There’s some things we all need to be clear on right now:
- The significant remaining free-agents are: Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Jennings, Andrei Kirilenko, Monta Ellis, Nate Robinson, Gerland Henderson, Brandan Wright, Mo Williams, Gary Neal, Elton Brand. The only point guards you’d be willing to throw a portion of the remaining MLE at would be Nate Robinson and Gary Neal. The rest are too rich for our blood, or we simply don’t want them.
- The Raptors are over the salary cap, and thus can only to sign minimum-salaries free-agents without a sign-and-trade.
- Given the Raptors assets, and apparent reluctance to part with the valued ones, any trade for a big or even a moderate-named point guard is unlikely.
I’d love to think that the Raptors could package Kleiza’s expiring deal and get back Gary Neal to backup Lowry, but that’s a pipe dream. People tend to over-value their possessions, and our feelings towards Kleiza’s contract is Exhibit A – nobody wants it, and certainly nobody is willing to give up anything of value for a $4.6M expiring deal. Having said that, the second point is the most important one – we can’t sign free-agents without orchestrating sign-and-trades. Given these constraints, the only way to fill out the tail end of your roster is through D-Leaguers, and that’s where Dwight Buycks comes in.
We don’t want to end up like the 2008-09 team, where we were forced to rely on minimum-salaries players to fill out the roster. You might recall Hassan Adams, Quincy Douby, Nathan Jawai, Jamario Moon, and Will Solomon as famous names from those days. Not trying to depress anyone, just saying that if you go too deep in the minimum-salaries well, things can go south.
The apparent signing of Buycks (who I know nothing about, BTW) as the backup-PG sounds like its simply a replacement for Julyan Stone, who is having issues with his physical. He’s not the backup PG, but a third-stringer, which sounds just about right, and that’s the spot where OKC was looking to place him as well.
The only thing I can gather from watching his YouTube stuff, is that he seems to be a decent three point shooter. His stats in the D-League and French league back that up – he shot 38.4% from three last year for Gravelines in 32 games.
Here are some highlights:
French League highlights here.
Note that these highlights are usually produced by artists who get paid by the players to throw up a mix and build hype, which comes in real handy for posts like these, so thank you.
I’m going to venture a guess that the 6’3″ undrafted (2011) Marquette product is just about on par with what you can find at his price range, availability, and position, so this signing is nothing to ho-hum about either way. Raptors add a young, three-point shooter is basically the gist here. In essence, Ujiri has dumped John Lucas’ $1.6M deal and replaced it with someone who makes half that, and will provide services in the same range of quality.
You can check out his D-League player file too.