Fred VanVleet

Raptors’ Affiliate Wins NBA D-League Championship

Thursday was a good night for the Raptors’ organization. Not only did the NBA squad pull out a Game 6 victory in Milwaukee to make it through to the second round, but Toronto’s D-League affiliate, Raptors 905, won its first NBADL championship.

The Raptors’ affiliate dropped the first game of the D-League’s best-of-three Finals to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ NBADL team, on Sunday. However, the club bounced back with a win on Tuesday and a resounding 122-96 victory on Thursday night to clinch the series.

While many of the contributors to the championship roster aren’t under contract with the Raptors, former first-round picks Bruno Caboclo and Pascal Siakam played major roles in the team’s postseason run, as did undrafted rookie Fred VanVleet. The trio combined for 76 points on Tuesday, with Caboclo (31 points, 11 rebounds) and VanVleet (28 points, 14 assists) leading the way. All three players remain under team control for the Raptors through at least next season.

While D-League excellence doesn’t necessarily translate to NBA success, the development of their young players is certainly a positive sign for the Raptors, who could be at risk of losing NBA rotation pieces this summer — Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker, and Patrick Patterson will all be eligible for free agency, and re-signing them would likely take Toronto deep into luxury-tax territory.

Meanwhile, the championship win is another major step forward for Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse, who was named the D-League’s Coach of the Year last week. Stackhouse will be looking to join the NBA’s head coaching ranks at some point, and his first-year performance for Toronto’s affiliate will look pretty good on his résumé.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Raptors’ affiliate figures to officially go down as the last D-League champion in league history. Starting next season, the NBADL will be re-branded as the NBAGL — the NBA Gatorade League.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 4/25/17

Here are Tuesday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • In what could be the last D-League assignments of the season, Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet have been sent to the Raptors 905 by the Raptors, the team announced today (Twitter link). Toronto’s D-League affiliate will look to extend the NBADL Finals to a third and deciding game with a win tonight, and VanVleet – who appeared briefly at the end of the Raptors’ win over Milwaukee on Monday – will Caboclo and Siakam as added reinforcements.
  • The Raptors 905’s opponent in the D-League Finals, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, likely won’t make any moves today — Kyle Wiltjer, Chinanu Onuaku, and Isaiah Taylor have been assigned to the Vipers for the last 10 days and will presumably remain with the Rockets‘ D-League affiliate as the club looks to clinch the NBADL title.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/31/17

Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • A day after sending them down, the Raptors have recalled Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet from the D-League, the team announced today (Twitter link). VanVleet and Siakam led the way with 24 and 22 points respectively in a Raptors 905 win on Thursday night.
  • Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee also returned to the NBA a day after being assigned to the D-League, the Knicks announced (via Twitter). Plumlee had a double-double for the Westchester Knicks in a loss on Thursday, with 11 points and 11 boards.
  • The Grizzlies have recalled forward Jarell Martin from the D-League, according to a press release issued by the team. Martin’s assignment with the Iowa Energy lasted more than a month. For the season, he has averaged 15.9 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 22 games with Memphis’ D-League affiliate.
  • The Pacers have assigned rookie forward Georges Niang to their D-League squad, the team announced today in a press release. It’s the fourth assignment to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants this season for Niang.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/30/17

Here are Thursday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Raptors have assigned Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet to their D-League affiliate, the team announced today (via Twitter). The trio will be in action tonight for the Raptors 905, who lead the NBADL’s Eastern Conference with a 37-11 record.
  • The Knicks have sent rookie bigs Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee to the D-League, the team announced today (via Twitter). Ndour and Plumlee will suit up tonight for the Westchester Knicks in their game against the Grand Rapids Drive, Detroit’s D-League affiliate.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 3/28/17

Check out Tuesday’s D-League assignment and recalls from around the league:

Atlantic Notes: Long, VanVleet, Marks, Porzingis

Shawn Long has seized his opportunity with the Sixers; most recently scoring 18 points with seven rebounds in Friday’s win over the Bulls. Coach Brett Brown spoke with Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly about Long’s emergence in the absence of Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel.

“I think that Shawn Long has really grabbed his brief opportunities and been more than serviceable,” Brown said. “He’s shown reasons why he should be considered a genuine NBA player. Opportunity uncovers different qualities in people.”

While Long’s contract is partially guaranteed over the next two seasons, the 24-year-old has asserted his role in the league over the last nine games.

More from around the Atlantic…

  • Fred VanVleet‘s season with the Raptors has affirmed his self-belief. VanVleet, who was disappointed to go undrafted following a successful career at Wichita State, worked his way from Toronto’s summer league squad to their regular season roster. “As a young player, any experience you get is beneficial – even if it’s learning from mistakes,” VanVleet told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. “It does give you some personal satisfaction, proving [you belong in the league] when you’ve known you’re good enough for your whole life and you know all the work that you put in and everybody counted you out. It’s good to know that I wasn’t crazy for believing in myself. It’s nice confirmation.”
  • While Milos Teodosic appears unlikely to sign with the Nets– the Serbian standout cited “competitive ambitions” among his NBA requirements- Brooklyn GM Sean Marks continues to search for Euroleague point guards. NetsDaily detailed Marks’ activities during the GM’s recent trip to Barcelona (article link).
  • Kristaps Porzingis‘ transition to the Knicks‘ primary scoring option has been an “ugly work in progress,” Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. As coach Jeff Hornacek has reduced Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose‘s minutes, Porzingis has faced significant expectations in running the offense. “Porzingis is a helluva player, but he’s young,’’ Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after Monday’s match-up with New York. “You just don’t walk into the league and change. He’s going to be a superstar. There’s not any doubt. But there’s not a lot of patience from what I remember when I played in New York. We’re going to have to allow him to be great.’’

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/24/17

Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • Rookie point guard Kay Felder has been sent to the D-League by the Cavaliers, per a team press release. It’s just the third assignment of the season for Felder, who has averaged 30.0 PPG in two games for the Canton Charge.
  • The Raptors recalled Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet from the D-League today, the team announced (via Twitter). The trio helped lead the Raptors 905 to a Thursday night win, with VanVleet (26 points, 11 assists) and Siakam (15 points, 12 rebounds) recording double-doubles.
  • The Warriors have assigned Damian Jones to the D-League, tweets Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News. Jones will likely play for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s affiliate, tonight in Reno.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/23/17

Here are today’s D-League assignments and recalls:

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/21/17

The NBA second half won’t get underway until Thursday, but with NBA and D-League teams returning from their respective All-Star breaks, assignments and recalls have gotten underway again. Here are Tuesday’s moves:

  • The Jazz have recalled Joel Bolomboy from the Salt Lake City Stars following his participation in the weekend’s D-League All-Star game, per a team release. The rookie forward averaged 15.8 PPG and 13.2 RPG in 18 first-half NBADL games.
  • Briante Weber has been recalled to the Warriors from Santa Cruz after playing in the D-League All-Star game, Golden State announced in a press release. Weber is still on his second 10-day contract with the Dubs, though the team could waive him at the trade deadline if it needs to open up that 15th roster spot.
  • One other D-League All-Star is back with his NBA team, as the Heat confirmed that they’ve recalled Okaro White. White has been with the Heat since mid-January, but his early-season play with the Sioux Falls Skyforce earned him a spot in the D-League All-Star Game.
  • The Nuggets have sent 2016 first-rounder Malik Beasley back to the D-League, the team announced in a press release. It’s the third assignment this season for Beasley, who will head to Sioux Falls and join Miami’s affiliate, since Denver doesn’t yet have a D-League team of its own.
  • The Raptors have sent Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet to the D-League, according to the team (Twitter link). Caboclo and VanVleet have gone back and forth between the NBA and NBADL all year, but it’s Siakam’s first assignment.
  • Rookies Chinanu Onuaku and Kyle Wiltjer have been re-assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets announced today (via Twitter).
  • The Trail Blazers have assigned rookie guard Tim Quarterman to the D-League, according to a press release from the team. Quarterman joined the Windy City Bulls in his previous two NBADL stints via the flexible assignment rule, but will head to the Long Island Nets this time around.

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Raptors, Oakley, Lin

Sixers center Joel Embiid claims he’s “more surprised than everybody else” how well this season has gone after he was sidelined two seasons by foot injuries. During the interview with ESPN Radio, Embiid admits he entertained thoughts of retiring during those lost seasons. “I was such in a dark place, I wanted to quit basketball,” Embiid said.  “I just wanted to go back home and just leave everything behind.” Embiid pines for the Rookie of the Year award, saying it would be validation for the sacrifices he made to get back on the court. He’s hopeful of returning soon after the All-Star break after missing the last 11 games with what he describes as a left knee bone bruise, though he reportedly has a partial meniscus tear.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • The  Raptors do not want to part with young assets now that they’ve made a big move by acquiring power forward Serge Ibaka, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Toronto would prefer to hold onto Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl, Lucas Nogueira, Pascal Siakam, Norm Powell and Fred VanVleet, Smith continues. They could still package Jared Sullinger‘s expiring contract, a 2017 first-rounder and one of their backup point guards to make another move, Smith adds.
  • Charles Oakley doubts his issues with Knicks owner James Dolan will ever be resolved, Newsday’s Jim Baumbach relays via a Sports Illustrated interview. Despite a meeting with commissioner Adam Silver and Dolan earlier this week, Oakley is still fuming over his forcible removal from Madison Square Garden and arrest on February 8th.  “My life is going to change a lot because it’s just like getting a DUI sometime or going to jail for murder,” he told SI. “It’s something on my record. If you Google my name, it’s going to come up. And that hurts.”
  • Nets point guard Jeremy Lin is expected to return to action immediately after the All-Star break, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Lin practiced on Tuesday without any setbacks, according to NetsDaily.com. Lin’s season has been wrecked by hamstring woes. Signed to a three-year, $36MM contract last summer to be the team’s No. 1 point guard, Lin has appeared in just 12 games.
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