Raptors: Does Toronto regret not pursuing James Harden?

Raptors: Does Toronto regret not pursuing James Harden?

When the Toronto Raptors were mired in an early-season slump, the rival Brooklyn Nets shocked the basketball world by giving up several established players and control of their draft for decades in order to pry James Harden away from the Houston Rockets So far, the pairing with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving has been a […]
Raptors: Does Toronto regret not pursuing James Harden? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Is there any hope left for Aron Baynes in Toronto?

Raptors: Is there any hope left for Aron Baynes in Toronto?

When the Toronto Raptors had to watch Marc Gasol become a Laker and Serge Ibaka put on Clippers colors, signing Australian big man Aron Baynes seemed like a perfect signing. Fresh of averaging 11.5 points per game, almost twice his previous career-high, with the Phoenix Suns, Baynes looked like a perfect center for a team […]
Raptors: Is there any hope left for Aron Baynes in Toronto? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: All-time Starting 5

Toronto Raptors: All-time Starting 5

It is always a good thing when making a list of the best players in franchise history is this difficult to formulate. For the Toronto Raptors, it is becoming an increasingly onerous task. The past few decades especially has given us some amazing talent and great moments. For the purposes of this list we will […]
Toronto Raptors: All-time Starting 5 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ

Raptors: 5 best moves Bobby Webster has made as GM in Toronto

Raptors: 5 best moves Bobby Webster has made as GM in Toronto

Bobby Webster was quickly ascending the NBA ladder when Masai Ujiri made him his first hire as GM of the Toronto Raptors in 2013. It is Ujiri who gets the bulk of the credit for the Raptors’ rise to perennial contender status, but his right-hand man has been there just as long and also has […]
Raptors: 5 best moves Bobby Webster has made as GM in Toronto – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays acquire Steven Matz from the Mets for three prospects (Reid-Foley, Diaz, and Winckowski)

Remember earlier today when Mark Shapiro said that the Blue Jays’ front office still had some “opportunities to be creative?” Well, here’s what he meant.

The Blue Jays have apparently traded three prospects (Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz, and Josh Winckowski) to the New York Mets for pitcher Steven Matz…

Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz and Josh Winckowski to Mets for Matz per source
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 28, 2021

 

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Prematurely judging the Leafs

A tenth is when we can start getting judgy, right? I mean really we’ve all already been reactionary and judgy about the Leafs at points in this young season already, so why not formalize it six games in and start talking about who has impressed and who has disappointed? We all have opinions, so we’ve decided to air them publicly before enough games have been played for the numbers to be statistically meaningful. We can go 100% gut on this, so I’ve asked The Leafs Nation contributors, who has impressed and who has disappointed so far…
Brendan Mori:
Impressed:
John Tavares – JT looks like a completely different hockey player this season. Last season, Tavares had a laundry list of things come up, including the birth of his first son, being named captain of the team, suffering an injury at the World Championships, breaking his finger early in the season and seeing his head coach get fired in November. One year later, Tavares looks more like the player he was in his first season with the Leafs. He is flying around the ice once again, making nifty plays and lifting his linemates. Tavares also looks a lot more comfortable …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

If the Leafs really want to sign a new goalie, Mike Condon is the best one left in free agency

When the Leafs made the move to place Aaron Dell on waivers, it pretty much marked the end of his short stint with the team that acquired him to be a solid third-string goaltender. With so many goalies already being claimed off waivers in this young season, it came as no surprise when the New Jersey Devils snagged him out of the Leafs’ hands.
As a result, Michael Hutchinson is now back to being the Leafs’ third-string goalie and will likely be on the taxi squad for the majority of the season. The next two players behind him on the depth chart are Joseph Woll and Ian Scott, who both need some developing in the AHL and are nowhere close to being ready for NHL action just yet.
This puts the team in a predicament that they were hoping to avoid and will now need to figure out their plans for how to build up the goalie depth again. They could wait on the Devils to waive one of Dell or Eric Comrie and claim them for free or they could sign the best netminder available in free agency. If the Leafs decide to go with the latter option, the …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs place Aaron Dell and Jason Spezza on waivers

It raised eyebrows around the league when the Leafs decided to keep Aaron Dell on their opening night roster as their third goaltender, mostly because the Leafs were only able to carry one extra player on their active roster due to salary cap limitations. Keeping a third goaltender left the Leafs with next to no roster flexibility, as Alexander Barabanov (aside from Ilya Mikheyev) was the only player that could be sent to the taxi squad without having to clear waivers.
The Leafs made that move prior to their game against Ottawa on Saturday night, recalling rookie forward Nick Robertson for his NHL regular season debut. Unfortunately for Robertson and the Leafs, he suffered a knee injury in the first period and is expected to miss some time pending the results of an MRI scheduled for Sunday.
In order to receive an emergency recall exemption for a player with a cap hit of $1 million or less, the Leafs would have first had to play a game with just 17 skaters. As a result, the Leafs were forced to create the flexibility to recall reinforcements from the taxi squad by placing Aaron Dell and Jason Spezza on Sunday’s waiver wire.

Aaron …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Tomoyuki Sugano will return to Japan for the 2021 season

When it rains, it pours.

Just a few hours after learning that Francisco Lindor was traded to the New York Mets, we also learned that Tomoyuki Sugano, a Blue Jays’ free-agent starting pitching target, won’t be signing with the team.
According to Jeff Passan, Sugano is going to return to Japan and give big-league free agency another try next winter…

Japanese star Tomoyuki Sugano did not come to an agreement on a contract with a major league team before his posting window expired and will return to Nippon Professional Baseball for 2021, sources tell ESPN. He will be eligible to come to MLB as a free agent before 2022 season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2021

To be honest, this is a little surprising. Sugano is 31 years old and he’s coming off of the best season of his career, posting a 1.97 ERA over the course of 20 starts, a showing that was good enough to earn Central League Most Valuable Player.
Obviously the hope for Sugano is that there’s a better financial landscape in a year and that there more teams are in the mix next off-season because of it, but he’s also taking a decent risk not cashing in on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Stories of the Year: Auston Matthews chasing 50

When you think about the Leafs’ 2019-20 campaign, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it Mike Babcock making the baffling decision to scratch Jason Spezza on opening night? Or how about that loss to the Penguins, followed by that save from Fleury, followed by Babcock being fired and Sheldon Keefe taking over? Maybe it’s in reference to some young players making an immediate impact. Alternatively, you’re probably thinking of a 42-year-old Zamboni driver who works for the organization.
All of those are worthy contenders of moments that will define that season when we look back on it years down the line. But I feel like I’m leaving something out, can anyone help me out with what I’m forgetting?

Just a reminder that Auston Matthews did this to the Buffalo Sabres 10 months ago. pic.twitter.com/E1qfAwEHMM
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) October 28, 2020

Ah yes, Auston Matthews’ quest to reach the half-century mark for goals was by far one of the most talked-about storylines of the regular season. Seeing how he was one of the few who stayed healthy and played at a high level throughout, him becoming just the fourth player in franchise …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation