1995-96 - Raptors History
After Armstrong and Kersey declined to report to Toronto, expansion draft has left us with 3 centers, 3 power forwards and just one wing - Willie Anderson.
We traded B.J. Armstrong to Golden State for another power forward, Carlos Rogers and 4 contracts to make the salaries match. We were unable to trade Kersey and he was let go, only to join Armstrong in Golden State. So essentially we traded Armstrong, Kersey and agreed to pay salaries to Victor Alexander, Martin Lewis, Michael McDonald and Dwayne Whitfield in order to get Carlos Rogers who failed to establish him self as part of our regular rotation.
That first season, our destiny was closely related with Vancouver. With Armstrong declining to report to Toronto, everyone felt we should have drafted Greg Anthony. If that was the case, we never would have drafted Stoudamire with 7th pick. Also, if Vancouver did not pick Anthony in the expansion draft or if he declined to report to Vancouver, Grizzlies would have picked Stoudamire with the 6th pick and we would have ended up with Reeves. So we were lucky to be in a position to draft Stoudamire. Since we had no point guards on the team, it was no-brainier to pick him. With our second round selection we have drafted another guard in Jimmy King.
Thomas convinced Alvin Robertson to come out of (2 year) retirement and sign for the Raptors.
At the end of the preseason it was getting obvious that Rogers can not play at small forward and we were forced to sign Tracy Murray.
At the beginning of the season our team looked something like this:
C. Miller - Tabak - Earl
F. Massenburg - Pinckney, Salley, Rogers
F. Anderson - Murray
G. Robertson - Murray
G. Stoudamire - King
I have never seen a team playing 4 guys in a rotation at point guard, off guard and small forward, but that is what the Raptors did playing heavy minutes with Stoudamire, Robertson, Murray and Anderson and literally running them to the ground. They tried to extend this rotation with Rogers playing the small forward or King playing guard, but it did not work.
C rotation was simple. Miller was the starter and Tabak was his back up.
PF rotation was very confusing. With Massenburg being injured early, Pinckney and Salley shared the minutes but when Massenburg returned from injury Salley was cut. Threw out the season they were trying to find minuted at PF for Rogers but it did not work out.
We traded Anderson and Alexander (who was not on the team) to New York for Doug Christie who soon cemented his place in the starting lineup.
We traded Massenburg and Pinckney to Philadelphia for Sharone Wright who retired after 78 games for the Raptors.
HIGH OF THE SEASON
From Nov. 17 to Dec. 1 we wan 5 out of 8 games and at the time were 6-10 which was a fantastic start of the season.
RIVALRY WITH VANCOUVER
A 93-81, Stoudamire 24pts, 8ast, 7rbs.
H 101-106 OT, Stoudamire 22pts, 12ast, 6rbs.
RIVALRY WITH GOLDEN STATE
H 101-98, Anderson 26pts - Armstrong 8pts. Kersey 8pts, 8rbs.
A 111-114, Stoudamire 25pts, 11ast - Armstrong 17pts, 11ast. Kersey 8pts.