Adding veterans will help Raptors

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:55 PM ET

TORONTO - New Raptors head coach Dwane Casey expressed some concerns on Friday about how his charges would feel after their first practice of the season.

No need.

“They bounced back, I was really impressed with the guys not being sore,” Casey said after the Raptors went through a three-hour grind.

Casey said Amir Johnson skipped the final 30 minutes because his surgically repaired ankle was a little sore, but Johnson came out to hoist up some jumpers while other players were being interviewed.

Similar to what the franchise did following the 1998-99 lockout when Charles Oakley and Kevin Willis were brought in to help out youngsters like Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady, Toronto is once again mixing strong evolving talent with cagey veterans like Jamaal Magloire, Rasual Butler and soon, Anthony Carter.

Casey fully endorses the strategy.

“Whoever else we bring in is going to have experience in the league,” Casey said.

“What we want to do is put veteran players, veteran leadership around our young guys.

“I can’t say enough about what Jamaal has brought. An air of confidence, a big brother. When he says something, everybody listens.”


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