BC supporters/apologists give him credit for a lot of things that people in his line of work don't deserve.
Fixing his mistakes: Yes, it was nice that BC was able to flip Jermaine O'Neal and Hedo Turkoglu so relatively quickly after they bombed in Toronto but the blame for them being there in the first place falls directly at the feet of Colangelo too. The franchise certainly didn't come out ahead in any of these proceedings, nor did they endure any type of success because of them. They gave up a bunch of assets to acquire O'Neal, and then had to strap another first round pick to him just to get Miami to take him off their hands only a few months later. Turkoglu returned a 1.5 year rental of Barbosa for a bottom feeding team and eventually a second round draft pick in the 50's when LB was traded. The "biggest free agent acquisition in Raptors history" equalled the 57th pick overall or whatever when it was all said and done. In the end, they were large net losses for the team. When you describe an executives greatest strength as "fixing his own mistakes", then you're essentially just saying that they're good at taking one step forward and two steps back, which isn't a compliment at all.
Drafting Well: He's had a pick in the top 9 (including a #1) in four of the six drafts he's led in Toronto (which is really just a function of how bad the team has been since he got here and not any sort of accomplishment, but I digress) and has done a satisfactory job of finding NBA rotation players with those picks. He's avoided picking that mega bust of a player but hasn't found any all stars either. All in all, I'd say he's done an adequate job, nothing more or less. When you get a pick in the top ten you are expected to find a player who will crack your rotation... no need to fall over ourselves patting him on the back for basically just doing his job.
Good intentions: Colangelo is in the business of winning basketball games and he's done a miserable job of it. Obviously BC didn't see the Turkoglu/JO disasters coming but that doesn't remove him from responsibility either. No GM is going to willingly harm their team so the concept of giving him credit for good intentions is silly. They all have good intentions!
He's lacked organizational foresight during his entire time in Toronto and it goes beyond these two glaring mistakes.....
He was seemingly the only man in basketball who didn't realize that Bosh was leaving and let him walk for essentially nothing. He has constantly overhauled his roster while never really going anywhere different. He created a 'point guard controversy' with his roster tinkering that enveloped 5 different players over six years and always seemed to be a detriment to the club. He signed Fields to a $20 million dollar offer sheet to kneecap the Knicks chances of getting Nash... and then watched Nash end up in LA while Fields has eclipsed 10 points ONCE this season. He has preached the need to do a "proper rebuild" out of one side of his mouth since Bosh left while trading away lottery picks and going all in on Nash out of the other.
Even the Gay trade, which seems like a homerun in a vacuum, caps a 9 month span where Colangelo has A) used the #8 overall pick on a wing player (Ross) b) signed another wing (Fields) to a $20 million contract c) extended another wing (DD) for a $40 million dollar deal and d) used two of the team's biggest trade assets to acquire another wing (Gay) making $50+ million over the next two and a half years.
Where's the foresight and vision in any of that? He just makes it up as he goes along and then spins the media narrative in a direction that suits him at the time.
As it stands now, the team is going to fall short of the playoffs for the fifth straight season, will have no first round pick this summer and will be at the brink of the luxury tax for the two seasons after this. The Bargnani problem still hasn't been solved, and no, I don't think that turning him into one of the league's highest paid bench performers can be considered a successful solution. If it is, I'd bring up the whole "foresight" thing again and wonder how they're finally getting to that point now after almost seven seasons and a $50 million extension have been squandered on AB.
7 years is an ETERNITY in Colangelo's line of work for someone who has had such little success and so many notable failures. It's really time to move on.
I am actually the reverse. I would have backed him until the Gay trade. Now I am against him. I liked the path the team was on. I think the Gay trade was a bad basketball decision, done to endear himself to fans and distant observers like his overlords. It worked: in my mind at the team's expense.
To the original post, my vote is a distinct 'no'.
The Lowry and Gay acquisitions are nice, and the Jonas and Ross picks have potential to be great (although they haven't proven a damn thing yet), but that doesn't make up for the past 7 years of shit stains.
Losing Bosh for nothing, the Kapono signing, the JO trade, the Turkoglu signing, the Bargnani, Calderon and DeRozan extensions all stand out as proof that Colangelo changes his "plan" from one day to the next, losing sight of the big picture. He's not the man I trust to raise this franchise to a 50-win team. I don't think he has the slightest clue on how to build a balanced roster.
Regardless of how he handles the Bargnani situation, Colangelo doesn't deserve to be here next year.
I think you raise fair points - except Gay makes $17.9M and $19.3M over the next 2 seasons not over $50M.
I am certainly not a BC supporter anymore nor do I feel like I am an apologist. There are reasons for suggesting his third year options should be picked up and that has to do with the current state of the franchise.
Roster commitments: the Raptors are currently on the hook for $74M next year, $61M in 2014-15, and $18M in 2015-16. If this blows up in Colangelo's face (Lowry leaves for nothing, Gay leaves for nothing, DD proves not to be worth the extension, JV becomes less than a legit starter, Ross becomes a flash in the pan, etc.) we are going to know fairly soon.
Flexibility for the next GM: The next guy coming in likely has a lottery pick in 2014 (should the worst happen) and then likely a very high lottery pick in 2015 plus a tonne of cap space.
Promising results in a short time frame: Gay has brought an excitement and presence on the court long missing. People will point out the short time frame - and I agree. However when you look at the 3-2 record and 4 opponents were playoff teams with all games being competitive, things do look much more promising than the 1-17/18 the Raps were vs. playoff teams. Talent is a wonderful thing.
Wings: You know, I was in agreement on this line of thinking (that the Raptors have grossly overpaid for wings and used a tonne of assets to acquire wings). However, of late some new thoughts have popped in to my head. Think back to the last few seasons of the wings that have littered the roster: Kleiza, Forbes, James Johnson, Anderson, Butler, an inexperienced DeRozan, DuPree, Trey Johnson, Sonny Weems, Julian Wright, Bellinelli, Antoine Wright, Turkoglu, Kapono, Moon, Parker, Graham, Marion. Some of those players are decent but overall that is a horrible collection of wings. I think the extension to DeRozan was premature and possibly excessive but there is no doubt DeRozan, Gay, Ross, Fields, and Anderson is certainly better than any collection of wing talent in Toronto since Wince left. (Fields was overpaid but I think/hope/pray a summer rehabbing and regaining his previous shooting stroke will take him back to the promise he showed in New York while also bringing the intangibles he is known for cuts, rebounds, passing, defense; Kleiza was left out purposely: amnesty).
What happens if this is actually a successful team in the making?: Colangelo has certainly messed up.... like for years. But should he be punished for years of failure when it appears some good things are coming down the pipeline? (honestly I don't know the answer of this but I would lean towards no). Gay is not JO or Hedo. Both guys were leaving or left their primes when brought to Toronto. Gay is entering his prime. JV is going to be very good at minimum. I think the game Lowry played yesterday is much closer to his 'normal' than he has been of late. A backup PG, another PF, improvement/development of JV/TR, and better coaching decisions appear to be the final pieces to making this a very competitive team.
Anyways, the third year option gives Colangelo enough rope to hang himself should things not work out and enough time to rightfully enjoy the fruits of his labor should things work out.
The Raps traded a 3rd string PF, a 31 year old backup PG on an expiring contract and a 2nd round pick in a weak draft, for the 2nd best player this team has ever had (behind only Carter in his prime). That deal was an absolute steal for the Raps!
This team needs an upgrade at backup C, and possibly upgrades at backup C and starting PF (would likely cost DeRozan).
This team has a solid young core to build from.
C: Valanciunas (20)
PF: Johnson (25), Bargnani (27), Acy (22)
SF: Gay (26), Fields (24)
SG: DeRozan (23), Ross (22)
PG: Lowry (26)
I would be find having Bargnani & DeRozan stick around long-term, or I would be fine seeing one/both of them traded to address the weaknesses mentioned above (a 4th wing would obviously need to be added to the list if DeRozan were traded).
Eh, I still feel like Gray is a very capable back-up, especially the way he played recently with JV out. My opinion is, IF Bargnani is gone, the assets we need receiving would be a power forward (If Bargnani gone), and a back-up point guard. Although, if anything, an upgrade to the back-up Centre would be welcomed.