Just in time for the Pan Am Games, one of the greatest international players the Americas have ever seen announced he was coming to Toronto too.
Luis Scola tweeted just after the NBA’s moratorium period ended at 12 a.m. Thursday morning: “We the North… Here I come,” indicated the club had added some sorely needed depth at power forward and a league source confirmed Scola had signed.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the deal was for one year, at $3 million U.S.
Scola, 35, had a bounce-back season in his second campaign in Indiana, posting his best advanced stats in years (he particularly improved at getting to the free throw line, rebounding and taking care of the ball).
Scola has averaged 12.7 points and 7.0 rebounds, shooting 49.7% from the field in 631 NBA games, 428 of them starts.
He has missed just nine games over his eight-year career and has been a model of consistency.
Scola started alongside Kyle Lowry for parts of two seasons in Houston and played alongside him in other years when Lowry came off of the bench.
Another former Rocket – Patrick Patterson – will likely step into the starting power forward role, giving the Raptors lots of shooting in the top five. James Johnson is also expected to spend the bulk of his time at power forward.
Scola should work well beside backup centre Bismack Biyombo, an elite rim protector who won’t try to take Scola’s touches on offence and with Cory Joseph, who he can run pick-and-pops with.
Scola has been nothing short of a terror while playing for Argentina over the years, leading the team to Olympic gold and bronze medals, while averaging over 20 points in many tournaments.
He is a three-time winner of FIBA Americas MVP.
The signing leaves the Raptors with about $2 million in cap room remaining (assuming Luke Ridnour’s unguaranteed contract is waived).
DeMarre Carroll and Joseph were set to be introduced to the media at morning press conferences Thursday.