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08.12.2018 12:48
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TORONTO - After 10 days of anticipation -- and fear that, because this is the Raptors, something could and likely would inevitably go wrong -- the news Toronto fans had been not-so-patiently waiting for was finally made official Wednesday. Andrea Bargnani is no longer a Raptor. For the organization, its exasperated fan base and the former first-overall pick himself, this new beginning has been a long time coming. For Masai Ujiri, the franchises fifth and newest general manager, this was the first order of business. A move that once seemed impossible was one the Raptors prized executive knew he had to make a reality before he can truly begin to put his fingerprints on this roster. "He always had spurts where he showed brilliance and showed a complete game and then sometimes he struggled," Ujiri said of Bargnani, succinctly summing up what Raptors fans have come to realize after seven years of watching the seven-foot enigma. "I felt it just came a point in time where both sides [needed to] move on and start all over again." In exchange for Bargnani, who will get his long awaited fresh start with the Knicks, Toronto receives sharpshooting forward Steve Novak, veteran centre Marcus Camby and guard-forward Quentin Richardson -- both of whom may never play for the team -- in addition to a first-round pick in 2016 and two second-round selections; one in 2014, the other in 2017. For a plethora of reasons, Bargnani had fallen out of favour in Toronto. Four of his seven seasons with the Raptors ended prematurely due to injury, including each of the last three. In each of the previous two campaigns he missed more games than he played. Naturally his durability, conditioning and toughness have all been questioned while his defence and rebounding have remained well below what is expected from a seven-footer being paid over $10 million annually. His three-point shooting, once seen as and perhaps still believed to be his strength, has been on the decline over the past four years. He may succeed in New York. He may not. For all of his skill and upside, which is still applicable even at the age of 27, this was a no-brainer for Ujiri. As a result, the return for Bargnani -- while greater than most expected -- doesnt necessarily indicate whats next for Ujiri and the Raptors. "Were beginning to kind of see a little bit and thats based on gathering as much information as you can, talking to teams and all that staff," said Ujiri, who continues to play his cards close to the vest. "So you get to paint the picture a little bit in your head but I dont think thats something I can discuss at this time." Once again Ujiri preached patience, a strategy that worked quite well for him in Denver. The Atlantic Division picture has been painted pretty clearly. New York and Brooklyn are swinging for the fences while the Celtics and 76ers have gone all in on what they hope will be speedy rebuilds. Then there are the Raptors, smack dab in the middle. Without a definitive path and without the urgency to declare one. If youre looking for Ujiri to commit to a direction -- one way or the other -- you may be out of luck, at least for now. Rushing into anything is just not his style. "Im looking at this situation and were going to take it as it comes and see what comes our way," the Raptors GM stated. "Were going to be aggressive out there but were also going to see what we have on our team instead of doing something stupid. If something reasonable comes our way and we feel that its something thats going to help the Toronto Raptors than well do it but other than [that] this is our team and well keep plugging away." "We have to continue studying the team and studying whats out there," he continued. "What are we going to do, throw players away? Were not going to do that. I think winning is what you want to build around." That is not good news for those pushing for a complete tear down, otherwise known as a "tank job." If Ujiri has a direction in mind hes keeping it to himself, but the reigning executive of the year does appear to be comfortable keeping his options open, rolling with the punches and allowing the market to dictate the optimal course of action. Asked if he would be content heading into the regular season with this roster, as its currently constructed, Ujiri indicated he would be "completely fine with that." Ujiri made a name for himself with the Nuggets, where he built a winner on the fly, reading and taking advantage of trends in the market, making the most of the assets he had at his disposal. If its not broke, dont fix it. Expect him to deploy a similar tactic in Toronto. "For me, patience is the key. I think we all have to be patient. We have a good window for a couple years here and I think sometimes you cant just react and try to do things just to do them." Wholesale NHL Jerseys Authentic . In Europe, top teams seem to be largely happy with their squads after spending nearly $1 billion in the off-season. And although English league clubs are unlikely to splash cash in January, Arsenal and Chelsea could be tempted to strengthen their squads with new strikers. Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys . He just needed to be his best twisting, turning acrobatic self. "I didnt need to be anybody else, I just needed to be myself and be aggressive," said Burks, who scored a career-high 34 points to spark the Utah Jazz to a 118-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. . Instead of dwelling on the negative, Oates focused on what was good about the clubs recent play. It worked. Cheap NHL Jerseys China .ca NHL Power Rankings for the second straight week, ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. Adidas NHL Jerseys Wholesale . Fred Couples, captain of the U.S. side, put it all into perspective. "We know whos in charge," he said. BALTIMORE -- The resurgent Colorado Rockies will look to take the three-game series with the first-place Baltimore Orioles in the finale on Wednesday.After dropping the opener on a throwing error by right-hander Jordan Lyles in the 10th inning, the Rockies bounced back with a solid 6-3 victory on Tuesday night at Camden Yards. Colorado has won five of its past six games and is playing with confidence.I think weve come out of the break pretty well, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. Ive been telling the club all year that were going to get better and better as the year goes on.That had not been our history over the past few years. Weve kind of faded the deeper we got into the season. I feel like this is a different group and were built to sustain success better than we have over the past few years.Baltimore is also playing well, but its five-game winning streak ended Tuesday. The Orioles have the best home record in the major leagues at 37-15, and will look to quickly put the latest setback behind them.Right-hander Dylan Bundy (3-2, 3.30 ERA) is trying to make his case to remain in the rotation for the rest of the season. In his last start, Bundy picked up his first major league win as a starter in the Orioles 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Bundy went five innings and threw 87 pitches, which were both career highs.Its great to give the team five innings and go out there and give the team a chance to win, Bundy said. Thats the starters goal in the game is to give the team a chance to win.ddddddddddddBundy was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft but underwent Tommy John surgery two years later. Orioles manager Buck Showalter is confident that Bundy could remain a starter for the rest of the season, as opposed to working out of the bullpen, without jeopardizing his health.Ive talked to a lot of people about it medically, trainers and pitching coaches, and everyones in agreement, Showalter said. All this stuff about increment jumps and all that, its very convenient to say all those things, but theres nothing to back it up. Its all individual.The Rockies will counter with 24-year-old right-hander Jon Gray (6-4, 4.12 ERA). In his last start, Gray was dominant and allowed just one run and struck out eight in seven innings in a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves. He leads the team with 12 quality starts.On Monday, the Rockies promoted top outfield prospect David Dahl and he started the past two games in left field. He has gone 2-for-8.The influx of young talent, along with several talented veterans, has provided Weiss with a wide array of choices with his lineup.I do like the mix, Weiss said. Ideally, there has to be a mix. You cant be exclusively young or exclusively old. Youre in trouble either way. I like the combination of youth and veterans that we have. cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '

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