Pascal Siakam

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 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.

Who Should The Raptors Target At The Trade Deadline?

The current owners of the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference, there’s every reason to believe the Raptors will be active buyers at the trade deadline. But who will team president Masai Ujiri and GM Jeff Weltman target? As things currently stand, the Raptors will enter the second half with their 2015/16 rotation in place, sans Bismack Biyombo.

DeMar DeRozan has been vocal in his push for Toronto’s front office to acquire help; telling Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star “help is a great word with any team. Anybody could take help any day if it makes you better, a team better, anything.” DeMarre Carroll echoed DeRozan’s sentiments, noting that the team’s starting unit has been stretched thin amid a playoff run.

One form of help (albeit a flashy one) could come in the form of Serge Ibaka. This past week, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders indicated the Raptors as a potential “long-term fit” for Ibaka’s services. Ibaka’s in the final year of a four-year, $49MM contract, but the Magic’s asking price is believed to be high. Provided Dwane Casey and the Raptors don’t need to sell off rotation players to acquire him, Ibaka would be a considerable upgrade over Patrick Patterson and Pascal Siakam in Toronto’s frontcourt.

Josh Lewenberg of TSN doubled-down on the team’s need to pursue a trade, citing the team’s recent struggles (Toronto has gone 4-6 over their last 10 games). While the team had offseason acquisition Jared Sullinger tabbed for a starting role, the former Celtic is still working to get in shape after suffering a fractured right foot in October. The Raptors have long admired Paul Millsap‘s game, Lewenberg writes, but the Hawks appear unlikely to deal him amidst their pursuit of a four-seed.

Ryan Wolstat of the National Post cited Ibaka and Millsap as ideal fits, while throwing Taj Gibson, Trevor Booker, and Wilson Chandler in the mix as potential trade targets. While Booker isn’t a “sexy name,” compared to Ibaka or Millsap, he has quietly enjoyed a productive for the 9-44 Nets. Averaging 10 points with 8.7 rebounds, the 29-year-old Booker is in the first year of a two-year, $18.375MM pact. Booker’s “doggedness,” on each end of the court is a trait the Raptors could use, Wolstat notes.

What do you think? Which target makes the most sense for Ujiri and Weltman to pursue? What’s Toronto’s ceiling for a 2016/17 playoff run?

Atlantic Rumors: Lopez, Knicks, Sixers, Siakam

Nets center Brook Lopez doesn’t seem to fit into new coach Kenny Atkinson’s motion offense, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Lopez played just 21 minutes, fewer than eight of his teammates, in Brooklyn’s opener on Wednesday against the Celtics. He scored only one basket, an odd sight for a player who averaged 20.6 PPG last season. Lopez is making $21.16MM this season and $22.6MM in the final year of his contract in 2017/18. “It’s a learning process. It’s both of us: It’s him learning a totally new system and us integrating him into a new system,’’ Atkinson told Lewis. “But I have complete confidence that as the season goes on, you’re going to see a better Brook. He’s going to understand it more.”

 In other news around the Atlantic Division:
  • Developing Kristaps Porzingis should be Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek’s top priority this season but it will difficult with two ball-dominant players like Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony in the lineup, Chris Mannix of The Vertical opines. Hornacek is intent on improving Porzingis’ post moves in order to punish teams using smaller defenders on him, Mannix notes. But rival coaches are skeptical that Hornacek’s hybrid triangle offense will allow him to take advantage of mismatches, Mannix continues. Those coaches also believe Porzingis is better suited at center but the signing of Joakim Noah limits that possibility, Mannix adds.
  • Hornacek isn’t surprised that Rose struggled to run the offense in the season-opening loss to the Cavaliers, Barbara Barker of Newsday reports. Rose had just one assist in the Knicks’ opening-night loss to the Cavaliers and later expressed frustration over the offensive scheme. Hornacek said it was a product of Rose missing a good portion of the preseason because of his sexual assault civil trial in Los Angeles, Barker continues. “If we expected anything different, we’d be crazy,” Hornacek told Barker and other beat reporters. “He hasn’t seen a lot of this stuff.”
  • Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor didn’t play together in the Sixers’ opening-night loss to the Thunder because both were on minutes limits, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays. Coach Brett Brown wants to play them together in certain situations but Embiid is being brought along slowly after missing two seasons with foot issues, while Okafor just returned from knee soreness, Pompey adds. “It’s not intelligent to play them together now when you only have X amount of minutes with both of them,” Brown said to Pompey.
  • Rookie Pascal Siakam started ahead of Patrick Patterson at power forward for the Raptors in their opener to keep Patterson in his normal role, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Siakam grabbed nine rebounds in 22 minutes.

Atlantic Rumors: Raptors, Crowder, Embiid

Raptors coach Dwane Casey admits he will not be able to replace Bismack Biyombo with just one player, Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun reports. Biyombo signed a four-year, $72MM contract with the Magic, leaving the Raptors without an obvious backup to center Jonas Valanciunas. Potential candidates include Jakob PoeltlPascal Siakam and Lucas Nogueira. Jared Sullinger could also see time there, Ganter adds. “Somebody in that group is going to step up and protect the paint,” Casey told Ganter. “It’s going to be not just on the bigs, but on the guards and wings to make sure they contain the ball and do a better job of not letting the ball get to the paint, so we don’t put as much pressure on our rim protection and our rim defense.”

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics small forward Jae Crowder believes the high right ankle sprain he suffered in March caused his shooting numbers to take a tumble late last season, Taylor C. Snow of reports. Crowder shots 45.3% from the field and 35.4& from 3-point range during the first 65 games and 32.9% and 24.0%, respectively, following his injury. “My ankle was more fatigued than I really realized,” Crowder told Snow. “The way the season ended really gave me a chip on my shoulder to get better and to get in the lab and work and get better at the things I needed to work on.”
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown is practically giddy over the play of oft-injured Joel Embiid in training camp, Brian Seltzer of writes. Embiid has missed the last two seasons with right foot injuries but the center has shown great desire to get out on the court even while battling flu-like symptoms, Seltzer adds. “You just continually see how much he loves basketball,” Brown said to Seltzer. “He really loves playing basketball. He doesn’t like being pulled out. He wants to play.”
  • Veteran power forward Luis Scola, who signed a one-year, $5.5MM contract with the Nets this offseason, has taken a leadership role during training camp, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports. New coach Kenny Atkinson offered high praise of Scola’s early impact. “I don’t think you can overstate it, everything he brings to the table, how he’s shown our young guys how to work, how to be professional, how to play the game, intelligence, composure,” Atkinson said. “I know it’s early, but he’s been everything, as advertised.”

Eastern Notes: Wade, Young, Siakam, Wright

Now that the shock waves have died down over his move from Miami to Chicago, Dwyane Wade wants to prove he can still be an elite player in a new environment, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. After a contract standoff with the Heat, Wade surprised the NBA in July by agreeing to a two-year, $47MM deal with the Bulls. When Chicago opens camp this week, it will be the first time Wade has been with a team other than Miami in his 13-year career. “When I don’t have anything else left to prove, then I don’t need to play the game of basketball,” Wade said. “I want to prove I’m out of my comfort zone. I’m in a totally different environment, a totally different system. This is a challenge for me, at this stage of my career. Leave it up to me to put myself in a challenge and not just fade to black in the comfortableness of Miami.”

There’s more tonight from the Eastern Conference:

  • James Young is ready to battle for a roster spot as the Celtics open camp, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Boston has 16 players with guaranteed contracts, and the competition for the final slot is expected to come down to Young, second-year guard R.J. Hunter and rookie forward Ben Bentil. Young, a 6’6″ shooting guard, has been with the Celtics for two seasons but has played in just a combined 60 games. He will make more than $1.8MM this season, but may be in the organization’s dog house after being benched during summer league for his poor play. “I’m not thinking about contracts or the next year,” Young said. “I’m just staying in the present right now, gotten a lot better, still getting better. And there’s a lot better for me to come, so I’m not even thinking about the future, who they got coming up or what’s going on. I’m staying right here in the present.”
  • Rookie forward Pascal Siakam will be ready when the Raptors open training camp on Monday, tweets Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Siakam, the 27th pick in this year’s draft, suffered a left MCL sprain in summer league and missed all but one game. Wolstat adds that Delon Wright, the 20th pick in the draft, is making progress but won’t return to action for a while. Wright had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder August 1st and was expected to need at least four months to recover.

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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