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Colangelo says Raptors deal adds to team's core

Posted Nov 21 2010 2:14PM

TORONTO(AP) -- The Toronto Raptors are putting Chris Bosh behind them and looking toward the future.

A day after swinging a five-player deal with the New Orleans Hornets, Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo says he added to his team's young core and increased his financial flexibility.

Toronto swapped guards Jarrett Jack and Marcus Banks and center David Anderson for guard Jerryd Bayless and swingman Peja Stojakovic.

The Raptors lost their lone All-Star when Bosh signed with the Miami Heat last summer and are off to a 4-9 start this season. Now in his fourth season in charge, Colangelo is looking forward as he attempts to steer Toronto back into the playoffs.

"It's pretty obvious this trade was made with the future in mind," Colangelo said Sunday. "If the last four years were building around Chris Bosh, then next four years are about building without Chris Bosh. This is a step in that direction.

Stojakovic's contract expires after this season, and Colangelo said he has close to $25 million in expiring contracts. He also has more than $12 million left on a trade exception that was part of Bosh's sign-and-trade deal with the Heat.

With the NBA's financial landscape expected to change as the league prepares for labor talks with the players, Colangelo feels good about his balance sheet.

"We've got a chance to be nimble here with respect to what the new rules look like," he said.

Along with Bayless, 23, Toronto has four other core players all under the age of 25, Guard DeMar DeRozan, 21 was the team's first-round pick last year, forward Ed Davis, 21 was a first-round pick this year, forward Amir Johnson, 23, signed a five-year contract this summer and guard Sonny Weems, 24 is the team's second-leading scorer.

"Whether or not we win games is really not the true issue right now, it's how much we're growing as an organization, how much these young kids are coming along," Colangelo said.

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