There’s some things we all need to be clear on right now:

  1. 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.
  2. The Raptors are over the salary cap, and thus can only to sign minimum-salaries free-agents without a sign-and-trade.
  3. 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.

Thanks for the RT, Dwight. You can follow him on Twitter as well.

  • GoingBig

    Great headline
    Hope they have enough bodies – injuries seemed to pile up last season
    Wondering how the bench is shaping up. Before the Rudy Gay trade, it seemed to be stronger
    But Casey’s handling of substitutions was always poor.

  • pbjake

    Is he really supposed to be a replacement of Stone? Twitter rumblings are that he’s seen more as a backup to Lowry and not a third-stringer, which enticed him to come to TO.

    • GoingBig

      I think it’s going to be a competition for the backup position – can they have 4 PGs?

      Stone report –

      Stone – some defence rep + passing skills vs. Buyck – more of a shooter (defence unknown against NBA)
      I think the hope is that one of these will “break-out” By break-out I mean “contribute something” and become reliable

      • Blacklash2k4

        Stone is probably not going to be a Raptor. He failed his physical fitness exam with the Raptors.

  • Ds

    His translated AST% from his D-League days stand at around 23.7%. That’s on par with a John Lucas (21%) type of player, i.e. shoot first, ask questions later.

  • some random guy

    Raptors have had a battle of starting PG’s for a long time, and hasn’t really worked out. It may be best to allow Lowry the room to do his starting job, and relieve some pressure. As long as this signing doesn’t make questionable plays, it would be a good signing.

  • FAQ

    WOW!!!! Just look at the hoopshype salary roster of Raptors… looks like a neighbourhood pickup team…!!!

  • ezz_bee

    Surprised this wasn’t mentioned in the article, but doesn’t this put us at 16 people on the roster? Which would mean that someone HAS to go before the season starts.

  • Van Grungy

    Hip Hop sucks now.

    Nice clip on mute

  • pmam2009

    Wouldnt it have been a better move to go after someone like Myck Kabongo? Clearly has more upside and is much more physically gifted. He’s very athletic, quick and can run the break (not a bad passer or a bad jumper) and it’d be fun to see Kabongo and Ross running (maybe even Demar too)

  • Mike

    Hopefully Buycks will better than the backup pg legends of the past..Rick Brunson, Derrick Martin, Roko Ukic, Will Soloman, and yes you Chris Childs.

  • dekembe mutumbo

    back up pg? i hear Alvin Williams is out of work….