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Old 08-06-2012, 08:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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David Aldridge on the Raptors roster, summer

2011-12 RECORD: 23-43, fourth place, Atlantic Division; did not make playoffs.
ADDED: G Kyle Lowry (acquired from Houston); G Landry Fields (three years, $20 million); G Terrence Ross (first round, eighth pick overall) C Jonas Valanciunas (Lietuvos Rytas); G John Lucas III (two years); F Quincy Acy (second round, 37th pick overall).
LOST: F Gary Forbes (signed with Houston); F James Johnson (traded to Sacramento).
RETAINED: C Aaron Gray (two years); F Alan Anderson.

THE KEY MAN: C Jonas Valanciunas.
He's just 20 and he'll certainly have his ups and downs as a rookie adjusting to the NBA game, but Toronto needs its young center to get his feet wet in a hurry. His skills are substantial, though, and when he does figure things out, Toronto will be a much different team. His presence should end the Andrea Bargnani can play some center discussion once and for all, allowing Bargnani to play the four, his more natural position. Valanciunas is going to be a good one.
THE SKINNY: The Raptors stopped hemorrhaging points with first-year Coach Dwane Casey putting in his defensive structure, and that should continue with more weapons at his disposal next season. Toronto didn't get native son Steve Nash, but wound up a lot deeper and younger than it would have been had Nash taken its three-year, $36 million offer. Lowry and Lucas will combine for a little more than half of what Nash would have made alone. Signing Fields was part of the lure to get Nash (the offer sheet gummed up a potential Knicks sign-and-trade opportunity), but Toronto has him now and will need to figure out how he, DeMar DeRozan and Ross, the University of Washington rookie, can divvy up all of those minutes at shooting guard. Someone will move over to the three. But someone could also be potentially packaged along with incumbent point guard Jose Calderon, who will be dealt.
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