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Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Smith, Draft

The Raptors have a busy summer ahead of them with six players set to hit free agency, and with the team also badly needing to upgrade its defense and rebounding, Holly MacKenzie of writes in her offseason preview of the franchise. Toronto could also stand to add a veteran two-way forward like Paul Pierce, whose impact on the Wizards’ locker room didn’t go unnoticed by Raptors GM Masai Ujiri, MacKenzie adds. You can view Hoops Rumors’ offseason outlook for the Raptors here.

Here’s more from the NBA’s Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens wants to see the team add versatility and shooting this offseason, in addition to rim protection, as he told reporters, including Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • J.R. Smith believes that the Knicks gave up on him this season, and said that he felt like a “throw in” who was included in the deal that brought him to the Cavs only for salary matching purposes, Rod Boone of Newsday relays (via Twitter). Smith certainly appeared revitalized as a player after the trade, playing in 46 games and averaging 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 31.8 minutes per contest for Cleveland.
  • The Raptors have workouts scheduled with Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Chavaughn Lewis (Marist), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), and Justin Anderson (Virginia), the team announced. Also displaying their wares in a workout for the Raptors today were Maurice Walker (Minnesota) and Dallin Bachynski (Utah), the team relayed (on Twitter).

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