Indiana Pacers vs Miami Heat - Game Two

With Julyan Stone seemingly out of the mix, the Raptors have gone in another direction by reportedly signing D.J. Augustin to a one-year, $1.2 million contract.

Augustin had an awful 2012-13 season in Indiana, where he averaged just 4.7 points to go with 2.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds in just over 16 minutes per game. Quite literally, it will be hard for him to be any worse than he was last season.

But prior to his disastrous year with the Pacers, D.J. was at the very least a serviceable NBA point guard, and there is reason to believe he can be that guy again in limited minutes behind Kyle Lowry.

The one thing that sticks out when you dig into Augustin’s numbers is that he seems to be aware of where he should be attacking and getting his offence from. For example, while he had a poor shooting season last year on the surface (35 per cent from the field), 190 of his 294 field goal attemnpts came from behind the arc, which is what you want from a solid three-point shooter (career 37%) who isn’t shooting well from anywhere else.

Looking further back, the trend is even more prevalent in seasons where Augustin played more, as in addition to a large chunk of his shots coming from behind the arc, you’ll find that he roughly takes as many shots at the rim as he does from 3-9 feet, 10-15 feet and 16-23 feet combined. If he continues that trend in Toronto while remaining at least an average three-point shooter, the Raptors’ offence shouldn’t miss a beat when the reserves enter, with D.J. running the point surrounded by Steve Novak, Terrence Ross and even a good space creator (with his off-ball movement) like Landry Fields.

The obvious concern is Augustin’s non-existent defence at the point of attack, so the hope would have to be that the bench either simply outshoots the opposing bench or that the presence of Tyler Hansbrough and one of Jonas Valanciunas or Amir Johnson in the post can mask some of the reserves’ defensive deficiencies.

Overall, this signing doesn’t look like much of a boost on paper, and if Augustin doesn’t pick his play up, there’s more of a chance that he’ll be battling with Dwight Buycks for minutes than there is that he’ll be battling to eat into any of Lowry’s minutes. But at the end of the day, the Raptors have taken a cheap, low risk chance on a 25-year-old point guard who probably won’t play much more than 15 minutes per game, but one with starting experience under his belt in the event that Lowry has to miss time at some point.

Comments (24)

  1. This is a good analysis.

  2. This analysis is more geared towards him helping the team win games. I dont see it. What I do see, however, is him and buycks being the pg tank commanders if lowry and gay are shipped out. Not that they are going this route ( i hope they are) but he and bikes would fill that role beautifully.

    • Not gonna happen. Keep dreaming out loud though.

    • Why not? Raps should tank. Its better for the long term benefit of the franchise. Instead of getting bounced in the first round against mia or bkn AT BEST with the potential of gay or lowry leaving for nothing. Anyone against tanking should read this article.

      • Here’s a little blurb by Jack Armstrong from TSN:

        “TORONTO RAPTORS (2015): Pretty clear to me with the signings of Stone and Hansborough and the Bargnani trade that GM Masai Ujiri is keeping all his options wide open and will use the coming weeks/months to decide what to do with the existing pieces of his roster. The bottom line is that I see a team setting its sights (based upon dollars committed past these next two seasons) on 2015 as a time when they’ll have significant cap flexibility to make the moves necessary to make this a durable/successful franchise. They are in the evaluation/look and see mode with everyone still here and are in a gradual/methodical approach to team building. The journey will be long and a bit slow, but if it leads to long term franchise Success, it’s a pill most are willing to swallow.”

        • Jack’s got the worst idea yet. He’s basically advocating sitting on your hands for two years to watch Rudy Gay play out his contract. I’ve got two reasons not to do that:
          1) 2014 has a great draft class and quite a few FAs
          2) JV is your best prospect and under Jack’s scenario, you may well be starting a new rebuild just as he’s heading into the 4th year of his rookie deal. That’s terrible timing, and you may well lose him.

          My interpretation of MU’s “patience” talk is that he’s:
          a) Protecting his leverage by not announcing “Fire Sale! Discounts Available!”
          b) An extremely patient guy who will wait for good deals, whether they happen in September or at the trade deadline, or next year.
          c) Along with his “patience” talk, he and TL continue to talk about basically rebuilding the team. He just keeps saying he’s not going to rush into it.

          I could see it playing out with MU just waiting for good deals (like he did with ‘Melo), rather than rushing into something to make the 2014 draft. I think what becomes available to him will determine the timeline moving forward – he won’t dump Gay just because he’s committed to a rebuild, but as soon as a good deal is presented for Gay (et al), he’ll jump on it in a heartbeat – whether that happens this season or next.

          Conceivably he could just wait two full seasons for contracts to expire (notice he’s only handed out 1-2 season contracts so far), but that’ll really feel like a wasted two years to me.

          • See, i think waiting till the trade deadline would be too long. The other tanking teams would be too ahead of the raps that blowing it up wouldnt help much. The worst case for next year is the raps hovering around .500 than masai deciding to blow it up at the trade deadline. Best case, masai blows it up before the season OR this team falls flat right out of the gate (happens often) in the first 15-20 games and masai starts dealing then. Any longer than that, raps will have to settle for the 9th or 10th pick and thats not great even in a strong draft.

          • So your saying Jack has the worst idea yet, but also that he may have a valid point. I wouldn’t mind seeing Rudy Gay take us to the playoffs for a few years.

          • @ Sly – I’m saying Jack may turn out to be right if Ujiri doesn’t get any good offers for Gay/DD/Lowry/etc., but I think it would be a waste of next year’s draft and JV’s rookie deal.

          • I think Ujiri knows what he’s doing. The man has a lot of work a head of him, and a lot of tough decisions to make. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, and what this team will look like in a few years.

  3. I like how you had to qualify Landry Fields’ floor spacing haha.

    • Haha, I didn’t want anyone thinking that I meant he was going to space the floor with his shooting.

      But yeah, as mentioned, he does create space for others with his movement.

  4. @Truth be told

    You asked me the other day…Why do we have to wait and see what we have?

    This quote comes straight from the GM’s mouth: “It’s getting there but we might have to let this thing sit, let it ride and see what you have. I think whichever direction we go, it will come to us. As it comes, we will realize which way to go. When you start doing things desperately now and you start doing things like just to make sure you go a certain way, I think it’s too soon.”

  5. So,
    the Raptors shipped the defensive liability called Calderon away,
    and know the genius called Masai bring back a n° 2 point guard who’s still non-existent on defense and quite non-existent on offence too.
    Fans are to be satisfied in Toronto!
    Clearly, the sad times of Colangelo have passed away!

    • I don’t think anyone is claiming D.J. Augustin is better than Calderon, not even close.
      But the difference is that Augustin is making $1.2 million for one year to fill a bench role.

  6. I watched the summer league game yesterday against the Nuggets – Buycks (called Bikes which s weird to its pronunciation) and he looked quite good….even though it was against D-leaguers at best. TR and JV looked above the competition too!

  7. I wish we still had Jarred Bayless.

    • Thanks for the article. Casey said that JV will evolve into the raptors franchise player, yet there’s tons of people on here that say you can’t build a team around him. Go figure.

      • sure these summer league numbers might not translate exactly next season when he plays against real competition but the growth hes shown for a big man is whats got me excited, the foot work, the box outs and screening all look much better, love how he keeps his hand straight up when defending, just exciting to see him grow and learn so fast for a big man. i expect at least close to a double double next season if he plays 30mins.

        • the kid was actually close to a double double last year if I remember. I think he will be getting 14 points (casey said he wants him to be a bigger focal point on both ends this year, meaning offence) and 9-10 boards.

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