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|TORONTO - When the Raptors reconvened in Washington following Februarys All-Star break, Dwane Casey had a hand-drawn contract waiting for them. Mike Conley Jersey . It wasnt legally binding. "It probably wouldnt hold up in court," Casey joked. It was more of a symbolic gesture. "[It was] a document committing to the team, committing to the process, leaving their egos at the door." With two-to-three sentences scribbled up top and a row of lines indicating where to sign, Casey had everybody pledge allegiance to the (Raptors) claw. Players, coaches, trainers, equipment managers, the media relations staff, everyone came up to sign, one-by-one. The first signature belonged to Kyle Lowry. "If [they] didnt want to sign it, you would have been able to tell right off the bat, if guys wanted to read it," said the Raptors head coach, who kept the contract in his briefcase, traveling around with it for the duration of the season. "Everybody stepped up and didnt hesitate and the next night we went out and beat [the Wizards]. Guys probably forgot they signed it, but I didnt" "Im all in, was the head of the document. And they were." On Tuesday, Masai Ujiri and the Raptors went all in on Casey and, in two months, they will do so with the teams core group of players, namely Lowry, making every effort to keep the band together. A year ago, just around this time, Casey and former general manager Bryan Colangelo met with the media to deliver their annual end-of-season post-mortem. They conducted their press conferences separately, unsure of their own futures, let alone the direction of the organization. Now, Ujiri sat adjacent to Casey at the podium, announcing that he and his coach have agreed to a new three-year deal, using this strange, foreign word over and over again; "continuity". "We plan on growing as a team," Ujiri said. "Im not going to make any crazy, quick-fix decisions here. We want to keep building and one of the things weve talked about is continuity." If you take one thing away from Tuesdays proceedings its that message. Ujiri has every intention of doubling down on this past seasons surprising success. Naturally, Casey was the first domino, a quick decision, no-brainer and an easy deal to get done. In his third year with Toronto, Casey led his team to a division title and franchise-record 48-win season before bowing out in the seventh game of the conference quarterfinals. He has more than earned the opportunity to stay on and see this through. In fact, Ujiri was hoping to open talks of an extension with his coach in late March, but as the team stumbled - they had lost four of six games at the time - Caseys preference was to hold off until the end of the season. With that said, the 57-year-old never intended to test the market or throw his hat in the ring for another job. He felt it would be disingenuous and knew where he wanted to be. "My heart is here, my mind is here," Casey said. "Im committed to this organization and to these players going forward." Locking up Casey was the first step, and a logical one. For him, it made little sense to jump ship now and start fresh elsewhere, likely with a losing program, after working hard to change the culture and build an identity in Toronto. The real sales pitch will come in two months, when Lowry - an impending free agent - must decide whether to finish what he started with the Raptors or make like so many stars of the franchises oh-so-painful past and split. Thats why this day was important, thats why it was necessary. Ujiri and Casey were at the podium for over 46 minutes. They were speaking, at least indirectly, to Lowry. "Its very important for us, in terms of continuity," Ujiri said, using that word again - "continuity" - when asked about re-signing Lowry. "For me, negotiating is easy if we want Kyle to be here and Kyle wants to be here." "I think well be fair with Kyle and well figure it out and I think its important. So well go through that process but were optimistic stuff will happen." With Casey in place at the helm of the ship, Lowry knows exactly what he would be signing up for and familiarity - or "continuity" - could go a long way in wooing the star point guard. Despite various reports of a rocky start to their relationship, Casey and Lowry have become close. Theyve lost together, theyve grown together and most importantly theyve won together. "Kyle came into a tough situation," Casey admitted before using a fantastically strange, albeit accurate, metaphor. "Its almost like coming into a relationship where you already have a girlfriend and a new girl comes in, because Jose [Calderon] was already here. We already understood Jose knew the system, he knew the calls. Kyle came in trying to learn them, and Kyle is a very prideful man and should be. Kyle came into that situation as kind of second fiddle and if you know Kyle, hes not a second fiddle kind of guy." "But again, he grew from that. Once Jose was traded, it got closer, it got closer. He understood what we were doing, I understood what he was going to do in certain situations [and] trusted him." Ironically enough, the two bonded at the wedding of former Raptor Rudy Gay, Lowrys best friend, last summer when they were able to get to know each other away from basketball. This summer should start off quietly for the Raptors, at least over the next couple of months. With Casey now part of the recruiting party, the focus immediately shifts to locking up Lowry, a process that they can begin on July 1. Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez - who spoke passionately about his desire to return on Monday - are both restricted free agents and also appear to be part of Ujiris offseason plan. "As far as Im concerned, keeping our core group going forward, with Kyle Lowry, Greivis Vasquez and Patterson and Nando (De Colo), those guys are priorities for us," Ujiri acknowledged. "And if you want to build, I think, a team where we have young players, we have to build continuity. When free agency comes, we have to attack our guys first." Theres still "building" to be done, but its looking likely that those tweaks will be made around the teams current foundation. Internal growth will be crucial, as Casey alluded to. He wants Terrence Ross to get stronger, Jonas Valanciunas to expand his post game - hell work with hall of fame centre Hakeem Olajuwon this summer - and DeMar DeRozan to improve defensively. Its hard to believe that this franchise is just 12 months removed from a summer plagued by uncertainty and indecision, though theyve had their fair share of them over the years. It seems like decades ago now. For most of that year Ujiri kept us guessing. What was his plan? On Tuesday he laid out his blueprint. "For me, theres not going to be any crazy decisions made, theres no quick fix," the Raptors GM said. "Were a growing team, and were going to grow gradually. I really dont care what the expectations are. The way to build in this situation were in is to continue to give our young players the opportunity, to try and draft well and make sure we figure out the right players to sign." The Raptors know what they want and are making no effort to hide it - continuity. Lorenzen Wright Jersey . "After consultation with the Team USA medical staff and officials, it was determined that he should return to Winnipeg as a precaution due to his previous injury history," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said Wednesday in a statement. Bryant Reeves Jersey .C. - The Panthers will be without starting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei for Saturday nights NFC divisional playoff game against Seattle after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a broken bone in his foot. http://www.thegrizzliesofficial.com/Authentic-Allen-Iverson-Grizzlies-Jersey/ . LOUIS - The St.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays will attempt to salvage a split of this weekends four-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. The Blue Jays were defeated in each of the first two games of the weekend, but they came back in a big way on Saturday. Jose Bautista got things started in the first inning, roping a RBI double to right center to kick off a seven-run first inning. Toronto would add to that total throughout the day en route to a 12-2 victory. Bautista finished 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored, while Adam Lind (3- for-4, 2 RBI, 4 runs), Brett Lawrie (2-for-3, 3 RBI) and Juan Francisco (3- for-4, 4 RBI) all had big days at the plate. Marcus Stroman, who was a late replacement for scheduled starter Drew Hutchison, was the beneficiary of the offensive eruption. Stroman made his first career start in just his sixth Major League game and allowed just one run on five hits while striking out six in six innings. "It was a pretty unbelievable game to be a part of. The offense is just so special," said Stroman. Aaron Brooks was making his first career start on the other side for Kansas City, but he did not fare as well. Brooks allowed all seven runs in the first inning and was relieved after recording only two outs. He gave up five hits and three walks. "I just couldnt control the zone," said Brooks. "I was just trying to do a little too much I guess." Jeremy Guthrie will attempt to keep up a recent string of success when he takes the mound for Kansas City on Sunday. Although he was tagged with the loss in his last start, Guthrie allowed just one run over six innings of work against Houston. That outing came oon the heels of a seven-inning, one-run effort against the White Sox in his previous start. Jarell Martin Jersey. Guthrie has not been so consistently effective this season, as he is just 2-4 with an ERA of 4.14. In fact, after winning his first two starts of the season, Guthrie has taken a loss in four straight decisions. The good news for the Royals is that they are 6-5 when Guthrie is on the mound. In his 11 seasons in the majors, Guthrie has only three wins in 21 chances against the Blue Jays. He has also taken eight losses, but worked a respectable 3.46 ERA. MLB wins leader Mark Buehrle will try to add to his total when he gets the ball for the Blue Jays. The veteran left-hander has been extremely impressive this season, racking up a 9-1 record in 11 starts, while keeping his ERA to just 2.33. It is quite the turnaround for Buehrle, who went just 12-10 with a 4.15 ERA in 33 starts last season. Buehrle earned his ninth win this past Tuesday, despite letting up four runs, three of which were earned, and failing to get out of the seventh inning. Luckily the Blue Jays bats picked him up, leading to a 9-6 victory over Tampa Bay. There is plenty of familiarity between Buehrle and the Royals, as the left- hander spent his first 12 seasons playing for the division rival White Sox. In 53 appearances, 51 of which were starts, Buehrle has accumulated a 24-12 record and an ERA of 3.64 against the Royals. Toronto had won five straight series entering this weekend. Kansas City has a chance to win its first series since taking two from Colorado on May 13 and May 14. The Royals have not won a four-game series since taking three out of four from the White Sox in the final four games of last season. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '