Toronto Raptors

Bosh averaged 8.9 boards during his second season.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images
2005 DRAFT SELECTIONS
No. 7, No. 16 (from Phi. via Den. and N.J.), No. 38 (may be conveyed to Orl.) and possibly No. 42 (from LA Clippers via Orl.), No. 58 (from Mia.)
CURRENT FREE AGENTS
Matt Bonner (restricted)
Omar Cook (unrestricted)
Donyell Marshall (unrestricted)
Milt Palacio (unrestricted)
Jalen Rose (player has right to terminate contract)
Pape Sow (restricted)
Aaron Williams (player has right to terminate contract)
RECENT DRAFT SELECTIONS
2004: 8. Rafael Araujo, BYU
39. Albert Miralles, Italy
2003: 4. Chris Bosh, Ga. Tech
52. Remon Van de Hare, Spain
2002: 20. Kareem Rush, Missouri
2001: 17. Michael Bradley, Villanova
By Bill Evans

When the 2004-05 season began: The coaching reins had been handed to Sam Mitchell from Kevin OíNeill after a 33-49 season. The GM duties had been given to Rob Babcock, and Vince Carter had his pouty face on for the entire offseason.

What happened? Sam Mitchell, the coach, became frustrated that he didnít have a lockerroom full of guys like Sam Mitchell, the player. Sure a team of Mitchellís wouldnít have scored a ton, but they would have hustled, had each otherís backs and the locker room banter would have been legendary. But we digress.

Mitchell spent his first season as head coach clashing with point guard Rafer Alston, trying to motivate Carter, his disgruntled star, and trying to get some production from rookie center Rafael Araujo, who averaged only 3.3 points a contest. The end result was another 33-win campaign.

The fed-up Raptors finally filed divorce papers with Carter on Dec. 17, sending him to New Jersey. Carterís increased production in every statistical category after the trade certainly indicates his mood may have affected his play and made him a detriment to the teamís growth. The 4-15 record in the 19 games immediately before the trade seems to back that up.

The Raps acquired two future No. 1 picks and three players, including Alonzo Mourning, who agreed to a buyout rather than report to Toronto.

Morris Peterson, Jalen Rose, Alston and imposing Chris Bosh provide a formidable foursome, but the lack of prowess at center and the teamís lack of depth (beyond sixth man Donyell Marshall) was evident.

What now? The Raptors will have picks No. 7 and No. 16 in the first round, the latter pick acquired in the Carter deal. Unfortunately, the Raptors find themselves where they were a year ago, in need of a center. Araujo and Loren Woods were never underlined on opposing scouting reports.

There are many other needs; Bosh is their only bona fide star. Marshall is an unrestricted free agent, Alstonís first year in Toronto was anything but smooth and Alvin Williams missed the entire season with a knee injury, so the backcourt and the wing could also use some attention.