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Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas grabs a rebound against the Detroit Pistons during pre-season NBA action in Toronto on Friday, October 12 2012. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas grabs a rebound against the Detroit Pistons during pre-season NBA action in Toronto on Friday, October 12 2012. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Triple Threat

Three Raptors to watch this season Add to ...

Jonas Valanciunas

 

The seven-foot Lithuanian is easily the most anticipated Raptors rookie in some time and he should help take some of the rebounding heat off Andrea Bargnani. Already voted by the NBA general managers in a survey as the international player most likely to have a breakout year, the 20-year-old has averaged 8.3 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds during the preseason.

DeMar DeRozan

 

Now heading into his fourth season, DeRozan has often been a puzzle for the Raptors with a tendency to disappear on the offensive end when the going gets rough and a general lack of defensive indifference. With the arrival of Valanciunas, Lowry and Landry Fields, DeRozan will have to learn to improve his play without the ball if he hopes to maintain the offensive touches he has grown accustomed to.

Jose Calderon

 

The longest-tenured Raptors player who is beginning his eighth NBA season, the point guard has been bumped to the second unit with the arrival of Kyle Lowry. While expressing some initial dismay at losing his starting role, Calderon appears to be making the best of the situation. It will bear watching as the season progresses.

 

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