Week That Was In The NBA

Raptors' Tank Is Put In The Garage For Now

The Raptors have been adding instead of subtracting, so the tank is in the garage and now the question becomes what the Raptors can do. If they can’t be a playoff team as constructed we can always pull the tank out of the garage. It might not make you the very worst, but only 3 times has the very worst landed the number one pick in 20 years.  For now, the Raptors are taking aim at the postseason.

Look for The Raptors to Be Tough, Physical and Gritty.  Just Like Casey.

If there was one thing the Toronto Raptors were not known for under the rein of Bryan Colangelo it was toughness and the Raptors new President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri is embarrassed by how other teams view the Raptors and it is going to change.

“I’m tired of all this. People come here and everyone calls the team soft or calls the team pushovers or all these stupid names they have mentioned,” Ujiri said.

Anyone still wondering why Tyler Hansbrough was the first free agent the Raptors signed this summer?

Jonas Valanciunas Has Been Feeling The Love In Las Vegas

CBS Sports Zach Harper said, “I loved his physicality. It wasn’t just that he was more aggressive or looked comfortable. Jonas was noticeably more physical and seemed to want to push everybody around. He’s kept his mobility and seemed balanced at the same time. It was against weaker competition, but he dominated.  Borderline All-Star.  If we’re going with a more historical player comparison, I’d say Antonio Davis when he was at his best with the Indiana Pacers.  Maybe as a more modern reference, we could reach for Tyson Chandler.”

Why Julyan Stone Never Made It To Toronto

A week ago free agent Julyan Stone was on the verge of becoming a Toronto Raptor. Ujiri had reached out to re-acquire the third string point guard he had originally signed in Denver. It all made sense. However, it is now readily apparent; Stone had never fully recovered from his injury a year ago and any future he might have with the Raptors hangs on his ability to fully recover while Ujiri still needs a player of his talents.

Raptors Amnesty Linas Kleiza and Sign Point Guard Dwight Buycks

The Toronto Raptors announced on Tuesday evening they have used the team’s amnesty provision to waive forward Linas Kleiza.  Kleiza only appeared in 108 games for the Raptors over three seasons as a knee injury suffered during his first preseason with the team would eventually require surgery.  It’s been obvious, Kleiza never fully recovered from his injury.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Raptors confirmed they had signed free-agent point guard Dwight Buycks.  The 24-year-old Buycks had made a huge impression with the Thunder’s Summer League team in Orlando earlier this month.  Last year, Buycks averaged a team-high 18 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals in 32 games in the French Pro A League with Gravelines.  Buycks left Marquette as a sophomore in 2011.

Tyler Hansbrough Says He’s Ready to Rumble On Offense

The Raptors officially signed the tough gritty 6’ 9” 250 lb power forward this week.  Tyler Hansbrough has averaged 16.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and a steal per 36 minutes over his four seasons in Indiana. When he started 29 games in his second season, he put up 14.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in 27.5 minutes and last year in his eight starts, he averaged a double-double of 14.8 points and 10.1 rebounds in 26.8 minutes.  He has learned how to be aggressive and effective in the NBA and has averaged a manageable 4 personal fouls per 36 minutes over his career. For comparison, the Raptors Amir Johnson has averaged 5.5 personal fouls per 36 minutes and Aaron Gray is at 6.3.

 Raptors Waive Marcus Camby  and Get Pacers Free Agent DJ Augustin

The Toronto Raptors announced that they have agreed to a buyout with forward/center Marcus Camby and placed him on waivers. If Camby is not picked up by another team over the next 48 hours, he will become an unrestricted free agent. Camby had signed a three-year with the Knicks on July 11, 2012 for $13 million, however, the final season was only guaranteed for $1 million.

Casey wanted the Raptors to become Pacers North and it’s hard to think of a better way to accomplish that goal than by picking off free agents from last season’s Pacers’ roster.  In what should no longer come as a surprise, the Raptors have come to terms with the former Pacers backup point guard D.J. Augustin

This is a solid acquisition for the Raptors.  Toronto had no one with NBA experience to replace starting point guard Kyle Lowry in case of injury or illness.  Augustin has yet to prove he is ready to be a full-time starter in the NBA, but he is more than capable of starting for a few games when needed and being a more than adequate backup.

Raptors Enter Tournament Phase Of Vegas Summer League

The Raptors path is set for the Las Vegas NBA Summer League tournament format and they get the day off on Wednesday having landed the 6th seed in the tournament. They will play the winner of the Pelicans vs. Nuggets set to tip off at 6pm local time in Toronto. The Raptors will play Thursday at that same time 6pm local against the winner.

Stephen Brotherston has covered the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the ACC since 2009.  A member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, Stephen is the editor and publisher of ProBballReport.  You can follow Stephen on twitter @stevesraptors

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