Toronto Raptors 905 sustained success is a testament of the franchise

Toronto Raptors 905 - Aaron Best (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors 905 - Aaron Best (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Despite roster and coaching changes every few seasons, the Toronto Raptors 905 remains one of the best teams in the G-League. Their success is a testament to the franchise at large.

The Toronto Raptors 905 development team started in 2015-2016, just three years ago. Since their inception as an expansion franchise, the 905 has produced multiple NBA players, won a G-League Championship, and sustained a level of success that is nearly impossible under the G-League’s current format.

Trying to find consistency in the G-League is like searching for silence at the public pool, you’ve come to the wrong place. The league is used as a stepping stone. Players are looking for big-league contracts, and if that doesn’t pan out, they likely will head to Europe. The goal of the G-League is to leave the G-League. Naturally, the turnover rate will be incredibly high.

After winning the G-League championship in 2015-2016, the 905 had only three players return for the following season. Legend Bruno Caboclo, Negus Webster-Chan, and Edy Tavares (Tavares played one game in 2016-2017). Toronto saw more players move to the Raptors than remain with the 905.

It’s not just the players who have their eyes set on loftier goals. Coaches also use the G-League as a launching pad for their next gig. The Raptors 905 have seen three coaches in four seasons, watching their most recent coach, Jerry Stackhouse, leave for the lead assistant job in Memphis this past offseason.

Considering the circumstances, it’s amazing how consistent the 905 has been. The 905, at just four years of age, is already the best G-League franchise in the NBA. Their success is a direct testament to the culture and organization Masai Ujiri has built.


Over the past three seasons, no G-League franchise has won more games than the Raptors 905. Since 2016-2017, their second year in the league, the 905 has gone 90-45. A winning percentage of 67-percent, almost identical to the Raptors winning percentage of 69-percent during that time.

Unlike the big-league squad, the 905 has found a bounty of postseason success. In 2016-2017, the 905 won the G-League Championship. In 2017-2018, they lost in the Finals. This year’s postseason will bring another test.

Player Development

Winning in the G-League is nice. Developing players is far more important. Fortunately, the Raptors 905 have excelled at that as well.

Since 2015-2016, the 905 is has seen over 10 NBA players walk through their doors. While some of those have been quick stops en route to real playing time, some players have been legitimate development projects.

Delon Wright played more than 20 G-League games, Fred VanVleet played more than 15 G-League games, Chris Boucher has spent nearly the entire season with the 905. Add those players to the numerous quick stops of Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl, and Norman Powell, and suddenly you have a program oozing with talent.

The Raptors have already signed two players — Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller — from the G-League program this season. Their reliance on the minor league program is healthy and forward-thinking.

Next. What Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller offer the Toronto Raptors. dark

Creating a winning organization is largely dependent on a franchise’s ability to succeed at the little things, finding advantages around the margins. The Raptors 905 is just another example of Masai Ujiri’s ability to do just that.