All the vacancies are just about filled and the chess pieces seem in place. This is the time of year when coaches and general managers are fine-tuning plans for the season. This lockout has slowed things down to a crawl.
Never would a team go this long without filling important positions like, say, head coach or general manager. Minnesota filled its coaching vacancy with Rick Adelman last week and will introduce him at some point next week.
The last job remaining for the league’s teams to fill appears to be Toronto’s general manager position. All the chess pieces for the 2011-12 season seem to be falling into some sort of place. What place that is might be anybody’s guess.
Raptors president Bryan Colangelo said Toronto has completed interviews with four candidates for a high-level executive job. Not quite sure what that high-level executive job might be, but ostensibly it is going to be the person taking over for Colangelo sometime in the near or far future. Toronto interviewed Philadelphia general manager Ed Stefanski, San Antonio assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey, Indiana pro personnel director Kevin Pritchard and former New Orleans general manager Jeffrey Bower for the vacant position.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports Lindsey might hold an edge for the position. He is also being considered for Portland’s vacant general manager position. So, yes, there are other vacant positions remaining as the date the season is supposed to start comes hurdling toward us. Toronto has no timetable for making a decision. And I am still not quite sure what this hire is actually going to do — rumors have had Colangelo on his way out for some time now.
Either way, he is taking over something of a mess in Toronto.
Chris Bosh’s departure left Toronto with no star and little in the way of marketable talent. Predictably, the team struggled going 22-60. Their former number one overall pick, Andrea Bargnani, blossomed into a gifted scorer but does not really do much more. His single digit total rebounding rate is just plain embarassing. The Hedo Turkoglu signing turned into a complete fiasco for the Raptors (that they luckily got out of).
The Raptors have some good young players though. They like DeMar DeRozan a lot and Jose Calderon still is a decent point guard. Jonas Valanciunas, whenever he comes to the United States, was a great lottery pick for a team in desperate need for some size. But there is no guarantee he is heading to the States… or Canada this year (if this year occurs).
A murky future for Toronto it seems. Whoever gets this job will have his work cut out for him replacing Colangelo… or doing whatever he is going to be doing.
Photo via DayLife.com.