Archive for the ‘ Toronto Raptors Blog ’ Category

The Toronto Raptors have converted guard Lorenzo Brown to a standard NBA contract. Brown, who signed a two-way contract July 25, 2017, is now eligible to participate for the Raptors in the playoffs.

Brown has appeared in 14 games with the Raptors this season. Averaging 2.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 9.8 minutes. He scored a season-high 11 points Apr. 9 at Detroit and recorded a season-best five assists Jan. 11 vs. Cleveland.

Brown was selected as the 2017-18 MVP of the NBA G League on Apr. 10 after averaging team highs of 18.8 points, 8.9 assists and 1.78 steals in 32 games (all starts) for Raptors 905. He also averaged 5.2 rebounds and shot .468 from the field. Raptors 905 (31-19) went 25-7 with Brown in the lineup.

On Raptors success this season

Maybe you could see it in Casey’s reaction to C.J. Miles’ great performance in a win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday, when Miles made five of 10 three-pointers.

“It’s huge. We need more. We need more,” said Casey, speaking of Miles’ good gunning. “If we’re going to be a three-point-shooting team, we’ve got to be a three-point-making team … It’s great to see C.J. (shooting well). We need C.J.’s threes with the second unit, because I think he makes the second unit click.”

A big part of Toronto’s offensive transformation this season has started from behind the arc — and not only, as Casey said, with Miles spreading the floor for Toronto’s vaunted bench mob. A year after ranking among the league’s bottom 10 teams in three-pointers attempted and made — a behind-the-times stat that had president Masai Ujiri demanding change — this year the Raptors are chucking at franchise record-shattering levels. Heading into Monday’s games only one playoff-bound team had shot more threes than the Raptors (that’d be Houston). Only two playoff-bound teams had made more threes than Toronto (Houston and Cleveland).

Toronto Star

The Toronto Raptors have signed forward Nigel Hayes to a second 10-day contract.

Hayes, 6-foot-8, 254 pounds, has appeared in two games for Toronto, scoring six points (2-2 FG, 2-2 3PT) in six minutes of action. Prior to joining the Raptors, Hayes split the season between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Westchester Knicks of the NBA G League.

Hayes signed a 10-day contract with the Lakers on Jan. 19, recording three points and two assists in 11 minutes in two games. He averaged 16.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 35.6 minutes in 38 games with the Knicks. Hayes shot .450 (227-for-505) from the field, .441 (94-for-213) from three-point range and .744 (64-for-86) at the free throw line. He scored 20-or-more points 10 times, including a season-high 37 points Nov. 7 at Delaware.

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Hayes played four seasons at Wisconsin (2013-17), averaging 12.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 29.6 minutes in 150 games. He finished his career ranked third on the school’s all-time scoring list (1,857) and is the only Badger in the top-10 in points, rebounds and assists. Hayes was selected All-Big Ten Third Team as a senior.

The Sacramento Kings today traded guard Malachi Richardson to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for forward Bruno Caboclo.

Originally selected 20th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, Caboclo has appeared in 34 games this season for Toronto’s G-League affiliate 905 Raptors, averaging 14.4 points (.396 FG%, .335 3pt%, .831 FT%), 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.33 steals, 1.65 blocks and 30.7 minutes per contest.

Richardson, 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, is averaging 3.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 12.8 minutes in 25 games (four starts) this season.

Richardson owns career averages of 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 11.0 minutes in 47 games. He has scored in double figures four times, including a career-high 12 points Jan. 25, 2017 at Cleveland. Richardson was selected 22nd overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. His draft rights were acquired by the Kings in exchange for forward Marco Belinelli.

Richardson played one season at Syracuse (2015-16), averaging 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 34.4 minutes in 37 games. He shot .353 (79-for-225) from three-point range and was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.

Fred VanVleet playing well for Raptors

 

 

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The Raptors (33-15) have the second best record in the Eastern conference and have raised their overall both-ends-of-floor play this season. They’ve stumbled a bit recently, winning just five of their last 10 games, but overall are having an excellent season. They’ve also enjoyed solid play off the bench from guard Fred VanVleet, who in 18.0 minutes per game is putting up 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per outing. Here’s the Toronto Star with more on his play:

Undrafted out of Wichita State after four years with the Shockers, a kid who made the most of a Summer League internship in 2016 to make the Raptors’ 15-man roster last season, VanVleet has become an indispensible cog on a 33-15 team — its backup point guard, which allows Delon Wright to harass bigger defenders as a shooting guard, a 40 per cent three-point shooter, and maybe the toughest guy on the team.

“That kid gets hit every time he goes in there . . . he hits the floor, gets up, gets back in the play. He’s not down there while the play’s going back,” Casey said of the 23-year-old native of Rockford, Ill., who missed practice Monday after the birth of his child.

“He’s an important part of what we do just because of his toughness. Size to him is nothing. He goes in there and challenges people.”

It is VanVleet’s fearlessness that impresses his teammates; they see a smallish guard not afraid to challenge big men at the rim, often ending with VanVleet crashing to the floor.

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The Raptors are 30-13 this season. A very impressive team that is doing it on both ends of the floor. They’re better than they were in the past. Will DeMar DeRozan be their only All-Star? Not if Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has anything to say about it. Kyle Lowry isn’t shooting as well or scoring as much this season, but he’s still one of the main reasons why Toronto is close to the top of league standings. Here’s the Toronto Star reporting:

Raptors coach Casey wants Kyle Lowry in All-Star game

Lowry finished eighth among Eastern Conference guards in voting for starters done by fans, the media and players and the only way he’ll get to the Feb. 18 game in Los Angeles is to be chosen by coaches as a reserve.

That’s where Casey comes in.

“I’ve been texting coaches and going to be in tough with a lot of coaches to get him in,” the Raptors bench boss said Friday morning. “He should be in on his own merits, I shouldn’t have to do that because he is an all-star.

“If you find five other better guards, point guards in our conference than Kyle then I want to see them. I think the basketball gods will do the right thing and get him in.”

Eastern Conference coaches have to name two guards, two forwards and a centre along with two “wild cards” for voting that will be announced Tuesday night.

Full article

Raptors suspend Serge Ibaka one game

Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka has been suspended by the team for one game after a violation of team rules.

The suspension stems from an altercation between Ibaka and a Raptors team staff member after their December 27 game against the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri: “Both parties have apologized. We’ve discussed this internally as a team, and we won’t be discussing it any further.” … “Now we’re focused on moving forward together, and we look forward to having Serge back in the lineup.”

Ibaka won’t play tonight (Friday) night against the Hawks.

The Raptors are 23-9, which is the second best record in the Eastern conference. The Thunder are 19-15, tying them for the West’s 5th best winning percentage - though OKC are on a five-game winning streak and have been recently playing their best basketball of the season. The two teams battle tonight in OKC. It’s a matchup worth watching. Here’s the Norman Transcript reporting:

The Toronto Raptors have run through the Eastern Conference with a similar core and thus, a similar type of isolation-heavy offense over the past few years. But the Oklahoma City Thunder’s next opponent will look different than many fans might expect come Wednesday night.

Even with players like point guard Kyle Lowry and binge scorer DeMar DeRozan carrying over, the Raptors have implemented far more motion into their offense this year. They’re taking 36 percent fewer mid-range shots. And lately, DeRozan, who spent the first eight years of his career dominating on long 2s, has taken his success to the 3-point line. He’s hit 13 triples over the past three games.

It will be a special task for OKC defensive stopper Andre Roberson, who has guarded DeRozan well historically, but who will have to deal with a different type of player come Wednesday.

Full article

Delon Wright out with shoulder injury

Delon Wright out with shoulder injury

Toronto Raptors guard Delon Wright visited specialist Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Wednesday in New York. After consultation with Williams, it was decided no surgery is required at this time, the team announced.

Wright will continue his rehabilitation with team medical officials. There is no timetable for Wright’s return, but updates will be provided when appropriate.

Wright’s right shoulder was dislocated in the second quarter of a game at New Orleans on Nov. 15th. He had surgery on the same shoulder in August, 2016 after sustaining an injury during an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas.

The 25-year-old guard has averaged 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 20.9 minutes this season for the Toronto Raptors.

Delon Wright out with shoulder injury

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that test results confirmed guard Delon Wright sustained an injury consistent with a dislocated right shoulder. The injury occurred in the second quarter of Toronto’s game November 15 at New Orleans.

Wright had surgery on the same shoulder Aug. 1, 2016 following an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas.

Wright will travel with the team to New York City next week for further consultation with Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Jonas Valanciunas out with ankle sprain

Jonas Valanciunas out with ankle sprain

Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas is out with a sprained left ankle.

Valanciunas travelled with the team on its six-game road trip, which begins Monday against San Antonio.
The injury occurred after Valanciunas landed on the foot of the Philadelphia 76ers’ Dario Saric in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game. He did not return.

His condition will be evaluated on a regular basis.

Raptors waive K.J. McDaniels

The Toronto Raptors have waived forward K.J. McDaniels. McDaniels appeared in three preseason games, totaling six points, five rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes. He was inactive for the first two games of the regular season. Toronto’s roster now stands at 16 players.

Raptors exercise contract options on Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam and Delon Wright

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have exercised the third-year team options on the Rookie Scale Contracts of centre Jakob Poeltl and forward Pascal Siakam and the fourth-year team option on the Rookie Scale Contract of guard Delon Wright.

The contracts for Poeltl, Siakam and Wright are now guaranteed through the 2018-19 season.

In accordance with the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Raptors had until October 31 to exercise their option on all three players.

Poeltl, 7-foot, 248 pounds, was selected by the Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He averaged 3.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.4 blocks and 11.6 minutes in 54 games last season. Poeltl scored in double figures three times and led the team in rebounds twice.

Siakam, 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, was the 27th overall pick by the Raptors in the 2016 NBA Draft. He posted averages of 4.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 15.6 minutes in 55 games (38 starts) last season. Siakam was also named NBA G League Finals MVP after helping Raptors 905 defeat Rio Grande Valley in The Finals, averaging 23.0 points and 9.0 rebounds over the three-game series.

Wright, 6-foot-5, 183 pounds was chosen by Toronto with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He averaged 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 16.5 minutes in 27 games last season. Wright scored in double digits seven times and paced the club in assists on five occasions. He missed the first 41 games (October 26 - January 17) following right shoulder surgery. Wright is averaging 4.7 points, 1.6 rebound, 1.6 assists and 12.5 minutes in 54 career games.

Raptors waive Davion Berry

Raptors waive Davion Berry

The Toronto Raptors announced Saturday they have waived guard Davion Berry. He was originally signed October 11 and did not appear in any preseason games.

With preseason ending Friday and the regular season starting Tuesday, teams around the NBA are trimming down their rosters and saying farewell to the vast majority of players who were signed just for training camp purposes.

Toronto’s roster now stands at 17 players.

Raptors sign Davion Berry

The Toronto Raptors have signed guard Davion Berry.

Berry, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, has appeared in 56 career NBA G League games with the Maine Red Claws (2014-16) and Raptors 905 (2015-16), averaging 9.4 points, 2.9 assists and 24.0 minutes. He has also played professionally in Germany (2016-17), Greece (2016-17), South Korea (2015-16) and Italy (2014-15).

Berry played two collegiate seasons at Cal State Monterey Bay (2009-11) before transferring to Weber State (2012-14). He averaged 17.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 32.6 minutes in 68 career games with the Wildcats and twice earned Big Sky All-Conference First Team honours.

Raptors sign Norman Powell to contract extension

The Toronto Raptors have signed guard Norman Powell to a multi-year contract extension.

“Norm is a young, athletic and versatile player who has worked extremely hard to improve each season,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “We view Norm as a significant part of our team going forward.”

According to ESPN.com, the deal is a four-year, $42 million contract with a player option on the fourth year.

In two seasons with the Raptors, Powell is averaging 7.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 16.7 minutes in 125 career games (42 starts). He has shot .351 (92-262) from three-point range. In 27 career playoff contests, Powell owns averages of 6.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 16.0 minutes.

Powell, 6-4, 215 pounds, was selected by Milwaukee with the 46th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The Raptors acquired him on draft night from the Bucks along with a protected future first-round pick in exchange for guard Greivis Vasquez.

Powell posted averages of 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 18.0 minutes in 76 appearances last season. He scored in double figures 31 times, including six games with 20-or-more points. Powell led the bench in scoring 13 times (second most on the team). In 18 starts, he averaged 15.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 31.9 minutes; and reached double digits in scoring 17 times.

During his rookie season, Powell averaged 5.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 14.8 minutes in 49 outings (24 starts). He was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for April, leading all Eastern Conference rookies averaging 15.3 points in eight games. Powell set career highs with 30 points and nine rebounds, along with a career high-tying five assists April 13 at Brooklyn.

Powell played for seasons (2011-15) at UCLA, averaging 9.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 25.2 minutes in 141 career games. He played in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments (2013-15) and made back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances (2014-15). Powell was named first-team All-Pac 12 and was an Honourable Mention selection on the All-Pac 12 Defensive Team as a senior.

The Toronto Raptors have waived center Kennedy Meeks, guard Andy Rautins and forward Kyle Wiltjer.

Rautins and Wiltjer both appeared in three preseason games while Meeks made his lone appearance October 4 against the Los Angeles Clippers in Hawaii.

Toronto’s roster now stands at 17 players.

Training camp is opening. The Toronto Raptors will train Tuesday, September 26 through Friday, September 29 at Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) on the University of Victoria campus. This marks the fourth consecutive year the Raptors will hold training camp in British Columbia and fifth time in team history.

Raptors sign Andy Rautins to training camp roster

The Raptors also announced they have signed guard Andy Rautins.

Rautins, 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, averaged 11.9 points, 4.7 assists and 32.6 minutes in 30 games with Gaziantep (Turkey-BSL) last season. He was picked 38th overall by the New York Knicks in the 2010 NBA Draft. Rautins played collegiately at Syracuse (2005-10), where he averaged 8.8 points in 127 career games.

The Raptors’ roster now stands at 20 players.

The NBA G League announced today the 26-game schedule for NBA G League Showcase 2018. The premier in-season scouting event will feature the league’s 26 teams playing two regular-season games each from Jan. 10-13 in Mississauga, Ontario, home of Raptors 905.

For the first time, the NBA G League Showcase will be played across two courts: the Hershey Centre, home of Raptors 905, and the adjoining Mississauga SportZone complex. Game times will be staggered to allow fans and scouts to see all the action.

The 14th NBA G League Showcase will feature seven games on each of the first three days and five games on the final day. The event tips off with a matchup between the Santa Cruz Warriors and Grand Rapids Drive at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Raptors 905 will play its first game of the Showcase on Thursday, Jan. 11, when the team faces the Warriors at 12 p.m. ET. The event host will also meet the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 12 p.m. ET, the first game of the final day. All 26 of the games are between cross-conference opponents.

The Toronto Raptors have hired Luke Winn as the club’s Director, Prospect Strategy. Winn joins the Raptors after working at Sports Illustrated for the past 15 years, most recently as a senior writer covering college basketball.

Winn has reported on college hoops since the 2004-05 season, and has numerous international events. His work at SI included in-depth player features and original analytics research.

For the Raptors, Winn will research and scout draft prospects, and provide input on personnel decisions.

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