Raptors players keep Rico Hines connection alive with summer scrimmage

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 18: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 18: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors’ decision to fire Nick Nurse had adverse effects that eviscerated nearly the entire incumbent coaching staff. Even Rico Hines, who has become one of the most well-known developmental coaches in the league, couldn’t survive being swept away by the winds of change.

Hines was not retained after just one season with the Raptors, which could be a tough blow for a team in Toronto that has talked non-stop about its developmental system and desire to improve from within. Having Hines could have been a great post for new coach Darko Rajakovic, but he ended up on the 76ers. 

One benefit of being connected to Hines is being able to participate in the famed “Rico Hines Runs” series of offseason scrimmages. Pascal Siakam led a contingent of Raptors players that locked horns with several Los Angeles Clippers mainstays as well as Hines’ new co-workers from Philadephia.

According to Law Murray of The Athletic in a piece about Clippers forward Robert Covington, Siakam was one of many Raptors who took part in these famed offseason scrimmages. Rising star Scottie Barnes, rookie stud Gradey Dick, and new addition Jalen McDaniels showed up, along with 76ers players like Paul Reed and Mo Bamba.

Toronto Raptors players join Rico Hines runs.

Siakam showing up has to be the most interesting inclusion on this list, as he was notably absent from Summer League activities and other team get-togethers amid all of the trade rumors. It seems like he is still doing everything he can to get in shape for a pivotal Raptors season.

After a brief exhibition in a Miami pro-am tournament, Barnes has been getting in extra work with Hines. After taking a step forward as a playmaker last season, Barnes needs to prove that he can take all the necessary steps to become an elite scorer at this level.

Once Dick adds some weight, he will have all the tools needed to become a tremendous scorer at the NBA level. Working with players like this will only help him sharpen his game. McDaniels is a promising talent that needs one or two more tweaks to really take off.

Even though Hines is in Philadelphia with a potentially jaded Nurse, the Raptors seem to be on good terms with the developmental ace. Hopefully, these scrimmages can translate into wins and more consistent offensive play when the regular season comes around.

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