Feb 27, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Myck Kabongo (12) reacts against the Oklahoma Sooners during the second half at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Texas beat Oklahoma 92-86. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors summer league entry – future stars or futility exercise?


The Toronto Raptors have released their lineup for the Las Vegas Summer League (calling the whole thing a “League” is silly and misleading, “Tournament” is the proper descriptor), and it contains some interesting names. We will get our first look at prospects for whom we have high hopes like Brunco Caboclo, Lucas Nogueira and DeAndre Daniels. There are some retreads, like Doron Lamb, a flameout in Orlando with the Magic, and Dwight Buycks, who’s auditioning for other NBA teams as I can’t see him as a Raptor again. I trust smallish guard Myck Kabongo is not with the team as the token Canadian, but someone who at least has a legitimate shot at a D-League job. Hassan Whiteside has bounced around, but may earn a training camp invititation if he shows well, as he plays a position of need. The Raps could use some depth in the front court.

Most of these people are destined for a basketball future elsewhere than Toronto. Our roster is largely set at this point – thank you, Masai Ujiri. By my count, we have 12 players (starters are JV, TRoss, DeMar, Kyle and Amir, with Greivis, 2-Pat, Psycho-T, Chuck, Landry [gag], New Lou and Johnson redux off the bench) locked and loaded, plus the team seems bent on having Bruno and Lucas start the season as Raps. This year’s Raptors training camp won’t be a job search; there are no open seats on the big team’s bench.

With the announcement today of LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland, the Eastern Conference has dramatically changed shape. The Cavaliers have to be considered favorites, yet they are coming off a dismal season. Can LeBron really be able to find them 20 more wins, and will Andrew Wiggins become collateral damage? The Miami Heat seem likely to become very cold, particularly if Chris Bosh follows King James out the door, as seems likely. The Raptors won’t be trying to find themselves during the season’s first month or so. They will be striving for victories from Game 1. I hope some of our Summer League participants enjoy impressive minutes. They then can be tucked safely away somewhere, like Bakersfield, to be called upon should the Raps suffer with injuries.



Tags: Toronto Raptors

  • Trevor LeSueur

    Myck for 3rd point guard spot!

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Trevor:
      I doubt it, but who knows? Stay ready, Myck, your chance may come.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Trevor LeSueur

        Yeah it was more of a prayer haha thought he’d get more of a chance to prove himself in summer league.

  • Guy

    “Landry [gag]“…..Seriously Brian? It seems fairly clear to me that when you think of Landry Fields, the blinders go on & you see nothing but salary. And if you do occasionally sneak a peak out of the corner, you focus on 3pt%. It’s true Fields is overpaid & his 3pt% dropped significantly after his injury. But, for whatever reason, that’s all you see.

    Here’s what’s being ignored. His ‘per 36 minutes’ stats last season were as follows:
    Pts – 7.6, 2Pt- 43.5%. FT- 63.6%, Reb – 6.6, Asst – 2.2, Steals – 1.1, Turnovers – 1.2
    [20 second timeout: I ignored his 3pt totals because they were irrelevant. He averaged one 3-ball every two games]

    These stats are similar to John Salmons last season &, like him or not, Salmons contributed.

    Fields is a good defender. You only need to look at the Raps playoffs against Brooklyn to know this as Fields played a major role in the Raps first playoff win. Joe Johnson was torching Ross, so Casey put Fields on him later in the 2nd half & Johnson turned into the invisible man. He got nothing. He’s a good rebounder, plays bigger than his size. He can handle the ball, is a good passer. He’s quick, excellent moving without the ball & isn’t afraid to attack the rim. As for his contract, this is the year when it has supreme value because it’s expiring & could be used to pry an upper level player in a trade. Even if nothing happens & no trade presents itself, he’d simply be let go & that’s $8.5 million off the payroll next summer. The main goal this summer was to re-sign the core/key players from last year & Fields did nothing to hinder that.

    In the meantime, the Raps have a good defending, versatile, unselfish role player on the bench next season. If Ujiri deals him, I have no doubt it will be another deft move on his part. But if not, your obvious dislike of Fields aside, having him on the roster is not a disaster.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Guy:
      One of the requirements for my job is a willingness to express an opinion, and be proven wrong about it. So far Landry hasn’t proven me wrong, although I’d be happy if he did. If we get the rookie Landry’s performance this upcoming season, I’ll apologize to him, and give you a hat tip.
      Thanks for dropping by.

  • Gary Slippoy

    Possibly if Fields’ elbow ever heals he might be useful. When he played for the Knicks he used to give the Raptors nightmares. So there’s always hope.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Gary:
      After two seasons of less than nothing, I suppose there is hope; just not much of it.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Gary Slippoy

    I remember watching this guy destroy the Raptors when they played. Also isn’t this “contract year”? You know what most guys do in their final year of their contract!