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Anthony Bennett - cropped

Pro Bball Report Week In Review 09/27/15

On Pro Bball Report recently: Anthony Bennett to Toronto, Terrence Ross breaks out or busts, Raptors to win division again, no extension for DeMar DeRozan, Big summers for Luis Scola and Cory Joseph, Steve Nash on Team Canada, Mad Ants problem, FIBA Americas, Eurobasket All-Stars Jonas Valanciunas and Nando De Colo and more.

 

Anthony Bennett scrumShould The Raptors Grab Anthony Bennett?

The Minnesota Timberwolves are buying out former number one overall draft pick Anthony Bennett and unless some team has $5.8 million they don’t want, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent shortly and available to sign for the NBA minimum salary. Bennett is from Toronto and played for Team Canada this summer, so should the Raptors make an attempt to grab him to fill the 15th and final spot on their roster for this season?

 

T RossWill Raptors Terrence Ross Breakout Or Bust?

Last season was a disappointing failure on the part of the Toronto Raptors wing Terrence Ross to build upon a strong sophomore year and it is only going to get tougher for the 24-year-old in 2015-16. The starting small forward spot was Ross’ to lose and he’s lost it to veteran DeMarre Carroll. Head coach Dwane Casey still wants Ross to succeed and he’ll be given every chance again this year, but it’s breakout or bust this time.

 

DeRozan Lowry CarrollBasketball Insiders Predict Raptors To Win Their Division Again

In all seriousness, even a causal fan would have to be raving mad to believe the Toronto Raptors are not the overwhelming favorite to win the Atlantic Division for the third consecutive season, a basketball insiders perspective is not required to come to that conclusion.

 

DeMar DeRozan 1Why The Toronto Raptors Can’t Extend DeMar DeRozan

There are a lot of puff articles and even interviews lamenting the fact the Toronto Raptors and their star guard DeMar DeRozan are not pursuing contract extension talks prior to the start of this season. Aside from the fact this isn’t news and was well covered last season, the Raptors and anyone else who has bothered to look at the NBA CBA knows Toronto can’t extend DeRozan to anything remotely approaching his market value under the current rules.

 

Joseph & ScolaBig Summers By Scola And Joseph Raising Raptors Hopes

While the Raptors moves this summer have brought a collective yawn from many outside of Toronto, a closer look suggests President and General Manager Masai Ujiri has added some high quality pieces to play alongside the two All-Star guards already on his roster. Big summers from Luis Scola and Cory Joseph while playing for their National Teams at the FIBA Americas tournament are raising the Raptors already high hopes for next season.

 

Steve Nash 2015Team Canada Success Is No Surprise To Steve Nash

“I feel like this was what I envisioned,” Nash said after learning Canada was through to the semis. “There was moments when maybe I wasn’t sure it would come along this crisply, but I thought this would be the curve. We had a timid game against Argentina where we weren’t very good, otherwise we played well in Puerto Rico, we played well since. I don’t think I’d even go as far as pleasantly surprised, but I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it.”

 

Mad AntsPacers Acquire Fort Wayne Mad Ants Shutting Out 11 Other Teams

Things just got real for the 11 NBA teams that have yet to secure their own NBA D-League affiliate. The Indiana Pacers are about to announce they have acquired the last remaining independent D-League team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

 

Valanciunas Scola JosephRaptors Scola, Valanciunas And Joseph Are Leading Teams This Summer

The Toronto Raptors are watching three of their recently signed key players for next season in leading roles with their respective National Teams this summer. Jonas Valanciunas, Luis Scola and Cory Joseph are playing on teams expected to make some noise in their respective FIBA tournaments and while each player has a pivotal role, their situations couldn’t be more different.

 

Jay Triano 2015Canada Should Defeat Mexico To Secure FIBA Americas Semis Appearance
The two top teams heading into the FIBA Americas tournament were Argentina and Canada, both in Group B. In Group A, Mexico avoided the top teams in the preliminary round to go undefeated, but the easy ride is over for the host nation and they have to face Canada tonight and Argentina on Wednesday.

 

Wiggins FIBAAndrew Wiggins Leads Canada To 94-73 Spanking Of Mexico

Team Canada faced off against unbeaten Mexico and a boisterous crowd in the second round of the 2015 FIBA Americas spanking them 94-73 on their home court. Andrew Wiggins led Canada with 17 points while hitting on all four of his three-point attempts. It was a crushing victory for the visitors that vaulted Canada past Mexico and into second place with an outside shot at the number one seed

 

Jonas Valanciunas by Robertas Dačkus with permission (3)Raptors Jonas Valanciunas To Miss His Next Game

“Yesterday after training he climbed quite high temperatures, he receives medication, lies at the hotel and hopes that tomorrow he will be able to play. Today – certainly not, “- said Team doctor Vytenis Trumpickas

 

Jonas Valanciunas 2013

Raptors Jonas Valanciunas Leads Lithuania Past Bargnani And Italy

Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas had a huge game for Lithuania in a quarter-finals match against Italy at Eurobasket 2015. Valanciunas posted a game-high 26 point 15 rebound double-double in the 95-85 overtime victory.

 

Jonas Valanciunas LithuaniaJonas Valanciunas Goes For Gold With Lithuania At Eurobasket 2015
Taking on top-ranked and unbeaten Serbia in the Eurobasket 2015 semi-finals, Lithuania was in tough if they wanted to get to the Gold Medal game and a guaranteed Olympic berth in Rio. However, once again Jonas Valanciunas led his team in scoring with 15 points and 4 blocked shots as Lithuania knocked off Serbia 67-64 in a hard-fought defensive battle.

 

Valanciunas & DeColoRaptors Jonas Valanciunas And Nando De Colo Are Eurobasket All-Stars

Lithuania center Jonas Valanciunas also earned his first All-Star Five Presented by Tissot selection after contributing 16 points and 8.4 rebounds per-game, despite suffering with illness earlier in the competition. France’s Nando De Colo completed the fantastic five after playing a starring role in the hosts’ run to the bronze medal. The 28-year-old averaged 13.1 Points and 5.2 rebounds per-game as he revelled in the increased responsibly on his shoulders.

 

 

• Big Stories From The Previous Week

 

 

TOR DeRozan and LowryRaptors Boast A Top Five Backcourt Again This Season

It seems like a lifetime ago, but the Toronto Raptors started last season demolishing all-comers in a 13-2 run that ended with an unfortunate DeMar DeRozan groin injury that cost him over 20 games. DeRozan was returning from an All-Star campaign and perhaps the only good thing to come from his being hurt was it opened the door for Kyle Lowry to earn an All-Star nod of his own.

 

Irving Mosgov LoveCavaliers Could Face A Slow Start To The 2015-16 NBA Season

No less than starting point guard Kyrie Irving, starting power forward Kevin Love, one-time starting center Anderson Varejao and last year’s starting center Timofey Mozgov are all expected to be back (eventually) after serious injuries. The player and the team can say everything is going great and the rehab is on schedule, but nothing is a sure thing until the player gets on the court and puts a few games under their belt.

 

Kyle Lowry playoffs by Paul Saini FylmmRaptors Kyle Lowry Is Working For A Long Playoff Run

The Toronto Raptors All-Star and starting point guard Kyle Lowry will turn 30-years-old during the upcoming season and this realization has brought some changes to his usual summer workouts. Pictures of a new slimmed down Lowry went viral in social media, but the once stocky guard hasn’t slimmed down for the cameras, no this Raptor is getting ready for an 82 game schedule and a long playoff run.