Instead of having P.J. Tucker sit on the bench for most of his life, the Raptors have decided to send their second-round pick down to the NBA Development League to gain playing experience.
The Raptors announced yesterday that they have assigned the 6-foot-5 Tucker to the Colorado 14ers, their D-League affiliate, in Broomfield, Colo.
The undersized forward out of Texas is expected to make his debut with the 14ers this weekend in a back-to-back home set against the Bakersfield Jam.
After opening some eyes with his energy and rebounding in the pre-season, Tucker could not crack coach Sam Mitchell's rotation and saw action in just 16 of the Raptors' 32 games. The 35th overall pick had a total of 24 points and 20 rebounds in 71 minutes, with career highs of 12 and nine Dec. 19 in Phoenix against the Suns.
Tucker follows in the footsteps of teammate Pape Sow, who was sent to the Arkansas RimRockers, Toronto's previous D-League affiliate, last season.
Tucker remains on the Raptors roster and collects the same salary while in the D-League.
TAKE A SEAT
It's one thing to get suspended for a memorable violent act.
But it's far worse to be forced out for something that the victim can't even recall.
Such was the situation for Raja Bell of the Suns, who was slapped with a one-game suspension yesterday for kicking Raptors rookie Andrea Bargnani during the third quarter of their game Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre.
"I didn't catch it during the game and Andrea never really said anything," Mitchell said. "I don't know if Andrea was even aware what was going on. I think Andrea kind of just played."
AROUND THE RIM
The Raptors attracted their third consecutive sellout crowd Wednesday against Phoenix to give them six for the season, topping last season's total of five. It also marked the first time Toronto had sold out three games in a row since April 12-17, 2002.