On Pro Bball Report recently: Tax Myths about Canada, No respect for Raptors, The surprising Cory Joseph, Luis Scola dominating, Cavs Kyrie Irving return uncertain, Anthony Bennett improves, Landry Fields unwanted, Andrew Wiggins leads Canada twice, Brady Heslip scores, Dwight Powell impresses and more.
Every now and then somebody tries to explain the inability of the Toronto Blue Jays, Raptors or Maple Leafs to land some available big name free agent using Canada’s exceedingly high personal income tax rates. However, most people are almost undoubtedly unaware that the highest personal tax rate in the U.S. at the federal level is a comparatively shocking 39.6 percent plus US citizens pay an additional 2.35 percent Medicare tax.
It’s still early to be making predictions about next season, not that being early has ever stopped anyone, and it seems the Toronto Raptors failure to land a superstar player in free agency has bumped them completely off the radar down South. The Raptors just can’t get any respect for their anticipated defense of the Atlantic Division or their consecutive franchise record setting seasons.
“Cory keeps getting better,” said two-time NBA MVP and Team Canada general manager Steve Nash. “I don’t think a lot of people thought he was an NBA player after his first year with the Spurs and he has continued to get better and better and better and look where he is now. He is a valued NBA player. Cory is a tough kid, he plays hard, he competes and he keeps getting better and he’s been rewarded for it.”
Luis Scola has shouted from Puerto Rico that he’s not done yet. Playing for Argentina in the Tuto Marchand Cup, a warm up tournament for the FIBA Americas, Scola didn’t just lead his National Team, he led the entire tournament in scoring, rebounding and assists per game.
After suffering a broken knee cap and undergoing surgery in June, it shouldn’t exactly come as a shock that the Cavs All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is expected to miss the start of the 2015-16 NBA season, just about no one expects him to rush back before January either and really, why even that quick? The thing is with the Cavaliers, there’s a pretty good chance no one notices his absence.
“(Bennett) has arguably been our highest energy guy in practice,” head coach Jay Triano said. “I don’t really try to classify who’s a four and who’s a five, who’s a center and who’s a power forward. We ask our first big down the floor to be the guy who occupies space and looks for something in transition and with his speed and the way that he runs, he is usually the first guy down the floor. I told him not to worry about numbers, be the first guy down (and) rebound the crap out of the ball. Get it every time that it’s available. I said that will keep you on the floor longer, that will let other people see what type of skills that you have and he has a lot of basketball skills.”
Landry Fields is only 27-years-old with five years of NBA experience behind him. “In terms of (my) shot and the arm, it is still an on-going thing,” Fields said just before last season started. “I do the best I can with rehab, it is what it is. I do understand that my contract might not be the same (next year). I might not be in basketball after this year.”
For the second time in four games, Andrew Wiggins led Team Canada to victory at the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup. Canada taking a hotly contested game 78-72 from their previously undefeated hosts Puerto Rico. The Canadians wrapped up this warm-up tournament at 4-0.
Brady Heslip netted a game-high 14 points by nailing four three-pointers to lead five different Canadians in double-digit scoring en route to a 86-74 win over the Dominican Republic at the Tuto Marchand Cup in Puerto Rico on Tuesday. With the win, Canada goes undefeated into the final contest against Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
Canada grabbed a small measure of revenge for Brazil beating them in the Pan Am Gold Medal Game a month ago by laying a 80-64 beating on their opponent at the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup in Puerto Rico on Monday. Canada never trailed and was up by as much as 25 points in the fourth quarter, the Dallas Mavericks Dwight Powell coming off the bench to lead all scorers with 18 points in 18 minutes.
Andrew Wiggins led Canada past Argentina 85-80 in the opener of the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup in Puerto Rico on Sunday, scoring 18 points in 26 minutes of action. Head coach Jay Triano giving his starting point guard Cory Joseph the day off and going 11 deep into his 12 man roster.
• Big Stories From The Previous Week
Patrick Patterson made everyone aware of just how much he appreciated the Toronto Raptors saving him from a form of purgatory in Sacramento and last summer he confirmed his attachment to his new new team by signing a modest three-year extension. This summer its all about the decor. Patterson just loves having the Raptors around him all the time.
Podcast: From NBA TV Canada’s The Hangout, host Akil Augustine breaks down the Toronto Raptors free agent signings from this summer. From Bismack Biyombo at 12:03pm immediately after the July Moratorium ended, to the Hawks DeMarre Carroll, Canadian Cory Joseph and finally the veteran Luis Scola.
“I think that every level he has played at, teams have leaned on him,” Team Canada head coach Jay Triano said. “Even as a rookie last year in the NBA playing all the games that he did. We are going to make sure to give him the basketball and we expect him to be a big player for us.”
President and General Manager Masai Ujiri once again showed his negotiating skills in achieving this compromise deal with his young center. It was widely believed that the 7-footer would hold out for a max contract extension starting out at an estimated $21 million next summer and with so many teams set to have significant salary cap space available.
When NBA superstar Kevin Durant had yet another surgery on his right foot at the end of March, it wasn’t revealed that the bone had cracked again and doctors had turned to a treatment best described as experimental. The bone graph used to strengthen the area takes on increased meaning in light of this new information.
Chris Bosh is just the latest NBA player to get into the world of fantasy basketball, a trend that has been sweeping all professional sports. Bosh recently has joined with FantasyDraft.com and announced it on twitter.