We interrupt your weekend and your fawning over Landry Fields’ humour to update you on some pressing Raptors news (not really).
On Wednesday we found out that the Raptors were closing in on a multiyear contract with point guard John Lucas III. Well it appears we now have some details about the deal, thanks to Mark Deeks.
John Lucas’s deal with the Raptors sees him get $1.5 million for two years, the second of which is a team option.
— Mark Deeks (@MarkDeeksNBA) July 22, 2012
So assuming there are no snags in the deal, the Raptors will acquire Lucas on a two-year contract worth a total of $3 million, with only the first year and first $1.5 million guaranteed.
I won’t pretend to be comfortable going into a season with John Lucas III as the team’s primary backup, but if Jose Calderon is still in a Raptors uniform on opening night and Lucas starts off as the third string option, Toronto should boast one of the NBA’s deepest collections of point guard talent.
If Lucas underwhelms and Deeks is correct in his report of a second year team option, then the Raptors can simply let JL3 walk and see his $1.5 million come off the books next summer, maintaining their 2013 cap flexibility. If he surprises us all and actually looks capable of logging regular minutes behind Kyle Lowry, the Raps will have a cheap option to pick up.
Either way, this is a pretty low-risk move.
Lucas has spent parts of four NBA seasons with the Rockets and Bulls, failing to make a name for himself in his first three seasons before stepping up nicely for Chicago when Derrick Rose went down last year. He’s never been a very efficient shooter and at 5’11, it’s hard to see him making much of a difference on the defensive end, but Lucas put up a solid Player Efficiency Rating of 16.3 in about 15 minutes per night over 49 games with the Bulls in 2011-2012.
While I’ve mentioned his troubling shooting percentages, Lucas’ best scoring performances last season weren’t necessarily a result of irresponsible “chucking.” Of the 15 times he scored 10 points or more, he shot 45 per cent or better in nine of those games, and of the four times he scored 20 points or more, he bettered 50 per cent in three of those games.
This is far from an attention grabbing acquisition, but if Lucas buys into his role on the Raptors’ bench, it could be a nice pickup for Toronto.
Worst case scenario, we get to see LeBron James jump over him again.