Hutchison is looking and performing this spring.DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors is headed to the NBA All-Star Game. DeRozan was named to the Eastern Conference reserves on Thursday but teammate Kyle Lowry was not named to the team. This is a breakout season for DeRozan, who becomes the Raptors first All-Star representative since Chris Bosh appeared in 2010. The ninth-overall pick out of USC in 2009, DeRozan is enjoying a career year, averaging 21.8 points per game, good for 11th in the NBA. DeRozan set a career high in point on January 22 of this year when he scored 40 in a win over the Dallas Mavericks.dddddddddddd DeRozan becomes the fourth Raptor to appear in an All-Star Game after Bosh (2006-2010,) Vince Carter (2000-2004) and Antonio Davis (2001). Kyle Lowry was not named to the team. In his second season with the Raptors, Lowry is averaging 16.8 points per game to go along with 7.6 assists, 1.6 steals and a .406 mark from beyond the arc. Lowry is a free agent at seasons end. The 2014 NBA All-Star Game will be held in New Orleans on February 16. Wholesale Hoodies NFL Shirts Outlet Jerseys NFL Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '


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