Kirschner notes that Bembry was available to the Raptors because his offensive game stagnated in Atlanta, and the team did not have enough confidence in his health or in his potential to become a standout defender. The swingman was the No. 21 selection by the Hawks in the 2016 draft out of Saint Joseph’s.
Len, meanwhile, can provide solid rim protection and occasional jump shooting in a limited role as the Raptors’ new backup center behind expected starter Aron Baynes, also a fresh signing.
There’s more out of Toronto:
- Len is excited to join a playoff-caliber club for the first time in his career, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. “When Toronto reached out I just jumped on board,” Len said of his joining the Raptors. “It wasn’t about the money, just the opportunity to play for a top-notch, great organization.”
- Clippers power forward/center Serge Ibaka anticipated a return to the Raptors in the offseason, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic (Twitter link). After a meeting with team president Masai Ujiri and GM Bobby Webster when his free agency commenced, Ibaka became more open to going in a different direction. “It was not an easy decision to make,” he said. “They made me better as a player. The organization (challenged) me to be a better person, on or off the court.”
- After a breakout season that saw him make his first All-Star team, Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is hoping his play this season will quiet his doubters following a disappointing performance during the NBA’s Orlando restart, according to The Athletic’s Eric Koreen. “I think when I watched the games (from the bubble), one of the things that I really felt was I didn’t recognize myself in terms of just, like, having fun,” Siakam said. “I’m always somebody that has fun playing the game and I love this game and I don’t never want to be able to play the game without any joy.”