Week That Was In The NBA

Raptors Sign Free Agents Tyler Hansbrough and Julyan Stone

On Wednesday Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri confirmed that deals for both Tyler Hansbrough and Julyan Stone had been negotiated, but the final details to get them on board remained outstanding.  A formal announcement confirming these deals should be forthcoming soon.

Ujiri has reached back into his Denver connections once again to reacquire a backup point guard he had originally signed for Nuggets in 2011.  Stone was an undrafted senior out of UTEP and played 26 games over two seasons with the Nuggets. At 6’ 6” he has good size and reach to defend either guard spot, but his 207 minutes of playing time in the NBA provides little indication of his potential.

Hansbrough had an outstanding defensive rating on an outstanding defensive team.  Hansbrough is an energy player that doesn’t need a lot of plays run for him. His activity creates second shot opportunities for his teammates and himself, but it is his physical defensive style that has Casey’s attention.

There isn’t a consensus about the addition of Hansbrough, however, as described earlier in the DNB.

“Raptor fan forums are running amuck already when it comes to Tyler Hansbrough, some love him, some don’t just dislike him, they’re blood is boiling with hate rage. However, in all this ire and agitation one thing is consistent, everyone believes he is a frustrating presence inside the paint from a defensive standpoint, and that he is a true hard worker. I ask, what’s not to like about that?”

Raptors announce New Assistant Coach and Summer League Roster

Raptors announced the hiring of Nick Nurse to the staff. He will also be coaching the Raptors Summer League team which released their preliminary roster.

Nurse has a long resume in the D-League which includes a championship last season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Nurse is 45 and spent 11 years in Europe prior to his extensive time in the D-League.

The Raptors Summer League team includes Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross, Quincy Acy, and Julyan Stone. 

Big Free Agent Signings

Josh Smith has decided Detroit is the place to be and no one can say the Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars ever lets salary cap money burn a hole in his pocket. This time, however, he may have gotten a little better value for his money than in the recent past.  A seemingly annual All-Star snub, the nine-year veteran has career averages of 15.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.1 blocks. Even at a near maximum dollar contract, Smith is good value.

It is official, the Dwightmare is over. Dwight Howard has met with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak to confirm that he will be accepting the offer from the Houston Rockets

“We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we’re disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great Lakers fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.” - Mitch Kupchak

Andre Iguodala left money on the table in Denver to join the Golden State Warriors in a surprise move that left all of the teams involved in last season’s trade involving Andrew Bynum, Howard and Iguodala with nothing to show for their efforts.  No one that is except the Orlando Magic and they have to be pretty happy with how it all turned out.

Quiet Raptors July Moratorium Leads to DeRozan Trade Rumors

In a very quiet July Moratorium for the Raptors, the first big Toronto rumor was that Ujiri was trying to trade DeMar DeRozan to the Clippers for Eris Bledsoe.  The Clippers went in another direction, but with little news about the Raptors, the next Sunday a couple of sources went from saying DeRozan might be available in the right deal to the Raptors are actually shopping him.  There was a caveat, however, this could be just scuttlebutt, but these were sources that are usually in the know and that’s what happens when a team is this quiet during free agency.  Every rumor gets magnified and everyone grasps for any piece of information that might prove to be reliable.

So far, nothing of substance has come from any rumors involving DeRozan.  All Ujiri will confirm is that he is not about to just give away his players.

Canadians at Orlando Summer League

It didn’t take long for Canadian rookie sensation Kelly Olynyk to earn the nickname “KO” from the NBA TV commentators.  KO has been a force on the Summer League floor, confusing defenders with his ability to equally hit the three-point bomb, take the jump shot, dribble and dive for the up and under and otherwise thrive in the painted area.

Olynyk was taken 13th overall by the Dallas Mavericks two weeks ago and traded to Boston on draft night for the rights to the 16th pick, Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira and two future second round draft picks. Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge is looking pretty good right about now.

A nervous Canadian point guard Myck Kabongo made it to the NBA Summer League this week.  Going undrafted after being considered a surefire second round draft pick might eat away at some prospects confidence. College players take a huge chance leaving college early if they don’t land a professional basketball contract right away. Aside from a touch of nerves and an uncharacteristic 3-8 from the free throw line, Kabongo looked good in his professional debut on Monday against Trey Burke and the Jazz.

New NBA Salary Cap, Luxury Tax and Exemption Rules

The NBA has announced that the Salary Cap for next season will be $58.679 million and teams will be subject to Luxury Tax if their player salaries exceed $71.748 million.

The new CBA signed two years ago includes a host of new provisions including much higher Luxury Tax rates, multiple variations of the Mid-Level exception and the possibility for unwary teams to create an actual hard salary cap under certain situations.  This CBA is already having an impact on how NBA teams conduct their business.

Bargnani Trade is Official

The Toronto Raptors have confirmed the acquisition of former Raptors centre Marcus Camby, forwards Steve Novak and Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round draft pick and two second-round draft picks, one in 2014 and one in 2017, in exchange for forward/center Andrea Bargnani.

Stephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the ACC.  A member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, Stephen is the editor and publisher of Pro Bball Report

You can follow Stephen on twitter @stevesraptors

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