Dec. 16, 2011; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Dwight Buycks poses for a portrait during media day at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Out of Focus – Dwight Buycks & 3 Training Camp Invitees


CarlosMORAIS

In order to finish our series on the Toronto Raptors’ roster for the upcoming season, I’m going to offer what little I know about four new players who will be at training camp.

Let’s start with Dwight Buycks, who at least has a contract. Buycks (pronounced “Bikes”) is a 6’3″ 190 lbs. point guard, who left Marquette in 2011 hoping to be drafted but was disappointed. He’s since played in France, and in the D-League. At 24 years of age, he’s ancient to be trying to grab his first roster spot in the NBA, but the Raps clearly liked what they saw of him in Vegas at Summer League.

Julyan Stone we’ve written about before. Supposedly he had signed a contract in June, but something went south (a failed physical?). Now all he’s got is a camp invitation. To repeat this summer’s data, Stone is a 6’7″ 200 lbs. point guard out of UTEP. He’s had cups of coffee with the Denver Nuggets, but couldn’t stick as a defensive specialist. He’s the same age as Buycks, and his stats aren’t worth repeating, as they are derived from a tiny sample size.

Chris Wright comes to camp as the only forward hopeful. He has one NBA season under his belt; in ’11-’12 he appeared in 24 games with Golden State. Wright is 6’9″ and 226 lbs., with a reputation as a leaper. It’s hard to see where he might fit; if he shows versatility, he might slip onto the roster as a ‘tweener, able to back up at power forward or centre.

The most intriguing player of all is shooting guard Carlos Morais, the first Angolan in the NBA. He is 27 years old, and an African professional and Olympic veteran. Is Morais the first of many African players Raps GM Masai Ujiri, a born-and-raised Nigerian, will be able to sign and bring to Toronto? Listed at 6’4″ and 200 lbs., he may be a touch small for the 2-guard spot, but I’m eager to see him play. He was the MVP of 2013 Afrobasket, leading Angola to the championship. The NBA is a big stage, but he appears used to those.

I’m having difficulty envisioning any of the local guys pressing the incumbents for a roster spot. Morais could stick, but I’ll have a better sense of that after seeing a pre-season game or two.

One final thought: are the Raps preparing for Life After Kyle? While I can’t see D.J. Augustin pushing Lowry out of the picture, it’s possible the Raps might view a Point Guard By Committee approach as feasible. Buycks and Stone are points, and Morais may be able to move there. Training camp is going to be interesting after all.

Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

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Tags: Carlos Morais Chris Wright Dwight Buycks Julyan Stone Kyle Lowry Masai Ujiri Toronto Raptors

  • cd hall

    Let’s hope that one of the new PG’s can push Augustin out of the picture!! I don’t hold him in high regard and do not think he is a good fit for the Raptors. I think Ujiri signed him because he was the best of what was left (FA’s). That’s why he only signed him for 1 year!!

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi cd:
      Augustin is hardly in a strong position entering camp. I agree that he was signed because he was the best of the remaining FAs, which isn’t much of a compliment. He’s also too similar to Lowry in size and approach, which means we won’t get the change of look we’d like to see in the second unit.
      If one of the newbies pushes him aside, so be it.
      Thanks as always for commenting.

  • cd hall

    Brian——-If you have info on some of the new assistant coaches ie. there experience—their strengths like working with young players or or their ability to set up offensive plays or their ability to teach proper shooting stroke,or ay other strengths that they may have. That may make for good reading? Thanks!!!