SPORTS

Former Hawks small forward DeMarre Caroll en route to Toronto Raptors

07/01/2015 12:40 EDT | Updated 07/01/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Masai Ujiri has made the first move in his Toronto Raptors makeover.

The team's general manager agreed to sign DeMarre Carroll on the first day of NBA free agency, adding a player who fits in well with coach Dwane Casey's defence-first philosophy.

Carroll announced the news on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, posting a photo of himself arm-in-arm with Ujiri and Casey, over the caption: "#WeTheNorth I will be playing for Toronto Raptors next year!!!! I'm Blessed for this Opportunity!"

The 28-year-old small forward averaged 12.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 70 games for the Atlanta Hawks last season, and was touted as one of the top players at his position available on the free agent market. He's a strong defender and an outside shooting threat, and could slip into the starting lineup in place of Terrence Ross.

The Raptors will also be missing Amir Johnson. The oft-injured forward reportedly agreed to a two-year, $24-million deal with the Boston Celtics.

Carroll started 69 games to help the Hawks to a franchise-high 60 wins and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs last season. He's also a proven playoff performer which the Raptors could use, having been dispatched in ugly fashion by Washington in the first round.

Carroll was Atlanta's leading scorer through the first two rounds. He had a run of six games with 20-plus points, and recorded 25 points and 10 boards in the close-out game against Washington. He suffered a knee injury in Game 1 of the third round against Cleveland.

Carroll has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal worth US$60 million, which would make it the largest free-agency signing in franchise history.

The Raptors had also been in the running for free agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge, with reports saying the Raptors were meeting with him in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon.

The team can't official sign Carroll until the NBA's free-agent moratorium ends on July 9.

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