Photo Credit: Matt Azevedo/MattAzevedo.com
After last night’s win against the Philadelphia 76ers, one that saw both players get actual NBA run for the first time all season (OK, one had played 29 seconds to that point), the Toronto Raptors assigned Bruno Caboclo and Fred VanVleet to Raptors 905 of the D-League.
This isn’t major news, nor is it surprising. It was expected that Caboclo and VanVleet would do an up-and-down all week with the schedules for the Raptors and the 905 overlapping so tidily. As we’ve said here, we’re not going to write up every instance of assignments and recalls, posting instead only when it signals a change in plan or a meaningful or extended stint at one level or the other.
So why the post this morning? After sleeping on it, I figured the absence of Jakob Poeltl on this assignment was noteworthy. Poeltl was with the 905 on Saturday and then back with the Raptors, and while he looked good shaking off the rust after scarcely playing for three weeks, it seemed likely he’d be back down throughout this week. It’s possible, then, that him staying with the Raptors is at least partially related to Jonas Valanciunas rolling his left ankle in the third quarter of Monday’s game.
JV injury. pic.twitter.com/4Owd79DJW9
— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) November 29, 2016
That’s not to say Valanciunas is hurt. He was available to return, but the Raptors put things away and didn’t need him. They’re generally cautious with injuries, and with two players on assignment and another two injured, they may just need Poeltl to have 10 bodies at practice today. (We’ll look for confirmation at practice, but I’d imagine Valanciunas is OK but listed as day-to-day as a precaution.) It wouldn’t even be all that surprising if Poeltl was assigned to the 905 after practice, depending on how cautious the team wants to be about their frontcourt depth.
Or I’m reading into this too much entirely and Poeltl being assigned just wasn’t part of the plan. There’s value in practicing with the NBA side, especially after a long road trip with little practice time, and the Memphis Grizzlies present some challenges the team will need to be locked in for. So consider this non-news until we hear otherwise, but I thought I should pass along nonetheless.
The 905 tip off at 7:30 p.m. at Hershey Centre, by the way.