Raptors blew it by not retaining G League star Gary Payton II

Raptors blew it by not retaining G League star Gary Payton II

The Toronto Raptors have leaned on Raptors 905 to help them develop some quality bench talent over the years. Despite a commitment to that mission statement, Toronto has made a peculiar habit of letting teams sign away some of their best developmental gems, including Gary Payton II. The son of the Hall of Fame SuperSonics […]
Raptors blew it by not retaining G League star Gary Payton II – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

LISTEN: Matthews sends love to Tavares, teammates after scoring in Los Angeles

Auston Matthews loves scoring — and those who help him to score.

Moments after scoring his team’s fourth goal (and his eighth of the 2021–22 season) in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 6–2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, Matthews took the time to express his admiration for captain John Tavares — who recorded the primary assist on the marker — and his teammates.
Matthews played with a live microphone attached to his uniform during Wednesday’s game. The NHL on TNT broadcast shared ice-level audio of Matthews’ post-goal cheer from late in the second period in Los Angeles.
Here’s a clip of Matthews’ goal and subsequent celebration, as shared to Twitter by @TicTacTOmar:

Auston Matthews mic’d up for his goal
“I love you Johnny! I love you boys!” pic.twitter.com/evV0baH7NJ
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 25, 2021

Matthews scored at the 13:16 mark of the second period on Wednesday, with Tavares and TJ Brodie picking up the assists. Alexander Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall, Tavares, Jason Spezza, and Michael Bunting also tallied for the Leafs in the victory.
Toronto improved to 14–6–1 with the win and currently sit in second place (behind only the Florida Panthers) in the NHL’s Atlantic Division with 29 points.
Matthews, …

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Author: Mike Gould / The Leafs Nation

What made the Leafs ‘All or Nothing’ series special

With a little help from Managing Editor, Jon Steitzer, I was able to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs ‘All or Nothing’ series over the weekend. And while I want to write more about it, I had to make a video for it first.
So, in today’s video, I discuss what was good about the series, and what was bad. Plus, I answer some questions regarding the series. It was a lot of fun to make, and I hope you enjoy it!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: 3 Aron Baynes replacements Toronto could acquire at a discount

Raptors: 3 Aron Baynes replacements Toronto could acquire at a discount

The Toronto Raptors need help up front with Aron Baynes not getting the job done – there’s no arguing that. The main question facing the club ahead of the March 25th trade deadline is how focused Masai Ujiri, Bobby Webster, and company are, or should be, on improving their 2020-21 prospects in a season that […]
Raptors: 3 Aron Baynes replacements Toronto could acquire at a discount – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Siakam’s Struggle Is Bigger Than Basketball

Toronto Raptors: Siakam’s Struggle Is Bigger Than Basketball

The Toronto Raptors need to find help for Pascal Siakam. When the Toronto Raptors signed Pascal Siakam to a four-year $130M extension, they believed he was the future of this franchise. The Toronto Raptors didn’t have to sign Siakam when they did. With one year left on his contract, the team could have waited to […]
Toronto Raptors: Siakam’s Struggle Is Bigger Than Basketball – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Stephen Nixon / Raptors HQ

Burke: The Canucks wanted Kadri, Gardiner, and two first-round picks for Luongo in 2013

In order to help us all kill time, Brian Burke did a Q&A on Twitter on Thursday night, fielding questions from fans about his time as an executive in the league. One of the more interesting tidbits that came out of this was Burke admitting truth behind all of the Luongo to the Leafs rumours from a few years ago.

We were all in hard on Luongo around the time when I got fired. The price would have come down to a lot but we were in the mix. They asked for Gardiner, Kadri and two firsts. Way too step, even for @strombone1 https://t.co/QNto0oM5XU
— Brian Burke (@Burkie2020) April 3, 2020

So, as Burke says, this happened around the time he got fired, which was in mid-January of 2013, right before the start of the lockout-shortened season. The previous season, the Leafs had missed the season by a pretty wide margin. A key reason for that was the goaltending group of Jonas Gustavsson, James Reimer, Ben Scrivens, and Jussi Rynnas combined for a .900 save percentage.
On the other side of the country, the Canucks had a goaltending controversy on their hands. Cory Schneider had put together …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Report: OG Anunoby 10 days away from return

OG Anunoby could return this series. How can he help the Raptors against the champion Golden State Warriors? The Toronto Raptors are going to the NBA Finals, but there’s been one key piece missing from the postseason rotation up until this point: OG Anunoby. He’s been recovering from an appendectomy since mid-April, but we’ve just recently heard some good news:

Nick Nurse says OG Anunoby is about 10 days away from being able to play. “He’s doing better. He’s on the court. He’s moving around. He’s not 100%, but he’s healing.”— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) May 27, 2019

In 10 days, the Raptors will be playing in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Luckily, they’ve been able to survive this long without the size, strength and switchability that Anunoby provides on a nightly basis. But, against the switchiest team in the league in Golden State, a healthy Anunoby could prove vital.
If Kevin Durant makes his return to the court by Game 4, Kawhi Leonard will likely have his hands full. Raptors coach Nick Nurse may opt to mirror Leonard’s minutes with Durant’s —much like he did starting in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, where Leonard started guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo — hoping …

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Author: Dylan Litman / Raptors HQ