Toronto Raptors In Market For Chandler, Gasol, Nene

Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo stands after a news conference in Toronto, June 24, 2011. Raptors draft pick Jonas Valanciunas was introduced to the Toronto media on Friday.

Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo is apparently a player in the Tyson Chandler, Marc Gasol, and Nene sweepstakes at the moment. He doesn’t want to eventually sign all three of them though, just one. He is also reportedly serious in the fact that he thinks he might actually be able to lure one of these guys to Toronto too, and that most people won’t laugh out loud at him for thinking that way. 

This from an report yesterday:

Sources say Toronto is trying to be as aggressive as it can be in the big-man market in free agency and has informed the players involved that it intends to lodge serious bids for Nene, Chandler and restricted free agent Marc Gasol. In the unlikely event that releasing a player through amnesty could clinch the signing of one of those players, rest assured that the Raptors will go for it.

That beeping noise you hear is the Brinks truck[s] backing up to the Raptors facility.

This reminds me of that little brother swinging a clinched fist feverishly at his older, bigger, brother, while that proverbial Wayne from the Wonder Years simply strikes a Heisman pose with an open palm to the forehead of little Kevin.  

You respect the little brother’s enthusiasm and aggressiveness, but you know there is no way he ever connects on one of those punches.  Which is to say I see there being no way the Raptors sign one of these three guys either, but I do respect them for sort of trying.

Why would Chandler, Gasol, or Nene want to go sign in Toronto for any other reason than being offered Rashard Lewis money?  Tyson Chandler does want major dollars, which is why he is reportedly turning down a one year contract offer from Dallas, but does he really want to go from Mark Cuban’s organization to the team projected to be the worst one in the League this season?  Are they willing to give Marc Gasol the max, because that’s what it would take to get him there I think.  And as far as Nene goes, maybe I guess, but I still doubt it.

The last time the Raptors ventured out into free agency to make a major splash they ended up with Hedo.  That seemed like a big swing, right up until it became clear that Hedo had no intention of actually working out or playing hard while up in Toronto as a member of that organization.  Their hopes are currently pinned on Andrea Bargnani, who’d they try to go twin towers with alongside one of these FA’s, DeMar DeRozan, and the young Jonas Valanciunas. If they landed one of these three bigs they would be markedly better, I just don’t think they will.  Can’t blame a team for trying though.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.