Toronto Raptors: The Strange Legacy Of Bryan Colangelo

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Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Landry Fields (2) is helped up by guard DeMar DeRozan (10) and center Jonas Valanciunas (17) and forward Patrick Patterson (54) against the Golden State Warriors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Warriors 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Normally at this time of year, Bryan Colangelo would be keeping himself relevant by making headline-grabbing moves as general manager of the Toronto Raptors.

From controversial draft selections to offseason acquisitions to shake-ups at the deadline, you could always count on Colangelo to swing for the fences in an effort to improve his roster.

In February 2006, Colangelo arrived from Phoenix with both the pedigree of his family name and an NBA Executive of the Year award. His mandate was to turnaround a franchise that had been struggling mightily since the trade of Vince Carter early in the 2004-05 season.

Colangelo set to work immediately and by the start of the 2006-07 campaign he had completely overhauled the Raptors, save for Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon and Morris Peterson. Those were certainly good times for both Colangelo and his team. The Raptors tied their franchise-high with 47 wins and placed atop the Atlantic Division, while Colangelo was again named NBA Executive of the Year.

The Raptors never reached those heights again under Colangelo’s watch, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying on his part–or so it appeared.

Colangelo had been very quiet since he was removed as president and general manager in May, until late last week when he found his way back onto the front page of the sports section.

Appearing at a conference, Colangelo admitted that he tried to tank during the 2011-12 season. That plan, however, failed in many respects as the Raptors finished 23-43, placed 23rd overall and, after losing a coin toss, ended up with the eighth pick in the draft.

With that said, here is a look in both pictures and words at some of the attempts made by Colangelo to build contenders (and apparently prentenders) during his six-plus years in Toronto.

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