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Toronto Raptors sign Austin Daye

Toronto Raptors sign Austin Daye

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed free-agent forward Austin Daye.

Daye, 6-foot-11, 200 pounds, has appeared in 237 regular-season games (24 starts) with Detroit and Memphis averaging 5.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 15.4 minutes. He is shooting .356 (152-427) from three-point range. Daye posted career bests of 28 points versus Miami on January 25, 2012 and 11 rebounds at Atlanta on December 26, 2012.

In 55 outings last season, Daye contributed 4.5 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting .418 (41-98) from beyond the arc. He appeared in four postseason contests with the Grizzlies, totaling seven points in 20 minutes.

A first-round pick (15th overall) by Detroit in the 2009 NBA Draft, Daye was dealt by the Pistons to the Grizzlies on January 30, 2013, as part of the three-team deal that brought Rudy Gay to Toronto.

A native of Mission Viejo, California, Daye played two seasons at Gonzaga and was named honorable mention All-West Coast Conference as a freshman and sophomore.

Toronto Raptors add to coaching staff

Toronto Raptors add to coaching staff

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday the additions Bill Bayno and Jesse Mermuys (MER-miss) to Head Coach Dwane Casey’s staff as assistant coaches. The team also announced the promotion of Jama Mahlalela (JAM-ah MA-la-LAY-La) to assistant coach/player development.

Bayno brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to Toronto at the NBA, college and international levels. He recently completed his second season with Minnesota as an assistant coach for Rick Adelman. Bayno previously spent five seasons with Portland as an assistant coach.

A native of Newburgh, New York, Bayno began his coaching career in 1985 as a graduate assistant for former Raptors assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo at Seton Hall. He also worked for Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown at Kansas and John Calipari at UMass before landing his first head coaching job at UNLV in 1995. Bayno guided the Runnin’ Rebels for five seasons, earning NCAA Tournament bids in 1998 and 2000 and winning four conference championships. He was named co-Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year for the 1999-2000 season after compiling a 23-8 record.

During the offseason Bayno has participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program each year since 2005. He has also worked overseas at the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy and was head coach of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Mermuys was a member of Kevin McHale’s staff in Houston last season, serving as assistant coach/director of player development. He worked with the Denver Nuggets for four years, first as video coordinator in 2008-09 then promoted to advance scout where he was responsible for scouting upcoming opponents throughout the league. He was elevated to assistant coach/advance scout for the 2011-12 campaign.

Mermuys, a native of Tucson, Arizona, had served in a variety of roles at the collegiate level, including director of basketball operations for the University of Arizona, assistant coach at Southern Utah and Pima Community College and video coordinator at New Mexico State.

Mahlalela moves to the bench following two seasons working in the Raptors’ front-office as director of player development. He started with the Raptors on the community development staff in 2006, leading the Raptors Basketball Academy and various clinics throughout Canada. Mahlalela was named director of basketball operations for NBA Asia in 2009 and oversaw the League’s clinics, youth programs and elite-level development from his base in Hong Kong.

Mahlalela was a four-year starter at the University of British Columbia and an assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Toronto.

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday that Head Coach Dwane Casey and his team will conduct a portion of training camp in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 4 and 5, featuring an intra-squad game Saturday, October 5 at noon at the Halifax Metro Centre. The team also held part of their 2012 camp in Halifax.

“We are excited to return to Halifax after our great experience last year,” said Casey. “The city offers us state of the art facilities and the opportunity to continue to grow the game of basketball across the country.”

The intra-squad game will provide fans the first opportunity to preview the team for the upcoming season and will include appearances from The Raptor and the Foot Locker Raptors Dance Pak. Last year’s scrimmage attracted more than 8,700 fans and raised $56,000 for local charities.

“We are proud of our continued partnership with the Toronto Raptors and are excited to welcome them to the Halifax Metro Centre for a second year in a row,” said Scott Ferguson, president and CEO of Trade Centre Limited, the provincial Crown corporation that manages the Halifax Metro Centre. “The Raptors have a huge fan base in our community and when an opportunity like this comes along to engage fans and support local charitable organizations at the same time, it is a win for everyone.”

The National Basketball Associated announced Monday that Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas has been named Most Valuable Player of the NBA Summer League 2013, as selected by a panel of media members.

Valanciunas averaged 18.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and 29.3 minutes in four outings. He shot .561 (23-41) from the field and .879 (29-33) from the foul line. He recorded highs of 23 points in Toronto’s opener versus Miami and 13 rebounds in a victory over San Antonio. Valanciunas scored in double figures in all four games and posted two double-doubles.

Valanciunas was joined by Kent Bazemore (Golden State), John Henson (Milwaukee), Jeff Taylor (Charlotte) and Cody Zeller (Charlotte) as members of the All-NBA Summer League 2013 Team. The team, which consisted of two frontcourt players and three backcourt players, was selected by journalists.

Valanciunas earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honours as he averaged 8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 23.9 minutes in 62 games this past season. He was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March, averaging 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and shooting .620 from the field in 15 games.

Toronto Raptors sign guard D.J. Augustin

Toronto Raptors sign guard D.J. Augustin

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed free-agent point guard D.J. Augustin (aug-us-TEEN).

“Adding a young, experienced point guard to our roster was one of our objectives going into this off-season,” said Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri. “D.J. will provide experience and give us depth in the backcourt.”

Augustin, 6-foot, 183 pounds, has appeared in 358 regular-season games (with 147 starts) posting averages of 9.6 points, 4.0 assists and 24.5 minutes. He is shooting .872 at the free throw line, which ranks 13th in the NBA over the last five seasons.

Augustin arrives in Toronto following one season at Indiana where he averaged 4.7 points, 2.2 assists and 16.1 minutes in 76 regular-season games. He also appeared in 19 playoff games for the Pacers, reaching double-digits in points four times, including a 16-point performance May 5 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals versus New York.

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Augustin was drafted ninth overall by Charlotte in the 2008 NBA Draft. He scored a career-high 31 points January 20, 2011 versus Philadelphia and finished the 2010-11 season averaging a career-best 14.4 points. Augustin was named to the All-Rookie Second Team during the 2008-09 season after averaging 11.8 points and 3.5 assists.

Augustin earned consensus first-team All-American honours and first-team All-Big 12 honours during his two-year collegiate career at the University of Texas. He was the recipient of the 2008 Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard and was a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden Awards.

Raptors and Marcus Camby quickly part ways

As expected, Marcus Camby’s second tenure as a Toronto Raptors was a short one. On Wednesday, the team announced that it has agreed to terms on a buyout of Camby’s contract, waiving the veteran centre.

Camby, now 39, was scheduled to make US$3.38-million this season and US$4.18-million in 2014-15. Details of the buyout were not immediately known, but it will surely save the Raptors at least a little money in the short-term.

Camby was acquired along with Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson and three draft picks in exchange for Andrea Bargnani earlier this month. The Raptors will likely also find a way to move Richardson before he ever plays for Toronto, too. He was only added to the deal after it could not be finalized before July 1.

From the start, it was clear Camby did not want to be in Toronto.

Reported by Eric Koreen of the National Post

Toronto Raptors want to toughen up

If there is one word Dwane Casey will not have associated with his team this season, it’s the word ‘soft.’

Or any variation of that word.

In Casey’s world, a soft team is a team that is not playing well defensively, and Casey already saw that team last season. He is determined never to see that again.

“We’re adding more players to do that now,” Casey said. “We’re adding Tyler (Hansbrough). We’re going in with a defensive mentality that we did in Year 1 ( two years ago) .

“We have to have people thinking: ‘Ah, man, I don’t want to go play Toronto tonight’ and do it legally without having a lot of fouls, but do it physically in a legal way. I thought we accomplished that in Year 1 and I thought last year we took a step back. Now we have to get back to our core.”

But Psycho-T alone isn’t going to get the job done and Casey is well aware of that.

“Tyler does it, Quincy (Acy) does it, Amir (Johnson) does it, JV (Jonas Valanciunas) is going to be a year better at it,” Casey said of playing tough defence that makes an opponent know you’re there in the most direct terms. “That’s going to be our focus from Day 1, back to a defensive identity. And it’s going to be laid out. If you don’t play defence you are not going to play. You can’t. We can’t win without a defensive mentality.”

Reported by Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun

The Toronto Raptors continue to add to their coaching staff. Bill Bayno, who has worked under Rick Adelman in Minnesota since 2011, is joining Dwane Casey’s staff. Bayno, 51, has also been an assistant with Portland, and has an extensive history in college as both an assistant and head coach, including a brief stint at UNLV.

Bayno will have significant input on the team’s defence, although that remains the strength of Casey as a coach. Nonetheless, the Raptors’ defence slipped to 22nd in the league last year, so some adjustments will surely take place. Bayno joins Nick Nurse on the staff. Nurse, formerly of Rio Grande of the D-League, is thought to be a top up-and-coming offensive coach. Former Houston assistant Jesse Mermuys is also expected to join the Raptors’ staff. The Raptors have not confirmed the additions of Bayno or Mermuys.

Reported by Eric Koreen of the National Post

Raptors trade Andrea Bargnani to Knicks

Raptors trade Andrea Bargnani to Knicks

New York Knicks Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has acquired forward/center Andrea Bargnani from Toronto in exchange for center Marcus Camby, forward Steve Novak, guard/forward Quentin Richardson (via sign-and-trade), a first-round draft selection in the 2016 NBA Draft and second-round selections in 2014 and 2017.

“Seven-foot versatile players with a good mid-range offensive game and an ability to stretch the other team’s defense are hard to come by in this league,” Grunwald said. “Andrea has proven to be a quality scorer who adds another dimension to our team. We are excited to add him to our frontline.”

Bargnani, 7-0, 256-pounds, was selected No. 1 overall by Toronto in the 2006 NBA Draft, and after seven seasons with the Raptors, ranks third on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 6,581 points, second in three-point field goals (579) and fourth in games played (418). He holds career averages of 15.2 points, on 43.7-percent shooting from the field, and 4.8 rebounds over 30.3 minutes in 433 games (316 starts). Bargnani posted a career-best 41 points, and added seven rebounds and six assists, versus the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 8, 2010.

“Andrea has great size and can create huge match-up problems for our opponents,” Head Coach Mike Woodson said. “He can score both inside and out. He will be a great complement to Carmelo, Tyson and Amar’e.”

The native of Rome, Italy, averaged 12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 28.7 minutes in 35 games during the 2012-13 season. Although Bargnani missed 46 games due to injury/illness, he scored in double-digits 11 times, reached the 20-point plateau eight times and scored a season-high 34 points on Nov. 23, 2012 at Detroit.

Camby, 6-11, 245-pounds, appeared in 24 games (four starts) for New York during the 2012-13 season – his second tenure with the Knicks. He averaged 1.8 points and 3.3 rebounds and being acquired from Portland, via sign-and-trade, on Jul. 11, 2012.

Novak, 6-10, 225-pounds, averaged 6.6 points, on 41.4-percent shooting from the field and 42.5-percent from three-point range, over 81 games (one start) during the 2012-13 season – his second season with the Knicks. He was claimed off waivers from San Antonio on Dec. 21, 2012.

Richardson, 6-6, 220-pounds, appeared in one game for the Knicks during the 2012-13 season – his second tenure with New York. He signed as a free agent on Apr. 16, 2013.

Tyler Hansbrough to join Toronto Raptors

Tyler Hansbrough to join Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors will sign unrestricted free-agent center Tyler Hansbrough to a two-year contract, the Toronto Star reported Tuesday.

The Indiana Pacers had extended a $4,135,391 qualifying offer to Hansbrough in June but rescinded it last week.

The 27-year-old Hansbrough averaged 7.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 81 regular-season games for the Pacers last season.

Reported by the Sports Xchange

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have added Nick Nurse to Dwane Casey’s coaching staff. Nurse joins the Raptors from the NBA D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Nurse, 45, coached the Valley Vipers to a 59-41 mark the past two seasons and the 2012-13 NBA D-League championship. Prior to taking the reins in Rio Grande, Nurse coached the Iowa Energy to an overall regular season mark of 124-76 (.620) and the 2010-11 NBA Development League championship. For his accomplishments, Nurse was named the 2010-11 recipient of the Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year award.

A three-time NBA Development League All-Star head coach, Nurse led the Energy to back-to-back 37-13 finishes in 2009-10 and 2010-11, setting and then tying the league record for wins in a single season. Nurse led the Energy to two Eastern Conference championships and one Central Division championship.

A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Nurse began his coaching career at the age of 23 when he became the head coach of Grand View College, making him the youngest college basketball coach in the United States. He moved on to an assistant coach position at the University of South Dakota where his teams recorded a 46-14 mark.

Nurse coached in Europe for 11 years starting in 1996, winning nine championships and two Coach of the Year awards while earning six All-Star head coach selections in the British Basketball League. During that time, he also gained coaching experience in Italy, Belgium and the USBL. Additionally, Nurse served as an assistant coach in the 2012 Olympics for the host British National Team.

Nurse holds a career professional coaching record of 459-220 (.676) during the regular season and 76-54 (.585) in the postseason.

Toronto Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri announced Wednesday that Head Coach Dwane Casey will return for the 2013-14 season.

“I’m excited about moving forward and growing this team with Coach Casey,” said Ujiri.

Casey is in the final year of a contract extension signed following the 2011-12 campaign.

An announcement will be made in the future regarding the club’s assistant coaching staff.

Masai Ujiri is returning to the Raptors as general manager and bringing with him a “passion to win.” He has a lot of work ahead, joining a team that has missed the playoffs for five straight seasons.

Ujiri was introduced Tuesday at Air Canada Centre after his hiring last week. He was an assistant GM with the Raptors for three seasons before leaving for the Denver Nuggets in 2010.

“I love this place,” said Ujiri, the first African-born GM in North America’s four major sports. “I’m pumped. I’m excited. This is a stage that I’ve always wanted in my life.”

Ujiri, who was born in Nigeria, was the NBA executive of the year with the Nuggets. He succeeds Bryan Colangelo, who remains the Raptors’ president in a nonbasketball role.

“It’s going to take patience,” Ujiri said. “It’s going to take will. We’re going to instill passion - a passion to win.”

Reported by the Associated Press

toronto raptors

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that the club has signed Masai Ujiri as its General Manager. Ujiri, 42, was recently named the NBA’s Executive of the Year in his capacity as Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations for the Denver Nuggets. He replaces Bryan Colangelo, who is now the Raptors’ President.

In his three seasons in Denver, Ujiri built the Nuggets into a team that won a franchise-record 57 games and delivered an NBA-best 38-3 record at home this past season.

A native of Nigeria, and the first African-born GM in the NBA, Ujiri will report to Tim Leiweke, MLSE’s President and CEO. “We feel very lucky to have Masai in our organization. He is a proven judge of talent and we look for him to be a big part of creating a winning atmosphere, leading us to the playoffs and, ultimately, delivering NBA championships for Toronto,” said Leiweke. “I would also like to publicly thank the Kroenke’s in Denver for being such a class organization that they would allow Masai to pursue his dream. They put him first in all of our discussions.”

Ujiri spent three years with the Raptors after joining the team as director of global scouting in 2007. He was elevated to assistant general manager in 2008. Ujiri is thrilled to return to the franchise that first gave him a front office position. “To come back to the Raptors, to live in such a great city, and work in an organization that has committed all the resources necessary to win championships was a huge factor in the decision,” said Ujiri. “I have already developed a great relationship with Tim Leiweke and I can’t wait to get back to Canada to build a team that is poised to take the next step in the NBA.”

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment President and CEO Tim Leiweke announced Tuesday that he has revamped the senior leadership of the Toronto Raptors in preparation for next season. Bryan Colangelo has had his contract extended as the team’s President and will report directly to Mr. Leiweke. The club has also created a new position of General Manager that will have final authority on all basketball-related decisions. At this time, with input from Colangelo, Leiweke is conducting a search to identify candidates and expects to name the new GM in the next 30 days.

“After thorough evaluation and considering all the options, we have concluded that these changes will be in the best interest of the organization,” said Leiweke. “By splitting the roles and having both men report directly to me, we are adding depth to the basketball operations group and giving the Toronto Raptors the best chance of competing for championships in the future. The new GM will inherit a great situation in Toronto, as all of my due diligence around the League indicates that we have a fine, young core and a few key moves will make us a playoff contender next season.”

While the General Manager will have autonomy over basketball decisions, Colangelo will continue to advise Leiweke on basketball-related matters while also broadening his involvement with the business side of the franchise. “The future of this team and this organization excites me more than ever, and I am looking forward to being part of our future success,” said Colangelo. “I will add whatever is necessary to help improve our basketball team while also expanding my efforts to increase brand awareness and influence growth of the game across this great country.”

“Bryan is skilled, knowledgeable and respected across the NBA and will be a resource that we count on to help build the Raptors into Canada’s team,” said Leiweke.

MLSE also announced that Leiweke would move up his official start date from July 1 to June 3 at the suggestion of the Board.

The Toronto Raptors are moving executive Bryan Colangelo out of basketball operations and into a corporate position with the team.

Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that the Raptors are making the move because they are interested in hiring Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri to take over their front office.

Colangelo has run the team’s basketball operations for seven years but the team has only made the playoffs twice during that span and is coming off a 34-48 season.

– Reported by the Sports Xchange

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors, emboldened by the news that the Sacramento Kings apparently won’t be moving to Seattle, have ramped up their pursuit of Phil Jackson to be their new team president, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Raptors — now being run by former Los Angeles-based sports mogul Tim Leiweke — regarded the Seattle group that was trying to buy the Kings as the biggest threat to preventing Jackson from seriously considering their pitch.

But now that the Kings appear poised to stay in Sacramento instead of being sold to the consortium led by Jackson fan Chris Hansen, sources say that the Raptors will be pursuing Jackson aggressively this week, believing that they rank as Jackson’s most attractive current option for a new career in management now that he can reunite with Leiweke.

One source close to the situation told ESPN.com that Hansen and Jackson have “hit it off,” sparking league-wide speculation that Jackson would be offered the chance to run the new Sonics in Seattle in the Pat Riley-style role he craves. But with a 12-owner committee recommending Monday that the Kings’ move to Seattle be blocked, Toronto’s seemingly long-shot odds of winning the Jackson sweepstakes would figure to have received a boost.

– Reported by Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com

demar derozan

Deron Williams crumpled up his stat sheet and threw it away in disgust. A loss to the lottery-bound Toronto Raptors meant his Brooklyn Nets had lost their chance at earning the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points, Rudy Gay had 26 points and 10 rebounds and the Raptors won their third straight game, never trailing in a 93-87 victory over the Nets on Sunday.

Brooklyn is still going to the playoffs, but could have closed to within one game of Indiana after the Pacers lost 90-80 to the New York Knicks…

Brooklyn can still tie Indiana, but the Pacers would win the tiebreaker because they’re guaranteed to win the Central Division. Brooklyn is assured of second place in the Atlantic…

Amir Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who hadn’t won three straight since a five-game winning streak from Feb. 8 to 19…

Williams scored 30 points, Brook Lopez had 16 and Andray Blatche 15 for the Nets, whose four-game winning streak was snapped…

Former Raptor Reggie Evans had 16 rebounds for the Nets but didn’t take a single shot. … Keith Bogans started for Brooklyn in place of F Gerald Wallace, who missed his second straight game with a sore left heel.

– Reported by Ian Harrison of the Associated Press

monta ellis

Monta Ellis had 22 points and nine assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks secured their first playoff berth in three seasons with a 100-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

Brandon Jennings had 16 points and seven assists, while Larry Sanders added 12 points, nine rebounds and six blocks for Milwaukee, which needed a win and a Miami victory over Philadelphia on Saturday to clinch at least the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat beat the 76ers, 106-87.

The win was Milwaukee’s 10th straight over Toronto, its longest active winning streak over any opponent. And it pulled the Bucks within two games of the idle Boston Celtics for the No. 7 seed.

Alan Anderson led Toronto with 14 points off the bench, and Quincy Acy had 13. Rudy Gay, Toronto’s leading scorer with 18.2 points per game, made 1-of-10 shots and matched his season low with four points.

Toronto shot just 36 percent (30 of 83) and had 18 turnovers.

The game wasn’t close after the first quarter, as the Bucks used a 15-4 run late in the period to go up 24. They led 61-42 at halftime behind 14 points and seven assists from Ellis.

– Reported by Erik Brooks of the Associated Press

Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe scored 24 points, Jose Calderon had 19 points and nine assists against his former team, and the Detroit Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Raptors 108-98 on Monday night.

Rodney Stuckey scored 18 points, Jonas Jerebko had 10 of his 15 in the fourth quarter and rookie Khris Middleton added 11 as the Pistons won for just the third time in 19 games.

Rudy Gay scored 34 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 17 and DeMar DeRozan 15 as the Raptors lost for the seventh time in eight games. Toronto was outscored 33-19 in the final quarter…

Before the game, the Pistons announced that forward Jason Maxiell will miss the remainder of the season after surgery to repair a detached retina. Maxiell began complaining of blurry vision last week and didn’t travel with the team for Sunday’s loss at Chicago. He stayed in Detroit to visit a specialist, who diagnosed the injury.

Detroit was also without guard Will Bynum, who sat out with a strained right hand.

Raptors swingman Landry Fields was unavailable because of pain in his right elbow. Fields had surgery on the elbow last November, forcing him to miss 22 games. He skipped Monday’s game to travel to Los Angeles for follow-up testing.

– Reported by Ian Harrison of the Associated Press

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