John Lucas III To Sign With The Raptors?
After several seasons of failing to carry an effective third-string point guard on the roster and suffering the consequences when either their starting point guard, the backup floor general or both were injured, the Toronto Raptors have prudently decided to pursue a player who is proven in the role, likely John Lucas III. Lucas is 29 years old and a veteran of four NBA seasons, plus three more in Europe. He proved his worth on an NBA roster on the Bulls last season when Derrick Rose lost 27 games to injury. The Bulls barely missed a beat with C.J. Watson and Lucas running the point during the regular season.
Lucas averaged 7.5 points and 2.2 assists in just under 15 minutes a game in Chicago last year, but in keeping with head coach Dwane Casey’s demand for more shooting, Lucas has been a consistent 39 percent plus shooter from three-point range for most of his professional and college career. In his only two starts last season, Lucas averaged 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and five assists.
Toronto has to wait until after the James Johnson trade to Sacramento is finalized to clear the necessary salary cap space, but the unrestricted free agent is expected to be joining the Raptors shortly afterward.
The Bulls are one of several teams that are interested in the Raptors’ Jose Calderon, but only if he was waived and Toronto let the amnesty deadline pass without taking any action. There is almost no possibility of this deal turning into a sign-and-trade, according to sources close to the situation.
Lucas would be a strong addition to the Raptors’ roster as the third-string point guard behind Kyle Lowry and Calderon and based on last season, he should be able to earn Casey’s confidence as the primary backup if future moves by the team necessitate it.