Looks like the Raptors are putting there finishing touches on training camp preparations.
This afternoon the team announced they had signed former Marquette guard Jerel McNeal and former Dayton forward Chris Wright, both players who've been on the team's radar for some time.
McNeal had a workout with the Raptors prior to the 2009 NBA draft, whereas Wright was a more recent pre-draft workout invite. I actually had a chance to speak with McNeal after his 2009 pre-draft session, and I hoped the Raptors' would take a chance on him or Marquette teammate Wes Matthews, both of whom were expected to go undrafted.
We all know how Matthews turned out, and while McNeal hasn't been able to stick in the L, I still believe he could find a role on an NBA bench. He's stuck between the 1 and 2 spots on the floor, but has the athleticism and length to possibly grab a roster spot.
It just won't be with the Raptors, at least not in the near future.
The club already has 15 players under contract, oh wait, no, 16 with Jamaal Magloire's addition, and both McNeal and Wright are likely being brought in simply to enhance the level of competition in Halifax.
From the official press release:
The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have signed guard Jerel McNeal and forward Chris Wright. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.
McNeal, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, played last season in Italy with Fabi Shoes Montegranaro. He averaged 10.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 32 outings.
A 2009 product of Marquette University, McNeal finished his collegiate career as the school's all-time leader in points (1,985), steals (287) and games played (130). He was named to the All-Big East First Team as a senior averaging 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals in 35 games.
Wright, 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, participated with the 2011 Raptors' NBA Summer League entry. He started in all four of his appearances averaging 9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
Wright averaged 13.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 123 career outings at Dayton. He earned third-team All-Atlantic 10 honours as a senior, first-team as a junior and second-team as a sophomore.