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Barrett and Quickley moved up to probable against Lakers |


TORONTO – Immanuel Quickley had been with the Toronto Raptors less than three months when his beloved uncle Shawn Hamilton died.

Even though he was relatively new to the organization, a dozen members of the Raptors made the trip to attend Hamilton’s funeral. It was an act of kindness and respect that Quickley will always appreciate.

“They didn’t have to do that,” Quickley said Monday after practice at the OVO Sports Center. “Love is an action, not just words.

“It’s not just something you say, it’s something you do and they clearly demonstrated that.”

Quickley and RJ Barrett of Mississauga, Ont., will both be listed as probable when the Raptors host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Quickley and Barrett missed significant periods of Toronto’s 13 losses as they mourned the loss of loved ones.

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Quickley took time off after Hamilton died of cancer on March 20, missing six games. Barrett, whose 19-year-old brother Nathan Barrett died March 14, has been off for nine games.

Both players were traded from the New York Knicks to Toronto for OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn on December 30. Quickley and Barrett both described themselves as “brothers” when the deal was reached and Quickley said it was fitting that they would potentially return to court together.

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“It’s good. Not only RJ – RJ is obviously my guy – but the whole team,” he said. “This organization has been great since the first day I got here.

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“Just being able to share the field with these guys was a blessing. Looking forward to it.”

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Injuries have also plagued Toronto this season, contributing to the disastrous loss.

Star forward Scottie Barnes (fractured left hand), center Jakob Poeltl (torn ligament in left hand), guard Ochai Agbaji (right hip), forward Chris Boucher (partial torn MCL), guard DJ Carton (sprained right ankle) and Jontay Porter. (personal reasons) will all be inactive against LA

Quickley said that although the season was difficult personally and professionally, his faith kept him going.

“God has been just wonderful this whole year,” Quickley said. “He’s been with me every step of the way. I appreciate it.

“The love that people have shown, the love that I will continue to show even through my loss, I hope I can be an example to people that there is still hope as long as you have Jesus.” This is what I try to live by.

Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic said it meant a lot to the team to have Quickley return, as he has taken on the role of starting point guard since arriving in Toronto from the Knicks.

“For me, more than anything, it’s about team growth, individual growth to finish the season on a good note here,” Rajakovic said. “He’s had a really tough time here the last few weeks, lost someone very close to him, and just having him play basketball on the court is a big plus for him and for us.”

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Toronto (23-51) has been mathematically eliminated from the NBA playoffs, but with eight games remaining, the stakes are still high for the Raptors.

Their first-round pick in this summer’s NBA draft is conditional, following a trade to the San Antonio Spurs for Poeltl before last season’s trade deadline. The Raptors have the sixth-worst record in the NBA, but if the May 12 draft lottery lands them seventh or higher, that pick will go to San Antonio.

Memphis (24-50) could also exclude Toronto from the lottery if the Grizzlies play worse than the Raptors to close the season. The Grizzlies had a one-game lead over Toronto heading into their road game against the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Lakers, the Raptors have a 37.2 percent chance of placing in the top four in the lottery and a 9 percent chance of drawing the first overall pick.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2024.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press


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