What Impact Will 3 Newly-Signed Players Make For Toronto Raptors?

By daniellevitt
Kelly L Cox-USA SPORTS Today

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday that they had signed free-agent forward Chris Wright and guards Carlos Morais and Julyan Stone. While all three will partake in the Raptors’ preseason, it is has not yet been confirmed whether these are guaranteed contracts.

Perhaps the highest profile player of the trio is Angolan native Morais. Morais will be 28 by the time the regular season starts, and thus has a wealth of international experience playing basketball around the world.

The 2007 undrafted free-agent has represented his country at the FIBA Africa Championship four times, with one silver and three gold medals as a result. His honors and achievements also include playing at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2012 and a 10th placed finish at the 2006 FIBA World Cup.

Standing at 6-foot-4, Morais will provide competition for the newly recruited D.J. Augustin and fellow rookie Dwight Buycks to be the backup to starting point guard Kyle Lowry.

Former Denver Nuggets, Julyan Stone, averaged 1.7 points in 26 contests from 2011-13, including four playoff contests. He spent time in the D-League the past two seasons averaging 4.7 points in 18 minutes per game.

Forward Chris Wright will provide coach Dwayne Casey with much needed depth in the frontcourt. Spending 2011-12 with the Golden State Warriors, Wright played in 24 contests while averaging 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds.

His time in the D-League was more successful as he averaged 18.3 points a game, enough to earn a spot on third-team All-NBA Development League honors.

It is unlikely that any of the new additions will push the projected starters or even the second string for that matter. If anything, the trio will fill an otherwise weak Toronto bench.

The Raptors currently has 17 players on its roster and must reduce that figure to 13 once the regular season starts on October 30. It is therefore likely that the league will not see the new recruits suit up for a competitive game. Only time will tell.

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