Archive for the ‘ Toronto Raptors Blog ’ Category

louis williams

Toronto Raptors guard Lou Williams and Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 17, through Sunday, Nov. 23.

Williams helped the Raptors to a 3-0 week, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference with 23.7 ppg and ninth with 2.0 spg. He scored a career-high 36 points and matched his career high with 15 free-throws made, becoming the first player in team history to come off the bench to shoot 15-for-15 from the line, in a 110-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 22. He connected 10 of his 19 attempts from three-point range. Williams has sparked the Raptors to their best start in franchise history and an Eastern Conference-best 11-2 record.

demarcus cousins

Cousins led the Kings to a 2-1 week and paced the league in rebounding (16.3). He averaged 25.7 points (second in the league) on .577 shooting (30-for-52) and tallied five blocks. On Nov. 22, he recorded his sixth consecutive double-double with 31 points and 18 rebounds, matching his season high, in a 113-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Denver’s Ty Lawson, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Miami’s Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers, Memphis’ Marc Gasol, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic and Phoenix’s Markieff Morris.

Video: Vince Carter tribute in Toronto

Vince Carter, now with the Memphis Grizzlies, gets emotional after a nice tribute last night from the Raptors celebrating his time in Toronto. Video:

Raptors forward James Johnson suffers severe ankle sprain

James Johnson suffers severe ankle sprain

Toronto Raptors forward James Johnson sustained a severe right ankle sprain during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game versus Utah. There is no timetable yet for his return to basketball activity.

Johnson has averaged 7.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 19.4 minutes in 10 appearances as a reserve this season.

The Raptors return to action Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. versus Memphis at Air Canada Centre (TSN/Sportsnet 590 The FAN).

Like many players, Patrick Patterson not a fan of sleeved jerseys

Here’s the National Post in Canada reporting on Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson, who appreciates the ability to freely move his arms when playing basketball:

Patrick Patterson not a fan of sleeved jerseys

“For those guys who have broad shoulders, large muscles on their arms, per se, it tends to get tight, real snug,” Patterson said on Tuesday morning when asked what he thought about the Raptors’ alternate jerseys that feature sleeves. “A lot of guys are uncomfortable with it. I wish I would have known ahead of times we are wearing those, because I’d have prepared. It’s for a solid cause. I believe we’re doing it for the right reasons. At the end of the day, I don’t like sleeves.”

Raptors waive Jordan Hamilton and Will Cherry

Raptors waive Jordan Hamilton and Will Cherry

The Toronto Raptors have waived guard Will Cherry and forward-guard Jordan Hamilton.

The Raptors completed their preseason schedule last night with a 83-80 win over New York in Montreal. The club finished with a 7-1 mark, tying the franchise best record set in the 2006 preseason.

Cherry played in five contests, averaging 3.4 points, 1.6 assists and 13.9 minutes. Hamilton averaged 9.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 18.3 minutes in six outings.

The Raptors roster now stands at 15 players. The team’s regular season opener is Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks, taking place at Air Canada Centre at 7:30 p.m.

miami heat

The Miami HEAT announced today several front office hirings, including Keith Smart as Assistant Coach, Chris Quinn as Assistant Coach/Player Development, Brandon Gilliam as Assistant Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation, Wes Brown as Assistant Trainer and Eric Foran as Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Smart will bring over 25 years of professional basketball experience as a player and coach to the HEAT bench serving as Assistant Coach. His duties will include assisting in the areas of game management. He comes to Miami after serving as head coach for three different NBA franchises, including Sacramento, Golden State and Cleveland.

Quinn, who played three and a half seasons with the HEAT for both Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, will join Spoelstra’s staff as an Assistant Coach/Player Development. The six-year NBA veteran will assist Miami in the areas of player development and will also have responsibilities with the HEAT’s NBA Development League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Quinn spent last season as Director of Player Development at Northwestern University.

Gilliam has been named Assistant Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation after spending the last eight years owning his own private practice that specialized in concierge physical training for entertainers and athletes. In addition to his duties as assistant trainer, Gilliam will oversee all player rehabilitation programs as he will work with each player individually during the recovery process.

Brown has been named Assistant Trainer after spending the last seven years at the University of Miami as associate athletic trainer. His duties will include managing the day-to-day health of HEAT players during the regular season, postseason and off-season. Brown is a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist, certified Corrective Exercise specialist, certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner and a level 2 Fascial Stretch Therapist.

Foran, who spent the last two seasons with the HEAT as a strength & conditioning intern, has been named Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach. He is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and a certified USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach. A University of Florida graduate and son of HEAT Assistant Coach/Strength & Conditioning Bill Foran, Eric was a four-year letter winner and an All-SEC pole vaulter on the track and field team that won two national championships during his tenure.

Additionally, the HEAT also named David Fizdale to Assistant Head Coach, Juwan Howard to Assistant Coach, Dan Craig to Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development and Octavio De La Grana to Player Development Coach/Director of Minor League Operations.

Toronto Raptors sign Greg Stiemsma

Toronto Raptors sign Greg Stiemsma

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed free-agent center Greg Stiemsma (STEEMS-muh).

Stiemsma, 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, averaged 2.9 points with career bests of 4.1 rebounds and 18.3 minutes in 55 games (20 starts) last season with New Orleans. He scored in double figures four times, including a season-high 12 points January 3 at Boston. He also recorded back-to-back double-digit rebound totals with 11 caroms at Cleveland on January 28 and a career-best 12 boards January 29 at Minnesota.

The University of Wisconsin product has played for New Orleans, Minnesota (2012-13) and Boston (2011-12). He owns career averages of 3.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 16.0 minutes in 186 NBA games (42 starts).

Raptors sign Jordan Hamilton

Raptors sign Jordan Hamilton

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed forward-guard Jordan Hamilton.

Hamilton, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, averaged 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 17.0 minutes in 60 games (12 starts) last season with Denver and Houston. He scored in double figures 20 times, including a season-high 19 points November 8 at Phoenix. The Rockets acquired Hamilton from the Nuggets on February 20 in exchange for Aaron Brooks.

A product of University of Texas, Hamilton was selected 26th overall by Dallas in the 2011 NBA Draft. His rights were traded on draft night to Denver as part of a three-team deal involving Portland. In 126 career games (15 starts), he has averaged 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 13.3 minutes, while shooting .358 (114-for-318) from three-point range.

Enjoy these video highlights of some of the best plays of the season from Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan:

Raptors sign Lucas Nogueira, Will Cherry

The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday they have signed centre Lucas Nogueira (no-GARE-uh) and guard Will Cherry.

Nogueira, 7-foot, 220 pounds, was selected 16th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2013 NBA Draft. His draft rights were traded on draft night to Dallas and then to Atlanta. Toronto acquired his draft rights June 30 from the Hawks. He competed for the Raptors’ entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where he contributed 5.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 20.3 minutes in five contests.

Nogueira has played since 2009 with Asefa Estudiantes in Spain’s Liga ACB. The native of Sao Goncalo, Brazil averaged 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 16.0 minutes in 18 games during the 2013-14 season. He scored in double figures on 10 occasions and had nine games with two or more blocks. At the 2011 U19 World Championships, he averaged 9.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in eight outings.

Cherry, 6-foot, 185 pounds, appeared in 18 regular season games (12 starts) with the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League last season, averaging 11.6 points, 3.7 boards, 4.5 assists and 30.4 minutes. He scored in double figures 13 times and had 10 or more assists on three occasions. In the playoffs, Cherry upped his averages to 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 36.7 minutes in three games versus Sioux Falls.

Cherry went undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft after a four-year career at Montana. He was a three-time All-Big Sky selection and finished as the school’s all-time leader in steals with 265. Cherry posted averages of 12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 25.3 minutes in five games with Cleveland at the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Raptors sign James Johnson

Raptors sign James Johnson

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed free-agent forward James Johnson.

“We are happy to have James return to our club,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He provides us with size at small forward and gives us additional depth up front.”

Johnson, 6-foot-9, 245 pounds, originally joined the Raptors on February 22, 2011 in a trade with the Chicago Bulls. In 87 games (65 starts) from 2010-12, he averaged 9.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 26.0 minutes in a Toronto uniform. He contributed 9.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 28.0 minutes starting all 25 of his outings in 2010-11. In 2011-12, he averaged 9.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 25.2 minutes in 62 appearances (40 starts).

A product of Wake Forest, Johnson was selected in the first round by Chicago in the 2009 NBA Draft. In 271 career games with Chicago, Toronto, Sacramento and Memphis, he has averaged 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 18.4 minutes.

Raptors re-sign Greivis Vasquez

Raptors re-sign Greivis Vasquez

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have re-signed restricted free-agent guard Greivis Vasquez.

“Greivis’ passion for the Raptors and Toronto is wonderful,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He is a versatile player who provides us with energy and depth.”

In 61 appearances with Toronto during the 2013-14 campaign, Vasquez averaged 9.5 points, 3.7 assists and 21.5 minutes. He upped his averages to 16.4 points, 5.6 assists and 37.2 minutes in his five starts for the Raptors.

Vasquez, 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, was acquired December 9, 2013 in a seven-player trade with Sacramento. He paced the Raptors in bench points in 25 contests. He tallied a season-high 26 points in a start April 5 at Milwaukee making a career-best six three-pointers on eight attempts.

Vasquez added averages of 10.1 points and a team-best 5.1 assists in the club’s playoff series against Brooklyn. He scored in double figures on three occasions, including a high of 18 points in the opening game.

A 2010 first-round pick by Memphis out of the University of Maryland, Vasquez has averaged 9.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 24.0 minutes in 293 regular season games with Memphis, New Orleans, Sacramento and Toronto.

Raptors re-sign Patrick Patterson

Raptors re-sign Patrick Patterson

The Toronto Raptors announced Saturday they have re-signed restricted free-agent forward Patrick Patterson.

“We were very pleased with what Patrick brought to us both on the court and in the locker room last season,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “We are delighted that Patrick wanted to return to the Raptors and we look forward to his contributions as he helps us build a consistent winner in Toronto.”

Patterson averaged 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 48 outings with the Raptors this past season. He shot .411 (46-112) from three-point range in a Toronto uniform. He scored in double figures on 20 occasions, including a season-high 22 points on seven-for-11 shooting from the field in his first start for the Raptors on February 10 versus New Orleans.

Patterson was acquired December 9, 2013 in a seven-player trade with Sacramento. He averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds during 16 games in January where he shot .514 (74-144) from the field and .452 (14-31) from three-point range.

In Toronto’s playoff series versus Brooklyn he upped his averages to 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds (second on the team) and 28.5 minutes. He scored in double-digits three times and was a perfect five-for-five from the floor and six-for-six from the free throw line en route to 16 points in Game Seven.

The University of Kentucky product was selected in the first round by Houston in the 2010 NBA Draft. In 252 career games with Houston, Sacramento and Toronto, Patterson has averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 22.5 minutes.

Raptors trade Steve Novak to Jazz

Raptors trade Steve Novak to Jazz

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has acquired forward Steve Novak and the rights to New York’s 2017 second round draft pick from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for guard Diante Garrett.

Novak (6-10, 235, Marquette), the sixth-most accurate three-pointer shooter in NBA history (min. 250 made), is an eight-year veteran who owns averages of 5.0 points and 1.4 rebounds in 13.0 minutes over 414 career games with Houston, L.A. Clippers, Dallas, San Antonio, New York and Toronto. His career .432 (548-1,268) three-point percentage is second only to Golden State’s Stephen Curry (.440) among all active players, while his career .892 free throw percentage would rank fourth if he had enough attempts to qualify.

Originally selected in the second round (32nd overall selection) of the 2006 NBA Draft by Houston, Novak led the NBA in three-point accuracy (.472) during the 2011-12 season, ranking third that season in three-point makes (133). Novak averaged 3.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 10.0 minutes in 54 games last season with Toronto.

Prior to the NBA, Novak played four seasons at Marquette University from 2002-06, averaging 12.4 points and 4.2 rebounds over his four-year collegiate career. He still ranks as the Golden Eagles’ all-time career leader with 354 three-pointers (.461, 354-768), after finishing his college career as Marquette’s all-time free-throw percentage leader (.931, 243-261) and ranking 10th on the school’s all-time scoring list (1,567).

Garrett (6-4, 190, Iowa State) averaged 3.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 14.8 minutes in 71 games last season with Utah. The Jazz signed Garrett from the NBA Development League’s Iowa Energy on November 13, 2013, making him the first NBA D-League Call-Up of the 2013-14 season.

Toronto Raptors re-sign Kyle Lowry

Toronto Raptors re-sign Kyle Lowry

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have re-signed free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry to a multi-year contract. According to multiple reports, the deal is for $48 million over four years.

“We made it known that our top priority heading into the offseason was to re-sign Kyle,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He was a key to our success last season and we are delighted that he wants to be here in Toronto to help us continue to build a championship program.”

The eight-year veteran played a key role in leading the Raptors to a club record 48 wins and their second Atlantic Division title in team history.

Lowry, 6-foot, 205 pounds, posted career highs in points (17.9), rebounds (4.7), assists (7.4), field goals made (457), three-pointers made (190), three-point percentage (.380), free throws made (313) and minutes (36.2) in 79 contests, all starts, during the 2013-14 season. He ranked seventh in the NBA in assists per game and tied for eighth in three-pointers made.

Lowry paced the Raptors in scoring on 19 occasions and in assists in a team-high 61 outings. He scored in double figures 72 times with 35 games of 20-or-more points. He posted double-digit totals in assists in 19 contests. He became the fourth Raptors player to record two triple-doubles in the same season. Lowry had 39 games with multiple steals, including nine straight games from November 15 – December 3 where he averaged 2.6 per game.

Lowry registered a season-high 33 points January 29 versus Orlando, a career-best 12 rebounds at Minnesota on March 9 and a season-best 14 assists January 1 versus Indiana. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played January 27 – February 2, leading the Raptors to a 3-1 mark while averaging 25.0 points, 8.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds. His averages of 18.3 points, 8.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds in January made him the only player in the Eastern Conference to average 18+ points and 8+ assists for the month.

In the Raptors’ first-round playoff series against Brooklyn, Lowry finished second on the club in scoring (21.1), assists (4.7) and minutes (38.8). He scored in double figures in all seven games, with four games of 20+ points. He totaled 22 points and added a series-best eight assists in Game 1 on April 19. He grabbed a personal-high nine rebounds in Game 2 on April 22 at Air Canada Centre. In a Game 5 victory at Air Canada Centre on April 30, Lowry record a game-high 36 points (11-19 FG, 6-9 3FG, 8-10 FT). He added 28 points (12-14 FT) with seven rebounds May 4 in Game 7.

The Raptors acquired Lowry from the Houston Rockets on July 11, 2012. In his two seasons in Toronto, Lowry has averaged 15.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 33.2 minutes in 147 regular season games.

Lowry was a first-round selection (24th overall) by Memphis in the 2006 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 506 regular season games (270 starts), averaging 11.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 28.8 minutes for Memphis, Houston and Toronto.

Raptors sign first round draft pick Bruno Caboclo

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed forward Bruno Caboclo (cuh-BO-clo) to his rookie scale contract. He is under contract through the 2015-16 season, with two team option years to follow. The Raptors selected the 18-year-old Brazilian with the 20th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.

All first round NBA draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to come to the NBA right away. Therefore, this signing is standard operating procedure, and was expected.

Caboclo, 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, was the Most Valuable Player at the 2013 Basketball Without Borders Americas. He played in 16 games this past season with Pinheiros (Sao Paulo) where he contributed 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds. In three Liga Americas contests, he averaged 8.0 points shooting .714 from the field and .667 from three-point range.

Caboclo and the Raptors open their preliminary round in the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas on Friday, July 11 versus the Los Angeles Lakers at 3 p.m. (6 p.m. ET).

Hawks trade Lou Williams to Raptors

louis williams

The Atlanta Hawks have acquired a 2015 second round pick and guard/forward John Salmons from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for guard Lou Williams and the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“The trade allows us greater flexibility as we continue to build our team and add players that best fit how we want to continue to grow as a program.”  Ferry said. “Lou has been really good for us.  We would like to thank him for his contributions over the past two seasons and the professionalism he displayed on and off the court.  We wish him the best going forward.”

john salmons

Salmons, 34, averaged 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 22.1 minutes per game in 78 games (eight starts) last season with Sacramento and Toronto. Over his 12-year career, he has averages of 9.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 874 games (429 starts).

Williams averaged 10.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 60 games (seven starts) last season with Atlanta and has career averages of 11.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 554 games (54 starts).

Atlanta acquired the draft rights to Nogueira (16th overall), forward/center Mike Muscala from Bucknell and guard Jared Cunningham from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Shane Larkin (18th overall) during the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Toronto Raptors announced Saturday they have extended qualifying offers to restricted free agent guards Greivis Vasquez and Nando De Colo and forward Patrick Patterson. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its rights of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent it must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal in favour of the team that extended the qualifying offer.

Vasquez and Patterson came to the Raptors on December 9, 2013 in a seven-player deal with Sacramento. De Colo joined the Raptors in a February 20 trade with San Antonio.

In 61 appearances with Toronto, Vasquez averaged 9.5 points, 3.7 assists and 21.5 minutes. He paced the Raptors in bench points in 25 contests. He added averages of 10.1 points and a team-best 5.1 assists in the club’s playoff series against Brooklyn.

A first-round pick by Memphis in 2010, Vasquez has averaged 9.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 24.0 minutes in 293 regular season games with Memphis, New Orleans, Sacramento and Toronto.

De Colo played in 21 outings with Toronto where he contributed 3.1 points, 1.6 assists and 9.2 minutes. A second-round pick by the Spurs in 2009, he has averaged 3.8 points, 1.7 assists and 11.9 minutes in 119 career games in his two NBA seasons with San Antonio and Toronto.

Patterson averaged 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 48 outings with the Raptors. In Toronto’s playoff series versus Brooklyn he upped his averages to 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds (second on the team) and 28.5 minutes. He was a perfect five-for-five from the floor and six-for-six from the free throw line en route to 16 points in Game Seven.

Patterson was selected in the first round by Houston in the 2010 NBA Draft. In 252 career games with Houston, Sacramento and Toronto he has averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 22.5 minutes.

Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri announced Tuesday the club and head coach Dwane Casey have agreed in principle on a new three-year contract through the 2016-17 season. Casey guided the Raptors to a team-record 48 victories and an Atlantic Division championship in 2013-14.

“From day one last summer Dwane has done an excellent job both on-and-off the court,” said Ujiri. “There’s been growth from each player on the roster and the team’s identity of toughness and a desire to always compete has clearly been established.

“We’re very excited to continue to grow and develop this team with Dwane as our head coach.”

Casey incorporated four new players into the roster following an early December trade and from that point forward led the Raptors to the best mark in the Eastern Conference at 41-22. He directed the club to eight victories in the final 11 games in December and was rewarded with NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honours. His 2013-14 squad finished in the Top 10 in the NBA in defensive field goal percentage (.450) and points allowed (98.0), and also posted a franchise-best 22 road wins.

“I thank Tim (Leiweke) and Masai for providing me and my staff the platform this season to coach and now to continue the process of developing this young team,” said Casey. “We have taken some big steps toward our goal of installing a culture and a defensive mindset.

“At the same time we realize the challenge ahead in order to complete our quest to build a championship program for the best fans in the NBA!”

In his third season at the helm of the Raptors, Casey continued to oversee the development of a young nucleus. Toronto was the only team this past season with two second-year starters to reach the postseason. Point guard Kyle Lowry established career highs in scoring (17.9) and assists (7.4), guard DeMar DeRozan earned his first All-Star selection, sophomore forward Terrence Ross moved into a starting role in December and increased his scoring average by 5.7 points and second-year centre Jonas Valanciunas led the team in double-doubles (25).

Casey was named head coach of the Raptors on June 21, 2011, just nine days after he helped lead the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA Championship. He earned his 100th career victory as head coach of the Raptors on April 2 with a 107-103 win versus Houston.

Casey has served as a head coach, associate head coach and assistant coach during his 19 seasons in the NBA.

Sunday in Toronto, the Nets edged the Raptors 104-103 to win Game 7 of their first round NBA playoff series. Joe Johnson shot just 11-of-25, but his 26 points were a big part of the win for Brooklyn. Here are some video highlights of Johnson’s efforts:

Basketball blog