Raptors Sign Anthony Bennett

MONDAY, 8:16am: The signing is official, the team announced (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 1:03pm: Bennett has taken a physical and put pen to paper with the Raptors, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Toronto has yet to make an official announcement.

4:29pm: Barring a snag, Toronto is expected to sign him to a one-year deal, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.

FRIDAYm 4:05pm: The Raptors will sign Anthony Bennett, reports Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The former No. 1 overall pick just cleared waivers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The Blazers, Sixers, Cavaliers and Jazz, the four teams with the flexibility to claim Bennett off waivers, all passed on doing so, though only Portland and Philadelphia reportedly joined Toronto with interest in the combo forward. Minnesota is on the hook for $3.65MM to Bennett this season via the terms of his buyout deal with the team, and the Raptors will pay him the minimum salary of $947,276, since that’s all they can give outside free agents after using up their cap space and other exceptions.

Bennett’s deal represents a homecoming for the Toronto native, though the Blazers had appeared to have the edge. Portland assistant coaches Jay Triano and David Vanterpool double as coaches for the Canadian national team, and Bennett looked strong playing for that squad this summer. Bennett put up 15.6 points in about 26 minutes per contest in the Pan-American Games, though his numbers went down to 7.6 PPG in nearly 17 MPG during the FIBA Americas Championship.

Toronto has been carrying 14 fully guaranteed contracts plus four partially guaranteed deals, as our roster count shows. The level of guarantee on Bennett’s pact isn’t immediately clear, though his addition would seemingly make it that much more difficult for Michale Kyser, Ronald Roberts Jr., Shannon Scott and Axel Toupane, the quartet with partially guaranteed deals, to stick for opening night.

The Raptors are seemingly poised to start DeMarre Carroll as a small-ball power forward, with Patrick Patterson and Luis Scola behind him. James Johnson, another combo forward, also figures to pose a challenge to Bennett as he seeks playing time.

Do you think the Raptors are the right team for Bennett? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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