On Monday, the Toronto Raptors has officially announced that they have acquired free agent Anthony Bennett. The power forward has signed a one-year minimum deal after being waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. As a matter of team policy, details of the deal's financial terms were not disclosed.
Prior to the team's official statement, Bennett already shared the news the day before when he excitedly mentioned on Twitter that he is "Glad to officially be a part of the Raptors organization, Excited to get this year started!!! #LetsGo." He followed that up by posting an Instagram photo (see above) showing him signing what appeared to be the said contract and captioned it with "There's No Place Like Home."
The 6-foot-8-inch forward started his rookie season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, he suffered from injuries early on allowing him to play in only playing 52 games for the Cavaliers before being shipped to Minnesota as part of the Kevin Love trade. Bennett scored in double figures on eight games, including a stretch of four consecutive matches. He delivered a career-high of 20 points and recorded three steals and 32 minutes during the November 21 game against San Antonio.
The former number one pick was released by the Timberwolves after they were reportedly incapable of finding any trade partner. With Minnesota, the 22-year-old forward played slightly better, garnering an average of 16 minutes, five points and four rebounds in a total of 57 games.
Bennett will join fellow Toronto native Cory Joseph along with the rest of the Raptors as they begin training camp on Tuesday at Fortius Sport & Health in Burnaby, British Columbia. They will open the preseason on Sunday at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET when they will play host to the Los Angeles Clippers at Vancouver's Rogers Arena.
During the team's media day on Monday, much attention has been given to Kyle Lowry and his offseason physical transformation. The point guard has apparently lost a considerable amount of weight. While it is great for the Raptors that the player is in good shape, other members of the team are not keen on passing up the opportunity for a little bonding at the point guard's expense.
DeMar DeRozan mentioned that skinny Lowry is a lot more "aerodynamic" now and it will be beneficial for him. Patrick Patterson also shared, "I see him in the locker-room the other day. And I'm like 'Man, I've never seen this before. You've always been this short, chunky, bulldog-fat kid that I've known since my first year in the NBA,"' prompting laughter from reporters.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey is proud of Lowry's determination and thinks that his new "svelte" figure will help him sustain a high level of play throughout the season. "Believe me, Kyle put his nose to the grind and did that all himself. He's the one who had his own trainer. He had his own regimen that he went through this summer that most of our guys probably couldn't make it through," Casey pointed out.