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Lewenberg: Raptors to add another point guard in Buycks

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Josh Lewenberg
7/12/2013 7:12:26 PM
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TORONTO - Masai Ujiri knew he would have to get creative when he inherited the Raptors' high-priced roster last month.

Without the salary cap flexibility required to feast on the free agency buffet like many of his counterparts, Ujiri has been tasked with finding a diamond in the rough, or two.

The Raptors believe they have found that in Dwight Buycks. Toronto is finalizing an agreement with the back-up point guard, according to multiple reports. Terms of the deal are not known.

"Excited to be a new member of the Raptors", the 24-year-old Buycks wrote on Twitter Friday evening.

Buycks (pronounced Bikes) won league MVP playing in France last season -- averaging 18.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game -- after collecting first-team all-rookie honours with the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League the year prior. He went undrafted out of Marquette in 2011.

His story is one of perseverance. After several years of chasing his NBA dream in the D-League and overseas, he continued to turn heads playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Orlando Summer League this past week. The Milwaukee native averaged 9.5 points and 6.0 assists in four games for the undefeated Thunder team before Ujiri and the Raptors expressed interest in the point guard.

Darnell Mayberry, Thunder beat writer, first reported the Raptors' offer to Buycks Friday morning.

Buycks will back-up Kyle Lowry, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Raptors. Free agent guard Julyan Stone, who has played just 30 NBA games as a member of the Nuggets, could also be in the mix but his signing could be put on hold due to physical issues, via The Toronto Star's Doug Smith.

With a lack of experience behind him on the depth chart, the pressure would be on Lowry to not only stay healthy, but also have a breakout year in his eighth NBA season, second with the Raptors.

Buycks' signing could be completed as early as this weekend.

Dwight Buycks (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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