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CSKA Moscow Nando De Colo

Raptors RFA Nando De Colo Re-Signs With CSKA Moscow

The Toronto Raptors won’t be getting a shot at signing their restricted free agent Nando De Colo this summer as the Euroleague MVP has decided to re-sign with CSKA Moscow for another three seasons according to EuroHoops.net

He won everything there was to win this year, both at an individual and at a team level. His magnificent performances attracted some heavy attention from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. But despite the call from the sirens of the NBA, the French combo guard chose to stay in the CSKA Moscow, by signing a new three-year contract.

“I am very happy to continue playing for CSKA”, De Colo said in the team’s official website after the renewal of his contract was announced. “It wasn’t a tough decision to take. I came back to Europe to play, to use the opportunities and carry more responsibility day-by-day. This is what I did, what I had here with the club. This year we had an amazing season. And this is what I want: to play, to do it for the best team in Europe and to be one of the leaders of this team. This is what is the most important for me, this is why I signed with CSKA”.

The most wanted free agent in Europe was the regular season MVP, the Euroleague Final Four MVP and a Euroleague Champion this past year where he averaged 17.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists over 63 games while shooting 55.1 percent on twos, 42.9 percent from three-point range and 93.4 percent from the free throw line.

The Raptors had acquired De Colo in a 2014 trade deadline deal with the Spurs and have maintained his rights since the guard signed with Moscow that summer. There was a lot of interest in De Colo from NBA teams this off season as the 28-year-old guard had earlier declined his player option with Moscow and was expected to be available as an NBA restricted free agent this July.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.




Valanciunas & DeColo

Raptors Jonas Valanciunas And Nando De Colo Are Eurobasket All-Stars

The Toronto Raptors got some good news from the Eurobasket 2015 tournament, starting center Jonas Valanciunas and a player they hold the NBA rights to Nando De Colo were named to the All-Star Five.

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.

Valanciunas was the only NBA player on Lithuania’s roster and was his team’s prime offensive weapon, but De Colo stood out over a bevy of teammates playing in the NBA for France including the Spurs Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, Nuggets Joffrey Lauvergne, Magic Even Fournier and Jazz Rudy Gobert. De Colo led his team in scoring and was third in rebounds and assists.

Valanciunas signed a four year $64 million extension this summer with Toronto. De Colo was acquired by the Raptors from the Spurs two seasons ago but signed in Europe after Toronto made him a restricted free agent by issuing a qualifying offer last summer. Toronto issued another qualifying offer this summer to maintain their player rights.




TOR Vasquez and De Colo

Raptors Qualify Vasquez, Patterson and De Colo As RFA

The Toronto Raptors announced they have extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson and Nando De Colo on Saturday. This enables the Raptors to retain their rights of first refusal if any of these players were to sign an offer sheet with another team.

Vasquez and Patterson were acquired by the Raptors on December 9, 2013 from Sacramento. De Colo joined the Raptors from San Antonio in February.

A first-round draft pick by Memphis in 2010, Vasquez averaged 9.5 points, 3.7 assists and 21.5 minutes in 61 appearances with Toronto last year. He has played in 293 regular season games with Memphis, New Orleans, Sacramento and Toronto.

Patterson was drafted by Houston in the 2010 and has played 252 career games with Houston, Sacramento and Toronto. He averaged 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 48 games with the Raptors.

De Colo saw limited action in Toronto playing in 21 games and averaging 3.1 points, 1.6 assists and 9.2 minutes. He was a second-round pick by the Spurs in 2009.

Teams do not disclose financial information about qualifying offers.

Basketball Insiders indicates the qualifying offers are as follows: Vasquez $3.2 million, Patterson $4.3 million and De Colo $1.8 million.

San Antonio Spurs Media Day

Toronto Raptors Look After Nando De Colo And His Girlfriend

It isn’t easy changing teams at the NBA trade deadline, so the Toronto Raptors looked after their newest addition Nando De Colo and his girlfriend on their arrival in Toronto.  The kid glove treatment doesn’t last forever, but the help is important when a player arrives in a new city to play for a new team and has a lot of things on his plate.

“(I am) trying to work on everything to be better for me and my girlfriend because for the moment everything being taking care of by the club, but (soon) I must do it for myself,” De Colo said.  “I have for 1.5 months a place (provided by) the club and after (that) I will do it by myself.”

De Colo was playing in the Spanish ACB league before joining the Spurs last season, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his girlfriend is Spanish.  She followed De Colo to San Antonio when he came to the NBA and she is here with him in Toronto on his next adventure.

“She is Spanish,” De Colo said.  “It’s okay, she was with me in San Antonio, so after a year and a half, she knows this kind of life.  Now to come to Toronto, it is just a new life and new city and everything is different, but it’s a new experience, so it’s exciting.”

Getting dropped off in a new Country might be overwhelming to a young player who is less well travelled, but De Colo has been around.  He’s played professional basketball in France, Spain, for his National team and this is his second stop in the NBA.  A move to a new city doesn’t faze this trekker.

“I left my home when I was 15, so finding everything when I left one city for another, it’s almost the same,” De Colo said.  “There might be some changes, but if you ask, everyone will tell you what you need to know.  When you move during the season to another (team), everyone is there to help you, so if you need anything, you can ask and they are going to find what you need.”

Besides, there’s always the internet when you need to find out about the city you just moved to.

“Now we live in 2014 and you got everything if you have the internet,” De Colo said.  “You can find everything you want.”

Teams want to help out their incoming players during the season because they have a lot of ground to make up and not a lot of time to do it.  De Colo has been busy with basketball as he gets acclimatized to his new surroundings, but he seems very comfortable with the process.

“I am not far from the gym, so the way to come to the gym is pretty easy,” De Colo said.  “I come to the gym every day and try to work and learn more about the team, the plays, the systems.

“When you play basketball every day, you just try to take care and focus on what the team does and if you need more help, you just ask the coaches and players because they know the plays better than (I do).  When you need something or don’t understand something, you just need to ask.”

De Colo is looking forward to his stay in Toronto beyond the basketball court as well.  Apparently, the young man is a big sports fan and already has his sights set on taking in some games from the city’s other professional teams.  De Colo is going to fit into the Toronto lifestyle pretty quickly – once he gets the basketball side of things under control.

“(I am) just (getting to) know about Toronto a little bit better, about the city and the team,” De Colo said.  “When I come home, I just chill a little bit, see a little bit of the city and nothing more.

“When you get time, you go outside and you learn a little bit about the city.  I like to do everything.  I know here, they have a soccer team and I love soccer, so when the season starts, I will watch some games, but I love sports in general, so if I can see a lot of sports here like hockey, that would be great.  It’s just time.  You try to do everything that a new city can offer you.”

It appears De Colo and his girlfriend will fit into the Toronto lifestyle just fine.


Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.


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San Antonio Spurs Media Day

Nando De Colo Is The Toronto Raptors Next Man Up

Where other general managers were waiting for bought out players to clear waivers before adding depth for their playoff runs, Toronto Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri did his work early sending seldom used forward Austin Daye to the Spurs for backup guard Nando De Colo a week and a half ago.  It didn’t take long before Head Coach Dwane Casey was calling on De Colo to be the next man up in Toronto.

“(Lowry) stayed in the game, but he turned his ankle real bad,” Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey said after Thursday’s triple overtime game against the Wizards.  “Also, Terrence (Ross, ankle injury), both guys, so we’ll have to see for Sunday what they are going to do.  Next man up, someone is going to have to step up and be ready to play.  We have to get Nando (De Colo) ready.”

There is no way Ujiri could have known just how timely the trade would become, but it’s been just that kind of season for the Raptors GM this year.

The 26-year-old De Colo has played with the senior men’s French national basketball team since 2009 and spent three seasons in the Spanish ACB league before joining the Spurs last year.  Between his international experience and a season and a half under Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich, De Colo brings more to the Raptors than the typical NBA sophomore.

“Everyone says (Popovich) is a tough coach, but he knows when he must be tough with the team and when he must take care of the team, so he is exceptional and it is not only with Coach Pop, it is with the assistants too,” De Colo said.  “They are a long time with the team, a long time in the NBA, so they know everything and they can help you get better.  They know every year what they want and what their goal is and they just keep the same team, just build the team.  They try to play together and get better every day.”

Getting traded has been a new experience for De Colo, but it didn’t take long for De Colo to adapt to his new situation and in the 5 minutes he has played for Casey so far, he has surprisingly not looked out of place.

“I am happy to be here,” De Colo said.  “It was something new for me to be traded because playing in Europe, it is not something that happens, but it is okay, I am here, it is a new team.

“It is just basketball to know exactly what the team wants.  The first day you just see what’s (happening) on the court and you (try to) move like the (other) players.”

The 6’5 De Colo can cover a variety of spots on the court, from shooting guard to small forward and even as a point guard to initiate the offense.  He likes to have the ball in his hands on the fast break and can do a little bit of everything.

“I feel better when I play the two, but I like to have the ball in my hands sometimes,” De Colo said.  “So more like a two, but in rhythm when you just grab the ball and go on offense, I can help the point guard.

“My game is to do a little bit of everything.  I can shoot the ball, I know I can pass too and I try to be aggressive on the court.  What is good with the Raptors is, this year when I watch the games, they try to play together.  It is not, I’ll just go by myself and we’ll see what happens, they want to win the game together and every time, they find the extra pass and that’s what I like.”

De Colo sees a good fit for himself with the Raptors.  From his observations, this team plays a style that he is comfortable with and he likes what he has seen from Coach Casey.

“It is what I like to do,” De Colo said.  “They play pick-and-roll (a lot) and all these situations, its more or less my game, so I am happy to be here and we’ll see when I get minutes on the court.

“I think (playing for Casey) will be good for me.  From what I saw, he is a good coach.  He is very close with his team and all his players.  I think he knows what the team can do on the court and he tries to push every day to be better.”

Landry Fields returned to lineup at almost the same time as De Colo arrived, but he’s been out for a while and lost his spot in the rotation to Ross a long time ago.  Now that Ross is expected to miss some time with an ankle injury, it really is next man up and under the circumstances that is mostly likely to be De Colo.

Also, Lowry insisted his injury was minor after the game, even though he looked like he was in a lot of pain when it happened and he was noticeably hobbled in the overtime.  If Lowry misses any time, Greivis Vasquez will start and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if De Colo is next man up in this situation as well.

Once again, Ujiri seems to have found a player that fits just when his team needed him.


Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.


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San Antonio Spurs Media Day

Why Did The Toronto Raptors Add Nando de Colo From The Spurs?

The Toronto Raptors player evaluation mode continued on trade deadline day as President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri added yet another point guard to his roster by trading forward Austin Daye to the San Antonio Spurs in return for Nando de Colo.

The trade was confirmed via twitter by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski after the trade deadline had passed.

De Colo is a 6’5 point guard from France that the Spurs drafted 53rd overall in 2009 but didn’t bring to the NBA until last season. In 98 NBA games, De Colo has averaged 4 points in 12.5 minutes. Other than the 26-year-old has been successful in Europe and has been playing for head coach Gregg Popovich recently, what De Colo brings to the Raptors that they do not already have is something of a mystery.

The Raptors had already cut one point guard this season due to their surplus. D.J. Augustin was moved earlier to create room for the players coming in from the Rudy Gay trade in December.

Point guards still on the roster include Dwight Buycks, Julyan Stone, Greivis Vasquez and Kyle Lowry. How Head Coach Dwane Casey is supposed to find minutes to evaluate De Colo isn’t clear.

It’s possible Ujiri is merely giving Daye another shot at salvaging his NBA career with a new team. Daye quickly fell out of the rotation in Toronto after signing with the Raptors as a free agent in the summer.

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.