After the signing of Jason Thompson and waiving of Anthony Bennett became official today, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri addressed the media to discuss the move, possible impact to rotations, and other developing players on the end of the Raptors bench.
Thompson and Bennett
So first off, those who were expecting Thompson to come in and be a starter, or even a member of the nine-man rotation, will come away from this interview disappointed. Ujiri pointed out that Thompson's role will be smaller than what he's played in the past, so it's all but assured that he'll settle into Bennett's old place in the rotation - the tenth spot, only break in case of emergency.
Speaking of Bennett, Ujiri was all politics in explaining his decision to waive the former number one pick, chalking it up to Bennett needing to be somewhere where he can play. Whether that's in the NBA is questionable at this point, though Philadelphia and Phoenix have been thrown around as possible destinations. What might be best for Bennett at this point, though, is to retreat to an international circuit. There he can get paid, play out the season, then try to earn a training camp invite in the fall.
Ujiri also spoke briefly about Bebe Nogueira, expressing how big the Brazilian is to their program going forward. He sees the skill-set, as we all did in Bebe's brief appearances during the Jonas Valanciunas injury, and is hopeful about his development in the long-term.
As to what wasn't said by Ujiri, we still have no credible timeline on DeMarre Carroll's return, which is probably still 2-3 weeks out. Patrick Patterson gave an informal update during his interview today - apparently Carroll is "looking better" and participating in drills, which is positive but certainly not concrete. The Raptors will likely continue to be patient with Carroll, waiting for a full recovery before putting him back into the lineup.