When the Toronto Raptors signed veteran free agent forward Luis Scola this summer, it seemed like the only reaction generated by “We The North” was the sound of crickets. The 35-year-old Scola had come off the bench for the past two seasons in Indiana and was overshadowed by All-Star David West, so as the Pacers slid into obscurity last season, there was little reason for anyone to keep tabs on the veteran.
Well 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.
The final day of the tournament was cut short because of tropical storm Erica, however, in three contests Scola averaged 17.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, , 0.7 blocks and 31.3 minutes.
In four games Canada’s Andrew Wiggins had more total points (58) and Anthony Bennett had more total rebounds (30), but the veteran Scola was this event’s most dominant player and he had his best game against the NBA stacked Team Canada. Versus Canada, Scola scored 23 points and collected 8 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block, although the Canadians hung on for the 85-80 victory.
Scola insists his 35-year-old legs have plenty left in them to offer a team and the past two seasons in Indiana were a little frustrating and the numbers bear him out. He averaged a double-double on a per 36 minute basis in each of the past two seasons – for the first time since his second year in the NBA.
“Last couple of years sometimes it was a little frustrating to play less minutes than I was used too,” Scola said on his arrival in Toronto. “I feel like my legs are okay. I don’t think I have any limitations. I really work hard. I expect to be a big part of the rotation.”
In Puerto Rico, Scola has shown playing starters minutes shouldn’t be a concern. He has plenty left to offer.
If there was a free agent President and General Manager Masai Ujiri signed this summer that Canadians, Torontonians and Raptors fans in general should have been familiar with and happy to see it should have been Luis Scola. Scola has enjoyed a solid NBA career and as the top player from Argentina, he’s been a Team Canada killer since 2007.