Lucas III, Valanciunas and a Summer League victory...
Running late with today's post thanks to some non-Raptors related work.
Don't you hate when that happens?
Especially when there's a HUGE rumour to discuss today; the Raps apparently about to sign free-agent point guard John Lucas III!
Yep, as we noted on Twitter last night, ESPN.com's Marc Stein is reporting that a signing is imminent and Toronto will add Lucas as soon as James Johnson is off the books (he needs to clear his physical in Sacramento.)
Exciting stuff is it not?
All sarcasm aside, I like this move as Lucas III at 30 has a lot of experience in this role, both in the NBA and via various other basketball travels across the globe. He played pieces of the last two season for the Chicago Bulls, and from 2005 to 2007 had a sting with the Houston Rockets.
As well, there's a history here with Lucas and Toronto. Lucas played on Toronto's Summer League team in 2008, and his father, John Lucas, served as the Raps' player development consultant during the 2007-08 campaign.
What does this mean for the point guard position?
Not much as long as Jose is still around. Lucas would play the Anthony Carter role this year, but would be a big upgrade in my books. Sure, Lucas is only 5-11, and sports pretty measly career totals, but had a PER of 16.41 last season, above league average and better then, oh...most of the Raptors.
However if Jose gets moved and Lucas has to be the primary back-up behind Kyle Lowry, obviously this isn't such a good fit. Lucas can run an offense and thanks to his long-range shooting (career 40 per cent shooter in that capacity) can at times explode offensively (he dropped 25 on the Cavs last April), but his size and mid-range game can make him a major liability at times. Hopefully the Raptors don't need to rely on him for more than eight to 10 minutes a match.
Outside of the Lucas news, Jonas Valanciunas is officially a Raptor, signing off on his paperwork yesterday. The hype machine on Big Val began a long time ago but soon we'll get to see if expectations can match the reality of NBA play.
And finally, the Dinos got a win in Summer League play yesterday!
Terrence Ross stood out once again as he pumped in a game-high 21 points for Toronto. More impressive though was the defensive job he did on Jimmer Fredette, who shot a horrid 5 of 17, as Ross continuously used his size and athleticism to harass the former BYU guard.
Now this is Summer League we're talking about so we need to point out that Ross did pick up SEVEN fouls. But if you saw this one live, a few were pretty nitpicky and likely wouldn't have been called in NBA play.
Ed Davis' shot continues to look better however he couldn't find the bottom of the net yesterday, going 2 of 9. His six of seven performance from the charity stripe though was pretty solid and he did haul in 10 boards. He also looked good against one of this past draft's top picks, Thomas Robinson. Robinson was only 3 of 13 from the field, finishing with seven points.
Instead, picking up the scoring slack for Davis was the Raps Can-Con quotient, Oregon Duck Devoe Joseph who had 10 points in what seemed like 10 seconds, and others like Bobby Brown (17) and Daniel Orton (7 points, 8 rebounds) had an impact in getting the W.