Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo made his pitch Tuesday to incoming Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment executive Tim Leiweke, hoping to get the franchise to pick up the option year on his contract, according to the Toronto Sun.
Colangelo's future with the team should be settled soon enough, though that is more due to the offseason schedule rather than anything the team has said. Other teams in the league have already began their offseason shuffle, and a quick decision would be in the best interest of all parties. Current Raptors coach Dwane Casey's future is tied to Colangelo's, and the team may need to fill both vacancies if they do not bring back the GM. They'd be jumping into an active market with the Suns having already filled their GM vacancy with Boston Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough. Phoenix, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Detroit have all begun their coaching searches as well.
The Raptors must decide whether Colangelo showed enough promise to see his work through. The team has not had the success it hoped for when Colangelo joined the organization from the Phoenix Suns in February 2006. Although he was named the executive of the year in 2007 when Toronto won the Atlantic Division for the first time in franchise history, he has not repeated that success since. Toronto made the playoffs in 2007 but fell to the New Jersey Nets in the first round of the playoffs. It lost again in the first round in 2008. The Raptors have missed the playoffs for five consecutive years, and Colangelo's record sits at 245-337.
He has had some recent success. Toronto's trade for Rudy Gay gave the franchise a face, and the development of promising draft picks DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross could be key to its future.
Phil Jackson's name has popped up as a potential replacement, as he is an acquaintance of Leiweke, according to the Sun. Jackson reportedly wants a decision-making position in the league rather than a head coaching one. He turned down the Nets regarding their head-coaching opening on Tuesday.