2014/15 Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams departed via free agency to the Lakers this offseason, and the Raptors will look to Terrence Ross to help replace his production off the bench, writes Eric Koreen of the National Post. “The first guy that comes to mind is Terrence Ross,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said of the swingman. “Not only just a scorer, but he’s got to come in and defend. He had an off year last year defending. He knows it. We know it.”
Casey was pleasantly surprised by how vocal a player Bismack Biyombo is on the court, Koreen adds. “I knew [he was a good communicator] just talking to the coaches from Charlotte. I knew that about him,” Casey said. “I didn’t know before they told me. I wouldn’t have guessed it. Great communicator. He’s probably going to be the captain of our defense as far as a guy who can go vertical, block shots, communicate. … Now we’ve got to get everybody else, even the guards to join in on the party, especially in transition.” Biyombo signed a two year, $6MM deal with Charlotte during the summer.
Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:
- Mikhail Prokhorov once again stated that he has no intention of selling controlling interest in the Nets franchise, Rod Boone of Newsday tweets. The Russian is reportedly working toward a deal that would give him 100% ownership of both the team and the Barclays Center.
- The Nets are currently under the luxury tax threshold, but Prokhorov said he would have no problem going “far above the line once again, but it would have to be for the right opportunity”, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post tweets.
- The Raptors are hoping that their offseason additions will make for a more cohesive roster and usher in a new on-court identity for the franchise, Koreen writes in a separate piece.
- Celtics swingman Evan Turner has an extremely tradeable contract, with him set to earn $3,425,510 in 2015/16, the final year of his deal, but he would prefer to remain in Boston, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com relays. “I like Boston, I like the town and the city; the restaurants are pretty good too,” Turner said. “I like Boston; I genuinely would like to stay here. I’ve been places where I hated it.” Turner didn’t specify which city’s charms it was that he didn’t appreciate, but for reference, he has previously played in Philadelphia and Indiana.
- Italian coach Andrea Mazzon is joining the Sixers‘ D-League affiliate in an unspecified, but important role, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports.
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie said that the team tried to make a bigger splash in free agency this summer than it did, but many of the better players didn’t change teams, Tom Moore of Calkins Media relays (Twitter links). However, the GM is happy with the organization’s progress, saying that it feels like “night and day” from when training camp began two seasons ago, Moore adds.