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07-05-2012, 08:56 AM
Transplanted Caper
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I've written this a few times, but the notion that the issue is the market is easily dispelled with evidence. The issue is the team has been terrible for about two-thirds of its existence.

1. One star player, ONE, left when the team was on the upswing. That was McGrady. The others who left, either through FA or trade demands - Stoudamire, Bosh, Carter, all left when the team was in the tank.

2. The two most successful players in franchise history, Carter and Bosh, both re-signed here as RFAs when the team was good. Carter signed a six year extension here when he was arguably the most marketable player on the planet.

3. When the team was good players such as Antonio Davis and Hakeem Olajuwon wanted to come here. Davis arrived via trade and immediately signed a contract extension. Olajuwaon, while in severe decline, still was a name and could have chosen to go anywhere. He chose Toronto.

4. In his post-playing career, Stoudamire has been quoted as saying he underrated Toronto as a market while he was here, and that some of the other places he played didn't match up with Toronto in terms of market/fan interest.

Win, and it solves everything. The Raptors have been managed horribly for most of their existence. In the brief periods of decency, Toronto is a draw. It will never be LA, Boston, New York or Miami, but neither will 2/3 of the teams in the league. Win, and the Raptors are right at the top of that group of 20+ teams that need to win to attract FAs and keep stars.

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