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Old 08-06-2017, 04:12 AM   #226
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Getting more and more apparent that the 2013 NBA Draft class is not a very good one after all. Starting with Brampton's own #1 pick Anthony Bennett with his significance as Canada's first-ever #1 pick overall. Shocking now looking back when NBA teams were projected him to be more in the lower top ten. Even NBA GMs and scouts are shocked that he would be out of the NBA in three seasons. Bennett had a lot to like at the time with his qualities. But he displayed no effort and quit at times despite a good guy. Now the NBA gave up on him. Cleveland weathered that with its NBA title thanks to LeBron's return and currently looking for another:
http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news...q18du5eeg2rq91
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/wh...he-last-laugh/

But Bennett did win a EuroLeague title this past month with Fenerbahce Istanbul with the Final Four held there. Hope it would inspire him more to be better and have "the last laugh" from his disappointing NBA career:
http://www.sportingnews.com/au/nba-a...nqzeupkaee28f3

Anyway, right now. Tristan Thompson on the Cavaliers remains the last Toronto NBA players standing with knocking off once again his friend Cory Joseph in the playoffs. Thompson is playing poorly so far in the NBA Finals' first two games with his shot getting blocked en route to the basket by KD in Game 1 as the Cavs are struggling outside of LeBron, Kevin Love, and Kyrie.

Congratulations to Scarborough's Kyle Johnson, a former LIU-Brooklyn Blackbird, in winning the 2017 NBL Canada Finals for the London Lightning with a 46-win record including the postseason (won a NBL Canada-record 35 regular season ones). He also plays for Team GB internationally and set the franchise record in points and field goals made for the London Lightning, as he scored 51 points on 17-of-21 field goals to help his team win 146102 against the Moncton Miracles on February 5.

Toronto Raptors announce they will play 2 October preseason games in Honolulu for the first time at the University of Hawaii's Stan Sheriff Center with LA's real basketball team the Clippers:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/baske...in-hawaii.html
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Old 16-06-2017, 08:42 AM   #227
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Been trying in vain lately Googling some old detailed news and retrospectives on Toronto's rejected attempt to win in the 1987 NBA expansion sweepstakes--the one with Wilt Chamberlain as the face of it. There aren't many around and just portray as part of the general development with cities like Miami, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Orlando, Kansas City, Anahiem, and Santa Ana. Better stuff is available there a decade later even just on the NBA's selection on which prospective ownership group was going to be the founder of what was to become the Raptors, including Magic Johnson's. Based on what was going on back in the mid-1980s, the NBA definitely would've demanded Toronto had it went in as part of the four cities that Toronto would build a new arena if not by its inaugural season but within the first 2-3 years like with the Minnesota Timberwolves' Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. And commit to 15,000 season tickets. Would've the appeal for basketball be there up then in Toronto when basketball and the grassroots wasn't quite as accessible as it is now or in 1993-94? It unquestionably would have Canada all to itself back then with the NBA rapidly rising in pop appeal. Something to ponder. If I can find some, I'll link them here.

Toronto releases its 2017 Samsung NBA Summer League July schedule in Las Vegas with two more games coming depending on the seeding. SL roster coming soon after the NBA Draft next week:
http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2017/...ue-schedule-2/

Yes, Lucas Nogueira showed he does belong on the Raptors roster being good in a meaningful and defined role. But where does he fit amid the fluid positioning of the center position or power forward designed under Dwane Casey now with Ibaka and Jakob Poetl in? He can get stronger during the offseason. But it will definitely be tough for him taking minutes from the incumbants:
http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2017/...eira-good-fit/

Never hurts to have more shooters as illustrated with its disappointing end from Cleveland in the ECSF, assuming Kyle Lowry walks away from Toronto. But I doubt that Toronto will look for one in the draft at #23. I trust Masai Ujiri in his selection with consultations from Casey and his coaching staff. Maybe with Jerry Stackhouse over in Mississauga with Raptors905. Semi Ojeleye is the frontrunner with his size to guard against big guards but look out for Terrance Ferguson from the Adelaide 36ERS, who will be of tremendous interest to you Aussies anticipating the NBA Draft next Thursday particularly with these FOX Sports Australia NBL highlights from this season showcasing his offensive skills in his first pro season, and Jonathan Jeanne who could be Toronto's Rudy Goubert. We'll touch on the draft more as we get closer.
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Old 22-06-2017, 10:31 AM   #228
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Even with the Raptors season over and looking towards the NBA Draft tomorrow night, there's always still lots of Toronto-related area basketball news going on! We'll get to the draft and the season more tomorrow.

Team Toronto (4NEM) wins the 3x3 Adult Elite (18+ Male) Division final at the 2017 3X3 Canada Quest Series in nearby Hamilton this past weekend with Kahleek Bakare-whyte, Rakeem Boldak, Vadim Halimov, and Igor Lebov. They'll play at the West Edmonton Mall later in July at the Canada Quest National Final for the chance to play at the 3x3 World Tour Saskatoon stop:
http://www.basketball.ca/en/news-art...le-in-hamilton

8 players (Charles Bediako, Luka Sekota, Matteus Case, Shemar Rathan-Mayes, Taryn Todd, Paris Shand, Cashius McNeely, and Alexander Nwagha) along with Ryerson assistant now McMaster head coach Patrick Tatham, former national team player Michael Meeks, Humber's Eric Savage, Carleton Ravens coach Rob Smart from Oakville, and University of Toronto's physio Fahim Merali--all from the Toronto area--are all part of Canada's U16/17 men's team that finished silver in the FIBA Americas Championship in Formosa, Argentina. Lost to the United States in the final but also qualifiesd for the 2018 U16/17 World Cup:
http://www.basketball.ca/en/team_programs/mens-u16u17
http://www.basketball.ca/en/news-art...s-championship

3 players from the Toronto area--Ajax's Dakota Whyte on Greece's Proteas, Virginia Tech's Sami Hill, and Shay Colley at Michigan St. from Brampton--are involved with the Canadian women's national team's Phase 2 program that just underway that will travel to China for a six-game exhibition tournament in July against Lithuania, China, and Belarus:
http://www.basketball.ca/en/news-art...-2-training-ca

Over at York University's Tait Mackenzie Centre, it was the site of the 10th annual OUA Women's All-Star Game with York's coach Erin McAleenan guiding her Team McAleenan that had Ryerson Rams teammates Sofia Paska and Kellie Ring and McMaster's Linnaea Harper to a 92-77 win over Queen's Dave Wilson's Team Wilson with Harper as MVP. Now if the school can have a basketball venue that resembles more like Toronto's Goldring Centre and Ryerson's Mattany Athletic Centre:
http://www.oua.ca/sports/wbkb/2016-1...20170429t8r79e
http://www.oua.ca/sports/wbkb/2016-1...20170426czy1n0

Ryerson's basketball players Sofia Paska from Etobicoke and Adika Peter-McNeilly out of Scarborough both took home the top prize as Ryseron Rams Athletes of the Year:
http://www.oua.ca/sports/mbkb/2016-1...20170410fwjp79

As mentioned earlier, Ryerson Rams assistant/2015-16 interim coach Patrick Tatham becomes McMaster's new head coach succeeding Amos Connelly starting next season. His 2015-16 Rams success made him sought-after. Plans for a "tough, gritty, and quick" defense that's "hard-nosed and blue collar":
http://www.oua.ca/sports/mbkb/2016-1...20170505jfdrm1

3 players from the Golden Horseshoe--Kaillie Hall from Stoney Creek, Ontario, Aerial Wilson from Dundas, and Brampton's Makayla Ennis--were in Canada getting silver in the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 national team:
http://www.basketball.ca/en/news-art...ricas-roster-1

Roy Rana and his Ryerson Rams team visited Senegal as part of a Seed Project Hoop Forum basketball project one May weekend:
http://www.basketball.ca/en/news-art...senegalsenegal
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Old 23-06-2017, 11:16 AM   #229
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Toronto only has the 23rd pick in the 1st round this year.

What the Raptors might likely select with the #23 pick with the 5 possibilities and how Toronto's draft picks fared in the Masai Ujiri era:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...23rd-pick.html

The Toronto Star reports that GM Masai Ujiri asks his All-Star guard Kyle Lowry now declining the 2017-18 players option and exploring free agency, whether he wants to stay in Toronto. Lowry says yes and Ujiri is convinced of that. Other reports dispute this saying he doesn't want to remain with the Raptors. Houston has its eyes set on him as one of the players the Rockets are seeking. Same Toronto Star article by Bruce Arthur says of the Raptors looking on the remote chance to get Paul George (Toronto's far better than the NDCELE):
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/1...old-wants-stay
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...ay-arthur.html

Like for him to stay. For one thing, Toronto needs shooters.

Though Toronto doesn't have a second round pick, they are intrigued about adding to their Canadian contingent on the roster with hometown star Cory Joseph with Mississauga's Dillon Brooks from the Oregon Ducks with shooting, skill, work ethic, and size that could prompt a trade:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...ink-about.html

Jeff Weltman, the soothing, calm voice as GM for Ujiri and became very close with him as friends, is heading to Orlando. And Ujiri knew he was losing him:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...d-to-last.html
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Old 25-06-2017, 01:50 AM   #230
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Toronto surprisingly took a 19-year old Brit in--get this--Ogugua "OG" Anunoby from London out of Indiana Hoosiers with the 23rd pick Thursday night. Make that a Brit with Nigerian heritage who's actually American-raised in Jefferson City, Missouri with a Mr. Basketball Missouri finalist to his name, so you won't hear a British accent. Wasn't anticipating him. Would've been higher if his knee injury worked against him. He's very likely someone Masai Ujiri and Dwane Casey will send over to Mississauga and team up with Bruno instead of being on the big roster. OG's a strong, silent, reserved, confident type and may play for Team GB in the near future with his talents:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...lent-type.html

Mississauga's Dillon Brooks got selected in the second round #45 by Houston that came from a trade with Portland that was previously Memphis'. Interestingly, he was the only Canadian drafted this year that was down on Canadians. His Oregon teammate Chris Boucher from Montreal didn't get drafted, for example.
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:26 AM   #231
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Toronto has a very interesting time right now right after the NBA Draft in Brooklyn in taking OG.

The big one here definitely is Kyle Lowry re-signing with Toronto, which he now considers as "home", for a 3-year, $100 million contract coming out of free agency. He no doubt determined how Toronto will go from this point onward. Glad they getting together again because now with Gordon Heyward has reuniting with his Butler Bulldogs coach Brad Stevens and join Boston, things will no doubt get even tougher for the Raptors to have any meaningful chance in the battle for Atlantic Division supremacy. If not dealing with Cleveland in the East overall. Needs his scoring after all and improve on that:
http://tipofthetower.com/2017/07/02/...gn-kyle-lowry/
https://www.theplayerstribune.com/ky...ency-decision/

Power forward/centre acquisition Serge Ibaka signs for a 3-year, US$65 million deal to stay in the 6, which means fellow free agent Patrick Patterson will highly unlikely get resigned by Toronto to stay:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...year-deal.html
http://tipofthetower.com/2017/07/02/...n-serge-ibaka/

And sure enough, Patterson goes to OKC for 3 years for US$16.4 million. They also lost fan fave P.J. Tucker:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...h-thunder.html

Bobby Webster takes over from Jeff Weltman as Toronto GM now with Weltman (isn't he Harry's son?) basing in Orlando:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...departure.html

Also there were two new developments announced today as the Toronto Raptors became the latest NBA franchise to announce their company jersey ad patch for their Nike unis next season--and will appear on all versions: home, road, alternate, and the OVOs. Sun Life Financial, the iconic Canadian insurance and investment company will be on the front left shoulder. Along with this there's partnership plans between the two on diabetes awareness and encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. Financial terms weren't disclosed. I was actually expecting Bank of Montreal to have this hono(u)r, but now considering how MLSE's other franchises like the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and MLS' Toronto FC have that prominently like with the Raptors with it--not to mention fellow Canadian MLS teams Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps have involvement. It's kinda nice to have someone else, though still iconic to many Canadians, involved. Incidentally both entities started off in Montreal but both left for Toronto following Quebec's Quiet Revolution during the 1970s and early 1980s like with the controversial Bill 101. Sun Life already had a patch for Team Canada during this year's World Baseball Classic.

Just minutes later, it emerged that fellow All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan is on the cover for the first-ever Canadian version of NBA 2K18, which fits nicely with the red, black, and silver background. Here's where things get interesting: this is a PhotoShopped version of a 2015-16 game photo of him ready to dunk in a road game against the Bulls with appears to be a tweak in the Toronto Raptors' uniforms. The jersey no longer has the black side panel with the two silver chevrons instead replaced with only the chevrons being black, making a much cleaner look. The 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend patch is gone replaced by the Nike swoosh and no Sun Life ad patch in sight. Not a bad change if confirmed. But the Raptors won't show off the 2017-18 uniforms to the world until this fall. Kyrie Irving still has the US cover to NBA 2K18 at least:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...xt-season.html
http://www.operationsports.com/demar...cover-athlete/
http://news.sportslogos.net/2017/07/...-changes-leak/

Malcolm Miller from the German Basketball Bundesliga powerhouse ALBA Berlin to Toronto's first two-way contract and is currently playing the Vegas Summer League after impressing at mini-camp last month. He can provide additional scoring for the team if he sticks and can place him in Mississauga with Raptors905 with some G-League experience already:
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...-contract.html

With all these contract signings, Toronto is nearing the dreaded luxury tax and they would have to shed some salary to avoid it. Now the Raptors are rumored setting their eyes on dropping local boy point guard Cory Joseph's $7.7 million he makes next year easily by making a trade, likely to Indiana as there's a serious guard logjam up in the T-Dot with several of them in Mississauga now ready, along with Jonas Valanciunas' and the oft-injured DeMarre Carroll's, who came with Joseph two years ago as acclaimed signings and interest in both is low league-wide. Besides, Carroll still fills a realistic need and option at small forward though:
http://tipofthetower.com/2017/07/02/...-trade-rumors/

Meanwhile in the Canadian Basketball League, it hosted player tryouts in Evansville, Indiana, Cincinnati, and Niagara Falls, NY this past month, as noted on its Facebook page
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Old 14-07-2017, 05:44 AM   #232
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Just announced yesterday the Toronto Raptors will be nicely represented in the NBA's Africa Game 2017 with Serge Ibaka (Team Africa, from Congo-Brazzaville) and Kyle Lowry (World Team), Raptors GM Masai Ujiri, and assistant coach Patrick Mutombo all on hand in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 5:
http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/n...ica-game-2017/

DeMarre Carroll now gone to Brooklyn in a trade to shed salary for center Justin Hamilton, who's there only for his cheap salary and doesn't fit into the plans, with Brooklyn receiving a lottery-protected first-round pick and a second-round pick. Things started off so well for Carroll, who had two years and $30 million left in his contract, until the mounting injuries robbed him of even with his best two years in Atlanta. Now it's becoming evident Toronto will turn more iso and attack-oriented. When he was healthy and on, he can be really good. Carroll's this past season was so disappointing
https://www.thestar.com/sports/rapto...l-to-nets.html
http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/n...ll-trade-nets/

Carroll even has been saying the Toronto clubhouse was divided this past season over what style of play to use. Carroll turns out was on the wrong, unhappy side. Lack of trust in everyone ultimately did them in:
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/1...o-raptors-year

How's the Raptors Las Vegas Summer League team doing. Actually doing very well, thank you. Earned the #1 seed undefeated with a 3-0 record for the second consecutive season. Toronto's draft picks from last year Jakob Poeltl, 2016 NBDL Finals MVP Pascal Siakim, Fred VanVleet, and even recent contract signee Alfonzo McKinnie all have been playing clutch:
http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/n...ue-tournament/

Getting progressively more apparent that Cory Joseph will be sent to Indiana for CJ Miles, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne report. The Pacers will get someone who is younger and can act as one of their focus and leader in their newfound youth movement direction after being an excellent backup guard for his hometown team (Joseph hails from Pickering, Ontario in the GTA). Delon Wright's incredible play as a third-year player made Joseph expendable in the guard logjam. Miles provides wing scoring while complimenting with Norman Powell:
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/1...acers-cj-miles
https://www.thestar.com/sports/baske...mp-report.html

Congratulations must be in order to the Canadian team in winning the 2017 FIBA Men's U19 Basketball World Cup in Cairo, Egypt in beating Italy 79-60 after stunning the United States in the semifinals. This is Canada's first ever FIBA championship--and this cold be the continuation of the Canadian basketball boom with perhaps future NBA players here. Almost the entire starting lineup--Amidou Bamba (Toronto), R.J. Barrett (Mississauga), Danilo Djuricic (Brampton), and Jordan Henry (Toronto) are all from the Toronto area. In fact, half of this U19 roster comes from there--Bamba, Barrett, Djuricic, Henry, Emanuel Miller, and Prince Oduro with Rowan Barrett Jr. winning the Tournament MVP after averaging 21.6 ppg, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 apg.

Ryerson Rams coach Roy Rana, Virginia Tech's and New Mexico's and Rana's assistants Jamie McNeilly and Paul Weir (respectively), former national team player Michael Meeks from Brampton also served as an assistant. In addition to them Canada Basketball therapist Krisjon Vargas and Humber College Hawks manager James DePoe are based in Toronto:
http://www.basketball.ca/en/news-article/slug-dbo6og
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Old 17-07-2017, 06:27 AM   #233
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Tyler Ennis' older brother Dylan, also from Mississauga and formerly played at Oregon, splashed with a 35-point performance on 8-for-11 3-pt shooting, that includes 23 in the first half, in the Las Vegas Summer League for Golden St. over the Clippers. We might--might--have another Splash Brother coming up for the Dubs:
http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/n...r-league-game/

In sending away hometown fave Cory Joseph from Pickering to Indianapolis to shed salary, hope to team improve shooting, and re-create a better team culture despite enjoying his pro best season ever, Toronto acquire the NBA rights to Emir Preldzic:
http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/n...joseph-pacers/

But their Raptors Summer League team in Las Vegas gets bounced by 16-seed Portland 91-85 in the first round despite going 3-0 as the top seed and Fred VanVleet scoring for 31 last night. Just when I though Toronto could make a stride there...
http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/n...-vanvleets-31/
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Old 18-07-2017, 11:07 AM   #234
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A couple of Congolese basketball players with Toronto ties, former Raptor and cult figure Bismack Biyombo and Toronto native Myck Kabongo, are part of the 20-player Democratic Republic of Congo preliminary list as part of its most talented team yet for the upcoming African Basketball Championship:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...frobasket-2017
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Old 20-07-2017, 09:42 AM   #235
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Flashback to 2004 when that momentum Toronto built with cousins Vinsanity and T-Mac quickly stopped and nearly killed NBA basketball in Canada. Up to then, support was rising and unconditional, but many NBA free agents still didn't want to be up there when it didn't yet have the bonafide pop culture cool quotient thanks to Drake. It symbolizes what might have been had the two stuck around and didn't bolt for smaller cities (by population in comparison to Toronto) and accelerated Toronto basketball:
https://raptorsrapture.com/2017/07/1...tball-toronto/

Toronto Raptors905 now filling up with swingmen thanks to Ujiri with the ultimate plan of seeing who will successfully audition cattle-call style for playing minutes left by Terrence Ross' and DeMarre Carroll's departure:
https://raptorsrapture.com/2017/07/1...team-swingmen/

Now with Patrick Patterson gone to Oklahoma City, who are the contenders in the Raptors frontcourt they have who can take over his previously-held minutes and what do they bring? Style of play determines how the frontcourt has a rotation an increasingly crowded portion. Stretch center Justin Hamilton, as expected, was waived after his Toronto acquisition. But why waive Hamilton before training camp even though he surely won't start?
https://raptorsrapture.com/2017/07/1...ptors-big-men/
https://raptorsrapture.com/2017/07/1...m-next-season/
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