Raptors Sign Lucas Nogueira

SUNDAY: The signing is now official, the team announced via press release.

TUESDAY: The Raptors and Lucas Nogueira will buy out his contract with Estudiantes of Spain, as Javier Maestro of Encestando.es reports (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Toronto is expected to pay most of the roughly $800K the NBA release clause requires. The maximum Toronto is allowed to pay is $600K, and Nogueira will cover the rest.

The Raptors acquired the rights to Nogueira, the No. 16 pick from the 2013 draft, in a trade with the Hawks last month. Toronto was known to be planning on bringing the Brazilian big man to the NBA this season. He will still be bound by the rookie scale, so his salary will likely start at over $1.75MM.

Nogueira, a center, is expected to join forward Bruno Caboclo as Brazilian additions to the Raptors this season, but Nogueira likely has a clearer path to playing time than Caboclo, the 20th overall selection from this year’s draft. The 7’0″ Nogueira will join a roster featuring only a single true center in Jonas Valanciunas, and Toronto is also open to dealing away forward/center combo Chuck Hayes.

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