Delon Wright

Report: Raptors signing Shannon Scott to partially guaranteed contract

2 Comments

Most teams carry three point guards, and the Raptors are pretty set:

1. Kyle Lowry

2. Cory Joseph

3. Delon Wright

They’ll also have a fourth point guard in training camp.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The Raptors have 14 players with fully guaranteed salaries. Scott becomes Toronto’s fourth with a partial guarantee, joining Ronald Roberts, Michale Kyser and Axel Toupane.

Roberts remains the favorite to win the 15th and final regular-season roster spot for a few reasons.

One, his guarantee ($75,000) is higher than Kyser’s ($25,000) and Toupane’s ($25,000). If it turns out Scott’s guarantee is higher than Roberts’, that could change the equation. But I’d be surprised if that’s the case. Even then, waiving Roberts would accomplish less than waiving Scott.

The Raptors can waive Scott, Kyser and Toupane and assign their D-League rights to Toronto’s affiliate. Roberts’ D-League rights are already held by the Santa Cruz Warriors, meaning he can’t be assigned.

Plus, it’s difficult to see Scott finding a role on this Raptors team. His scoring is suspect, and he never showed range to even the college 3-point arc. He defended well in college, but his pedestrian size for his position will limit that asset at the next level. He also passed well in college, but again, maybe not well enough to project him as a plus NBA passer – at least not immediately.

Most importantly, Toronto doesn’t need another point guard. Unless that somehow changes, Scott is most likely headed to the Raptors’ D-League affiliate.

Raptors’ GM Masai Ujiri sees Bismack Biyombo as key part of roster transformation

17 Comments

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri spent this summer transforming the Raptors roster — he went out and got some defense. That starts with adding DeMarre Carroll, who brings a needed lock-down guy on the perimeter to Toronto. But there were other moves, such as adding Corey Joseph, drafting Delon Wright, while letting guys like Lou Williams walk.

Then they added a big man and rim protector Bismack Biyombo to the roster. He will back up Jonas Valanciunas, but Biyombo gives coach Dwane Casey a guy who thinks defense and rebounding first.

Ujiri knew who he wanted and targeted Biyambo early in free agency.

“My agent let me know the teams that would be calling me and right after 12, it was like 12:03, I got a phone call from Masai,” Biyombo recalled on a conference call on Thursday touting the NBA exhibition game in Africa Saturday. “So I was asking myself if he was going to talk to me about the summer camps (in Africa) and stuff, or if it was just going to be about basketball. We talked about how my family was doing more than we talked about basketball.”

But they did get around to hoops and how Biyombo could help Toronto. Ujiri wants energy and for Biyombo to come in and be physical inside.

“He’s trying to figure it out in many ways, what his niche and his specialty can be in the NBA,” Ujiri said on the same conference call. “But what he does well now is offensive rebounding. He’s elite, blocking shots, offensive rebounding he’s elite.

“Defensive rebounding I think he’s going to get better and then as a defensive player, he’s really a solid defender. We needed more physicality with our team, a screen-setter, a roller, somebody that will always challenge, put a body on guys and that’s what Biyombo does.”

He wants Biyombo to be the counterbalance to the offensive-minded Valanciunas.

Biyombo said he agreed pretty quickly to a two-year, $5.8 million deal with the Raptors in part because of his relationship with Ujiri. He also recognized the opportunity. While in Africa Biyombo said he has worked with Hakeem Olajuwon (also over for the exhibition game) on his post moves and his free throw shooting. The more offense he can provide to go with that defense, the more run Biyombo likely gets.

He’s been in the league four years, but Biyombo is just 22 — there is still a lot of room for him to grow his game. But if he can bring some defense in the paint to a Raptors team that fell to bottom 10 in the NBA in defense last season — and was torched by the Wizards in the first round — then he will get time on the court to show that offensive improvement off.

Raptors and Magic to play regular-season game in London

5 Comments

Giannis Antetokounmpo brought a little life to last year’s London game by guaranteeing a Bucks win over the Knicks. (Milwaukee backed it up with a 95-79 victory.)

Will anyone spice up this year’s contest in London?

NBA release:

The Orlando Magic will return to London to play a regular-season game against the Toronto Raptors at The O2 on Jan. 14, 2016 as part of NBA Global Games 2015-16, it was announced today by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).  This will mark the league’s sixth regular-season game in London.

This matchup isn’t as dreary on paper as last year’s, but these aren’t the NBA’s most exciting teams.

The Raptors have been good the last couple years, and they’ve recommitted to defense this offseason – adding DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, Bismack Biyombo and Delon Wright. The Magic are trying to commit to defense in the first place, hiring Scott Skiles to coach a talented young roster.

If these teams have their way, this will probably be a low-scoring slugfest. Is that the brand of basketball the NBA wants to promote as it expands its reach to other continents?

Apparently.