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Toronto Raptors news gathered from around the net.

RealGM Radio: Mega NBA Playoffs Preview

In this episode of RealGM Radio, host Daniel Leroux previews the NBA Playoffs with four different guests. 

Beckley Mason (@BeckleyMason) of the New York Times and ESPN joins the show to work through the bracket and provide his take from the first round to the finals.

After that, Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) of Basketball Insiders comes on to provide his insight on the various matchups he is looking forward to in the next few weeks.

Following him, Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) of RealGM projects how the various first round series will shake out and what he is looking forward to the most.

Finally, Arturo Galletti (@ArturoGalletti) of BoxScoreGeeks.com shares his playoff predictions and discusses the playoff prediction contest his site is running with Wages of Wins.

CLICK HERE to listen or download.

You can also click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Spurs, Clippers, Thunder, Heat, Warriors Finish In Top-5 In Efficiency Differential

The San Antonio Spurs finished the 13-14 regular season with the best efficiency differential in the NBA with a mark of +8.1. The Spurs scored 110.5 points per 100 possession while allowing 102.4 points per 100 possessions.

The Los Angeles Clippers ranked second, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors. 

The Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns round out the top-10.

Click here for the full list.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Jonas Valanciunas Charged With DUI

Jonas Valanciunas was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after being stopped in Wasaga Beach, Ont., after reportedly being spotted with open beer bottles while traveling through a drive-thru.

Valanciunas is charged with having greater than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood and is to appear in court in nearby Collingwoodon April 22.

"I hold myself to a high standard and take my role as a member of the Toronto Raptors very seriously," Valanciunas said in a statement released by the team. "I apologize to the organization, my teammates, my family and my fans, and regret any negativity this incident has brought upon them."

Valanciunas is averaging 11 points and 8.6 rebounds in 76 games this season.

Via Doug Harrison/CBC

Study Finds Isiah Thomas As Best Drafting GM Since 1989

Isiah Thomas is the best drafting general manager in the NBA, according to an empirical study conducted by ESPN.

While with the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks, Thomas had a Net Expected Wins Average of +1.7 per pick. Thomas drafted Damon Stoudamire seventh overall in 1995 and Tracy McGrady at ninth during his tenure with the Raptors. David Lee, Trevor Ariza, Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson were all high value picks with the Knicks.

Jim Paxson ranks second with the picks of Carlos Boozer, Anderson Varejao and Jason Kapono standing out.

Kiki Vandeweghe, Sam Presti and Jeff Bower round out the top-five.

The worst drafting general managers of the period are David Kahn, Jerry Reynolds, Elgin Baylor, John Gabriel and Pete Babcock.

Via Tom Haberstroh/ESPN

Tests Reveal No Structural Damage Of Kyle Lowry's Knee

Kyle Lowry underwent tests that revealed no structural damage of his left knee injury.

The Toronto Raptors list Lowry as a game-time decision for Wednesday's game with a sore knee.

Lowry will continue to undergo exams.

Via RealGM Staff Report

DeRozan: Rudy Gay Trade Was Win-Win

The Toronto Raptors are 34-19 since trading Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 9.

“The move was a good situation for both of us,” DeMar DeRozan said of Gay. “We always hate to see our close friends get traded. I think he’s definitely going to help the Sacramento Kings out a lot, and we’re moving in the right direction, as well. I think it was a win-win situation. You can’t dwell on it too much. I know he’s happy to be in a new situation and get his career restarted. I’m happy for him.”

DeRozan said Gay encouraged him to take more responsibility for the team’s fate after the trade.

“The last four years here, I’ve always been under somebody and I had to learn from them,” DeRozan said. “And the player he is, I just learned from him. He just took me under his wing and I just always listened to Rudy and got a lot of insight. When he got traded, the first thing he told me, ‘This is your time and it’s time to take advantage.’ That meant a lot, just coming from somebody like that.”

Via Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

DeRozan: Raptors In Playoffs Means So Much To Toronto And Canada

The Toronto Raptors beat the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, bringing them closer to their first playoff berth in six years.

Toronto will clinch a spot in the postseason with their next win or the next loss by the New York Knicks.

Once believed to be headed to the lottery, the Raptors have gone 33-19 since trading Rudy Gay.

“Not just the franchise, but the whole city of Toronto and Canada,” DeMar DeRozan said of how much making the playoffs would mean. “I’ve been here for five years, seen how passionate the fans are, it definitely means a lot. We feed off of that, especially playing at home and the energy they bring. That’d be great for the city.”

The Raptors drafted DeRozan with the ninth overall pick in 2009. He’s appeared in nearly 400 regular season games, but none late into April or May.

“After we play these games and I go through the whole experience then I feel I’ll really have an answer for you,” DeRozan said about the intensity of playing for a title. “It’s still new to me and I’m just trying to learn from the guys that have been in the playoffs, what it’s like leading up to it and how to get prepared.”

Kyle Lowry, who made the postseason with the Houston Rockets back in 2009, has tried to keep his more inexperienced teammates focused on handling their own business amid a race with the Brooklyn Nets for the Atlantic Division title.

“Before the game, I said we can take care of our business tonight,” Lowry said after recording 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the 99-90 win over Boston. “We can’t count on anybody else, but we can take care of our own business. I’m not going to lie though, I think everybody tonight is rooting for [the Kings to beat the Knicks] tonight.”

The victory also brought the Raptors into a tie with the Chicago Bulls for the third seed. This isn’t a team scratching and clawing to end their playoff drought, they have a good shot at hosting a first-round series.

“It’s been a long road coming and you just can’t settle for making the playoffs,” DeRozan said. “We want to go in there and make a name for ourselves and go in there and complete every single day. That’s not the goal, to get in there and play an extra four games and call it a day."

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Rockets Attempted To Trade For Kyle Lowry At Deadline

The Houston Rockets attempted to trade for Kyle Lowry ahead of the deadline, according to sources.

Lowry was traded to the Toronto Raptors by the Rockets in the 2012 offseason.

Lowry has been one of the NBA's best point guards this season and will be a coveted free agent.

"I would have done things differently in Houston," Lowry said. "I really respected Kevin McHale. I wish I would have had an opportunity to play for him longer. The things he was teaching me, well, I didn't understand right away. When you get away from someone, though, see it from the outside looking in, you go back and think, 'Damn, I could've learned some more things from the guy.'

"I wanted to stay with Coach Adelman and needed to get over that. [McHale] came in with a different philosophy, and I wish I could've adapted to it quicker."

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Raptors 'Tried Frantically' To Acquire Giannis Antetokounmpo On Draft Night

The Toronto Raptors "tried frantically" to acquire a top-15 pick in last June's draft in order to select Giannis Antetokounmpo.

John Hammond had decided 72 hours before the draft that the Milwaukee Bucks would select Antetokounmpo if he fell to them at No. 15.

Many NBA executives believed that Antetokounmpo received a promise from the Atlanta Hawks with the 17th overall pick.

Via Antetokounmpo

Raptors Recall Dwight Buycks From D-League

Dwight Buycks has been recalled from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League by the Toronto Raptors. 

Buycks was reassigned to the Jam on March 5. He appeared in three games, totaling 61 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in 98 minutes. Buycks scored a game-high 28 points on 12-for-19 shooting from the field March 5 against the Texas Legends.

This was Buycks’ second stint in the NBA D-League this season. He is averaging 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 28.8 minutes in eight games (two starts) with the Jam. He has scored in double figures six times. 

Via RealGM Staff Report

Toronto Raptors Archives

Raptors Assign Dwight Buycks To D-League

Dwight Buycks appeared in five games from January 4-11, averaging 12.4 points, 4.0 assists and 26.4 minutes.

Bryan Colangelo Admits Trying To Tank During Tenure With Raptors

The Raptors drafted Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross with the picks that came as a result of their record.

Scout: Bosh Remains Same Guy He Was With Raptors, Except Better Shooter

The value of Chris Bosh often gets lost for the Heat with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade receiving so much more attention.

Spurs Trade Nando De Colo To Raptors For Austin Daye

The Spurs have traded Nando De Colo to the Raptors for Austin Daye.

Report: Rajon Rondo Wouldn't Re-Sign With Raptors If Dealt

Rajon Rondo can become a free agent in 2015.

Raptors Interested In Rajon Rondo

The Raptors like Rajon Rondo's basketball resume and he would also bring a 'star' element to the franchise.

Sources: Raptors Have Discussed Three-Team Deal Acquiring Jeff Teague

The Knicks are attempting to resume Kyle Lowry trade talks with the Raptors, which could expand to include the Hawks.

Masai Ujiri Open To Trading Before Deadline

Masai Ujiri has not engaged in serious trade discussions as of yet.

Raptors Posturing Intention To Keep Kyle Lowry Past Deadline

Kyle Lowry will be a free agent this offseason and could demand a four-year, $45 million contract on the open market.

Knicks Again Interested In Kyle Lowry

The Knicks were close to a trade for Kyle Lowry in December.

Amir Johnson May Rest Ankle Until After ASG

Amir Johnson has been extremely durable for the Raptors, but sat out Monday's game with an ankle injury.

George, Wall, Ross, Lillard, McLemore, Barnes In Dunk Contest

Paul George, John Wall, Terrence Ross, Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes and Ben McLemore are confirmed for this year's Slam Dunk Contest.

Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic Named NBA Players Of The Week

Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic were two of the biggest snubs for the All-Star Game.

Full List Of NBA All-Star Reserves

John Wall, DeMar DeRozan, Paul Millsap and Damian Lillard are first time All-Stars.

Kyle Lowry Hears MVP Chants From Air Canada Centre Crowd

Kyle Lowry had 33 points and 11 assists in the Raptors' win over the Magic.

Raptors Remain Interested In Trading Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry will be a free agent this offseason and the Raptors prefer a return on an asset they are unlikely to re-sign.

Landry Fields Out Three Weeks With Wrist Surgery

Landry Fields has appeared in 23 games this season for the Raptors, averaging just 11.9 minutes.

Report: Warriors Passed On Kyle Lowry Due To Locker Room Concerns

The Warriors passed on a possible trade acquiring Kyle Lowry from the Raptors, according to a source.

MLSE Prepared To Pay Luxury Tax For Raptors 'At The Right Time'

The Raptors have had a far better than expected season and the sale of MLSE to Rogers and Bell 16 months ago seemingly will help sustain the success moving forward.

Raptors Recall Dwight Buycks From D-League

Dwight Buycks appeared in five games, averaging 12.4 points, 4.0 assists and 26.4 minutes.
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