Tickets to the Miami Heat Vs. Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors Vs.
Miami Heat Air Canada Centre
Did You Know?
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are currently the only National Basketball Association (NBA) club based in Canada and outside of the United States. The team is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
At present, the Toronto Raptors have an excellent, but success-starved fan base. Despite having only won one playoff series in franchise history, the Raptors continue to draw attendances in the top half of the NBA. The team is known to have one of the largest and most passionate fan bases in the NBA, this is in part of the high popularity of basketball in Canada, in which is famous for ice hockey fandom. The Raptors have struggled especially after the trading away of Vince Carter, in which the team received relatively little in return. In an attempt to change this, the Raptors fired General Manager Rob Babcock and replaced him with interim GM Wayne Embry on January 26, 2006; on February 27, 2006, the team named former Phoenix Suns President and GM Bryan Colangelo, the 2005 NBA Executive of the Year, the President and General Manager of the Raptors. Known for his success in revamping a lottery Phoenix team into a 62-win offensive juggernaut, his hiring gave hope to many fans, leading to record season ticket renewal rates (91%).
The beginning of the new era began with Toronto jumping 5 places in the NBA Draft Lottery to win the 1st overall pick. In preparation for their eventual draft choice, the Raptors traded their 2004, 8th pick Rafael Araujo to the Utah Jazz for their 2004 14th pick Kris Humphries and Robert Whaley on Thursday, June 8, 2006. On Wednesday, June 21, 2006 the Toronto Raptors traded Matt Bonner, Eric Williams and a second round pick in the 2009 NBA Draft to the San Antonio Spurs for Rasho Nesterovic and cash considerations.
They utilised their 1st overall pick on June 28, 2006 to select Italian prodigy Andrea Bargnani, making him the first European drafted number one overall. This followed the hiring of Benetton Treviso general manager and European executive guru Maurizio Gherardini as the club’s vice president of basketball operations and assistant general manager on June 22, 2006, making him the first European elevated to an NBA executive job. Colangelo swiftly moved to round up the roster, controversially trading 2006 NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up Charlie Villanueva to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for TJ Ford and cash considerations on June 30, 2006, giving the Raptors the true point guard the franchise required to help steer the new-look Toronto team forward. Chris Bosh, a budding star center/power forward, was recognized as the face of the Raptors and franchise player with a three year extension worth approximately $60 million (USD), with a player option for a fourth year.
Colangelo continued to surround All-Star Bosh with complimentary players. On July 13, the Toronto Raptors signed the underated, 2-time consecutive Euroleague MVP Guard/Forward Anthony Parker from Maccabi Tel Aviv - dubbed Jordan-europe - as the much needed shooting guard ala Kobe or Carter, if not statistically, equal in a sense of team success. They later picked up John Salmons via sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, for a second-round pick in 2007 and a $2 million US trade exception. However, Salmons backed out of the contract and did not join the Raptors. He was basically replaced by the twing signings of free-agent forward Jorge Garbajosa on July 24, and free-agent guard Fred Jones on July 26. Garbajosa, signed to a multi-year contract, has much experience playing with Raptors guard Jose Calderon, as they have played on the Spanish national team together. Jones, signed to a three-year deal worth $11 million, had spent the first four years of his career with the Indiana Pacers and is best known for his victory at the 2004 slam dunk contest, where he de-throned two time defending champion Jason Richardson of the Golden State Warriors.
Team sources have confirmed to the Toronto Star that the Raptors will be changing their colour scheme and uniforms for the 2006-07 season, downplaying the original dinosaur logo and purple elements of the team jerseys in favour of the newer "paw-print" logo and the colour red. This is likely the next step in the recent campaign to promote the Raptors as "Canada's team" - an ongoing effort on the part of the organization since the departure of the Vancouver Grizzlies to Memphis in 2002, and which has included the introduction of a red alternate jersey with the maple leaf prominently featured, the dropping of "Toronto" from the team's road jerseys and a red repaint of the Air Canada Centre's hardwood floor. The new jerseys and exact colour scheme will be introduced before training camp in the fall of 2006.