Raptors sign Barton, drop Hernangomez Pipa News


Raptors sign Barton, drop Hernangomez

TORONTO – The Toronto Raptors have added some depth at safety.

Veteran Will Barton was signed by Toronto on Tuesday, with the Raptors moving forward Juancho Hernangomez to make room on their roster. The 32-year-old Barton has 12 years of NBA experience, having played for the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards.

“He’s an interesting player. He’s played a lot in the league on a team that’s won a lot,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said, referring to Barton’s three playoff runs with Denver. “He’s an offense creator, can play screen and role, can shoot all three as well.”

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The six-foot-5, 180-pound Barton averaged 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 19.6 minutes in 40 games with Washington this season. On February 21, Barton was waived by the Wizards.

He was traded to Washington in the off-season after averaging 14.7 points per game in 71 starts for the Nuggets in the 2021-22 campaign.

Barton averaged 11.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 25.5 minutes in 663 games. He is a career 35.5 percent three-point shooter and has shot 38 percent from beyond the arc so far this season.

“We’ll have to see how we can work with him and where he goes,” Nurse said before Toronto hosted the Chicago Bulls. “I think maybe sometimes we’ll ask for some backcourt help off the bench and we’ll see if he can provide that.”

Hernangomez, who signed a one-year, US$2.2 million deal with the Raptors last summer, averaged 2.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 14.6 minutes in 42 games this season.

He averaged 5.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 15.5 minutes in 339 games over his seven-year career.

Nurse said Hernángómez had “some good moments” with the Raptors but was required to leave due to financial reasons.

“It always comes down to contractual conditions, really the business side of things,” said Nurse. “There were others who had different contract setups. So that was the option we ended up taking.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on February 28, 2023.

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