What are the Raptors doing?
Trying to win, I guess.
Despite predictions of mass tanking across the NBA next season, Toronto – which also rejected dumping the talented-but-overpaid Rudy Gay for cap relief and traded Andrea Bargnani (a move that helps with the cap and increases the Raptors’ chances of winning next season) – will sign Tyler Hansbrough to a two-year contract, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.
Hansbrough, 27, offers little upside for a rebuilding team. But for a Raptors team that went 33-26 to close last season, he can fill a very specific role.
He’ll be a bull offensively, grabbing rebounds and scoring in the paint (and perhaps shooting a few too many jumpers). Just don’t expect him to pass. Hansbrough averaged an assist every 38 minutes last season – and that was actually more frequent than the year before.
Obviously, the terms of the deal will be crucial to the Raptors, who are still in the range of the luxury-tax line. The Pacers deemed Hansbrough not to be worth a one-year, $4,135,391 contract, so it will be interesting to see how Toronto values him.
The Pacers have relied less and less on Hansbrough, and after re-signing David West, keeping Hansbrough would have been a luxury. Instead, Indiana signed Chris Copeland, who might fit better than Hansbrough did.
The Pacers should be fine without Hansbrough, and the Raptors should be a little better with him. This just came down to how each team perceived him and how much each could afford to spend.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.
Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.
Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.
Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.
The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.
BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.
The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.
In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.
Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.
Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.
That seemed odd.
In fact, it’s unprecedented.
That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.