With the capped out Raptors sitting on the sidelines of this year’s free agency sweepstakes, there hasn’t been much news around here since Masai Ujiri pulled off the impossible and found value in an Andrea Bargnani trade (which should become official when the moratorium on player movement is lifted Wednesday).
The 45-year-old Nurse has amassed a ton of success in the the D-League and abroad, winning two of the last three D-League championships while taking home the league’s Coach of the Year award in 2011. He also spent 11 years coaching in Europe, was an assistant coach on Britain’s 2012 Olympic team and became the youngest head coach in U.S. college basketball at the time when Grand View College hired him at the age of 23.
As for the Summer League roster, Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross, Quincy Acy and Julyan Stone will be joined by 24-year-old Canadian guard Devoe Joseph, George Karl’s son Colby, as well as Chris Wright, Trevor Mbakwe, Jordan Taylor, Ricky Harris, Tywain McKee, Alade Aminu, Mycah Downs, Gregory Echenique and Mark Lyons.
Those familiar with Summer League action know better than to put any stock in Vegas performances, statistics, etc, but with the Raptors taking four players who figure to play a role in their 2013-14 season and with a new tournament format for the league, it will at least give us some basketball worth watching in the middle of July.
In terms of things I’d like to see from the Raptors taking part, I’d like to see Valanciunas’ developing post game and the big man using both hands to finish around rim in his first taste of Summer League action, I’d like to see Acy be more assertive with his own offence on a team with little NBA talent and I’d like to see some more consistency from Terrence Ross’ three-point stroke.
Having said all of that, again, we all know better than to actually put any stock in what we see over the next couple of weeks.
In all honesty, the guy I’m most looking forward to watching as a Raptors fan is probably Stone. Not because his performance in Vegas will tell us anything about his future performance for Toronto, but because we just know so little about the 24-year-old point guard’s game as a whole. In addition, Summer League guards usually tend to become chuckers in their quest to earn NBA jobs (think D-League), so hopefully the comfort of the Raptors reportedly signing Stone for the season will allow him to act as more of a facilitator for Ross, Valanciunas and Acy.
Raptors Summer League schedule:
Saturday, July 13 – 10:30 p.m. ET – vs. Miami
Sunday, July 14 – 10:30 p.m. ET – vs. San Antonio
Tuesday, July 16 – 6:30 p.m. ET – vs. Sacramento
July 17/18 – Round 1/2 of playoffs
July 20 – Quarterfinals
July 21 – Semifinals
July 22 – Championship game