Raptors on the Rise

Veteran NBA writer Ric Bucher from Bleacher Report reported that the Miami Heat were looking to acquire Toronto Raptors G Kyle Lowry via sign and trade for cash and future draft picks.  Despite Bucher’s admission of the rumor being false Raptors GM Masai Uriji said himself that the Raptors and the Heat have had zero conversations about Lowry. To think that the Raptors would trade Lowry, who had his best season as pro for cash and future draft picks is ridiculous. On July 1st Kyle Lowry will become a free agent and the Raptors will do everything in their power to re-sign him. The Heat may be interested in Lowry but that is not their number one priority going into free agency. The Heat have to convince the Big 3 to re-sign to lower deals. With Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem all opting out Saturday and LeBron James opting out early this week, the Heat will have $55 million in cap space to use this off-season to rebuild their roster. The Raptors number one priority is re-signing Lowry…….period!

The Raptors have extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Grievis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, and Nando De Colo which gives them the power to match any offers they may receive via free agency. Tyler Hansbroughs $3.3 million salary for next season becomes fully guaranteed Sunday.  This off-season, anything could happen. With a number of elite free agents, you have to expect, the unexpected which is why this is the most important off season in the Raptors history.  

In this years NBA Draft the Raptors held the 20th, 37th, 59th picks. Going into the draft the Raptors had a game plan to draft Tyler Ennis at 20, then trade John Salmons and their 37th pick to the Grizzles for Tayshuan Prince and their 20th pick to draft Clint Capela. That plan was washed when the Pheonix Suns drafted Ennis at 18. The Raptors then had to go with the next guy on the list, Bruno Caboclo. Bruno is an 18 year old 6’9 small forward from Brazil that played with a team called Pinheiros. When the Raptors drafted Bruno it was huge shocker to everyone. No one knew who this guy was, but after checking out his scouting report he has potential to be great. Some say “The Brazilian Kevin Durant.” He can shoot, defend, dribble the ball. He also has just over 7’6 wing span. Most people asked why the Raptors didn’t take him at 37. Phoenix also new about Bruno. Phoenix had the 28th pick and Suns G Leandro Barbosa knew about Bruno while being injured and training in Brazil.  It was during that time that Barbosa met Bruno and began to mentor him. The Raptors didn’t want to take a chance on someone else taking him. Bruno arrived in Toronto on Friday and arrived at the arena on Saturday to workout with the Raptors and meet with the media. Bruno knows little English and has an interpreter. He will be playing in the Summer League and meeting with DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, and Terrence Ross next week.  There’s a lot of upside for this young man and he’s determined to get better.

The Raptors also had the 37th pick and drafted DeAndre Daniels from Connecticut and with the 59th pick they drafted Xavier Thames from San Diego State but traded him to Brooklyn for cash. This off-season will be special for the Raptors expect Masai to pull of some moves you will never see coming. Watch the Raptors target a great power forward, maybe Pau Gasol. Also expect them to improve their bench, bringing players that are able to produce under coach Dwane Casey’s system. The Raptors aren’t even close to where they want to be, but they are on the right track.

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