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22/11/2016

22 in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. After Hosmers 17t

TORONTO - When Masai Ujiri and the Raptors called to inquire about the services of free agent point guard D. Kosuke Fukudome Cubs Jersey .J. Augustin, a player they had been monitoring since the signing period began, his stock was lower than it had been at any point during his five-year NBA career. Augustin had been a starter in the league -- albeit for a mostly terrible Bobcats club -- and his eight-month stint with the 49-win Pacers, a Conference finalist, should have theoretically increased the 25-year-olds value. But it didnt. "I think he went from a starting point guard [in Charlotte] to playing some kind of a [smaller] role in Indiana," Ujiri said of Augustin, who averaged career lows of 4.7 points and 2.2 assists, playing just 16 minutes per night in 76 regular season contests with the Pacers last year. "Sometimes guys struggle to find their feet that way." Despite appearing in 19 postseason games and earning the first playoff win of his pro career, 2012-13 was a campaign Augustin will happily put behind him. After putting up a career best 14.4 points to go along with 6.1 assists with the Bobcats in 2010-11, Augustin took a step backwards the following season when he battled knee injuries en route to signing a one-year deal in Indiana last summer. Playing back-up minutes behind George Hill he shot just 35 per cent from the field and occasionally fell out of favour in Frank Vogels defence-first system. For Ujiri, Augustins consistency -- or lack thereof -- was what stood out looking back at last season. The fit, as he put it, was never right for Augustin in Indiana but that wasnt enough to scare the Raptors general manager away from giving him another opportunity to get his career back on track. "Thats the past and were trying to create a new beginning for him here," Ujiri explained after Augustin was signed and introduced at the Air Canada Centre Monday afternoon. "Were taking a chance," he continued. "One year, and well see how it goes." The Raptors are taking a chance that Augustin can provide leadership off the bench as that young veteran they coveted. Theyre taking the chance he can become a more efficient shooter, addressing a glaring need for the club, while taking pressure off starter Kyle Lowry. Theyre chancing that he will bounce back, which would grant them another asset to work with, something from nothing so to speak. Signed for one year, at a reported $1.2 million price tag (via Yahoo! Sports), Toronto assumes little risk in adding a player that could pay dividends if he performs. "Hes still young, still trying to find his feet in the NBA and find stability so Im sure hell find a way to figure it out," Ujiri said. "Hes been a starting point guard in the NBA. [He] struggled a little bit at times last year but [hes] a good outside shooter for the most part and he can run a team. We like that about him." Augustin has impressed at every level he has played. A star in high school, Augustin went on to earn first-team All-American honours and first-team All-Big 12 honours during his two-year collegiate career at the University of Texas. He was drafted ninth overall by Charlotte in 2008 and was named to the All-Rookie Second Team following his first pro season. He comes to Toronto on his second consecutive one-year deal, presumably with something to prove. "Yeah its hard," the Raptors point guard admitted, "but were all playing basketball and making money, no matter what amount it is, its what we love to do and Im very blessed to be doing this as a job." "The NBAs a business," he said. "Youve just got to represent yourself well. Its a job, youve got to take every day serious[ly] and go practice hard, play hard and things will work out." HAPPY WITH SUMMER LEAGUE, HAPPIER ITS OVER Toronto wrapped up its involvement in this summers Las Vegas Summer League tournament on Saturday after being eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the quarterfinals of the events revamped format. "We grind through it," Ujiri said of his teams experience in the Summer League this past week. "We start making a list of players were going to watch in the future and we analyze the players that played for us and see how they did. So I think it was very productive." More than anything else, Ujiri was elated to escape the tournament without any serious injuries to the teams key roster pieces. The most important of those players, soon-to-be sophomore Jonas Valanciunas, sat out of Saturdays game with a sprained left index finger although the extent of the injury is believed to be minor. For many, Valanciunas was the revelation of Summer League. His overpowering strength on both ends combined with a wide array of post moves and pump fakes drew league-wide praise throughout the competition. In four games, Valanciunas averaged 18.8 points (fourth in the Summer League) and 10.0 rebounds (fifth) on 56 per cent shooting. "He made good progress and hes an ever-willing kid to learn and plays hard," Ujiri said of Valanciunas. "Its not very easy to find that in big guys so were happy with his progress and I think hell continue [to work] very hard over the summer." Terrence Ross, the Raptors eighth overall pick in 2012, earned mixed reviews after a series of underwhelming and passive performances. "Up and down a little bit," was Ujiris assessment of Ross in Vegas. "Were excited about teaching him the game [and] see[ing] where it goes from there. Hes obviously very athletic, hes got good shooting abilities [but] we feel he needs to attack the rim a little bit more [and] get to the free throw line." "I think it was a good experience just to see him play games and hes one of those types of players that will probably get better playing with even better players. A little bit inconsistent but were satisfied and were happy he got that experience." Recently signed point guard Dwight Buycks appeared in three games for Toronto, impressing Ujiri with his quickness and ability to get into the lane. Without any NBA experience under his belt, Buycks is expected to enter training camp third on the depth chart behind Lowry and Augustin but could earn playing time as a result of his unique skill set. "They complement [each other] because Dwight will pick up full court, hes aggressive, hes got very good speed but hes yet to do it on an NBA court so we had to find a little bit experience and balance it out." FILLING OUT THE ROSTER Although Ujiri is still looking to put the finishing touches on the roster, its unlikely that the team will make any more major acquisitions prior to the start of the season. Following the Augustin signing, Torontos roster stands at 14 and still includes forward Quentin Richardson, whose status remains uncertain. No decision has been made regarding Richardson, who was acquired from New York earlier this month in the Andrea Bargnani trade, but he is not expected to remain with the club heading into the season. Ujiri indicated that the team may have interest in adding another wing player but would likely address that need with an inexpensive training camp invitee. One option could be athletic forward Chris Wright, who was a member of the Raptors Summer League team and attended camp with the team last season. The Raptors may choose to go into the season with fewer than the maximum, 15 players on their roster. COACHING STAFF IN PLACE Ujiri confirmed that Dwane Caseys coaching staff is set and an official announcement should be made over the next few days. Bill Bayno and Rockets assistant Jesse Mermuys are expected to join the already appointed Nick Nurse on Caseys staff this season. Tom Sterner and John Townsend will return to the Raptors bench. The team is still waiting for a resolution to be completed between Bayno and the Timberwolves, his former team, before making the hirings official. "Were all set, were all good," Ujiri insisted. "No announcement has been made because you want to pay respect to the other teams and make sure everything is done the right way. Greg Maddux Cubs Jersey . U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield in Manhattan agreed that lawyers on both sides could make their formal requests by Nov. 8. A hearing is scheduled for a day earlier. Jordan Siev, a lawyer for Rodriguez, wrote in a joint letter to the judge from lawyers on both sides that MLB lawyers planned to ask that the lawsuit be dismissed. Justin Upton Orioles Jersey . The veteran safety was a starter for the Bengals from 2008-2012. He totaled 41 tackles and three interceptions while starting all but four of the 13 games he played last season. http://www.probaseballonline.net/St-Louis-Cardinals-Cyber-Monday-Chris-Carpenter-Jersey-Black-Friday/ . Now tied for second in the league in shootout goals, the 24-year-old likes to see what the opposing goaltender has in store before he ultimately lands on a move.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Matt Garza pitched eight impressive innings for his first victory in six starts and the Texas Rangers kept close in the playoff race, beating the Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Saturday night. The Rangers won for only the fifth time in 19 September games. They remained a half-game behind Cleveland for the second AL wild-card berth. The Royals, out of the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series, dropped 3 1/2 games in back of the Indians. Adrian Beltre got two hits and drove in a run for Texas. Garza (10-6) was 0-3 with an 8.22 ERA in his first three September starts. He pitched four-hit ball before giving up Eric Hosmers leadoff home run in the ninth, and was pulled. Garza struck out five and walked one. He is 4-5 in 12 starts since the Rangers acquired him on July 22 in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. After Hosmers 17th homer, Joe Nathan relieved. The Texas closer struck out two for his 40th save in 43 chances. Nathan posted his 41st career save against the Royals. opportunities. Jeremy Guthrie (14-12) allowed three runs and sevenn hits in six innings. Willie McGee Cardinals Jersey. He has permitted six runs and 20 hits in 14 innings in losing his past two starts. Beltres .374 career batting average at Kauffman Stadium is the highest for an opposing batter with at least 150 plate appearances. Guthrie gave up a triple to Ian Kinsler to lead off the game. Kinsler scored on Elvis Andrus groundout. In the third, Guthries control betrayed him when he walked Andrus and Alex Rios on eight pitches, and both scored. Beltre bounced an RBI single up the middle and A.J. Pierzynski had a sacrifice fly. The Royals had only one batter past second base before Hosmers homer. Jarrod Dyson tripled with two out in the fifth, but was stranded when Alcides Escobar looked at a called third strike. NOTES: Craig Gentry had three hits and stole a base for the Rangers. He became the fourth different starting left fielder in as many games for Texas. The others were David Murphy, Joey Butler and Jim Adduci. ... Royals RHP James Shields, who starts Sunday, is 10-3 since June 28 after starting the season 2-6. Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '