On Pro Bball Report recently: Raptors Go Blue Collar, NBA Salary Cap rises, Tristan Thompson not signed yet, Jonas Valanciunas at power forward, Bruno Caboclo shines, Norman Powell stars, Delon Wright on defense, Luis Scola signs, Raptors 905, DeAndre Daniels injured, Free Agency, Celtics, Team Canada and more.
“We want to add players that are going to fit different roles and what we feel that we haven’t done so well and hopefully these (new) guys do,” GM Masai Ujiri.
“Finally the blue collar guys are getting a little recognition,” DeMarre Carroll.
When the league first started guessing at what the NBA Salary Cap for the 2015-16 season would be, they were suggesting $67 million would be about right. Then during the July Moratorium, there was an oops, maybe that should be $69 million. Now it looks like even that guess wasn’t high enough.
As LeBron James signed a brand new two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a door opened slightly for the Toronto Raptors to pursue restricted free agent Canadian power forward Tristan Thompson. Everyone seems to remember James saying he wanted Thompson back next season and there were plenty of “experts” implying James wouldn’t sign before a deal got done with his NBA Finals starting power forward. However, what seems to be missed is precisely what James said.
Valanciunas isn’t afraid to put in the extra work required to improve his game and he can currently be found at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas honing his craft while the rookies, sophomores and free agents practice for the the upcoming games.
Caboclo showing confidence in his silky-smooth jump shot as he nailed three of his five three-point attempts and scored 15 points. Powell seeming to blow by the Kings defenders at will on his way to scoring 20 points on 8-15 shooting in just over 24.5 minutes of action. They were the stars of the night.
Last year at this time the Raptors first round draft pick Bruno Caboclo was described as being ‘two years away from being two years away,’ but in practice and at NBA Summer League, he looked just like any other mid to late first round selection – talented, but raw.
The Toronto Raptors 2015 NBA draft picks Delon Wright and Norman Powell were at their first day of practice for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and talked to the Raptors Akil Augustine about their expectations and goals. Not surprisingly, these two fairly mature young guards had a lot to say about defense.
With free agency almost done, the Toronto Raptors were still missing depth at power forward, but not anymore. 35-year-old veteran Luis Scola will be joining the team on a one-year $3 million deal
Toronto Raptors Director of Scouting Dan Tolzman has been named as the new NBA D-League Raptors 905 General Manager. Raptors Assistant Coach Jesse Mermuys has been named Raptors 905 Head Coach and Assistant General Manager.
DeAndre Daniels had surgery today performed by Dr. Rick Ferkel in Los Angeles. Daniels sustained a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot, also known as a Jones fracture.
After getting Spurs free agent guard Cory Joseph to agree to come to Toronto, Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri has few options left in free agency and not many open roster spots. There should be some wiggle room left, however, it’s safe to say that most of the money the Raptors had available has been committed.
If the Celtics can work a sign and trade for Johnson via the Rajon Rondo trade exception, with a non-guaranteed third season, the team would be able to stay over the cap and keep their numerous trade exceptions and Mid-Level Exception.
Most of the “A” list for Team Canada will miss the Pan Am games because of NBA free agency, Summer League, and because the Olympic Qualifying tournament is being held at the end of August in Mexico. However, just seeing how far Bhullar has come since last summer could be worth the price of admission.
• Big Stories From The Previous Week
In a totally predicable scenario, once the Spurs landed LaMarcus Aldridge, the Raptors would be able to land their defensive-minded guard of choice, Canadian Cory Joseph. What’s been next for the Raptors this summer has been getting head coach Dwane Casey defense-oriented players that fit the style he likes to play.
Amir Johnson, one of the nicest guys to grace a Toronto Raptors locker room says, “see you later.”
By Frank McLean
July 1st, 2015 will be remembered as the day the remake of the Toronto Raptors began. It was a day of addition and subtraction. The addition is forward DeMarre Carroll from the Atlanta Hawks. The subtraction is that of forward Amir Johnson.
Carroll is a huge get for the Raptors Ujiri. Called a “Junkyard Dog” in college, Carroll is a Coach Casey style player, someone known for playing hard on every possession. At 6’8, Carroll has the size to play against the bigger small forwards in the NBA, something the Raptors have been lacking in their last two playoff appearances and with a 39.5 three-point field goal percentage, he can stretch the floor.
Conservatively starting at $15.5 million per season, the luxury tax bill for keeping this young rebounding energy guy in Cleveland could look something like this: $16.25 million for the first $5 million, $18.75 million for the next $5 million and $21.25 million for the last $5 million in salary. Adding the luxury tax bill up and Griffin could be paying over $70 million in salary and luxury tax in order to keep Thompson next season.
“He is a little older than your normal 19 or 20-year-old coming in today, but that’s good,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s a kid that’s been around the NBA, knows the NBA, talked about the NBA with his brother.”
In the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors took an athletic scorer and defender in ULCA shooting guard Norman Powell. This kid seems to be more NBA ready than the typical rookie coming into the pros and has the potential to surprise if he is given the chance.