Title: His suitcases always ready, Eric Moreland returns for another stint with Raptors
Date: March 15, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Eric Moreland’s return to the Raptors, his strange season to date, and why all the pieces matter for an NBA team, even when it seems like they don’t.
Considering traffic in Los Angeles and Toronto are what they are, it’s a minor miracle that Eric Moreland even made it to Scotiabank Arena on time. Here he was, closing a game for the Raptors against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, five months after the Raptors cut him at the end of training camp. Luckily, Moreland’s season has made him an expert in the art of short-notice flights.
It’s been an odd year for Moreland in that sense. He’s now logged all of 10 NBA minutes but spent it on a sort of taxi-squad-to-nowhere, shuttling around and waiting for a genuine opportunity. He”ll get that now in Toronto, at least for the length of his 10-day contract, with the Raptors up against a deadline to sign a 14th player to the roster and in need of an extra centre with Serge Ibaka suspended three games.
“I just wanted to see Moreland,” head coach Nick Nurse said of the decision to close the game with a player who’d signed an hour before tip-off. “I hadn’t seen him since training camp and I just thought we might need him this weekend and I wanted to see what he looked like. I was itching to get him in there. We really wanted to see what Moreland had for a big lineup on Sunday. I kind of like the way he plays. I liked him in training camp. I think he’s not gonna get you 20 but you might use some physicality, he might grab some boards. He moves his feet pretty well, too.”