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:
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.