Bryan Colangelo's time as the Toronto Raptors' basketball decision-maker appears to be over. The two-time NBA Executive of the Year has lost his title as general manager, and while he will remain in the organization as the club's president, the new GM will seemingly outrank him.
Per Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet:
Bryan Colangelo will be staying on with the Raptors is the role of president; new GM will report directly to Leiweke /1— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) May 21, 2013
New Raptors GM will have final say on draft, trades, contracts, coach etc. /2— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) May 21, 2013
"Leiweke" is Tim Leiweke, the new CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the organization that owns the Raptors and the hockey team with which they share an arena. It had been speculated that Leiweke was on the side of axing Colangelo. Instead, he'll keep him on in a less important basketball role.
A Raptors press release indicated that Colangelo's new position will be modestly involved in basketball, but will have an emphasis on business and improving the standing of basketball in Canada. Meanwhile, the general manager will have autonomy on basketball decisions. To summarize:
Leiweke: "Bryan is going to have to take a deep breath and realize a GM will have final say. He is going to have to live with that."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 21, 2013
Colangelo, son of former Suns owner Jerry Colangelo, became the Suns general manager at the age of just 28 in 1994. After rebuilding the team around Mike D'Antoni and Steve Nash, he earned the NBA's Executive of the Year award in 2005. Less than, he'd take the job in Toronto, and would receive immediate praise for taking them from 27-55 -- and the first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft -- to 47-35 and Atlantic Division champions in 2007. That earned him another Executive of the Year honor, but the success would be short-lived.
After making the playoffs again in 2008, they'd miss out Colangelo's last five years in charge. Andrea Bargnani never panned out to be the dominant player Colangelo had hoped when he drafted him first overall, Chris Bosh left the squad in free agency in 2010 and a big trade for Rudy Gay this season wasn't particularly well-received. This year's Raptors finished fourth in the division for a second straight year.