Enjoy these video highlights of some of the best plays of the season from Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan:
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.”
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:
Paul Pierce blocked Kyle Lowry’s shot from the lane on the final play of the game, and the Brooklyn Nets held off the Toronto Raptors 104-103 in Game 7 on Sunday to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
The Nets will begin the conference semifinals at Miami on Tuesday night to play the two-time defending NBA champion Heat.
Leading by one point, Brooklyn used its final timeout after failing to inbound the ball. On the second opportunity, Shaun Livingston tried a lob pass to Pierce, but Terrence Ross got a hand on the ball and then knocked it off Pierce and out of bounds for a turnover.
Toronto used a timeout and gave the ball to Lowry, whose driving shot was blocked by Pierce as time expired. Lowry lay prone in the key as the Nets surged onto the court in celebration.
Joe Johnson scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Nets.
– Associated Press
Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Miami Heat, who swept the Charlotte Bobcats 4-0 in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs and await the winner of the Nets-Raptors series:
With the Miami Heat given Saturday off by coach Erik Spoelstra, there was no need to answer the question that never results in an honest answer, or any answer, anyway:
Who would you rather face in the next round?
The question will answer itself in Sunday’s Game 7 between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre, the winner to arrive at AmericanAirlines Arena for Tuesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
But let’s be real, there is a reason the Heat executive suite has been stocked with Canadian Club for the weekend, a reason Canadian bacon and Tim Hortons will be featured at the player brunch Sunday, a reason Spoelstra will flip a loonie to decide which team defends which basket during Sunday practice.
The Heat not only swept the four-game season series from the Raptors, but have won the past 15 meetings, never losing to Toronto during the Big Three era.
By contrast, the Heat went 0-4 against the Nets this season, losing both preseason games to Brooklyn, as well.
You do the math.
Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Nets, who are now in trouble against the Toronto Raptors and must win Game 6 in Brooklyn tomorrow or they’ll be eliminated from the first round of the NBA playoffs:
The Nets traded their future for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to rise in these moments. They held press conferences and dedicated thousands of words to reiterate that these guys bring leadership, they bring the moxie that’s required during crunch time of pivotal playoff games.
The price for that luxury? Three first-round draft choices. As the team slogan indicates, the Nets were going “All In” on two aging future Hall of Famers.
But for an entire fourth quarter in the biggest game of the season Wednesday night, with the Nets staging a miraculous comeback behind Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic, Pierce and Garnett were just cheerleaders, bystanders.
When the Nets needed a big stop in the final minute, Jason Kidd never summoned Garnett. When they needed a big shot, Pierce never took off his warmup shirt. The result was a 115-113 loss in Game 5 for the Nets, in a roller-coaster of a game that ended when Andray Blatche threw a pass way off target for a turnover with one second remaining.
The Nets, the most expensive team in NBA history, plunged to the brink of elimination with that pass and with most of their playoff experience on the bench, falling into a 3-2 deficit in the first-round series heading into Friday’s Game 6 in Brooklyn.
On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets visited the Toronto Raptors for Game 5 of their first round playoff series. Although the Nets went wild in the fourth quarter, scoring 44 points, it wasn’t enough, and Toronto won 115-113 to take a 3-2 series lead.
Raptors fans have been loud, wild and engaged during the series, and even gathering in massive crowds outside Toronto’s arena to enjoy the action. While Nets fans back in Brooklyn tend to be on the… quieter side. The Nets are still new in Brooklyn, and while attendance is great, and tons of fans are terrific, some others are on the casual side of things. It’s a great situation — all that’s missing is a bit more loudness from some in the crowd.
Anyway, during last night’s game, Nets team website reporter Lenn Robbins was running the official Nets Twitter account as a guest of sorts, and one of his tweets called out Nets fans. Check it out:
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) May 1, 2014
Bold move, calling out the fans. But if it works, that’s all that matters.
Tuesday in Toronto, the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 to tie their first round playoff series at one win apiece. In the win, DeMar DeRozan shot 9-of-21, with 12-of-14 free throws, finishing with 30 points. He did commit six turnovers; still, the all-star stepped up and helped his squad squeeze out a much-needed victory. Here are some DeRozan video highlights:
Here’s the Toronto Sun with a fun update on the general manage of the Raptors:
The Raptors-Brooklyn Nets series was never going to be a quiet one.
Between the Maple Leafs missing the playoffs eight of nine seasons and the Raptors done by late April for five straight seasons, Toronto fans have been impatiently waiting years for another taste of post-season action.
The Air Canada Centre was bananas from the start Saturday, getting on the visiting Brooklyn Nets, the referees and even Nets coach Jason Kidd. And if that wasn’t enough, scores of people gathered outside at Maple Leaf Square were even more amped up after team president/general manager Masai Ujiri, throwing political correctness out the window, ended an address to the gathered fans in emphatic fashion.
“F— Brookyn,” yelled Ujiri, handing off the mic as he left the stage with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke, who dropped his head, perhaps thinking, ‘It’s on now.’
Here are video highlights of Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, who is averaging 17.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.62 steals per game this season:
The Toronto Raptors announced forward Patrick Patterson had his right ulnar collateral sprain reassessed and a second scan was taken of the elbow.
The injury is healing as anticipated. Patterson will return to limited basketball activity over the next seven days with the use of a supporting brace and then a decision will be made with regards to his return to play thereafter.