Two young players the Raptors will be counting on big-time this season, Chris Bosh and Rafael Araujo, will be coming to camp next month a little out of shape. And that's a good thing.
Bosh, who was a first-team NBA all-rookie centre last season, is heavier and stronger, while Araujo, the club's first-round draft pick this year, is lighter and stronger.
Just what the doctor ordered.
Bosh carried about 225 pounds on his stringy 6-foot-10 frame last season and, although he played well as a rookie, the Dallas native often took a beating from the heavier, stronger veteran centres in the league. By season's end, he was even lighter than 225 and extremely fatigued.
One of his, and the club's, major hopes for the off-season was to gain a significant amount of weight through the summer. According to Bosh's agent, Henry Thomas, it's mission accomplished.
"He is well over 230 now," Thomas said. "And that's after working out really hard this summer."
Bosh was slated to attend the NBA Basketball Without Borders program in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sept. 6-10, but withdrew his participation.
"He really wanted to spend the last few days in Dallas (visiting family and working out) and then get to Toronto to start working out before training camp," Thomas said. "There's nothing more than that to it."
As for the 6-foot-11, 290-pound Araujo, the bruising Brazilian, according to his L.A.-based agent Diron Ohanian, actually lost weight over the summer while, at the same time, gaining significant strength lifting weights.
Araujo, whom the Raptors hope will be able to play a lot of minutes at centre this season, freeing Bosh up for the power forward position, spent most of the summer training in Los Angeles. He also attended the Pete Newell Big Man Camp in Las Vegas in August and spent time visiting his family in Brazil.
Both Araujo and Bosh are expected in Toronto this week.