Terrence Ross rises for the jumper in a Summer League game against the Sacramento Kings

Raptors Summer League: Who Moved Up the Charts?

Ed Davis going for the block against Sacramento Kings' lottery pick Thomas Robinson


A Summer League team is an interesting potpourri of players. Some—like Ed Davis and Terrence Ross—already have contracts, but the majority have modest goals, like being noticed enough to win a training-camp invitation. I confess I don’t know players like Devoe Joseph (I thought they had flipped his first and last names—my bad) or Trent Plaisted (another giant lug from BYU ; I’m having Hofa flashbacks…make it stop!). I didn’t watch any games live, but contented myself with highlights, so the following does not purport to be gospel.

Summer league games are uptempo affairs, and half-court sets are a last resort. The players all looked like they were trying to play Mike “7 seconds or less” D’Antoni-style ball.

Terrence Ross will not only make the big team, he will poach significant minutes from guys like Kleiza & DeMar. Ross’ jumper is very sound technically; he gets up quickly and releases at the top of his ramrod straight leap. He may have a fadeway in his arsenal, but I didn’t see it, nor did I see any crazy shots, or out-of-control dribbling. Terrence leaked out at speed, and was the beneficiary of a number of easy crams because of it.  It was not easy to get a sense of his defensive capabilities, so we’ll have to be patient until pre-season, when I’ll watch him closely. He’ll also be playing against real NBAers, which is obviously a truer test of his skills.

Ed Davis is going into his third NBA season, so should be expected to dominate the Summer League. He did in fact lead the squad in scoring, rebounding and blocks, which is pleasant if not exactly earth-shattering news. Ed is being counted on as a critical member of the big man rotation, and he certainly advanced his cause in Vegas.

Quincy Acy only played in two games, so we didn’t learn much about him. He’s another guy whom I’ll be watching in pre-season.

I’d like to see Bobby Brown get a training camp invitation. I think he’d give Ben Uzoh a serious challenge for the 3rd PG spot. Bobby was solid with scoring and distributing the ball, and I have to believe that got noticed. He actually averaged more PT than Ben, who was workmanlike.

Last season, the Raptors’ training camp was underpopulated, in my opinion. I’m a big proponent of intense competition at camp, as the young guns try to push veterans out of the way, and a previously unknown player sneaks up and grabs a roster spot. However, that can’t happen if you only invite 15 players.

It will be interesting to see if the Raps open the door just a crack, and allow some of those who played well at Vegas to get their shot.


Tags: NBA Summer League

  • Michaelis

    Devoe Joseph is an Oregon product (their leading scorer actually) and the older brother of Corey Joseph (PG prospect for the San Antonio Spurs – who I was hoping we would have drafted instead of trading our late first round pick for James Johnson – which has now ammounted to Sacramento’s second round pick).  Devoe and Corey are cousins of Syracuse’s Kris Joseph (drafted 51st by the Boston Celtics). With two of them now in the NBA and the third participating on the Raps summer league squad they are arguably Canada’s most talented basketball family.  Two of them (Kris and Corey) are basically locks to make our national team and I wouldn’t be surprised if Devoe gets a shot to crack the roster as well.

  • Michaelis

    Great to see Ed Davis developing as we hoped, I’m hoping that with his first NBA training camp on the horizon that he will continue to develop into a nice rotation player behind Bargs and JV. 
    I like what I saw this summer league from Terrence Ross as well.  He played solid defense and has great elevation and shooting mechanics.  Granted, his shooting percentages were somewhat underwhelming, yet I believe that this is partially due to fatigue (5 games in 6 nights where he is the primary offensive option).  Before the 5th game against the Knicks where he shot only 2 of 8, he was shooting at a 46.7% rate, not too shabby.  With the Raptors he won’t be expected to be the primary offensive weapon and should have fewer attempts which are hopefully better looks at the bucket, thereby increasing his efficiency.  He will also be playing against better defenders though, so really time will tell if my assumptions hold true.
    As for Bobby Brown, I  thought he looked pretty decent, but with John Lucas III in the mix (several reports are indicating that this deal will go down, including this link to the Toronto Sun)
    I don’t see a need for us to invite Bobby Brown unless a deal for Calderon is still pending that is… Lucas has already proven himself as a capable NBA backup behind Rose in Chicago last year and is capable of filling the bucket in limited minutes (7.5 ppg in 14.8 minutes during the regular season and 8.6 ppg in 18.8 minutes during the playoffs). I haven’t seen much of him personally, but I expect that his game will resemble that of Jerryd Bayless as a scoring PG off the bench.  Yet he is expected to come at less than half the price (rumoured 3 million over two years, the second year being a team option) and has a better reputation for being able to run an offense while still getting his own.

  • Michaelis

    In so far as a pending trade for Jose Calderon is concerned, the only team I see needing a PG bad enough to pay Jose his $10 mill, is the New Orleans Hornets. Greivis Vasquez is the only player they have capable of playing point right now.  The Austin Rivers at the PG experiment is not panning out well so far for them (32.0 MPG, 10.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 21.1% FG, 12.5% 3FG, during summer league play, where you would expect a player of his draft ranking and reputation to dominate).
    A potential trade might involve returns of Brad Miller and Xavier Henry.  I know what you’re thinking… “Why the hell would we do that??” The answer: waive Brad Miller who would then only be a cap hit of $848,000 provided he is waived before July 30th, which then provides us with cap space of approximately $7 million, which we then use to sign Andrei Kirolenko.
    AK47 fills the need of a true starting calibre small forward and would give us one of the tallest (and whitest haha) front courts in the league.  The potential problem is that we would then have too many SG’s (Derozan, Fields, Ross) and we lose our depth at the point which I would argue is a more important position to have depth.
    Given that Demar and Fields can both potentially play at the 3 spot, and that Kleiza is playing some nice ball for Lithuania right now, I like our rotation much better with Jose remaining a member of this team.

  • BrianBoake

     @Michaelis Kirilenko as a Rap?  That’s quite the concept.  I don’t know much tread is left on his tires, so I won’t take a position.  He was quite the player a few years ago, fast and smart.
    I suspect Austin Rivers will be OK.  He strikes me as a guy who needs to park his ego now that he’s in the pros.
    Linas Kleiza contributing?  I’ll take it, gladly, but I’m not counting on it.

  • BrianBoake

     @Michaelis Extremely helpful information, thank you!  I will pay much more attention to this family.

  • BrianBoake

     @Michaelis Then maybe we should be parking Bobby Brown in the D-League.  I confess I don’t know the Raps’ plans for a D-League team, but I’ll ask around and post the answer.
    It’s certainly time for Ed Davis to emerge as a force.  He strikes me as a guy who understands the game, but struggles with technique.  He missed a lot of easy hoops last year by releasing his shot too soon.   I’m convinced there were many occasions when he had no idea how open he was, and what should have been a bunny became a groaner.
    I agree that Jose needs to stick around.  There are going to be situations (nursing a 4 point lead on the road with 3:30 to play) where Coach might put Kyle at the 1 & Jose at the 2.  Those two won’t turn over the ball, and if the bad guys are forced to foul on the in bounds plays, the free throws are nearly certain.
    We can also hope for a contending team to be prepared to pony up some juicy assets for Jose at the trade deadline.

  • Michaelis

    K@BrianBoake Jusg read that Andrei Kirolenko and the Timberwolves are close to finalizing a two year deal worth approximately $20 million

    • Brian Boake

      Thanks for the heads-up. The deal has been finalized. Obviously the Wolves think Andrei has a lot of ball left in his body. I’ve enjoyed watching the guy, but I’d be surprised if he’s a difference-maker for them. The NBA game is played at a sprinter’s pace these days, and I wonder if he can keep up.