Jakob Poeltl

Raptors Exercise Options On Wright, Poeltl, Siakam

The Raptors have exercised three team options for the 2018/19 season, announcing today in a press release that they’ve picked up Delon Wright‘s fourth year option, as well as third-year options for Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam.

[RELATED: Decisions On 2018/19 Rookie Scale Team Options]

Wright, the 20th overall pick in the 2015 draft, appeared in just 27 games for the Raptors last season, with Kyle Lowry and Cory Joseph ahead of him on the depth chart for most of the year. However, with Joseph no longer on the roster, Wright figures to be in line for a larger role as he and Fred VanVleet back up Lowry. His fourth-year option for 2018/19 will count for $2,536,898 on Toronto’s cap.

Poeltl and Siakam, meanwhile, will also be relied upon for more significant roles this season. The two 2016 first-rounders didn’t play a ton as rookies last season, but the offseason departures of Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker, and DeMarre Carroll will open up more frontcourt minutes in the Raptors’ rotation.

Poeltl, last year’s ninth overall pick, has the most expensive 2018/19 option of the three, at $2,947,320. Siakam’s is worth $1,544,951. The Raptors will have to decide next offseason on fourth-year options for 2019/20 for the duo. If those are exercised, Poeltl and Siakam will become extension-eligible in the summer of 2019, and would be on track to be restricted free agents in 2020.

Atlantic Notes: Porzingis, Thomas, Poeltl

Second-year big man Kristaps Porzingis knew early on that the Knicks weren’t going to be a competitive team this season, citing a lack of chemistry and teamwork. Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote about the sophomore’s troubling realization as the franchise finds itself staring at a 27-42 record.

I think it was pretty easy to tell from the inside that we’re not that good of a team,” Porzingis said of the Knicks. “We can win games based on our talent, but it’s not going to last long. [We needed] more work, attention to details, to keep growing as a team. A good team needs time to play together.”

The forward, whose averaged 18.0 points per game across 58 contests so far this season, acknowledged that the transition process can be difficult and that the Knicks did add several fresh faces like starting point guard Derrick Rose, but it was a disappointing year nonetheless.

Of course, we all expected big things out of this year, but from the beginning it didn’t feel like — I felt we’d make big runs, but we weren’t there at that level where we wanted to be,” Porzingis said. “We can see now we’re not where we want it to be.”

  • After a two-game hiatus, guard Isaiah Thomas is back in action for the Celtics, Chris Forsberg of ESPN tweets. The All-Star had been nursing a knee bruise. The 29.2 point-per-game scorer returns as the C’s sit 2.5 games back of the Cavaliers for the top seed in the East.
  • Though sparsely used for the majority of his rookie campaign, first-year big man Jakob Poeltl is earning the trust of Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. “Every time you put him in, he does something positive,” Casey said. “There’s that trust, not only with myself but with his teammates. He’s doing positive things, he plays with physicality.” Poeltl has averaged 16.8 minutes per game in his last five contests.
  • Pressed to talk about the city of Los Angeles, Carmelo Anthony told the New York Post’s Marc Berman that he thinks L.A. is a relaxing place and that his family feels comfortable there. He also said, “Nah, don’t start, I haven’t thought about it,” though, so take it for what it’s worth. “I try not to think about it,” Anthony told the reporter. “Especially now when I’m still playing with the New York Knicks.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls 3/12/17

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

11:58pm:

5:00pm:

  • The Raptors have assigned Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam to the Raptors 905, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Poeltl and Siakam are just two of the 2016 first-round picks who were sent down to the D-League this season, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors details.
  • The Mavericks have recalled Manny Harris and Jarrod Uthoff from the Texas Legends, according to a team press release. Dallas is about to embark on a 4-game road trip and each of the 15 players on the roster will make the journey, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com tweets.
  • The Cavaliers have recalled Kay Felder from the Canton Charge, according to the team’s website. Felder has seen action in 37 games for Cleveland this year and he’s averaging 4.0 points per game

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.

Raptors Notes: Ibaka, Ujiri, Biyombo, Powell

Power forward Serge Ibaka, who was acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Magic, won’t be making his Raptors debut tonight, the team announced (Twitter link). Ibaka passed his physical and was available for the game, but Michael Grange of Rogers SportsNet tweets that Toronto coach Dwane Casey decided to hold him out after today’s walkthrough, citing a hectic past 36 hours. Ibaka’s first game in a Raptors uniform will take place after the All-Star break on February 24th.

There’s more news out of Toronto:

  • The Ibaka deal raises the stakes for the Raptors, Grange writes in a full story. Ibaka fills an obvious need for Toronto and immediately becomes the organization’s most experienced postseason player. Grange calls it a risk-free trade and notes that Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl and Lucas Nogueira have made most of the starts at power forward this season after having a combined seven career starts coming into this year. “I think our team needed a boost, to be honest,” said team president Masai Ujiri“and we’re at that point where I think everybody knows, it’s not rocket science, that [a starting power forward] was a missing link on our team.”
  • Ibaka said he heard great things about Toronto from former Magic teammate Bismack Biyombo long before the trade took place, relays Josh Lewenburg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Biyombo spent last season with the Raptors before signing with Orlando in July. “He always told me stories,” Ibaka said. “… He loves it here.”
  • Second-year shooting guard Norman Powell can expect more playing time with Ross gone, according to Lewenburg (Twitter link). However, Casey wants Powell to concentrate more on defense and less on shooting than Ross did. Powell is averaging about 17 minutes and 7.2 points through 52 games.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 11/27/16

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

  • Forwards Anthony Bennett and Chris McCullough were recalled by the Nets after being assigned to Long Island earlier today for the D-League team’s game against Grand Rapids, the team announced in an email. Bennett had 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while McCullough put up 15 points and nine rebounds.
  • The Raptors have recalled Jakob Poeltl, Bruno Caboclo and Fred VanVleet from Raptors 905, according to The Toronto Sun. All three had been sent down to participate in Satuday’s game against Maine.
  • The Spurs assigned rookie guards Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes and Nicolas Laprovittola to Austin, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio News-Express. They are expected to be recalled in time for San Antonio’s game on Tuesday.
  • The Pelicans have recalled rookie forward Cheick Diallo from Austin, the team announced in an email. He has played six games in the D-League and just one for New Orleans.
  • The Mavericks recalled rookie center A.J. Hammons from the Texas Legends, according to an email from the team. He was assigned Saturday for a game against Salt Lake in which he scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds.
  • The Bulls have recalled forward/center Cristiano Felicio and guards Jerian Grant and R.J. Hunter from their Windy City affiliate, the team announced in an email.

Atlantic Notes: Davis, Ainge, Brown, Poeltl

Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman isn’t a believer in the Anthony Davis to Boston trade rumors. Speaking on the Toucher and Rich radio show, Gorman said neither Davis or the Pelicans are interested in a trade. “Joel Meyers, who’s been around the league forever and is a great play-by-play guy who does New Orleans, [told Brian Scalabrine] and I  . . . ‘No shot [Davis is] leaving.’ There’s no shot he’s leaving. He is anchored to New Orleans, loves New Orleans, loves living there and wants to ultimately be the leader of a good team in New Orleans,'” Gorman said. “Well, good luck to him if that’s the case, because that’s going to take a while.” Gorman also doesn’t think DeMarcus Cousins or James Harden would be a good fit with the Celtics.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge speeded up the rebuilding process by making 19 trades since coach Brad Stevens was hired in July of 2013, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. Forsberg analyzes all 19 deals and finds that Ainge got at least equal value in return every time.
  • A coaching change in Philadelphia would be a mistake, argues Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Daily News. Hayes states that Brett Brown can’t be judged fairly until Joel Embiid has time to develop his game, the minutes restrictions are lifted on Embiid and Jahlil Okafor and the Sixers acquire a decent starting point guard.
  • Jakob Poeltl and fellow rookie Pascal Siakam have already been used as starters by the Raptors, notes Spencer Davies of Amicohoops. It’s a unique position for young players to get that opportunity on a team coming off the conference finals, and Poeltl addresses that topic in a wide-ranging interview. “It’s great for us to be out there and get the chance to learn,” he said. “Obviously, we had some injury problems — like, that played into it — but it’s great for [coach Dwane Casey] to be like, ‘Okay you know, I’ll give these young guys a chance. Let’s see what they’ve got.’ I think that shows a lot about him.”

Atlantic Notes: Poeltl, Rose, Noel, Olynyk

Jakob Poeltl got his first NBA start tonight, but the Raptors rookie was already ahead of schedule, writes Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. The ninth pick in the NBA draft, Poeltl quickly moved up in the rotation after injuries to Jared Sullinger and Lucas Nogueira. A knee contusion to center Jonas Valanciunas pushed Poeltl into emergency starting duty, but the 7-footer has shown signs that he’s ready for the challenge. “How hard he plays, his physicality, how big his hands are once he gets the ball on his hands, his IQ is definitely there and the more experience he gets, the better he is going to be,” said teammate DeMar DeRozan. “He’s got that toughness when he’s out there playing, it’s great. That resilience and (he’s) willing to learn.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks newcomer Courtney Lee questioned the team’s defensive practice habits last week, and now his backcourt partner is blasting the game effort, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Derrick Rose cited poor communication on defense after New York let a 13-point lead get away in this afternoon’s loss to Utah. “I always said it’s our defense with our team that will spark everything,’’ Rose said. “Our defense is everything. Offensively we’re going to be fine. It’s definitely everybody being on a string, everybody communicating, everybody on the same page.’’ Lee claimed the Knicks are weak on defending pick-and-rolls because they only practice against the triangle.
  • Now that Sixers power forward Nerlens Noel is assured of being a restricted free agent next summer, he could be a tempting target for the Celtics, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Washburn says the Boston front office has been fans of Noel for some time and likes the idea of pairing him with Al Horford.
  • The Celtics decided against giving an extension to Kelly Olynyk because they want to see if he can stay healthy for a whole season and if he responds to having a defined role, Washburn notes in the same piece.
  • The Celtics let R.J. Hunter go before the start of the season in part because of a crowded roster, but some of his former teammates in Boston believe he will develop as a sharpshooter if given the opportunity, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald writes. Hunter signed with the Bulls in late October after the Celtics waived him. The 23-year-old appeared in 36 games for the Celtics last year and made several trips to the D-League.

Will Joseph contributed to this posting.

Atlantic Notes: Dudley, Nets, LeVert, Poeltl

Jared Dudley was interested in joining the Celtics in free agency this summer, but the team didn’t reach out to him, relays Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Dudley, who averaged 7.9 points per game and shot 42% from 3-point range last season with the Wizards, has ties to the area as a Boston College alumnus. Instead, he accepted a three-year, $30MM offer from Phoenix. “Boston never contacted me, but I made it known I was interested in them,” Dudley said. He added that the Celtics may not have believed they had a role for him because they want to give playing time to first-round pick Jaylen Brown.

There’s more news this morning from the Atlantic Division:

  • Power forward shapes up as the Nets‘ best position battle heading into training camp, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Free agent additions Trevor Booker and Luis Scola will compete for time at the position, along with second-year player Chris McCullough. “A good thing about our situation, I think we have versatile bigs,” said new coach Kenny Atkinson. “I don’t think [of] Scola simply as a four. I’m thinking of Luis Scola as a four and five. I’d even say that with Trevor Booker. Trevor Booker, why can’t he take another step as a player with more responsibility and the talent he has? We look at these guys, we’re looking upside.”
  • The Nets plan to be very patient with the health of rookie Caris LeVert, Lewis adds in the same piece. The first-round pick out of Michigan has broken his left foot multiple times and is still recovering from a Jones fracture. LeVert wasn’t able to use a treadmill until July and is limited to strengthening exercises as camp opens. “We’ll be progressing him slowly and building him in,’’ said GM Sean Marks. “He hasn’t played in six months, so it’s been intermittent for the last couple years with him. … He has a long, long road ahead of him.”
  • Jakob Poeltl should be part of the Raptors‘ rotation at the start of the season, writes Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders. In the site’s season preview for Toronto, Hamilton calls Poeltl the team’s best offseason acquisition, citing his footwork, rebounding instincts and international experience.

Raptors Sign Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam

The Raptors announced via press release that they have signed 2016 draftees, Jakob Poeltl (No. 9 overall) and Pascal Siakam (No. 27 overall). Both players inked rookie scale deals that have them under contract through the 2017/18 season, with two team option years to follow. The exact financial terms of the arrangements were not relayed by Toronto in the release.

Poeltl spent two seasons at the University of Utah before making the jump to the pros. He was the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year and an Associated Press second-team All-American. Poeltl averaged 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 36 games this past season.

Siakam, 6’9″, played two seasons at New Mexico State. He averaged 20.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 34 games in 2015/16 and was a unanimous choice as Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year this past season.

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