Archive for the ‘ Toronto Raptors Blog ’ Category

Raptors sign Jonas Valanciunas to contract extension

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed center Jonas Valanciunas to a multi-year contract extension.

According to Yahoo Sports it is a four-year, $64 million extension.

“Jonas’ contributions continue to improve with each season and we view him as a significant part of what we are building in Toronto,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri.

In his three seasons with the Raptors, the 23-year-old Valanciunas has averaged 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 26.3 minutes in 223 career games, including 218 as a starter. He has shot .553 (936-1,694) from the field. In the postseason, he owns averages of 11.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in 11 contests, with a .575 (50-87) field goal percentage.

Valanciunas, 7-foot, 270 pounds, averaged a career-best 12.0 points, with team highs of 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks, in 80 contests last season. He finished second in the NBA with a .572 (373-652) field goal percentage. He paced the Raptors in double-doubles (22), rebounds (693) and blocks (95). He posted averages of 11.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in four playoff outings.

Valanciunas appeared in 81 games in the 2013-14 season, where he averaged 11.3 points and a team-leading 8.8 rebounds. He shot .531 (359-676) from the field and paced the team in rebounds (714) and double-doubles (26). In seven playoff games, he shot .633 (31-49) from the floor and contributed averages of 10.9 points and a team-best 9.7 rebounds.

The native of Lithuania was selected fifth overall by the Raptors in the 2011 Draft. He averaged 8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 23.9 minutes in 62 appearances in his rookie campaign. He ranked among the top-3 rookies for field goal percentage (.557), rebounds and blocks (1.3). He captured Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honours for March, averaging 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and shooting .620 from the field in 15 outings.

Raptors 905, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, has selected the rights to 16 players in the 2015 NBA D-League Expansion Draft. Raptors 905 will hold the rights to these players for two seasons.

And now, a useful reminder from InsideHoops.com: Just because a D-League team has the rights to a player doesn’t mean that player is definitely playing for that team. Some of these players may get an NBA contract, or sign overseas. But if they want to play in the D-League, they’ll be on the Raptor 905’s.

The players selected in today’s Expansion Draft will form Raptors 905’s Returning Player List in advance of the inaugural season. Each of the 2014-15 NBA D-League teams were able to protect the rights of up to 12 players as part of the draft process. Raptors 905 then selected from the pool of unprotected players from the 2013-14 and 2014-15 NBA D-League rosters, with no more than two selections coming from any one team.

Seven of the 16 players selected by Raptors 905 have NBA experience, including former first-round draft picks Earl Clark, Nolan Smith and Dahntay Jones.
Following are the complete results of the 2015 NBA D-League Expansion Draft:

PLAYER POS HT WT COLLEGE PREVIOUS NBA D-LEAGUE TEAM

Dee Bost Guard 6-3 176 Mississippi State Idaho Stampede (2013-14)

Earl Clark* Forward 6-10 234 Louisville Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2014-15)

Abdul Gaddy Guard 6-3 214 Washington Maine Red Claws (2013-14)

Luke Harangody* Forward 6-8 240 Notre Dame Texas Legends (2014-15)

Dahntay Jones* Guard 6-6 225 Duke Fort Wayne Mad Ants (2014-15)

Kevin Jones* Forward 6-8 250 West Virginia Canton Charge (2013-14)

Ricky Ledo* Guard 6-7 195 South Kent HS Texas Legends (2014-15)

C.J. Leslie Forward 6-9 209 North Carolina State Idaho Stampede (2013-14)

Ramone Moore Guard 6-6 190 Temple Delaware 87ers (2013-14)

Mustafa Shakur* Guard 6-3 190 Arizona Oklahoma City Blue (2013-14)

Will Sheehey Forward 6-7 200 Indiana Los Angeles D-Fenders (2014-15)

Nolan Smith* Guard 6-2 185 Duke Delaware 87ers (2014-15)

Scott Suggs Forward 6-6 190 Washington Santa Cruz Warriors (2013-14)

Ty Walker Centre 7-0 230 Wake Forest Reno Bighorns (2014-15)

Mitchell Watt Centre 6-10 225 Buffalo Santa Cruz Warriors (2014-15)

Michael Williams Guard 6-2 185 Cal State Fullerton Sioux Falls Skyforce (2014-15)

* - denotes players with NBA experience

Raptors announce front office promotions

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday the promotion of Teresa Resch to Vice President, Basketball Operations and Player Development and Dan Tolzman to Director, Player Personnel.
Resch joined the Raptors in 2013. She will continue her responsibilities for off-court player development programs and as a liaison between basketball and team business operations.
Resch has also played an instrumental role in overseeing plans for the team’s new practice facility slated to open in February, 2016.

Tolzman joined the Raptors in 2013 as Director of Scouting. In addition to input on personnel and roster decisions, he will continue to head all aspects of the team’s scouting department, including college and professional scouting, talent assessment and related data management.

On July 7, Tolzman was named the first general manager of the Raptors’ new NBA D-League affiliate, Raptors 905. As the club’s general manager, Tolzman will lead all basketball operations and player personnel matters, including roster management and development, player transactions, scouting and drafting.

Video: Best Raptors plays of the year

The Toronto Raptors finished the 2014-15 regular season with a 49-33 record. Enjoy these video highlights of some of their best plays of the year:

raptors assistant coaches

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have hired Rex Kalamian (kah-LAY-mee-an), Andy Greer and Jerry Stackhouse as assistant coaches on head coach Dwane Casey’s staff.

“I am pleased to add Rex, Andy and Jerry to our coaching staff,” said Casey. “They are established winners at the NBA level, and bring valuable experience and a passion for the game to our team.

“Together with Nick and Jama, we have a group that will challenge our players daily to improve and compete.”

Kalamian joins the Raptors after six seasons with Oklahoma City, including the last two as lead assistant. The Thunder posted a 316-160 (.664) mark during the regular season and was 39-34 (.534) in the postseason during Kalamian’s tenure with the club, reaching the Western Conference finals three times with one NBA Finals appearance. Oklahoma City won eight-of-13 playoff series.

Kalamian participated in two All-Star games (2012, 2014) as an assistant coach and served as a head coach for the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

In addition to Oklahoma City, Kalamian had previous assistant coaching stints with Sacramento (2007-09), Minnesota (2005-07, where he was on Casey’s staff), Denver (2004-05) and the Los Angeles Clippers (1995-2003). He was a West Coast scout for Philadelphia during the 2003-04 season and was in the scouting department for the Clippers from 1992-95 before being elevated to assistant coach.

Prior to the NBA, Kalamian worked for two seasons as an assistant at his former school, East Los Angeles College. As a player, Kalamian was named team captain at East Los Angeles where he led the South Coast Conference in three-point shooting percentage during the 1988-89 season.

A graduate of Cal Poly Pomona, Kalamian earned a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Greer had spent the past five seasons as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls. During his time in Chicago, the club posted a .647 (255-139) regular-season winning percentage and ranked in the top 10 each season for opponent scoring average and opponent field goal percentage.

Greer’s NBA coaching resume also includes assistant positions with the Memphis Grizzlies (2007-09), Houston Rockets (2003-07) and New York Knicks (2001-03).

Before joining the NBA coaching fraternity, Greer coached at the collegiate level for nearly two decades. He spent four years at Northern Illinois University, where he logged three-and-a-half seasons as an assistant coach and a half-season as the team’s interim head coach, and four years as the head coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Greer also coached collegiately at Mansfield University, Brandeis University, Boston University and the University of Southern California. He received his first coaching job as an assistant coach at Genesee Community College in 1983.

Greer holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from SUNY Brockport and a master’s degree in education from Mansfield University.

Stackhouse played 18 seasons in the NBA, averaging 16.9 points, 3.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 31.2 minutes in 970 regular season games (564 starts). He also appeared in 75 playoffs contests and reached the NBA Finals in 2006 with Dallas. During the 2008-09 season, Stackhouse played under Casey while the latter was an assistant on Rick Carlisle’s staff.

A two-time All-Star with Detroit (2000, 2001), Stackhouse posted career highs of 29.8 points (second in the NBA) and 5.1 assists in 80 games during the 2000-01 campaign. He averaged at least 20 points in a season five times, including four consecutive years from 1999-2003.

The North Carolina product was selected third overall by Philadelphia in the 1995 NBA Draft and was a first-team All-Rookie selection with the 76ers.

During his playing career Stackhouse saw action with Philadelphia (1995-97), Detroit (1997-2002), Washington (2002-04), Dallas (2004-09), Milwaukee (2009-10), Miami (2010-11), Atlanta (2011-12) and Brooklyn (2012-13).

Although an early entrant for the NBA Draft, Stackhouse continued working on his degree and earned his bachelor’s in African American Studies from North Carolina in 1999.

Raptors sign Michale Kyser and Axel Toupane

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed forward Michale (Michael) Kyser and guard-forward Axel Toupane (Too-PON).

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume these are non-guaranteed deals that merely bring these two players to training camp.

Kyser, 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, recently participated on the Raptors’ entry in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where he averaged 3.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 14.6 minutes in four games. He recorded 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 28 minutes in his lone start July 17 versus Portland.

Kyser averaged 8.6 points, a team-high 6.6 rebounds and 28.4 minutes in 36 games (35 starts) in 2014-15 as a senior at Louisiana Tech. He blocked 102 shots, fifth most in the NCAA, and was named to the Conference USA All-Defensive team for the second straight year. He finished as school’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 363, the most by any player in college basketball over the past four years.

Toupane, 6-foot-7, 197 pounds, was also part of the Raptors’ 2015 Summer League squad and averaged 4.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 11.0 minutes in three contests. He played for Strasbourg (France) in the French ProA League last season and helped his team earn back-to-back regular-season championships (2014 and 2015). Toupane averaged 7.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 18.4 minutes in 42 games last season.

Raptors sign Ronald Roberts

Raptors sign Ronald Roberts

The Toronto Raptors have signed forward Ronald Roberts to a multi-year contract.

He will likely be used as a backup and play limited minutes off the bench.

Roberts, 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, recently participated with the Raptors’ entry in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 23.5 minutes in four games. Roberts posted a double-double (14 points, 12 rebounds) in the opener July 10 against Sacramento.

Roberts spent the 2014-15 season with the Delaware 87ers (NBA D-League), Santa Cruz Warriors (NBA D-League) and San Miguel Beermen (Philippines Basketball Association).

Roberts averaged 10.7 points and 6.6 rebounds over four seasons at St. Joseph’s and helped the Hawks claim the 2014 A-10 Tournament title.

Raptors sign Bismack Biyombo

Raptors sign Bismack Biyombo

The Toronto Raptors announced Saturday they have signed free-agent center Bismack Biyombo (Biz- MOCK bee-OM-bo) to a multi-year contract.

“Bismack brings athleticism and interior length to our team,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He has proven to be an exceptional rim protector and his physicality will be a great asset to us defensively.”

Biyombo, 6-foot-9, 245 pounds is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is one of six African-born players currently in the NBA.

Biyombo has appeared in 284 NBA career regular season games, all with Charlotte, where he has averaged 4.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 21.0 minutes. He ranked eighth in the NBA in blocks (1.8) in 2011-12 and ninth (1.8) in 2012-13.

He posted a career-high 5.2 points in his rookie campaign, 7.3 rebounds in 2012-13 and shot a career-best .611 (88-144) from the field in 2013-14. He recorded a career-high 17 rebounds twice and had a personal-best seven blocks in a game on three occasions.

In 2014-15, Biyombo averaged 4.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 19.4 minutes in 64 games (21 starts). He shot .543 (101-186) from the field and ranked 17th in the NBA in blocks. In his 21 starts, he upped his averages to 6.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 26.9 minutes.

Biyombo began his professional career in Spain (2009-11). He played for the World Select Team at the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit where he recorded the lone triple-double (12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks) in the event’s history. Biyombo was selected seventh overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Raptors sign rookie guard Norman Powell

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed guard Norman Powell.

Powell, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, was selected 46th overall by Toronto in the 2015 NBA Draft. Through three Summer League games in Las Vegas he leads the Raptors averaging 19.3 points and is shooting 22-for-37 (.595) from the field. Powell has led the team in scoring in all three Summer League games, including a team-high 20 points during his professional debut July 10 vs. Sacramento.

Powell appeared in 141 games over four seasons at UCLA and averaged a career-high 16.4 points during the 2014-15 campaign. He ranks 28th on the Bruins’ all-time scoring list with 1,376 career points. Powell helped UCLA reach the NCAA Tournament three times (2013, 2014 and 2015), including back-to-back trips to the Sweet 16 (2014 and 2015).

Raptors sign Luis Scola

Raptors sign Luis Scola

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed 35-year-old free-agent power forward Luis Scola to a multi-year contract.

“Luis is an accomplished NBA and international player. We are thrilled to add his experience and leadership to our team and our locker room,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “Luis is a winner wherever he goes.”

Scola, 6-foot-9, 240 pounds, averaged 9.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in 81 games with Indiana last season. The eight-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 12.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 26.8 minutes with Houston (2007-12), Phoenix (2012-13) and Indiana (2013-15).

Scola has appeared in 631 of a possible 640 regular season games (428 starts) and completed six seasons without missing a game. He also holds a career-best streak of 311 consecutive games played (Oct. 30, 2007 - Mar. 7, 2011).

Scola was drafted 56th overall by San Antonio at the 2002 NBA Draft, but did not make his NBA debut until the 2007-08 season after his draft rights were traded to Houston. He averaged 10.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and had a .515 field goal shooting percentage during his rookie campaign, which earned him NBA All-Rookie First Team honours. During the next three seasons (2008-11) Scola was one of six players in the NBA to average at least 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and shoot .500+ from the field each year, joining Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, David Lee and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Scola posted a career-best 18.3 points in 2010-11 and 8.8 rebounds in 2008-09 with Houston. He also led the Rockets in 2009-10 with a career-high 32 double-doubles. Through 37 playoff games with Houston and Indiana, Scola has averaged 10.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 32.9 minutes.

On the international stage Scola is one of the most decorated players in the game today. He is a three-time Olympian for Argentina, earning a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens while averaging a team-high 17.6 points and 5.0 rebounds. Scola helped Argentina earn bronze at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing by averaging a team-high 18.0 points. While hosting the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship, Scola averaged a tournament-best 21.4 points for Argentina and was named MVP. Scola was part of two gold medal winning teams at the FIBA Americas Championship (2001 and 2011).

Prior to the NBA, Scola played two professional seasons (1995-98) in Argentina with Ferro Carril Oeste before making the jump to Spain with Taugres Saski Baskonia Vitoria and Gijon Baloncesto. Scola signed with Tau Ceramica in 2000 where he played seven seasons and earned Euroleague First Team honours in 2005-06 and 2006-07. He was named the MVP of the Spanish League in 2004-05 and 2006-07 and Rookie of the Year in 2000. While at Tau Ceramica he was teammates with Raptors’ all-time assists leader Jose Calderon (2002-05).

Raptors sign DeMarre Carroll

Raptors sign DeMarre Carroll

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed free-agent forward DeMarre (Deh-MAHR-ay) Carroll to a multi-year contract. According to various reports, the deal is worth $60 million over four years.

“We are thrilled with not only the skills but the intangibles DeMarre will bring to our team,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He is a hard-nosed player who plays with passion and commitment on both ends of the floor.”

Carroll, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds, averaged a career-high 12.6 points, with 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 31.3 minutes in 70 contests (69 starts) last season with the Atlanta Hawks. He also posted career bests in field goal percentage (.487), three-point field goal percentage (.395), field goals made (318), three-point field goals made (120) and free throws made (127). He finished third in the NBA in steals-to-turnover ratio (1.25) and fourth in both two-point field goal percentage (.567, 198-349) and effective field goal percentage (.579).

Carroll, along with the four other starters on the Hawks, was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January. He averaged 12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 31.5 minutes in 14 games. The Hawks posted the best calendar month in NBA history with a 17-0 record.

Carroll scored in double figures 55 times with a career-high 26 points (9-13 FG, 2-3 3FG, 6-6 FT) February 9 at Minnesota. He had 23 games with seven-or-more rebounds, including a career high-tying 12 rebounds March 18 at Golden State. He registered four steals on four occasions.

In the 2015 postseason, Carroll averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 34.9 minutes in 16 outings (16 starts). He shot .403 (29-72) from three-point range. He scored 20-or-more points in seven contests, including a stretch of six consecutive games (April 25 – May 5). He recorded a career postseason high of 25 points (9-14 FG, 3-5 3FG, 4-5 FT) in Game 6 at Washington.

In 316 career regular season games (164 starts), Carroll has averaged 7.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 21.6 minutes. He has played with Memphis (2009-11), Houston (2010-11), Denver (2011-12), Utah (2011-13) and the Hawks (2013-15).

Carroll was drafted 27th overall by Memphis in the first-round of the 2009 NBA Draft. He split his college career between Vanderbilt and Missouri. He averaged 16.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 38 games during his senior season at Missouri.

Raptors sign Cory Joseph

Raptors sign Cory Joseph

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed free-agent guard Cory Joseph to a multi-year contract. He will add depth to the backcourt as a reserve.

“We have watched Cory grow as a player and see him as a great fit in our system,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He is another player with a defensive skill-set that will be an asset to our team.”

The 6-foot-3, 185 pound native of Pickering, Ontario is the second Canadian-born player to join the Raptors (Jamaal Magloire, 2011-12).

Joseph averaged 6.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 18.3 minutes in a career-best 79 games (14 starts) with the San Antonio Spurs last season. He shot .504 (207-411) from the floor, .364 (16-44) from beyond the arc and .734 (105-143) from the foul line. He posted career bests in every statistical category.
In his 14 starts in the 2014-15 campaign, Joseph contributed 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 34.6 minutes. His career-high 20 points (8-9 FG, 1-1 3FG, 3-4 FT) came in a start at New Orleans on December 26.

Joseph has appeared in 204 career regular season games, all with the Spurs. He has averaged 5.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 14.9 minutes. He has seen action in 37 career playoff outings, averaging 2.9 points, 1.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 7.5 minutes. He was a member of the Spurs’ 2014 NBA Championship team.

Joseph attended Pickering High School before moving to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada for his junior and senior seasons. After one year at the University of Texas he was selected 29th overall by the Spurs in the 2011 NBA Draft. At Texas, he was named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team and earned All-Big 12 Honourable Mention.

Raptors waive Luke Ridnour

At least Ridnour wasn’t traded again. For now.

Raptors waive Luke Ridnour

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have waived guard Luke Ridnour. The club acquired Ridnour and cash considerations from the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 30 in exchange for the draft rights to forward Tomislav Zubcic.

Ridnour, 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, has averaged 9.3 points, 4.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 26.1 minutes in 830 career games (493 starts). He has played with Seattle (2003-08), Milwaukee (2008-10, 2013-14), Minnesota (2010-13), Charlotte (2013-14) and Orlando (2014-15).

Lakers, Lou Williams agree to deal

It’s been a tough free agency period for the Lakers. They need all the help they can get, at almost every position. And even though they already have a scoring guard by the name of Kobe Bryant, adding another will help, whether that player gets used as a point guard or simply as scoring punch off the bench. They just need players, period. Enter Lou Williams. Here’s the Toronto Star reporting:

Lakers, Lou Williams agree to deal

Lou Williams has a new home and the Raptors have escaped making another tough decision that might not have resonated well with fans.

Williams, reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $21 million (U.S.) contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, sparing the Raptors from being anything like a villain in the departure of another free agent.

Along with Amir Johnson (to Boston on a two-year, $24 million deal) Johnson was a key part of last year’s Raptor success, and there were fans who would have liked both to return.

But the Raptors were not going to pay Williams that salary for three years and they weren’t going to go near $12 million a season for Johnson.

Raptors sign rookie Delon Wright

Raptors sign rookie Delon Wright

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have signed guard Delon Wright from the University of Utah to his rookie scale contract. He is under contract through the 2016-17 season, with two team option years to follow. The Raptors selected Wright with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

All first-round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract from the team that drafted them, assuming they wish to come to the NBA right away. So, this is a standard, routine signing.

Wright, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, was named the 2015 recipient of the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s top point guard. A first-team All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 Defensive Team selection, Wright averaged 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals in 35 games last season. As a junior, he contributed 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.5 steals in 33 contests earning first-team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honours.

Wright is the brother of Portland Trail Blazers forward Dorell Wright.

Wright will join the team for Samsung NBA Summer League 2015 in Las Vegas. The Raptors will open the preliminary round of the tournament Friday, July 10 against the reigning Summer League champion Sacramento Kings at Thomas & Mack Center (3:30 p.m. PT / 6:30 p.m. ET).

DeMarre Carroll will sign with Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are about to get better, while the Hawks take a step backward. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution blog reporting that a key member of the Hawks is leaving as a free agent and headed North to sign with the Toronto:

DeMarre Carroll will sign with Raptors

The Junkyard Dog is headed north.

DeMarre Carroll announced via social media that he will play for the Toronto Raptors.

Carroll tweeted: “#WeThe North I will be playing for Toronto Raptors next year!!!! I’m Blessed for this Opportunity!”

Carroll will sign a four-year, $60 million deal as an unrestricted free agent.

In an Eastern conference where second place — behind the Cleveland Cavaliers — is wide open for the taking, this is a full-priced but still very nice move for Toronto.

And here’s the Toronto Star on the Carroll/Raptors news:

Carroll, 28, was a key member of the 60-win Hawks team last season, primarily because of the level of toughness and defence he brought. While a solid scorer — he averaged 12.6 points per game in the regular season and more than 17 per game in the playoffs — the six-foot-eight forward’s reputation is as a defender.

Does he consider himself tough?

“If you see me in a fight with a bear, you’d better help that bear,” he famously said last season.

Carroll broke the news of his own signing on social media, putting a note on his Twitter account that included an Instagram photo of him and family members beaming next to Ujiri, Casey and Toronto executive vice-president Jeff Weltman.

The Toronto Raptors selected University of Utah guard Delon Wright with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The club also acquired a protected future first-round draft choice (originally belonging to the Los Angeles Clippers) and the draft rights to the 46th overall selection, UCLA guard Norman Powell, from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Greivis Vasquez.

Wright, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, was named the 2015 recipient of the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s top point guard. A first-team All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 Defensive Team selection, Wright averaged 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals in 35 games last season. As a junior, he contributed 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.5 steals in 33 contests earning first-team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honours.

Wright is the brother of Portland Trail Blazers forward Dorell Wright.

According to Raptors.com, “we’re excited to get him,” Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s one of the guys that has tremendous upside as a point guard in the NBA. [He] reminds me a lot of Nate McMillan, as far as big and long point guard we had in Seattle. [He] can defend multiple positions so he really fits well in what we’re trying to do. It goes right into the plan with our young group to grow.” “He’s grown up around the NBA,” Casey said. “He’s been to numerous NBA games, worked out with NBA players. He’s not going to come in shellshocked to go against guys in practice.”

Powell, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, averaged 16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 36 games in 2014-15. He was named first-team All-Pac-12 and an Honourable Mention selection on the All-Pac-12 Defensive Team.

Vasquez averaged 9.5 points, 3.7 assists and 23.1 minutes in 143 games (34 starts) with the Raptors. He was acquired from Sacramento on December 9, 2013 and re-signed July 17, 2014.

Raptors could be team in transition

Toronto Raptors could be team in transition

The Toronto Raptors finished the regular season with an impressive 49-33 record, only to be swept in the first round of the NBA playoffs by the Washington Wizards. Here’s the National Post with more:

One of the most frustrating aspects of last year’s Raptors season, other than the post-February collapse, was sending Caboclo down to Fort Wayne, a team shared with 12 other teams, only to watch him languish on the bench.

It is clear that the Raptors’ current position might change by opening night in October — or even by July. Amir Johnson and Lou Williams are free agents, while the team’s core was wholly disappointing in the post-season, with no exceptions. The composition of the Raptors’ roster today is guaranteed a makeover. The only question is how extreme it will be.

Arizona swingman Rondae Hollis Jefferson, a defensive terror without a jumper, and Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant, a true point guard who struggles to finish around the rim, headlined the Raptors’ first workout on Wednesday. Both are projected to be selected around where the Raptors will pick, and it is hard to say one is a much superior fit for Toronto. The Raptors do not have one specific obvious need, because a single move could address something while opening up another hole. And if you are looking for immediate answers with the 20th pick, you will probably still be looking when training camp opens.

Terrence Ross undergoes ankle surgery

The Toronto Raptors announced Saturday forward-guard Terrence Ross underwent surgery yesterday in Van Nuys, California to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his left ankle. The procedure was performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel at the Southern California Orthopaedic Institute.

Ross will conduct his rehabilitation in Toronto. No timetable has been set for a return to basketball activities.

Ross averaged 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 25.3 minutes in a career-best 82 games this past season. He owns career averages of 9.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 236 games. He has shot .373 (371-994) from three-point range.

Paul Pierce making life difficult for Raptors

Here’s the Boston.com blog reporting on Washington Wizards small forward Paul Pierce, who is doing mean things to the Toronto Raptors in their first-round playoff series:

Paul Pierce making life difficult for Raptors

Paul Pierce continues to make life miserable for the Toronto Raptors.

The former Celtics star scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of three-pointers in crunch time to help clinch a 106-99 win for his Washington Wizards over the Raptors on Friday night. The win gives Washington a commanding 3-0 series lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Truth finished the night shooting 5 of 9 from the field, including 4 of 7 from beyond the arc in just 27 minutes of action. Wizards’ coach Randy Wittman limited Pierce’s minutes so the veteran could be fresh in the fourth quarter and the move paid major dividends.

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