The Toronto Raptors have quietly been one of the most active teams this off-season, as general manager Masai Ujiri has worked to both retain core players on the team and get some upgrades for the bench.
The trend continued last night, as the Raptors re-signed back-up point guard Greivis Vasquez to a two-year, $13 million deal. In 61 games with Toronto last year, Vasquez averaged 9.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists and was a solid point guard for the second unit.
Teammate DeMar DeRozan was ecstatic about Vasquez’s return:
— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) July 10, 2014
@DeMar_DeRozan thanks mi hermano…
— Greivis Vasquez (@greivisvasquez) July 10, 2014
The Raptors also signed James Johnson to a two-year, $5-million deal. Johnson played in Toronto during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. He spent last year in Memphis, where he averaged 7.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.1 blocks in 18.4 minutes while appearing in 52 games. Johnson has always flashed the potential of being a solid two-way contributor, but at age 27, he’s yet to put it all together.
He’s also dealing with a domestic assault charge stemming from an incident last month, and did not exactly mesh with coach Dwane Casey during his last go around in Toronto.
Ujiri isn’t taking much of a risk by bringing in a player who’s familiar with the franchise and fills their need for a larger hybrid forward, quick enough to defend longer wings like Joe Johnson — who Toronto had no answers for in the 2014 Playoffs.
It looks like the Raptors are done with their off-season shopping. They’ve brought back the team that won the Atlantic Division last year, and added Johnson and Lou Williams to an already capable bench. A lot of how the East will stack up still depends on LeBron and ‘Melo’s landing spots, but in terms of continuity and upside, the Raptors look like they could be a very dangerous team again next year.
What do you think?
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