Nov 22, 2013 10:28 AM EST
The Toronto Raptors are averaging just 17.1 assists on 35.3 made field goals per game this season, which ranks last in the NBA.
“One concerning thing to me is we might be 30th in the league in assists,” Masai Ujiri said. “That concerns me a little bit. I think we need to be able to move the ball – share the ball. I think to be a winning team – (we have to) figure out how to play with each other. I think chemistry is a key in team sports. We have good individual players and we just have to figure out a way to bring it all together. Chemistry does not come overnight – So (as) a period of time that comes around that is something I look at because when you look at winning teams, they share the ball and get each other involved.”
Nov 21, 2013 12:07 PM EST
The Toronto Raptors had another team-bonding experience in a player's hometown, as Kyle Lowry hosted his teammates in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Lowry's mother and wife cooked the food and even had a barber on hand.
Last week, the Raptors dined at Rudy Gay's Memphis home.
“Any time you get guys together off the court, build that camaraderie, it’s pretty good,” Dwane Casey said.
“He did it up right. Everybody had a great time.”
Nov 18, 2013 3:09 PM EST
Masai Ujiri has been active working the phones talking to other general managers, but it is unsure if the Toronto Raptors are buyers or sellers.
"Masai is keeping his cards pretty close to the vest," writes Chad Ford. "He's been active on the phones according to other GMs, but he isn't letting on whether he's looking to blow the team up or to make a push for the playoffs. I've heard mixed responses from other GMs who have dealt with him. I do know he loves Wiggins and the fit in Toronto is so obvious -- that seems like the right direction. But remember, the best he can get is a 25 percent chance at the No. 1 pick. There's no guarantee he can land Wiggins and while Jabari, Exum (who Masai is also a huge fan of) or Randle would be prizes too ... they might be a disappointment to Raptors fans."
Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan are two possible trade candidates for the Raptors.
Nov 01, 2013 3:11 PM EDT
The Toronto Raptors are prepared to overhaul their roster under new general manager Masai Ujiri.
The Raptors are evaluating how their pieces fit, but nearly every player can be made available except for one.
"Anyone but [Jonas] Valanciunas," said one source.
Rudy Gay is making nearly $18 million this season and can opt out in the offseason, making him an intriguing candidate for the Raptors to move. DeMar DeRozan is on a new extension given by Bryan Colangelo, while Kyle Lowry will be a free agent in the offseason.
Oct 30, 2013 12:37 PM EDT
Masai Ujiri would have liked to make more significant moves to the Toronto Raptors' roster during his first few months on the job, but deals didn't materialize beyond the Andrea Bargnani trade with the New York Knicks.
“It’s our first time all together,” said Ujiri. “It’s an evaluation time for us.
“We are still evaluating. I don’t know (about the team). I can’t tell you yet. Maybe after a couple of weeks, I will be able to say.”
The Raptors are counting on development from Jonas Valanciunas, another step from DeMar DeRozan, and Rudy Gay getting his career back on track.
“My team is now,” said Ujiri. “My time is now. All I know is now and the future. So they (fans) can start criticizing from today. We’re excited about the season. We’re going to do what’s best for the team and the organization.”
Oct 28, 2013 6:27 PM EDT
The Toronto Raptors have named Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan as team captains.
Gay was acquired last January by the Raptors in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies.
DeRozan signed a long-term extension with the Raptors last October.
Oct 27, 2013 4:08 PM EDT
The Toronto Raptors waived forward Chris Wright and guard Carlos Morais.
Morais totaled six points and 21 minutes in three preseason games, while Wright tallied 10 points, six rebounds and 26 minutes in five outings.
The Raptors' roster now stands at 15.
Oct 24, 2013 6:19 PM EDT
Raptors guard Kyle Lowry injured his left ring finger tendon during the third quarter of Wednesday’s game versus Memphis.
Lowry’s finger will be protected with a splint for approximately six weeks.
Lowry will be able to participate in practices and play in games during this time.
Lowry had a follow-up examination on Thursday in Toronto and did not accompany the team to Milwaukee for Friday’s preseason finale.
Oct 22, 2013 10:07 PM EDT
Steve Nash is general manager of the Canadian national basketball team and recently wrote a special piece on ESPN about the very promising state of the country's basketball talent.
Anthony Bennett was the first overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, joining fellow Canadian Tristan Thompson on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Andrew Wiggins, meanwhile, is the most highly celebrated player coming out of high school since LeBron James in 2003.
Nash was raised in British Columbia.
"Right now interest and participation in the game in Canada is at an all-time high. While my friends and I grew up watching the NBA like a lot of Canadians, the arrival of the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies brought the NBA and the game of basketball into more households across the country exponentially and with a new intimacy. The sport's visibility exploded, and with it so did interest, excitement and participation.
"For six and a half years, much of Canada's young talent watched and fell in love with a flamboyant, human highlight film named Vince Carter. He inspired them nightly while playing for the home team Raptors. I think Vince's presence in our country shouldn't be underestimated. His charisma was incredibly powerful in attracting a Canadian audience to the game of basketball for a memorable period of time. More and more kids play basketball every year in Canada, and I think the NBA's arrival played a pivotal role in the game's growth."
Nash also credits the Internet to reaching Canadians interested in basketball.
Oct 22, 2013 1:34 PM EDT
DeMar DeRozan is playing well in the preseason and he at least partially credits how comfortable he has become off the court.
“Going into my fifth year in the league, just having the utmost confidence," said DeRozan. "Not having no doubt or no questions about nothing.”
DeRozan has frequently been the best player on the court for the Toronto Raptors.
“He’s a family man and all that starts to come into play as you grow and mature," said Dwane Casey. "That’s why it’s so hard when people talk about: ‘This guy’s going to come in and take over the league.’ No, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a four year process, a five year process ... It’s really good to see.”
Toronto Raptors Archives
The Raptors are hoping Jonas Valanciunas gives them a strong interior presence on defense without succumbing to foul trouble.
Rudy Gay had corrective eye surgery, added 15 pounds of upper body muscle and altered the mechanics of his shot.
There had been some speculation that the Raptors would be renamed.
The 2016 NBA All-Star Game will tie into the Raptors' 20th-anniversary season.
Kyle Lowry has apparently changed his number with the Raptors from No. 3 to No. 7.
Julyan Stone, Chris Wright and Carlos Morais will be under training camp deals with the Raptors.
People close to Tracy McGrady also were pushing him to sign with the Chicago Bulls in 2000.
Several NBA teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, have been pulled off the sales market recently.
The Raptors are unlikely to invite free agents to training camp, according to a report.
Landry Fields is rehabilitating his arm-elbow.
Quentin Richardson was acquired by the Raptors via sign-and-trade from the Knicks in the July deal involving Andrea Bargnani.
Dwane Casey will be in the final year of his contract next season.
Alade Aminu has reached agreement on a one-year contract to return to Pinar Karsiyaka of the Eurocup league, a source told RealGM.
Julyan Stone is still in discussions for the Raptors to honor their deal, with three other NBA teams emerging as a serious suitor, a league source told RealGM.
The Raptors have six contracts and $46 million likely committed for the 14-15 season.
Austin Daye agreed to a deal with the Raptors on Tuesday.
Austin Daye finished last season with the Grizzlies.
Jonas Valanciunas has earned the trust of Dwane Casey.
Dwyane Casey will enter next season with a revamped coaching staff.
Older Wiretap Articles »
Jonas Valanciunas averaged 18.8 points and 10.0 rebounds over four games for the Raptors.
Basketball Wiretap Headlines