Lewenberg: Raps reportedly add backcourt depth in Augustin

Josh Lewenberg
7/17/2013 8:06:35 PM
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TORONTO - The Raptors' backcourt rotation continues to take shape.

A day after taking a chance on the inexperienced Dwight Buycks, Toronto has reached an agreement with veteran point guard D.J. Augustin, inking him to a one-year, $1.26 million deal according to Yahoo Sports.

Augustin, 25, is coming off a rough year with the Pacers after spending his first four NBA seasons as a member of the Charlotte Bobcats. In just 16 minutes per game, Augustin averaged a career-low 4.7 points and 2.2 assists, shooting just 35 per cent from the field while appearing in 76 regular-season games and 19 playoff contests for the Pacers in 2012-13.

The former Texas Longhorns guard was drafted ninth overall by the Bobcats in 2008. He scored a career-best 14.4 points to go along with 6.1 assists for Charlotte in 2010-11 before a series of knee injuries slowed him the following season. Augustin signed with Indiana as a free agent last summer.

Augustin figures to become the primary back up to starting point guard Kyle Lowry, although the newly signed Buycks will also be in the mix for playing time at the position.

A low-risk signing, the hope is that Augustin can bounce back following a poor season and rediscover the success he experienced as a starter in Charlotte. A career 37 per cent three-point shooter, Augustin addresses a need for the Raptors and could provide a much-needed offensive spark off the bench while complementing the less experienced Buycks.

Toronto was able to free up space under the salary cap after using the amnesty provision on Linas Kleiza Tuesday evening. By avoiding the NBA's luxury tax, and the steep financial penalties that go with it, the Raptors can now use a portion of their mid-level exception to sign Augustin, if they so choose. The non-taxpayer mid level is valued at $5.15 million, up from the $3.18 million exception for taxpaying teams, however most of that has already been allocated towards the contract of another former Pacer, Tyler Hansbrough.

Camby's homecoming is cut short

The Raptors also came to terms on a buyout agreement with veteran centre Marcus Camby who was placed on waivers, the team announced Wednesday.

Camby, 39, was originally drafted by Toronto with the second overall pick in 1996 but expressed his reluctance on returning to the Raptors after being acquired from the Knicks last week. Camby was a part of the deal that netted the Raptors Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson and three draft picks in exchange for Andrea Bargnani.

The 17-year vet was due to make $3.38 million this coming season and $4.18 million in 2014-15, although the second year was not fully guaranteed. Details of the buyout are not known but the agreement should allow the team to utilize the veteran's minimum (roughly $1.35 million) on another player, if they choose to do so.

The Raptors' roster would stand at 14 following the signing of Augustin. That includes the contract of Richardson, whose status with the team remains uncertain at this time.

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