Heart and Hustle - Season 3: Raptors resign Carter

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Season 2: Hobbs declares for NBA Draft.

Postby seaboh13 on Sat May 09, 2015 6:16 am

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Hobbs declares for NBA Draft.

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Miami guard Rory Hobbs will be entering the 2014 NBA draft. He confirmed the news at a press conference on Sunday.

ESPN college basketball writer Andy Katz cited Hobbs' father, M.J. Hobbs, as saying Rory will announce his intentions to enter the draft at the press conference. As well, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported last week that Hobbs already had lined up meetings with agents. Hobbs has now officially signed with ROC Sports Nation.

At 6-5, 195 pounds, Rory Hobbs emerged almost from nowhere to get a place as a walk-on with Miami last year. He had not been rated as a top European prospect last year by Scout.com, whose analyst Brian Snow probably knew Europe best. Long story short, nobody knew about this kid this side of the water. but he was certainly known in Ireland, and now all over the state of Florida and beyond. Hobbs now hopes to be the first Irish player to get drafted to the NBA.

After spending some time on the Miami campus in the summer of 2012, he decided he was comfortable with his choice and decided to attend Miami, close to a family friends home in Miami. He received a scholarship this season after impressing in the NCAA tournament run with Miami last year.

As a sophomore, however, he broke out with a 20-point effort against Florida in the Hurricanes’ fifth game and went on to average 18.5 points and 5.6 assists. He scored 28 in Miami’s final NCAA Tournament game against St Louis.

Miami loses four senior regulars, and it is unlikely the Hurricanes are going to be able to duplicate their 2nd round appearance of this past season with or without Hobbs.
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Season 2: Interview with Basketball Ireland

Postby seaboh13 on Sat May 09, 2015 6:18 am

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Interview with NBA prospect Rory Hobbs

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Miami Hurricanes Guard Rory Hobbs has found himself in a unique position the last 2 years. He has never played for an Irish international team since U15, but is now being talked about as an NBA lottery pick, ie a top 14 college prospect in the NBA. So just how did he get to that point so quickly?

Hey Rory, congrats on a stellar season, can you believe how far you have come since 2012?

Thanks. Yeah it's hard to believe it really. I mean I'm still shocked I made the Miami roster last season as walk-on. It was a calculated risk last year when I applied to do PE education over there. When the Dean of Education had heard of my basketball ability, I knew I had a chance. I had an incredible experience with a superb Miami roster last year and I have just grown so much in that time.

You certainly have. Your game from High School here has succesfully being demonstrated, but against a higher level of competiton. How did you adjust so quickly?

Well Dad and my friend Darren have been my rocks. Darren is a professional bodybuilder so he was worked on my physique and diet. Dad has coached me all my life, and regularly flies over to bring me to the gym and work on my weaknesses. Mum and my brothers have been over twice so far, and they give me so much support and encouragement, it just spurs me on every single moment i'm on the court. I don't want to let them down. I want to make them proud. I don't quite have the athleticism of the Americans, but I have great passing vision, and a knack off getting to basket and drawing contact. I need to keep working on my shot though, in order to make it in the NBA.

You have done more than your family proud Rory. You are on course to be selected in the NBA Draft. The first Irish born and bred person to ever do it. Following in the steps of Pat Burke being the only other born and bred Irishman to play in the NBA. Have you any preference as to who you play for?

Well its a big achievement for an Irishman. I really hope it inspires so many more kids to try their game out stateside. If you don't believe, you can't achieve. I will be over the moon to be selected at all! I mean if I go in the 1st round I will be ecstatic. If I could choose a team to be drafted by? Hmm, well my friend Darren wants me to play for the Heat, Dad wants me to play for the Magic, and my brothers want me to play for the Bulls or the Knicks. Mum wants me to be looked after by her friends in Boston! So as you can see, my family is completed divided on this matter! I grew up a fan of Vince Carter, so if their was an opportunity to play for the Raptors, I couldn't turn it down either.

A difficult choice, but one you probably won't be at liberty to choose. It will all depend on the draft order and team needs I suppose?

More or less. I have signed with ROC Sports Nation and they are slowly filling me in on how it all works. I will have a few predraft interviews and workouts lined up in the next few weeks. So I will have a pretty good idea as to who wants me fairly soon.

So whats your best position? Point or Off-Guard? You have played both equally well the past two years.

Well NBA position I would like to play Point. But if I play Shooting Guard, well i'd like to see myself as a James Harden type who handles the ball and can score. Not setting my bar too high or anything!

Well best of luck Rory, we will be running a feature on your here on Basketball Ireland's website, we have put up a poll so fans can try and predict where you land in the NBA draft, so far Boston is in the lead. Not surprising the Irish wanting you on the Celtics! Whatever happens, we all wish you the best of luck.

Thanks, I hope to get time to check in and blog here the upcoming season.
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Season 3 : Pre Draft Interview - Minnesota Timberwolves

Postby seaboh13 on Sun May 10, 2015 1:31 am

Pre Draft Interview #1 - Minnesota Timberwolves

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Saunders: Hi Rory. I'm Flip Saunders the GM of the Minnesota Timberwolves. We have the 13th pick of this years draft and we are considering drafting you with our pick. I 'd just like to ask you a few questions first.

Hobbs: Ok, nice to meet you Mr Saunders.

Saunders: Minnesota is a truly beautiful city, but are you aware just how cold the winters are? We have freezing cold, we have snow, we have it all. I've seen players walk in telling me that nothing can stop them, only to be defeated by the weather. The gosh darn weather! Can you deal with these types of adverse conditions?

Hobbs: I was born and raised in cold weather in Ireland. This ain’t nothing. If there's one thing I’ve learned in my life, its that when the weather gets cold, its basketball time. That’s my favorite time of the year.

Saunders: This is a question we ask all our potential draftees, and I want you to answer it as honestly as possible. Where do you see your career going? What do you hope to acheive out of your career? Ultimately what do you want your legacy to be?

Hobbs: Wow, Ok. So I want to be the best basketball player and best team player I can be. At the end of the day that's all I can really ask out of myself. I want to be remembered as someone who gave 110% every time they set foot on the court.

Saunders: I really feel like we have a solid PG in Ricky Rubio, but It would be remiss of me not to look at all the other options in the draft. How do you think you could fit in with Ricky, do you feel you could make it as a Shooting Guard in the NBA?

Hobbs: I like Ricky's game a lot. I really do. There are a lot of similarites in how we play. Ultimately I feel I am going to be a pretty good pro. I've got the physicals, I've got the smarts and I have got to desire to work hard every single day. I know my 3 pt shot needs a lot of work, but I can hone it in to make me a real threat to fit alongside Ricky at the 2 guard. I think we could make a really nice backcourt tandem going forward.

Saunders: Ok Rory I have heard everything I needed to hear. After the draft our roster could look very different as we sort out this whole Kevin Love issue. Either way, we are changing our culture here, we want to be winners, not bottom dwellers anymore. Thanks for answering our questions.
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Re: Heart and Hustle - Season 2: Hobbs Declares for NBA Draft

Postby TGsoGood on Sun May 10, 2015 5:10 am

:applaud: I've been off the site for a little over a week and comeback to find Rorry Hobbs signing with ROC Nation Sports and entering the draft.
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Re: Heart and Hustle - Season 2: Hobbs Declares for NBA Draft

Postby seaboh13 on Sun May 10, 2015 7:32 pm

TGsoGood wrote::applaud: I've been off the site for a little over a week and comeback to find Rorry Hobbs signing with ROC Nation Sports and entering the draft.


Yeah i have been busy updating and posting all week. Flew threw the season. Really heating up now. Have some predraft interviews to post.
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Season 3 : Pre Draft Interview - Minnesota Timberwolves

Postby seaboh13 on Sun May 10, 2015 7:33 pm

Pre Draft Interview #1 - Minnesota Timberwolves

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Saunders: Hi Rory. I'm Flip Saunders the GM of the Minnesota Timberwolves. We have the 13th pick of this years draft and we are considering drafting you with our pick. I 'd just like to ask you a few questions first.

Hobbs: Ok, nice to meet you Mr Saunders.

Saunders: Minnesota is a truly beautiful city, but are you aware just how cold the winters are? We have freezing cold, we have snow, we have it all. I've seen players walk in telling me that nothing can stop them, only to be defeated by the weather. The gosh darn weather! Can you deal with these types of adverse conditions?

Hobbs: I was born and raised in cold weather in Ireland. This ain’t nothing. If there's one thing I’ve learned in my life, its that when the weather gets cold, its basketball time. That’s my favorite time of the year.

Saunders: This is a question we ask all our potential draftees, and I want you to answer it as honestly as possible. Where do you see your career going? What do you hope to acheive out of your career? Ultimately what do you want your legacy to be?

Hobbs: Wow, Ok. So I want to be the best basketball player and best team player I can be. At the end of the day that's all I can really ask out of myself. I want to be remembered as someone who gave 110% every time they set foot on the court.

Saunders: I really feel like we have a solid PG in Ricky Rubio, but It would be remiss of me not to look at all the other options in the draft. How do you think you could fit in with Ricky, do you feel you could make it as a Shooting Guard in the NBA?

Hobbs: I like Ricky's game a lot. I really do. There are a lot of similarites in how we play. Ultimately I feel I am going to be a pretty good pro. I've got the physicals, I've got the smarts and I have got to desire to work hard every single day. I know my 3 pt shot needs a lot of work, but I can hone it in to make me a real threat to fit alongside Ricky at the 2 guard. I think we could make a really nice backcourt tandem going forward.

Saunders: Ok Rory I have heard everything I needed to hear. After the draft our roster could look very different as we sort out this whole Kevin Love issue. Either way, we are changing our culture here, we want to be winners, not bottom dwellers anymore. Thanks for answering our questions.
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Season 3: Pre Draft Interview - Chicago Bulls

Postby seaboh13 on Sun May 10, 2015 7:34 pm

Pre Draft Interview #2 - Chicago Bulls

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Paxson: Hi Rory. I'm John Paxson the Assistant GM of the Chicago Bulls. We have the 16th and 19th pick of this years draft and we are considering drafting you with one of our picks. I 'd just like to apologise that Gar Forman couldn't be here too, he is currently working on a trade for draft night. I hope it doesn't make you feel undervalued, because we really do value you.

Hobbs: Thats ok Mr Paxson, I understand, its a pretty hectic role as GM. I don't think anything less of a 3 time NBA champion being asked to interview me!

Paxson: That's great, I must say I am relieved to hear that. Anyway, onto some questions then Rory. It takes a strong will to play here in Chicago, its an incredibly sports mad city. If you give your heart and soul to the team, the fans and city will love you. On the other hand, if you ever bad mouth them or not give 100% they will turn on you in a heartbeat. They are the best fans in basketball and expect nothing less than you best. Do you think you have the makeup to play in this great sports city?

Hobbs: I can really get behind a fan base that want's to win and will do anything to get it. I've always given 100% of myself to the game. It's not all about me. When I put on a jersey, I have a responsibilty to not only myself, but also to my teammates, and the fans of that team. I think Chicago fans and I are on the same level. I think it would be mutual love.

Paxson: Point Guard is really the one position this team is solid in long term. We believe in Derrick and his ability to come back this year from knee surgery finally. If we were to draft you we wouldn't want you to feel we are grooming you to be a career backup. We love your talent and all around game. We really have a lack of talent at the shooting guard position and long term this is where we would like you to fit in, with Jimmy Butler playing small forward. We really think we could get great looks with so much versatility at the 1-3 positions. Do you think you could make the transition to shooting guard?

Hobbs: I am a big fan of Derrick Rose. If there is anyway on God's green earth I could play alongside him, I'd do it. I have been working hard in the gym to improve my long range shooting, and I think this would really help my transition. I think we could make a really nice backcourt pairing going forward.

Paxson: Ok Rory I have heard everything I had hoped to hear. We are not sure if you will still be on the board at #16, so we may look to make a move up and select you. Cross your fingers and hope Gar can work something out. We would really love to make you a Bull. Thanks for answering our questions.
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Season 3 : Pre Draft Interview - Brooklyn Nets

Postby seaboh13 on Sun May 10, 2015 7:35 pm

Pre Draft Interview #3 - Brooklyn Nets

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King: Hi Rory. I'm Billy King the GM of the Brooklyn Nets. We don't currently have a pick in this years draft, but we are in the process of trying to acquire a lottery pick and we are very hopeful of getting it. Needless to say we are considering drafting you with our soon to be acquired draft pick. I 'd just like to apologise that this interview might seem a bit pointless until we have something in writing, but just bare with me.

Hobbs: Thats ok Mr King, I understand how it works, I'm ready and willing to listen either way.

King: That's great news, I am delighted to hear that. with that in mind we will move onto some questions then Rory. Like LA, playing in Brooklyn, New York is like playing under the microscope. Your every move on the court will be critiqued and analysed by the fans, who expect this franchise to compete for an NBA championship. A mantra that has been set in stone by our owner Mikhail Prokhorov and by last seasons move to trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. We are all in. Beyond that your every move off the court will be chronicled and fed to the public by the paparazzi. What I'm trying to ask is, are you ready for this?

Hobbs: Yes I was born ready for this. I wasn't daunted coming over to the US from Ireland to play college ball. I knew I was good enough to be a walk-on, and not only a walk-on but to become a leader in Miami in only my 2nd season. As long as I work hard, I know I can fit in anywhere. The sky is the limit for me. I would happily put down my roots in Brooklyn. Having the chance to compete for a title is pretty important to me. Winning is who I am.

King: Talk about what you have to improve on as you make the transition to the NBA. I'd like to know what you think about your game as a whole.

Hobbs: Primarily my focus, and being mentally tougher. I need to study the game and watch the players in front of me and learn. I also need to learn from veterans like D-Will and KG so I can step in and contibute when my name is called.

King: Ok Rory that all sounds good to me. Keep your eyes and ears open. We have a few trades in the pipeline and we are trying to get a pick in the lottery to draft you. I hope to talk to you on draft night. Thanks for the interview.
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Re: Heart and Hustle - Season 3: Pre Draft Interviews

Postby Ekmas on Sun May 10, 2015 9:42 pm

Great story, so realistic :D
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NBA Draft 2014 - Part 1 of 4

Postby seaboh13 on Tue May 12, 2015 11:06 pm

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Andrew Wiggins was drafted #1 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but could be on the move.

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NBA Draft 2014 - Part 2 of 4

Postby seaboh13 on Tue May 12, 2015 11:07 pm

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"Dougie Buckets" was drafted by the Nuggets, but was swiftly traded to the Chicago Bulls

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NBA Draft 2014 - Part 3 of 4

Postby seaboh13 on Tue May 12, 2015 11:07 pm

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Shabazz Napier was drafted by the Hornets, but traded to the Heat, apparently at Lebron's request.

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NBA Draft 2014 - 4 of 4

Postby seaboh13 on Tue May 12, 2015 11:08 pm

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Elfrid Payton was picked by the 76ers and traded to the Magic.

NBA Draft Trade Roundup

McDermott to Chicago
Chicago Bulls get:
> No. 11 pick Doug McDermott
> Anthony Randolph
Denver Nuggets get:
> No. 16 pick Jusuf Nurkic
> No. 19 pick Gary Harris
> 2015 second-round pick

Sixers, Magic swap first-round picks
Philadelphia 76ers get:
> No. 12 pick Dario Saric
> 2015 second-round pick
> 2017 first-round pick
Orlando Magic get:
> No. 10 pick Elfrid Payton

Hornets trade Napier to Heat
Charlotte Hornets get:
> No. 26 pick P.J. Hairston
> No. 55 pick Semaj Christon
> 2019 second-round pick
> Cash considerations
Miami Heat get:
> No. 24 pick Shabazz Napier

Chandler, Felton to Dallas
Dallas Mavericks get:
> Tyson Chandler
> Raymond Felton
New York Knicks get:
> Jose Calderon
> Wayne Ellington
> Shane Larkin
> Samuel Dalembert
> No. 34 pick Cleanthony Early
> No. 51 pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo
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Re: Heart and Hustle - Season 3: Pre Draft Interviews

Postby seaboh13 on Sat May 16, 2015 8:44 am

samardzicnba wrote:Great story, so realistic :D


Thank you, good to see you are reading it!
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NBA Draft Surprises - Hobbs falls to #20

Postby seaboh13 on Sat May 16, 2015 8:45 am

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Rory Hobbs surprisingly fell to #20 after apparently being promised to be drafted by Bulls.

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Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri must be thanking his lucky stars. Hobbs is a tough defender and a strong finisher, and he'll run the floor well in transition.

Somehow, though, the 20-year-old fell to No. 20 in the draft. He was slotted by many to be selected in the lottery, so his fall certainly comes as a mild surprise. The only real knock against him is that—at 6'5"—he's slightly undersized for the shooting guard spot. Many consider him more of a Point Guard, but his lack of raw athleticism seems to have severly dropped his draft stock. His inexperience of only playing 2 years at a high level also put many scouts off.

Nevertheless, Hobbs was an absolute steal for Toronto.

Consider his playmaking ability. DraftExpress' Matt Kamalsky broke down the numbers, writing:

Hobbs' playmaking breakdown, stands out in two areas. 55.7 percent of Miami's shot attempts last season were assisted or hockey assisted by Hobbs, the largest percentage of any player in this group. He also scored a top-10 ranked 18.5 points per-game, it's amazing how so many teams overlooked him. Wth scorers like Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan around him, he could really open things up for the Raptors.


Given that Hobbs could very easily have gone anywhere from 10 - 17, the Raptors wound up getting a great deal. This draft pick reminds me of one the Pacers made 4 years ago in the 2nd Rd with pick#40, Lance Stephenson. Hobbs will have a battle to earn playing time however, with Grevis Vasquez and the promising Terrence Ross likely competing directly for playing time with him. But he certainly is a prospect to watch out for. We all seen the effect Stephenson had on the Pacers.
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Raptors resign Kyle Lowry

Postby seaboh13 on Sat May 16, 2015 8:47 am

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Raptors resign Kyle Lowry.

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Toronto (Canada) (AFP) - Kyle Lowry, who helped Toronto reach the postseason for the first time in six years, has agreed a four-year contract extension with the Raptors.

The 28-year-old free-agent guard told Yahoo Sports "Toronto is just the right place for me" and retweeted the report about the deal. The contract is reportedly worth $48 million.

Lowry averaged 17.9 points and 7.4 assists in his second season with Toronto.

He was acquired in a July 2012 trade with the Houston Rockets, who were one of the clubs looking at adding Lowry to their roster. Lowry has averaged 11.7 points and 5.4 assists in 506 NBA games for Memphis, Houston and Toronto.

The Raptors now have to address some more of their free agents in Patrick Patterson, Nando De Colo and Grevis Vasquez. However with the drafting of Guard Rory Hobbs from Miami, its likely that DeColo or Vasquez or both will not be resigned. Second to dealing with the backcourt, the Raptors need to address their frontcourt. With a backup Power Forward and Center badly needed. Perhaps another small forward depending on what they do with Vasquez etc.
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Raptors resign Vinsanity

Postby seaboh13 on Sat May 16, 2015 8:49 am

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All is Forgiven - Raptors resign Legend Vince Carter

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Toronto, July 11, 2014– The Toronto Raptors have signed free agent Vince Carter to a multi-year contract, the team announced today. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Carter (6-6, 220) returns to Toronto with career averages of 20.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 34.2 minutes in 1,148 games (950 starts) over 16 seasons with the Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks. He owns career shooting percentages of .442 from the field, .378 from three-point range and .799 from the free throw line.

The idea of bringing Vince Carter to Toronto would have been dead on arrival a couple of seasons ago. Now the Carter-to-Toronto movement picked up steam rather quickly, possibly because the new front office regime recognized his impact on both the franchise and the city that has been churning out elite basketball prospects like never before.

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri recently sat down in an interview with CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos and talked about several things related to Carter. When asked about a possible reunion, Ujiri mentioned the organization was more open than it was before. Oh, and he also mentioned that Tim Leiweke, MLSE President and CEO, met with Carter when the Dallas Mavericks last came into town, with team owner Mark Cuban’s permission of course.

A reunion between the two parties obviously fit in perfectly for this season as the franchise celebrates their 20 years of existence. Carter had always said he would have interest in finishing his career as a Raptor.

“When they (Toronto) gave me the opportunity, I didn’t even let them finish the question. Yes. I’m in,” Carter said in an interview with TSN Radio 1050.

“Did I see it coming? No, I really didn't think they would reach out this soon.” Carter continued. “I thought in maybe a year or two with the new management, it would eventually happen. It all started for me in Toronto, I’d be a fool to ever forget that.They have a good team that just made the playoffs last season, and I hope I can push them on further.”

Among all-time NBA leaders, Carter ranks seventh in three-point field goals made (1,809), eighth in three-point field goals attempted (4,788), 20th in field goals attempted (19,045), 25th in points (23,190), 31st in minutes played (39,240), 46thin games played (1,148), 47th in free throws made (4,551), 49th in points per game (20.2) and 49th in free throw attempts (5,694).

An eight-time All-Star (2000-07), Carter was voted as a starter in seven seasons and was the league’s leading vote-getter four times. He was named to the 2000-01 All-NBA Second Team and the 2001-02 All-NBA Third Team and averaged at least 20 points per game for 10 consecutive seasons (1999-09). Carter also helped Team USA’s men’s national team capture the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the first round (5th overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft after a three-year collegiate career at the University of North Carolina, Carter was named the 1998-99 NBA Rookie of the Year with Toronto. One of the most exciting and innovative dunkers in NBA history and former face of the Raptors franchise, Carter memorably won the Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in 2000.
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Raptors Season Preview

Postby seaboh13 on Sat May 16, 2015 8:50 am

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Toronto Raptors 2014-15 Preview: Great expectations

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The Raptors are coming off of the highest win total in franchise history. With Kyle Lowry and head coach Dwane Casey locked into new long-term deals, can the Raptors make some more noise in the playoffs in 2015?

SUMMER OF 2014 - Transactions

Key Additions - Vince Carter, Rory Hobbs, James Johnson, Lucas Noguiera
Key Losses - John Salmons, Steve Novak, Grevis Vasquez

With their cap space tied up, the Raptors didn't have a whole lot of flexibility to make many moves this summer, but they didn't regress either.

The biggest news of the summer came in July when Toronto signed the legendary Vince Carter to a 3 year contract. Carter will give Toronto a much-needed scoring punch off the bench, and you can expect him to play with something to prove as he works to earn back the respect of the Toronto fanbase. His departure from the Raptors was extremely messy and this move gives Carter a chance to show he is putting the team first.

In other big news, the Raptors resigned Kyle Lowry to a four-year, $48 million extension to lock up their electric backcourt of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Lowry is coming off of his best year in the NBA and is climbing up the list as one of the top guards in the Eastern Conference.

As soon as last season ended, the Raptors signed head coach Dwane Casey to a three-year extension worth over $11 million. Through his first three years coaching in Toronto, Casey has accumulated a losing 105-125 record but is coming off a very successful season in which he was able to get a lot out of a roster with relatively average overall talent. Casey has drastically improved Toronto's defense as of late and he has gotten great individual progression out of multiple guys, pointing to strong teaching skills.

Toronto is in the process of solidifying a tough-minded culture, and Casey seems like he is the man for the job.

On draft night, the Raptors owned the 20th overall pick in the first round and went with Irish prospect Rory Hobbs, who is a long-armed 6'5" athlete with intriguing long-term potential. Hobbs was not expected to fall so far, but he could be a terrific fit off the bench with Toronto. At 20 years old, Hobbs may take some time to come into his own, but the pick may pay off down the road once he gets a chance to play extended minutes.

Shortly after the draft, Toronto traded the expiring contract of John Salmons to Atlanta in return for seven-foot Brazilian prospect Lucas Nogueria, who was selected 16th overall in last year's draft.

The Raptors also signed free agent combo forward James Johnson for two years at $5 million total. James Johnson is a well put together 6'9" forward that can play the three or four spot and is coming off of a nice year as a Memphis Grizzlies reserve last season. When Johnson played at least 20 minutes throughout 28 games last season, he put up 10.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per outing. Johnson is athletic and extremely active with a good basketball IQ, and he should have an opportunity to win some minutes in Toronto

Grevis Vasquez who was a restricted free agent was allowed to join the Grizzlies. Vasquez's solid playmaking ability will be missed, but the Raptors obviously believe in the potential of young Rory Hobbs to bring close to what Vasquez produced. The two players have a very similar play style.

Finally, in a move that brought Toronto some depth up front, former Celtic Greg Stiemsma was signed to a one-year deal worth $981,000. Whether he gets a chance to play on a regular basis remains to be seen, but we all know that he is going to block some shots and bring some toughness when his number is called.

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART
C - Jonas Valanciunas / Tyler Hansbrough / Lucas Noguiera / Greg Stiemsma
PF - Amir Johnson / Patrick Patterson
SF - Terrence Ross / James Johnson /Landry Fields
SG - DeMar DeRozan /Vince Carter
PG - Kyle Lowry / Rory Hobbs

X-FACTOR - Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas is a quality young center that is coming off of a productive sophomore season, where he flirted with a double-double on a regular basis and showed signs of improvement on both ends of the floor. However, as the team's only viable low-post scoring option, it's time he starts getting more aggressive. Better yet, it's time he starts getting more opportunities to finish plays.

Valanciunas is unique in the sense that he is extremely efficient around the rim and is also a seven-footer that shoots between 75-80% from the free throw line. The more opportunities he gets to make something happen on the block, the more easy buckets the Raptors will get and he can put some pressure on the opposition by getting to the free throw line more often.

In April last season, Valanciunas was fed more often and he took more shots and free throws than any other period during the season. As a result, he averaged 16.8 points and 11 rebounds in the final month of the regular season an in the last two months combined, he shot right around 60% from the field. For some reason, they went away from that in the first round of the playoffs, where he shot over 63% for the series but only took seven shots per game.

In his third year, he needs to get more touches and bring a new dynamic to Toronto's offense. The Raptors love to attack, but Valanciunas is the team's best bet at establishing a better inside-out game in the halfcourt. Let the big fella eat!

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2014-15
The Raptors are the favorite to win the Atlantic Division and earn a seed in the top half of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. You can expect a lot of what we saw last year - a tough, hard-nosed young team that respects the fundamentals and gets after it every night. Adding the experienced Carter will bring an added element and aid to the development of a young team.

Depending on health and who they draw as a postseason opponent, the Raptors might have a chance to make a little more noise and potentially advance to the second round.

PREDICTED STANDINGS
1st - Atlantic Division
4th - Eastern Conference

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Season 3: Episode 1 - Raptors start 6-1

Postby seaboh13 on Wed May 20, 2015 8:25 pm

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Raptors roll Early, off to 6-1 start.

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Air Canada was cleared for lift off tonight, Carter scored his first of 8 points back as a Raptor with an emphatic slam.

The Toronto Raptors have gotten off to a flying start. 6-1 and top of the Eastern Conference. And that's not where the good news ends. Vince Carter has been excellent off the bench as a 6th man. Scoring over 10ppg and given that steady veteran leadership. The Raptors had some nice wins over OKC Thunder, Atlanta and Washington. Kyle Lowry is looking worth his 48 million dollar contract. DeMar DeRozan is starting to fire on all cylinders too. But a major surprise is of the play of Rookie Rory Hobbs. Hobbs has impressed so much in training camp that Dwayne Casey has thrown him into the fray from the get go. Averaging over 13 minutes per game, Hobbs is playing more than a lot of people expected so soon, and he is producing very well too. Just check out his stats below. We might be seeing why GM Masai Ujiri let Grevis Vasquez walk.


The feature game is the Atlantic Divison matchup vs Philadelphia

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Hobbs had a superb game tonight, scoring 13 points.

PHI@TOR

Philadelphia: 88
(Wroten 18, Johnson 16, Sims 12)
Toronto: 120
(DeRozan 24, Ross 17, Carter 17)

Rebounds:
Philadelphia: Henry Sims 8
Toronto: DeMar DeRozan 6

Assists:
Philadelphia: Tony Wroten 5
Toronto: Rory Hobbs 6

Highlight's of the Week

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Hobbs gets his first points as a Raptor on opening night vs Hawks.

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Hobbs threads the needle to assist Fields on a 3 point goal.

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Hobbs returns to Miami. A few Hurricanes uniforms were spotted in the Arena.

7 Game Review:
Vs Atlanta 109-102 W
@ Orlando 108-95 W
@ Miami 102-107 L
Vs Oklahoma City 100-88 W
@ Boston 110-107 W
Vs Washington 103-84 W
Vs Philadelphia 120-88 W

Hobbs' stats for last 7 Games:
Vs Atlanta - 4 Pts, 3 Asts, 2 Rebs, 12 mins
@ Orlando - 6 Pts, 2 Asts, 1 Stl, 14 mins
@ Miami - 12 Pts, 2 Asts, 1 Stl, 15 mins
Vs Oklahoma City - 10 Pts, 3 Asts, 4 Rebs, 18 mins
@ Boston - 7 Pts, 2 Rebs, 16 mins
Vs Washington - 2 Pts 3 Rebs, 3 Asts, 16 mins
Vs Philadelphia - 13 Pts, 6 Asts, 1 Stl, 17 mins
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Re: Heart and Hustle - Season 3: Raptors resign Carter

Postby Kevin on Wed May 20, 2015 9:26 pm

What happened to you in Washington? 2 pts? :lol:

If you can keep up the way you played against the 76ers, there's no doubt your minutes will increase.
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Re: Heart and Hustle - Season 3: Raptors resign Carter

Postby TGsoGood on Thu May 21, 2015 12:35 am

He's putting up decent numbers for a rookie that is on a one loss team. The season just started, I like the break away dunk against the Hawks.
I'm impressed by the W against OKC by 12 points.
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