Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors

Ryan Lescisin

Communications 212A

November 29, 2014

Loranne Brown

Feature Writing

When a professional sports franchise needs to shake up their team, they are left with a decision to make: who will the team let go in order to get the attention of the players and fans? There are three different directions that the organization can choose to go: fire the general manager who has left the franchise in shambles, fire the coach who has lost the respect of his dressing room, or to trade away players who were once seen as the cornerstone of the franchise but had lost the support of the fans and team. When a team pulls off a trade of this magnitude, the team can go in two different directions, it can bring the team that much closer to a championship or set a franchise back a number of years while losing the support of the fans. In the past 10 years, the Toronto Raptors, the only Canadian team to compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), have pulled off two blockbuster trades. The first saw the team trade fan favorite and all-star Vince Carter away for virtually no one. The Raptors were seen as the laughing stock of the league during the years following the trade. Almost a decade later the team was able to pull off a trade that has developed the team into one of the league’s best, which now has the backing of the whole country.

It was on December 18, 2004 that the Toronto Raptors organization announced that the team had traded Vince Carter to the New Jersey Nets for a number of overpaid and overvalued players and draft picks, a trade that may be argued as the worst trade in league history. The deal could have been good for the organization if they had held onto the draft picks and drafted wisely. Instead, management used the picks as trade bait and received aging players who chose not to re-sign with the team. Carter was the biggest star in Raptors franchise history. He was known as an electric player whose...

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