Jonas Valanciunas does many good things for the Raptors, but protecting the rim is not one of them. That’s why there is hope within the organization that new addition Lucas Nogueira can provide a big boost in that area as his backup, though nobody expects that to happen immediately.
Nogueira, a seven-foot Brazilian centre who needs to put on some weight, came over to the Raptors, along with reserve guard Lou Williams in a deal from Atlanta. The Hawks selected him 16th overall in the 2013 draft, after Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri aggressively tried to trade into the draft to take him and Nogueira has been playing for the team’s Summer League squad here in Vegas, averaging six points and five rebounds in 19 minutes per game. He has only blocked one shot so far, but is not in game shape due to red tape.
Toronto and his Spanish club, Estudiantes are attempting to complete a buyout agreement and Nogueira was not cleared to practice until just before Friday’s opener.