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Posted: Mar 16, 2012 2:51:09 am
tibby



With all the excitement of the wheeling and dealing of the NBA Draft and the number of big trades in the league for stars like Shaquille ONeal and Vince Carter, the July 1 NBA Free Agent Period kicking of will be loaded with drama and more moves. Corey Perry Jersey . With the global economic downturn effecting every aspect of our society the basketball world has taken on a new look in the past year. Many teams have economic challenges and you have many sellers and only some buyers. The Toronto Raptors have some financial wiggle room and undoubtedly President & GM Bryan Colangelo will be working the phones feverishly to improve his clubs chances of getting back to the playoffs. With the Toronto Raptors trading for Reggie Evans and the drafting of youngster, DeMar DeRozan out of USC, I feel the Raptors have made two solid steps in the right direction changing the look and more importantly, the culture of the organization for the 2009-10 NBA Season.  Here are four issues for the Raps to deal with come July 1st.          1. CHRIS BOSH: A year from now, CB4 will opt-out of his deal and be an unrestricted free agent. The Raptors can offer him an extra year and higher percentage raises than anyone on the market or cut a sign-and-trade deal with him at that time if he wants to move on. He could potentially walk with no return compensation but the Raptors will have greater cap flexibilty at that time to jump into the fray duiring what promises to be a crazy summer next year.  The decision the Raptors have to make or table right now is what to do about Bosh. Let it ride and hope the improvesents you make will be good enough to make you an Eastern Conference contender this season will convince him to stay, trade him now or at trade deadline or deal with it all next July 1. Ultimately, Colangelo and his staff have to determine what CB4 is TRULY WORTH in terms of his value as a player and how much of an IMPACT he makes on WINNING and his LEADERSHIP qualities.                          2. POINT GUARD SITUATION: Is the backup PG scenario good enough? I love Jose Calderon (when healthy) playing approximately 36 minutes a night, but do you feel comfortable enough with Roko Ukic and Marcus Banks to fill in the blanks and more importantly can they play MAJOR minutes if Jose gets banged up again this year? Whats the story with Quincy Douby--a combo guard? Lots of consideration has to occur here.                      3. WING POSITIONS: As mentioned earlier, I like the DeRozan selection but lets be very patient here. Hell have his fine moments but hell also struggle at times. Get him out there each night and let him grow yet lets be realistic and bring him along at a slow and steady pace. Manage hype and expectations firmly.  The other 3 spots you need guys who will be IMPACT players and be an upgrade over what we saw for 82 games this past season.  a. Shawn Marion - If the term and money are right--worth considering bringing back but only if it works both short and long term.b. Carlos DelFino - Liked him when he played for the 41-41 Raptors 2 years ago. Hes a decent defender, pretty tough and a capable offensive player both shooting-wise and slashing to the hoop. At the right term and money, hes worth bringing back.        c. Anthony Parker & Joey Graham - Would be surprised that Graham will be back and I love Parker but therell be lots of interest in him from other teams as well as overseas. Has to be the right deal and role (reserve). Might need to look to make a splash with the 4th wing spot if you keep Marion and bring back Delfino. These two spots last year were simply not productive or consistent enough if the Raptors plan on getting back to the playoffs.                                    4. CULTURE: The look ,vibe and grit/toughness of this team has to improve. I think the steps being taken so far reflect that emphasis. That must continue to get this team to be more competitive and deal with the ups and downs of a long season. You need determined, competitive, resilient and gritty guys to win in this league on a consistent basis. The road from 33 wins to a playoff spot and more importantly contending on a larger scale in the improved Eastern Conference is not an easy task. You gotta have tough/talented dudes.        The countdown is on and from July 1st on it promises to be a thrill a minute! Ryane Clowe Premier Jersey . The Rays will have their work cut out for them tonight, though, as they face left-hander Cliff Lee, who silenced Tampas bats in Game 1. Lee gave up a run and five hits in seven innings last Wednesday and struck out 10 in his teams 5-1 triumph. "This is why we got him, for this type of game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. Michael Turner Jersey . Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford, the new co-ordinator of the Bowl Championship Series, said Monday he intends to lead a "thorough" evaluation of the plus-one format. Josh Freeman Jersey . PAUL, Minn. - The present and past combined for the Minnesota Wilds first complete game of the season. Boston Celtics Jersey . Whitney sest faufilé parmi la circulation lourde le long de la rampe sur laile gauche avec la rondelle, avant de la refiler à Matt Cullen derrière le but des Rangers. Cullen lui a redonné le disque alors quil se trouvait devant le filet. Son tir du revers a déjoué Henrik Lundqvist et procuré aux Hurricanes seulement leur troisième victoire sur les patinoires adverses, mais leur deuxième consécutive. Authentic LeGarrette Blount Jersey . She posted a six-under 65 on Friday to cruise to the lead midway through the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. "It was probably one of the hardest rounds that Ive had," acknowledged Creamer.(Sports Network) - Two rookie standouts from 2009 meet early in their sophomore seasons tonight when the Toronto Blue Jays visit the Tampa Bay Rays for the middle contest of a three-game series at Tropicana Field. Lefty Ricky Romero was 13-9 in 29 first-year starts for Toronto last season, splitting a pair of starts against the Rays while allowing 11 hits and four runs in 14 innings with 13 strikeouts. Hes gone seven or more innings in all three starts so far in 2010, allowing a combined 11 hits in 23 innings while picking up a no-decision, a win against the Chicago White Sox and a loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The sixth overall pick in the 2005 draft, Romero allowed a .284 batting average to opponents in 178 innings last season, but has dropped that clip to .143 in his initial three starts in April. Romero has struck out 22 batters and walked six. For the Rays, 6-foot-9 righty Jeff Niemann also starts for the fourth time in 2010. The fourth overall pick in 2004, Niemann initially reached the majors with five appearances and a 2-2 record for the Rays in 2008, then made 31 appearances last season while emerging as a reliable starter with a 13-6 record and 3.94 earned run average. Hes 2-1 in three lifetime starts against Toronto, allowing 211 hits and 12 runs in 20 1/3 innings. Authentic Ray Lewis Jersey. Through three starts this season, Niemann has pitched 15 1/3 innings while surrendering 13 hits and five runs. The Blue Jays were rude visitors in winning Fridays opener, when Jose Bautista registered three doubles and an RBI in a 6-5 win. Vernon Wells added two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who have won three of four. Alex Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs driven in and Aaron Hill blasted a solo homer in his first game back from the disabled list. Brett Cecil (1-0) made his 2010 debut in place of the injured Brian Tallet and allowed four runs on six hits and a walk in 6 2/3 frames. Cecil struck out eight in the victory, while Kevin Gregg collected his fifth save of the season. Gabe Kapler hit a two-run homer, while Willy Aybar added a solo shot for the Rays, who were coming off a franchise-best 9-1 road trip. Matt Garza (3-1), who came into the game with an AL-best 0.75 earned run average, yielded five runs, eight hits and four walks in five frames. He was seeking to become the first Rays starter in history to win each of his first four starts. Tampa Bay was an impressive 14-4 last season versus the Jays.  ' ' '

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