February 28, 2006

Raptors sign Colangelo as new GM

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Raptors named Bryan
Colangelo their new president and general manager on Tuesday,
hoping the NBA's executive of the year can restore
respectability to the struggling franchise.

The Raptors announcement on Tuesday comes a day after
Colangelo resigned as general manager and president of the
Phoenix Suns.

Colangelo replaces general manager Rob Babcock who was
sacked on January 26 after the team got off to a 1-15 start.

""There's no basketball executive more highly regarded than
Bryan Colangelo," Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple
Leaf Sports and Entertainment told reporters.

"Under Colangelo's direction the Phoenix Suns have drafted
as well as any team in the NBA during the past 10 years, and
they've built an organization that is consistently competitive
in the post-season.

"He manages the salary cap very well, and has both the
knowledge and the courage to make the moves necessary to build
a winning franchise.

"Bryan has a proven track record for meeting the objectives
that we have in building the Raptors into a championship

Terms of the deal were not announced but according to
reports the Raptors offered Colangelo a multi-year deal that
more than tripled his $1 million a year salary.

The 40-year-old Colangelo had spent 17 seasons with the
Suns organization, 11 of those as general manager when he
transformed the franchise into an NBA championships contender
making the playoff eight times in 10 seasons.

"The Toronto Raptors offer one of the best situations in
the NBA, and I'm thrilled to be coming here after 15 years in
Phoenix," Colangelo told reporters.

"The Raptors have an ownership group committed to building
a championship club, have some excellent young players around
Chris Bosh, are positioned well against the salary cap, and
reside in one of North America's premier cities.

"I'm eager to get started here."