I’m killing some time at a coffee shop right now and there were a few minor things that came down today that weren’t worth their own post, so let’s throw them together in one mini-roundup post.
DeMar DeRozan withdraws from NBA Africa Game
I added this to a post about Masai Ujiri’s Giants of Africa endeavors earlier, but I’ll paste it here, too, since that update likely came too late for most to catch on their initial read.
Chris Haynes of ESPN reports that DeRozan has pulled out of NBA Africa Game scheduled for Aug. 4 in South Africa. It’s possible that the residual awkwardness with Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri is a part of that decision, but it’s also possible he just wants to spend the new few weeks moving, adjusting, and transition to a new home and a new situation in San Antonio.
The Raptors will still have a pair of representatives at the NBA Africa Game in Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka.
DeRozan and Lowry meet up at USA mini-camp
While Kawhi Leonard pulled out of the non-mandatory USA Basketball mini-camp taking place in Las Vegas this week, there was still something Raptors-relevant to come out of the first day. Namely, DeRozan met up with Kyle Lowry, and the pair of former teammates took a quick pic for the NBA twitter account.
— NBA (@NBA) July 25, 2018
I’d imagine this friendship extends just beyond sharing a locker room and that it will remain strong in the years to come.
Vince Carter signs in Atlanta
This is non-Raptors news, but because a lot of people have asked about the possibility of the Raptors adding Vince Carter to the end of the roster for veteran leadership and a homecoming of sorts: He signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks today, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The $2.4-million deal could see Carter still earn some playing time, which he’s said in recent years was a larger consideration for him than ring-chasing. Signing in Atlanta, where he’ll play veteran presence to a rebuilding squad and Trae Young in particular, would seem to affirm that.
It still seems likely that whenever Carter ends his career – and he’s suggested this, his 21st season, will be his last – he’ll sign a one-day contract of some sort to retire as a Raptor. In the meantime, the Raptors can’t offer a sniff of playing time with their current wing depth, and Carter will instead continue his rise up the all-time games played and points scored leaderboards in Atlanta.
Pascal Siakam and Charles Oakley have both been helping out at Raptors camps this week.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) July 25, 2018
Fred VanVleet is holding a contest for fans in Rockford (or willing to make the trip) to meet him and hang out with him. Thought I should pass along just in case any of you are in that area.
***Event will be held in Rockford, Illinois Supporting the Bet On Yourself movement, and becoming a customer of the FVV apparel, is a big deal to Fred VanVleet. In order to show his appreciation for his customers, he’s putting together a social media contest for a chance to WIN a Customer Appreciation Night! 10-12 customers will be selected and during this “Customer Appreciation Night”, you get to hang out personally with Fred VanVleet including food, drinks and professional pictures & autographs! How to ENTER: 1. Post a picture of yourself with your FVV gear with the hashtag #FVVappreciation and tag @fvvshop @boymarketing 2. In the comments below, tag someone to join you 3. Follow @fvvshop @boymarketing The lucky winner(s) will be contacted via DM by @boymarketing on Thursday July 26,2018. Event will be Friday July 27, 2018 7:30p until…
Over at The Athletic, I shared some Summer League takeaways. Yes, it got bumped back by the Kawhi news, what can I do?