Apr 30, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez (21) on the bench in the final minutes against the Brooklyn Nets in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Brooklyn 115-113. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Greivis Vasquez returns, & a few surprises - Raptors roster updates

Greivis Vasquez has agreed on a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors, which will provide him a significant raise. He’s going to receive $13M, or more than twice his rate of last season. GV had been very clear about his desire to return to our team, and I think he’s a top-tier player on the second unit. Whether rotation players should be commanding over $6M/season is a question I’ll leave to others. GV can shoot the 3-ball, and is a strong passer. If nothing better is available, he’ll dribble-drive into the key to launch runners. As a defender, Grevis barely rises to the level of adequate, which is the main reason I’ve never wanted to see him in a starter’s role. He’ll get plenty of burn as Kyle Lowry‘s backup, and on the court with Kyle when we’re closing out victories.

There’s been concern expressed about the need to add a defensive-minded wing player, particularly after watching Joe Johnson destroy us in the playoffs. I’m stunned to learn the solution Masai Ujiri has come up with is another Johnson, praenomen James, the very same malcontent who was banished to Sacramento two seasons ago. James is returning, after agreeing to a 2-year, $5M deal. One can only assume Dwane Casey was consulted about, and is at peace with, this fellow’s return. James can defend, but he drove everyone nuts by deciding, based on no evidence at all, that he’s a jump shooter. Watching him brick shot after shot was too much to bear. If he’s content with shutting down the other guys’ hot hand, and grabbing some boards (both of which he’s very capable of), James will be fine. Should he start deluding himself that, because he’s LeBron’s height and weight, he’s his twin in offensive skill, he’ll be pasted to the bench in short order.

Finally, Lucas Nogueira may be Toronto-bound this season rather than next. Scuttlebutt says Masai wants to buy out the remainder of his contract with a Spanish club, whereas DeAndre Daniels may be Europe-bound. Why not offer the Spaniards DeAndre instead of money?

By my calculations, Masai currently has our ’14-’15 salaries owing at just under the projected cap number of $77M. If so, that would be an accomplishment of astonishing magnitude by our GM. He might actually be able to rest for a few hours.

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Tags: Greivis Vasquez James Johnson Masai Ujiri Toronto Raptors

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