Archive for the ‘ Toronto Raptors Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Toronto Star reporting on the Raptors, who will be without star point guard Kyle Lowry for the near future as they try to maintain their status as one of the best teams in the Eastern conference:

Raptors face challenge without Kyle Lowry

There are times when you are burbling along, minding your own business, and get a chilling glimpse of a possible future. It happened Wednesday night in Toronto against the Washington Wizards, second quarter. It was a 26-1 run when the wreckage was all accounted for, with the backups getting blitzed when Kyle Lowry usually plays. There wasn’t enough time to recover. Life without Lowry had been pretty good, until it wasn’t.

“No question,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. “The margin of error’s slim with him out.”

Lowry’s surgically repaired wrist won’t be ready for four more weeks at the earliest, they reckon, and after three straight comeback wins the Raptors were weathering the storm with grace. Then Washington came to town, and . . . ugh. Everything went wrong. This is a deep team filled with useful players, and DeMar DeRozan is an all-star playing his best basketball. And in that game you could see how much Lowry — a free agent at the end of this season — is the force that makes this team go.

“Him being the vocal person that he is, that dominant demeanour, you can just feel that vibe when he’s out there,” says DeRozan, who averaged 37.7 points in those three wins, then had 24 points on 20 shots Wednesday night. “Especially when we have our moments like last night, when we get out of sync, Kyle, certain things he can do just reverse it.”

Kyle Lowry will undergo wrist surgery

Kyle Lowry will undergo wrist surgery

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday guard Kyle Lowry will have surgery Tuesday morning to remove loose bodies from his right wrist. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Michelle Carlson in New York City.

Symptoms began following the February 15 contest versus Charlotte and Lowry has missed the past two games with the injury. Swelling is persistent with pain and limited joint range. The surgery is being done at this time with the intention to put Lowry in a position to get ready for the postseason.

Lowry is averaging 22.8 points, 6.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 37.7 minutes in 56 games this season.

According to the National Post, “with 23 games left in the regular season, it’s a big blow to a team looking to climb back up the Eastern Conference standings. Lowry is second on the Raptors with his average of 22.8 points and leads Toronto with 6.9 assists per game. The Raptors have averaged 113.2 points with Lowry on the floor this season compared to 105.1 without him. Defensively, they’ve allowed 105.1 points with Lowry in the game versus 108.6 without him.”

Raptors trade Jared Sullinger to Suns for P.J. Tucker

The Phoenix Suns today completed a deal with the Toronto Raptors to acquire center/forward Jared Sullinger, Toronto’s second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018, and cash considerations in exchange for forward P.J. Tucker.

“We thank P.J. for his contributions to our franchise over the past five seasons,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “He was well respected by his teammates as someone who pushed them every day in practice, laid his heart on the line on the court and was a leader in the locker room. P.J. was also loved by the fans here in Phoenix for his relentless approach on the court and his work in our community. We appreciate all that he did for the Suns organization and wish him the best as he joins the Raptors.”

Sullinger is in his fifth NBA season, holding career averages of 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in 269 games with the Raptors and Boston Celtics. In 11 games with Toronto this season, Sullinger has averaged 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds as he underwent left foot surgery on Oct. 24, delaying his season debut until Jan. 18. Sullinger signed with Toronto this past summer after he had averaged double-digits scoring in each of the three previous seasons with the Celtics, including a career-high 13.3 points in both 2013-14 and 2014-15. The 24-year-old posted 10.3 points and a career-best 8.3 rebounds per game in a career-high 81 appearances for Boston last season.

The 21st overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by Boston, Sullinger was a consensus All-American in each of his two seasons at Ohio State University. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Sullinger led the Buckeyes to a Final Four berth in 2012.

Tucker departs the Suns after averaging 8.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 377 games (286 starts) over five seasons with the team. He initially joined the Suns on Aug. 1, 2012, signing as a free agent to return to the NBA (where he played as a rookie with the Raptors in 2006-07) after five seasons internationally. The 31-year-old is averaging 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and a career-high 1.5 steals (20th in NBA) in 57 games (17 starts) this season.

The only four-time winner of the Suns’ Majerle Hustle Award, Tucker ranks 14th in Suns history in steals (471), 18th in rebounds (2,228) and 20th in games played (377).

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15.

Patrick Patterson feeling pain in knee

Patrick Patterson feeling pain in knee

The Raptors-Suns game was an abomination and there isn’t much to say about it. Best to forget it happened and move on to 2017.

But first, there’s the Patrick Patterson situation.

The player the Raptors could least afford to lose for any length of time is team MVP Kyle Lowry. After that, one could argue that Patterson would be the guy over DeMar DeRozan, since Norm Powell, Terrence Ross and Cory Joseph would be able to play more minutes and hold the fort. They’d still miss DeRozan quite a bit, but at least capable reinforcements would be around.

Patterson, of course, felt “sharp pain” in his knee during Thursday’s loss at Phoenix. That doesn’t mean panic should set in – he walked to the locker room under his own power – but with no updates likely coming until the weekend, we have to examine what his absence could mean to a squad aiming to top the Eastern Conference.

– Toronto Sun

Quick Take: This comment is more about the Raptors in general than the Patrick Patterson knee issue mentioned above, but: Toronto haven’t received enough praise for their season. They’re  22-10, which is the second best record in the East, and look like the biggest threat in the conference to keep the Cavs out of the 2017 Finals.

Raptors 905, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, announced Saturday they have acquired center Edy Tavares. A second-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2014 (43rd overall), Tavares was waived by the Hawks on October 31.

Tavares, 7-foot-3, 260 pounds, spent the last two seasons in the Hawks organization, dressing in 12 games for the club over two seasons. The native of Maio, Sotavento (Cape Verde) played in one NBA game this season recording two points and one rebound in 3.6 minutes of action.

Tavares owns career NBA D-league averages of 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in 29 games. Last season he split time between three clubs, playing 25 games with Austin, two games with Canton and two games with Bakersfield.

Internationally, Tavares played 60 games with Herbalife Gran Canaria during the 2014-15 season, averaging 8.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a game. He spent the 2013-14 season with Gran Canaria, as well, averaging 6.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

2017 D-League Showcase event info

Raptors 905, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, will host the 2017 NBA D-League Showcase in Mississauga, Ontario, it was announced today. The 22-game, five-day event will run Jan. 18-22, 2017, and feature the league’s 22 teams playing two regular-season games each at Hershey Centre.

“We’re thrilled to bring the NBA D-League’s tentpole event to Mississauga and the Hershey Centre,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner. “It’s always inspiring to watch our players put their skills on display in front of scouts from all 30 NBA teams and I’m looking forward to being part of the action as the basketball community’s focus shifts to Canada in January.”

“We are honored and excited to be the host team for the 2017 D-League Showcase,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “Following last year’s successful NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto, we are eager to assist the League with the premier event for the D-League, its teams and players.”

A record 14 games from the 2017 NBA D-League Showcase will be nationally televised live on ESPNU and NBA TV. For the first time, every NBA D-League team will play at least one live nationally televised game at the Showcase, a platform for players and coaches to be scouted by representatives from all 30 NBA teams.

The 2017 NBA D-League Showcase tips off at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 18 when the Windy City Bulls play their first-ever Showcase game, taking on the Delaware 87ers. Action continues at 12:30 p.m. ET when the Grand Rapids Drive faces the 905 on NBA TV. The Greensboro Swarm makes its Showcase debut against the Erie BayHawks at 3 p.m. ET on NBA TV, while the Northern Arizona Suns take to the Showcase court for the first time against the Oklahoma City Blue at 6 p.m. ET. The first day of action concludes with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers meeting the Austin Spurs at 8:30 p.m. ET.

ESPNU begins its Showcase coverage on Thursday, Jan. 19 with Windy City facing the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at 12:30 p.m. ET and the reigning NBA D-League Champion Sioux Falls Skyforce playing the Reno Bighorns at 3 p.m. ET. The Long Island Nets and Salt Lake City Stars play their first-ever Showcase games on Friday, Jan. 20 against the Austin Spurs and Raptors 905, respectively. Both games will be broadcast on ESPNU.

The league’s premier in-season scouting event, the Showcase has seen more than 50 NBA D-Leaguers earn GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA during or in the days immediately following the last 12 events.
As part of this year’s Showcase, a series of youth-focused programming will be planned throughout the week. The afternoon games will feature youth from local schools as part of the NBA D-League’s School Day initiative. In addition, two Jr. NBA Clinics presented by Shock Doctor, the Official Mouthguard of the NBA D-League, will take place on Thursday and Saturday. More than 100 children from the Ontario community will be taught the fundamentals of the game by current NBA D-League players and provided tickets to that evening’s game.

Tickets to the 2017 NBA D-League Showcase will be sold individually, for groups and in packages for fans to take in all of the action. Information on Showcase tickets is available by e-mail at tickets@raptors905.com. Log on to www.raptors905.com/showcase for seating maps and a breakdown of ticket tiers and packages.

2017 D-League Showcase Game Schedule (All Times ET)

Wednesday, Jan. 18
10:00 a.m. Windy City Bulls at Delaware 87ers
12:30 p.m. Grand Rapids Drive at Raptors 905 (NBA TV)
3:00 p.m. Greensboro Swarm at Erie BayHawks (NBA TV)
6:00 p.m. Northern Arizona Suns at Oklahoma City Blue
8:30 p.m. Rio Grande Valley Vipers at Austin Spurs

Thursday, Jan. 19
12:30 p.m. Fort Wayne Mad Ants at Windy City Bulls (ESPNU)
3:00 p.m. Sioux Falls Skyforce at Reno Bighorns (ESPNU)
6:00 p.m. Canton Charge at Maine Red Claws
8:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Blue at Santa Cruz Warriors (NBA TV)

Friday, Jan. 20
10:00 a.m. Erie BayHawks at Westchester Knicks
12:30 p.m. Salt Lake City Stars at Iowa Energy (ESPNU)
3:00 p.m. Delaware 87ers at Greensboro Swarm (ESPNU)
6:00 p.m. Austin Spurs at Northern Arizona Suns (ESPNU)
8:30 p.m. Raptors 905 at Long Island Nets (ESPNU)

Saturday, Jan. 21
10:00 a.m. Santa Cruz Warriors at Texas Legends
12:30 p.m. Maine Red Claws at Fort Wayne Mad Ants (NBA TV)
3:00 p.m. Iowa Energy at Rio Grande Valley Vipers (NBA TV)
6:00 p.m. Los Angeles D-Fenders at Sioux Falls Skyforce
8:30 p.m. Long Island Nets at Grand Rapids Drive

Sunday, Jan. 22
10:00 a.m. Westchester Knicks at Canton Charge (NBA TV)
12:30 p.m. Reno Bighorns at Salt Lake City Stars (NBA TV)
3:00 p.m. Texas Legends at Los Angeles D-Fenders (NBA TV)

Jared Sullinger to undergo foot surgery

Jared Sullinger to undergo foot surgery

The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday forward Jared Sullinger will have a screw inserted into the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. The surgery will be performed Monday afternoon by Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York City.

The procedure is a preventative measure to alleviate symptomatic stress reactions. Sullinger’s status will be updated as appropriate.

The Raptors signed Sullinger as a free agent July 14. The four-year veteran has averaged 11.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 24.9 minutes in 258 regular season games.

The Raptors open the 2016-17 season Wednesday when they play host to the Detroit Pistons at Air Canada Centre at 7:30 p.m. (TSN/TSN 1050 Toronto).

Raptors exercise contract options on Bruno Caboclo, Lucas Nogueira and Delon Wright

The Raptors have exercised the fourth-year team options on the Rookie Scale Contracts of forward Bruno Caboclo and center Lucas Nogueira and the third-year team option on the Rookie Scale Contract of guard Delon Wright.

The contracts for Caboclo, Nogueira and Wright are now guaranteed through the 2017-18 season.

In accordance with the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Raptors had until October 31 to exercise their option on all three players. Per team policy, financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Caboclo, 6-foot-9, 218 pounds, was selected by the Raptors with the 20th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The native of Osasco, Brazil split last season between Toronto and Raptors 905 in the NBA D-League. He made six appearances with Toronto. Caboclo averaged 14.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 34.3 minutes in 37 games (35 starts) with Raptors 905. He scored 20-or-more points eight times, including a season-high 31 points Mar. 28 at Grand Rapids.

Nogueira, 7-foot, 241 pounds was acquired from Atlanta on June 30, 2014. He saw action with the Raptors and Raptors 905 during the 2015-16 season. He averaged 2.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 7.8 minutes in 29 outings with Toronto and 9.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 25.1 minutes in 11 contests with Raptors 905.

The native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was taken 16th overall by Boston in the 2013 Draft. He played three seasons in Spain before joining the Raptors.

Wright, 6-foot-5, 183 pounds was selected by Toronto with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He averaged 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 8.5 minutes in 27 games last season. Wright scored a season-high 19 points Apr. 8 vs. Indiana. He also appeared in 15 games with Raptors 905, averaging 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 35.7 minutes.

The Toronto Raptors announced Saturday they have requested waivers on guards Drew Crawford and Brady Heslip, forwards E.J. Singler and Jarrod Uthoff (U-toff), and centre Yanick (yan-neek) Moreira (more-era).
Crawford averaged 5.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 19.2 minutes in seven preseason games. He recorded 17 points and five rebounds October 14 versus San Lorenzo.

Heslip appeared in four preseason games, averaging 7.3 points, 2.0 assists and 11.2 minutes. He shot .625 (5-8) from three-point range. He scored 13 points October 5 at the Los Angeles Clippers.

Singler saw action in four preseason contests, averaging 2.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 10.3 minutes. He scored 10 points October 14 versus San Lorenzo.

Uthoff finished with two rebounds in eight minutes in his lone preseason appearance.
Moreira appeared in one preseason contest, grabbing two rebounds in five minutes.

Toronto finished its 2016 preseason schedule with a 4-3 mark. They will open the 2016-17 regular season Wednesday at Air Canada Centre when they play host to the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m.

Raptors hire Patrick Mutombo and Jim Sann as assistant coaches

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have hired Patrick Mutombo and Jim Sann as assistant coaches on Head Coach Dwane Casey’s staff. In addition, assistant coach Jama Mahlalela (JAM-ah MAH-la-LAY-la) has been promoted and will move to the front of the bench for the upcoming season.

Kalamian enters his second season with the Raptors, while Nurse returns for his fourth campaign with the club.

“I am pleased to add Patrick and Jim to our coaching staff,” said Casey. “Both possess a tremendous work ethic and a wealth of basketball experience that with help our players improve.

“Jama has done a great job for us in the area of player development and game preparation the last several seasons and is deserving of this recognition.”

Mutombo joins the Raptors after one season as an assistant coach with the Austin Spurs of the NBA D-League. Prior to joining the Spurs, Mutombo spent four seasons with the Denver Nuggets (2011-15), including the last three as an assistant coach.

A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mutombo played professionally in Europe for six seasons (2003-09), before signing with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League. He appeared in 29 games for the Jam, averaging 5.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 22.0 minutes.
Mutombo played collegiately at Metropolitan State University (1999-2003), helping the Roadrunners win the NCAA Division II championship in 2000 and 2002.

Sann rejoins the Raptors where he served as an assistant coach on Kevin O’Neill’s staff during the 2003-04 season. He spent the last three seasons as assistant coach/advance scout with the Brooklyn Nets. Sann was also with the Nets organization for five seasons (2005-10) as an assistant coach/coaching associate.
From 2010-12, Sann was a member of the Chicago Bulls staff, serving as an assistant coach/video coordinator. He was also an assistant coach/advance scout for the Houston Rockets during the 2004-05 season. Sann began his professional basketball career with the New York Knicks, holding various positions over 11 seasons, eventually rising to director of basketball administration.

Sann graduated from the University of Colorado in 1991.

Mahlalela enters his fourth season as an assistant coach. He moved to the bench following two seasons working in the Raptors’ front office as director of player development.

Mahlalela started with the Raptors in 2006 as a member of the community development staff, leading the Raptors Basketball Academy and various clinics throughout Canada. He 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 played collegiately at the University of British Columbia and served as assistant coach at the University of Toronto for four seasons.

Raptors sign Brady Heslip

The Raptors have signed Canadian free-agent guard Brady Heslip.

Toronto will open training camp September 27 in Vancouver. The roster stands at 20 players.

Heslip, a native of Burlington, Ontario and a member of the Canadian Men’s Senior National Team, spent the 2015-16 season with Acqua Vitasnella Cantu (Serie-A) in Italy, averaging 12.7 points and shooting .455 from three-point range in 29 games.

He averaged 13.0 points and 1.2 rebounds for Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and 10.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists at the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City.
Heslip was selected 11th overall by Reno in the 2014 NBA D-League Draft and averaged 24.5 points in 20 games with the Bighorns. He set an NBA D-League record by making 13 three-point field goals November 29, 2014 at Idaho as part of a 45-point performance.

D-League: Jerry Stackhouse hired as Raptors 905 head coach

The Raptors have announced that former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse is the new head coach of their NBA D-League affiliate, Raptors 905. Stackhouse served as an assistant coach with the Raptors last season. He replaces Jesse Mermuys, who was named to the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching staff.

“We are very excited to name Jerry Stackhouse our new head coach,” said Raptors 905 General Manager, Dan Tolzman. “The basketball pedigree that he brings to the 905 bench is as good as it gets in the D-League. We believe that his experience as a successful NBA player along with his year spent learning under Coach Casey on the Raptors staff will go a long way in helping teach the young players within our system what it takes to thrive at the next level.”

“I am honoured to have the opportunity and challenge to lead our D-League team,” said Stackhouse. “I appreciate the confidence Masai (Raptors President Masai Ujiri) and Dan have shown in me to continue the development of our younger players.”

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.

Raptors sign forward E.J. Singler

The Raptors signed forward E.J. Singler today. He is the younger brother of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kyle Singler.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume this is a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings E.J. to Raptors training camp.

E.J., who is 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, played with the Raptors’ entry in Summer League 2016 in Las Vegas, where he averaged 6.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 19.3 minutes in five games (four starts). He shot .480 (12-for-25) from the field and .412 (7-for-17) from three-point range.

Singler split last season between Raptors 905 and the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League. He was acquired from the Stampede on March 4 and averaged 14.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 30.9 minutes in 10 games with Raptors 905.

Singler owns career D-league averages of 10.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 25.4 minutes in 68 games (12 starts) with Idaho (2013-14, 2015-16) and Raptors 905. He won the 2014 Boost Mobile NBA D-League Three-Point Competition.

Singler played four seasons at Oregon (2009-13), averaging 10.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 29.3 minutes. He became just the eighth player in school history to total 1,500 career points and 500 career rebounds. Singler finished his collegiate career as the winningest player in school history with 89 victories.

The Raptors on Friday signed President Masai Ujiri to a multi-year contract extension and promoted Jeff Weltman to general manager and Bobby Webster to assistant general manager/vice-president basketball strategy. Ujiri will continue to oversee basketball operations as president of the club.

“I am grateful to the Board and Mr. Tanenbaum for the opportunity to continue our progress to build the Raptors into one of the top franchises in the NBA,” said Ujiri. “I’m also excited that Jeff and Bobby are being rewarded for their hard work and valuable contributions to our program.

“My family thanks the NBA, Raptors players and coaches, staff, Raptors fans, the city of Toronto and Canada for this opportunity. Toronto is home for us.”

In their three seasons with the Raptors, Ujiri, Weltman and Webster have helped to build a team that has won three consecutive Atlantic Division titles, advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, posted three straight seasons with franchise-high victories, including 56 wins this past season, and compiled a 153-93 (.622) mark – the best record in the Eastern Conference in that span.

“The gratitude and respect we hold for Masai and our Raptors senior management team are reflected in our Board’s action to extend Masai’s contract,” said Larry Tanenbaum, Chairman of the Board. “We are excited to build on our team’s success and to give Masai our full support in delivering to our fans and to our country the Toronto Raptors’ first NBA championship.”

Ujiri was named president and general manager May 31, 2013. In addition to his role with the Raptors, Ujiri has been tireless in his efforts to promote and develop the game of basketball throughout Africa. He is the founder of the Giants of Africa Foundation, which launched the Top 50 and Big Man camps in his homeland. He has also served as the director of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program since 2002.

The Raptors will play a pair of 2016 NBA preseason games in Vancouver and Calgary.

Their opponents will be the Warriors and Nuggets.

Even though it’s just preseason, that Warriors game will be Kevin Durant’s debut on the squad and is therefore worth watching.

And as for Canada in general, any games outside of Toronto should certainly be attended by fans who don’t get to see NBA players with their own eyes on a regular basis.

Here’s more info: http://www.insidehoops.com/canada-nba-preseason-games-083016.shtml

Delon Wright undergoes shoulder surgery

Raptors guard Delon Wright underwent arthroscopic shoulder stabilization today to fix a labral tear in his right shoulder. The procedure was performed by Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Wright sustained the injury July 16 in the fourth quarter of a Las Vegas Summer League game versus Minnesota. X-rays taken on-site at Thomas & Mack Center were negative for a fracture and his dislocated shoulder was put back in place. Additional testing revealed a torn labrum.

Wright is expected to be sidelined a minimum of four months.

Wright, the 20th overall pick by the Raptors in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, averaged 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 8.5 minutes in 27 appearances last season.

Raptors sign Fred VanVleet

The Raptors have signed guard Fred VanVleet to a multi-year contract.

It’s surprising to us that the team says it’s a multi-year contract. We will guess that it’s a non-guaranteed deal.

VanVleet, 6-foot, 195 pounds, recently participated with the Raptors’ entry in NBA Summer League 2016 in Las Vegas, averaging 6.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 16.0 minutes in five games. He shot .417 (10-for-24) from the field and .545 (6-for-11) from three-point range.

VanVleet played four seasons at Wichita State (2012-16), averaging 10.2 points, 4.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 26.8 minutes in 141 career games (102 starts). He ranks first all-time in school history in assists (637), steals (225) and assists-to-turnover ratio (3.08). VanVleet helped the Shockers to three Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) titles, three MVC regular season titles and nine NCAA Tournament victories in four trips.

VanVleet’s conference honours include MVC Player of the Year twice (2014, 2016), First Team All-MVC three times (2014, 2015, 2016) and MVC All-Defensive Team three times (2014, 2015, 2016). He was also a two-time finalist for the Bob Cousy Award (2014, 2015), given to the nation’s top point guard.

Nets sign Anthony Bennett

Nets sign Anthony Bennett

The Nets have signed free agent forward Anthony Bennett.

Bennett has done little so far in the NBA. The Toronto native was originally selected with the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by Cleveland, becoming the first Canadian ever selected with the top pick in the draft. He wasn’t expected to be selected that high, and has not lived up to being a No. 1 overall draft pick. Which isn’t really his fault.

“We have been excited to watch Anthony’s progress this summer with his national team, and look forward to the opportunity of having Kenny and his staff work with him to continue his development,” said Nets’ General Manager Sean Marks.

Bennett joins the Nets after spending the 2015-16 season with the Toronto Raptors. In 19 games, Bennett recorded averages of 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 4.4 minutes per game. In 128 games in three NBA seasons split between Toronto, Minnesota (2014-15) and Cleveland (2013-14), the 23-year-old holds career averages of 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game.

Prior to the NBA, Bennett spent one season at UNLV, registering averages of 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in 27.1 minutes per game in 35 games (32 starts) en route to Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors, as well as Associated Press honorable mention All-American recognition. Bennett is a member of the Canadian national team.

Raptors re-sign DeMar DeRozan

Raptors re-sign DeMar DeRozan

The Raptors have re-signed guard DeMar DeRozan.

“Our top priority in the offseason was to make sure DeMar remained a Raptor,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He has been a foundation for our franchise, a leader who exemplifies the culture we are developing and a key contributor in our success.

“We are delighted that after seven seasons DeMar wanted to remain in Toronto to help us continue to build a championship program.”

The deal is reportedly a $139 million dollar contract, over five years.

DeRozan played a major role in last season’s franchise-record 56 regular season wins and an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals.

DeRozan, point guard Kyle Lowry, and center Jonas Valanciunas are the heart of the team. Where they go, the team goes.

DeRozan, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, averaged a career and team-best 23.5 points (tied for eighth in the NBA) with 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 35.9 minutes (eighth in the NBA) in 78 contests in 2015-16. He shot career bests of .338 (47-139) from three-point range and .850 (555-653) at the foul line, a sixth consecutive season above 80 per cent. His 555 free throws made and 653 free throw attempts were career highs and franchise records. He ranked second in the league in free throws made and third in attempts
DeRozan paced the club in scoring 47 times and in assists a career-high 16 outings. He scored 20 or more points 54 times and 30-plus on 14 occasions. He led the team with a season high-tying 38 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists March 12 versus Miami for his 10th career double-double. He also had 38 points March 4 vs. Portland, setting a franchise record with 24 made free throws before intentionally missing his 25th attempt to seal the victory.

DeRozan appeared in his second All-Star Game on February 14 in Toronto, finishing with 18 points in 19 minutes as a reserve. He was named co-winner for Eastern Conference Player of the Month in January along with teammate Kyle Lowry, averaging 23.9 points in 14 games with eight games of 20-plus points.

Raptors sign Jared Sullinger

Raptors sign Jared Sullinger

The Raptors have signed free-agent power forward Jared Sullinger.

“We are delighted that Jared chose to join the Raptors,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. “He provides us with another experienced front court player that can rebound and score.”

Sullinger’s deal is reportedly a $5.6 million dollar contract, just for one year.

Sullinger, 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, averaged 10.3 points, a career-high 8.3 rebounds and 23.6 minutes in a career-best 81 games with Boston last season. He holds career averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 24.9 minutes in 258 games, all with the Celtics. In the playoffs, Sullinger has averaged 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 16.1 minutes in 10 contests.

Sullinger was drafted 21st overall by Boston in the 2012 NBA Draft.

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