Toronto Raptors make smart decision to sign Lorenzo Brown

Toronto Raptors - Lorenzo Brown
Toronto Raptors - Lorenzo Brown /

The Toronto Raptors signed Lorenzo Brown to a one-year partially guaranteed contract. Brown played for the Raptors on a two-way contract last season.

As reported by Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (take that Woj), the Toronto Raptors have signed  Lorenzo Brown to a one-year contract for next season. Subsequently reported by Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic, the deal appears to be only partially guaranteed.

Brown spent last season on a two-way contract for the Raptors. Brown appeared in just 17 games for the big-league squad last year and played just 139 total minutes. Despite his limited minutes at the NBA-level, the team made a shrewd decision bringing back Brown.

Backcourt Versatility

With Brown being signed, the Raptors currently have four point guards for next season. However Brown, like Delon Wright, has the versatility to also play shooting guard.

6’5″ with a 6’7″ wingspan, Brown is large enough to guard almost any shooting guard without limitations, and with virtually no opportunity to start, he won’t be asked to guard any league’s elite scorers.

Brown gives head coach Nick Nurse the opportunity to play multiple point guard lineups, even if Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright, or Kyle Lowry is forced to miss time. Two point guard lineups were a staple for Toronto last season and figure to be even more prevalent under Nurse.

Showcased Talent

Although Brown did not play much in the NBA last season, he did show his value in other ways.

Last season, Lorenzo Brown was named G-League MVP. Yes, the list of previous winners is not riddled with NBA success stories, but the G-League is more talented than ever and his production is promising.

For the 905, Brown averaged 18.8 points, 8.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He provided a spark of offense to a team that lacked other scoring options and preferred to grind games out at the leagues slowest pace.

Most importantly, during his tenure Brown showed abilities as a versatile defender and capable three-point shooter, two factors that will be critical at the next level.

 Continuity and fit

The biggest advantage Lorenzo Brown had over other remaining free-agents was his familiarity within the Toronto Raptors organization.  Playing for the 905 and working with Nick Nurse last season, Brown doesn’t face the steep learning curve of a newcomer.

It’s also very likely that Brown understands his role for next year. 27 years-old, Brown has bounced around the NBA/G-League for a handful of years. At this point he should not be expecting NBA stardom and will likely be happy making an NBA roster.

With eleven legitimate rotation players already on the roster, anyone Toronto signs at this point should not require minutes. As a semi-veteran and consistent part of the organization, Brown assuredly knows this and has no dreams of grandeur. (Everyone dreams so perhaps expectations of grandeur).

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Brown, like Nurse, is a vote for continuity. A belief in the Raptors culture and growth within the organization, a bet worth making.