David Aldridge's offseason rankings have long been a favourite of ours here at the HQ. When the dead-slow days of summer hit (and we don't usually have Blue Jays baseball to look forward to), DA brings content worth talking about.
THE SKINNY: After a season in which their team's defense inexplicably cratered, the Raptors invested heavily in re-fortification, bringing Carroll's 3-and-D from Atlanta to replace the ineffective Terrence Ross. They spent a little less to get Biyombo from Charlotte, but he should make it a little harder to score against Toronto in the paint. Wright was a defensive pest at the University of Utah and has NBA pedigree; his older brother, Dorell is still out there as a free agent. (Hmmm...) Still, the Raps need a bounce back season from Kyle Lowry after injuries slowed him noticeably last season, and they have to decide once and for all on center Jonas Valanciunas. They've waited four years for him, with no real sign that he's going to become a consistent dominant force at either end. It's getting close to now or never, and it's okay if the answer is never -- but Toronto would have to move on after this season if that's the case.
In addition to the overall outlook, he identified Raptors905 coach Jesse Mermuys as the key man for the Raptors this season. It's hard to argue with that given how important a season this could end up being for the Raptors as an organization. With Bruno, Bebe, and the horde of partially guaranteed contracts Masai Ujiri has handed out, using the D-League as a de facto farm system is likely the trend of the future, and it's good to see the Raptors getting ahead of the competition in that regard.
Regardless, Bruno remains one of the big wildcards for the Raps in the next few years. That alone makes Mermuys' job have extra high stakes.
So on that note, road-trips to Mississauga and Square One and Port Credit anyone?