By Anthony Caruso III
The Toronto Raptors have been successful in adding former foreign players in recent years. This has been GM Bryan Colangelo's key to success, even during his time in Phoenix. Colangelo is still interested in adding another foreign player to the Raptors.
Colangelo extended a qualifying offer to Carlos Delfino back in June – and they are still interested in bringing him back to Toronto. But Delfino is currently signed within the Russian Super League with Khimki Moscow Region team, and he still has still more years left on the three-year deal he signed during the 2008 summer. Delfino is one of the highest-paid basketball players in Europe, as he's getting paid $10 million dollars (US dollars), plus housing, a car and driver, and savings on taxes.
In his first-year with the team, he averaged a career-high 13 points her game. He also averaged 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game in Europe's second-level competition during the 2008-09 season. He is making way more money over in Russia than he made in the NBA.
When he was in the NBA, he played his first several years in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons. In June 2007, he was traded to the Raptors for two draft picks. One of the draft picks was in last month's NBA draft, while the other second round pick will come in the 2011 NBA draft.
In his one and only season in Toronto, he averaged an NBA-high 9 points per season. He also averaged 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.1 blocks in 82 games during the 2007-08 season. He was coached by Sam Mitchell in Toronto during that season, who is no longer the coach.
The Raptors currently have 5 foreign players on the team. Andréa Bargnani is from Italy, é Calderón is from Spain, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a free agent, is from Britain, Hedo Türkoğlu is from Turkey, and Roko Ukić is from Croatia. If Delfino elects to come back to the Raptors, he will be first Raptor from Argentina since é Garbajosa during the 2007-08 season, who just happens to his old Raptors teammate.