Raptors waive Justise Winslow, Mouhamadou Gueye and Jeff Dowtin Jr.

The Toronto Raptors yesterday waived guard Jeff Dowtin Jr., and forwards Mouhamadou Gueye and Justise Winslow.

Toronto finished the preseason with a 4-0 record. The Raptors will open the 2023-24 regular season Wednesday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at Scotiabank Arena at 7:30 p.m. (Sportsnet / Sportsnet 590 The FAN).

Raptors forward Precious Achiuwa injured

The Toronto Raptors revealed on Friday that forward Precious Achiuwa will miss the team’s open practice after suffering a left groin strain during a training camp exercise.

Achiuwa won’t suit up for the team’s preseason opener against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday in Vancouver.

When the team gets back to Toronto, he’ll get another evaluation, and his health will be updated as needed.

Raptors sign Garrett Temple, Mouhamadou Gueye and Kevin Obanor

The Toronto Raptors have signed guard-forward Garrett Temple, and forwards Mouhamadou Gueye and Kevin Obanor.

Both Gueye and Obanor recently played for the Raptors at NBA Summer League 2023 in Las Vegas.

Temple, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, spent last year with New Orleans and has played 13 seasons in the NBA (2009-11, 2012-23) with 11 teams – Houston, Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Washington, Memphis, LA Clippers, Brooklyn, Chicago and New Orleans. He owns career averages of 6.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 20.9 minutes in 716 games (288 starts). Temple also played one season overseas, appearing in 28 games with Novipiù Casale Monferrato in Italy during the 2011-12 campaign.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Temple went undrafted in 2009 before signing with the Rockets. He played collegiately at Louisiana State University (2005-09), where he left LSU as the all-time leader in games played (134), starts (131) and minutes played (4,432). As a senior, Temple was named Second Team All-SEC and earned SEC All-Defensive Team honours for the second straight year.

Gueye, 6-foot-9, 210 pounds, averaged 8.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.9 blocks and 20.7 minutes in 29 Showcase Cup and regular season games with the Texas Legends in the NBA G League last season. He shot .576 (102-177) from the field and scored in double figures 13 times. A native of Staten Island, New York, Gueye played two seasons at Stony Brook (2019-21) before transferring to Pittsburgh (2021-22) where he became the first player in Panthers history to lead the team in both three-point field goals (43) and blocks (67) in the same season.

Obanor, 6-foot-8, 235 pounds, was an All-Big 12 Honourable Mention last season after averaging team highs of 14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 31.0 minutes in 32 games (all starts) as a fifth-year senior at Texas Tech. He scored in double digits in 24 contests, including 20 or more eight times, and recorded two double-doubles. The Houston native played three seasons at Oral Roberts (2018-21) prior to transferring to Texas Tech for his final two years of college eligibility (2021-23).

Raptors re-sign Jeff Dowtin Jr. and Ron Harper Jr., sign Javon Freeman-Liberty

The Toronto Raptors have re-signed guard Jeff Dowtin Jr.

Also, the team re-signed guard-forward Ron Harper Jr. and signed guard Javon Freeman-Liberty to two-way contracts.

Dowtin, 6-foot-3, 176 pounds, averaged 2.4 points, 1.2 assists and 10.4 minutes in 25 games as a two-way player with the Raptors last season. In 19 regular season games with Raptors 905 in the NBA G League, Dowtin averaged 16.9 points, 5.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 32.8 minutes. He shot .502 (117-233) from the field and scored in double figures in 17 games, including 20 or more points eight times, with the 905.

A native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Dowtin has played in 34 career NBA games with Golden State, Milwaukee, Orlando and Toronto, averaging 2.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 10.8 minutes. Prior to going undrafted in 2020, Dowtin spent his entire college career at the University of Rhode Island (2016-20) where he earned Atlantic 10 Third Team honours as a senior.

Harper, 6-foot-5, 242 pounds, returns to the Raptors where he spent his rookie season also as a two-way player. He posted averages of 2.2 points, 0.8 rebounds and 5.3 minutes in nine games with Toronto, and averaged 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 blocks, 1.1 steals and 32.7 minutes in 29 regular season contests with Raptors 905. He scored 10+ points in 26 games and recorded three double-doubles with the 905. Harper set season highs with 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds Mar. 21 against College Park.

A native of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, Harper joined the Raptors as an undrafted free agent following four seasons (2018-22) at Rutgers. As a senior, he was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and was one of five finalists for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award for the second consecutive season.

Freeman-Liberty, 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, appeared in 17 regular season games with Windy City in the NBA G League last season. He averaged 18.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 30.2 minutes, while shooting .493 (107-217) from the floor, including .376 (32-85) from three-point range. Freeman-Liberty scored 20+ points seven times and had season-high 39 points Jan. 16 against Cleveland.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Freeman-Liberty played two seasons at Valparaiso (2018-20) before transferring to DePaul (2020-22) for his final two years. He earned Second Team All-BIG EAST honours as a senior after averaging 21.7 points, which ranked eighth among all NCAA Division l players.

Raptors sign forward Jalen McDaniels

The Toronto Raptors have signed forward Jalen McDaniels to a multi-year contract.

McDaniels, 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, averaged 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 23.9 minutes in 80 games (24 starts) with the Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers last season. He shot .455 (281-617) from the field and .841 (116-138) from the free throw line. He scored 20+ points in six games, including a career-high 26 points Jan. 16 vs. Boston.

“Jalen is a hard-working, defensive-minded player who we believe has tremendous potential for growth,” Vice-Chairman and President Masai Ujiri said. “He brings versatility to both ends of the floor, and we’re excited to see him develop as a member of the Raptors.”

In 56 games (21 starts) for the Hornets last year, McDaniels averaged 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 26.7 minutes. He recorded nine games with three-or-more steals and five games with two-or-more blocks. After being acquired by the 76ers at the trade deadline, he averaged 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 17.5 minutes in 24 games (three starts).

The four-year pro has played in 198 games (44 starts) with Charlotte and Philadelphia, sporting career averages of 7.7 points (.465 FG%, .345 3PT%, .784 FT%), 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 20.2 minutes. The Federal Way, Washington native was selected in the second round (52nd overall) by the Hornets in the 2019 NBA Draft. He played for two seasons at San Diego State, where he was named to the All-Mountain West Conference Tournament First Team and the All-MWC Second Team as a sophomore. His younger brother, Jaden McDaniels currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves while his cousin, Juwan Howard, is a former 19-year NBA veteran.

Raptors re-sign center Jakob Poeltl

The Toronto Raptors have re-signed center Jakob Poeltl to a multi-year contract.

Poeltl, 7-foot-1, 260 pounds, averaged 12.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 blocks and 26.5 minutes in 72 games (71 starts) with San Antonio and Toronto last season. He shot .629 (389-618) from the field – his highest field goal percentage since the 2018-19 season – which ranked ninth in the NBA.

“Jakob brought an immediate presence on the floor when he returned to us last season. He’s a smart, hard-nosed rim protector,” Raptors Vice-Chairman and President Masai Ujiri said. “We have been strong believers in Jakob as a player and as an individual since day one, and we are thrilled that he will be a Raptor for years to come.”

After being acquired on Feb. 9, he played 26 games (25 starts) for the Raptors, averaging 13.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 27.2 minutes. He tied Pascal Siakam (eight) for most double-doubles on the team since the trade deadline and also led the Raptors in total rebounds (237), blocks (34), and field goal percentage (.652) in that span. Poeltl recorded 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds Feb. 23 vs. New Orleans becoming the sixth player in franchise history to record 20/18 in the regular season.

A native of Vienna, Austria, Poeltl owns career averages of 8.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 21.1 minutes in 488 games (235 starts) with San Antonio and Toronto. He was selected ninth overall by the Raptors in the 2016 becoming the first Austrian player in league history.

Prior to the NBA, Poeltl played two years (2014-16) at Utah and one season (2013-14) for the Arkadia Traiskirchen Lions in Austria. He was the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year, an AP second-team All-American and the recipient of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award for the nation’s top centre his sophomore year with the Utes.

Raptors sign Markquis Nowell to two-way contract

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed guard Markquis Nowell to a two-way contract.

Nowell, 5-foot-8, 160 pounds, joins the Raptors following five years in the NCAA, where he spent time at Little Rock (2018-21) and Kansas State (2021-23). During the 2022-23 campaign, he averaged 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 2.6 steals and 36.9 minutes in 36 games (all starts) with the Wildcats. Nowell finished the season ranked second nationally in assists per game, total assists (297) and total steals (92). He was named the 2023 Bob Cousy Award Winner, which is presented annually to the top point guard in Division I men’s basketball. Nowell also earned All-Big 12 First Team honours and was voted to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team for the second straight year.

A native of Harlem, New York, Nowell set a single-game NCAA Tournament record with 19 assists Mar. 23 vs. Michigan State. His 54 assists during Kansas State’s run to the Elite Eight were the most since 1989, and third most in tournament history.

Raptors sign rookie Gradey Dick

The Toronto Raptors have signed guard-forward Gradey Dick to a rookie scale contract.

Dick is under contract through the 2024-25 season, with two team option years to follow.

The Raptors selected Dick 13th overall in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Dick, 6-foot-8, 205 pounds, averaged 14.1 points (12th in the Big 12), 5.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 32.6 minutes in 36 games (all starts) as a freshman at Kansas last season. He shot .442 (174-394) from the field, including .403 (83-for-206) from three-point range, and set the Jayhawks freshman record for three-point field goals made with 83. For his efforts, Dick was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team and Big 12 All-Freshman Team.

Toronto Raptors hire Darko Rajakovic as their new head coach

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have named Darko Rajaković as head coach.

Rajaković becomes the 10th head coach in franchise history, after spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We’re entering a new era – one where we are embracing new ideas, a new attitude, and now a new head coach – but our goals remain the same. A championship. Winning,” Raptors Vice-Chairman and President Masai Ujiri said. “Darko shares those goals, and our belief in culture, professionalism, and hard work. His commitment to both learning and teaching our game is elite, and we are all very excited to welcome him to the Raptors family.”

A native of Serbia, Rajaković was an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns for one season (2019-20) following seven years (2012-19) with the Oklahoma City Thunder organization, where he served as an assistant coach for five seasons (2014-19). The Thunder averaged 49 wins during his five years on the coaching staff, with four playoff appearances – including a trip to the 2016 Western Conference Finals.

Rajaković joined the Thunder in 2012 as head coach of the team’s then G League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers, becoming the first head coach born outside North America in league history. In two seasons (2012-14) at the helm of the 66ers, the team posted a 51-49 record (.510) and reached the G League semifinals in 2013. While serving as Tulsa’s head coach, he was also included as one of the Thunder’s assistant coaches at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.

“To join and to lead an elite organization like the Raptors is what I have been working for my entire professional life,” Rajaković said. “This is an amazing opportunity, to join a franchise with a supportive ownership group, fantastic front office and fanbase, and elite players. I’m looking forward to the journey ahead as we work together to achieve our goals: development, playoffs, championships.”

Prior to joining Oklahoma City, Rajaković was the head coach of Espacio Torrelodones in Spain for three successful seasons (2009-12), where he led the team to the championship of the Primera Division de Baloncesto in Madrid in his first year. From 2004-11, he also served as European scouting consultant and NBA Summer League assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

Rajaković began his coaching career at the age of 16, with the Borac Cacak Youth Team in his hometown of Cacak, Serbia. After three seasons (1996-99) with Borac Cacak, he was named the head coach of the U20 and U18 teams of Red Star Belgrade and led Red Star to two Serbian Youth championships during his eight-year tenure (1999-2007).

On the international stage, Rajaković was as an assistant coach for Serbia at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, helping his country to a fifth place finish at the tournament, which included a win over the United States in the classification round.

Rajaković, 44, received a basketball coaching degree from the Belgrade Basketball Academy in 2004 and a degree in sports management from Alfa BK University in Belgrade in 2006. He and his wife Gaga have a son, Luka, who is five.

New Sixers head coach will reportedly be Nick Nurse

Via ESPN.com:

According to sources who spoke to ESPN on Monday, the Philadelphia 76ers have hired Nick Nurse as their next coach and have given him the goal of leading the team to its first championship in 40 years.

Throughout Sunday and Monday, the Sixers and Phoenix Suns were negotiating with Nurse and his agent, Andy Miller of Klutch Sports, leaving Nurse to choose between two competitive teams, according to sources.