Gradey Dick

Raptors Notes: Dick, Quickley, Freeman-Liberty, Barnes, Temple, Porter

Raptors rookie guard Gradey Dick, the 13th overall pick in the 2023 draft, began his first season in the league bouncing in and out of the rotation. However, he has been firmly entrenched as a rotation player since Jan. 20 and is averaging 11.2 points per game while shooting 39.3% from beyond the arc since then.’s Michael Grange details how Dick underwent a mid-year turnaround and became one of the bright points in an otherwise disappointing Raptors season.

The rookie sharpshooter struggled in the fall, shooting just 24.4% from three in his first 14 games and going through G League assignments. According to Grange, a mid-January meeting with head coach Darko Rajakovic led to a plan to save Dick’s rookie season — a plan that included more intense, hands-on trainings. Since then, he has looked like the player the Raptors thought they were getting when they selected him in last year’s draft out of Kansas.

I told somebody just the other day: He’s progressed the most as a rookie — easily — on the court, as anyone I’ve seen,” teammate Garrett Temple said. “His game play, his ability to accept coaching and put it into play, the defensive things that he’s able to do now versus what he was able to do to begin his season. On court, he’s been even more impressive than just off-court in my opinion because he progressed so much and you know, I’m really proud of him for that. He’s gonna be a player in this league, no question. He’ll be fine in this league for a long time.

We have more from the Raptors:

  • Immanuel Quickley is set to be the Raptors’ point guard of the future after arriving in the OG Anunoby trade alongside RJ Barrett, and he’s due for a major pay raise as he approaches restricted free agency this summer, Grange writes. Quickley has averaged 18.7 points and 6.8 assists per contestsince arriving in Toronto, and there’s little doubt he’s going to be the team’s long-term starter there, assuming he re-signs this offseason.
  • While there’s no wondering who the starter will be at point guard, there are more questions regarding who will back up Quickley moving forward. In the same piece, Grange points to Javon Freeman-Liberty as one potential option to monitor. “[Freeman-Liberty] is showing really good signs of willingness to be exposed, to be vulnerable, to learn, to fail and to grow through the process,” Rajakovic said. “I think it’s just the question a lot, a lot of repetition. He is going to have amazing summer, amazing opportunity ahead of him, another summer league opportunities. So it’s gonna be good opportunity for him to make that next jump.
  • After being ruled out for the season with a hand injury, it sounds as though Scottie Barnes is progressing well. According to Grange (Twitter link), Barnes is progressing to reconditioning and has gone through some controlled scrimmages. Grange adds that Barnes should be 100% healthy and available by the summer.
  • Jontay Porter remains away from the Raptors as he deals with an NBA investigation regarding betting irregularities surrounding his games. Temple, a vocal veteran voice for the team, said during an appearance on The Raptors Show (Twitter link) that he plans to reach out to Porter in the coming days. “In the days ahead I’ll probably send a text, ‘Just checking on you, seeing how you’re doing,‘” Temple said. “No reply is needed in those scenarios… just a situation to let guys know we didn’t forget about you.

Atlantic Notes: Hartenstein, Raptors, Springer, Muscala

Isaiah Hartenstein earned some extra money on top of his base salary on Thursday. The Knicks center surpassed 1,350 minutes this season, which triggered a $350K bonus, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

The bonus had been deemed likely and was included in his cap hit for 2023/24 since the Knicks big man met the same minutes benchmark in ’22/23. Hartenstein has a base salary of approximately $8.2MM, along with $1.05MM in likely bonuses.

The Knicks hold Early Bird rights on Hartenstein, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. New York can offer him a multiyear contract with a starting salary of up to $16MM.

We have from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors can feel cautiously optimistic about their lineup, The Athletic’s Eric Koreen opines, since Immanuel Quickley, Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., RJ Barrett and Jakob Poeltl are playing well together. The only hitch is that Trent will be an unrestricted free agent, though Gradey Dick might be ready to take that spot. They could also use a defensive specialist on the wing, Koreen adds.
  • Jaden Springer didn’t anticipate getting traded at this stage of his career, he admitted to Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was dealt from the Sixers to the Celtics earlier this month. “I wasn’t expecting that,” the 2021 first rounder said. “But I [didn’t] really think about it too much. It happened, and I was OK with moving on to the next thing. I’m here [in Boston] now, and that’s what I’m really focused on.” Sixers exec Daryl Morey didn’t view Springer as a rotation player in the postseason for the next few seasons, Mizell explains, which is why he was shipped out for an asset — a 2024 second-rounder — that could potentially be flipped for a veteran role player.
  • The Celtics are eligible to sign Mike Muscala but it doesn’t seem likely, Brian Robb of writes. Muscala was bought out by the Pistons this week after he was acquired in a trade with Washington in mid-January. However, teams like the Knicks and Sixers would appear to be better fits, given that Muscala could get immediate playing time in their frontcourts. Boston would not be able to offer him any regular minutes while the team is healthy, and the C’s added a big man at the trade deadline in Xavier Tillman.

Atlantic Notes: Rivers, Simmons, C. Johnson, Dick

Sixers players are eager to welcome back Doc Rivers, who will return to Philadelphia this afternoon for the first time since being fired as the team’s head coach last spring, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Rivers was out of coaching for just a few months, leaving an analyst job with ESPN to take over the Bucks in January. Most of the Sixers’ roster played under Rivers, including Tyrese Maxey, who developed into an All-Star with help from his former coach.

“I appreciate Doc, you know? I really do,” Maxey said. “I think one thing that I do appreciate him for is early in my career, like my rookie year, he made me earn my spot, and that’s gonna go a long way for me. I felt like I was good enough to play, but he was able to humble me and make me earn my spot.”

Rivers still had two seasons remaining on his contract when the Sixers decided to dismiss him following a Game 7 loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It marked the third straight year the team had been ousted in the second round, and management believed a change was necessary to make a longer playoff run.

Paul Reed, who has become Philadelphia’s starting center while Joel Embiid is injured, tells a similar story to Maxey’s, saying Rivers guided him to become a better player.

“I had to earn minutes with Doc,” Reed said. “He wouldn’t give young guys minutes. I just learned how to play the game the right way. It ain’t all about scoring.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard Ben Simmons was forced out of Saturday night’s game after hurting his left leg in the third quarter, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Interim coach Kevin Ollie originally told reporters that Simmons injured his knee and would have imaging done, but a team spokesman later clarified that the injury is elsewhere on the leg and that no tests are planned. Injuries have limited Simmons to 14 games this season and 56 total since Brooklyn acquired him in 2022.
  • Cameron Johnson came off the bench for the second straight game since Ollie took over as the Nets‘ interim coach, Lewis adds. Ollie indicated that Johnson, who signed a four-year, $95MM extension last summer, will be given a chance to win his starting job back. “Roles are going to change; nothing is permanent,” Ollie said. “But I want him to embrace this team role that he has and come out there and play his best minutes. And I think we’re going to see that from CJ and understanding that we have to do things as a team and focus on that.”
  • Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic believes Gradey Dick is “getting more comfortable playing NBA minutes” (YouTube video link). The rookie shooting guard has settled into a regular bench role and scored 18 points Friday in Atlanta.

Raptors Notes: Poeltl, Deadline Primer, Trade Tiers, Quickley

Raptors center Jakob Poeltl was able to go through portions of Wednesday’s practice but he still hasn’t been cleared for contact work, tweets Josh Lewenberg of Head coach Darko Rajakovic said Poeltl is working on his conditioning after being out since January 7 with a left ankle sprain, and the Austrian big man is considered day-to-day.

Toronto reacquired Poeltl last February, when the team sent out its 2024 first-round pick (top-six protected) to San Antonio. Poeltl, who has averaged 10.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.5 APG and 1.4 BPG in 36 games this season, re-signed with the Raptors on a four-year, $78MM deal last summer.

The roster looks a lot different now than it did last year, with veterans Fred VanVleet (signed with Houston in free agency), OG Anunoby (traded to New York) and Pascal Siakam (traded to Indiana) all on new teams. Poeltl said it was difficult to see Siakam go, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link).

“It was tough because he was the guy I was closest to on this team,” Poeltl said of Siakam. “… I guess I was mentally prepared for it a little bit already because there were so many rumors… but it’s still really sad for me to basically lose my best friend on the team.”

With Toronto now focused on developing its young players rather than competing for a playoff spot, Lewenberg asked Poeltl if the team’s change of direction made him question the decision to re-sign or ponder his future with the Raptors (Twitter link).

Not necessarily,” Poeltl said. “The only thing that was important to me is that I was on a team that could play competitive basketball. As long as it’s not a team that was really actively trying to tank, I guess, was the thing for me. Like, I want to play on a team that’s trying to win every night.

So, for me, even though had some changes and we lost some really good players, I think we’re still on a course where we’re trying to build around this team right now and were not hunting for a No. 1 draft pick, you know what I mean? So as long as that’s the case, I think I’m going to be happy here and I’m hoping to contribute to this new Raptors team, this new project that we’re starting.”

Here’s more on the Raptors, who are currently 16-28 after dropping seven of their past eight games:

  • On a related topic, Michael Grange of wonders if fans should be cheering for the Raptors to lose for the remainder of 2023/24 in order to keep their first-round pick. As previously mentioned, Toronto will only keep the pick if it lands in the top six of the upcoming draft; in that scenario, the Spurs would be owed the Raptors’ 2025 first-rounder, with the same top-six protection. On the other hand, Grange notes that the 2025 draft is viewed by scouts and executives as having more top-end talent compared to 2024; the No. 7 or No. 8 pick in ’25 could be end up being quite a bit more valuable than a top-six pick this year.
  • Blake Murphy of recently released a trade deadline primer that covers Toronto’s cap situation, draft assets, player assets, exceptions, restrictions (newly acquired players can’t be aggregated with other salaries), and more.
  • The only “untouchable” player on Toronto’s roster is Scottie Barnes, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, who believes the third-year forward will sign a rookie scale max extension this summer. Koreen also thinks “it would be aggressively weird” if RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Gradey Dick, Jordan Nwora or Kira Lewis were traded. Veterans like Bruce Brown, Gary Trent Jr., Dennis Schröder, Chris Boucher and Poeltl fall into Koreen’s “Selling with hopes of a return” trade tier, though he doesn’t think Poeltl will actually be moved.
  • Starting guard Quickley has been ruled out for Friday’s contest with the Clippers due to a thigh bruise, Murphy tweets. Quickley, acquired from New York in the Anunoby deal, is averaging 16.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 6.1 APG through 12 games (31.8 MPG) as a Raptor. The 24-year-old will be traveling on the upcoming six-game road trip, per Doug Smith of The Toronto Star (Twitter link), which suggests it may be a short-term injury.

Raptors Notes: Quickley, Barrett, Poeltl, Dick

It would have been easy for Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic to bring his two new players off the bench on Monday and gradually ease them into the game plan, but both Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett started and played key roles in a victory over Cleveland, writes Josh Lewenberg of Despite battling foul trouble, the duo combined for 33 points and 15 rebounds in the win.

“Obviously adding two new players in the middle of the season is challenging,” Rajakaovic said. “But both of those players are player of impact and we want to use those guys to the best of their ability.”

As Michael Grange of details, Quickley showed in his Raptors debut the kind of pick-and-roll action he’s capable of running with center Jakob Poeltl, which is something Rajokovic is especially excited about. The first-year coach observed that Quickley’s ability to make outside shots will allow the team to set higher screens, creating more space for everyone else on the court.

“The NBA is a pick-and-roll game for sure,” Rajakovic said. “I’m a big believer in making the right decisions and playing the right way and moving the ball and engaging all five players on the court. But a lot of great things can happen when you initiate offense in the pick-and-roll and that’s something we’re going to monitor with Immanuel, because he’s really good pick-and-roll player.”

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • A Toronto native, Barrett said it was “special” to suit up for a Raptors team he grew up rooting for and that it “meant a lot” to earn a loud ovation from the fans at Scotiabank Centre, per Lewenberg and Grange. “I mean, who doesn’t want to come home?” he said. “Who doesn’t want to come home and play in front of family and friends and try to get a team that I’ve always loved so much back to where they were in 2019?”
  • Discussing the Raptors-Knicks trade on the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said there’s a wide range of opinions on Barrett around the NBA, from “future All-Star” to “toxic asset” (hat tip to Zach Bachar of Bleacher Report). “That is a word that got thrown around yesterday in my conversations with front office people and coaches—toxic asset, like you’re swallowing his contract,” Lowe said. However, Lowe clarified that his own opinion on Barrett falls on the more positive end of the spectrum: “I think RJ Barrett has a chance to be a good NBA player, and in fact has been for long stretches of his career.”
  • Raptors rookie Gradey Dick is in the midst of a two-week “special program” in which he’s doing weight, conditioning, and on-court work to improve his body, Rajakovic said on Monday (Twitter links via Lewenberg). Once he’s completed that program, the plan is for Dick to have another G League stint and then hopefully earn an NBA rotation spot later in the season. “He’s definitely going to be back with us and he’s going to be a rotation player,” Rajakovic said. “He’s the future of this organization, but he needs to check a couple of (boxes) before we really unleash him on the floor.”
  • In his latest mailbag, Eric Koreen of The Athletic explores whether Pascal Siakam has a future in Toronto and discusses several other topics, including the Raptors’ player development program, the 2024 first-round pick they owe the Spurs, and Gary Trent Jr.‘s role.

Eastern Notes: Adebayo, Raptors, Dick, Trent Jr., Wagner

Bam Adebayo has already been ruled out of the Heat’s game against Toronto on Wednesday. The standout big man is uncertain whether he’ll be ready to go for Friday’s contest against Cleveland, he told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

“I have no idea,” said Adebayo, who is dealing with a hip contusion. “This is new to me…to be on the sideline. I get reevaluated when the team gets back from Toronto. We’ll have a conversation then.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • With the Raptors potentially being sellers at the trade deadline, The Athletic’s Eric Koreen takes a look at five questions that will define the second quarter of their season. Among those questions is whether first-rounder Gradey Dick will start contributing to the NBA club and if coach Darko Rajakovic will swap in Gary Trent Jr. for Dennis Schröder in the starting five.
  • Exploring a similar topic, Michael Grange of Sportsnet writes that the Raptors are reaching a critical juncture after a 9-11 start. If they don’t show real improvement in the next two months, the front office will have little choice but to explore trades for Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Trent, their three rotation players on expiring contacts, Grange suggests.
  • Franz Wagner takes on a variety of topics during an in-depth interview with Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto. With the Magic off to a hot start, Wagner and his teammates have their sights set on the postseason. “I think we want to make the playoffs,” he said. “Last year, I think we were four or five games out of the play-in, and my first year, we didn’t win a lot of games at all, so that would be really cool. I’d be super excited for it, and we’ve still got more than 60 games left, so we’ve got to make sure that we keep putting in the work every day and keep getting better as well.”

Atlantic Notes: Hart, Reed, Dick, Barrett, Thomas, Smith

Knicks wing Josh Hart doesn’t agree with coach Tom Thibodeau‘s assessment of his role, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Post.

Hart, who signed a four-year, $81MM extension during the summer, believes he has a reduced role in the offense and doesn’t have the ball in his hands as often as he did last season. “I’m a rhythm player. So sometimes if I don’t touch the ball for four or five minutes running up and down the floor, just catch-and-shoot, I might as well be playing with a football,” Hart said.

However, his coach has an opposite view. “There really hasn’t been a change,” Thibodeau said. “To be honest, his usage is up. He’s handling the ball more. The way he’s being used is not any different than last year.”

Following the Knicks’ game against Charlotte on Tuesday, Hart made a point of telling the media he’s not unhappy, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. “Just so you know, I’m not a disgruntled player. Make sure y’all tweet that (stuff). Josh Hart said he’s not disgruntled.”

Katz detailed Hart’s usage in an in-depth piece on Tuesday.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Paul Reed was surprised that his comments about the LakersAnthony Davis during the morning shootaround on Monday went viral, as Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer details. The Sixers big man called Davis “a big flopper” and added, “he’s going to be flailing.” Reed soon found out his comments caused controversy. “I started checking Twitter and Instagram,” he said, “and I’m like, ‘Damn, people are really mad at me in the Lakers community.’” Reed and Davis wound up sharing the court for only three minutes in Philly’s blowout win.
  • Raptors first-round pick Gradey Dick shot 6-for-33 over his first two games with the Raptors 905, Toronto’s G League team. Dick, who has appeared in 15 NBA games, told Blake Murphy of Sportsnet he’s not worried about his shot. “My confidence hasn’t dwindled at all,” Dick said. “I mean, I’ll go take the next 10 shots, I don’t really care. Because I know me as a shooter, and it’s not any cockiness, but at the same time I think it’s positive cockiness. I’ve put in enough work off the court and I’m still doing it now where I have that confidence and trust.”
  • Knicks wing RJ Barrett says he’s still trying to get back in form after a bout with migraines, Bondy writes. Barrett has shot 33% of the field in the last five games after dealing with the severe headaches. “I didn’t pick up where I left off,” Barrett said. “That’s OK. Honestly, this was going to happen at some point during the season whether I got sick or not. So, I’m just doing what I do all the time, working my way out of it. Not worried.”
  • Cam Thomas and Dennis Smith Jr. are getting close to returning, Nets coach Jacque Vaughn told Dan Martin of the New York Post. A sprained left ankle has sidelined Thomas since Nov. 8, while Smith has missed the last five games with a lower back sprain. They both participated in simulated-game activity after the team’s shootaround on Tuesday. “They’re both trending in the direction of hopefully playing with us soon,’’ Vaughn said. “The fact that they both participated is a good sign.”

Raptors Notes: Temple, Dick, Trent, Offense

Appearing on The Raptors Show with William Lou (audio link), veteran guard Garrett Temple said he had a preexisting relationship with Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri prior to this offseason, and that the two men exchanged numbers “as friends” during a 2018 event in South Africa. When Temple was waived by New Orleans this past July, Toronto was the first team to reach out to express interest in him.

“(Head coach) Darko (Rajakovic) called, told me he’d admired me from afar. Then I talked to (general manager) Bobby (Webster) and Masai,” Temple said. “They told me they wanted me to be a veteran leader, to be a guy that’s ready to play whenever my name is called, but first and foremost, be a guy that can be a good influence on the players here, show them what professionalism is. That’s what I’m trying to do every day.”

Temple has never been the sort of player who fills up a stat sheet, but he has long been valued for his on-court smarts, his defensive versatility, and his leadership in the locker room. The 14-year veteran has appeared in just five games for the Raptors so far this season, but has been effective when called upon, scoring 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 16 minutes of action.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • The Raptors assigned lottery pick Gradey Dick to the G League ahead of Saturday’s game vs. the Capital City Go-Go in order to get him more playing time than he’s getting with the NBA team, tweets Michael Grange of However, Dick struggled in his Raptors 905 debut, scoring just two points on 1-of-12 shooting and committing three turnovers while recording a single assist. It sounds like the No. 13 overall pick may remain with the 905 for Monday’s game, notes Blake Murphy of (Twitter links).
  • While the 2024 free agencies of Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby have stolen most of the headlines, the Raptors will also have to determine in the coming months what to do with Gary Trent Jr., who is on an expiring contract too. As Eric Koreen of The Athletic writes, Trent’s value is difficult to gauge, given that his play on defense has been inconsistent, so it’s unclear at this point whether he’ll emerge as a deadline trade chip or if he has a decent chance to stick with Toronto beyond this season.
  • The Raptors’ half-court offense, which has ranked near the bottom of the league in recent years, seemed to still be a problem at the start of this season, but the club has shown some encouraging signs offensively as of late, Grange notes at Although Toronto is still only 17th in overall offensive rating and has struggled against some top defenses, the team is making good on Rajakovic’s desire to pass more, ranking second in the NBA with 28.8 assists per game.

Raptors Notes: Siakam, Barnes, Dick, Winslow

While fellow Raptors forwards Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby seem to have adjusted quickly to new head coach Darko Rajakovic‘s offensive system, Pascal Siakam has taken longer to get going this fall. That’s why Siakam’s 31-point, 12-rebound showing in a road victory over Dallas on Wednesday was such an encouraging sign, writes Michael Grange of

Prior to Wednesday’s win, Siakam had averaged just 15.4 PPG and 6.1 RPG on 41.2% shooting in Toronto’s first seven games, well below his averages in recent years. Rajakovic, who spoke before Wednesday’s game about his belief in Siakam, predicted that a breakout was coming.

“It’s the start of the year, it’s a different style of play, he’s going through adjustments, but at the same time he is really trying to do the right thing. He’s trying to move the ball, he’s trying to find his teammates and that kind of took away a little bit from his aggressiveness,” the first-year coach said, per Grange. “The last two days I’ve talked to him like, ‘You better be aggressive first.’ Aggressive to score, aggressive to attack the rim, to shoot the ball. … I think very soon, hopefully tonight, he’s going to take off.”

It’s a big year for both the Raptors and Siakam, who will be an unrestricted free agent next July if he doesn’t sign an extension before then. With Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. among the team’s other key players eligible for 2024 free agency, Toronto will have to use this season to determine which pieces are long-term keepers.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Barnes’ strong start to the season seemed “inseparable” from Siakam’s struggles, according to Danny Chau of The Ringer, who says that figuring out whether those two forwards can coexist and thrive alongside one another is atop Toronto’s 2023/24 to-do list.
  • In a pair of articles for The Athletic, Eric Koreen takes a closer look at the Raptors’ developmental plan for lottery pick Gradey Dick and considers which of the club’s early-season trends should be taken most seriously. Koreen notes that Toronto ranks in the bottom third of the league in both defensive rebounding and free throw attempts, and suggests those trends may be difficult to reverse.
  • When he decided to play in the G League this season, Justise Winslow viewed the Raptors’ organization as a good fit for his skill set, given the team’s fondness for lengthy, versatile forwards, writes Blake Murphy of One of the Raptors 905’s affiliate players, Winslow is still rehabbing an ankle injury from last season and won’t be available when the team’s season gets underway on Friday, though he’s doing contact drills and is enthusiastic about nearing the end of the rehab process. “I’m doing really well, man,” Winslow said. “Attacking this rehab process every day, you know, doing things that help me mentally stay in a good place and, you know, find peace and stay patient within the journey. So, it’s been a really good process.”

Eastern Notes: Simmons, Ntilikina, Middleton, Harden, Dick

Ben Simmons continues to brim with confidence during training camp. The Nets guard said he’ll be even better than what he showed early in his career, when he was named to the All-Star team three times.

“I’m going to be better than I was,” Simmons told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “My job is just to show up, perform, work my ass off and lead this team the right way. So it’s doing all the little things, and everything else takes care of itself.”

We’ve got more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Hornets guard Frank Ntilikina departed their preseason game on Thursday with a hyperextended left knee, the team’s PR department tweets. Ntilikina’s $2,528,233 minimum salary won’t be fully guaranteed until January 10. He signed a one-year deal in August.
  • Khris Middleton hasn’t played in the preseason but that appears likely to change on Friday. The Bucks swingman, who has been working his way back from right knee surgery, says he’s good to go for the preseason finale, according to Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “As of right now, I definitely feel like I’ll be out there playing tomorrow,” Middleton said. “Don’t know how long, how many minutes, but I do expect to be playing, which is exciting for me.”
  • James Harden missed practice for a second straight day on Thursday but coach Nick Nurse said it didn’t distract his Sixers teammates.  “I think the organization has made it clear what’s going on,” Nurse told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “They are working on stuff, as we say, day by day. We had a really good practice today. Very energetic, the guys that were here. And that’s what we are focused on.” Nurse said it’s “unlikely” Harden will play in the preseason finale on Friday even if he returns to the team by then.
  • Gradey Dick may be a fan favorite but he’s unlikely to be in the Raptors’ rotation early in the season, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. The first-round pick requires “a lot of patience and time,” coach Darko Rajakovic said. “He’s got to slow down himself before the game slows down for him,” Rajakovic added.