Raptors sign guard Will Barton, waive centre Hernangomez

By CityNews Staff

The Toronto Raptors have added some depth at guard.

Veteran Will Barton was signed by Toronto on Tuesday, with the Raptors waiving forward Juancho Hernangomez to make space 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 won a lot,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, referring to Barton's three playoff runs with Denver. “He's an offence creator, can play the screen and roll, can also shoot the three.”

The six-foot-five, 180-pound Barton averaged 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 19.6 minutes across 40 games this season with Washington. Barton was waived by the Wizards on Feb. 21.

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

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

“We'll have to see how we can work him in and where he goes,” said Nurse before Toronto hosted the Chicago Bulls. “I think there's probably some times we call 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 has averaged 5.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 15.5 minutes in 339 games across his seven-year career.

Nurse said that Hernangomez had “some decent moments” with the Raptors but that waiving him was necessary for financial reasons.

“It always comes down to contractual situations, really the business side of things,” said Nurse. “There was some other guys that just had different contract setups. So this was the choice that we ended up taking.”

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

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