It’s been just way, way too quiet this week. Sure, there’s been some news, but not enough to really keep us going. A review:
- The Raptors signed Lorenzo Brown to a two-way contract.
- What the Raptors’ use of two-ways might signal about their plans for the 15th roster spot. As a reminder, the Raptors would push into the luxury tax if they signed another player, which, given who’s left out there, they may not deem worthwhile. That can obviously change if the right player fits at the right price. The Raptors still have three roster spots open for training camp (13 guaranteed, Alfonzo McKinnie on a partial guarantee, the two two-ways, and Kennedy Meeks on an Exhibit 10).
- Axel Toupane was released by the Pelicans.
- Sadly for Raptors 905, he quickly signed in Lithuania. The 905 roster is pretty decimated at this point, which is always expected in the G-League but is particularly disappointing coming off of a championship season.
- There was a mailbag.
- And a podcast.
- And a deep look at what the “culture reset” might look like on the court. The changes won’t be dramatic, according to Masai Ujiri and DeMar DeRozan, but they need to at least, you know, exist to some degree.
- There was the Crown League final.
- And a piece on its place in the growth of basketball in Toronto.
And, yeah, that’s about it. Yawn. What is a basketball junkie to do?
The Under 19 Canadian women are in the bronze medal game on Sunday, which is awesome. The boys U19 just won gold, Canada’s first gold in any FIBA or Olympic basketball event ever, and the girls following with a podium finish would be great. A tough loss to the Russians in the semis shouldn’t be anything to dispirit how great a tournament it’s been for them.
Between stretches surfing on bingo sites, there are at least a handful of basketball events you can pay attention to. Crown League wrapped last night, but there’s still The Basketball Tournament (the finals are Aug. 3 on ESPN, though sadly, the team with three Raptors 905 players was knocked out in the final eight), the WNBA, some Drew League highlights, the BIG 3, and hey, it’s been like seven seconds since the comment section devolved into a Jonas Valanciunas debate, so just hold tight until the start of EuroBasket at the end of August. (Damn, is that really how long we have to wait? I’m not going to last the summer.) The Raptors, meanwhile, have a large contingent heading to Africa for Basketball Without Borders next week, so they’re keeping busier than most of us.
If all of that doesn’t do it, there are always bingo sites like www.bingosweets.com to pass your time on. I was surprised to find it quite enjoyable. These bingo sites even have slot machines that are suitable for sports fans. But remember to play responsibly.
I guess we can look more closely at DeRozan’s comments from Tuesday as they pertain to threes, because they’re kind of worthy of an eye-roll. Via the National Post:
I think the media kind of blow it out of proportion like it’s going to be something dramatic, like a complete dramatic 180-degree change. It’s not that at all. It’s just moreso locking in and understanding what it takes to win from every single position. Everyone just knows from our failures, guys stepping up and being better leaders, not just me and Kyle (Lowry) but everybody. I think once we lock in and everyone holds themselves accountable, everything else will come around perfect. That’s all it is.
I’m not even really adding it. just never really shot it because I always felt like I didn’t need to shoot it. It’s there when I need it. I don’t have to think about it. People always say I can’t do it but I just never really wanted to do it because I always felt like I could do everything else at a high level.
Okay, well, first of all, the reason the media ran with the “culture reset” quote is because it was said quite plainly. Nobody could watch Ujiri’s end-of-season presser and think anything but change was coming. Maybe that’s the fault of having to do a media session two days after elimination, but it’s not as if “the media” just made this up. The man said “culture reset” and other phrases to that effect multiple times.
As for DeRozan adding the three, it’s a bit disingenuous to say he hasn’t needed to shoot it because he’s so good at everything else because, uhh, he’s not the only player on the floor that has an impact on. In any case, DeRozan shot 40 percent from the corners last year, which is encouraging even if you don’t really want him standing there much. He’s a 28.1-percent career 3-point shooter on 841 attempts, but he’s also an 82.8-percent career free-throw shooter and has shot well enough in general over the last four seasons to maintain some faith he can grow into a capable 3-point threat.
You hope, anyway. He’s always gotten better each season, and he’ll need that weapon eventually.
Enjoy the weekend, everyone.