Raptors Sign Will Barton, Waive Juancho Hernangomez

3:56pm: The Raptors have officially signed Barton and waived Hernangomez, the team announced in a press release.

2:35pm: The Raptors are making a change to their 15-man roster, having reached an agreement to sign veteran swingman Will Barton, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the team is waiving Juancho Hernangomez to create an opening for Barton.

Barton became a free agent last week after he reached a buyout agreement with the Wizards. Having been packaged with Monte Morris in an offseason trade that sent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith to Denver, Barton had a disappointing season for his hometown team in D.C., averaging just 7.7 points per game on 38.7% shooting in 40 appearances (19.6 MPG).

Still, Barton’s three-point shooting remained strong (38.0%) in 2022/23 and he had several solid years with the Nuggets before last summer’s trade. The 32-year-old will add some depth to a Raptors team that has lacked consistent bench production this season. Toronto also ranks just 27th in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage (33.5%), so signing Barton will give the team another outside threat.

Hernangomez, who starred as Bo Cruz in the Netflix film Hustle, was seeing regular minutes for the Raptors earlier this season, but struggled to produce consistently and had fallen out of the rotation in recent weeks. Although the 6’9″ forward has been effective as a stretch four in past years, he made a career-low 25.4% of his three-point attempts in Toronto, averaging just 2.9 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 42 appearances (14.6 MPG).

Because he’ll be waived by March 1, Hernangomez will retain his playoff eligibility in the event that he signs with another NBA team before the end of the regular season.

As Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca notes (via Twitter), because his deal will only cover the last few weeks of the season, the Raptors are in position to stay narrowly below the luxury tax line after signing Barton.

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