With the pre-season finale (thank God) set for Friday in Milwaukee, the Raptors received some good news on Thursday, as Kyle Lowry will be able to practice and play while recovering from a left ring finger tendon injury (though he’ll be out vs. the Bucks).
The coast may not be clear yet with Lowry needing a splint to protect his finger for six weeks, something that seems fairly problematic for a point guard, but if you’ve watched D.J. Augustin over the last year you understand that a splint-fingered Lowry is still better than the alternative.
The other hope would have to be that Julyan Stone isn’t hindered by his hip issue for too long, since Stone seemed like a sure bet to grab the 15th and final roster spot and even looked like the most reliable backup point guard on the roster. Without Stone, I’d feel most comfortable with a second unit that features Landry Fields, Terrence Ross, Tyler Hansbrough and Steve Novak, with Fields acting as the distributor (again, it’s a lesser evil than Augustin right now).
The other news item of the day, though a completely unsurprising one, was that the Raptors have picked up the third-year options of Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross, meaning the pair’s 2014-15 contracts are now guaranteed.